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Beheading of Eugene Armstrong in Iraq

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These kidnappings and beheadings are 100% proof that Iraq was and is the home territory of evil, evil people who must be destroyed.

I wonder how long it will take to kill or imprison all these evil people. No matter, we will never forget.

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There's a very simple way to end this nonsense. Whenever they capture one of ours and demand the release of some prisoners we make a demand in return. Tell them they either release their prisoner(s), or we'll execute the prisoners they are demanding the release of. And if they don't listen and behead their captives anyway, we just go ahead and execute our prisoners (perhaps 10 for every American life taken). After this happens once or twice, they'll see the futility of it. I know our leaders would never have the balls for this, and organizations like the ACLU will throw fits at summary executions, but it's worth a try. Nothing else seems to be working. If we give in and release the captives, we'll just be encouraging more hostage taking. Execution method? I personally like hanging as it's generally the most dishonorable method. I don't think we should stoop to their level and behead anyone.

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We need to clean out that rats nest Fallujah and the other sanctuaries in the Sunni triangle. We blew it last summer by backing off when we had them surrounded.

As for a method of execution, I favor the "Jeanne d'Arc" method of burning alive at the stake. Video taped and broadcast throughout the middle east. OK, ok... not really but it feels good to vent!

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Tell them they either release their prisoner(s), or we'll execute the prisoners they are demanding the release of.  And if they don't listen and behead their captives anyway, we just go ahead and execute our prisoners (perhaps 10 for every American life taken).

Hmm, the last blokes who have been doing this were the Nazi Germans on their occupied territories. Nice idea, but it will definitely bring [again] a world public outcry.

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One much less brutal yet likely more effective method is to convince Iraqi community leaders to become "responsible" for their people's "future". Historically, the centralized governments in Baghdad were relied on by most Iraqis to distribute food, water, and other living necessities. To convince local leaders and tribes to work the peace and order situation in their areas, which they know best, the level of shipments can be adjusted correspondingly to punish poor performance. This is harsh but historically effective behavior-modification. If the local leaders and their followers continue to help the insurgents, or by inaction allow the insurgent activities to prosper, then they better be prepared to see less of the shipments which prop up their credibility and rule.

The alternative is to use positive reinforcement to reward pro-government behavior by increasing the speed and amount of supplies and also reconstruction projects in peacefuol areas. But this approach will take a bit longer and may not provide enough "incentive" to the most hard-core loyalist and terrorist leaders.

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There's a very simple way to end this nonsense.  Whenever they capture one of ours and demand the release of some prisoners we make a demand in return.  Tell them they either release their prisoner(s), or we'll execute the prisoners they are demanding the release of.  And if they don't listen and behead their captives anyway, we just go ahead and execute our prisoners (perhaps 10 for every American life taken).  After this happens once or twice, they'll see the futility of it.  I know our leaders would never have the balls for this, and organizations like the ACLU will throw fits at summary executions, but it's worth a try.  Nothing else seems to be working.  If we give in and release the captives, we'll just be encouraging more hostage taking.  Execution method?  I personally like hanging as it's generally the most dishonorable method.  I don't think we should stoop to their level and behead anyone.

I have to agree with this one. But the question is... Do they really care that much for them that they will pay attetion to this?

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There's a very simple way to end this nonsense.  Whenever they capture one of ours and demand the release of some prisoners we make a demand in return.  Tell them they either release their prisoner(s), or we'll execute the prisoners they are demanding the release of.  And if they don't listen and behead their captives anyway, we just go ahead and execute our prisoners (perhaps 10 for every American life taken).  After this happens once or twice, they'll see the futility of it.  I know our leaders would never have the balls for this, and organizations like the ACLU will throw fits at summary executions, but it's worth a try.  Nothing else seems to be working.  If we give in and release the captives, we'll just be encouraging more hostage taking.  Execution method?  I personally like hanging as it's generally the most dishonorable method.  I don't think we should stoop to their level and behead anyone.

Ah, so we betray everything that makes us morally superior to Islamic extremists and terrorists, AND give them 10 martyrs for every American they behead?

Strike anyone else as ENCOURAGING the terrorists to behead more people, or is it just me?

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These kidnappings and beheadings are 100% proof that Iraq was and is the home territory of evil, evil people who must be destroyed.

Plenty of people like that in America, too. Invasion would be justified here, too?

People get starved to death and otherwise butchered in Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, etc. -- hundreds of thousands to millions over several years. We don't do dick about it.

Perhaps it's time we face the fact that people beheading other people has nothing to do with our reasons for invading Iraq. At best, it is a cynical maneuver designed to help protect our homeland rather than a just crusade to eliminate an outrageous evil. We're not there because they are evil; we're there because we perceive that being there will alleviate a future danger to the US.

Please stop trying to characterize this conflict as some kind of moral war. It's not. Even if it was, one wonders at the integrity of those morals in their selectiveness. If we as a country can't handle that what we are doing is for our own benefit and our benefit alone, then perhaps anyone using this war to impeach our integrity is right to do so.

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These kidnappings and beheadings are 100% proof that Iraq was and is the home territory of evil, evil people who must be destroyed.

Plenty of people like that in America, too. Invasion would be justified here, too?

People get starved to death and otherwise butchered in Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, etc. -- hundreds of thousands to millions over several years. We don't do dick about it.

Perhaps it's time we face the fact that people beheading other people has nothing to do with our reasons for invading Iraq. At best, it is a cynical maneuver designed to help protect our homeland rather than a just crusade to eliminate an outrageous evil. We're not there because they are evil; we're there because we perceive that being there will alleviate a future danger to the US.

Are you suggesting that it is wrong to fight the evil in any one of these troubled places unless you fight it in all?!! Why criticize the U.S. for at least fighting the evil that exists in Iraq? After all I note that you don't deny that evil does exist in Iraq! Shouldn't your criticism be reserved for those nations who are not even fighting in Iraq?

Please stop trying to characterize this conflict as some kind of moral war.  It's not.  Even if it was, one wonders at the integrity of those morals in their selectiveness.  If we as a country can't handle that what we are doing is for our own benefit and our benefit alone, then perhaps anyone using this war to impeach our integrity is right to do so.

You've really lost it BA. Because this war may be being fought for our benefit alone, which is arguable, does not mean that we alone will benefit from it's having been fought! Nor does that mean that it is not a moral war!

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Ah, so we betray everything that makes us morally superior to Islamic extremists and terrorists, AND give them 10 martyrs for every American they behead?

Strike anyone else as ENCOURAGING the terrorists to behead more people, or is it just me?

Just a thought. Frankly, I can't think of anything else which might be effective. The fact is that most Middle Eastern cultures are based on violence, and respect violence. This is why democracy and the rule of law has failed miserably in these countries, and why I feel Saddam Hussein will be elected right back into power during the first free elections in Iraq. We must fight them using methods they respect, and the best method is naked, merciless force.

As I've said already in several threads, I was vehemently opposed to us invading Iraq to start with. Part of the reason is because I knew the only way we could win would be to stoop to methods which are morally repugnant to yourself and lots of others in this country. However, the reality is that we are there, and already laid much of the groundwork. If we want to ultimately be successful in Iraq, we are going to have to get our hands dirty, so to speak. If we do, the Iraqi people will repsect us even if they don't like us, and will be less imposed to elect a tyrant like Saddam Hussein into power once they acquire self-determination. Tracker's method may work also, but unfortunately innocent people who need supplies will be affected

I'm being practical here, BA. And I don't feel for many reasons that the US is morally superior to those terrorists. We're just a lot better at hiding the kinds of unsavory things that must be done to further our interests. US history is full of people whom the government saw as a threat simply "disappearing". Don't think our President and others in charge don't already routinely order executions. It just never makes the news because these killings are made to seem like accidents or suicides.

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One much less brutal yet likely more effective method is to convince Iraqi community leaders to become "responsible" for their people's "future". Historically, the centralized governments in Baghdad were relied on by most Iraqis to distribute food, water, and other living necessities. To convince local leaders and tribes to work the peace and order situation in their areas, which they know best, the level of shipments can be adjusted correspondingly to punish poor performance. This is harsh but historically effective behavior-modification. If the local leaders and their followers continue to help the insurgents, or by inaction allow the insurgent activities to prosper, then they better be prepared to see less of the shipments which prop up their credibility and rule.

The alternative is to use positive reinforcement to reward pro-government behavior by increasing the speed and amount of supplies and also reconstruction projects in peacefuol areas. But this approach will take a bit longer and may not provide enough "incentive" to the most hard-core loyalist and terrorist leaders.

I would say this is effectively being done right now. Surely when there is an attack in a certain area humanitarian efforts stop for a couple days but continue without interuption elsewhere.

And what of the conflictors travelling between cities and neighborhoods? The inflected neighborhood would end up twice punished.

How can you rely on community leaders to take some responsibility for their community when their previous history tells them not to? Especially when, in a much storter amount of time, a bomber can set the project back to day 0. And if you are too vocal...

This will have to be an underground grass-roots effort. The poorest man in the city has to want this.

If NY were to be in this situation, how would we convince the homeless and the heroine addicts to take some responsibility. (just as an example)

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Are you suggesting that it is wrong to fight the evil in any one of these troubled places unless you fight it in all?!! Why criticize the U.S. for at least fighting the evil that exists in Iraq? After all I note that you don't deny that evil does exist in Iraq! Shouldn't your criticism be reserved for those nations who are not even fighting in Iraq?

Not at all. I'm suggesting that it's odd that we didn't do much of anything about any of the other areas where evil resides (and have caused a bit ourselves south of our borders). Let me rephrase: it isn't odd, it's telling that we don't do much about evil in Sudan or Rwanda but we fight evil tooth and nail as long as it's in an "enemy" country or for a very clearly perceived threat to the US. I am not condemning the US for this; this is the reality of attempting to keep a sovereign state safe.

However, to say then that the war is justified because our enemies are evil is disingenuous. The war is justified because it makes America safer; the relative evilness of our enemies is not a driving force (though it certainly makes it easier to fight).

I'm not criticizing my country: only those who claim its actions are justified because of "evil." Would we have attacked if they were not evil? One could argue, of course that if they were not evil, we wouldn't have to, but it doesn't change the fact that it was the threat that caused our attack, not the evil. If they had been evil to each other, I doubt we would have attacked.

You've really lost it BA. Because this war may be being fought for our benefit alone, which is arguable, does not mean that we alone will benefit from it's having been fought! Nor does that mean that it is not a moral war!

I don't think I said that the war was immoral or that it would benefit no one but us. I just said that our enemies' morality was an issue only insofar as it was a danger to us. Is that more clear?

JTR: regardless of the moral repugnance, what you suggest would be INEFFECTIVE. Why engage in the morally (and ideologically!) repugnant for a tactic that won't work?

This will have to be an underground grass-roots effort. The poorest man in the city has to want this.

They have to more than want it. They have to have many people, particularly those of influence, willing to die for it. Because so many will have to.

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JTR:  regardless of the moral repugnance, what you suggest would be INEFFECTIVE.  Why engage in the morally (and ideologically!) repugnant for a tactic that won't work?

If you're 100% sure it won't work then you're right. The thing is are we? It's all academic anyway since we know our leaders wouldn't even consider something like this, at least not publicly.

Other possible courses of action:

1) Do what tracker suggested. It may or may not be effective, and will certainly cause innocent people to be hurt or even die from lack of supplies.

2) Fulfill the demands of the captors. This might save a life or two but long term more people will be captured and held hostage once the terrorists saw that this is effective.

3) Attempt a rescue. I have my doubts on this, even if we knew where the captives were being held.

4) Remove foreign non-combatants from Iraq so as to starve the terrorists of potential hostages. We should probably be doing this regardless of what else we do.

As much as I find these beheadings disturbing, the fact is that anyone in Iraq knows the risks of being there. My biggest fear if we don't do something decisive is that things like this will start being done in the US. We definitely don't need random people being captured in the subway on their way home from work or school, held hostage, and beheaded. If that ever starts happening, you'll see a good portion of the American public coming out in favor of nuking the Middle East into oblivion. We obviously don't want to get to that point so we need to nip this in the bud. As I said, it was just a suggestion...

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...If we want to ultimately be successful in Iraq, we are going to have to get our hands dirty, so to speak.  If we do, the Iraqi people will repsect us even if they don't like us, and will be less imposed to elect a tyrant like Saddam Hussein into power once they acquire self-determination.  Tracker's method may work also, but unfortunately innocent people who need supplies will be affected...

Most effective methods of war have their own logic irrespective of the ideological development of their users. Concentration, zonal and movement restrictions, and behavioral supplies denial need only to be implemented over time to achieve some results.

The key to minimizing hardship on friendly and neutral peoples is good intelligence and political preparation. These lay the groundwork which enables field commanders to selectively determine at the lowest possible granular level which troublesome communities are to be targeted, and how such measures can be further "fine-tuned" to reinforce local leaders' pro-government behavior. If battlefield commanders lack enough and timely intelligence from special forces and Iraqi spies to effectively assess the local political map of a rebel-infested town, then their efforts there will likely fail.

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Just saw the execution over p2p. Uncool. :ph34r::(

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I would say this is effectively being done right now. Surely when there is an attack in a certain area humanitarian efforts stop for a couple days but continue without interuption elsewhere.

And what of the conflictors travelling between cities and neighborhoods? The inflected neighborhood would end up twice punished.

How can you rely on community leaders to take some responsibility for their community when their previous history tells them not to? Especially when, in a much storter amount of time, a bomber can set the project back to day 0. And if you are too vocal...

This will have to be an underground grass-roots effort. The poorest man in the city has to want this.

If NY were to be in this situation, how would we convince the homeless and the heroine addicts to take some responsibility. (just as an example)

But not in every place such measures can make a battlefield difference. For example, shipments of basic necessities are usually allowed into rebel-infested Fallujah by the surrounding ring of US and Iraqi troops. This goes on even though the city's Sunni community and religious councils were known to have actively caused the failure the previous security arrangment, i.e. "Fallujah Brigade".

I'm not sure if all such hostile communities can eventually be pacified with such methods. But local community and tribal leaders "incentivized" in such manner will certainly have far better chances at finding and fixing the inbred insurgency, than some American or Iraqi commander from a different region who will know less about the local political and community nuances than the lowliest street beggar.

I doubt NYC's homeless would make a useful analogy since these methods target local leaders whose position and credibility are based on satisfying their followers' basic living needs. The proper analogy would be to partition this hypothetically rebel NYC into supply- and movement-control security zones, and deny inbound supply shipments and lines to targeted elected boroughs until the Mayor, targeted local council and their political allies, and whatever armed security and "enforcer" militia these "factions" command all show collectively reason for doing otherwise. It's likely that hungry homeless who are dependent on city services and charities for necessities will become actively disenchanted, ripe for strategic co-option and even operational recruitment by hypothetical "Federal counter-insurgency forces".

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For example, shipments of basic necessities are usually allowed into rebel-infested Fallujah by the surrounding ring of US and Iraqi troops. This goes on even though the city's Sunni community and religious councils were known to have actively caused the failure the previous security arrangment, i.e. "Fallujah Brigade".

It is clear that insurgents are interested only in bloodying our nose even if they have to go through Iraqi non-coms to do it. This is a power play. They are not interested in the best interests of the Iraqi people they are interested in us having no influence in Iraq. Personally, I attribute this ability to non-iraqi insurgents.

In the long run we have only two weapons to use, humanitarian aid to show we come in peace and the transfer of ideas that will build and maintain civil order. The transfer of ideas takes receptiveness and time to learn and so we must rely on aid. With out aid we have nothing to endear us to the man on the street.

Were I an insurgent, I'd make it as difficult as possible for aid to make it to the street. If I could do it in such a way as to blame it on the Americans, all the better.

That is what I was refering to in my initial post and I was thinking of Mog and the General.

Frankly I don't think this problem can be solved without building security zones and limiting mobility. Clamp it down like Bagdad during the operation. The problem is no one seems to realize there is a war on.

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http://www.halifaxlive.com/fake_beheading_08082004_2291.php

Benjamin Vanderford, a 22-year-old video game programmer from San Francisco, caused a media frenzy Saturday when news agencies around the world reported his beheading.

Vanderford video taped his own fake beheading and made the video available on the internet through file sharing networks, word of mouth did the rest.

Vanderford filmed the 55-second fake execution in a friend's garage several months ago, but the media didn't pick up on it until Saturday.

The media frenzy started after the clip was posted on a militant Islamic Web site.

On Saturday, the clip aired on Arab satellite news networks, including, al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al Hayat-LBC. Shortly after the video was aired, The Associated Press as well as Reuters published news of the unconfirmed beheading.

The FBI interviewed Vanderford after admitting he made the bogus video. It isn't known if Vanderford will face charges at this time.

Hmm... I wonder....

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These kidnappings and beheadings are 100% proof that Iraq was and is the home territory of evil, evil people who must be destroyed.

I wonder how long it will take to kill or imprison all these evil people.  No matter, we will never forget.

Except that the vast majority of those involved in these atrocities aren't Iraqis. They're from outside Iraq, drawn to Iraq simply because the U.S. is there.

Iraq is only full of 'evil people' because the U.S. enticed them there!

If we had just stayed in Afghanistan, and not invaded Iraq, this would be going on there. Had we invaded Iran, it would be there. Turkey? Yup, these zealots would go to Turkey, too.

It's not Iraq, it's the U.S. The more we try to push our imperial agenda, the more the rebels slip through our fingers.... (Oh, wait, that's a quote from somewhere else. Sorry, it's late, and I just got the DVDs.)

The problem with fighting religious zealots, ESPECIALLY ones that target the poor and disenfranchised, is that WAR never wins. The Soviets proved that in, of all places, Afghanistan! You need to convince them in peaceful ways to change. If you just try to kill them, it 'proves them right' to those the evangelize to, allowing them to draw more converts and fighters.

If we continue our bullying tactics, this 'war on terror' will never end. It will only get worse.

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What is it that you wonder Q? That people are having fake funerals. :rolleyes:

The beheadings are not the end game of those doing the beheading. The end game is to influence policy. If the beheadings are real its terrorism. If the beheadings are fake, its propaganda. Either way its designed to do the same thing. They don't care if it is fake; they'll put it up on the website anyway.

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