„It's hard for me to see how members of al Qaeda could be considered prisoners of war. I think they clearly do not fit within the prescriptions of the Geneva Convention.“

—  Eric Holder, January 28, 2002. CNN transcript http://premium.edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0201/28/ltm.03.html
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„Will an Iraq war make our Al Qaeda problem worse? Not likely.“

—  Christopher Hitchens British American author and journalist 1949 - 2011
A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq (Plume, 2003) [published in the United Kingdom as Regime Change]; quoted in "The Genocidal Imagination of Christopher Hitchens" http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/seymour261105.html by Richard Seymour, Monthly Review (2005-11-26): On the 2003 invasion of Iraq

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„Considering the current mood in the United States, it should be compulsory reading for every American who thinks the Taliban and Al-Qaeda represent the totality of Muslim life.“

—  J.M. DeMatteis comics illustrator 1953
Context: I seriously considered putting Nine Lives aside (I no longer feel compelled, as I did when I was younger, to finish every book I start). I’m happy I stuck with it: as I continued reading, the lives chronicled — in clear, compassionate prose — became more and more fascinating, and, on occasion, heartbreaking: The collision between ancient and modern culture in India threatens to wipe away traditions that have gone on, uninterrupted, for thousands of years and most of Dalrymple’s seekers struggle with that knowledge in some way. There’s a lovely chapter about a Sufi devotee in southern Pakistan — she’s known as the Red Fairy — that illuminates the lyrical, mystical side of Islam. Considering the current mood in the United States, it should be compulsory reading for every American who thinks the Taliban and Al-Qaeda represent the totality of Muslim life. "Summer Reading" (9 September 2010) http://www.jmdematteis.com/2010/09/theres-something-about-summerthe.html

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„After 9/11, I was clearly blinded by fear of al Qaeda and deluded by the overwhelming military superiority of the US and the ease of democratic transitions in Eastern Europe into thinking we could simply fight our way to victory against Islamist terror. I wasn't alone. But I was surely wrong.“

—  Andrew Sullivan Journalist, writer, blogger 1963
Context: In the Cold War, I was pro-American. The world needed a counter-weight to the evils of expansionist, imperial communism. (But I was never an American utopian. There's nothing new in humanity in this country — just a better system and more freedom, which tends to be the best corrective against sustained error.) After the Cold War, I saw no reason to oppose a prudent American policy of selective interventionism to deter evil and advance good a little, but even in the Balkans, such a policy did not require large numbers of ground troops and was enabled by strong alliances. After 9/11, I was clearly blinded by fear of al Qaeda and deluded by the overwhelming military superiority of the US and the ease of democratic transitions in Eastern Europe into thinking we could simply fight our way to victory against Islamist terror. I wasn't alone. But I was surely wrong. Haven't the last few years been a sobering learning experience? Haven't we discovered that allies actually are important, that fear is no substitute for cold assessment of self-interest, that saying something will happen is not that same thing as it actually happening? That someone could come out of the last few years believing that Teddy Roosevelt's American imperialism is a model for the future is a little hard for me to understand. "McCain's National Greatness Conservatism", The Daily Dish (26 February 2008) http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2008/02/mccains-national-greatness-conservatism/219614/

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„Until the United States prosecutes its own leaders, it is guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that means war crimes.“

—  Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928
Context: [Israel's military occupation is] in gross violation of international law and has been from the outset. And that much, at least, is fully recognized, even by the United States, which has overwhelming and, as I said, unilateral responsibility for these crimes. So George Bush No. 1, when he was the U. N. ambassador, back in 1971, he officially reiterated Washington's condemnation of Israel's actions in the occupied territories. He happened to be referring specifically to occupied Jerusalem. In his words, actions in violation of the provisions of international law governing the obligations of an occupying power, namely Israel. He criticized Israel's failure "to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this Convention." [... ] However, by that time, late 1971, a divergence was developing, between official policy and practice. The fact of the matter is that by then, by late 1971, the United States was already providing the means to implement the violations that Ambassador Bush deplored. [... ] on December 5th [2001], there had been an important international conference, called in Switzerland, on the 4th Geneva Convention. Switzerland is the state that's responsible for monitoring and controlling the implementation of them. The European Union all attended, even Britain, which is virtually a U. S. attack dog these days. They attended. A hundred and fourteen countries all together, the parties to the Geneva Convention. They had an official declaration, which condemned the settlements in the occupied territories as illegal, urged Israel to end its breaches of the Geneva Convention, some "grave breaches," including willful killing, torture, unlawful deportation, unlawful depriving of the rights of fair and regular trial, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. Grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that's a serious term, that means serious war crimes. The United States is one of the high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention, therefore it is obligated, by its domestic law and highest commitments, to prosecute the perpetrators of grave breaches of the conventions. That includes its own leaders. Until the United States prosecutes its own leaders, it is guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that means war crimes. And it's worth remembering the context. It is not any old convention. These are the conventions established to criminalize the practices of the Nazis, right after the Second World War. What was the U. S. reaction to the meeting in Geneva? The U. S. boycotted the meeting... and that has the usual consequence, it means the meeting is null and void, silence in the media. Talk titled "On West Asia" at UC Berkeley, March 21, 2002 http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20020321.htm.

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„And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
Context: On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

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