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Links on Pacifism and Pacifists

By Anonymous 6522 in MLP
Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 08:12:36 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Pacifists, Serious, and Otherwise
E. J. Dionne Jr. Washington Post, 10/05/2001

Pacifist' ill-breeding scorns actual people
Mark Steyn. National Post, 10/04/2001

A slick flash animation.
www.alternet.org

Waging Peace in a Terrorist Age
Jim Slama. www.alternet.org, 09/13/2001


Even Pacifists Must Support This War
Scott Simon. The Wall Street Journal, 10/11/2001

Preemptive Peace
Chis Mooney. The American Prospect, 10/02/2001

Blame America At Your Peril
Jonathan Alter. Newsweek, 10/15/2001

There may be more editorials in this series, but are the only two I know of.

  1. Peacemakers Offer Alternatives to War
    Janet Jai. www.alternet.org, 09/17/2001
  2. Avoiding War: Peace Leaders Speak
    Janet Jai. www.alternet.org, 09/19/2001

Pacifism on campus
Diana West. The Washington Times, 10/12/2001

This is a thread of editorials, each responding to the one before.

Left Behind
Kimberley A. Strassel. The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2001

Mainstreaming the Anti-War Movement
Geov Parrish. www.alternet.org, 09/26/2001

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Poll
Pacifism?
o Yes. 20%
o No. 44%
o Maybe. 35%

Votes: 59
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Related Links
o Pacifists, Serious, and Otherwise
o Pacifist' ill-breeding scorns actual people
o A slick flash animation.
o Waging Peace in a Terrorist Age
o Even Pacifists Must Support This War
o Preemptive Peace
o Blame America At Your Peril
o Peacemaker s Offer Alternatives to War
o Avoiding War: Peace Leaders Speak
o Pacifism on campus
o Pacifist Claptrap
o The purposes of pacifism
o Phony Pacifists
o Proud to be a pacifist
o Left Behind
o Mainstream ing the Anti-War Movement
o Also by Anonymous 6522


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Links on Pacifism and Pacifists | 44 comments (26 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
Abstracts of linked articles (3.75 / 24) (#12)
by sigwinch on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 08:20:07 PM EST

The story is a big pile o' links: too much for many people to just read. The following are (biased and somewhat shallow) abstracts for each of the articles. Overall, it's an interesting look into the world of extremist pacifism.

(Sorry if the vertical space is excessive on some browsers. It's to accomodate web browsers that have poor treatment of the <blockquote> tag.)

Pacifists, Serious, and Otherwise

Discussion of why pacifists aren't necessarily evil, even though their positions might be logically indefensible. "The fact that we live under a political system that honors the right of individuals to object conscientiously to engaging in war is one of the reasons why ours is a system worth defending."

Pacifist' ill-breeding scorns actual people

Incoherent spewage that summarily dismisses analysis of the causes that created the situation. Apparently Afghans haven't been shit on for the last twenty years because the people who point out that fact aren't weeping strenuously enough for the 9-11 attack victims.

A slick flash animation.

Can't-we-all-just-get-along pacifist claptrap. "Violence breeds violence." Ignores the fundamental success of thorough military solutions.

Waging Peace in a Terrorist Age

Clearly illuminates the pacifist agenda: "As if missile defense or massive weapons programs could have done anything to prevent the September 11 tragedy -- or future domestic tragedies perpetrated by suicide bombers." Their proposed solution: "higher forms of international non-violent conflict resolution". Horseshit. Nonviolent conflict resolution MADE THE ATTACKS SO SUCCESSFUL. The solution is for anyone who is threatened to immediately use force to protect themselves.

Even Pacifists Must Support This War

A reasonable criticism of pacifists: "... I confronted the logical flaw (or perhaps I should say the fatal flaw) of nonviolent resistance: All the best people can be killed by all the worst ones." "It is better to sacrifice our ideals than to expect others to die for them."

Preemptive Peace

A critique of the protestors who were calling President Bush the worst terrorist of them all before any military action had even been planned.

Blame America At Your Peril

Another criticism of violence-is-bad-mmkay. "Al Qaeda was planning its attack at exactly the time the United States was offering a Mideast peace deal favorable to the Palestinians. Nothing from us would have satisfied the fanatics, and nothing ever will."

Peacemakers Offer Alternatives to War

More pacifist idiocy. Typical example: "It is not clear that a campaign against terrorism has a remote chance of winning. There is so little attempt to understand why people could get to the point of religious fanaticism and hatred that they would kill themselves." We understand them just fine: their religion places zero value on infidels, and we are infidels.

Avoiding War: Peace Leaders Speak

More pacifist bullshit: "But it is very important to distinguish between military intervention to stop genocide and military intervention as a form of retribution or retaliation." Let me see if I understand this: it's OK to stop genocide of some expendable schmucks in the Balkans after it has nearly succeeded, but it's wrong to try to preemptively stop people who have stated that their goal is to kill all infidels?

Pacifism on campus

"'I was cheering when the Pentagon got hit,' Peter Zedrin of Providence told Brown students, 'because I know about the brutality of the military. The American flag is nothing but a symbol of hate and should be used for toilet paper for all I care.'" Goes on to ridicule low turnout for protests, and laughably ineffectual peacnik propaganda efforts.

Pacifist Claptrap

An excellent criticism of blind pacifism. Nice George Orwell quote: "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one."

The purposes of pacifism

Pure, uncut pharmaceutical-grade pacifist idiocy. "THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN these crises and what unfolded in World War II or the cold war are vast and obvious. If we fail to understand this, if we view Kabul as Dresden and bomb the hell out it, expect more awful footage of American skyscrapers crumbling to the ground. Early and often." <sarcasm>Riiiight</sarcasm> "Ultimately, pacifists want these heinous crimes properly investigated and the perpetrators arrested, tried and punished." Obiviously what this situation needs is cops and lawyers! That'll *really* teach those tyrannical governments that support the attacks.

Phony Pacifists

Another good criticism of blind pacifism :"The anti-warriors must know that their position is a luxury made affordable only by the sure bet that no one in authority will ever accede to their position." (Plus has some funny snide comments about a threatened pacifist letter-writing campaign.)

Proud to be a pacifist

More pacifist silliness: "I know no one in my circle of acquaintances who wants terrorists to get a free ride. We expect terrorists to be tracked down, brought to trial in the country where their offenses were committed and, if found guilty, sent to prison." And how, pray tell, are we to do this in a country whose tyrannical gov't executes women for wearing certain clothing?

Left Behind

Points out that the usual leftist radicals, when faced with sticking to their stated objectives or losing face, are toning down their rhetoric and donation requests. Also points out that eco-terrorists are likely to get the hammer dropped on them if they keep it up.

Mainstreaming the Anti-War Movement

Fuzzy pacifist thinking and poor strategic reasoning. "Even if bin Laden was involved in the Sep. 11 attacks, the enemy we are fighting doesn't need him, and, in fact, now that he has the cachet of being America's target, they'd greatly benefit from the volunteers his martyrdom would produce." Nevermind the fact that martyrs only work for extremists: the ordinary people who are the true power behind most nations will take the annihilation of the Taliban as a sign to not support guerrilla warfare in the US.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.

Abstract of replied-to article (3.75 / 4) (#23)
by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 01:54:07 PM EST

A self-described "biased and somewhat shallow" editorial commentary on the contents of the articles, typically describing them in such glowing terms as "Pure, uncut pharmaceutical-grade pacifist idiocy", and offering in-depth understanding of other cultures such as: "We understand them just fine: their religion places zero value on infidels, and we are infidels"

The poster repeatedly laughs at claims that the US should arrest and try bin Laden, saying things like: "And how, pray tell, are we to do this in a country whose tyrannical gov't executes women for wearing certain clothing?", ignoring the faact the US was able to arrest the "mastermind" behind the first WTC bombing, Ramsi Yousef in Pakistan, a country not much friendlier to the US than Afghanistan.



[ Parent ]
Pakistan (none / 0) (#39)
by PresJPolk on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 02:43:05 AM EST

As I understand it, Pakistan was a Cold War ally of the US. Weren't both Pakistan and the US joined in aiding the "freedom fighters" of Afghanistan once upon a time?

Only when the Cold War ended, and when Pakistan started testing nukes did relations shift.

It woulnd't be the first the the US made nice with a military dictator.

[ Parent ]
nobel peace prize laureate's statement (4.25 / 4) (#16)
by Delirium on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 03:49:19 AM EST

I found this statement interesting: An Appeal to Restraint. It's signed by seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates (including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama), yet I haven't seen it reported anywhere else. Does anyone have a more objective source for this statement? I'm assuming it's not entirely fabricated, but it'd be nice to link to it on a site that's not so obviously on one side of the issue.

the left have fallen (4.00 / 5) (#17)
by Nyarlathotep on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 04:17:46 AM EST

The current anti-war movment has one central problem: it dose not understand the situation. I read anti-war information and I feal like I'm reading that moronic propoganda email from the libertarian party. Hell, I've seen *massive* libertarian party style "assumed/implicit statistics" (lies) by the anti-war movement.

I have been increasingly noticing bad logic and poor analysis comming from supposed intelectuals of the left.. even before the anti-war movement. Specifically, we have seen the enviromental movement descened into smarmy idiocy by not understanding the real nature of bio-engenering: anyone who says that it's wrong to use animal genes in plants just because it's unnatural is a religious idiot just like the televangilists.

Honestly, I think the real problem is that the problems have gotten to complex for the average "only a little bit smarter then a republican" lefty intelectual.

Now, I have seen honest rational analysis comming out of some modewrate left wing academics. There as this wonderful pannal on CSPAN soon after the attacks. None are willing to say that we should not go to war. All are urging caution, precission, and real understanding of the problems.

Anyway, constructive suggestions for the left: "don't kill babies" and "we created the terrorists" are *seperate* messages. If you go to an anti-war protest carry a sign saing war is bad (or war is avoidable). If you go to a foreign affairs protest carry a sign saing "supporting dictators is bad." If you take the wrong sign to a protest then you are (a) making an illogical argument and (b) hurtting your cause politically.


Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
Logic & left wing stuff (none / 0) (#40)
by Malatesta on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 10:15:36 AM EST

You write that:

If you go to an anti-war protest carry a sign saing war is bad (or war is avoidable) and then you go to a foreign affairs protest carry a sign saing "supporting dictators is bad."

it is just possible that you might think that there is some connection between the two. One could even say that if the "supporting dictators is bad" lobby had been succesful when the US were pouring arms into the hands of the most fanatical authoritarians they could find in Afghanistan and went on to support the Taliban, then they would have saved themselves the bother of making those "war is bad" signs. Therefore these 2 stands are in no way illogical or mutually contradictory.

If you've only read leaflets and articles in mainstream newspapers, it's no surprise that you wouldn't have seen much good in depth analysis. How about Struggle site stop the war or : Stop world war 3.com No pacifists there!

M.
----------------------
Neither master nor slave

[ Parent ]

no (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by Nyarlathotep on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 01:15:48 PM EST

I never said they were contradictory.. I said they were irrelevent and mixing them makes us look like WWII pasifist idiots who are willing to let the germans/terrorists kill us.

We need to be realistic here: CIA spending and involvment in international affaris will *increase* as a result of Sept. 11th. We need to respond not be opposing the CIA, but by forcing it to take greater responcibility for it's actions and to look at the bigger picture of what benifits *all* Americans.. not just one or two corperations.

We should litteraly be protesting in support of the CIA, but in opposition to past CIA strategies. That will get us positive attention that will make a diffrence. Specifically, we should be protesting for "democratisation of our allies," i.e. if a dictatoriship ally wants our support then they must make *token* efforts at democratisation at least every 2-5 years (this would include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). The local governmenbts would be free to keep the changes small to preserve stability, but it would send a very clear message that "democrasy is good" to the rest of the world.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Straw Men (3.75 / 16) (#18)
by snowlion on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 06:26:16 AM EST

Sorry to disturb those of you who are masterbating to thoughts of how stupid the pacifists are:

I'm not a pacifist, and the vast majority of "anti-war" protesters that I have met are not either. From what I've seen, almost all of us endorse our role in World War II, but not the Vietnam War, and not this one either.

Sorry guys; Show's over. Nothing to see here. We're not pacifists. Move along.

For those who think we're illogical:

This war won't end terrorism any more than the drug war has ended the drug trade.

People all over the world are furious about these rediculous attacks. They see it as a blatant abuse of US power, and they are afraid of what the USA will do. Many of them can't stand it.

How will these people think? Will they think: "We must appease the Americans with long and thick dicks, so much mightier than ours", or will they think: "Dammit, those USA folks think they can bomb whoever they want, just because they lost a building to some terrorists. They want us to kiss their ass whenever someone so much as blows a nose in their borders. They beat us up, run drugs through our countries, extort us for our oil, destroy our governments, and generally act like they run the place. They live rich by stealing from everyone, and then they attribute their richest to their natural superiority. They don't think they're human, they've trancended humanity and think they're a superior race of their own. They need to know pain and suffering."

Basically: Do you believe that men will work to right a perceived cruel injustice, or that men are content to be humiliated and made to suffer unfairly?

If you believe that men will work to right a perceived cruel injustice, than you must wonder: How will they do it? Perhaps they will write letters to the president, or pressure their governments to stand up to the USA?

Suppose that they find that all of their efforts fail, and they perceive them to be in vain; What then? Speak up, sonny!

If wars could "eliminate evil", there would be love and roses as far as the eye could see, and I'd be the first to advocate every chance for war. Unfortunately, it's just not that simple.

I'm not going to tell you "violence begets violence", since many of you seem to be incapable of interpolating reason and logic. I'm going to adjust my language to Hick Level 5 so that you can follow:

When someone kicks yer ass, murders yer family, destroys yer bis'ness, and you or your family didn't do nuttin' wrong, yer gonna take 'em to the courts. And if 'de courts dunna work, yer gonna have to kick 'im out yerself.

If you understand the concept of revenge, then you can sympathise with the terrorists more than you know.

WW2 is obvious: Evil mad man wants to take over the world.

What, what does Bin Laden (who is really a minor figure in the whole thing, and I have yet to see evidence against him- you know, EVIDENCE. That thing that's important) want? He wants us to stop giving weapons to Israel so that they can bulldose Palestine.


--
Map Your Thoughts
suggest an alternative... (4.50 / 4) (#21)
by theantix on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 01:22:02 PM EST

Sorry to disturb those of you who are masterbating to thoughts of how stupid the pacifists are:
Wow, you caught me.
I'm not a pacifist, and the vast majority of "anti-war" protesters that I have met are not either. From what I've seen, almost all of us endorse our role in World War II, but not the Vietnam War, and not this one either.
I would consider myself a pacifist in all but extreme circumstances... I didn't support the Iraqi conflict, the Bosnian or Somalian conflicts, and wouldn't have supported any american involvement in any war since WW2. And then, only begrudgingly... it was only in hindsight that it became so clear just how evil Hitler really was.

But I support this effort wholeheartedly. You are right, we have not seen specific evidence that UBL was intimately involved with the planning or execution of the WTC/Pentagon attacks. But we do know:

  • He has declared holy war on the United States
  • He has a stated objective of killing all american males, and all american taxpayers
  • He has stated he will not distinguish between civilian or military casualties.
  • He has financed the construction of terrorist camps, training people to murder americans, and muslims who don't fit the mold of his view of Islam.
  • While not taking specific credit for the embassy bombings or the USS Cole attacks, he has called the americans cowards for not responding... certainly an indication of guilt.
  • He has gloated over the succes of the 9/11 attacks... and his organization has promised that more is coming (while taking care not to specifically say they are going to be the ones responsible, of course).
  • He, and al-Qaeda, has yet to deny involvement in the attacks.
  • The white paper released by the british governement indicates likely involvement in the attacks.

    Knowing this, WTF do you expect the americans to do? They have to react in some manner... lets look at alternatives:

  • Do Nothing. This appears to be the course of action desired by most anti-war activists, despite the fact UBL wants to kill them anyhow.
  • Try Bin Laden in a international court of Law. Okay... this would be great, if only it were possible, and if only it would address the problem. Since the Taliban and UBL seem extraordinarily interconnected, they are unlikely to give him up. Their requests for additional evidence seem like internal spy-hunts, not legitimate requests for information -- they obviously know about the terrorist camps located on their soil, and what they are for. This brings me to my other point... that trying UBL in court would not address the main problem -- the continuation of the terrorist camps within Afganistan. So long as more ?? are being trained to kill Americans and non-"ideal" muslims, the problem persists. Remember.. the Americans are not just out for revenge, they also want to maintain their level of safety by rooting out the perpetrators of the attacks!
  • Give into the demands of the terrorists by changing american foreign policy. This would require allowing the Islamic extremists to gain control of the region, and subject their own people to the type of government that produces the wonderful situations we have existing in Afganistan today, with the atrocities of everyday life commited against women and non-Muslims. It would also mean the uprooting of Israel would be attempted, and likely nuclear reaction by the Israelis. While I am critical of US foreign policy in the region... the withdrawl required by the demands of UBL et al would not be an improvement by any means.
  • Create the Afgan "Parking Lot" desired by many Americans. I give Bush a lot of credit for his restraint in this conflict. When I first heard about it, I was terrified that they would launch an all-out assault aimlessly destroying cities as with the Iraqi conflict. But I have seen nothing to indicate this is taking place in Afganistan... the brief images of Taliban propoganda show just how little they have to work with because the american targeting has been so precise.
  • The targeted campaign going on right now. I will support it 100% until I hear of any indication that they are not targeting al-Qaeda or Taliban institutions.

    Suggest a new alternative... something that addresses the problem, and is better than the current action. I would love to hear it.

    --
    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]

  • A new alternative (3.50 / 4) (#24)
    by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 02:06:12 PM EST

    • Remove US troops from Saudi Arabia and quit supporting their government
    • Stop selling weapons to Israel, and push hard for a peace agreement there
    • Do not support India in its war in Kashmir and try hard to find a peaceful settlement to that conflict
    • Send special forces in to arrest bin Laden and try him before an international court
    • Support the above special forces with close air support (i.e. bomb targets directly threatening soldiers)
    • Look at other troubled regions around the world and try to encourage peace and reduce conditions that lead to terrorism there
    • Beef up CIA assets so they can better predict terrorist attacks


    [ Parent ]
    I don't like the first two. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 03:21:00 PM EST

    Remove US troops from Saudi Arabia and quit supporting their government

    Stop selling weapons to Israel...

    That sounds too much like appeasment. We (America) do not want to send the message, "If your hurt us bad enough, we might consider giving you what you want." If America withdraws from Saudi Arabia it should be for its own reasons, not because we it might make some terrorists happy.

    As for Israel, they are considered an ally, even if having them as one is inconvenient sometimes. We sell weapons to our allies, and I don't think an exception should be made of Israel.

    As for the rest, I'm fine with them, although I do think that the Taliban should be destroyed, just on the account that I don't really like them, or how they treat their people.

    [ Parent ]

    Appeasment? (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 03:52:10 PM EST

    So why doesn't the US withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia for its own reasons? It would be hard to argue it's to appease Osama bin Laden if the US has already arrested and tried him for mass murder / crimes against humanity.

    Maybe these terrorist acts can be seen as a wake up call, saying "A big chunk of the world really objects to us having troops in Saudi Arabia. Why exactly are we supporting a repressive regime in that country anyhow? Aren't these the same people that funded the religious schools that taught the leaders of the Taliban?"

    Why exactly is Israel considered an ally? Because they're a democracy? That may be, but they're not exactly a stabilizing influence in the region. Because they're a trade partner? Is that important enough to justify keeping them as an ally? I've had friends that did things that I found really objectionable before. And guess what? They're no longer my friends. Maybe we should re-evaluate our relationship with Israel, not because the terrorists will attack us if we don't, but because the terrorists have a pretty good reason for hating Israel and the guy in charge there.

    As for bombing another country and replacing their government "on the account that I don't really like them, or how they treat their people". I think that's a dangerous thing to do. Where do you draw the line? Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist muslim country where women have to wear veils and have severely restricted rights. But they're an ally aren't they? You wouldn't want to bomb them, would you? What about Japan? They're not quite as enlightened as us about how they treat their women.

    One single culture should not have the right to decide what is and is not ok behavior for another culture. What if it were the Afghanis with the huge army? Would it be ok for them to bomb us because they didn't like how the US allowed prostitution and porn? The UN is a body representing a number of different cultures. Let them decide if the Taliban has gone so far from the global norm that they need to be replaced.



    [ Parent ]
    Justice? (2.00 / 1) (#27)
    by snowlion on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 03:56:23 PM EST

    The US is not humble. This is a character flaw in people, and it's a character flaw in countries. Reflect deeply on the word Humility, and why it is considered a virtue.

    The message that the US gives is this: "If you hurt us, we will kill you, your family, and your friends. We will do so mercilessly, and without respect to due process." The US considers this to be a way of building fear in the enemy, so that they don't dare poke a hole in our fragile and unfounded sense of security.

    Do you think that's a good message?

    What happens when you couple that message with US atrocities? What happens is that every country thinks, "They can do whatever they want, and we can do nothing. The US is unjust." Eventually, someone gets pissed enough to do something about it. They obviously can't start a military to attack us, and they obviously can't get their political leaders to act against the US, so- what is left? Why, you have to infiltrate and attack from within. It's obvious. It's akin to the US decision to fight the british from behind bushes; Britain cried fowl to no end when America broke from the Mother Country.

    We should make an exception to selling Israel weapons. Why? Because they are using them to mow over and colonize Palestine. If your best friend asks for weapons so that he can shoot his wife, you say: "NO!"

    Yeah; I don't like the Taliban any more than you do. But we don't have carte blanc to just go killing every one we don't like, any more than I should go to other families houses, point out their flaws, and then impose my family's system on them.

    The only way this war can end terrorism is to end all human life on the planet.


    --
    Map Your Thoughts
    [ Parent ]
    re: (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 05:58:01 PM EST

    he US is not humble. This is a character flaw in people, and it's a character flaw in countries. Reflect deeply on the word Humility, and why it is considered a virtue.

    Being submissive and lacking self-respect are not good traits. Well, they're good traits from the perspective of someone who is trying to control you, but they don't do much for yourself.

    Anyway, I really wish the people around here would stop trying to personify governments. They're made up of people, yes, but they are not a person. They shouldn't really be expected to act like a person ether.

    US atrocities

    I'm also getting tired of people throwing the word atrocity like it was nothing. "Atrocity" should be used refer exeptional instances of human cruelty, such as the holocaust or the Soviet gulag. I am not aware of any US-run forced labor camps. A bomb missing its target is not an atrocity. Making it difficult for a dictator to buy both guns and butter is not an atrocity.

    Why, you have to infiltrate and attack from within. It's obvious. It's akin to the US decision to fight the british from behind bushes

    Am I arguing with you on this point? No, I'm not. Someone made this point on NPR the day after the attack. I agree with them, the terrorist are using a tactic that the the US is unfamiliar with. The US needs to adapt to counter that tactic and discourage people from using it, it shouldn't teach them that it works. We should make an exception to selling Israel weapons. Why? Because they are using them to mow over and colonize Palestine. If your best friend asks for weapons so that he can shoot his wife, you say: "NO!"

    There you go again, personifying a government again. It's my understanding that Israel isn't building any more settlements on palestinian territory, and of that's the case, your point it moot.

    [ Parent ]

    The atom bomb? (2.50 / 2) (#33)
    by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 07:40:02 PM EST

    Some would argue that dropping an atomic bomb on a civillian center with no prior warning was an atrocity. I would tend to agree.



    [ Parent ]
    "Civilian"? (none / 0) (#41)
    by A Trickster Imp on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 10:20:46 AM EST

    Well, one man's civilian center is another's center of industry and business and government.

    [ Parent ]
    Well, (3.50 / 2) (#30)
    by Happy Monkey on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 06:14:07 PM EST

    The only way this war can end terrorism is to end all human life on the planet.

    No, you can leave one person, as long as it's not a pregnant woman.
    ___
    Length 17, Width 3
    [ Parent ]
    point-by-point response (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by theantix on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 07:01:20 PM EST

    Remove US troops from Saudi Arabia and quit supporting their government
    Americans are in Saudi Arabia at the request of the legal ruling government in that area. It was at their request that the Americans moved in to help protect the country against Hussein et al. I don't think the Saudi government is perfect by any means, but the situation is likely much better in the country under their rule than the islamic fundamentalists such as Usama Bin Laden.
    Stop selling weapons to Israel, and push hard for a peace agreement there
    You got me here... this one is very important and should be done ASAP. America (or any other country, mine included) should not be friendly with any government that behaves in the manner of Israel. There should be zero tolerance for the aimless "retaliations" to terrorism that include civilian murders and the occupation of foreign territory. I feel that the Americans are doing a good job in Afganistan thus far of not reacting in the manner the Israelis react to Palestinian violence. I hope that continues into the future.
    Send special forces in to arrest bin Laden and try him before an international court

    Support the above special forces with close air support (i.e. bomb targets directly threatening soldiers)

    I don't know if you are paying attention to the news close enough, but that is the intention of the air attacks is to pave the pay for special forces to move in. Obviously the americans want to minimize their losses by taking out air defenses first. Further, if you read my original post... UBL is not the main issue here -- they need to shut down the terrorist training camps and infrastructure, and prevent them from re-opening. Since the Taliban is an obstacle to that goal they must be stopped in the process. They have ignored requests from the world, including muslim countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, to shut them down for many years.
    Beef up CIA assets so they can better predict terrorist attacks
    They are trying to do this, but obviously this is ineffective when there are countless young men willing to kill themselves for the cause, and are readily trained by well-financed criminals such as UBL. There will always be terrorism, both by domestic and foreign groups (I'm thinking mcVeigh, Unabomber, etc) so absolute prevention is unrealistic. We need to shut down the most organized and well-financed groups, and the Taliban is an obstacle to that goal.
    Do not support India in its war in Kashmir and try hard to find a peaceful settlement to that conflict
    I don't know enough about the specifics of that situation, but I know that there is nothing the world (including America) would like better than to solve this (them being the only nuclear powers that have an open grudge). However, it has absolutely nothing to do with the long-term problem of the terrorist camps in Afganistan.
    Look at other troubled regions around the world and try to encourage peace and reduce conditions that lead to terrorism there
    Again... whenever there is disagreement there will be forms of terrorism... its impossible to avoid completely. It is difficult to promote peace in all areas that satisfy every party. The US is criticized for acting in some cases, and for not acting in other cases. The opposing group will always be "pissed off" and have a bone to pick with the only world superpower. You suggest backing out of Saudi and Afganistan, and turning over Kashmir to Pakistan -- well, that would minimize the opposition by the extremists, that's for sure -- but the people that they will oppress once they take power (other ethnic groups, women, people of other religions, islamic moderates) will be rightly offended. Why should we give in to the extremist wings of the regions, simply because they are more violent? It is clearly not the "right" thing to do.

    --
    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    Just Say No (2.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 07:30:49 PM EST

    Americans are in Saudi Arabia at the request of the legal ruling government in that area.

    Maybe the US should just say "no"? Or maybe they should say "Not until you treat your people better". Or maybe "Sorry, we support democracies, not fundamentalist monarchies that mistreat their people". Take a close look at Saudi Arabia. The leaders there are islamic fundamentalists like Usama bin Laden. They're just not officially sponsoring terrorism, though businessmen in the country are known to sponsor bin Laden.

    As for the air attacks, you're not paying close enough attention to the news if you think they're just there "to pave the pay for special forces to move in". They're trying to pave the country itself. The US is bombing radio stations, troops concentrations near Pakistan, all airports in the country, air defences everywhere, and even the house of the Taliban leader.

    If they were just trying to protect their special forces, they'd figure out where bin Laden is, then take out the threats in that area then provide CAS for the troops that are threatened. The US is attacking the Taliban, not just trying to go after bin Laden.

    As for Kashmir: "nothing the world (including America) would like better than to solve this". From what I saw on the news, the world was far more concerned with Gary Condit and his intern than it was with Kashmir on Sept 10th. Sure the world doesn't want a war between nuclear powers, but since it was "over there", nobody was trying too hard to stop it. Did Bush ever invite the leaders of India and Pakistan to Camp David?

    You suggest backing out of Saudi and Afganistan, and turning over Kashmir to Pakistan ... Why should we give in to the extremist wings of the regions, simply because they are more violent? It is clearly not the "right" thing to do.

    I never said that Kashmir should be turned over to Pakistan. I think that it's a messy situation like Israel that would take a long time to work out, but I think the UN should try hard to mediate that dispute, and the US should work from within the UN to help it do that. I do think the US should stop bombing every possible military target in Afghanistan and concentrate on attempting to arrest bin Laden. Once they have done that I think they should pull out completely. Then, they should encourage the UN to get the Taliban out of Afghanistan and bring the country into this millennium.

    The main reason the US interventions overseas come under such criticism is that they appear one-sided. They're the US pushing people around. While the Secretary-General of the UN is winning the Nobel Peace Prize the US is finally getting around to paying its UN dues. Why not pay the UN dues, and work through it? Isn't that what the UN is supposed to be for?



    [ Parent ]
    Oh, and (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 07:43:35 PM EST

    However, [Kashmir] has absolutely nothing to do with the long-term problem of the terrorist camps in Afganistan.

    Well since the 3 beefs ObL consistently mentions in connection to the West are: Israel, Saudi Arabia and Kashmir, and many terrorists trained in Afghanistan go to fight in Kashmir I'd say it has a lot to do with the terrorist camps in Afghanistan.



    [ Parent ]
    reiteration and clarification (4.00 / 1) (#36)
    by theantix on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 08:31:40 PM EST

    Take a close look at Saudi Arabia. The leaders there are islamic fundamentalists like Usama bin Laden. They're just not officially sponsoring terrorism, though businessmen in the country are known to sponsor bin Laden.
    I admit... my knowledge of Saudi Arabian politics is not complete, and I wouldn't be surprised that they are corrupt and oppressive. But I also suspect that the people UBL and friends want to replace them with are much more oppressive (look at the Taliban for that), and corrupt in their own ways. I wish it would be simple to install a democracy in Saudi Arabia... but that is not likely to happen even with US pressure. There aren't many muslim democracies in the world today, because by its very nature is not the ideal government specified in the Qur'an. Especially in an area as important as Saudi Arabia, the extremists would be unlikely to support any system of government beyond the most radical one. But again, to repeat I know I am not an expert in this area. But I know the Americans would also benefit by having a stable democracy in the area, so I suspect it would be difficult at best.

    Personally I am annoyed at the focus on UBL as the prime target. He should be treated as a figurehead only, because it would likely be difficult to prove that they can provide "smoking gun" evidence of his guilt. It will be much easier to prove that the terrorists were trained in the al-Qaeda bases (the UK paper says as much) and continue to be a danger to civilization until they are shut down, and the environment that allows them to blossom (read: the Taliban) is eliminated.

    They're trying to pave the country itself. The US is bombing radio stations, troops concentrations near Pakistan, all airports in the country, air defences everywhere, and even the house of the Taliban leader.
    This is patently untrue. If they wanted to pave the country they could be doing it for much cheaper than they are doing. You don't need to use multi-million-dollar GPS-guided cruise missiles if you don't care about civilian casualties... they could easily be using much larger and "dumber" bombs over much larger areas for a significant cost savings. The targets you mentioned were obvious, no? Communication centers (including the one in the leaders house), troop concentrations, and air defenses. Things that could be detrimental to the special forces going in...
    what I saw on the news, the world was far more concerned with Gary Condit and his intern than it was with Kashmir on Sept 10th.
    Not watching exclusively american news (usually I switch between CNN, BBC, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp), I would have to disagree with you on that one. Perhaps the Americans were... but only at the level of the ignorant citizen. The world, including educated americans, was and is much more concerned about the situation in Kashmir.
    Sure the world doesn't want a war between nuclear powers, but since it was "over there", nobody was trying too hard to stop it. Did Bush ever invite the leaders of India and Pakistan to Camp David?
    I don't know, I've never seen the list of invitations... but I doubt you have either. Yes, the situation was on a lower priority from the Americans because it didn't affect their interests -- it is an extremely rational response to care more about what affects you directly.
    the US is finally getting around to paying its UN dues. Why not pay the UN dues, and work through it?
    While this is not the place for this debate, the reason is really simple: The US has been negotiating for years to reduce the amount of dues it has to pay the UN because it disagreed with the burden that was placed on it. It was little reported that when the US paid their dues, it was at the reduced rate (funding 22% of UN budget as opposed to the previous 25%, and the US military requirements were also reduced) that was the result of lengthy negotiations. It was passed in congress much easier because of the 9/11 attacks, for certain, but there was a legitimate reason for the holdup, it wasn't so simple.
    I do think the US should stop bombing every possible military target in Afghanistan and concentrate on attempting to arrest bin Laden. Once they have done that I think they should pull out completely. Then, they should encourage the UN to get the Taliban out of Afghanistan and bring the country into this millennium.
    For the record, I would prefer this as well. Except I stress the terrorist camps and infrastructure in place in the country are more dangerous than UBL himself (figureheads can get replaced if the structure is intact). But the intense difficulty of a UN-led coalition is obviously why they did not go this route, but I hope the US will eventually turn the lead over to the UN to help form a stable system of government in Afganistan when they have uprooted the infrastructure of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

    --
    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    We agree more than we disagree (4.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Merc on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 09:17:38 PM EST

    I think the US is happy to prop up a non-democratic government in Saudi Arabia. It's easier to control, and the US wants a government it can control so it can keep oil prices stable. A democracy might act like New Zealand and decide that the US is a bad influence.

    There are a few democracies in the region, Turkey (99.8% muslim) and Egypt (94% muslim) are prime examples. You are correct, however, that the Qu'ran specifies a form of government that isn't a democracy, so it might be harder for muslim countries to adopt democracy than other countries. Then again, maybe democracies aren't the answer. A fundamentalist country with beliefs more along the line of the teachings of Mohammed might be the answer.

    And regarding the UN dues, according to some G8 information I found, the GDP of the US is roughly equal to the GDP of the next 4 biggest countries (Japan, France, Germany and the UK) combined. Considering that and the power the US has as a UN member, the 25% figure sounds about right to me. Do you have any reason to believe it should be smaller?

    Finally, regarding the air strikes on Afghanistan, I think there's one crucial thing you're missing. While it may be in the direct military strategic interests of the US to destroy the Taliban, its infrastructure, its troops, and wreck its morale in order to have an easier time hunting down Osama bin Laden there's more to consider. Every bomb dropped threatens the fragile understanding the US has with the other muslim countries in the region. Already many radicals are hearing the reports of civillian casualties and are rushing to sign up with the Taliban. Sometimes diplomacy should come before military convenience. I think this is definitely one of those times.



    [ Parent ]
    lots of agreement to share! (4.00 / 1) (#42)
    by theantix on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 02:38:00 PM EST

    Finally, regarding the air strikes on Afghanistan, I think there's one crucial thing you're missing. While it may be in the direct military strategic interests of the US to destroy the Taliban, its infrastructure, its troops, and wreck its morale in order to have an easier time hunting down Osama bin Laden there's more to consider. Every bomb dropped threatens the fragile understanding the US has with the other muslim countries in the region. Already many radicals are hearing the reports of civillian casualties and are rushing to sign up with the Taliban. Sometimes diplomacy should come before military convenience. I think this is definitely one of those times.
    I agree with you more and more every day, as the US continues to drop bombs. Their benefit from dropping the bombs decreases every day, and as you point out the repercussions increase every day. Personally, I figured that they would be done several days ago (I predicted 4-5 days of bombing and it's been twice that). Christ, we are talking about one of the poorest countries in the world... oh well.
    And regarding the UN dues, according to some G8 information I found, the GDP of the US is roughly equal to the GDP of the next 4 biggest countries (Japan, France, Germany and the UK) combined. Considering that and the power the US has as a UN member, the 25% figure sounds about right to me. Do you have any reason to believe it should be smaller?
    I admit, this caught me off-guard. I had no idea that America was as big as it was. (boy, does that sound naive). According to the world CIA factbook, America represents 23% of the worlds GDP (9.963 trillion out of a world total of 43.6). So I suppose the funding range is pretty decent after all. Though I still have concerns about the funding (non-selfish, I am not American) because the UN should be the representative of the world, not the US. And when the US has a "25% funding stick" to wave around, they get even more influence than they already do.
    I think the US is happy to prop up a non-democratic government in Saudi Arabia. It's easier to control, and the US wants a government it can control so it can keep oil prices stable. A democracy might act like New Zealand and decide that the US is a bad influence.

    There are a few democracies in the region, Turkey (99.8% muslim) and Egypt (94% muslim) are prime examples. You are correct, however, that the Qu'ran specifies a form of government that isn't a democracy, so it might be harder for muslim countries to adopt democracy than other countries. Then again, maybe democracies aren't the answer. A fundamentalist country with beliefs more along the line of the teachings of Mohammed might be the answer.

    Agreed, agreed. I was just in Tunisia a few weeks ago (the most liberal muslim country in the world, and fairly modern as well). It is living proof that a non-democratic muslim country can exist and thrive with too many problems. They get along with their neighbors, and with Europe as well. Though I felt sorry for the people that I talked to -- they couldn't criticize the president in public for fear of repercussions -- I still think a democracy is ideal, but perhaps a more long-term goal in that region.

    --
    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    Problems (4.66 / 3) (#28)
    by epepke on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 04:14:04 PM EST

    I am very, very uneasy about the bombings and consider them, to a large extent, to have been a bad idea in the first place. However, your post contains quite a few assumptions that are questionable.

    For those who think we're illogical:

    I don't know how logical you are. I do know, however, that there is a big difference between

    1. Whether it was a good or bad idea to start bombing in the first place
    2. Whether it is a good or bad idea to stop now

    So far, I haven't seen the difference between these two concepts addressed by any of the protestors of the war. I'm not sure what they would, logically, say to support the contention that, if 1 is bad, then 2 must therefore be good. Perhaps they are assuming it, which would be illogical. Perhaps, however, they have simply not thought of the question. This would perhaps be pre-logical, but not necessarily illogical.

    This war won't end terrorism any more than the drug war has ended the drug trade.

    This is probably true.

    Basically: Do you believe that men will work to right a perceived cruel injustice, or that men are content to be humiliated and made to suffer unfairly?

    I, personally, believe neither. What I do belive are the findings of cognitive and behavioral psychology and the cultural relativism of anthropology. Both of them suggest that human beings aren't as simple as you suggest.

    When someone kicks yer ass, murders yer family, destroys yer bis'ness, and you or your family didn't do nuttin' wrong, yer gonna take 'em to the courts.

    This comment is staggeringly naive, especially since you have three examples of which you are aware that the human concept of retaliation is not so simple. One is the "War on Drugs," another is the bombing campaign itself, and the third was the original attacks. People don't retaliate against those who harm them. People retaliate against those who symbolize what harms them, and it is always more desirable to retailiate against a safer surrogate, especially against one for whom one feels contempt. Being harmed reduces contempt for the one who harms. It may provoke anger, but not hatred--that is reserved for someone for whom one has contempt.

    What, what does Bin Laden (who is really a minor figure in the whole thing, and I have yet to see evidence against him- you know, EVIDENCE. That thing that's important) want? He wants us to stop giving weapons to Israel so that they can bulldose Palestine.

    Again, this is terribly naive. Israel has amply demonstrated that they don't particularly need the U.S. to give them weapons in order to bulldoze the Palestine. They have 100 nuclear weapons, and Uzis are not made in Idaho. Bin Laden has said that he hates Jews and that he wants the U.S. out of the Middle East. OK, fine, let's get out of the Middle East. The first thing that would happen would be that Isreal would cause a bloodbath (for which the U.S. would be blamed as well). I don't like what Israel is doing to the Palestinians either, but that does not compel me to believe that getting out immediately is a good idea.

    I am not angry enough seriously to suggest that the U.S. give bin Laden what he wants with the purpose of allowing Israel to implement the Final Solution to the Palestinian Question. I merely assert that I think this is what will happen. At the very least, it is a strong possibility. Those who advocate U.S. withdrawal, I think, have an obligation to present arguments as to why this is not a serious possibility before their logic can be examined.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    I agree. (3.25 / 4) (#35)
    by EdFox on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 08:31:18 PM EST

    Anti-war protestors are not pacifists. This point has been beaten to death and is true.

    We are not bombing Afghanistan to stop terrorist attacks. In all likelihood, our actions will make other disenchanted people want to hurt the US.

    We are bombing Afghanistan for 2 reasons.

    The first is simple vengeance. Some of "us" were killed. Now some of "them" have to die. Basic human nature. Personally, I agree with it. Hell, I think Bush is being too soft.

    The second is a warning to other governments to control their militants. It is impossible for an outside nation to effectively root out Islamic militants. It is, however, more likely that governments of countries such as Pakistan will be able to imprison, expel, murder or otherwise control militants inside their own borders. Afghanistan did not do this. Now they are paying the price.

    Despite all US propaganda to the contrary, dropping bombs on Afghanistan will not remove Al Queda or the terrorist threat. It will, however, inflict a whole lot of pain upon the government and people of Afghanistan. If the Taliban is to believed, hundreds have died already. Thousands more will undoubtedly die in coming months as the bombardment continues. Possibly millions will expire from starvation. THIS IS INTENTIONAL.

    Gen Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan has already heard this message loud and clear. He has ordered his military to overwhelm all anti-US demonstrations and has killed some 12 of his own people already. Militant clerics have been placed under "house arrest" and soldiers with automatic weapons have begun to fire into demonstrators almost routinely while Musharraf continues to praise the bombing in Afghanistan.

    The message is simple. Allow your militants to attack the US and your country pays the price. Bush himself has used terms to that effect in his speeches. Conservative pundits have termed this "The Bush Doctrine". The US military is capable of simultaneously inflicting a "price" upon dozens of countries such as Afghanistan. While only some 10-20 combat aircraft are used in each day's strikes, the US has moved tremendous power into the region. Other nations, such as the UK, which support the Bush Doctrine have already joined in the attacks and have moved in military might of their own for attacks on other nations that fail to rid themselves of Islamic militants. Rumsfeld, Blair and other policy makers have hinted time and time again that the "war against terror" will expand to include bombing countries other than Afghanistan. The use of nuclear weapons has been threatened over and over again. I find it hard to believe the US could be any more blatant.

    Is this doctrine legal? That depends on what court you ask. Of course, it must be understood that such bodies as "international courts" and the UN exist at the pleasure of the US. The US is already moving to sweep away the ICC before it become a nuisance.

    Will such a doctrine backfire and cause a major nuclear power to attack the US? Doubtful. Pakistan has already been accounted for. I find it hard to believe that India will cry many tears for their mortal enemy. China has taken the opportunity to persecute their own Muslims and banned all citizens of Arabian nations from flying on any Chinese airliner, hardly the actions of a nation willing to face MAD annihilation to protect Arabia from our wrath. Same for Russia. I don't feel the need to even mention Europe.

    Is such a doctrine moral? Probably not. I won't lose any sleep over it tho.

    By the way, I happen to support calls for a review of US foreign policy. Backing unstable bands of militants who happen to be fighting against the USSR has backfired against the US at least twice and should never, ever been considered again. Supporting a Marshall Plan-style redevelopment plan for Arabia once the Islamic militants have been dealt with is a good thing. Having Arabia be the next Europe in 50 years instead of a cesspool is a great idea. However, such considerations are for after the war is won.

    -- EdFox


    [ Parent ]
    You might also try the Gandhi Institute... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Kasreyn on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 05:25:01 PM EST

    ...for Nonviolence.

    http://www.gandhiinstitute.org/

    Directed by Arun Gandhi, the Mahatma's grandson.


    -Kasreyn


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    Links on Pacifism and Pacifists | 44 comments (26 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
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