Discussion:Chaos, Control & Al Qaeda

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Chaos, Control & Al Qaeda

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

13 November 2012
I am throwing this question out to the sages here. This is a serious question. What the heck is Al Qaeda?

Do they have a location? Identity cards? Tee-shirts, coffee mugs, fountain pens?

I have a pretty good idea what the Muslim Brotherhood is. I know what a Wahhabist is. I don't doubt that there are Islamic terrorists.

I just want to know what in the heck Al Qaeda is. How do I know I eliminated a guy who belongs to Al Qaeda? How do I know I eliminated the number four guy in the organization? If I can't find the HQ, how do I know their organization chart?

Some of you old timers might remember the TV show "Get Smart". The writers were begging the U.S. public to get smart. Trying to tell the public they were being manipulated.

Everyone needs an enemy. Spy vs. Spy. Chaos vs. Control. But at least we knew pretty much where Control was located (not much has changed there). And we knew who Chaos was. We knew where to find them. Red Square. Right?

But what about this Al Qaeda? If my water heater breaks can I blame that on Al Qaeda? What about a traffic jam?

Can anyone tell me the definition of our enemy, to wit: Al Qaeda?

EasternPA (talk|edits) said:

13 November 2012
The 'Al' in arabic means 'the' - that's where the spanish 'el' comes from - as in El Queso - means The Cheese. Here's a link to the wiki article. [1]

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

13 November 2012
From Wiki:

It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army[18] and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad and a strict interpretation of sharia law. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and various other countries (see below). Al-Qaeda has carried out several attacks on non-Muslims,[19][20] and other targets it considers kafir.[21]

Sounds like a bunch of mumbo, jumbo to me. Highly amorphous.

Stateless army. Ok. Where is this army? The word army either means some thing, or it means nothing.

Is this not the perfect foil? It's basically nothing so you can make it into anything.

"We kicked Al Qaeda's ass today." Oh, we did? How so? How do I know?

Again, I don't doubt that there are Islamic terrorists and that we need to contain them or eliminate them when they are a threat to the U.S. I don't doubt there is a Muslim Brotherhood. I don't doubt that there are Wahhabists who can be very threatening to U.S. interests and lives.

But I am highly distrustful of the Al Qaeda designation. If an organization is this amorphous, how do you determine membership? Do they have a secret handshake? A wink? Do they fade in and out of the shadows like a comic book anti-hero?

Most important, how would I ever know if I had defeated this Al Qaeda? How would I know I had gotten the last man? I would never know. Sounds like the perfect enemy. An eternal enemy. A fight that would never end.

An endless opportunity to manipulate the American public.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

13 November 2012
The whole Big Foot industry depends on never finding Big Foot. If you spot Big Foot, that's money in the bank. But if you find him, and if you kill him, it's game over.

Chaos is nothing without Control. Black Spy loses his raison d'etre without White Spy to aggravate. Ignatz loses his will to live if he can't throw bricks at Krazy Kat.

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