Can the US win the Iraq war?

Philosophers and rhetoricians, Welcome!
Turendil
Textkit Fan
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:39 am
Contact:

devils advocate

Post by Turendil » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:39 am

Listen. Wars are not just or unjust. Wars are not kind good or decent. Wars are about national interest and success. The only problem with the invasion of iraq was that it was planned wrong. Had the war been thought out past the "let's go to bagdhad phase in a hillbilly convoy" phase, the nessecary troops provided for containment, and the money given for reconstruction and an Iraqi army trained from the beging the international community would have rallied behind america or at least swallowec our use of force without so much shouting.

A few people on this forum could stand to read their Thuccidides again on why nation's go to war.
phpbb

Goals
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: US

Post by Goals » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:12 am

(nevermind)

User avatar
ethopoeia
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:33 pm

Post by ethopoeia » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:02 am

Turendil, your reference to Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War is simply brilliant. I've taken the trouble to find the exact excerpt where the causes for war are explained. Please note that, in Book I, Thucydides clearly introduces them with these words (Jowett, 1881: 23):

"The real though unavowed cause I believe to have been the growth of the Athenian power (...) but the reasons publicly alleged on either side were as follows:"

Thus, and according to Thucydides, there would be "the real though unavowed cause" for the war as opposed to "the reasons publicly alleged".

Quite illustrative don't you think

Turendil
Textkit Fan
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:39 am
Contact:

More on Thucydides

Post by Turendil » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:45 am

What I meant by the reference to thucydides was not a specific quote. According to the principles, I have derived from reading him, (as well as donald kagan's two books On the Origins of War and The Peloponesian War the last a one volumne history of the conlict) is that nations go to war for three reasons, For ecconomic gain, Honor, and to Protect their power (national interest doen't always have to be ecconomic).
In a nutshell (and take it from me I was there from the beginning) Iraq was a war involving the honor of America. Forget about WMD and "Spreading democracy in the middle east" in a nutshell after 9/11 we felt vulnerable. Any response that dealt with Osama bin Laden and failed to deal with saddam would have left the American people feeling vulnerable. Keep in mind that the French, the Russians, the Germans, and the British ALL possessed intelligence leading them to suspect that Saddam possessed WMD. (I know I saw the reports) It wasn't until AFTER we invaded that we found he had stripped down his program (syria's involvement right after the invasion has yet to be disclosed I have my own theories but they are just that).
So I have a question for all of the "why the hell are we in Iraq people"
A brutal dictator is believed to be in possession of WMD
3,000 americans have just died in the worst event since pearl harbor
The nation is insecure about it's place in the world and is crying out for action against threats to it's security.
What do YOU do?
Do you
a.) leave the threat in place knowing how such an action will be seen?
b.) deal with the threat unilaterally to reassure your people that you are the keeper of the national honor?


To continue the war in Iraq was waged because Goerge W. sought to restore a national sense of honor to people who had just had their security blanket rudely torn off. The problem with going to war over national honor is that if the situation is handled badly it weakens the prestige of the nation that goes to war in the first place. Wars over honor are tricky things and in order to be carried out must be sucessfull on every front and this is a tricky subject.

Don't be too quick to judge the decision to go to war. Since this is a forum about greek and Latin let me provide two examples Athenian democracy provided a model for the rest of the world and this is mirrored in Pericle's Funeral Oration and in several other writings. I suggest chiefly the Old Oligarch and Aristotle's Politics. Now these selfsame athenians that modelled democracy for the rest of the ancient world also voted for the complete destruction of every man woman and child on Miletus because the Mytelines had challenged their national honor. In another era Ceaser went to war in Transalpine gaul because the barbarians MIGHT have crossed the alps into Cisaline Gaul and Italia as Hanniball had done a century and a half before. The Grachii brothers were the grandsons of Scipio Africanus, and therefore in Ceasar's day the memory of Hannibal was as fresh as memories of the Fort Robinson Breakout on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation (still very much a part of the culture). In the long run Nations are not judged on the morality of their actions unless those actions are horrendously destructive. Nations are judged on whether their aims are sucessfull. The Soviet gulag, the Auto da fe's of the spanish inquisition, the Expulsion of the hugonauts from france, were not judged to be evil because they were wrong they were judged to be wrong because they were evily destructive on a nation's infastructure (morally, pshychologically, ecconomically, personally, these actions destroyed the basic bonds under which people come together to form a nation and were therefore judged to be evil and destructive).

So let me ask again the serries of questions I should have asked in the last post.
Had the U.S. invasion led to a higher standard of living for the Iraqi people would you have supported it regardless of the WMD issue.

Had WMDs been found but the Iraqi's left in their current state of civil war would you support the war?

Lastly are you against the DECISION to go to war?

or are you merely against the EFFECTS which the CONDUCT of the was has produced?

if the answer to the first question is yes then ask yourself about the national honor question posed earlier.

If the answer to the second question is yes ask yourself how the conduct of the war could have been improved upon.

Just because actions based upon a decision are poorly planned does not mean the decision itself is wrong.
phpbb

Goals
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: US

Re: More on Thucydides

Post by Goals » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:16 am

After 9/11 the US tried to restore national honor with light shows called "Operation Enduring Freedom" and "Shock and Awe". These demonstrations along with the brilliant "Axis of Evil" oration were of great entertainment to North Korea, Iran, Syrian, Libya, and Cuba. Afghanistan and Iraq got front row accomodations.
Last edited by Goals on Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ethopoeia
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:33 pm

Post by ethopoeia » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:24 pm

I congratulate you for your erudite post, Turendil, it really impressed me. Regarding the questions you bring in, I agree with you in the honour dimension of the current war(s). This is particularly true since, without the attacks on NYC and Washington on September 11th 2001 we would not be talking of war right now.

Unfortunately, honour is a meagre business and oil a very profitable one, so I'm more inclined, as most Europeans are, to think of an oil connection to the war.

In my opinion, the key to understand the 9/11 attacks is the Patriot Act entered into force on October 26th 2001. The fact that it was made and passed in a record time after the worst attacks on American soil is suspicious enough, as it is that without them it would have never summoned enough support from both the Senate and the House. In a historic parallelism, the German Sondergesetz ("Law of Exception") which abolished the Weimar Constitution and granted full powers to Hitler to declare war would have never been possible without the state of alarm created by the Reichstagsbrand ("Reichstag Fire"). Thus, the Reichstag fire must necessarily be seen as an a posteriori , or accessory, fact in relation with the German Sondergesetz which constituted the real goal pursued by the Government.

I recommend you Giorgio Agamben's "State of Exception", a brilliant account on how warmongers have managed to pass dictatorial laws on grounds of "National Security" from ancient Rome, France and Germany to the modern United States, and the wherewithal they deployed. An excellent book to understand the current situation of all the West in general and of America in particular.

Turendil
Textkit Fan
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:39 am
Contact:

more ruminations

Post by Turendil » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:46 pm

The patriot act does not resemble the legislation passed after the reichstaag fire. The state department puts out a terrorist watch list. Information gathered about individuals with possible links to terrorism is freed under the patriot act to be used in all sorts of investigations. The patriot act by it's nature seeks to break down the buerecratic barriers that led to 9/11. In a pre 9/11 world the FBI did not talk to the Treasury department and niether organization shared any information with either the NSA or the DIA or any of the other myriad intelligence agencies. The patriot act acts as a first step toward erroding turf battles over information nothing more.

The treatment of individuals at gitmo is a seperate issue often confused with the patriot act. The designation of enemy combatant is seen as the best way to deal with individuals who have no standing under the geneva convention. The geneva convention deals with soldiers in foreign armies. Enemy combatants although they have taken up arms against US forces are not members of a millitary organization and therefore the rules of the geneva convention do not apply. Neither are they U.S. citizens so their rights as far as American Jurisprudence are questionable. Unlike the IRA operating in nothern Ireland no citizen has had his rights permanently denied. (there has been much hand wringing over the granting of those right however basic ideas like haebus corpus and the right to guarunteed consel have eventually been given to US citizens held at gitmo.) Currently no international law that I am aware of governs members of international organizations dedicated to terrorism. With citizens of foreign states the usuall practice is to extradite them and have them be tried by their govenments. The question that arises when dealing with terrorism is is this possible. Terrosists come from failed states with no history of precedent that makes up juresprudence in western countries. To release them would be tatamount to allowing them to continue their operations. However something must be done to combat terrorism and hence the US congress passed the Patriot act.

To address the larger question the patriot act does not resemble the Legislation ending the weimar republic or even the soviet criminal code for the following reasons. First It fits firmly in the tradition of american jurisprudence. Secondly it does not overthrow the existing order. Political parties are not outlawed, and their members are not sent to jail just because they are members. It isn't a crime to possess a copy of the patriot act as it was a crime to posess the soviet criminal code. Third the no citizen of this country has had his right violated or been subject to arbitrary arrest in the middle of the night simply because of his political membership. The rights of citizens in this country are still maintained.

Contrast this with the massive arrests of the menshiviks, social democrats, and railway workers in the soviet union. against whom no chargest were ever brought, and no standard of evidence was ever met. Contrast it again with the treatment of rights in Nazi germany where other political parties were outlawed and after the purge or Rhur (hitler's friend don't know if I spelled it right) large numbers of the S.A. were sent to prison as were many catholics, communists, and (not to mention the jews). The fundamental difference between America's violation of civil liberties is that although they are curtailed they remain very much intact. The intelligence community (of which I was a member for four and a half years courtesy of the U.S. Army) is still prohibited from arbitrarly collecting information on U.S. citizens even when those citizens are overseas. The patriot act did not establish an NKVD or a Gestapo like secret police. The reforms remain rooted in our system of precedent and jurisprudence and the question is why?

Unlike Nazi germany, the Soviet union, or even South Africa, none of the reforms passed under the bush administration are targeted towards the preservation of one political party. Therein lies the difference. The reichstaag fire let us remember was ordered by hitler and the reforms introduced were targeted to keep him in power. Likewise after the revolution of 1917 the subesequent legislation in russia was designed to allow the communists to maintain complete comtrol. This is an important difference in perception. Anyone wishing more information on the difference between the patriot act and these other two reigmes would do well to read the following books.

William L. Shrier The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Alexander Solzenietzen The Gulag Archipeligo
Robert Conquest the Great Terror
phpbb

User avatar
ethopoeia
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:33 pm

Post by ethopoeia » Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:31 pm

Essentially, the Patriot Act’s aim is to suspend a series of individual rights (1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution) granted by the American democracy on the grounds of “war against terrorâ€￾ and “national securityâ€￾. It is therefore a clear example of a Law of Exception, just like the German Sondergesetz was in the past. Please note the similarity of the figure of innerer Notstand (“State of National Emergencyâ€￾) in the aforesaid German martial law, by which the Reich could enforce war laws WITHIN the country, and the almighty and enduring “war on terrorismâ€￾, by which US military espionage is entitled the right to nose into everyman’s business, including keeping a track of the websites you visit, recording the phonecalls you make, opening the mail you receive, listing the books you borrow, controlling your credit card records, knowing your medical history, etc. You can be sent to Guantanamo (an offshore US military base) and rot with little hope for a trial, and still feel lucky if you’re not handicapped from torture, or plainly executed by the Marines without a judicial order. Freedom of speech and political activity is dramatically cut down after all the restrictions listed in the Patriot Act as well.

Not only is the Iraq war about oil and stopping the petroeuro in the Middle East, but some espionage directors in Washington may have felt very happy that 9/11 gave them so much power. Indeed, they knew nothing in advance, despite all the moneys spent by American taxpayers. A pill too hard to swallow.
Last edited by ethopoeia on Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Goals
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: US

Post by Goals » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:44 pm

I think your getting the Patriot Act mixed up with the more recent Military Commisions Act.

As unfortunate as both of them are, I think it's important not to exaggerate. Compared to other instances (Alien and Sedition Acts, The Red Scare, and the Japanese interment camps) what is going on here is very minor.

It's very different from what went on after the Reichstag was burned down in Germany. There newspapers were being shut down daily, political dissidents were killed or jailed, and there were no need for search warrants. Although you can point out similarities in the legislation and the situation from which it was passed, it's important to consider how widely they were applied and to what degree rights were violated.

As an American who does not like Bush at all (except on immigraton issues he's pretty good), I have only very small problems with the Patriot Act, but I do have large concerns over the Military Commisions Act.

User avatar
Paul
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2003 4:47 pm
Location: New York
Contact:

Post by Paul » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:55 pm

ethopoeia wrote:Essentially, the Patriot Act’s aim is to suspend a series of individual rights (1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution) granted by the American democracy on the grounds of “war against terrorâ€￾ and “national securityâ€￾. It is therefore a clear example of a Law of Exception, just like the German Sondergesetz was in the past.

Our elected representatives, on both sides of the aisle, have voted twice now for the Patriot Act. Judging by your responses to turendil, I suspect that you are of the camp whose members cry out, "Don't bother me with the facts; my mind is made up." Nonetheless:

Senate vote for the 2001 Patriot Act: 98-1
House vote for the 2001 Patriot Act: 357-66

Senate vote for the 2006 Renewal of the Patriot Act: 89-10
House vote for the 2006 Renewal of the Patriot Act: 280-138

The Patriot Act was voted on by about 535 elected representatives. American democracy giveth, American democracy taketh away.

ethopoeia wrote:Please note the similarity of the figure of innerer Notstand (“State of National Emergencyâ€￾) in the aforesaid German martial law, by which the Reich could enforce war laws WITHIN the country, and the almighty and enduring “war on terrorismâ€￾, by which US military espionage is entitled the right to nose into everyman’s business, including keeping a track of the websites you visit, recording the phonecalls you make, opening the mail you receive, listing the books you borrow, controlling your credit card records, knowing your medical history, etc.


It is entirely unremarkable that in times of national stress a state adopt special powers, often at the cost of a temporary diminution of individual rights. It is a commonplace of history.

ethopoeia wrote:You can be sent to Guantanamo (an offshore US military base) and rot with little hope for a trial, and still feel lucky if you’re not handicapped from torture, or plainly executed by the Marines without a judicial order.

This is simply hysterical, but not in the funny way. I have many friends on the Left and on the Right, none of whom has ever expressed fear of such treatment. What ever are you reading over there?

ethopoeia wrote:Freedom of speech and political activity is dramatically cut down after all the restrictions listed in the Patriot Act as well.

Tell that to the many thousands who last week rallied and marched in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of "United For Peace & Justice." In no uncertain terms they voiced their frustration and anger with the Bush administration.

Cordially,

Paul

User avatar
ethopoeia
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:33 pm

Iustitium

Post by ethopoeia » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:32 pm

It’s always interesting to compare modern laws with their precedent in ancient history. In this sense, the Roman figure for state of exception –the iustitium- was a creation by the Roman Senate during the Republic to flout laws and exert full power. The term iustitium means literally “Justice standstillâ€￾, from ius (Justice, law) and stitium (standstill), as in “solsticeâ€￾. Iustitium and dictatura (dictatorship) essentially differ in that, while the former conferred exceptional powers upon the Senate, the latter appointed an official as exceptional plenipotentiary, able to “dictateâ€￾ edicts with force of law.

In the beginning, the iustitium was only invoked in states of siege or war; gradually, though, it began to be enforced as well against tumulti (rebellions) in Rome. This enabled the Senate to proceed manu militari against Roman citizens while denying their civil rights, including arbitrary detentions, summary executions, etc. for which the authority was unresponsible by virtue of the iustitium. I don’t need to tell you that from rebellion it soon became to be enforced against riots, from riots to the opponents’ followers, becoming soon an indispensable instrument for political domination in an increasingly totalitarian Republic.

The interesting thing about the comparison is that the Patriot Act or the Military Commissions Act in post 9/11 America are exactly that, a iustitium or Justice / Law standstill: the Constitutional warranties are still in force, but they don’t apply anymore as long as the military laws of exception are in force.

Paul wrote: I suspect that you are of the camp whose members cry out, "Don't bother me with the facts; my mind is made up."

You mean like the Washington Junta and its foolish determination to invade Iraq despite total lack of evidence of WMD in the country? No, thank God!

Goals
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: US

Re: Iustitium

Post by Goals » Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:05 am

ethopoeia wrote:The interesting thing about the comparison is that the Patriot Act or the Military Commissions Act in post 9/11 America are exactly that, a iustitium or Justice / Law standstill: the Constitutional warranties are still in force, but they don’t apply anymore as long as the military laws of exception are in force.


The Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act are very different.

The first allows police to conduct searches without informing those being searched (although they do have to get a warrant from a special federal court) among other things, most of which are not controversial. The language is a little broad, but so far I am not familiar with any instance where it has been applied in an inapropriate way.

The Court has ruled on many occasions that constitutional rights can be suspended in instances of invasion or rebellion. If you are a US cititizen and are caught planning a terrorist attack or giving aid to terrorists, you are participating in rebellion and are not guarenteed haebus corpus. The problem is that "terrorism" is defined too broadly.

After 9/11 there were about 300 male Muslims (many legal residents, a few of them citizens) who were detained without trial and subject to interrogation. All of these men have been released and many have been payed compensation. Although this is deplorable, I think it is important not to exagerate.

Paul wrote: I suspect that you are of the camp whose members cry out, "Don't bother me with the facts; my mind is made up." You mean like the Washington Junta and its foolish determination to invade Iraq despite total lack of evidence of WMD in the country? No, thank God!


I was very much against the invasion of Iraq. It was clear the Bush was making many misleading and inaccurate statements. I was also against the invasion of Afghanistan.

Bert
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1890
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 2:28 am
Location: Arthur Ontario Canada

Re: Iustitium

Post by Bert » Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:30 am

ethopoeia wrote:..... and its foolish determination to invade Iraq despite total lack of evidence of WMD in the country? No, thank God!

I am by no means knowledgeable in politics and foreign afairs so maybe my comment is of little value.
If a criminal, having been confronted by the police, refuses to say if he complied with the order to unarm himself or not, he will be regarded as armed (even if it turned out that he did in fact throw down his weapon.)
Is there not a parallel with this example and Sadam's refusal to allow inspectors to search Iraq?

Goals
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: US

Post by Goals » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:05 am

There is a certain amnesia about these types of things. The events were widely reported in the international, and to some degree in the domestric press. I was able to find these articles quickly online, and found them agreeable with my memories.

Saddam allowed UN weapons inspectors into the country:

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meas ... index.html (September 17, 2002)

The weapons inspectors were able to find nothing, they call US tips on Saddam's WMD program "garbage":

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/ ... 7096.shtml (Februrary 20, 2003)

There are definately more articles (from a variety of reputable organizations) available on this matter.

The Iraq war started on March 20, 2003. I think by then UN weapons inspectors had left the country, stating they could find no evidence of WMDs and that Saddam had allowed them to move freely. As far as they were concerned there were no WMDs. This was reported in the domestric press, but not as extensively as it should have been.

I believe earlier Saddam had handed documents over directly to the US that were requested.

Look into Hans Blix (head of the UN weapons inspectors) and Mohamed ElBaradei (head of IAEA), they made, and the reports they released before the invasion.

Bert
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1890
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 2:28 am
Location: Arthur Ontario Canada

Post by Bert » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:49 pm

Yes, we all know that later he allowed inspectors to do their work but certainly not at the beginning. If my memory serves me right it was about a two year struggle to get that far. By that time the trust that he was speaking the truth was wore quite thin.

Goals
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: US

Post by Goals » Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:08 pm

Bert wrote:Yes, we all know that later he allowed inspectors to do their work but certainly not at the beginning. If my memory serves me right it was about a two year struggle to get that far. By that time the trust that he was speaking the truth was wore quite thin.


I think it was more like six months, maybe less. Weapons inspectors were given permission in September 2002. I can't remember when the Bush administration started focusing on Iraq, but it wasn't before 9/11, and it was few months after the war with Afghanistan started.

And what "trust" are you talking about? The weapons inspectors get their information by inspecting, not by asking Saddam questions. Once weapons inspectors decided there were no WMDs, how is the honesty of Saddam relavent?

Bert
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1890
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 2:28 am
Location: Arthur Ontario Canada

Post by Bert » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:02 am

They were not US inspectors but UN inspectors and they were involved well before 9/11

Turendil
Textkit Fan
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:39 am
Contact:

hello again

Post by Turendil » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:08 am

Sorry about the delay sometimes work, college and homework get in the way of posting.

In the interest of letting everyone else on the forum know I sent ethiopea the following message. It's the text of a paper I had to do for english 102 on the Patriot Act.
The USA PATRIOT Act Sharing Information to Fight Terrorism

Abstract
The old Strategic mindset of cold war intelligence gathering focused on clearly defined strategic threats to national security. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the bi-polar nature of a world divided between east and west necessitates a new kind of intelligence gathering procedure. Threats posed by terrorists are smaller and harder to confront than threats posed by nations with standing armies. The USA Patriot Act amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and allows for information sharing between the Justice Department and the State Department. The provisions outlined in the Patriot Act allow the government to better deal with emerging threats to national security.

The USA PATRIOT Act Sharing Information to Fight Terrorism

For more than 40 years the United States fought the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The intelligence community’s main focus was evaluating and figuring out ways to fight conventional forces. Forces controlled by a national government with a clear doctrine and an established order of battle. The focus on conventional forces directed the development of satellite assets in order to better evaluate the capacity of nations to wage war. Finding better ways to fight and evaluate nations left the United States vulnerable to forces which recognize no national boundaries. As Robert Kaplan states in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal “While the U.S. spends billions of dollars on sophisticated defense systems, the dime-a-dozen kidnapper and suicide bomber have emerged as the most strategic weapons of war.â€￾ Through four successive administrations the threat of global terrorism grew in importance culminating in the events of September, 11th 2001 (Ball 33). Terrorists and those that support them constitute an enemy unlike any other, for terrorists follow no specific rules. Unlike conventional military forces terrorists possess no military doctrine and no readily identifiable chain of command. Fighting terrorism requires a complete sharing of governmental information across bureaucratic lines. The old cold-war structure where law-enforcement agencies handled domestic concerns and the intelligence community focused on foreign threats to national security no longer applies. Terrorists do not acknowledge national borders only organizational ties. Tracking terrorists necessitates that the intelligence community shares information about foreign terrorist organizations and operatives with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, so that terrorists working in the United States may be better apprehended. The USA PATRIOT Act facilitates the sharing of information between agencies and is therefore a useful tool for successfully prosecuting the war on terrorism.
The full title of the USA PATRIOT Act is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Toolsn

Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001â€￾ (United States, USA Patriot Act, 1). The purpose of the Patriot Act is, “To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, [and] to enhance law enforcement investigatory toolsâ€￾ (United States, USA Patriot Act 2). In layman’s terms the Patriot Act functions as a bridge between government agencies allowing them to effectively share information. Prior to the Patriot Act the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 separated bureaucratic inquiries into two categories, those dealing with foreign intelligence and those dealing with illegal activities. The primary aim of foreign intelligence gathering is to acquire information about foreign governments and their inhabitants, while the goal of a criminal investigation is to gather data about illicit activities (Ball 56). The Patriot Act relaxes many of the limitations on foreign intelligence gathering and allows for greater access to information between the FBI and the Intelligence Community. Specifically in Section 203 the Patriot Act allows “law enforcement officials to share foreign intelligence or counterintelligence […] information […] obtained through a criminal wiretap with law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense, or national security personnelâ€￾ (United States, USA Patriot and Terrorism Prevention 76).
In addition to facilitating greater communication between government agencies the Patriot Act also grants other tools to the federal government for the prosecution of terrorism. In 1978 the FISA set up a court to govern the collection of foreign intelligence through electronic surveillance (Ball 45). The Patriot Act expands the power of the FISA court under section 215 by allowing the court to subpoena “business records related to ‘international terrorism’ and clandestine intelligence activities’’ (United States, USA Patriot and Terrorism Prevention 7Cool. The powers granted under section 215 of the Patriot Act allow the Justice Department to scrutinize the records of businesses and charities with known links to terrorism. Examining the records of companies and non-profits associated with terrorist organizations enables the government to freeze assets that could potentially fund terrorist activities in the United States.
Contrary to popular opinions held by critics of the Patriot Act the Federal Government may not arbitrarily designate terrorist organizations. According to the State Department website on Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) specific guidelines must be followed. There are three criteria for the designation. First the organization “Must be foreign.â€￾ Second the “Organization must engage in terrorist activity […] or retain the capability and intent to engage in […] terrorism.â€￾ Third the “Organization’s terrorist activity […] must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security […] of the United States.â€￾ The list currently comprises 42 international groups with known links to terrorism. The Patriot Act only allows the freezing of the assets of an organization, “pending an investigation into possible associations with a designated terrorist groupâ€￾ (Authority and Process). The designation of a particular organization as an FTO must happen before any investigation into possible links with businesses or charities. In short, to have its assets frozen a business, charity, or individual must have a possible link with one of the 42 organizations listed on the State Department’s website.
The Patriot Act forms a vital piece of legislation in the Global War on Terrorism, coordinating the actions of disparate agencies into a unified whole. The State Department’s list of FTOs guides the intelligence community in collecting information about specific threats. Under the Patriot Act the information collected by the intelligence community on FTOs may now be shared with law enforcement agencies pursuant with the revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and the National Security Act of 1947. The information once shared between agencies is processed in the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center, and disseminated jointly by the CIA working in conjunction with the Attorney General and the Director of the CIA (Ball 53).
Before the creation of the Patriot Act each government agency acted alone under separate legislation. The State Department under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act controlled the designation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (Foreign Terrorist Organizations). The FISA separated the collection of Foreign Intelligence from use in criminal investigations involving terrorism. In sum, the State Department acted independently of the intelligence community, and law enforcement agencies remained unaided by either. Ultimately the Patriot Act constitutes a first step in overcoming the cold-war mentality that focused intelligence gathering on nations and armies. The strategic threats to national security have changed, becoming smaller and harder to assess. As Robert Kaplan states in his book The Coming Anarchy, “The question is not whether there will be war […] but what kind of warâ€￾ (46)? In order to be successful in this new kind of war the federal government must counter multiple pressures from a myriad of organizations and individuals. The operating procedures and aims of each of the 42 organizations listed by the State Department are uniquely different. No single policy will ever be enough to successfully ensure the complete safety of the American People from terrorism. In order to do so every agency of the government would need to be successful all of the time. In contrast the terrorists and their organizations need only succeed once. However the provisions for information sharing, and the revisions to existing legislation contained within the Patriot Act ensure the best protection possible within the bounds created by a democratic society.

Works Cited
"Authority and Process of Office of Foreign Assets Control to Release Frozen Charitable Funds." Charities and National Security. 06 Nov. 2006. OMB Watch. 21 Nov. 2006 <http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/3632/1/407?TopicID=2>.
Ball, Howard. The USA Patriot Act. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2004
Kaplan, Robert D. "The Tribal Way of War." The Wall Street Journal 19 July 2006. 15 Nov. 2006 <http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110008674>.
Kaplan, Robert D. The Coming Anarchy Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War. 2nd ed. New York: Random House, 2001.
"Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)." Fact Sheet Office of Counterterrorism. 11 Oct. 2005. U.S. Department of State. 19 Nov. 2006 <http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/fs/37191.htm>.
United States. Cong. House. USA Patriot and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 Report of the Comittee on the Judiciary House of Representatives. 109th Cong., 1st sess. HR 3199. 18 July 2005. 20 Nov. 2006 <http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2005_rpt/hrpt109-174pt1.pdf>.
United States. Cong. Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act) Act of 2001. 107th Cong., 1st sess. Public Law 107-56. 26 Oct. 2001. 10 Nov. 2006 <http://intelligence.senate.gov/patriot.pdf>.

Works Consulted
Anonymous. "How Not to Catch a Terrorist." The Atlantic Monthly Dec. 2004: 50-52.
Chang, Nancy. Silencing Political Dissent. New York: Seven Stories P, 2002.
Cullison, Alan. "Inside Al-Qaeda's Hard Drive." The Atlantic Monthly Sept. 2004: 55-70.
Franks, Tommy. American Soldier. New York: HarperCollins, 2004.
Huer, Richards J. Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. 2nd ed. Washington D.C.: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 2001. 17 Nov. 2006 <https://www.cia.gov/csi/books/19104/index.html>.

In addition I spent 4 and half years in the Millitary (as an analyst) and I know how everything fits together.
In the beginning, the iustitium was only invoked in states of siege or war; gradually, though, it began to be enforced as well against tumulti (rebellions) in Rome. This enabled the Senate to proceed manu militari against Roman citizens while denying their civil rights, including arbitrary detentions, summary executions, etc. for which the authority was unresponsible by virtue of the iustitium. I don’t need to tell you that from rebellion it soon became to be enforced against riots, from riots to the opponents’ followers, becoming soon an indispensable instrument for political domination in an increasingly totalitarian Republic.


The major problem with this idea of comparing the american system of juris prudence and the roman is that the roman legal system resembled the british. The Roman possessed no written constitution aside from the twelve tables. Roman law consisted of a body of legislation with no governing principles but it gradually evolved and became less harsh over time. Under Agustus the practice of eliciting a confession from a slave by torture was still widely practiced. Agustus had to rule that a son thrice sold into slavery was no longer bound by the rule of the Pater Familias. The principle of everyone regardless of status was not put forward in theory until the time of Hadrian. The Practice of eliciting confessions by torture from slaves was practiced ocasionally even under Justinian. This eventually found new birth on the continent where torture was widely practiced under civil as well as cannon law. Keep in mind the British/American Right of Habeas Corpus still has no known precedent on the continent. As I said earlier as bad as some of the post 9/11 legislation is it still protects the rights of citizens for a fair trial. The issue is foreign nationals who engage in terrorist activity.
phpbb

PeterD
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:54 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Post by PeterD » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:34 am

Paul wrote:Tell that to the many thousands who last week rallied and marched in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of "United For Peace & Justice." In no uncertain terms they voiced their frustration and anger with the Bush administration.

Ain't that the truth!

I must say, Paul, that I was quite surprised Vice President---five draft deferments!!!---Cheney didn't show up to shoot some of the marchers in the face. :o

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

User avatar
EgoIoYoEu
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:52 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Post by EgoIoYoEu » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:27 pm

Hmm...lots of intelligent conversation. Losing that quintessential simplicity, I see. So, let's bring it back home. How about the following:


Point: Unless you're a Martian, shut up. Wait...that's not it...

Point 1.2: Unless you're fighting a war or have fought, don't talk about fighting a war. You have no idea. And a book can't teach you war anymore than it can teach you how to survive on Mars, and not get eaten by Martians. Action vs. Reading. Bottom line...there are some things you can't learn from a book, much as I love them.


Possible Solution:
Bomb the HELL out of EVERYONE who was EVER suspected of terrorism. Stir. Bring to a boil. Let simmer.

Possible Reaction: They bomb the HELL out of US. (By us I mean "my fellow Americans"). And invoke the Martian spirits in ritual human sacrifice.

Next Reaction:
More bombs...followed by a frollicking dance through the charred, desolate and utterly lifeless wilderness in honor of Mars.

Then: Large, scorched holes...human torches running aflame down the highways, their last searing thought is regret that they never read that damn book by Thucydides on war, cause if they did, they would be saved now. That or they're thinking about Martians.

Finally: Total apocalypse and Judgement Day occur simultaneously. The dead rise, and start terrorizing any surviving livestock. Then a talking pig reads Sun Tzu and starts a revolution on some farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and the world is saved....followed by more bombs in which said pig is turned into ham hock. And Martians. Oh yes....lots of those durned Martians.


"A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other direction, shoot it in the head."


"There is no overkill. There is only "Open fire!" and "I need to reload!".


"If you're leaving scorch marks, you need a bigger gun."


"That which does not kill you has made a serious tactical error."


All from the lovely Habits of Effective Pirates



Do you see where I'm going with this decidedly UNerudite post?

I know, I'm ridiculous. Feel free to flame to your little hearts' content.
phpbb

Turendil
Textkit Fan
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:39 am
Contact:

Another quote

Post by Turendil » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:06 am

"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil. For I am the baddest motherfucker in the whole damn valley"

Food for thought.

On a different note perhaps we should ask ourselves what the origins of civil society are.

Fighting terrorism requires replacing ideology with civl society. Perhaps this is why the bush administration is lacking. Current Neoconservatives/liberals are all ideologues with a limited sense of what consitutes a civil society.
phpbb

Post Reply