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'Our Enemy Is Not Terrorism'
The U.S. Naval Institute 130th Annual Meeting and Annapolis Naval History Symposium (2004 | 1 July 2004 | John Lehman, Former Secretary of the Navy

Posted on 07/01/2004 11:06:42 AM PDT by NavySEAL F-16

'Our Enemy Is Not Terrorism'

The U.S. Naval Institute 130th Annual Meeting and Annapolis Naval History Symposium (2004)

Address by Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman

We are at a juncture today that really is more of a threshold, even more of a watershed, than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was in 1941. We are currently in a war, but it is not a war on terrorism. In fact, that has been a great confusion, and the sooner we drop that term, the better. This would be like President Franklin Roosevelt saying in World War II, "We are engaged in a war against kamikazes and blitzkrieg." Like them, terrorism is a method, a tool, a weapon that has been used against us. And part of the reason we suffered such a horrific attack is that we were not prepared. Let's not kid ourselves. Some very smart people defeated every single defense this country had, and defeated them easily, with confidence and arrogance. There are many lessons we must learn from this.

We were not prepared intellectually. Those of us in the national security field still carried the baggage of the Cold War. We thought in concepts of coalition warfare and the Warsaw Pact. When we thought of terrorism, we thought only of state-sponsored terrorism, which is why the immediate reaction of many in our government agencies after 9/11 was: Which state did it? Saddam, it must have been Saddam. We had failed to grasp, for a variety of reasons, the new phenomenon that had emerged in the world. This was not state-sponsored terrorism. This was religious war.

This was the emergence of a transnational enemy driven by religious fervor and fanaticism. Our enemy is not terrorism. Our enemy is violent, Islamic fundamentalism. None of our government institutions was set up with receptors, or even vocabulary, to deal with this. So we left ourselves completely vulnerable to a concerted attack.

Where are we today? I'd like to say we have fixed these problems, but we haven't. We have very real vulnerabilities. We have not diminished in any way the fervor and ideology of our enemy. We are fighting them in many areas of the world, and I must say with much better awareness of the issues and their nature. We're fighting with better tools. But I cannot say we are now safe from the kind of attack we saw on 9/11. I think we are much safer than we were on 9/11; the ability of our enemies to launch a concerted, sophisticated attack is much less than it was then. Still, we're totally vulnerable to the kinds of attacks we've seen in Madrid, for instance. We face a very sophisticated and intelligent enemy who has been trained, in many cases, in our universities and gone to school on our methods, learned from their mistakes, and continued to use the very nature of our free society and its aversion to intrusion in privacy and discrimination to their benefit.

For example, today it is still a prohibited offense for an airline to have two people of the same ethnic background interviewed at one time, because that is discrimination. Our airline security is still full of holes. Our ability to carry out covert operations abroad is only marginally better than it was at the time of 9/11. A huge amount of fundamental cultural and institutional change must be carried out in the United States before we can effectively deal with the nature of the threat. Today, probably 50 or more states have schools that are teaching jihad, preaching, recruiting, and training. We have absolutely no successful programs even begun to remediate against those efforts.

It's very important that people understand the complexity of this threat. We have had to institute new approaches to protecting our civil liberties-the way we authorize surveillance, the way we conduct our immigration and naturalization policies, and the way we issue passports. That's only the beginning. The beginning of wisdom is to recognize the problem, to recognize that for every jihadist we kill or capture-as we carry out an aggressive and positive policy in Afghanistan and elsewhere-another 50 are being trained in schools and mosques around the world.

This problem goes back a long way. We have been asleep. Just by chance about six months ago, I picked up a book by V. S. Naipaul, one of the great English prose writers. I love to read his short stories and travelogues. The book was titled Among the Believers (New York: Vintage, 1982) and was an account of his travels in Indonesia, where he found that Saudi-funded schools and mosques were transforming Indonesian society from a very relaxed, syncretist Islam to a jihadist fundamentalist fanatical society, all paid for with Saudi Arabian funding. Nobody paid attention. Presidents in four administrations put their arms around Saudi ambassadors, ignored the Wahhabi jihadism, and said these are our eternal friends.

We have seen throughout the last 20 years a kind of head-in-the-sand approach to national security in the Pentagon. We were comfortable with the existing concept of what the threat was, what threat analysis was, and how we derived our requirements, still using the same old tools we all grew up with. We paid no attention to the real nature of this emerging threat, even though there were warning signs.

Many will recall with pain what we went through in the Reagan administration in 1983, when the Marine barracks were bombed in Beirut-241 Marines and Navy corpsmen were killed. We immediately got an intercept from NSA [National Security Agency], a total smoking gun from the foreign ministry of Iran, ordering the murder of our Marines. Nothing was done to retaliate. Instead, we did exactly what the terrorists wanted us to do, which was to withdraw. Osama bin Laden has cited this as one of his dawning moments. The vaunted United States is a paper tiger; Americans are afraid of casualties; they run like cowards when attacked; and they don't even bother to take their dead with them. This was a seminal moment for Osama.

After that, we had our CIA station chief kidnapped and tortured to death. Nothing was done. Then, we had our Marine Colonel [William R.] Higgins kidnapped and publicly hanged. Nothing was done We fueled and made these people aware of the tremendous effectiveness of terrorism as a tool of jihad. It worked. They chased us out of one place after another, because we would not retaliate.

The Secretary of Defense at the time has said he never received those intercepts That's an example of one of the huge problems our commission has uncovered. We have allowed the intelligence community to evolve into a bureaucratic archipelago of baronies in the Defense Department, the CIA, and 95 other different intelligence units in our government. None of them talked to one another in the same computerized system. There was no systemic sharing. Some will recall the Phoenix memo and the fact that there were people in the FBI saying, "Hey, there are young Arabs learning to fly and they don't want to learn how to take off or land. Maybe we should look into them." It went nowhere.

We had watch lists with 65,000 terrorists' names on them, created by a very sophisticated system in the State Department called Tip-Off. That existed before 9/11, but nobody in the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] bothered to look at it. The FAA had 12 names on its no-fly list. The State Department had a guy on its list named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He was already under indictment for his role in planning the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. The State Department issued him a visa. I could go on and on.

Two big lessons glare out from what our investigations have discovered so far. Number one, in our government bureaucracy today there is no accountability. Since 9/11-the greatest failure of American defenses in the history of our country, at least since the burning of Washington in 1814-only one person has been fired. He is a hero, in my judgment: [retired Vice] Admiral John Poindexter. He got fired because of an excessive zeal to catch these bastards. But he was the only one fired. Not any of the 19 officers lost their jobs at Immigration for allowing the 19 terrorists-9 who presented grossly falsified passports-to enter the country. One Customs Service officer stopped the 20th terrorist, at risk to his own career. Do you think he's been promoted? Not a chance.

That is the culture we've allowed to develop, except in the Navy. We've all felt the pain over the last year of the number of skippers who have been relieved in the U.S. Navy: two on one cruiser in one year. That's a problem for us. It's also something we should be mightily proud of, because it stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the U.S. government. In the United States Navy, we still have accountability. It's bred into our culture And what we stand for here has to be respread into our government and our nation.

Actions have consequences, and people must be held accountable. Customs officer Jose Melendez-Perez stopped the 20th terrorist, who was supposed to be on Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. Probably because of the shorthanded muscle on that team, the passengers were able to overcome the terrorists. Melendez-Perez did this at great personal risk, because his colleagues and his supervisors told him, "You can't do this. This guy is an Arab ethnic. You're racially profiling. You're going to get in real trouble, because it's against Department of Transportation policy to racially profile" He said, "I don't care. This guy's a bad guy. I can see it in his eyes." As he sent this guy back out of the United States, the guy turned around to him and said, "I'll be back." You know, he is back. He's in Guantanamo. We captured him in Afghanistan. Do you think Melendez-Perez got a promotion? Do you think he got any recognition? Do you think he is doing any better than the 19 of his time-serving, unaccountable colleagues? Don't think any bit of it. We have no accountability, but we're going to restore it.

The other glaring lack that has been discovered throughout the investigation is in leadership. Leadership is the willingness to accept the burdens and the risks, the potential embarrassment, and the occasional failure of leading men and women. It is saying: We will do it this way. I won't let that guy in. I will do this and I'll take the consequences. That's what we stand for here. That's what the crucible of the U.S. Naval Academy has carried on now since 1845, and what the U.S. Naval Institute has carried on for 130 years and hasn't compromised We all should be very proud of it. We need leadership now more than ever. We need to respread this culture, which is so rare today, into the way we conduct our government business, let alone our private business.

Having said all this, I'm very optimistic. We have seen come forward in this investigation people from every part of our bureaucracy to say they screwed up and to tell what went wrong and what we've got to do to change it. We have an agenda for change. I think we're going to see a very fundamental shift in the culture of our government as a result of this. I certainly hope so.

This should be a true wake-up call. We cannot let this be swept under the rug, put on the shelf like one more of the hundreds of other commissions that have gone right into the memory hole. This time, I truly believe it's going to be different.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; enemy; globaljihad; jihadinamerica; johnlehman; mojosayshi; racialprofiling; usn; zionist
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To: Little Ray

Can't disagree with you on too much here. As for Saudi Arabia, the royal family is paying off the Wahabbis to stay in power. I don't want to think of what that part of the world would be like with Saudi Arabia under bin Laden. This is one of the countries you hold your nose and try and keep a Western acceptance. Assuming SA falls, it will the beginning of the Islamic empire, which will shortly include Syria and Iran. Iraq is all the more important at that point, because if it falls too, Pakistan will not be far behind.

81 posted on 07/01/2004 3:15:01 PM PDT by MACVSOG68
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To: sbelew

In this case the term "states" means foreign nations.

82 posted on 07/01/2004 3:49:50 PM PDT by carl in alaska (Suddenly the raven on Scalia's desk stirred and spoke. Quoth the raven..."NeverGore")
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To: NavySEAL F-16

In a lot of ways, Osama did us a favor. He, like Hitler and Tojo, acted before he had an ultimate weapon. AQ has forever lost the one advantage it had: surprise. No one wants to imagine if they had used it for a more 'effective' attack.

83 posted on 07/01/2004 3:55:02 PM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Little Ray

Islam is a syncretist religion that took a bit of paganism (the moon good, violence, etc.), a bit of Judaism (parts of Mosaic law and the more politically aggressive scriptures that suited its innately aggressive reach), and a bit of Christianity (proselytism rather than birth being the membership mechanism) and created a truly hellish mixture out of it.

Even by the time of Jesus, Jews had stopped following some of the more radical urgings of the OT, and they had built up an entire lawyerly class to show them how to manage the apparent contradictions. In addition, the fact that Rome held the secular power obviously made them more predisposed to a division between religious law and secular law, which was something essentially formalized by Jesus (render unto Caesar, etc.).

The problem is that the bizarre conglomerate that forms the Koran takes many of the most obscure bits of all of these,complicated by the fact that Mohammed installed an essentially hereditary structure (this is, after all, what gives the Saudis such power among Muslims), combined it with conversion by violence, and then gave the decision making power to a bunch of crazed clerics who were also earthly rulers.

Really, the only way that Islam works is in the societies that ignore it.

84 posted on 07/01/2004 5:33:48 PM PDT by livius
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To: NavySEAL F-16; SJackson; yonif; Simcha7; American in Israel; spectacularbid2003; Binyamin; ...
"...Our enemy is not terrorism. Our enemy is violent, Islamic fundamentalism. None of our government institutions was set up with receptors, or even vocabulary, to deal with this."

Great evaluation!

At Salem the Soldier's Homepage ~

American Flag

85 posted on 07/01/2004 9:04:07 PM PDT by Salem (FREE REPUBLIC - Fighting to win within the Arena of the War of Ideas! So get in the fight!)
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To: Salem; NavySEAL F-16; SJackson; yonif; Simcha7; American in Israel
The liberal media working overtime for J-FK calls the Islamic mujahedeen names such as "terrorists," "insurgents," and other ridiculous names when what all that they are (and have been for over 1,400 years) is Muslims obeying their prophet Muhammad. What is so hard to understand about that?



Islam has replaced the Soviet Union as the Evil Empire
and its "best days" may lie ahead as the forces of Islam gather steam!!!

First the Saturday People... (click link)

The Muslims have a saying: "First [destroy] the Saturday People (Jews)... then the Sunday People (Christians)."  And when the Muslims tire of killing or converting non-Muslims, they go after other Muslims!  The ten-year Iran-Iraq War resulting in  the deaths of over one million deserving Muslims was said to have been fought over a land dispute.  This is not entirely true for the underlying hatred between two conflicting views of Islam was the major spark that ignited this conflict.  

Arabs and Islam:  Plotting Against the West!Most of the so-called "moderate" Arab nations are scared to death of radical Islamic movements for they represent a most real physical threat to their continued absolute rule.  For that reason alone, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and all the other fictitious kingdoms throughout the Middle East gladly pay cash AND lip service to the most vicious of the Arab, Palestinian and Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists. The United States government, the State Department and other apologists may call them "friends" and "allies" but, in reality, they have nothing whatsoever in common with America.  They are theocratic, backward and share NONE of the democratic traditions so valued in the West. "Friends" and "allies?" Hardly!

Among every four humans in the world, one of them is Muslim.
Islam is now the second largest religious group in France, Great Britain and USA!

There is no point in beating around the bush. The fact is that Islam is a militant, intolerant, incendiary religion whose adherents, whenever they establish "critical mass" of about 10 percent of a given population, begin to foment violence, revolt and Jihad --- in essence, a declaration of war on Western Civilization. A World War Three!

Battleground Europe...
by 2020 Muslims will account for 10% of the overall population of Europe

Don't think that Islamic activity is confined only to the Third World. Today, Muslims invade civilized countries under the benign guise of immigration. Their influence in Europe is growing steadily and will continue to do so unopposed until the Europeans finally wake up, although it's hard to tell if they can do it in time to save themselves. In fact, immigration accounted for 89 percent of Europe’s population growth during the 1990s!  When Christian society was mighty, Muslim society was timid. Western Christian countries have lost their fervor. Many have acquired Muslim fifth columns, which they tolerate regardless of insults to the host countries. But now the Europeans are starting to panic. Their women cannot possibly reproduce as quickly as can fertile Muslim women!  In thirty years the Muslim population of Great Britain rose from 82,000 to two million.... a 25-fold increase... nearly one-half million Muslims in London alone!  This Islamic invasion is obviated by the sight of over one thousand mosques littering the British landscape.  Even London itself has become a main launching pad for much of the pro-Islamic, pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian Internet propaganda!  Over the past 20 years, say experts, Britain has become a headquarters for extremist Muslim clerics and a fertile recruitment ground for new followers. 

In 30 years the Muslim population of Great Britain rose from 82,000 to two million.

Finsbury Park Mosque in North London, a Base for Islamic Extremism

Muslims in Britain have made it clear that they have no intention of assimilating. Dr. Zaki Badwari, former Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre of London wrote, "A proselytizing religion [like Islam] cannot stand still. Islam endeavors to expand in Britain. It aims at bringing its message to all corners of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole of humanity will be one Muslim community, the Umma."  Britain operates as a strategic base for some of the most radical Islamic groups which preach hatred, incite to violence and recruit volunteers for terrorist activities. Britain now has one of the highest concentrations of closed-circuit TV cameras in Europe... nearly 1.5 million in operation! In late May 2001 the Brits were treated to their very own Muslim-Pakistani rioting!  There is something deservedly humorous that this should happen to the pro-Muslim Brits who waste no time dumping on Israel!  God Save the Queen!  For more on Radical Islam In the U.K. click HERE. To see a partial list of Islamic Groups infesting England click HERE. Click  HERE for more on how Muslims are transforming British society!

Two of Europe's most legally tolerant regions...namely, the Dutch-language areas around Europe's most important west coast harbors, Antwerp [Belgium] and Rotterdam [Netherlands]... as the main breeding ground for Muslim-fundamentalist terrorist groups. Osama bin Laden 's organization even runs shipping companies as fronts from Amsterdam.

Something rotten in Denmark? How about the 200,000 Muslim immigrants trying to dictate their anti-Israel, anti-America and anti-Western values upon 5 million Danes? Even though they represent only 4% of the population, the Muslims consume upwards of 40 percent of welfare spending. They also account for 65-75% of the country's convicted rapists... with almost all victims non-Muslim Danes! Demographers have predicted that in just 40 years, one out of every three Danes will be Muslim. At this point, we're sure the Danes wish it were their Jewish population which was growing faster than rabbits on a hot tin roof. Jews are almost always model citizens! But the Danish Jews only number 6,000.

Dateline Sweden: Cold temperatures have not discouraged Muslim immigration. One out of every 22 Swede are now Muslims and Islam is the nation's second largest religion. Of the nearly 9 million people in Sweden, 400,000 are Muslim, leading to a drastic increase in anti-Semitic acts against Sweden's 18,000 Jews. Say farewell to the stereotypical blue-eyed, blonde haired Swede. 

In Holland [aka The Netherlands], because of its total lack of anti-terrorism laws and its very high level of religious, cultural and judicial tolerance, Muslim-fundamentalist terrorist groups are allowed to thrive. The Muslims now number about 6% of the population. In 20 years' time the majority of Holland's under 18 year old children will be Muslim. In fact, 50 per cent of the newborns during the next twenty years will be Muslim! A finger in the dike won't work this time, folks! 

Two million Muslims have soaked into Germany; one million into Italy; 200,000 in Spain; 500,000 in Belgium...1/10th its entire population and 1/4 of Brussels, its capitol city. Half of all babies born in Belgium are now Muslims!  In total, 11,000,000 Muslims have saturated Western Europe! It now becomes clear just who is organizing and marching in Europe's anti-Israel and anti-American demonstrations! 

In Italy, 95% of all rapists are Muslims. Eighty-five percent of all murderers are Muslims. Ah, such a wonderful religion of peace! What does the Pope and the rest of the Vatican Church have to say about this? Nothing! And what will the ordinary Italian say when, in ten years, Muslims will be the majority in Italy!!!

France is faring no better. In 1945, there were 100,000 Muslims in France. A fifty fold increase since then now has them numbering  6 million out of a total population of 60 million!  In twenty years, one out of every five Frenchmen will be a Muslim! Another telling statistic is that although the Muslims are 10% of France's population, 60% of the country's prison population are Muslims! All the urban suburbs are steered by Moslem black African or Arabic gangs. One-fifth of all births in France are Muslims!  Mohammed is one of the most common names next to Pierre!  And Paris has the largest Arab community outside of the Middle East! This is a result of a lenient immigration policy, high Muslim birthrate and conversions. A very high proportion of French Muslims are in the underclass, that segment of the population that relies not so much on education and work as on welfare and predatory activities. In fact, over one thousand Muslim neighborhoods are under monitoring throughout France. Seven hundred of those Muslim neighborhoods are listed as "violent" and nearly 400 hundred are listed as "very violent." Violence ranges from rape (95% of rapists are Muslim), murder (85% of murderers are Muslim), theft and looting of cars (58% committed by Muslims) and street fighting to assault on teachers and civil servants. Periodic outbursts of large-scale unrest or rioting sometimes occur. And, most distressing, are the high numbers of assaults or rebellions against the police. As does England, one thousand mosques are said to operate in France. Oh, mon dieu, what is a Frenchman to do! Click HERE for an audio of what Frenchmen (and all other cowardly, appeasing Europeans) should do because "Buddies, you're next!" Also, check out "The Death of France."

There are 14 to 17 million Muslims now live within the European Union. If only a minuscule fraction of the growing Muslim fundamentalist population of Europe were to join bin Laden's holy warriors (or some of the many Arab/Muslim/Islamic terrorist groups), internal-security officers would confront nightmare scenarios! 

For more on "Islam's Immigrant Invasion of Europe" and sources of the above information, click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

ISLAM: "Religion of Peace?"

86 posted on 07/01/2004 9:21:13 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (Ronald Reagan to Islamic Terrorism: YOU CAN RUN - BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!)
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To: Salem
"...Our enemy is not terrorism. Our enemy is violent, Islamic fundamentalism. None of our government institutions was set up with receptors, or even vocabulary, to deal with this."

The same could be said of the US, but for a different reason. Certain elements of our givt, think "the terror threat has been exagerated"...

87 posted on 07/01/2004 9:32:13 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Its noteworthy that the two biggest shills for the left are Michael Moore and Al Franken..)
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To: Happy2BMe


88 posted on 07/01/2004 9:49:11 PM PDT by Nix 2 (Don't turn around. Der Kerrissar's in town. Uh oh...)
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To: Slings and Arrows; Esther Ruth
He has a big enough rock already-- see my home page-- but so far, we have been hogtied by political correctness.

Between the overwhelming PC mindset and the bureaucratic paralysis, I have a hard time being optimistic about the long term chances of victory.

89 posted on 07/02/2004 4:14:52 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Don't worry -- moderate Islam will save us!)
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To: stuartcr
True, except I don't think McVeigh was a Muslim.

Go to McVeigh was an Iraq sympathizer, and there's evidence that he had help from Iraqi nationals.

But it wasn't politically expedient at the time to tie the two together, and now it's not politically expedient to dig up the failures of the Clinton Admin. I have the "OKC/911 connection" ping list, which I use occasionally when a news story surfaces which reinforces the link. It's not conspiracy theory BS, it's real.

90 posted on 07/02/2004 4:23:40 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Don't worry -- moderate Islam will save us!)
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To: stuartcr
Only enough to know that it, like other writings, is subject to interpretation, especially after so any years since it's original writing.

There's one very important aspect which is not subject to interpretation, and that's the life and example of Mohammed himself.

He was a full-on terrorist. If you live by his historical example, you end up flying a jet into a building. It's very cut and dried, very black and white. All the philosopical gyrations aside, and 'religious wisdom and mysticism' contained in the Koran, his actual, historical life is a shining example of what we are seeing today.

91 posted on 07/02/2004 4:28:06 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Don't worry -- moderate Islam will save us!)
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To: stuartcr

Since the goal and objective of the islamists (i.e., radical mohammedans who believe in holy war) is to spread islam and make it the dominant movement on the planet (and virtually all of the islamists are in lock step with that) the conflict they have started is definitely a religious war. If Catholics started a conflict to spread Catholicism worldwide via terror and violence, and their main target were Buddhists, and the Protestants were opposed to the conflict, but said and did nothing, that conflict would still be a religious war, wouldn't it?

92 posted on 07/02/2004 4:33:30 AM PDT by ought-six
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To: livius

Thanks for bringing up the distinction between Jesus and Caesar. Not enough people, even small-government conservatives, realize this point.

93 posted on 07/02/2004 4:34:45 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Don't worry -- moderate Islam will save us!)
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To: NavySEAL F-16


94 posted on 07/02/2004 4:37:02 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: NavySEAL F-16

I have no idea.

95 posted on 07/02/2004 5:31:01 AM PDT by stuartcr
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That's a foolish thing to say.

96 posted on 07/02/2004 5:32:08 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: mrustow

I believe, in the instances you mention, we were at war with sovereign governments.

97 posted on 07/02/2004 5:38:49 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: Publius6961

I think, if we were, the support would include all members of that particular faith.

The only faith, that I can think of, that has a recognised world leader, is the Catholic faith. I don't think that Catholics would wage war on the world. Different factions of the same faiths, worldwide, think differently, probably as a result of differeing interpretations of their published tenets.

98 posted on 07/02/2004 5:41:51 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: aliquis

Thank you, I agree.

99 posted on 07/02/2004 5:43:51 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: KC_for_Freedom

As you say, peoples of all faiths can be swayed, if it happens in our lifetime, we will see it firsthand. Throughout history, civilisations, governments, and even entire ethnic groups, have come and gone. It's just the way of the world, and we are part of it

100 posted on 07/02/2004 5:47:25 AM PDT by stuartcr
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