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Time: 10:08:46 PM
I've got a hunch that the reason fund-raising for terrorist organizations falls into a "vague" area has to do with something you could call "strategic flexibility."
This is what I was talking about when I said it was a mistake to make POLICY based on political expediency. From one administration to the next political alliances shift, depending on whom is in power in what country or what region of the word is important to a given administration at a given time. In the long run, it always comes back to bite us.
As a counter to Imperial Japan, the U.S. Government itself funneled money and actively participated in the training of the Viet Min, the core of which was later to become a terrorist organization called the Viet Cong. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Islamic groups you are now looking at as a threat to the United States were extremely useful to successive administrations in helping our current enemy fight the Soviet Union at a minimum of cost to the American tax payers. We did the same thing with respect to Latin-American fund-raisers for terrorist elements within the Contra movement in Nicaragua.
Congress is has played its part in helping to fund such groups, too, purely for expedient, domestic, political reasons. As strong as our ties have been to Great Britton for the better part of a century, we have allowed some Irish Catholic groups in the Untied States, which were really fronts for the IRA to raise money for the IRA. Ditto for the Irish Protestant Orange. Some Jewish organizations fronted for the terrorists who were active in the Zionist movement, and there are more so-called Christian groups than you can shake a stick at who have raised money for extreme right-wing racist groups dedicated to making America a white, Christian country.
During the Vietnam War, extreme left-wing groups affiliated with one religious organization or another raised money for the Vietcong. Ad Hoc groups not affiliated with any religion, like Jane Fonda's Indochina Peace Campaign and her ubiquitous Entertainment Industry for Peace and Justice donated money and a lot more than money to the Hanoi government, the Khmer Rouge and the Pathet Lao. The left criticized the right, turning a blind eye to the atrocities of the left. The right criticized the left, turning a blind eye to the atrocities of the right. Both sides agreed that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" …and the beat when on.
Right now we are turning our attention to Islamic groups that have sided with the enemy of the moment. That is as it should be. But to lose sight of the policy of political expediency that allowed it to happen is to play into the hand of anti-Moslem or anti-Arab bigots and to invite attack from somewhere else.
Keith hit the nail on the head when he said that the "Christians" responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing should have been tried and executed as traitors. The only way we can protect ourselves in the long run is to identify terrorism itself as the enemy and to institute an aggressive POLICY of fighting it on all fronts. --Jasper