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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] facism gaining ground in US

From: Pierce T . Wetter III
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] facism gaining ground in US
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 10:24:11 -0700

"Pierce" == Pierce T Wetter, <Pierce> writes:

    Pierce>   I think that Terrorism is Terrorizing _a_ people by the
    Pierce> use of violence is terrorism, but I'm just being nitpicky.

No, you're not.  You're awfully close to Wikipedia, definition 1,
which _is_ useful.  The points the first definition lacks are that
terrorism (a) has no military objective at all (b) the objective is to
scare civilians, for the purpose of undermining morale or social
cohesion (eg, to generate opposition to government policy on the
ground that it may lead to terrorist attacks) and (c) is intended to
achieve a political purpose.

You also came damn close to the Wikipedia definition of fascism,
closer than me (I have argued that the F├╝hrer concept is part of the
generally accepted _definition_ of fascism and/or Nazism, but neither
article in Wikipedia suggests that), while nobody else in the
discussion seems to be familiar with any useful definition.  Eg, Tom
has suggested "police state", but that includes communism and Saddam's
government, but not the U.S., at least not by any evidence anyone

 Yeah most people use fascism and totalitarianism interchangeably. It
would have been more clear if I'd twitted him for that.

So I'd say, keep being picky, please.  I disagree with about half of
what you say, but not because it's so incoherent that I have to
disagree in self-defense.  :-)

  Well, someone understands me. :-)

Here's an example:

    Pierce> So my take: Rumsfeld authorized some questionable
    Pierce> stuff. There are quite a few issues where its better to
    Pierce> draw the line clearly then it is to try to adapt that line
    Pierce> to every situation. I think "how far you can go" when
    Pierce> interrogating prisoners is one of them. Rumsfeld was
    Pierce> trying to draw a distinction where none really exists...

I think you're missing the whole idea of "plausible deniability"
here.  I find it hard to believe that Rumsfeld is so naive as to think
that authorizing "questionable stuff" would not be interpreted in some
quarters as _ordering_ unquestionably abusive stuff.  Cf. Iran/Contra.

 That's possible. Its also possible that the road to hell is paved with
good intentions. Rumsfeld might have authorized that with the best
intentions, but given that it didn't accomplish anything, and that
there was serious blowback, it was a stupid decision.

 The fairly aggressive prosecution by the Army even before the story
broke kind of argues against that being tolerated.

 One credible theory I've read is that while Rumsfeld didn't authorize
it, he did authorize a kind of nebulous authority for the spooks at
the various prisons. I could see someone like him thinking, "yeah, we
need to let the spooks at the terrorist" without realizing, "it needs
to be clear whose in charge".


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