Free speech is built into the American constitution (as it should be) but of course this means that everyone can say pretty much what they like. As long as the Mod/Admin team aren’t sponsoring this view as a cross-forum/team view (and I don’t think they are) then free speech being used by members is all I can see here.
There’s an old saying (which I’ll probably misquote) that “whether I agree or disagree with what you’re saying, I’ll fight for your right to say it” which about sums it up for me.
Not wishing to turn this thread into a war/no war debate for the Brit members, but this really is false. The Kenyans, Spanish, Indonesians AND MANY OTHERS didn’t invade Iraq/Afghanistan (whether at George Bush’s bidding or not) but have still suffered terrible atrocities. Terrorism is not about legitimate attacks on targets, it is about spreading indiscriminate terror. The IRA in Northern Ireland killed many childeren, nuns, shopkeepers … legitimate military targets? I think not. There is no agreed definition of terrorism which I think points out what a difficult subject this is - another old saying “one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter”.
The so called “War On Terror” or more frequently “Bush’s War On Terror” makes many uncomfortable, and I believe personally the reason for this is that they do not understand that the war is ongoing, pervasive and real. This is not a stand-up fight but a process of undermining goverments and political systems to achieve the terrorists’ aims - and public opinion is one of their most potent weapons. Look at Vietnam for a good example - US public opinion played a large part in the outcome of the conflict.
You cannot reason with a terrorist, they will not listen. These people do not follow the teachings of their various religions, or the same limits/checks/balances that any normal society does. They wish merely to spread indiscriminate (sorry to keep repeating it but it is the key) fear and uncertainty, and publicise their “cause” through high-profile atrocities.
Faced with a large scale threat like this a new approach has to be taken and the US has provided a strong lead in this respect. We (the Brits) have in a very small way contributed, I personally believe were right to, but I can understand why others don’t.
Whether this way of dealing with terror will turn out to be “right” (since when did right and wrong figure in the millions of shades of grey which comprise world politics?) history alone can tell us. But I don’t believe that sitting back and doing nothing is an appropriate response, and I have no respect for the nations which expect support and protection from their allies and neighbours but will not contribute to the same.
Off soapbox, all the above IMHO obviously, usual garbled crap from me but I hope the meaning came through