Okay, bottom line it: what, exactly IS Al-Qaeda?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Mel Brennan, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

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    The now-resigned Chief of the Bin Laden Unit at the Counterterrorist Center himself, the guy who looked at Bin Laden every single day for three years, submits that while he believes that Al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organisation, but rather an insurgency, noone has identified what Al-Qaeda looks like in terms of organisation.

    The BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares," submits, specifically in Part III, that Al-Qaeda as we've been educated by mass media to understand it simply does not exist. That "Wherever one looks for this al-Qaeda organisation, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America, the British and Americans are chasing a phantom enemy."

    In fact it asserts specifically that Bin Laden had no formal organization beyond his small group (and even had to hire "fighters" to shoot guns and walk around with masks in his pre-9/11 videos) until U.S. prosecutors, going after in court the four men charged with the East African Embassy bombing, also tried Bin Laden in absentia; to do so, the documentary claims, required under American law (specifically RICO statutes) evidence of a criminal organization. A walk-in source, passed over by a number of Middle Eastern secret services, Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl, a Sudanese militant and former associate of Bin Laden (and apparently on the run from Bin Laden, having stolen money from him), provided that organization in a Manhattan courtroom, and was provided with significant amounts of U.S. taxpayers' money. The documentary submits that Bin Laden and Zawahiri were not even in fundamental relationship with either the 9/11 plans or the plans' originator, Khaled Sheik Mohammed, until Mohammed heard that Bin Laden had $$$ and came to him for some to execute this nightmare.

    In contrast, the selfsame BBC's Al-Qaeda timeline submits that in 1988, "As Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden and other Arab fighters in the country form alQaeda which in Arabic means "the base." The network begins looking for new jihads (holy wars)."

    In addition, the DOJ claims this manual is an Al Qaeda one, found in an "Al-Qaeda's member's home."

    Bin Laden never referred to the term Al-Qaeda until U.S. officials did.

    On the spirit of the question "Is the employment of 'Al Qaeda' and accurate one, one being used generally to sweep up Islamic insurgency under one big tent, or one that, in its effort to do so, is in fact MISSING the diffuse reality of angry fundamental religious movements with guns?" please bottom line it for us.

    What, exactly, is Al-Qaeda?

    Of course we're all speaking from opinion; but please share with the discussion the sources with which you've solidified your opinion so that we can critique those sources (even if your source is "common sense" or some such bullsh!t).

    To me, this is important because of the possibility of the third scenario, above; that, in our post 9/11 fear, we reached for a prosecutorial tool that may be less than reality, and that in employing it, we are in fact STILL failing to do the real work that needs to be done to get at what may be very diffuse, independent, solitary, singular groups of disaffected folks that have nothing to do with any Al-Qaeda. The number of Arabic translators at CIA and NSA on September 10th 2001 tells me that it's far more likely that we have information with which to act than we did before that sad moment. But in which frame of reference and belief? An accurate one, or an easy/misinformed/political/manipulated one? If the latter, to any significant level, is the case, how do we undo the Gordian Knot of falsity and get to the hard work (and it seems to be local intel/police work that is rooting where there is out here in the UK) that needs to be done, that sweeping military strategy cannot do (sorta like gross and fine motor skills), and that MUST be done if we are to authentically protect, and come to understand, the various and sundry protestations against America, and its perceived empire.
     
  2. Own Goal Hat-Trick

    Jul 28, 1999
    ColoRADo
    dude, keep posting this stuff and the governments gonna come after you...
     
  3. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

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    I am not sure how asking what Al-quaeda is can help us combat it. We can sit in our ivory tower and speculate what exactly it is that drives young people, often teenagers, to leave their family and their country to go somewhere else in order to give up their life for some warped fundamentalist jihadist ideal. But finding the elusive answers is not going to be much help in defeating them.

    It is possible that giving people the option of freedom and democracy, as is now being attempted in Iraq and Afghanistan, may be part of the answer to changing the socioeconomic factors which lead these youngsters to a jihadist movement. But while I believe that helping countries attain freedom is a noble endeavor, to think that freedom and democracy in itself would bring a solution to the problem is very naive. We have been unable to keep disaffected kids in America's inner cities from joining gangs and shooting each other, so I don't see how we can realistically hope to change the hearts and minds of the dissafected kids in the Middle East in the near future.

    Unfortunately, while understanding what Al Quaeda is and what it's appeal is to the dissafected youth may be an interesting subject for academics, I think that in the real world it has to take a back seat to doing all we can to hunt down it's members and to taking defensive measures against their possible actions.

    Unless of course, Mel, you can convince me otherwise.
     
  4. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

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    Your time-wasting hatred of "academia" aside, this analysis only makes sense if the way you understand Al-Qaeda is in fact the most accurate way, if, in going out to "hunt down its members," one is actually pursuing something that exists in the form you think it does, which is sort of the whole point of the thread.

    I might, but I won't. You've worked very hard here to demonstrate that the discourse that in fact remains to go toward really knowing and understanding, beyond the mass info assault and propaganda, for you, is less relevant than just getting out there and hunting down somebody. That's your position understood. I'm not sure that disabusing you of that notion after you post that mindset in the very thread offered as a discussion would be an effective use of time, are you?
     
  5. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

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  6. Unorthodox Yank

    Feb 27, 2001
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    I have suspected for a while that something along these lines was the case with Al-Quaeda.

    But, to be honest, there a LOT of things that could happen that i would say that about. You could tell me that every "member" of al queda as well as all the "insurgents" fighting in falluja are CIA operatives instructed to keep this war going at all costs, so it can survive as a business venture for Bush's friends on Wall Street, and i would still say "Yeah, I've suspoected for a while that that was the case"

    So, in the end, my opiniong really doens't mean a whole lot. But there you have it anyways. :)
     
  7. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    Really?? You wanna know??

    Al-Qaeda has done the following:

    2/1993 Bombing of World Trade Center; 6 killed.

    1994 Investigation of the WTC bombing reveals that it was only a small part of a massive attack plan that included hijacking a plane and crashing it into CIA headquarters.

    6/1996 Truck bomb explodes outside Khobar Towers military complex in Saudi Arabia; 19 American servicemen killed, hundreds of others injured.

    8/1998 Bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa; 224 killed including 12 Americans.

    12/1999 Plot to bomb millennium celebrations in Seattle foiled when customs agents arrest an Algerian smuggling explosives into the U.S. Other Algerians subsequently arrested were alumni of Al Qaeda camps.

    Jordanian police arrested members of a al Qaeda cell planning attacks against Western tourists.

    10/2000 Bombing of the USS Cole in port in Yemen; 17 U.S. sailors killed.

    9/11/2001 Destruction of WTC, attack on Pentagon.

    4/11/2002 Explosion at ancient synogogue in Tunisia leaves 17 dead, including 11 German tourists.

    5/2002 Car explodes outside hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14, including 11 French citizens.

    6/2002 Bomb explodes outside American Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12.

    10/2002 Nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, kill 202, mostly Australian citizens. Suicide attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, kills 16.

    5/2003 Suicide bombers kill 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    Four bombs kill 33 people, targeting Jewish, Spanish, and Belgian sites in Casablanca, Morocco.

    8/2003 Suicide car bomb kills 12, injures 150, at Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    11/2003 Explosions rock a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, housing compound killing 17.

    Suicide car bombers simultaneously attack two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 25 and injuring hundreds. The following week a British bank in Istanbul is bombed.

    3/2004 Bombs explode almost simultaneously during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 202 and injuring more than 1,400. A Moroccan affiliate of al-Qaeda claims responsibility.

    5/29–31/2004 Attack on the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, then take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound. After a stand-off, three of the four assailants escape, leaving 22 people dead, all but three of them foreigners.

    6/11–19/2004 Kidnapping and execution Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Nearly a week after his capture, photos of his body are posted on an Islamist website. Saudi security forces find and kill four suspected terrorists, including the self-proclaimed military leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, after they are seen dumping a body.


    And all but one of these plots were successful! How many others have been foiled that we haven't heard about??

    I am sorry this notion of "Gee, what is Al Qaeda??" is in the end just a naive deep seated hope that maybe the acts of terrorists are just a "nuisance" and that, really, we've basically emasculated them, and, gee, maybe it will all just go away and leave us alone.

    Not.
     
  8. Northcal19

    Northcal19 New Member

    Feb 18, 2000
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    word.
     
  9. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

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    I am not sure from where you derive that I have a hatred of academia. I am merely pointing out that a question which perhaps can make for interesting academic discussion may not be of much practical value when it comes to dealing with current events in the world.

    My point is that the way you or I understand Al-Quaeda is irrelevant to how the civilized world must deal with them. What I think is more relevant is how we choose to respond to their acts against civilization, some of which Karl Keller has pointed out.

    And yes, by all means I'd like to learn why you think that understanding Al-Quaeda in the way which you describe is relevant to how we protect ourselves from their actions. Don't tell me it's not an effective use of your time to defend that notion, because you are the one who started the thread and yet you still have still not made clear the significance of your premise.

    I suppose it is a waste of time to convince me, in a sense, because it would accomplish nothing, as I am not in a position to influence anyone's policies. But if we didn't enjoy using our time to discuss the merits of these matters, then neither you nor I would be posting here, right?
     
  10. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    Karl, not understanding the difference between "done" and "is."

    Which is why we always laugh at him.
     
  11. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
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    Like if he cares.
     
  12. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
    - Sun Tzu bitches
     
  13. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

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    Well, if Sun Tsu said it, that changes everything. Let's get to know Al-Quaeda.
     
  14. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator
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    Mar 3, 2004
    Oztraya
    It's a state of mind man. Like, zen.
     
  15. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
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    Al-Qaeda is a performance art group who got a little out of hand.
     
  16. DutchOven

    DutchOven Red Card

    Nov 16, 2004
    What's in a name?

    -Bill Shakespeare
     
  17. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

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    I'm gonna tape myself pissing on you.

    -R. Kelly
     
  18. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

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    So anyway I'd be rubbing your big boobs and getting your nipples really hard, kinda kissing your neck from behind... and then I would take the other hand with the falafel thing and I'd put it on your ********** but you'd have to do it really light, just kind of a tease business.

    -Bill O'reilly
     
  19. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

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    It's only not clear to you. If Al-Qaeda is not, in fact, an organisation, but an idea around which Muslim crazies of all stripes varyingly coalesce, then looking for Tora Bora cave complexes diverts resources, time and attention from the real work at hand, doesn't it (In fact we were told that therewere these complexes, huge ones, several of them, by Rumsfeld and others, that were never found)?

    You beat an idea two ways: destroy everyone and everyTHING that promotes that idea - and that's alot more killin' than we're doing in Iraq, rest assured - or offer a better idea.

    The discourse that critically examines WHO, WHEN, and WHY we were given "Al-Qaeda" is the reason for this thread. I want not only what folks are willing to opine about, but, unlike Keller's post, sources; like I said, it's about the information, and I think it's important to trace it back, hence all my links, leaving those sources open to investigation and criticism, and, of course, the utter absence of a source from armchair humps like Keller.

    If the above is not good enough for you, then move on; you've made your point clear about how he fullest possible understanding is less than relevant for citizens in an ostensible democracy. I will forever disagree.
     
  20. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    I see you're comming around Mel. Soon you'll be aying that Bush's biggest problem was cynically pushing the WMD idea for the war when he should have used the language of JFK.

    That's been done 1000x's on this forum. Maybe 10,000x. You must be after something new. If not then I'd have to ask why you haven't payed attention the past 1000x and what would be different now. Perhaps the problem isn't the information but your willingness to accept it.
     
  21. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

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    Pull up one thread - ONE - that has a discussion not just of what AQ is, but a critical examination of the sources that gives us those definitons and resultant "information." I'll be back later to see the, according to you, wealth of this type of examination.
     
  22. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    Here's a link to a thread I started. It even talks about a book (aka a hard copy of a website).

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=135530&page=1

    I think it hit's on your point fairly well even if it doesn't drive it home. Then again you seem to be as exacting in your requirements as Ebinizer Scrooge. I'm no Bob Cratchet so I'll leave it up to you to look for the last $0.01. Do your own search. Garcia posted a note about doing searches given to him by some guy Mel. Perhaps if you were as astute in reading as you are in writing you might have noticed it. Perhaps you would have read one of the ten thousand threads on this since 9/11. Start listening Mel. Stop talking. You might just have something to learn from someone else. Maybe.
     
  23. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Apr 29, 2001
    New Jersey, USA
    Here, Mel. A description today from al-Zawahiri himself:

    "We are a nation of patience," al-Zawahiri said. "And we will resist to fight you, God willing, until the last minute."

    So now they're a nation. Kind of like a twisted pan-Arabism for disaffected & murderous Islamofascists. No borders necessarily, only those with similar anti-Western, nutty ideologies need apply. That's why eternal vigilance by all nations interested in combating the menace is necessary. Esp. nations like Saudi Arabia & Pakistan.
     

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