View Thread

Atheists Today » Easy Reading » The Lounge
Who is here? 1 guest(s)
 Print Thread
Osama bin Laden Dead!
Bob of QF wrote:
"Indeed: this man and his followers are directly responsible for the death of millions..."

Please explain this one to me, im lost on the numbers here. Where do these numbers come from?

Pre 1992 it could be argued he was a soldier, and hence any deaths he caused were in that capacity - recall he was fighting against the Red threat with funding from the US (note this for the following breakdown - if funding a war brings responsibility, america is responsible for all deaths of that war).

-In 1992 he is deemed responsible for 2 deaths.
-In 1992/3 upper estimate of 200,000 through funding jihadis and war mongering (so all cant really be claimed).
-In 1997 62 at the Luxor massacre.
-In the 1990's at some point, 6000 Hazaras.
-In 1998 under 300, The United states embassy bombings.
-In 2001 September 11th, near 3000 people.

So tops from this we have 210,064. Nowhere near one million, let alone millions.

Over an eight year period America/UK/others are responsible for 109,924 deaths of civilians +/- 15,000 in Iraq alone.

The largest contributing factor to the Bin Laden tally was the casulties of war, soldiers included - in a war he did not start.

So this leaves, over his eight years of terror around 10k.

12k of civilians died in Iraq in the first year of operations of our war on terror.

I am by no means defending the guy, but fuck people seem to be revising history and he's barely been dead a week (if he is dead).

I think the video should be released, in its raw form, but I can see many reasons for why they will not do this. Id watch it, iv seen some fucked up stuff in my life, the more people are made aware of it, the more inclined they will be to speak out.

Two videos come to mind, the beheading of Nick Berg and a guy kicking over a pig and chainsawing its head off. I have to admit, the pig killing sickened me the most.

Some links for the numbers:
Bob of QF
I was a guess, blaming the majority of terrorist bombings on islamic fundamentalism, most of which I think Bin Ladin's clan is responsible for.

Sure, I'm equating his cause with islamic terrorism generally, but I think its a fair cop.

Without people like him to stir up that particular ideological pot, I don't think it'd be near what it is.

Simply based on the idea that, if left to themselves, most people just want to raise their babies in peace, and have 3 squares and a roof.

It takes serious brainwashing to convert people into human-bomb makers-- you have to keep putting the evil into their heads over and over.

Bin Ladin and his club did exactly that-- even if not directly a member, he indirectly inspired other islamic terrorist groups to act, by example, if nothing else.

That is where the numbers come from...
Edited by Bob of QF on 05/03/2011 18:26
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
Well I think it dishonest and misleading, he is nowhere near the likes of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Leopold, Hideki, Ismail Enver and Pol Pot.

If anything he is on a par with Harold MacMillan.

It is the books of religion, and unfounded ideologies that drive men to such acts, they do not need personification (which seems to be an obsession with this war on terror).

But as long as there are countries with oil in them, the west will continue to set up corrupt officials to later overthrow in some claim of liberation.
Cynic wrote:
My impression so far about the location he was in is that we probably knew it was a place associated with where bin Laden could be or might send his messages. But that knowing those two are possibilities isn't the same thing has knowing when to strike. Timing is everything. Strike if he's never been there or isn't there at that moment and they could have ruined their lead and connection to bin Laden's probable locations (the courier) because he'd be dead, captured, or compromised.

Whatever else bin Laden was, he wasn't stupid and they knew he'd totally reanalyze his traceability and make the necessary adjustments. He probably did that from time to time anyway and who knows how many times we or others hunting him down have triggered it in the past.

So given that, it's difficult for me to presume that we're just holding off on an attack out of sheer political expedience. Had they waited to long, they'd have lost their chance and that would have gotten out. Obama's not an idiot either and whatever one might think of his motivations going into an election year, that would have doomed him. And dooming him this cycle probably isn't easy to do. So in my opinion, the attack was authorized as soon as they had confirmation of his actually being there and sufficient information on the site to ensure a successful mission.

(The date similarity to Hitler deaths and "Mission Accomplished" speeches is interesting as well, but still not compelling enough to make me think conspiracy at this point.)


As for the overall reaction out there, yeah. I think Jon Stewart summed it up well by suggesting that he should be expressing ambivalent thoughts about celebrating the death of a man, but in this case... no. But then also Stephen Colbert followed up his jubilation by saying that he hoped never to be made so happy by someone's death again.

In general, I think the public reaction is distasteful, more or less. It's understandable and predictable, however, and "not that big a deal" for the most part. What I don't like is the equally predictable result of people who pipe up with a more sober point of view and getting chided for it as we've seen happen a few times in the media already, where their patriotism is questioned because they AREN'T going along with the crowd.

You are probably right, certainly there is no compelling evidence otherwise. I do suspect, however, that conspiracy theorists will run wild with this.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
As far as expressing joy at the death of bin Laden I can understand the emotion because he was built up as such an evil character. There is no question that he was a stone killer, both of his own people and others. And, like the evil that is the WBC he allowed himself to pretend to be motivated by an evil interpretation of a religion. He was also a natural and somewhat rational outgrowth of western geo-political activities in the muslim world.

Those few who noted that the 9-11 attacks were a natural outgrowth of western geo-political activities were excoriated in the press. It would be similar in this case if someone opined anything but bin Laden got what he deserved.

I am myself waiting for the other shoe to fall. I would guess that within a year perhaps on the anniversary of bin Laden's extrajudicial execution there will be a dramatic attack on a western symbol. Maybe if homeland (I have always found this similar to "the fatherland") security would not waste so much effort on illegal aliens from central and south america this could be thwarted.
Edited by JohnH on 05/04/2011 16:09
I would urge you to watch this.

If what Cenk says is true, then I am damned to never having any respect for politicians. At first I would argue that Bush was playing coy, stating he wasnt interested, but with the details that follow it would seem he was actually telling the truth.

The Young Turks also have clips of Fox and republicans spreading the false rumour that Waterboarding led to the useful infromation which gave them Osama - which TYT then counter with videos of top officials for intelligence and others stating that it was normal interrogation techniques that paid off.

Will America arrest Bush? Knowing the location of a criminal, and preventing the police for obtaining that criminal is known as aiding and abetting a felon from what iv seen of Dog the Bounty Hunter.... just sayin.
I was somewhat troubled by two aspects of the death, that from what one can tell bin Laden was summarily executed and then his body dumped at sea as soon as possible.

I saw a take on the summary execution that led me to think that maybe that was both conscious and necessary. The possibility that any large public gathering in the western world or Russia could be at risk of a hostage taking with the threat of death unless bin Laden was released. There are other possible scenarios that were almost certainly mitigated by his death.

I also saw where no country was willing to take bin Laden's body. If complying with muslim tradition to bury the body within 24 hours was considered, probably the sea was a good choice because it could be done quickly. Further there would be no funeral or grave site to provide possibilities of violence both now and in the future.

I have come to the conclusion that probably both the summary execution and the swift burial at sea were thought out before hand and both were the correct choices. Whether I like them or not.
Another reason for quick assassination would be to stop them releasing any more details of the missions of which both the terrorists and the west were in cahoots - things like that are terribly embarrising.

There is also the other hypothesis, that he was not killed, and is somewhere right now being interrogated to discover the details of other leaders and Taliban leaders.
This is rapidly turning into another Warren report, where the secrecy surrounding the event becomes the catalyst for all sorts of conspiracy theories.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
They say if you look for it, you'll see it -- regardless of what "it" is. Anymore it doesn't take much to become a catalyst for conspiracy theories because looking for them in everything has become a national sport.
All are plausible... just not the lizard people / ancient alien NWO so much.

I mean, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman...' and that was over a blow job. How far do you think the lies go when state money is on the line.
Edited by Theory_Execution on 05/05/2011 17:46
I don't think they are all plausible. Some are remotely possible. To me, 'plausible' infers too much likelihood.

You may not agree, but I don't blame Clinton too terribly much for lying about the Lewinsky affair because the Republicans asked him a question which should only have been the concern of the three people directly involved. He caught hell from Hillary, and rightly so.
Edited by catman on 05/06/2011 00:38
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Nope, im sticking with plausible. We have that little evidence either way, im holding it all equally likely.

I understand your point regarding private matters, which reminds me of news articles over here at the moment. There is a lot of noise about Super Injunctions, celebrities approaching Judges for legal blackouts on the reporting or mentioning of their private lives.

I dont see the problem, it is not illegal as far as I am aware to go sticking your dick in anyone above the age of 16 if you have consent - why journalists think they have a right to plaster personal lives all over everything I have no idea.

The only instance I would say it is ok, is if it impacts a law that someone is looking to implement - for instance it would be a matter of public interest if a politician was pushing a law for the criminilization of homosexuality while having a man bugger him on a regular basis.

Clinton should have answered without lying

How about: - I am present in the position of President of the United States of America with the intended purpose of running this country, not only is my personal life no business of yours, you are wasting the peoples time asking such questions.

Followed by a nod to security who have the journalist escorted from the room and shot in the street.
Clinton wasn't merely asked by journalists. but by Congress, which is why he was impeached. I too agree that is was none of their or anyone else's business and amounted only to partisan witch hunt. And a hypocritical one at that, considering the philanderer records of some who stood there piously waggling their fingers at him. However, all they have to say in return is "goes to the character of the individual entrusted with the office" and there's really no effective way to dodge it.


As for "plausible," I'll side with Catman. I mean, I see your point too. At issue for me is that there are at least two usages for the term plausible. One, "it could happen." This is the one used by MythBusters when they can't rule something out. This usage is in the same league as "plausible deniability," where the goal isn't to say something that's true so much as give a story that can't be shown to be false without going to data that is plainly inaccessible. With regard to this site, you might also toss in propositions like gods, string theory, and tea pots in free fall off the outermost rim of Saturn. Plausible? Sure. Likely? It can't even be calculated. (Yes, there are some key differences between gods, string theory, and tea pots, but the point is, no one is equipped to show them to be true.)

In general usage, the word "plausible" is more at likelihood. While strict logic doesn't give a rat's ass for probability, people aren't strictly logical and strict logic isn't usually a very practical thing given all the holes in our knowledge at any given moment. We generally fly by the seat of our pants using experience as our guide. It is how Ockham's Razor is used most of the time -- to gauge whether an occurrence is sufficiently close to experience compared to an alternative explanation to be more likely. This is a far more powerful and useful way of looking at things, even if it may prove, given more evidence, inaccurate.

So while all manner of conspiracy theory might be technically, logically possible (or plausible, MythBusters style), they are not all equally weighted in terms of likelihood (or plausible, everyday usage). The problem with conspiracy theorists is that even if they're right, they're still arriving at their conclusions by way of fallacious thinking, effectively arguing from suspicion, incredulity, and other forms of bias.
No argument there Cynic. This is kind of like arguing about the bible, people see what they want to see in it and there is enough wiggle room for plausibility in a number of mutually exclusive views.

The story that seems to be emerging is that as many as 70 Navy Seals invaded the compound and met no resistance other than one shot fired by a courier. There was no use of 'human shields' as was reported, rather Bin Laden's youngest wife charged the soldiers and was promptly shot in the leg. Bin Laden was apparently unarmed and in his pajamas though I suspect soldiers weren't really inclined to see if he had any weapons at the time.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
We'll give it 75 years, might know what happened then.

For now, I just want to know who is the next target.
I read or more properly skimmed an article in CounterPunch a left wing on line newsletter yesterday, I have posted links to articles in it with some regularity here. I was more than a little surprised by its premise. That being that political assassination was somewhat new to the US.

Loyalists were killed during the revolution. Natives have been killed with impunity up to today. We as a country have a long history of political assassination. I will grant that often it is done by proxy. I will not take the time to find it but Noam Chomsky wrote an interesting article some time ago correlating US aid to central american countries and the amount of dissidents they killed. The correlation was shaming.

The US as a state has long engaged in political assassination. It is in the nature of a state and its leaders to do so. I offer as an example the "Reign of Terror" in the commune of Paris.

States and their leaders kill in order to maintain their privilege. Humans kill for more mundane reasons. While I abhor the taking of the life of another human I prefer the human reasons for murder over the state reasons.

I have admitted previously that I accept the murder of bin Laden. I wish for a world where state sanctioned murder is no more. I wish for a world where the benefit of all is supreme. A world where states wither and humans reign.
John - I think most people tend to think in terms of 'us good, them bad' and they have a hard time understanding that we really aren't all that different.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
seeker, This is complicated and I can only hope that I express myself clearly.

The other, that who is not you or your family, has long been a meme in human history. I will admit that I would defend my family violently, although at my age it would demand weapons.

The other can be readily ignored. If they are poor it is their fault, if they are incarcerated it is their fault, if they must live on the streets it is their fault, if they cannot afford an operation it is their fault.

We in the US live in a culture that emphasizes the individual and totally ignores the collective.

Us vs. Them is too simple. We as a nation choose to be hostile toward not only the other but ourselves. It is our greatest failure.
"The other can be readily ignored. If they are poor it is their fault, if they are incarcerated it is their fault, if they must live on the streets it is their fault, if they cannot afford an operation it is their fault."

I heared pretty much those exact words when talking to an American about health care. The crazy aspirational culture of America (anyone can be president.... provided you have a long-form birth certificate) leads to these sentiments, it also does not help that any consideration of the collective is deemed commie thinking, and hence anti-american.

Socialism is awesome some times, others not so much.
Jump to Forum:

Similar Threads

Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Four Dead in Ohio The Rant Room 20 05/14/2012 08:25
Bluesman David 'Honey Boy' Edwards dead at 96 Music Discussions 7 09/01/2011 09:55
bin Laden Death: Credit Pope John Paul II The Lounge 7 05/03/2011 18:19
Happy dead guy on a stick season! Christianity 7 03/10/2011 01:53
Michael Jackson dead. Music Discussions 70 08/04/2010 03:28