Town Square

Post a New Topic

40% Decline in Terrorism Deaths since 2001

Original post made by Good News Worldwide, Midtown, on May 23, 2008

Web Link

Above is a link to The Human Security Project Report, just released. This is a group that was housed in the Human Security Centre, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia from February 2002 to May 2007 but is now housed in the School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

The first Human Security Report in 2005 documented a dramatic, but largely unknown, decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuse over the prior decade.

This one, May 21, 2008 documents that fatalities from terrorism have declined by some 40 percent, while the loose-knit terror network associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda has suffered a dramatic collapse in popular support throughout the Muslim world...since 2001.

Enjoy the link. Timely release, given that this is Memorial Day weekend, honoring all those in the military who have died fighting terrorism in the last 6 years, and all those in the military who have died fighting for freedom for in our country. Thanks Canada!

Comments (31)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by THANKS!
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2008 at 10:58 am

WOW! Thanks! Will send to all the military I know.

Odd, I haven't seen this reported in either the Chron or the Merc yet.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2008 at 11:26 am

A decline in terrorism related fatalities can only be viewed as welcome news, but I don't think it means that the "mission" is necessarily getting fully accomplished.

We most certainly must continue to use military and law enforcement resources to assure that innocent populations are protected as much as possible. But that is treating the symptoms, not the underlying disease.

In addition, countries such as the United States must have foreign policies that discourage and prevent potential terrorist recruits from choosing that way of life, but instead encourage them to pursue more worthwhile options. The Tim McVeighs in this country and the people who associate with Al Qaeda are generally profiled as young and angry, with little personal hope for a life or way of living that is fulfilling. Many vulnerable minds that are succeptible to the suggestions of the likes of Bin Laden need not just messages, but also opportunities to do something with their lives that gives them a feeling of self worth.

Such a policy does not generate immediate dividends, nor does it stop the truly evil people who are beyond rehabilitation. But for many on the margins, such a policy worldwide also is needed to keep this hydra from growing more heads.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2008 at 1:09 pm

The article mentioned is a bit technical, although still quite informative. It argues that "terrorist" deaths should not include those civilian deaths in Iraq, who died in a civil conflict. Previous surveys of terrorists, such as in Africa, did not count them. However, recent reports included the civilian deaths in Iraq. Thus, the authors are arguing for consistency, in order to identify trends. Either way, it is clear that civilian deaths are trending down, both in Iraq and around the world.

The major factors in Iraq are the U.S. surge, the disgust among the Sunnis with al qaeda-in-Iraq and the ethnic cleansing that has driven the various camps that are defensible. Perhpas the most important element of the report is that public opinion among the Muslims, worldwide, has shifted again the al qaeda jihadists. Also, most Muslims seem to like U.S. style liberal democratic reforsm (e.g. womens' rights, right to vote, etc.).

I disagree with Paul Losch, and those who continue to explain Islamist jiadists are young men without hope. The jihadists are in decline, becasue they overplayed their hand, and becasue they were confronted, and hurt, by the U.S.

We do, indeed, have much for which to be thankful to our soldiers. The mission is not yet fully accomplished, but it is close. The liberation of Iraq, in particular, will be seen as one the great emancipations of this century. Thank you, too, GWB...your leadership in the face of your hatriot opposition was steadfast and strong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Gary,

You must also disagree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Secretary of State James Baker, and myriad other people who have worked in Republican administrations who advocate constructive initiatives that can lead to people having some real choices for their societies and themselves.

You mention yourself that most Muslims have a favorable disposition toward western values such as women's rights and voting. How do those things come about? Not from the barrel of a gun, IMHO. (And your analysis that such points of view among such people have shifted from being previously in favor of "the jihadists"--that is simply not factually accurate.)

You also take a narrow view of this entire matter. Most of the terrorism in the world, in places such as Bali, Spain, the Horn of Africa, inter alia, have a history that pre-dates the Iraqi war and has nothing whatsoever to do with what is going on there. You seem to be suggesting that "victory" in Iraq will lead to terrorists elsewhere packing up their tents and ceasing their recruiting efforts. Domino theories have not proven out historically, I see no evidence that such will be the case as a consequence of what happens in Iraq, even if it does end with a so-called victory.

By the way, who are the jiahdists recruiting? While you are at it, do you disagree that there are many people without hope, or is that just a figment of fertile imaginations? Lastly, is there a place for treating th root causes of the terrorist disease, or do you take the point of view that the harsh and costly medicine of military intervention and law enforcement are the only "cure?"

There is an important place for military and other such force in dealing with terrorism. If we continue to follow a policy where that is the only tool this country uses in our approach to the challenge, we are not putting this country's diverse resources and capabilities to their best and fullest use to tackle the elements that contribute to terrorism, many of which cannot be addressed via military means.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Paul,

Take a breath, and at least read the full article. I did.

Then we can talk.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Maybe its the description of terrorist that has changed. What about the IRA and all those killed in Britain? We have had extremists of one type or another for donkeys years. What also may have changed is the way the media report this stuff.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Good news Worldwide
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Paul,though I admire your guts in identifying yourself, you miss the point, or at the very least many of us disagree with you completely.

This is not a black and white, all or none point. It is simply a statement of fact.

This is not to say there isn't a place for all the other avenues to decrease terrorism..hope, jobs et al. Of course not. On the other hand, terrorism worldwide was on the rise for the prior 30 years, not a decrease..Clearly there was a place for "something more" since the prior administrations around the world and here were failing to stem the tide.

And, to say that terrorism in other parts of the world have nothing to do with Iraq can't be proven any more than to say that terrorism around the world has everything to do with Iraq.

What CAN be speculated on is this....supposing you are a young man in North Africa, and there is an attempt to recruit you into AlQaeda ( which is also disintegrating...why???). Think of incentive. If your village is now aware of what Al-Qaeda and Hesbollah and Hamas are really up to, and opposed to blowing people up: and therefore they will not admire you for joining up:..if you see that terrorism is being eradicated in the Mother ground of Terrorist activity, Iraq; If you note that more Western countries are electing harder line governments...are you likely to "sign up"? This is all speculation, of course. But no more speculative than your contention that terrorism in the rest of the world has nothing to do with Iraq.

The point is that deaths from terrorism are down 40% since 2001. If you read the rest of the report, deaths from genocide and wars over all are down since 1995.

This is not about black and white political conclusions. It is about celebrating good news in happiness and gratitude.

I am all for a decrease in deaths from terrorism and genocide.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 23, 2008 at 2:18 pm

OK Gary, I read the article.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Coulter Loves Limbaugh
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm

There goes Gary again--if you do not toe the line as far as following the Bush/Cheney dogma then you get some kind of snarky remark from him.
Clearly, according to Gary, there is only one interpretation to things and it is his. of course you also get to hear him brand anyone that disagrees with him and/or Bush/Cheney as being hatriots.
Don't waste your time with him--leave him to spend his time getting more "military experience" by playing Dungeons and Dragons.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm

"Good News"--

I opened my remarks by saying this was good news. I went on to say more than once that there is an important role for the military tool in dealing with terrorism. I then suggest that there are other things that are in our "tool box" which also need to be part of addreessing this problem if we are going to get to the heart of the matter.

I think you are right to point out that the United States had been asleep at the switch for some time, it predates 9/11 and the current Iraq matter. Plenty of blame to go around, several US administrations and arguably other countries that could bring to bear positive approaches that lead people away from following a jhadist path. Did not happen nearly to the extent that is should have, and is not happening now to the extent that it needs to.

My key point was and remains that an exclusively military and law enforcement approach is necessary but not sufficient to eradicate this problem. This is hardly an extreme point of view, numerous highly regarded leaders have taken the same position. I do question the extent to which the current administration is taking such an approach, I perceive it as only using the military instrument, the utlity of which has both advantages and limitations.

As for linking terrorism with the current Iraq conflict, there are plenty of instances that can be cited of acts of terror in recent years which have no connection whatsoever to Iraq, Saddam Hussein, or the US involvement there. I am of the opinion that what happened in Iraq and what happens in Iraq has no connection with many of these occurences, although there clearly are terrorist factions in Iraq which are contributing to the current state of affairs.

If we are able to fix the terrorist problem in Iraq, that is terrific. It still leaves the problem, from its root causes to the acts carried out, in many places elsewhere around the world which require measures other than what is done in Iraq itself. It is disingenuous to assert that what is accomplished in Iraq solves the problem elsewhere on the globe.

As for your case study of a North African recruit, I cannot pretend to get into the head of such a person, but I think I know enough about human nature that people are motivated by both positive and negative incentives, and how they feel about each may be different even if they results in the same behavior.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peace Through Victory.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm

From the analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center,

"My doomsday scenario, aside from weapons of mass destruction, is personalized jihad," explained one analyst. "Everyone gets to do it on their own. Anyone can take a knife and stab someone in the back."

A related concern is the devolution of targeting. With al-Qaeda, targets were selected to meet certain criteria of economic and symbolic importance. But as U.S. counterterrorism operations disrupt al-Qaeda, one analyst noted, "that pushes targeting down in the ranks."

The analysts recall the anxiety produced by the Washington area sniper attacks in October 2002, in which random shootings by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo created a fear that nearly paralyzed the region. That illustrates the damage that personalized jihad could do.

On the positive side, the analysts note that many Muslims around the world are turning away from al-Qaeda, in part because of their revulsion at its tactics and its gruesome record of killing Muslims. This rejection is evident even within the Salafist networks of very traditional Muslims, which provided Osama bin Laden's early recruits. "The Salafist community has become very pragmatic," explains one of the analysts, to the point that some sheiks have blessed cooperation with Western law enforcement against terrorist groups.

The counterterrorism strategists have also studied ways to combat the radicalization of Muslims. The simple answer, they say, is intense engagement with the Muslim community. "Having the conversation signals that you take them seriously," says one analyst. Super-hot rhetoric about the "war on Islamic terrorism" can easily backfire, he notes. "If you want to engage in a conversation, it's best to use language that doesn't anger the community."

What's the biggest worry at the National Counterterrorism Center? In the tribal areas of Pakistan, al-Qaeda is recruiting and training terrorists who don't look or talk like Muslim extremists -- who could enter the United States easily on European passports, without special visas. "That's the issue we spend more time on than anything," the head of the group explains. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm

OK Paul,

Do you still insist that "And your analysis that such points of view among such people have shifted from being previously in favor of "the jihadists"--that is simply not factually accurate" is accurate?

I never said that I oppose initiatives to inject democratic values into the Muslim world. I have always supported doing so. Sometimes, though, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, it takes the gun. Afghan women could only be liberated from the Taliban with the gun, for example. Free elections is Iraq could only occur by the gun..the gun that killed Saddam.

Al qaeda is recruiting those who believe in the ideology of Islam, as originally expressed in the Quran. They come from both rich and poor and in between. The soldiers of bin-Laden, who carried out the 9-11 attacks, were not poor people...they were believers. Your narrow view that the current jihad is about those without hope, is hopelesly simplistic. You need to expand your view.

The victory in Iraq, which is a done deal, unless it unravelled by the hatriots, will, indeed, cause many jihadist potential recruits to think otherwise. What are you thinking, Paul?

Who says that the only tool that we have used is the military? GWB was allied with Blair (UK), and several other countries. Condi Rice has been flying around the world, talking to various players that understand the stakes, including those who do not say it publicly.

Your statement reminds me of those who highly criticized Reagan for attacking Khadaffi in Libya. Reagan was right, and Khadaffi, was driven to ground. After the Iraq invasion, he decided that it wasn't worth fighting anymore, and he gave up his nuke program, and other WMD.

Paul, on what basis do you determine your analysis of foreign policy? It sure doesn't sound like it matches your normally sound metrics, on other issues. For some reason, you seem to have sunk to the depths expressed by those like "Coulter Loves Limbaugh"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Good news Worldwide
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Paul, it sounds like we are disagreeing over semantics and tone.

It sounds like we agree....terrorism and genocide decreasing is good. What is happening in Iraq is good. We need to continue all points of the program everywhere to help continue marginalizing terrorists, from the spread of democratic ideas to not supporting repressive regimes to providing incentives to give a true education to children in the Muslim worlds (versus a hate-filled one) to ..you get the idea.

Before now, the military option was completely off the table. We had a concept in the world, which has now been changed in even the UN, that "sovereignty" trumped all else. We have destroyed that barrier, and I submit, with nothing at all to back it up but a gut feeling, that this military option that the world knows is now on the table, is helping to change attitudes also.

I put myself in the shoes of a Saudi King...do I continue to support the teaching of hate of the USA and Israel, and the support of violence against these countries, in order to deflect anger away from me...and risk losing all my power and possibly my life? Or, do I begin to institute changes in education and oppression in the hopes of deflecting bigger problems?

Most leaders have a primary concern, be they democratic or tyrannical leaders, and that is to retain powere. In tyrannies the only way to lose power is to be overthrown. In democracies you get voted out. So, tyrannies are likely to follow the path of least resistance to retaining power.

That is my opinion on the effect of us going into Afghanistan and Iraq, and stating that we will not tolerate any country that supports terrorism.

How much effect has there been compared to other factors? Don't know, and don't know if we ever will. Will any tyrant ever admit that the reason he loosened his grip and supported better education was from fear of the USA? I doubt it. But over time maybe we will learn what percentage the factors each held.

In the meantime, all we can do is keep going with what we are doing. Something is working. Not sure what.

I AM sure that if our country returns to a doctrine of war is always the worst option, such that it becomes accepted that we will NEVER go to war for any reason, we will see a rise in terrorism. From the school playground, where the bully knows which kid will never fight back and acts accordingly, to the world's playground of behavior, this is a basic tenet of human nature.

Ok, back to celebrating the great news! I am cracking open a bottle of champagne this weekend.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Gary,

The content of the article does state that opinion had shifted away from the jiahdists. Based on what I have read over the years, only a small proportion of people with Islamic background ever supported these jihadist movements. It may well be that some of those that did have since altered their position, which would be welcome news. To suggest that the billions of Muslims around the world have shifted their opinion from supporting to the jihadists ideology to opposing it is an assertion I believe is factually incorrect. So thank you for challenging me to clarify where I was coming from.

I am not an expert on the Koran, but the interpretation of the Koran that the jihadists such as Osama bin Laden and his minions espouse is generally regarded as extreme, not an interpretation of the Koran that the vast majority of Muslims adhere to.

I also am of the opinion that many of the people who are currently among the terrorists have no religious basis for their activity, but instead are thugs, criminals, vigilantes with little ideology behind what they do. These people deserve to be hunted down and taken down, but they are not the same as ideologues, even if they cloak themselves as such.

Please tell me what you believe to be the motivation of those who are successfully recruited to become part of such groups as al Queda. I used the word wihtout hope, which I stand by, but that does not necessarily mean that they are only poor. Use of a single term can be characterized as simplistic, I welcome learning how you would describe these people that makes it less so.

I really don't want to get into a polemic about Iraq. You are a frequent contributor to PA Online providing your point of view around the Iraq matter and your support of the Bush Administration's efforts there. I count myself among those who view the war on terror as something largely distinct and different from the policy this administration took toward Iraq. What linkages there are have come about largely due to our choice to go in there, not the other way around. Whatever the end game ends up being in Iraq will have limited bearing on how we are doing on the war on terror elsewhere in the world.

And I continue to stand by my assertion that this administration too often has not used the foreign policy tools it has available to it, other than the miliary one. This administration is held in very low regard in most capitols around the world, and its influence on other countries has been marginal for some time. The other foreign policy tools in the shed were allowed to get dull, and at this point, even if there were a genuine attempt to sharpen them, the "shift" is over in a few more months, not enough time for this crew to do anything with them. And it goes way beyond the war on terror and Iraq, including such things as the value of the dollar, energy policy, environmental policy, to name a few.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Paul,

The silence by the so-called moderate Muslims, after 9-11, speaks for itself. There was, indeed, a major element of the Muslim world that silently smiled about it. If you want to get a better sense of it, try reading " The Myth of Islamic Tolerance" by Robert Spencer. Islam is an ideology that has not gone through a thorough reformation, like Christianity or Judaism. BTW, I am not religious, so don't try to throw me under the bus with Tim McVeigh.

The major shift in Muslim attitudes towards al qaeda is directly related to the fact tha al qaeda could not produce. It has been beat down by the U.S., and it has overplayed its hand, by killing too many Muslims. Muslims, like most people, want to live the good life on this planet... hard to do this when you are dead. I did not suggest that "billions" of Muslims have shifted their opinion, but many millions have. There are not "billions" of Muslims to begin with.

"I also am of the opinion that many of the people who are currently among the terrorists have no religious basis for their activity, but instead are thugs, criminals, vigilantes with little ideology behind what they do." That, Paul, reveals your complete misunderstanding about the current jihad. You need to go to school on this one. The Muslims that join al qaeda are believers in the original message of Mohammed. It, truly, is that simple. These beleivers come from all walks of life in the Islamic world, some of them very rich people. If they seem to lack hope, it is becasue they hope for a completely Islamic world, and they are not about to get it, as they they are opposed by peoples who yearn for individual freedoms.

The "war on terror" is a misnomer. It is like saying that there should be a war on bombs. Terror is a tactic, even a strategy, of making war. However, there can certainly be a war on terrorists. This has been going on in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Phillipines, etc. Iraq has been a major focus of it, becasue Islamists take the opportunity to play their cards where they can. GWB has beaten them in all of these places. Good for him. Don't you agree? If not, why not?

To the extent that GWB's strategy is "held in very low regard in most capitols around the world", this is a high honor in a world that shrinks from defending freedom. Truman was similarly criticized during the Korean War. It means nothing. Why would you resort to such a rhetorical argument, Paul?

I think you are better than the typical Palo Alto knee jerk, leftist, Paul. Yet, you seem to have bought into their argument. Why?




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Good News--

There is a dilemma to which you refer, having to do with regimes that are attempting to preserve power for themselves (typically a royal family or a de facto dicatorship, such as Egypt), rather than look out for the people they supposedly are leading and governing. Many countries who fit this description are incubators for the people lacking the type of hope to which I refered earlier, since there is little or no effort to improve conditions for the general populace in such places, compared with more open societies, democratic or otherwise.

I am no fan of Bush, but in my kinder moments, I think he actually believes that if a democracy can be made to work in Iraq, it will "trickle down" to other countries in the region. I believe this is a very unrealistic expectation in the best of circumstances, and the way he chose to go about proving his point will fail to accomplish such a vision.

Saddam was a thug, a very nasty man, good riddance. Convincing the likes of a Musharraf in Pakistan, the royal family in Saudi Arabia, or Mubarak in Egypt that a more democratic path is in order is a very tall order, and since they all are allies, a "military" solution clearly is not going to work, as it is allegedly going to do in Iraq.

You then can look at other countries in the region that are run by sheiks, princes or other non-elected leaders which are stable, prosperous and bettering their citizenry on most measures that are important to people, mainly economic and security related. It may be difficult to make a case in such countries that a democracy is just what they need to make life better. The examples in their back yards suggest otherwise, and even countries where it is a long standing tradition border on dysfunctional on many measures. Just look at how California is doing as a state right now--not exactly a picture of perfect democracy.

The other thing that is growing as a phenomenon is the power of the non-state entity. Among such entities are multinational corporations, interest groups for particular causes, financial institutions, and sadly, groups such as al Queda. Government entities really don't know how to deal with this. What law applies? How are people associated with these places get classified if they are in conflict--healthy or otherwise--with a particular country or set of countries? The influence they have on how governments are organized and how they behave may be much greater than notions from the writings of John Stuart Mill or other such philosophers of governance and rights of the indivudual--vs--the collective.

There are many forces that can lead to governments of whatever description moving in a direction that can improve the conditions of those that live in those countries. I worry that the United States does not make enough of an effort to understand how to use the various levers which it either controls or at least can touch in trying to bring about conditions in various parts of the world that will improve things for people who reside there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thinkin'
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm

I believe that there is a fundamental problem with a some, if not most, Western Democracy citizens. I believe that, like Paul, we are a good hearted, generous and kind people who are so immersed in our culture that it is impossible to understand that there truly are entire segments of the world which completely believe that the only path to redeeming this world is to convert everyone, or kill those who refuse.

We must understand this to understand where the majority of our threat lies. An entire group of people exists, both Muslim and not, who are silent when Ahmadinijad vows the annhilation of an entire country...who are silent when it is shown that the head of the UN does not have Israel on his map...who are silent in the face of people dancing in the streets after 9/11...who are silent when the UN condemns Israel, and not those who lob bombs into Israel..who are silent when genocide of Muslim Albanians is happening in the Balkans, and rely on the USA to stop it...

We are a good people. We must accept that there are people who are not, who would rejoice at the massacre of millions of Israelis and Americans. No amount of talking, assistance, diplomacy, "other measures" will change the minds of those who believe this. We can only hope to scare them away from harming others while trying to prevent more from being recruited.

Something is working..I would like to believe, in the absence of any proof at all, that it is the balance of fear and all the other measures.

Until we agree to this, we will continue to have these discussions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Let me summarize what I am getting out of this;

--there are some really bad people out there who have chosen to interpret the Koran in such a way that leads them to believe that certain people or countries, such as the US and Israel, need to be attacked, and in the past few years, they have been successful in hurting innocent people in a number of countries, including some Islamic ones. How many of them are out there is subject to opinion, but there are enough of them that they are causing a major problem all over the world, and must be stopped

--many people choose to stay quiet, which can be viewed possibly as tacit approval of the actions of others, if not compliance or endorsement of same. History is rife with examples of this

--there has been some apparent progress in reducing the amount of terrorism around the world in recent years, which can be taken as a hopeful sign that people in general are mad as hell and will not take it any more and that people in positions of responsibility have stood up to the problem in a way that had not occurred before, and facing the bastards down. No assurance that this state of affairs will remain the same or get better, but the recent postures and actions may be doing the job

--it is difficult for those of us steeped in an American form of culture and society to appreciate the points of view that exist in parts of the world where the way people are taught to think is very different on various, not necessarily all, measures


Not really sure why Gary chooses to label me a knee jerk lefty, albeit a better one than the ilk in general, just because I find, as do many from various political persuasions, Mr. Bush to be a poor President. No matter. And this is not a thread about Iraq, it is a thread about terrorism.

If my summary is reasonable, I think it just points to how multi-facted the problem with terrorists is, and how it compels countries that are able to bring to bear a full complement of capabilities to working the problem. Part of the quieting of terror in Iraq is attributed to General Patreus's strategy of having US soldiers work the neighborhoods, like cops on the beat. Not go back to the Green Zone after work is done. This is an example of what I teed up at the start, which is that along with an important role that a military component is to addressing this problem, so too are numerous other means that can be more effective at dealing with aspects of the issue than is military force.

My other contention is that the Bush administration has largely chosen to take a military approach, and has ignored the other tools it had available to it that can be better in various circumstances. Consequently, it has been less effective at assuring that the root causes of terrorism, not just the acts of terror themselves, are getting eliminated. My concern remains that if there is not greater effort with the appropriate tools in addition to military force to get at the root causes, this current spate of welcome news about decreasing acts of terror may not be permanent, and I would like our policy makers to put those tools to work as part of the effort to ensure that the trend continues and indeed becomes as close to permanent as we ever can humanly expect.

Not really sure why that gives cause to label me a hatriot or a lefty, but I've been called worse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Paul,

You are edging, slowly, to the truth. However, you have spent some time being influenced by the PA lefty/hatriot crowd, apparently. Glad to see you coming out of the fog.

However, you have yet to take the full measure, qualitatively or quantitatively, of the jihadist attack. You are still stuck with the notion that it is just a few crazies. It is not! The problem is the ideology of Islam, which has not been tempered by a reformation in any way similar to other religious ideologies. One can only hope that it occurs, and soon. In the meantime, us non-Muslims need to attack our attackers. It is a defensive struggle. We need to demand that Muslims in the West abide by our rules, not theirs. There is no wiggle room on this stuff, because individual freedom is at stake. If a Danish newspaper wants to characature Muhammed, like he does Jesus, that is his expression of freedom, and it should be defended. Any religion that cannot stand the heat should get out of the kitchen.

We, in this country, took on the relgions of nazism and communism, and we perservered and won. We are currently winning the war against the jihadists. GWB is the leader in this campaign. He should be honored for leading the way, despite the hatriots who would rather see him go down, even if it meant that the jihadists would win. Shame on them. You are not a hatriot, Paul, but you have been swimming with them (and the lefties) in PA...goes with the territory, I suppose.

You continue your mantra that Bush ignores diplomacy. That is a real crock, Paul. Only last week, Bush stood before the Knessit in Israel and told the truth, and was applauded. Bush stood with Tony Blair against the jihadists, even when France and Germany refused. Now, France and Germany have elected pro-Bush leaders. That is how leaders lead.









 +   Like this comment
Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on May 24, 2008 at 11:09 am

Sorry, but it seems we're rushing past a key point here.

Deaths from terrorism declining after 2001 is kind of a convenient starting point for the argument. I imagine that deaths from earthquakes in China will likely decline if we start the measure from 2008.

Okay, resume debate.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Skeptical Al,

Read the article. The baseline is in the late 90s. The reference to 2001, in the lead post on this thrad is about a decline in al qaeda support, since 2001, not terrorist deaths. It always pays to do your homework, Al. At least read the article, before you comment on it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Goofy
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Gary, You support terrorist Shrub and torture.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Goofy,

Good example of a hatriot missive. Please provide some more...I like to keep my quivver full.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on May 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Gary wrote:

"At least read the article, before you comment on it."

I actually didn't say ONE WORD about the article. I commented on this:

"40% Decline in Terrorism Deaths since 2001" (see above)

and, indirectly, on this (see the first post):

"This one, May 21, 2008 documents that fatalities from terrorism have declined by some 40 percent, while the loose-knit terror network associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda has suffered a dramatic collapse in popular support throughout the Muslim world...since 2001."

I'd think you'd want to correct the person who put in the first post, then. And read mine more carefully before attempting to put me in my place. Not so clever now, are you? (btw, my handle is SkepticAl, not Skeptical Al).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thank a Soldier tomorrow
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2008 at 12:13 pm

It is always interesting to note the foray into the irrelevant when someone has nothing left of substance to say


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 25, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Al (the Skeptic),

Read the artile, like Paul Losch did, then get back to me. It is an interesting, and reasonably short (15 minute) read. It provides context.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on May 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm

SepticAl


Obviously has not read the article.

The muslim world is more opposed to AQ because of their horrific killing of other muslims


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peace Through Victory.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm

The increasing success and pace of airstrikes this year indicates that American spy agencies and their allies have made progress in infiltrating Al Qaeda in Pakistan, said Louis Caprioli, a former anti-terrorism chief of France's DST intelligence agency.

"You have to have good intelligence on the ground to hit a target like that," Caprioli said. "It requires human as well as technical intelligence. I think the money that the Americans are spreading around is having an effect.

"Also, there are troops in Afghanistan, prisoners being interrogated. This is a long-term effort that is paying off." Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on May 26, 2008 at 12:40 am

I guess Jane is just reacting to the fact that her friend Gary and I had some kind of disagreement, and not actually reading my post... because Jane points out quite cleverly that I haven't read the article - after I pointed out that I wasn't talking about the article. Way to go Jane!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on May 26, 2008 at 12:42 am

And calling me "SEPTIC" Al, that was classic!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by alex
a resident of Midtown
on May 27, 2008 at 6:54 am

Not statistically significant.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Sneak peek: Bradley's Fine Diner in Menlo Park
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 3,472 views

Marriage Underachievers
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,706 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 13 comments | 1,629 views

Best High Dives to Watch the Game
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,386 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 886 views