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PAK SUICIDE ATTACKS





nachi
Pakistan suicide attacks kill 42 peoples, this is a very sad news for world. Suicide bomber is a women, which was killed 42 and injured 70.
menino
This is sad news, indeed. Sad that terrorists are targetting innocent people, outside a food distribution center.
Its sad that the bombers are brainwashed or given some incentive to do these violent acts of terrorism.

I read a bit about it, and the reason for the bombing is targetting a tribe of people from another area.
That is even more vile and despicable.
deanhills
Was it the Taliban who was responsible for the attack? As it would seem that it was someone from Afghanistan who was responsible for the terror act?
Quote:
The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Pakistan says the army has carried out limited operations in Mohmand but has focused more thoroughly on the neighbouring Bajaur tribal region.

He says the Taliban in Mohmand are led by Umar Khalid, a little known but powerful commander whose fighters are more active in Afghanistan than Pakistan.

Umar Khalid is said to provide sanctuary to top al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders as they flee operations by the army. These are said to include Hakimullah Mehsud and Ayman al-Zawahiri, our correspondent says.

Source: BBC News
standready
menino wrote:
Sad that terrorists are targetting innocent people.

Terrorists are cowards and innocent people are easy prey.

@nachi: It would be helpful to post a link to the story such as this one
http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_42-killed-in-pakistan-suicide-attack_1485900

President Obama condemns the attack:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101225/pl_afp/pakistanunrestus_20101225210205
What else could he do! I know, send more aide to line the pockets of the officials over there.
Bikerman
standready wrote:
menino wrote:
Sad that terrorists are targetting innocent people.

Terrorists are cowards and innocent people are easy prey.
No, that cannot be right.
A coward is someone who is scared of danger or pain/injury. Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.
standready
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.

I would like to hear that as well! Takes a brave person to push a plunger on a bomb hidden under clothes and kill themselves and those unsuspecting others around them. If you are brave, come at me with knife or even a gun. At least then I will know something is up.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.

Bikerman is right about the bombers themselves. A suicide attack is certainly not cowardly.
It is usually a foolhardy waste of manpower, and it is morally reprehensible to target innocent civilians... but it isn't cowardly.
Their leaders and recruiters though... Sending people off to make suicide attacks while you hide in a cave or a secret basement. That is cowardly.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.


So you basically quoted everything Bikerman said except for the very first two sentences - the second in which he explicitly answered your question. Here, I'll quote it for you:

Bikerman wrote:
A coward is someone who is scared of danger or pain/injury.


Okay... So a coward is afraid of personal pain/injury or danger. And a suicide bomber would be afraid of personal pain or injury, how? They're blowing themselves us for Christ's sake! That is the exact opposite of the definition of a coward. If a coward is afraid of injuring themselves or putting themselves in danger, then they obviously wouldn't blow themselves up. That's quite an obvious contradiction.

standready wrote:
I would like to hear that as well! Takes a brave person to push a plunger on a bomb hidden under clothes and kill themselves and those unsuspecting others around them. If you are brave, come at me with knife or even a gun. At least then I will know something is up.


Ah, two people who need to read more carefully. Your problem here is that you have an idea of how someone should commit murder. And so, to you, you're ignoring the definition of a coward since these people aren't using your idea of how they should kill someone. You might think that it takes more bravery to come up to you with a knife but that is irrelevant. Just because they aren't using your idea of murder doesn't mean that you should ignore a definition. "A coward is someone who is scared of danger or pain/injury." They obviously are not afraid of personal danger or pain/injury. Therefore, they're not cowards.
deanhills
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.
By the way, I can read as well Matrix. And I always read something carefully before I comment on it. I was about to answer the post and then thought I should find out first why Bikerman made that statement before I gave my own comment. I wanted to know (from Bikerman) why he thought it was wrong to make statements like that by world leaders/politicians, i.e. why it would be misleading to refer to suicide bombers as cowards.

I am still waiting for a response from Bikerman. And then hopefully will be allowed to make my own comment.
standready
Matrix, I can read very well.
According to the dictionary sitting on my desk - coward (n) One who lacks courage in the face of danger or pain. I doubt a suicide bomber has any pain once they push the plunger unless the bomb fails to explode. Their masters would give them pain. They are in no danger because they hide what they are attempting to do.

I would not call a suicide bomber a coward if he/she wore the bomb proudly where everyone could clearly see it.

Bikerman, help us out here.
ocalhoun
standready wrote:
Matrix, I can read very well.
According to the dictionary sitting on my desk - coward (n) One who lacks courage in the face of danger or pain. I doubt a suicide bomber has any pain once they push the plunger unless the bomb fails to explode. Their masters would give them pain. They are in no danger because they hide what they are attempting to do.

I would not call a suicide bomber a coward if he/she wore the bomb proudly where everyone could clearly see it.

Bikerman, help us out here.

Would you call the gunner on a C130 gunship a coward for blasting unsuspecting targets from a safe position?
Afaceinthematrix
standready wrote:
Matrix, I can read very well.
According to the dictionary sitting on my desk - coward (n) One who lacks courage in the face of danger or pain. I doubt a suicide bomber has any pain once they push the plunger unless the bomb fails to explode. Their masters would give them pain. They are in no danger because they hide what they are attempting to do.

I would not call a suicide bomber a coward if he/she wore the bomb proudly where everyone could clearly see it.

Bikerman, help us out here.


Okay, so let's think about this. A coward is someone who lacks courage in the face of danger or pain.

So what is a coward? Coward - the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

So a coward would be someone who could not face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear.

Do the suicide bombers face danger without fear? I would say so. If they have some fear then it's only natural but ultimately they're able to go through with it so they cannot have too much fear.

So it's just a simple matter of looking up definitions and seeing if something fits into that definition.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.
By the way, I can read as well Matrix. And I always read something carefully before I comment on it. I was about to answer the post and then thought I should find out first why Bikerman made that statement before I gave my own comment. I wanted to know (from Bikerman) why he thought it was wrong to make statements like that by world leaders/politicians, i.e. why it would be misleading to refer to suicide bombers as cowards.

I am still waiting for a response from Bikerman. And then hopefully will be allowed to make my own comment.

No comment from me is necessary. My posting was clear and unambiguous. Suicide bombers are not cowards, by definition.
It is ALWAYS wrong to lie to people. By continuing to say that which is untrue the politician may gain short term advantage but only at the cost of long-term credibility. If a politician is too dishonest or too stupid to know what the word coward means, or too populist to worry about untruths, then they are not to be trusted with more important things.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else suicide bombers may be, they cannot be said to be cowards. I hear this sort of language frequently used by world leaders/politicians - even news programmes. It is simply wrong and sacrificing accuracy to emotion is not helpful in analysing the threat, or preparing citizens to meet that threat.
It would be interesting to hear why you would think them not to be cowards.
By the way, I can read as well Matrix. And I always read something carefully before I comment on it. I was about to answer the post and then thought I should find out first why Bikerman made that statement before I gave my own comment. I wanted to know (from Bikerman) why he thought it was wrong to make statements like that by world leaders/politicians, i.e. why it would be misleading to refer to suicide bombers as cowards.

I am still waiting for a response from Bikerman. And then hopefully will be allowed to make my own comment.

No comment from me is necessary. My posting was clear and unambiguous. Suicide bombers are not cowards, by definition.
I would like to see the definition that a suicide bomber is not a coward. How can there be a blanket definition like that? Would it not depend on the situation? For example, if the suicide bomber is a terrorist who believes that he is going to go to paradise because of the sacrifice of his life to Alah, do you see that as brave, or as insane?

I don't see it as brave. I see it as someone who is a zealot and insane.
Bikerman wrote:
It is ALWAYS wrong to lie to people.
Agreed Bikerman, but then that would also depend on whether it is a lie. If you consider someone who willfully deceives others by hiding explosives and killing innocent people as courageous and "honest", then I can't have much trust in your analysis of what a lie is supposed to be.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
do you see that as brave, or as insane?

It's possible to be both.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
I would like to see the definition that a suicide bomber is not a coward.


Then re-read my last post.

Quote:
How can there be a blanket definition like that?


It's logic. We defined a coward. I then listed what a suicide bomber does. I then showed that they contradicted each other.

Quote:
Would it not depend on the situation?


Why would it? As I said (basing this definition off of your dictionary), "So a coward would be someone who could not face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear."

So it doesn't really matter what the circumstances are that allow them to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear. It just matters that they do.

Quote:
For example, if the suicide bomber is a terrorist who believes that he is going to go to paradise because of the sacrifice of his life to Alah, do you see that as brave, or as insane?


Wouldn't that make them less of a coward? If they're going to believe that their sacrifice will get them their virgins (or whatever they believe is in Heaven these days), then wouldn't they be more likely to be able to do personal damage to their bodies without fear? Why would they be afraid to die - they're about to go to Heaven because of their death? It doesn't matter why they're not afraid - all that matters is that they aren't afraid. I repeat - a coward would be afraid. It doesn't matter why the coward would be afraid - it just matters that they are. So if you aren't afraid, for whatever reason, then you're not a coward.
deanhills
@Matrix. If a suicide bomber is not a coward, then that has to mean he is courageous? So if you employ that logic everywhere, a murderer and someone who commits suicide also has to be courageous. And those responsible for the 9 11 attacks have to have been courageous as well.

In my view if one cannot face your enemy head on in combat, then one is a coward. So basically anything to do with terrorism for me is cowardly. These people lack the guts to sort out things on a face to face basis, they rather plot and plan and kill people in devious and dishonest ways. I don't see anything courageous about that. To me that is cowardice in its purest form.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
@Matrix. If a suicide bomber is not a coward, then that has to mean he is courageous?

Not necessarily... There is middle ground in which one can be neither.

Cowardice is being controlled by fear.
Courage is feeling fear, but not being controlled by it.

But, if you don't feel fear at all, then you can't be courageous or cowardly.



To answer your question though, yes a suicide bomber can be courageous. If he feels fear, but overcomes it, he is courageous.
Stupid and immoral, but still courageous.

Quote:

and someone who commits suicide also has to be courageous

Now this is a different case... and it depends on the suicidal person's motives.
Some suicides could be said to be cowardly, because they are being controlled by fear.
(The difference in this case is being more afraid of life than of death.)
But, if the motivation for the suicide is not fear, then it can be courageous.

Quote:

And those responsible for the 9 11 attacks have to have been courageous as well

The ones on the planes are equivalent to suicide bombers, just instead of a vest, they used airliners... makes no difference in their courage or cowardice, see suicide bombers above.

The ones who planned the attack but didn't participate though -- they could be cowardly, courageous, or neither.
1- If they were not afraid of anything, they were neither.
2- If they did what they did because they were afraid, they were cowardly.
3- If they did what they did despite being afraid, they were courageous.
In either of the three cases, they acted immorally though.
Just remember, even evil people can be courageous.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Just remember, even evil people can be courageous.
We were not discussing evil people ocalhoun. It can be any person whether a good or an evil person. "Evil" is also a relative term. As is "good". When one attacks innocent people without showing oneself to them the act of terrorism is cowardly. The person plotted and planned and hid a bomb with the objective of killing innocent people, without giving them the chance to defend themselves.
standready
deanhills wrote:
When one attacks innocent people without showing oneself to them the act of terrorism is cowardly.

Exactly, Dean.
Bikerman
Utter nonsense.
A coward is:
  • a person who shrinks from or avoids danger, pain, or difficulty.
  • One who shows ignoble fear in the face of danger or pain.
  • one who is shamefully unable to control fear and so shrinks from danger or trouble
  • a person who shows fear or timidity

Essentiall, then, a coward is one who lets fear control/dictate their actions. Suicide bombers are obviously able to control the fear of dying - hence they are not cowards. Even if they had no fear of dying, that would not make them cowards - it just wouldn't make them brave either.
Quote:
In my view if one cannot face your enemy head on in combat, then one is a coward.
By that definition the US air-force are pretty much all cowards since they routinely bomb targets whilst staying well out of reach of any potential enemy retaliation.
Quote:
In my view if one cannot face your enemy head on in combat, then one is a coward.
By that definition all of the US air force and most of the infantry are cowards. The whole aim of modern warfare is to minimise 'head on' contact and to project force from a distance. Hence the use of air power, unmanned drones, cruise and other ballistic missiles, long-range artillery etc etc.

I'd be interested to see you tell a Marine that he is a coward because he ordered-in an air-strike on an enemy position, or tell a pilot they are a coward because he/she did not bomb from an altitude low enough to allow the enemy to fight back.

A suicide bomber faces the enemy eyeball to eyeball. You cannot get much closer than that.

It is nonsense in any case - coward is well defined and the definition doesn't include any such notions.

Basically you just want to say that terrorists are cowards and you look around for any possible rationale for that (and fail).
The enemy must be <insert negative characteristic> and cannot possibly be <insert positive characteristic>.
It is the way that children see the world, not mature adults.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Basically you just want to say that terrorists are cowards and you look around for any possible rationale for that (and fail).
The enemy must be <insert negative characteristic> and cannot possibly be <insert positive characteristic>.
It is the way that children see the world, not mature adults.
That is rubbish Bikerman. If you look at my previous posting I said specifically it could be good or evil people.

If you want to go for definitions of words, then suicide is a cowardly act. However, anyone who attacks civilians who are unarmed is a coward in my view and I have explained why. Furthermore, a bully to me is also a coward. Is a bully afraid when the bully attacks innocent people? Or would you see a bully as a courageous person?
Bikerman
Quote:
That is rubbish Bikerman. If you look at my previous posting I said specifically it could be good or evil people.
Yet you confirm it with the next bit...
Quote:
Furthermore, a bully to me is also a coward.

So, your definition of a coward now spreads to the following:
Quote:
In my view if one cannot face your enemy head on in combat, then one is a coward.
and
Quote:
anything to do with terrorism for me is cowardly.
and
Quote:
When one attacks innocent people without showing oneself to them the act of terrorism is cowardly.

and
Quote:
suicide is a cowardly act.
and
Quote:
a bully to me is also a coward.
This despite being provided with the meaning of the word coward from several reliable sources.

Since non of the above automatically qualify as cowards, under any reasonable definition of the word, one is left concluding that you apply the word 'coward' to people you take exception to rather than using the word properly.

A coward is one who lets fear dictate his/her actions. It is that simple, but you either cannot or will not use English properly and insist on redefining the word coward so that it includes most of the Western military and anyone who kills themselves - even if to escape unbearable suffering/pain, or to spare others the burden of caring for them.

Finally you make despicable personal attacks with dishonest innuendo, simply because I point out that you are using a word wrongly:
Deanhills wrote:
If you consider someone who willfully deceives others by hiding explosives and killing innocent people as courageous and "honest" then I can't have much trust in your analysis of what a lie is supposed to be.

Where did I say that ANYONE is courageous or honest? I didn't, is the simple answer.
deanhills
I give up Bikerman. Suicide bombers are brave and courageous people. They probably should receive medals for attacking defenseless people.
Bikerman
The problem is that you seem to think that bad people don't deserve to be attributed with any positive or even non-negative traits. That, as I said, is childish.
I don't condone suicide bombing and I certainly do not say that suicide bombers are heroes or role models or anything of that sort. But calling them cowards doesn't damage THEM, it damages YOU. It marks you out as someone who doesn't care about dishonest use of language as long as it is a bad person on the receiving end.

I'd be interested to hear what you think the moral difference is between on the one hand dropping a cluster-bomb or daisy-cutter from a bomber at 60,000ft, knowing that statistically there is a reasonable chance it will hit a civilian target, and on the other hand blowing yourself up at a military checkpoint, knowing there is a reasonable chance that civilians will die along with the guards/police? Which is the more immoral act? Which is the more cowardly act?
If the suicide bomber picks a military target, is that still cowardly?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
But calling them cowards doesn't damage THEM, it damages YOU. It marks you out as someone who doesn't care about dishonest use of language as long as it is a bad person on the receiving end.
In your opinion perhaps Bikerman, but since you have called me a liar and hypocrite more times than I would want to remember, and I'm still around, that should be proof that your opinion as far as personal comments like these are concerned has not earned my respect. To the contrary.

Type coward+terrorist in a search engine and then see how many hits come up? Obviously the definition needs to be adjusted. If the determining factor for an absence of coward is absence of fear, then who says the suicide terrorists aren't fearful when they are going to die? Now that has to be an enormous LIE!

So do you then believe that all suicide bombers are completely without fear?

Bikerman wrote:
I'd be interested to hear what you think the moral difference is between on the one hand dropping a cluster-bomb or daisy-cutter from a bomber at 60,000ft, knowing that statistically there is a reasonable chance it will hit a civilian target, and on the other hand blowing yourself up at a military checkpoint, knowing there is a reasonable chance that civilians will die along with the guards/police? Which is the more immoral act? Which is the more cowardly act?
If the suicide bomber picks a military target, is that still cowardly?
If you had read my previous posts thoroughly you would not have needed to ask this question. Both to me are acts of cowardice. Counter-terrorism by definition would be cowardly as well. As basically those fighting terrorism often have to use the same methods as the terrorists do, including suicide missions such as during WWII.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

Type coward+terrorist in a search engine and then see how many hits come up? Obviously the definition needs to be adjusted.

terrorist + coward = 593,000 results Therefore, terrorist = coward
hitler + moral = 7,280,000 results Therefore, hitler = moral

This is fun!
Rolling Eyes
deanhills
Someone should probably update all the dictionaries for a definition of coward to provide for sub-definitions that apply to suicide bombers BUT, wait a minute, just look what I found in the MSN Encarta Dictionary:
Quote:
cow·ard [ ków ərd ] (plural cow·ards)

noun

Definition:

1. somebody lacking courage: somebody regarded as fearful and uncourageous

2. bully: somebody who harms or attacks people who are weaker or unable to defend themselves

3. anonymous enemy: somebody who anonymously harms those who cannot defend themselves

Now that is a sub-definition that is a perfect fit for a suicide bomber.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Someone should probably update all the dictionaries for a definition of coward to provide for sub-definitions that apply to suicide bombers BUT, wait a minute, just look what I found in the MSN Encarta Dictionary:
Quote:
cow·ard [ ków ərd ] (plural cow·ards)

noun

Definition:

1. somebody lacking courage: somebody regarded as fearful and uncourageous

2. bully: somebody who harms or attacks people who are weaker or unable to defend themselves

3. anonymous enemy: somebody who anonymously harms those who cannot defend themselves

Now that is a sub-definition that is a perfect fit for a suicide bomber.

Now, you're making a valid argument.

They might also fit under definition #2 there.

Though, you must agree, they don't fit definition #1.
Bikerman
Quote:
but since you have called me a liar and hypocrite more times than I would want to remember
Funny because I can't remember any times. I may have said a particular argument was untrue, but I don't remember saying the Deanhills is a liar and a hypocrite and it is the sort of thing I think I would remember.
Quote:
If you had read my previous posts thoroughly you would not have needed to ask this question. Both to me are acts of cowardice.
OK, so the pilot is a coward and the suicide bomber is a coward. But if they had chance to reverse roles then do you think they both would? I'm pretty sure any suicide bomber would leap at the chance to drop bombs from a plane rather than strap them to their body. If nothing else they could kill more of the infidel. I'm not so sure the pilot would be very happy at the prospect of strapping on an explosive vest though. Now, why would that be? Perhaps because the pilot, like anyone else, is afraid of dying? The notion that a suicide bomber is not afraid of dying, by the way, seems contrary to basic psychology and normal human experience. The notion that the promise of 72 virgins means they are happy to die just seems rather silly. After all, Christians know that when they die they will go to Paradise. It doesn't get much better, according to their beliefs, does it? Yet we don't generally see Christians using suicide bombing as a tactic in war (I don't say 'never', but it is unusual).
So we have two cowards - one who is willing to die for their cause and one who probably isn't. The pilot must therefore be a much bigger coward than a suicide bomber, no?
Quote:
2. bully: somebody who harms or attacks people who are weaker or unable to defend themselves
3. anonymous enemy: somebody who anonymously harms those who cannot defend themselves

Whatever else a suicide bomber may be, they are not anonymous. The one who is anonymously harming someone is, yep - you guessed it, our pilot in his stealth bomber at 5 miles high. Nobody will ever know who dropped the bomb that killed their family.
The suicide bomber is about as up-front and personal as it is possible to be. He/she walks up to the victims, often eyeball to eyeball, with no hope of hiding their identity. In fact most of them apparently leave a video so that nobody can be in any doubt who they were and why they did it. That is pretty much the polar opposite of an anonymous attack.

As for 2 - Firstly I have to say that, although I've never rated Encarta, I'm very surprised that it is THIS bad. Clearly Bully and Coward are not synonymous and Encarta is simply wrong. We had a 'bully' in my year at school - SW (I won't give his full name). He was 6ft 4 and built like a brick outhouse. He couldn't NOT be a bully since anyone he had a conflict with was smaller than him - including most of the teachers. He wasn't a coward though. I saw him play 40 minutes of Rugby with a dislocated shoulder - and he was a Prop!

But even if we allow this nonsense from Encarta, the suicide bomber is not 'bigger and stronger' than the enemy. Suicide bombing is not a tactic used by a powerful military. It is a tactic used by civilians who have no other way to fight back against an overwhelmingly superior enemy. Many suicide bombers are women and, tragically, an increasing number are children.

So, if we accept these decidedly dodgy definitions from Encarta (and I think they are rubbish) then out pilot is a coward twice over, as are all military pilots. The US army consists of cowards since they are superior in force to any conceivable enemy, so they qualify under the 'bully' clause. In fact any superior force is automatically cowardly since they are picking on a weaker enemy.

And yet, despite casting our 'coward net' so wide that we catch a goodly proportion of the world's population, we still haven't caught the pesky suicide bomber.

The best definition of a coward is the one we started with. It doesn't require us to classify most of the armed services as cowards (which is clearly a nonsense, but unavoidable under your wider definition). If we stop trying to find any definition of coward - no matter how silly - that could possibly apply to a suicide bomber, and we simply accept that a coward is someone who's actions are motivated or driven by fear, then we have a definition which is reasonable, does not apply to the suicide bomber, but also does not apply to most pilots and troops in the military.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
but since you have called me a liar and hypocrite more times than I would want to remember
Funny because I can't remember any times. I may have said a particular argument was untrue, but I don't remember saying the Deanhills is a liar and a hypocrite and it is the sort of thing I think I would remember.
You did imply that in quite a number of discussions Bikerman. And you said that very specifically in a PM as well.

Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
If you had read my previous posts thoroughly you would not have needed to ask this question. Both to me are acts of cowardice.
OK, so the pilot is a coward and the suicide bomber is a coward. But if they had chance to reverse roles then do you think they both would? I'm pretty sure any suicide bomber would leap at the chance to drop bombs from a plane rather than strap them to their body. If nothing else they could kill more of the infidel. I'm not so sure the pilot would be very happy at the prospect of strapping on an explosive vest though. Now, why would that be? Perhaps because the pilot, like anyone else, is afraid of dying? The notion that a suicide bomber is not afraid of dying, by the way, seems contrary to basic psychology and normal human experience. The notion that the promise of 72 virgins means they are happy to die just seems rather silly. After all, Christians know that when they die they will go to Paradise. It doesn't get much better, according to their beliefs, does it? Yet we don't generally see Christians using suicide bombing as a tactic in war (I don't say 'never', but it is unusual).
So we have two cowards - one who is willing to die for their cause and one who probably isn't. The pilot must therefore be a much bigger coward than a suicide bomber, no?
Perhaps yes, and I have said so as well (did you read my previous postings?). But we are presently discussing whether suicide bombers are cowards, and not the military. And I stand by my claim that suicide bombers are cowards.
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else a suicide bomber may be, they are not anonymous. The one who is anonymously harming someone is, yep - you guessed it, our pilot in his stealth bomber at 5 miles high. Nobody will ever know who dropped the bomb that killed their family.
The suicide bomber is about as up-front and personal as it is possible to be. He/she walks up to the victims, often eyeball to eyeball, with no hope of hiding their identity. In fact most of them apparently leave a video so that nobody can be in any doubt who they were and why they did it. That is pretty much the polar opposite of an anonymous attack.
Rubbish. You mean a child wearing a set of explosives and walking towards soldiers is a child? Not a terrorist? And a terrorist that boards a plane as a passenger is a passenger and not a terrorist?

Bikerman wrote:
As for 2 - Firstly I have to say that, although I've never rated Encarta, I'm very surprised that it is THIS bad. Clearly Bully and Coward are not synonymous and Encarta is simply wrong. We had a 'bully' in my year at school - SW (I won't give his full name). He was 6ft 4 and built like a brick outhouse. He couldn't NOT be a bully since anyone he had a conflict with was smaller than him - including most of the teachers. He wasn't a coward though. I saw him play 40 minutes of Rugby with a dislocated shoulder - and he was a Prop!
Oh right! Discredit the source I quoted. As well as ignore the thousands of references to suicide bombers as being cowards by politicians and civilians alike. They are all wrong?

Bikerman wrote:
But even if we allow this nonsense from Encarta, the suicide bomber is not 'bigger and stronger' than the enemy. Suicide bombing is not a tactic used by a powerful military. It is a tactic used by civilians who have no other way to fight back against an overwhelmingly superior enemy. Many suicide bombers are women and, tragically, an increasing number are children.
Wow! Now you are condoning terrorism as well? Next thing you will probably say that murderers are justified in murdering as well? And what about the people who get killed in the process, are they just collateral damage?

Bikerman wrote:
So, if we accept these decidedly dodgy definitions from Encarta (and I think they are rubbish) then out pilot is a coward twice over, as are all military pilots. The US army consists of cowards since they are superior in force to any conceivable enemy, so they qualify under the 'bully' clause. In fact any superior force is automatically cowardly since they are picking on a weaker enemy.
By implication when you brand the military cowardly, then you are attaching a definition to them that does not fit in with your definition of a coward and actually gives credence to mine. I.e. a coward is one who picks on a weaker "enemy".

ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Someone should probably update all the dictionaries for a definition of coward to provide for sub-definitions that apply to suicide bombers BUT, wait a minute, just look what I found in the MSN Encarta Dictionary:
Quote:
cow·ard [ ków ərd ] (plural cow·ards)

noun

Definition:

1. somebody lacking courage: somebody regarded as fearful and uncourageous

2. bully: somebody who harms or attacks people who are weaker or unable to defend themselves

3. anonymous enemy: somebody who anonymously harms those who cannot defend themselves

Now that is a sub-definition that is a perfect fit for a suicide bomber.

Now, you're making a valid argument.

They might also fit under definition #2 there.

Though, you must agree, they don't fit definition #1.
Completely agreed.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Whatever else a suicide bomber may be, they are not anonymous. The one who is anonymously harming someone is, yep - you guessed it, our pilot in his stealth bomber at 5 miles high. Nobody will ever know who dropped the bomb that killed their family. The suicide bomber is about as up-front and personal as it is possible to be. He/she walks up to the victims, often eyeball to eyeball, with no hope of hiding their identity. In fact most of them apparently leave a video so that nobody can be in any doubt who they were and why they did it. That is pretty much the polar opposite of an anonymous attack.
Rubbish. You mean a child wearing a set of explosives and walking towards soldiers is a child? Not a terrorist? And a terrorist that boards a plane as a passenger is a passenger and not a terrorist?
Huh? Of course a child with a bomb is a child - what else would they be? A Kangaroo? A cheese pizza?
(Here's something to think about - it is actually possible to be more than one thing at once - both a child AND a terrorist).
This is entirely irrelevant to the point, however, which was that a suicide bomber is not anonymous.
Quote:
Oh right! Discredit the source I quoted. As well as ignore the thousands of references to suicide bombers as being cowards by politicians and civilians alike. They are all wrong?
Argument ad populum. I explained quite clearly why Encarta is wrong. There could be millions of references to suicide bombers as cowards for all I know - it just means there millions of wrong statements...so what?
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
But even if we allow this nonsense from Encarta, the suicide bomber is not 'bigger and stronger' than the enemy. Suicide bombing is not a tactic used by a powerful military. It is a tactic used by civilians who have no other way to fight back against an overwhelmingly superior enemy. Many suicide bombers are women and, tragically, an increasing number are children.
Wow! Now you are condoning terrorism as well? Next thing you will probably say that murderers are justified in murdering as well? And what about the people who get killed in the process, are they just collateral damage?
You really have a problem comprehending English. I did not condone terrorism (or anything else, come to that). I pointed out who uses suicide bombing as a tactic, and why. Saying someone is not a coward doesn't mean you condone their actions. Plenty of people I despise are/were not cowards. Hitler was, by all accounts, extremely brave in the first world war.
I have never condoned suicide bombing because I don't believe it is ethically/morally justifiable. But terrorism? Certainly that can be justified. The French resistance during WW2 were terrorists. If a hostile power invaded the UK then I daresay I would probably become a terrorist in certain circumstances.
Quote:
By implication when you brand the military cowardly, then you are attaching a definition to them that does not fit in with your definition of a coward and actually gives credence to mine. I.e. a coward is one who picks on a weaker "enemy".
No, I was pointing out the stupidity of that argument by showing that it inevitably leads to classifying many people as cowards who are not cowards. If your enemy is weaker then that does not mean you are a coward for fighting them. I am actually astonished that you persist with this, after accepting that you are therefore classifying military personnel all over the world as cowards. I wonder if you have the guts to say that to their face? I doubt it.

A bully is one who picks on a weaker enemy. A bully is not necessarily a coward. A weaker enemy can still kill you, or do you serious damage. Fighting wars is all about trying to make sure you are stronger than your opponent - otherwise you loose. Risking your life is not cowardice and sacrificing your life is certainly not cowardice.

A coward is someone who allows fear to dictate their actions. It really is very simple.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
You mean a child wearing a set of explosives and walking towards soldiers is a child? Not a terrorist?


The way this type of attack usually goes is thus:
1: Terrorist puts an explosive vest on their (or somebody else's) young child.
(The child doesn't know what the vest is, and doesn't suspect what's going on.)
2: They conceal the vest, and go wait on the street for an enemy patrol to pass by.
3: When one does, the terrorist tells to child to go give one of them a hug.
4: Unless the patrol is wise to this tactic, they allow the child to approach, and may even accept the hug.
5: When the child is close enough, the terrorist remotely detonates the vest killing the enemy getting a hug, and possibly several others. (and the child)
6: The terrorist runs away screaming just like everybody else in the area, and gets away.

In a situation like that, the child is NOT a terrorist... At most, the child is a weapon being used by a terrorist.


It's a chillingly effective tactic... Especially because the only defense against it is to forcibly keep even little children at a safe distance, which may often mean shouting at them and pointing guns at them. This makes the patrol look bad to any bystanders, and it demoralizes them, so even when the tactic fails, it still damages the enemy.
Bikerman
Are you sure about that? I've heard of children (by which I mean 14-18 yr olds) doing suicide bombings but I've not heard of them being used like this and not with younger children...
More often it is the child who, having been exposed to propoganda almost from birth, volunteers for the 'mission'.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Are you sure about that? I've heard of children (by which I mean 14-18 yr olds) doing suicide bombings

Well, the teenagers are a different case entirely.
In a country where you can get married at 12, I'm not sure 14-18 really counts as a 'child'.
Quote:
but I've not heard of them being used like this and not with younger children...

Apparently for a short time, it was very common.
The bombings terrorists use in Iraq and Afghanistan tend to have 'fads', if you will.
They discover a new trick that gets them past enemy defenses, and while their enemy tries to enact a defense against it, they use it as much as they can. Once the enemy implements a defense against it, they move on to trying to find another weakness.
Using 'child bombs' was popular until the patrols learned to keep everybody at a distance, especially if their clothing was bulky. Then the terrorists moved on to different plots.
('Corpse Bombs' were also popular for a while, until patrols were trained about the possibility. Other 'fads' included briefcase bombs, souvenir/trophy bombs, soda can bombs, cinder-block bombs, and many others.)
Quote:

More often it is the child who, having been exposed to propoganda almost from birth, volunteers for the 'mission'.

This is indeed the most common case.
Even in their heyday, child-bombs were pretty rare.
bugy
omg this is awefull news
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
You mean a child wearing a set of explosives and walking towards soldiers is a child? Not a terrorist?


The way this type of attack usually goes is thus:
1: Terrorist puts an explosive vest on their (or somebody else's) young child.
(The child doesn't know what the vest is, and doesn't suspect what's going on.)
2: They conceal the vest, and go wait on the street for an enemy patrol to pass by.
3: When one does, the terrorist tells to child to go give one of them a hug.
4: Unless the patrol is wise to this tactic, they allow the child to approach, and may even accept the hug.
5: When the child is close enough, the terrorist remotely detonates the vest killing the enemy getting a hug, and possibly several others. (and the child)
6: The terrorist runs away screaming just like everybody else in the area, and gets away.

In a situation like that, the child is NOT a terrorist... At most, the child is a weapon being used by a terrorist.


It's a chillingly effective tactic... Especially because the only defense against it is to forcibly keep even little children at a safe distance, which may often mean shouting at them and pointing guns at them. This makes the patrol look bad to any bystanders, and it demoralizes them, so even when the tactic fails, it still damages the enemy.
OK agreed, then the child is a terrorist weapon that is being concealed. I agree with Bikerman as well with regard to children who volunteer, but there are of course also children who are being recruited and brainwashed. There are also women who volunteer, as well as women who are being recruited and brainwashed. There could be quite a blur between volunteer and recruitment.
Bikerman
The same 'blur' exists with any military or paramilitary organisation. If you are English and you want to join a military force you would normally join the UK Armed forces. If you are American then you join the US armed services. If you are Palestinian then you join Hamas or one of the other groups currently fighting Israel.
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