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Kabul, Kandahar bombed; troops gather in Uzbekistan

By Dlugar in MLP
Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:05:31 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Google, of course, has an extensive list of news sources. Here are direct links to a few stories at ABC News, the BBC, CNN, and the Middle East Wire.


"The first explosions were reported around the capital, Kabul, this evening (local time), and power and telephone service in the city was quickly knocked out," [abcnews]

"the Taleban says it has sent 8,000 troops to its border with Uzbekistan, which has given the US access to an air base for its anti-terrorism campaign." [bbc]

"Washington now has in place military over-flight and basing agreements with dozens of countries, the latest being Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan, where 1,000 U.S. troops are deploying. Already in the region are more than 30,000 U.S. military personnel along with several hundred aircraft and at least two carrier battle groups standing by off South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula." [middleeastwire]

"A senior Taliban official in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, told CNN their command and radar systems at the Kandahar airport had been destroyed," [cnn]

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Kabul, Kandahar bombed; troops gather in Uzbekistan | 223 comments (220 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
That was quick! (3.71 / 7) (#1)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:25:21 PM EST

Does anyone have any information on how much food is going to be distributed to the poor starving refugees? Is it in the same order of magnitude as was estimated by George Monbiot
One person requires 18kg of food per month to survive. If the UN's projections are correct, and some 1.5 million manage to leave the country, around 6.1m starving people will be left behind. In five weeks, in other words, Afghanistan requires 580,000 tonnes of food to see its people through the winter, as well as tarpaulins, warm clothes, medicines and water supply and sanitation equipment. The food alone would fill 21,000 trucks or 19,000 Hercules transport planes. The convoy which reached Kabul to such acclaim yesterday has met barely a three thousandth of the country's needs.


"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
Some info (4.33 / 3) (#2)
by your corporate master on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:32:59 PM EST

Don't know exactly about the amount of food, but approximately US$600 million of aid has been pledged to the UN. See this link. Perhaps surprisingly, over half of that amount is coming from the US. I don't know if the current relief effort is part of this.

[ Parent ]
Sheeeit! (4.00 / 3) (#4)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:40:14 PM EST

Did you see the paragraph at the end?
Mohamed Zejjari, the assistant executive director of the World Food Program, said the agency hoped to send about 52 tons of food into Afghanistan (news - web sites) per month, compared to 30,000 tons before the Sept. 11 attacks.

There are two ways of reading this: 1.that this is what they want to accomplish with the c.$600 million, or that
2. this is what they're able to get in before the aid boost.

I hope that it's the latter. I wonder how many tons of food $600 million buys and how that stacks up against the Monbiot estimates.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
The numbers don't make sense. (3.85 / 7) (#7)
by physicsgod on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:50:03 PM EST

18kg of carbs or protein would be 72000 calories, or 36 times the normal daily requirement. The UN has dropped vitamin-enriched biscuits in East Timor. Each biscuit weighed 200g and supplied 900 calories. Which would mean they need to drop ~400g per day per person, or 300,000kg/day, which is one C-5/day or 5 C-130s/day. Doesn't sound too hard, the limiting factor would be the availability of the biscuits.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Not per a day (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by truth versus death on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:29:35 PM EST

The quote says "One person requires 18kg of food per month to survive." So the numbers sound a little more sensible when seen from that perspective.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
72kCal per month? (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:38:08 PM EST

Agreed about the limited availability of the biscuits. However I think that the estimate was per month? So your factor of 36 would be roughly correct.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Mea Culpa (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by physicsgod on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:39:33 PM EST

I misread the quote, I also managed to get the wrong stats for the cargo planes (guess it just isn't my day). Since the Sec. of Def. said they were using C-17's for the food drops I'll post that: It would take about 4 trips a day to drop enough food for 1.5 million people, of course that would mean all the food is centered around 4 locations, so they might use more flights just to get better distribution. The point still stands that a humanitarian food drop is well within the US military's capabilities.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
C-17 estimate (3.66 / 3) (#44)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:30:25 PM EST

Hmm. I just quickly ball-parked what the implications of using C-17s would be if we accept the 72kcal/18kg per person per month figure.
A C-17 is able to carry a max of
c.85,000 Kg.
If we reduce the number of people to be fed to 1.5*10^6 as you do (note that there may be 6 million!) then one obtains the following monthly requirement:
c. 1*10^8Kg
Which translate to an approximate number of C-17 flights in a month of
3000 flights or 100 per day
If you take the higher estimate of refugees as 6 million then we need 450 flights per day!
It's late here, I'm tired perhaps I've made an error, but I don't see where you get the figure in your post from?

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
I think I see the problem. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by physicsgod on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:03:53 AM EST

The 18kg/month figure is the difference. The weight estimate I used came from a description of the ration biscuits I found on the UN site I linked to, namely 200g for 900Cal. I'm also using 1800Cal as an acceptable diet (makes the math easier). I'm not sure why he uses a 72kcal/month diet, that's 2400cal/day, which is larger than the average diet recommended.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
1800 Cal underestimate (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:13:08 PM EST

I accept your MRE weight/calorie data. 1 MRE=200g=900 Cal
But I don't accept your 1800 Cal/day/person. The range (for US citizens who live in a much less physical environment is from 1600 to 2800) see this US gov link . So I think that the 2400 may be plausible.
Given your 1800 we need c.7 C-17 flights per day to supply the 1.5 million.
If one accepts the 6 million then we need 28 flights per day.
I'll bet there aren't that number of MREs available or enough fuel for those flights, or even enough C-17s. I may be wrong on the last point, but if you look at the link I gave you to the C-17 datasheet it looks like that.
Anyway, they're only dropping the MREs in the non-Taliban areas which is only 10% of the country then there is no way that they're even pretending to reach the majority of those in need (yes I know it makes sense in terms of not supplying your enemy etc). You might find some interesting data in that last link.
Add to this the fact that there are only c.37,000 MREs being dropped that can't even account for the c.2 million refugees! let alone the remaining c.5 million internally displaced persons and others.
Going back to the Monbiot estimates, if one accepts 2,400 Cal/person/day then one gets to 2.66MRE/person/day which leads to 2.66(MRE)*30(days)*(200g) = 16Kg per person per month.
So the article was certainly close to your own estimates. I still want to know how much food US$600 million buys and how much of that would have to be spent on distribution etc.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Ahh, real numbers. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by physicsgod on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:41:05 PM EST

I saw a story in the paper today about the rations the US is dropping over Afghanistan, they weigh 30 ounces(850g) and supply 2400Cal. So that's 2lbs/person/day, or 12e6lbs/day, or 70 C-17's per day. If you assume the deployment numbers have been constant over the last 8 years there are ~96 C-17's in service right now. The deployment started in 93 and will reach the total order of 120 in 2004. So feeding the entire population of Afghanistan would use up 2/3 of the present C-17 fleet, I don't think av. fuel will be the limiting factor, since 40 strike aircraft were used in the first round.

All in all, it doesn't seem impossible, but I doubt we're going to try and feed 6 million people for 5 months from the air.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

References? (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:05:01 PM EST

Interesting that they go for the 2400 Cal per day. So that looks as though Monbiot's article was right in that assumption. Do you have a reference to the newspaper?
850g * 23*10^6(population of Afghanistan) = 1.955E10 g = 1.955E7 Kg
100 (C-17s) * 8.5E4Kg(carrying capacity of a C-17) = 8.5E6 Kg
This means that all the available fleet would have to make two drops per day to supply the population
Where did you get the C-17 numbers data?
All in all, it doesn't seem impossible
Well, we still don't know how much aviation fuel this would take, how many MREs are available , so I don't think that conclusion is justified. I think it may be doable
I don't think we're going to try and feed people either. So far we've attempted to feed at most 35,000
We'll just walk away from the mess we've created. Probably we'll sucker Pakistan into holding the bag along with a UN peacekeeping force.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Some references, some assumptions. (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by physicsgod on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:26:36 PM EST

I read about the humanitarian rations in the Denver Post, but couldn't find anything on their site, but here's something from those who should know.

As for the C-17 I got the cargo numbers from here. I kept everything in american units because it made the math easier (if you assume 2lbs (32oz) per HDR) and because the american load limits for C-17's agreed between your reference and mine. I am curious as to why you used the entire population of Afghanistan? I've been using the 6 million figure from the first quote (the 1.5 million was the number of people who could leave).

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Why 23E6 (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:38:19 PM EST

I am curious as to why you used the entire population of Afghanistan?

Because you stated that we could feed the entire population of Afghanistan. That's all. I guess you didn't mean that. I thought you were trying to make the point that we had so much capacity that we could easily do that let alone just the refugees

Thanks for the links



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Yeah, (none / 0) (#155)
by physicsgod on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:18:57 AM EST

I meant the entire starving population, sorry for the confusion.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Newspaper reference? (none / 0) (#166)
by nichughes on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:38:21 AM EST

I have a copy of the newspaper at home but I suggest you save your time by not re-reading Goerge's article. He obviously read the UN report on food requirements and didn't think the figures supported his case so he dropped all of them apart from the number of people in need and then started making up his own estimates for what is needed. Of course the UN report already stated what is needed, so why does George claim that 580,000 tons are needed in the next 5 weeks when the UN are satisfied that 52,000 tons are required per month?

I realise you are having some fun with these figures but before you get too serious its always worth checking out the more realistic estimates from people who have real knowledge of the situation on the ground. The UN plan to use mostly trucks on the perfectly reasonable basis that most people do not live up in the mountains anyway, airdrops are only proposed for the minority who will be out of reach of ground transport.

If you are concerned about aircraft fleet sizes you might want to take account of the Russians, they have very good transport aircraft based much closer to Afghanistan.

--
Nic

[ Parent ]

kCal (4.00 / 1) (#46)
by fluffy grue on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:31:58 PM EST

It's somewhat inaccurate to refer to 1000 dietary calories as a kCal, since it's actually one dietary calorie which is a kCal (one dietary calorie can raise the temperature of one liter by 1K, which is 1000x the energy of a standard calorie which can only raise the temperature of one mL by 1K). 1000 dietary calories would actually be 1 MCal. Yay for colloquial units.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

kCal, Cal, cal, kcal (none / 0) (#49)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:38:27 PM EST

thanks, point taken. There's also another problem which I just realized:
a Calorie (note the upper-case "c") is actually 1000 calories. So it should be as you say 1000 Mcal. Grrr!

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Argh (none / 0) (#56)
by fluffy grue on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:34:34 PM EST

Is that some new convention then? calorie == chemistry, Calorie == dietary (i.e. kcal)? so Cal == kcal and kCal == Mcal?

God I hate connotative language structures. I like how in Europe they just give food energy values in the SI units (i.e. kJoules).
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Novelty of convention (none / 0) (#67)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:26:19 PM EST

Is that some new convention then? calorie == chemistry, Calorie == dietary (i.e. kcal)?

I'm not sure about how novel it is, but it is definitely in operation. Having had a scientific training I'm all in agreement for using SI. It seems to be a losing battle here though. There isn't even agreement on what a gallon is! Imperial (ie British) vs. American which gets into bloody avoirdupois and troy and apothecary weights then.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Question the assumptions (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by nichughes on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:10:33 AM EST

George Monbiot is stronger on rhetoric than logic, always check his assumptions before proceeding (this from a regular Guardian reader).

He has started out by assuming that anyone dependent on food aid has no food, zero, zilch, nothing. Of course many of those dependent on food aid have some food, just not quite enough to see them through the long winter. He then assumes that the whole of Afghanistan becomes instantly impassable when the first flake of snow drops, which is simply not true for the lowlands where most of the people are. His figures are meaningless.

The people who actually do know about the requirements - the aid agencies - do not seem to be planning for these huge tonnages so it looks like George is wildly out again. The UN reckon they need up to 52,000 tons of food per month - rather different to George's 580,000 tons within 5 weeks.

--
Nic

[ Parent ]

can't find it (none / 0) (#213)
by rehan on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:34:06 PM EST

Point well taken that one should question assumptions. As for the severity of the winter. I have read , for instance, that Afghan wars stalemate during the winter. And, of course, it's unlikely that this applies just in the mountains, in fact it applies more strongly to the areas where there are people. So maybe it isn't impassable "with the first flakes" but on the other hand, but it's bad enough to keep fanatics from their beloved wars (quite a feat).

I'd like to question the assumptions behind the 52,000 tonnes per month but I can't find the figures on the link that you provide. Can you be more exact?


Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
UN figures (none / 0) (#219)
by nichughes on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:40:37 AM EST

The UN website is a pain, they re-use URLs so if you look at the site later the information has gone. The information is currently here.

If you are really interested its worth working through these articles as well, to get a feel for how much the aid effort is being stepped up from pre-11th plans.

--
Nic

[ Parent ]

thanks (none / 0) (#220)
by rehan on Sun Oct 14, 2001 at 05:17:47 PM EST

Thanks, that's very illuminating

Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
Osama bin Laden on Al Jazeera (3.57 / 7) (#3)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:33:49 PM EST

Just hearing a report from the "independent" TV station al jazeera which was (according to the NPR translation) quoting bin Laden live as saying:
those that live in America will never taste security and safety unless we feel safety and securing in our land and in Palestine.

There was other stuff there about how 100,000s had died in Japan and Iraq and were these not crimes also and that this was an attack upon Islam rather than an attack on terrorism. Some other stuff also. Speculation is that this was a pre-taped message, so looks like things are playing out according to Bin Laden's plans.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
Saw that too.... (3.75 / 4) (#5)
by GreenHell on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:44:30 PM EST

either it was taped, or, Osama isn't even in the area, after all, the live footage shows that it's dark out, while the shots of bin Laden showed him outside, in some nice bright light. You know what the scary part is, he's probably at least partly right.

-GreenHell
This .sig was my last best hope to seem eloquent. It failed.
[ Parent ]
Speculation for retaliation (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:49:32 PM EST

some of the NPR wonks are speculating that there will be retaliatory attacks. It seems more likely to me that these will occur outside of the US. Probably there are softer targets like embassys or US linked businesses in European countries. If there is a strike back I'm betting it's not in the US.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Retaliation? (4.00 / 5) (#11)
by slaytanic killer on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:21:56 PM EST

How does bin Laden intend to retaliate without making the US into a monster that can never stop? Is he in talks with some non-Islamic countries, which probably would have nothing to gain?

Bin Laden knew he declared war with the US by attacking. Is he doing a premature Hitler by going mad? Doesn't billions buy competent people?

Is bin Laden a scapegoat, but hitting him would be just as effective as hitting the real target?

I wish I were in the intelligence community. There is no information. We almost never know what is happening. Maybe bin Laden is just a man who's tired of his decades-long charismatic schtick, or had to do something impressive that would rally his increasingly disappointed followers. We'll probably never know, until the movie comes out.

[ Parent ]
Bin Laden mad? Yes. (4.00 / 4) (#14)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:31:33 PM EST

Bin Laden knew he declared war with the US by attacking. Is he doing a premature Hitler by going mad?

It certainly seems that he is close to insane...we could quibble over the definition of course, but I don't feel that he is normal.

s bin Laden a scapegoat,

Well, the guys that actually did the 9/11 attacks are dead......so I guess you could argue that he's a scapegoat. But if one could show through a trial with presentation of evidence that he knew of, and had commanded those attacks then I think that he would be responsible for them?

There is no information. We almost never know what is happening

Too true. It's one of those un-democratic aspects of war. One of the reasons I'm so against it. You really get to give up what freedoms there are.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
No information (3.00 / 4) (#57)
by PresJPolk on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:36:24 PM EST

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. IT IS A REPUBLIC.

Authority is temporarily delegated to elected officials. They don't need to go and publicize every detail they have before acting, especially not when such delays can cause harm to the American people.

Sure, it's not democratic. It's not supposed to be. There are threats to freedom, but not getting a detailed rundown of every fact and opertional detail in advance isn't one of them.

Our elected leaders aren't supposed to be using polls to make their decisions, anyway.

[ Parent ]
Misleading (4.00 / 3) (#59)
by marx on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:51:07 PM EST

You're just trying to mislead people. When people say "democracy" they mean a representative democracy, not a direct democracy (or un-democractic", as in this case).

Here is from one of the federalist papers:

It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region.

Please show me a single country today which is a "democracy" from this definition, or why your comment has any kind of relevance, aside from being misleading.

A republic is a representative democracy, and thus the comment about war being "un-democratic" is perfectily appropriate.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Representative Democracy (2.50 / 2) (#68)
by PresJPolk on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:30:56 PM EST

Try defining Representative Democracy then.

If your definition doesn't include skilled people chosen because their decision making is trusted (as opposed to their ability to read a poll), then your definition doesn't include the US government.

And, that still leaves untouched the main point: The evidence of what the terrorist organization(s) do, and why they do it, does not nee to be published in advance of attacks on those organizations, in order for this government to be considered open and responsive. The responsiveness comes every 2-6 years (Depending on the post), not every 6 hours.

[ Parent ]
Interesting admission (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:55:47 PM EST

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. IT IS A REPUBLIC.

You should get on the blower to George W. He keeps on talking about how the U.S. of A. "stands for Freedom and Democracy". I'd bet a lot of people living here think that they're living in a democracy.

As it happens I agree with you that there is a delegation of authority to officials. I don't agree with that though, it strikes me as not taking responsibility for one's own life. I'm not sure about how "temporary" that delegation is - strikes me that the caste that "we" delegate to is pretty permanent. Sure they switch about their public face every now and then to keep us pacified, but it's not us controlling the state.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
He declared war on the US (4.00 / 3) (#37)
by wiredog on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:02:46 PM EST

Several years ago. 92? Something like that. And it was a declaraton of war.

No information? It's early hours yet (8PM eastern), the military probably doesn't have the bomb damage assesment yet. And it is probably doesn't know if all the strike aircraft made it back yet.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

What's wrong with him?? (3.62 / 8) (#64)
by Danse on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:15:33 PM EST

Several years ago. 92? Something like that. And it was a declaraton of war.

Over here in America, we believe that if you declare war on someone, you should get right to it and we should all get to watch on CNN. This whole low-level hit and run kind of stuff just isn't what we think of as war. And OUR OWN buildings being destroyed?! That's NOT what war is about. It's about bombing the hell out of SOMEONE ELSE'S country!! This guy must be insane. He doesn't even know how a war is supposed to be fought!






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Madness (3.80 / 5) (#43)
by MugginsM on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:21:38 PM EST

> Bin Laden knew he declared war with the US by attacking.
> Is he doing a premature Hitler by going mad?
> Doesn't billions buy competent people?

I'd say killing many thousand of the enemy and
seriously damaging their economy at the cost of
only a few soldiers is fairly "competent".

I find it amusing how people seems to always assume
the enemy is either insane, or stupid.

The terrorists (whether it's Osama or not) are
from a different *culture*. Their way of life and
beliefs are different from the American Way. And
so are their dreams and ambitions.

These people believe that the US is a very evil entity
and that they are fighting for God by destroying this
evil.


And from here, it looks like they're winning.


It seems to me that the US doesn't yet understand
the war it's fighting.


NOTE: I am NOT saying that I agree with the terrorist
actions. I'm simply saying that from their perspective
they're perfectly sane and are indeed great heroes.
Just like the Americans think of themselves.


This is a fairly typical war. Both sides think
they're right. And from their perspectives, they
probably are.


And I fail to see how this retaliation, which will
kill more "innocents" than the terrorist strike,
will do *anything* but make matters worse.

- MugginsM


[ Parent ]
Insanity (4.33 / 3) (#52)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:06:42 PM EST

of course is a broad term, but it does mean that you consider the other person's mentality so far away from yours that it probably doesn't even share the most important aspects of your frame of reference.
So it's not really a useful analytic term, it's just a statement of incomprehension and rejection. But that doesn't mean that it is incorrect.
The terrorists are indeed from a different culture. It seems that it is a very small, restricted culture thankfully. Most believers in Islam would seem not to be part of it as would most Arabs in general (there was a good interview with Robert Fisk in which he talked about how kind most people that he met were in his travels in the region).
What makes me worry though is US culture which seems to be based upon denial - there are still a large number of people here who are prepared to go along with the fantasy that this "war" is a way to "do something about terrorism" and then to totally deny through active ignorance that there is data which questions this "reality". I suppose I shouldn't be really surprised in a nation that has a predominantly religious mind set.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
There is such a thing as madness (3.00 / 1) (#96)
by slaytanic killer on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:13:09 AM EST

And I'd define it as nonrationally pursuing a goal.

Is bin Laden conducting an extroardinarily difficult goal -- guerrilla attacks against a faraway land without cheap mass-destruction weapons?

Is the point to die?

It comes down to this -- war is about surprise. The US has overwhelming strength. Therefore the US wants to remove as much surprise as possible and let the sheer numbers decide.

That begs the question -- what resources does bin Laden have? If his hidden resources can severely inconvenience the US side, then what are they?

I am asking this from an American's perspective. If bin Laden can carry out his goals simultaneously with the US carrying out it's own (taking bin Laden with minimal security risk to the US), I'm fine with that. But has bin Laden installed a network within the US ready to activate on a signal? Can he really take the guerilla war to the US?

Do we have to deport all Arabs, or some similar terrible step?

[ Parent ]
More Innocents? Not yet, anyway... (none / 0) (#134)
by Shadow Knight on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:58:32 PM EST

Well, if you can believe even a little bit of what we've been told, then very few "innocents" have been killed in the attacks on the Taliban thus far. Even the Taliban itself only claims 20 civilian deaths! Now, 20 dead people is bad, but it's a far sight less than 5000+. So, I'd really like to know where you get the idea that the "retailiation" will kill more innocents than the terrorist strikes...

If your answer is "They're lying to us, they are actually bombing the cities and killing civilians" then we have no common frame of reference to communicate with. You also therefore believe the Taliban is lying in the US' favor, which seems patently absurd...

later,
Shadow Knight


Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
[ Parent ]
More Innocents? Not yet, anyway... (none / 0) (#143)
by MugginsM on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:09:46 PM EST

> Well, if you can believe even a little bit of
> what we've been told, then very few "innocents"
> have been killed in the attacks on the Taliban
> thus far.

Sure, so far.

I see on the news that the bombing is continuing though, and is likely to continue for quite some time.

And then there're the people who will die from after
effects - starvation, etc.

We were told in the first days of the Gulf War that there
were hardly any casualties and it was a "clean" war.
But look how many people died as a result of that.

- MugginsM

[ Parent ]
Osama bin Laden on Al Jazeera (4.33 / 6) (#8)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:57:52 PM EST

Al Jazeera is a very prominent news source in the Arab world. Right now I'm trying to find any sort of video clip of this, or transcript or translation or anything. Anyone got any links? The Al Jazeera web site (besides being in Arabic, making it slow-going for a novice Arabic-speaker like myself) is being hammered to death, and I'm starting to be unable to load pages.

I was watching it on CNN, however ... very propagandistic and well-spoken, talking about a lot of the issues that have been brought up here on Kuro5hin (Iraq, Palestine, etc.), and calling this a war against Muslims. CNN speculated that this would probably cause more than a little stir in the Arab world that tends to lean favourably towards the US.

*sigh* Can't we all just get along?

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
bin Laden's speech (4.27 / 11) (#15)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:31:50 PM EST

I can't seem to find a transcript on Al Jazeera's website, but I watched bin Laden and I'll try to paraphrase. Be aware that my Arabic isn't as good as it should be, so I missed a few things.

bin Laden spoke (eloquently) about the qualms he has with the US -- the oppression of the Palestinian people, the continuing sanctions and bombing of Iraq and the US occupation of Saudi Arabia. He called to Muslims to take up arms against America. He responded to the "war on terror" by reminding the world of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which thousands of civilians were killed, from the very young to the very old. He closed by saying "I swear, by God the Everlasting, All-Seeing and Almighty, that Americans will not know peace until Palestinians know peace and the infidel armies are driven out of the Holy Land of Mohammed."

I'll probably get flamed for this, but the man is good. Whatever you think of his politics, his tactics or his philosophy, he's a damn-fine speaker. I watched Bush and Blair speak after the air strikes -- where Bush is embarassing and Blair tolerable (pleasant?), OBL is eloquent.

An Afghani leader speaking on the tape before bin Laden (I didn't catch his name) said this: "I have a question to ask of the American people: Why do you think there is such hatred for America and Israel? Why do you think there is such a fire burning in the hearts of Muslims?". He said more, but I didn't catch it -- I was trying to translate to a friend via IM at the time.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

More (4.66 / 6) (#23)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:49:41 PM EST

Al Jazeera just played the video again (while I was responding to posts, so I only heard it in the background), so I'll add some specifics.

bin Laden spoke of Israeli tanks attacking Palestinians. He also said "America has killed 1,000,000 children in Iraq and continues to do so to this day without any protest being raised." I could have better rendered his closing statement as: "I swear by God the Almighty, Who raised the sky and the heavens, that America shall not dream of and Americans shall not know security until Palestinians do and we do and the infidel armies are removed from the Holy Land of Mohammed."

If I can find a transcript I'll post a translation of the whole thing.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

FYI there's a full translation (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by jayfoo2 on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:42:59 PM EST

FYI there is a full translation on Yahoo news from the AP

link is here

[ Parent ]
Links for Dlugar (4.60 / 5) (#16)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:33:49 PM EST

There's a page with Arabic radio links here . I don't speak any Arabic. Maybe you could glean some info from them?
-modulus

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera's repute (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:15:32 PM EST

As Dlugar pointed out, Al Jazeera is a well respected Arabic news channel -- it might even be called _the_ news channel. It's also the only news agency that has a presence in Afghanistan -- CNN, BBC et al are feeding off it.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
Ladens threat seemed ill thought out. (none / 0) (#101)
by drquick on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:50:40 AM EST

This is just my impression:
Bin Laden improvised when he threatened Americans. "You are not safe", but he seemed wobbly on the issue of when he'd strike.
It seems to me that if he has planned some additional strikes he'd be very sure as of when and why these strikes would happen. Maybe the tightened security in the USA worries him.
Like i said this was just my impressions, but I expected something more sharp and focused.

[ Parent ]
bin Laden's miscalculation (3.43 / 16) (#9)
by gibichung on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:04:42 PM EST

For those who haven't seen it: Osama bin Laden's pre-recorded appeal to all Muslims to take up arms against the United States for our attack on Afghanistan today was a terrible mistake. He essentially admitted to his people's role in the attack. His plan (and the plan behind the 9/11 attack) was revealed:
They hoped that the assault on America would provoke a quick, poorly focused response that would give a real boost to this pre-recorded message. However, bin Laden and his organization have proved to be among the many who seriously underestimated President Bush. Unlike his predecessor, Bush took his time to make sure that when he did act, he acted in a way that would help American interests instead of hurting them. Everything we know as of yet about the response so far supports this conclusion (especially considering bin Laden's confession). If Clinton had acted with Bush's tactfulness in 1998, the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon might never have occurred. But, fortunately, I'm confident that Bush's actions in the future will be of the same impressive forethought and execution. America's controlled, focused response to this disgusting provocation has not and will not play into the terrorist's plans. Our response is on course to make history in the fight against terrorism, proving that we can defeat terrorists without provoking the more moderate elements into joining them.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
i've been impressed so far. (4.33 / 6) (#12)
by rebelcool on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:25:40 PM EST

I dont like bush particularly, but they are taking what appears to be the moderate, reasonable stance.

What shocked me was the hint at creating a palestinian state - which should have been done decades ago.

Also is the acknowledgement that foreign policies are being reviewed...

I think maybe the government is finally starting to get it.

Of course the real test will be what happens after the taliban are deposed... will the US favor the northern alliance? Put the king in power? Or something else entirely?

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Getting ahead of ourselves? (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:41:17 PM EST

Of course the real test will be what happens after the taliban are deposed

Who said they would get deposed? Let's not forget that the last two empires that tried to fight a war in Afghanistan came out beaten.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

Prev post meant to be: bin Laden's confession? (4.33 / 3) (#22)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:46:43 PM EST

I don't know how this ended up here, I think k5 got confused by my attempts to post multiple comments simultaneously (or maybe I got confused). In any case, here's what I wanted to say:

He essentially admitted to his people's role in the attack. His plan (and the plan behind the 9/11 attack) was revealed: They hoped that the assault on America would provoke a quick, poorly focused response that would give a real boost to this pre-recorded message.

Where are you getting this from? Did you watch the video yourself? On which channel and in which language? I watched it on Al Jazeera in Arabic and neither I nor my father heard anything to that effect.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

D'oh (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:18:28 PM EST

OK, I was the one that got confused, not K5. The above comment is supposed to be a respone to the original post. I'm reposting it as such, so if an editor wants to delete this rambling thread I've created, that would be nice.
Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
Hate to burst your little anti-Clinton bubble... (2.87 / 8) (#20)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 03:39:43 PM EST

>If Clinton had acted with Bush's tactfulness in
>1998, the attacks on the World Trade Center and
>the Pentagon might never have occurred.

... But bin laden had been trying to take down the world trade center since 1993. By that february, when the bombing took place, Clinton had not the time to get involved in hardly ANY foreign policy, much less torque off half the world the way the shrub has.

In the same vein, since you're so intent on blaming all the countries ills on Clinton's response to the attacks on our foreign embassies... explain then bin laden's attacks on the embassies in the first place. What do you imaging Clinton did to "provoke the more moderate elements" to violate the traditional diplomatic sanctity?

Better yet, just go back to watching the 700 club and listening to rush limbaugh.


cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

the point.... (4.57 / 7) (#24)
by gibichung on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:11:20 PM EST

... But bin laden had been trying to take down the world trade center since 1993. By that february, when the bombing took place, Clinton had not the time to get involved in hardly ANY foreign policy, much less torque off half the world the way the shrub has.

The point is that Clinton DID NOT RESPOND to the attacks in 1993 and 1998 in any meaningful way. He ignored them, and as the investigation of the 9/11 attack revealed, these people had been planning this attack for years. When Clinton did respond, he did not do so with good planning, and he did not follow through. He blew up a factory that made medicine, launched a few missiles, and did nothing afterwards. Clinton's inaction gave these terrorists boldness, and his poorly executed attack on the wrong people gave the terrorists confidence in their 9/11 plan, to provoke a misdirected American response that would give them more support in the Muslim world.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

but understand... (4.66 / 3) (#77)
by crayz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:38:42 AM EST

Clinton was in a different position. First of all, in the '93 attack only 6 people died. Hard to get much of a global mandate from that. In '98 only like 12 Americans died(lets be honest - who really cared about the 200 or so Africans? we didn't care when a million died in Rwanda either - it's racist but it's just the sad truth of the world). So not only did Clinton not have much of a mandate for a massive attack, he was being impeached! I don't think he would've had the power to get a war approved by Congress or supported by the American people or the world at large.

But with a massive attack on American soil killing thousands of people, Bush now obviously can wage a large war. I'm not saying Clinton wasn't wrong, I'm just saying he was in a different positon, and I don't think Bush would've done any better in that position. And lets none of us forget how badly Bush Sr. fucked up by leaving Saddam in power. Apparently Iraq may have had a part in this attack. Leaving Saddam in power was our biggest military mistake in the past decade.

[ Parent ]
The US attack is misdirected (2.50 / 2) (#104)
by drquick on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:13:53 AM EST

You write:
"a misdirected American response that would give them more support in the Muslim world."

I think that's exactly what we got. Bush's attack is misdirected. The "Afghan people" (I hate that phrase) are the target now, with a lot of excuses and explanations. Just as Palestinians, Kurds, Iraqians, etc, have suffered before.

The American logic seems to be: 'We can't do nothing, therefore doing something is right'. I don't agree. The cause of all this violence is that USA thinks it's so strong it doesn't matter how many new enemies it gets. America likes to think about itself that it's benevolent and just. This war proves the opposite to a lot of muslims.

I personally agree that USA imposes a double standard in the middle east. Israel can launch any kind of attack in any country including political assassinations, air strikes, sabotage of industry and economy, etc, and the USA just forgives and forgets. I don't condone terrorism, but with pro American governments in the region terrorism becomes very viable to radical elemants.

[ Parent ]

I'll let you in on a little secret... (4.66 / 3) (#106)
by gibichung on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:33:21 AM EST

In the Middle East, there are no good guys and no bad guys. Every competing element has its own justices and injustices, and, unfortunately, very few powers there have more good about them than bad. This is a fact of life, and it has been for a long, long time. In the past, when one of these competing elements made alliances with a superpower, if the other superpower didn't support the opposition, the balance of power would crumble and the modern problems of the region would seem tame by comparison. Don't kid yourself: the American influence in the region could have been completely positive if the people there had been prepared to accept it -- imagine how Iraq would be today if they had decided to build the world's 4th strongest industrial base instead of the world's 4th largest army...

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
How I hate this bullshit about "4th largest a (5.00 / 2) (#149)
by zocky on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:21:24 PM EST

Anyone who seriously believes that Iraq had the world's 4th largest army, should at least try to think which 3 are supposed to be larger and which are the ones that are then supposed to be smaller:

so, the ones that were no doubt larger were (in no particular order)

1) USA
2) USSR (at that time)
3) China


so, we are then supposed to believe that Iraq, a country of 20 million people had an army larger than:

4) Britain (60 million people and world's second largest navy)
5) France (60 million people, nuclear weapons, foreign legion)
6) Indonesia (200 million people, years of internal wars)
7) Pakistan (over 100 million people, years of war with India)
8) India (nearly a billion people, years of war with Pakistan and border disputes with China)
9) Iran (70 million people, and Iraq couldn't beat them in 8 years)

and then various european countries with a lot of money and many other countries in the world that are more populous and none poorer than Iraq.

So, world's 4th largest army is total bullshit... I'd say 30th would be about right.


---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

the facts speak for themselves... (none / 0) (#177)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:44:54 AM EST

Iraq boasted an army of almost 550,000 men, 6000 tanks, 5000 lighter armored vehicles, 5000 support vehicles, and more than 5000 artillery pieces. Keep in mind, that historically the rule of thumb was 10% of your population could fight, and with 23,000,000 people at his disposal, I find it unlikely that an army of 500,000 couldn't be hacked together. No one is claiming that Iraq fought like the world's 4th best army, just that they had the bulk.

The fact of the matter is just as I said, Iraq had incredible resources available to it, enough money to greatly improve the lives of its citizens. Instead, the same people who decided to spend that money on tanks and guns (obviously demonstrating poor decision making already) were unable to properly organize the forces available to them for war, and the result of the conflict and Iraq's handling since just proves this.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Targets (4.75 / 4) (#108)
by br284 on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 11:54:19 AM EST

In all of your anti-American rhetoric and posturing, you have obviously missed the great lengths that the US has gone through to let people know that this is NOT an attack against the Afghan people. Whatever your anti-US reasoning may be, I don't see how you can say that we are targeting the Afghans, while providing them with generous food rations (these people are starving and the Taliban has done dick to help that out). That is not exactly something you do to someone you are persecuting or targeting. The Taliban and al-Qaeda are CLEARLY the target in these attacks, though if you cannot see that through the cracked glasses of your anti-American rhetoric, I doubt that you would see or believe anything positive that will come out of this.

Get a clue.

-Chris



[ Parent ]
"Generous food rations" (3.00 / 1) (#150)
by zocky on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:39:17 PM EST

According to the media, US dropped 37,500 ration packs into Afghanistan. I don't know how much Calories are in each pack, but I know they are called HDR, Humanitarian Daily Ration, so let's say US was generous and put 2,400 calories into each ration (specification says at least 2,200).

Population of Afghanistan is roughly 20 million. So, 37,500 x 2,400 / 20,000,000 = 4.5 calories per person.

Have a Tic Tac for breakfast. Have another one for lunch. And another one for dinner. I'm not sure whether supper is customary in Afghanistan.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Generosity (5.00 / 2) (#162)
by br284 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:43:38 AM EST

Given that this is food that they didn't have from a nation that they did not expect to give them food, and a nation that does not expect anything back from this humanitarian exercise, I would definately call it generous. It's sure a lot more generous than the ruling regime has provided. While it is apparent that the rulers of Afghanistan really don't care whether their people eat or not, I think what the US is doing is at the height of generosity. Of course there will always be those who think that whatever we do, it will never be enough. Oh, and I haven't forgotten that the US was also the most generous donor in terms of supplies sent to the Afghan people before this whole conflict, regardless of the fact that the current regime was harboring and abetting a known terrorist.

But it will never please everybody...

-Chris

[ Parent ]
Oh Come On (2.66 / 3) (#169)
by zocky on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:11:12 AM EST

The point is that media is talking all day about these HDR's, CNN is showing them and talking about how they are "culturally and religiously sensitive" and so on, but the quantity of this aid is ridiculous (like Bill Gates donating a nickle to Red Cross).

HDR dropping is (at least currently) just a propaganda ploy.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

Too Little? (5.00 / 1) (#174)
by br284 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:10:52 AM EST

Damn... The United States dedicates $320 million towards humanitarian aid and you describe this as being ridiculous? Also add to the fact that the transports delivering these rations are in danger of Stinger missiles while on their missions, and you feel that it is necessary to belittle this contribution? Pretty expensive propaganda ploy if the goal of these exercises is just to target and destroy the Afghan people (reference to my original reply).

Out of curiousity, why do you think we're in this conflict? Your answers suggest you know something I don't. Please enlighten me.

-Chris


[ Parent ]
bin Laden's confession? (4.00 / 3) (#27)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:19:10 PM EST

He essentially admitted to his people's role in the attack. His plan (and the plan behind the 9/11 attack) was revealed: They hoped that the assault on America would provoke a quick, poorly focused response that would give a real boost to this pre-recorded message.

Where are you getting this from? Did you watch the video yourself? On which channel and in which language? I watched it on Al Jazeera in Arabic and neither I nor my father heard anything to that effect.
Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

I fully agree. (4.00 / 4) (#31)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:24:55 PM EST

It appears, from bin Laden's video, than in actuality this is all to his plan. Certainly he would have been happier if the response had been more swift, less calculated, and less justified--and if it had not have been accompanied by airdropped food with little "From your best buddies in the US" notes.

Rather than a serious mistake, I think that bin Laden is so far ahead of this game, more so than the Western leaders. Will we eventually "win" whatever that may mean? Perhaps--but I think sacrificing in a very serious way whatever image we had left in the Middle East.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Good question... (4.66 / 3) (#62)
by Danse on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:04:26 PM EST

Will we eventually "win" whatever that may mean?

This is something I've wondered about. How will we ever know if we've won? How do we know what's in the hearts of those whom we've wronged? How will we ever know if terrorism is defeated as Bush claims he wants to do. I would LOVE to see someone pose this question to Bush himself. I really don't see how this war is going to accomplish his stated goal.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
War Without End (3.00 / 4) (#85)
by Moneo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:29:48 AM EST

I've said it before: America cannot win this war. No amount of violence can stop a man who hates you so much he's willing to strap a bomb to his chest before having dinner with you...or fly a plane into your buildings...or infect himself with a very unpleasant virus (say, Ebola) and take a vacation in NY, LA, SF, DC, and Miami.

The number of terrorists acts can be reduced by attempting to address the underlying issues, but the US and its Allies don't seem interested in that.
Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

Nope. (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by physicsgod on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:28:24 AM EST

There is an amount of violence that can stop all those things: you kill them. So what if someone else takes their place, will they know how to build a bomb or fly a plane or which virus has the optimal infectiousness? By destroying these networks you can eliminate 90+% of the casualties they cause.

Our actions are also bounded by humanitarian and self-interest grounds. Should we withdraw all the troops from the gulf and let Saddam control all the oil? What about abandoning Israel? That would result in a general war in the area, with millions killed (remember Israel is a nuclear power), at the same time it's not inconcievable that a jewish terrorist organization would spring up to force US involvment, after all bin Laden has shown you only need to kill 5000 Americans to get them to do what you want.

History has shown that if we stay out of the world's problems they just get worse and we have to work even harder to clean them up.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Not necessarily (2.66 / 3) (#40)
by khym on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:48:27 PM EST

For those who haven't seen it: Osama bin Laden's pre-recorded appeal to all Muslims to take up arms against the United States for our attack on Afghanistan today was a terrible mistake. He essentially admitted to his people's role in the attack.
All you can logically conclude from this is that he believes that the terrorists were Muslims. It would only be evidence of his involvement if you could prove the recording was made before the WTC attack; if it was made after the attack, it could just be him guessing as to who did it.

--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]
As i said before... (1.80 / 5) (#41)
by Elendale on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:59:47 PM EST

Somone smacked the US square in the jaw, knocking the three-hundred-pound gorilla of the world flat on its ass.
Somone just punched the three-hundred-pound gorilla of the world right in the face, and everything else aside, that person had better have fast feet.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Selective memory... (5.00 / 5) (#91)
by Betcour on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:41:28 AM EST

If Clinton had acted with Bush's tactfulness in 1998, the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon might never have occurred.

If the US governement didn't had his head in his ass for 50 years, doing the most idiotic foregin policy while it's electors where blissfully and happily trying to ignore what was going on outside, then the US wouldn't have funded the Taliban, they wouldn't have overthrown the democratic governement of Iran, they wouldn't have funded Saddam, they wouldn't have let Saddam know that "sure, we don't mind if you invade Kuweit", they wouldn't have stationned troops in Saudi Arabia, they wouldn't have helped the dictator Pinochet take over another democratic country, they wouldn't support the blind Israelian "conquer, destroy and colonise" policy, etc etc etc...

If the US had a sensible, fair and democracy minded foreign policy, the WTC would be teaming with activity and bin laden would drive his Bentley somewhere in Saudi Arabia thinking of how to redecorate his new yatch. When you beat a dog with a stick day and nite, don't be surprised if he bites you in return.

[ Parent ]
uh, no... (3.00 / 3) (#97)
by gibichung on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:40:45 AM EST

If the US had a sensible, fair and democracy minded foreign policy, the WTC would be teaming with activity and bin laden would drive his Bentley somewhere in Saudi Arabia thinking of how to redecorate his new yatch.

If the US had had a sensible, fair, and democracy minded foreign policy, the World Trade Center would never have existed. After America lost 1.5 million men defeating Japan in WW2, Europe, the US, and the rest of the world would have been easy prey for the USSR before the trade center could be finished in the early 70s. Communists don't like World Trade Centers, either. And they don't like democracy, or freedom, so in the end, things wouldn't be so great afterall.

It's important to know that the Cold War did not so much "create" problems in the undeveloped world as it did to escalate already existing local conflicts. With superpowers backing both sides (and there was no other way to keep the balance of power), these petty conflicts weren't so petty anymore. These problems really can't be blamed on colonialism either, because, lets face it, the instability and petty infighting all over the world was what let the imperial powers conquer so much of it in the 18th and 19th centuries. This modern era of (relative) peace and stability is a very, very new thing to the world, and while it would be nice to defend democracy and uphold what's right at every turn, idealism can be a weakness. Even today there are still enemies of freedom who exploit that weakness (as seen on 9/11). The world is getting better, make no mistake, but it's going to take time. While the US certainly doesn't have a perfect record in promoting progress in the rest of the world, there isn't any country who's done better.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Somewhat OT (4.50 / 8) (#28)
by Moneo on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:22:13 PM EST

It's not immediately on-topic, but it is relevant. Here are Robert Fisk's comments on "our friends".

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
Bob Fisk says what Muslims won't (4.66 / 9) (#45)
by Lode Runner on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:31:49 PM EST

Robert Fisk, the champion of Arab and Muslims causes the world over, wrote one of the most frank pieces I've ever seen on the behavior of Muslim regimes and populations that are now our friends and enemies. Here it is.

Whether or not you find the piece distasteful, pretty much everyone, Western and Eastern agrees that Fisk knows what he's talking about. Unlike a number of people here on K5, Fisk seems to understand that the Muslim world must hold itself accountable for its members actions if it wants to be regarded as civilized.

If you want to read more by Fisk, I suggest you read his articles at their source, and not get them through middlemen who like to use Fisk to promote their agendas. Go to www.independent.co.uk and run a search for "Robert Fisk."

Even for those of us who disagree with many of Fisk's analyses, reading him can give one a fairly good understanding of the situation on the ground. Indeed, Fisk is fervently anti-Zionist, but there's no way an intelligent person can read his work and conclude that the only thing driving Muslim fanaticism and hatred of Israel and America is that they're reactions to arrogant Western imperialism.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the only way out of this mess is if the West and the Islamic World act like responsible adults and treat each other accordingly.



[ Parent ]

Text: Bin Laden's statement (3.88 / 9) (#29)
by decaf_dude on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:26:09 PM EST

Taken from The Guardian. Fair use applies.

Sunday October 7, 2001

The nations of infidels have all united against Muslims. You American people - can you ask yourselves why [there is] all this hate against America and Israel? The answer is clear and very simple, that America has committed so many crimes against the nations of Muslims.

America is the head of criminals by creating Israel - this continuous crime for 50 years.

The government which is besieging the people of Iraq and killing them.

Why [is] your government... supporting the rotten governments of our countries ?

What happened in the United States is a natural reaction to the ignorant policy of the United States.

If it continues with this policy, the sons of Islam will not stop their struggle. The American people have to know that what is happening to them now is the result of their support of this policy.

The war against Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden is a war on Islam.

This is a new battle, a great battle, similar to the great battles of Islam, like the conquest of Jerusalem.

I believe that there is only one God and there is no prophet but Mohammed.

America was hit by God in one of its softest spots. America is full of fear from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that.

This is something, very little, of what we have tasted for decades. Since nearly 80 years we have been tasting this humility.

They [Americans] support the murder against the victims so God has given back to them what they deserve.

I say that the matter is very clear. That every Muslim after this and after what the officials in America stated, with the head of the infidels, Bush, they come out with their men and equipment and they even encourage countries calling themselves Muslims against us.

They come out to fight Islam in the name of fighting terrorism.

These events have split the whole world into two camps: the camps of belief and the camps of disbelief.

Every Muslim should support his religion and now the wind of change has blown up to the Arabian peninsula.

I say by God the great, America will never dream, not those who live in America will never taste security and safety unless we feel security and safety in our lands and in Palestine.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


You really think this? (2.55 / 9) (#35)
by wiredog on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:54:27 PM EST

Or are you quoting someone? If so, who? And why copy the whole thing, instead of just putting up a link?

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Well, I suppose ... (4.50 / 4) (#36)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:01:33 PM EST

wouldn't the speech be "Copyright 2001 Osama bin Laden"?

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Dumbfuck (2.00 / 4) (#89)
by decaf_dude on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:17:44 AM EST

No other word fits better, I'm afraid.

The text is a verbatim copy of the translation of Bin Laden's statement, as presented on the Guardian's website which the link pointed to. The link was there to make sure the credit is given where due.

When I last checked, my name was not Osama Bin Laden, so to answer your questions (in order you posed them):

  1. my opinion on *quoted* text is irrelevant;
  2. yes;
  3. Bin Laden;
  4. re-read and check the link as well and all shall be revealed.
If you're religious, pray to your deity to give you some brains.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
Propaganda (3.62 / 8) (#42)
by marx on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:08:04 PM EST

Is this really the full transcript? It's strange, because a translation by a previous poster includes statements about Hiroshima and Nagasaki by bin Laden, while this is not included in this transcript.

I'm starting to distrust the western media more and more. bin Laden does not seem to be a lunatic. He has logical (thought maybe not agreeable) arguments for taking his actions. He even appears to be using the same arguments as I have in these discussions, i.e. that the US also has targeted civilians in wars, i.e. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also states that his fight is partially motivated by the Israeli occupation and war against Palestine, something which has been consistently denied by the western governments and media.

As is now stated on BBC, this is primarily a war of perception. If the US succeeds in convincing the world that this is not an attack on Afghanistan, then the US will get support from the people of the world. If however bin Laden succeeds in convincing the world that this is just a regular war, and that the US is now attacking Afghanistan, then the US will lose a lot of support, primarily from Islamic countries, and will have a hard time continuing this campaign.

On a related note, I just saw a US expert on foreign policy on BBC make the statement that to reach their goals, the US might very well financially support tribes in Afghanistan which fight in violation to the Geneva convention (i.e. target civilians, currently apparently the definition of terrorism). If the US does this (perhaps they already have), then they are themselves "harboring or supporting terrorists", i.e. they are themselves then a valid target in this war on terrorism.

What I think is going to happen is that both sides will use atrocious methods of war, so we're back to the standard procedure of war, that there are no rules. How this war will be different from any other war is then not very obvious to me, and neither is how the west somehow is holding the moral high ground here.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Playing dirty (4.00 / 5) (#50)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:53:18 PM EST

On a related note, I just saw a US expert on foreign policy on BBC make the statement that to reach their goals, the US might very well financially support tribes in Afghanistan which fight in violation to the Geneva convention (i.e. target civilians, currently apparently the definition of terrorism).

There have been a few statements on radio about how in the new war against terrorism it might be necessary to have allies that are "tarnished".
What's weird about this is that it's not like it's anything new! The US has been supporting murderous nutbags all over the world for a long time without apology. So what is one to make of these new "admissions". Does it mean that they've found someone worse to do business with?



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
admitting but not condemning (none / 0) (#215)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:01:27 PM EST

What's weird about this is that it's not like it's anything new! The US has been supporting murderous nutbags all over the world for a long time without apology. So what is one to make of these new "admissions". Does it mean that they've found someone worse to do business with?
Same justifications again:
We did it before and got away with it. No apologies. Who'd stop us?
- And therefore it's right?

I think Americans dirty ways of doing "politics" is the major reason to the Sept. 11 attacks. Why are Americans surprised even appalled about USA bashing?

[ Parent ]

Trust (4.66 / 3) (#65)
by finial on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:19:00 PM EST

First you say:
I'm starting to distrust the western media more and more.
Then you say:
I just saw a US expert on foreign policy on BBC ...

Pardon me for trying to parse these two statements. But, are you saying you don't trust Western journalists when they say things you do like or only when they say things you don't like?

[ Parent ]

Um, simple ... (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:40:34 PM EST

If [the West] makes statements that are very favourable to [the West], then perhaps they are telling the truth and perhaps they are not. On the other hand, if [the West] makes statements that are not very favourable to [the West], it is likely that there is a good amount of truth in those statements. And, of you have reason to distrust them, then you're likely to think that there are even more things that aren't favourable to [the West] that they haven't outright said.

Please note that [the West] is replaceable with just about anything, including bin Laden, the United States, the Taliban, Russia, or one's children, just to name a few.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
What (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by finial on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:56:04 PM EST

If that's what you really think, then I'd love to play poker with you some time. Bring cash.

[ Parent ]
How? (1.50 / 2) (#66)
by finial on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:20:32 PM EST

You say:
Fair use applies.

How?



[ Parent ]
here's how (none / 0) (#76)
by crayz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:23:16 AM EST

1) this was bin Laden's speech, so he's not breaking any Guardian copyrights(I think...maybe the fact that it's translated changes that?)
2) apparently part of "fair use" is that if something has "overwhelming news value" it can be stolen for the purpose of reporting it

[ Parent ]
IANAL, but (none / 0) (#90)
by decaf_dude on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:23:36 AM EST

  1. I referenced the originator (i.e. no plagiarism)
  2. text quoted is important for the quality of discussion, and has educational purposes while it doesn't try to portrait my post as "exclusive to decaf_dude" news source

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
What? (2.50 / 2) (#112)
by finial on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:26:26 PM EST

1) Entirely irrelevant. By this reasoning you could say "here is the entire text of Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomksy because I'm going to write about it for a book report." Bzzzt. Thanks for playing.
2) Only applies to "small excerpts" for the purposes of whatever. You copied the entire thing. Someone put effort into translating the speech and you stole it. Pure and simple.

[ Parent ]
Military Operations and Relief Effort Concurrently (3.75 / 8) (#30)
by hillct on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:38:16 PM EST

The U.S. is involved now in both military operations and humaniterian relief efforts at the same time. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for humaniterian relief, but these two activities seem incompatible - granted the targets of each activity are entirely different, but humaniterian relief efforts, I'd expect will be an utter failure until some non-government organizations like the Red Cross are placed on the ground to manage distribution of food and medical supplies. To simply dump them out of planes is just wasteful. Also, given the nature of the enemy (in a military sense), there is no way to insure that the humaniterian aid doesn't fall into the hands of the enemy. While I applaud the Bush foreign policy team for their efforts, the humaniterian operations should wait until ground forces are deployed. Until that time, they are in large part wasted.

--CTH


--Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
My feeling is that, (3.83 / 6) (#34)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:38:25 PM EST

As noble and as well-meaning the people behind the humanitarian efforts are, I think the government's main purpose for allowing them to continue to dump food and medical supplies is primarily for propaganda reasons.

Granted, they are simply countering the propaganda of the Taliban and bin Laden, but does anyone actually think that this "humanitarian aid" will do anything to help those people in Afghanistan for whom it was intended?

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Humanitarian War (3.00 / 6) (#38)
by M0dUluS on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:38:12 PM EST

I would imagine that the administration is looking for ways to hamstring the Peace/Anti-War movement. Contrary to the assurances that we all want war it seems to me that there are a large number of people who are unhappy at the thought of us spending yet more of our tax dollars on giving the military something to do.
There is a lot of awareness now that there is a problem with the refugees (who didn't all appear recently - the first lot are the result of the last 20 years of horror) and Bush's statements are clearly intended to allay the obvious inference that we're doing a whole lot of killing and not much healing.
I'm still hoping for some actual facts though: how many people can we feed for how long? Is this a large token gesture or a pitiful sop? So far no data.


"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Food vs. Food (2.80 / 5) (#48)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:38:20 PM EST

My vote is for token gesture. As long as we're dropping food and not tools to create food, it's pointless and meaningless. Yes, that means in Afghanistan and in Ethiopia and everywhere else we've tried it.

All dropping food does is keeps people who can't support themselves alive and reproducing. This may sound cruel, but what is cruel is after a while (perhaps a few months, perhaps a few years) we get tired of dropping food and many, many more people die than would have in the first place.

If we drop things that will create more food, then perhaps more in this generation might die, but the population there will begin to stabilize and start to produce for itself. In my opinion, giving a herd of mountain goats to a single Afghani family would do more for the country's welfare than dumping "super-nutrient biscuits" for decades.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Oh sure. (4.33 / 6) (#63)
by finial on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:11:13 PM EST

Oh great! Give them seeds! Then let's wait for a year to have something to eat. Assuming it rains. And you can find a field not chock a block with land mines. Sounds like a really good plan.

They need food and they need it right now. There is such things as short term and long term plans, you can do both. Right now, there can be no long term plan because of the turmoil that the despots have subjected the population to. That leaves the short term plan -- stuff you can eat right now. And that is what is happening and has been happening until Omar decided that harboring a mass murderer was more important than the lives of the peasants.

So your plan is what, again? Give seeds to a man who has about three weeks to live unless food arrives?



[ Parent ]
Not all of them. (2.50 / 4) (#70)
by Dlugar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:45:43 PM EST

There are plenty of people in Afghanistan who won't be dead in a year. Find out what those people are eating. I'm assuming that Afghanistan had, at one point in the past three thousand years or so, something viable to grow or harvest or herd or hunt or something.

The problem I see with these "short-term plans" is that I see no "long-term plans"! Show me where we plan to do something long term, and I'll hush my little mouth.

That said, your plan of "give them biscuits to keep them alive until ... well, until ... erm, until ..." doesn't seem much better than mine.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
One (3.60 / 5) (#73)
by finial on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:57:58 PM EST

Show me where we plan to do something long term, and I'll hush my little mouth.
Peace Corps.

[ Parent ]
Ah, yes, (3.00 / 5) (#74)
by Dlugar on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:09:28 AM EST

They were doing such a great job in Afghanistan before the war. What different are they planning now?

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
difference is... (3.25 / 4) (#78)
by crayz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:52:32 AM EST

...the Taliban won't be there when they go back

[ Parent ]
Pardon me. (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by Dlugar on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:39:07 AM EST

I didn't mean to get so far off the subject. I concede the point--long-term plans may very well be in the works and may very well be successful. I didn't mean to say that they couldn't be. My original point was simply that I do not think that the humanitarian aid concurrent with the attacks is doing anything more than providing the US with a good PR image.

I certainly hope that our humanitarian aid will be as thorough as our military efforts.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Example (2.00 / 2) (#113)
by finial on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:29:17 PM EST

You wanted an example. I gave you one.

[ Parent ]
Not allowed (4.00 / 2) (#116)
by finial on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:54:04 PM EST

Not to mention that the most recent ones who were trying to do some long term work in Afghanistan were subsequently arrested and charged with spreading Christianity. They remain there to this day. (They were doing exactly what you claim no one was doing, trying to improve living conditions.) Face it, there can be no long term work because the Taliban won't let them.

[ Parent ]
People need to survive this winter. (4.50 / 2) (#92)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:02:55 AM EST

The most immidiate need is to help people make it pass winter. Otherwise you could have a disaster of Biblical proportions.

Long term aid can wait for later, today there are at least 4.5 million people (most probably more) that need to be fed and helped.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
facts? (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by rehan on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:09:48 AM EST

OK, maybe they aren't facts but this article (written before the retaliation) gives some calculations of how much food aid is needed. If it's correct, then this is clearly a token gesture, for propaganda purposes. Not an evil thing maybe, but certainly not good.


Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
questionable facts. (4.33 / 3) (#84)
by physicsgod on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:18:10 AM EST

Specifically the 18kg/month line. The UN humanitarian rations can keep a person alive on 400g/day or 12kg/month, which would drop your load by 18 million kg/month, or 600 tonnes a day. He also uses Hercules(C-130) aircraft. The craft used are C-17 Globemasters, they can carry more than 3 times the load of the C-130.

There's an ongoing discussion along these lines either below (default) or above(the sane way to do it).

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Transport aircraft (none / 0) (#180)
by nichughes on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:35:29 AM EST

The assumption of C-130 aircraft looks even sillier against an Antonov-124 which can carry 120 tons or the really rather impressive Antonov-225 which can carry 250 tons. Antonov Airways (formerly Airfoyle, operating out of Luton Airport near London) have 8 124's with an additional 124 and a 225 coming into service this quarter (reportedly). That's enough for 1210 tons per day at the not unreasonable rate of one round-trip per day.

If the Russians got involved they could shift a whole lot more, they are after all rather close to the problem area and do have a considerable fleet.

--
Nic

[ Parent ]

correction (upwards) (none / 0) (#182)
by nichughes on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:47:20 AM EST

My mistake, I forgot the 9th An-124 which would increase their theoretical capacity to 1330 tons per day. Note that this works out at about 80% of the total UN tonnage estimate.

--
Nic

[ Parent ]

Why quote Monbiot's wonky figures? (none / 0) (#178)
by nichughes on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:21:57 AM EST

What is it with quoting George Monbiot's wonky calculations on this discussion, perhaps nobody is aware that the UN website has proper estimates for this already. Monbiot has obviously read the UN estimates(he took their figure for numbers of people) and then purposely ignored them because they did not support his argument.

Regardless of what one slightly flaky columnist might say the people who are actually in the business of supplying aid to Afghanistan and who are familiar with the country believe that 52,000 tons per month is the required figure - not 580,000 in 5 weeks.

So no, the figures in that article are not correct. I could point out any number of blatant errors in his calculations (I spotted them immediately while I was reading the paper) but its enough to say that the professionals who have people on the ground have made estimates an order of magnitude lower.

--
Nic

[ Parent ]

They are trying to get it to the right people.... (4.50 / 2) (#107)
by TheCaptain on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 11:30:10 AM EST

From ABCNews.com

While the United States cannot guarantee that the food will not get into the hands of the Taliban, steps are taken to make it less likely. The American planes drop the food in areas where there are no Taliban fighters and they are less likely to be shot down.

Sounds like they are using a pretty good amount of common sense about it to me actually.

[ Parent ]
On a related note. (1.45 / 24) (#32)
by sasha on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:26:10 PM EST

The only sensible thing left to do now is to read THIS very insightful column. Silly Americans.
--- Signal SIGSIG received. Signature too long.
The only thing left to do now ... (1.86 / 22) (#33)
by sasha on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:33:33 PM EST

.. is to read this column, courtesy of The Guardian.

Silly Americans.
--- Signal SIGSIG received. Signature too long.

or look a little futher... (4.60 / 5) (#47)
by Troodon on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:33:30 PM EST

...for ballance, consider this Blaming the victims.

[ Parent ]
umm... (3.66 / 9) (#53)
by Danse on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:23:01 PM EST

Some things to take issue with in that article:

First, the timing stinks. Only hours after the catastrophe, surely it was time to do what most Britons were doing: standing in the shoes of the bereaved. The immediate aftermath of the attack felt like a moment for mourning, reflection and grief. Those first, dazed days were not the right time for a searching analysis of US foreign policy - let alone for a finger wagged in the face of the American people, telling them they are loathed the world over.

Well, it was only hours after the catastrophe that Americans started demanding blood for the crime. Additionally, the US government was claiming that this was an unprovoked and inexplicable attack on US freedom and democracy. Probably better to hit them with a good dose of reality early rather than wait and let the idea that America is snow-white and innocent sink in too deeply.

Above all, we're told, it is American support for Israel which so enrages the developing world. Yet that argument hardly seems to stack up. It was George Bush Sr who took the hardest line on Israel - denying $10bn of loan guarantees in pursuit of a freeze on settlement activity - and yet he was as hated across the Middle East as any other US president.

The fact is, the US has done practically nothing of any consequence to stop Israeli expansion for the last half century. In fact we've done quite a lot to facilitate that expansion. THAT is why Bush Sr. is as hated as any other US president over there.

No, there is a naivete in all these attempts to explain the fury that burst forth on September 11. They seem to suggest that if only the US pursued a different foreign policy, the hijackers would never have boarded those planes. Yet if Washington dropped the sanctions against Baghdad and pulled out of Saudi tomorrow, would it really make any difference? Wouldn't the hatreds on display in Iran in 1979 still be there?

Of course it would. We've been feeding this hatred for decades. You think it will go away overnight because of some token gestures on our part?

Last Tuesday's hijackers and the people who inspire them are not opposed to the post-1967 occupation: they are opposed to Israel's very existence, which they regard as an alien Jewish incursion into what should be Muslim lands. Only American support for that position - total eradication of the Jewish state - would begin to placate them.

What's naive is deciding that the Jewish state should be created on those lands just because they happened to live there 2000 years earlier. There were plenty of countries where Jews were welcome after WWII. There really wasn't any need to take that land (ruled by Britain at the time) and throw the area into such turmoil by kicking out the previous inhabitants, and then kicking them further and further out over time.

He goes on to say basically the same thing that the government is saying. We are hated for our freedom, wealth, democracy, etc, etc. Oversimplification at its best. Let's just cover our ears and yell "la la la la ... I can't hear you!" while we're at it.

We should certainly take action to apprehend those responsible for the attack. But killing civilians, even as we say we're trying to avoid it, is NOT the right way to go about it.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Please (4.00 / 5) (#114)
by glothar on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:33:50 PM EST

Additionally, the US government was claiming that this was an unprovoked and inexplicable attack on US freedom and democracy. Probably better to hit them with a good dose of reality early rather than wait and let the idea that America is snow-white and innocent sink in too deeply.

You really think that the US feels that it is completely innocent? Do you think that the Government feels that it has never done anything wrong? Are you really that ignorant?

People somewhat like you have said on several occasions that we should not respond with violence.

But they did.

People say we should find a way to change the cause of the hatred.

But they didn't.

And by "they" I mean the people who made this possible.

What's naive is deciding that the Jewish state should be created on those lands

Okay, and follow me on this, because you seem to like to ignore facts. Israel is a legally founded state. It was under the sovreign control of the UK. Being under the sovreign control of the UK, the UK can do whatever it wants so long as it still respects the rights of the citizens there. If it decides to make a new country and give that country sovreignty, then it can do that. Why did they choose that place? Because that was the native homeland of the Jewish people. And you're right, they hadn't been there for a while. Why's that? Perhaps because since the start of time, the Hebrews/Jewish people have been harassed by every neighbor they have ever had. Since the creation of Israel, before the nation ever attacked anyone, its neighbors have called for the complete annihilation of the Israeli nation. And dont be deceived, it is based on the fact that most Israeli's are not muslim. Perhaps you are one of those people who thinks that all Jewish people should be killed or spread to the four winds, where they would be welcome in all countries except the middle east. I mean, its okay to wish someone dead because they are different from you, right?

And lets be straight, without American support, Israel would be attacked, repeatedly and without discriminating between military or civilian targets. No one in the attacking country (or countries) would ever have to deal with people worrying about civilian casualties. Do I support all of Israel's actions? No. But understand this: If the US does not support Israel, it will be destroyed.

What I do wonder is this: The Taliban say they want an end to "Westoxification", then perhaps they dont need those millions of dollars in aid we give them. Oh, but that just hurts civilians. Well, we should depose the rulers who oppress them... Nope. That apparently hurts civilians too. We'll do nothing then. Thats what you want. Then more Americans will die, and civilians in Afganistan will be killed anyways.

WAKE UP, TWIT.

How many civilians has the Taliban killed in the last year? How many Afganis die of starvation because the Taliban dont allow humanitarian aid? How many more people would die in terrorist attacks masterminded in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban?

You think that Osama bin Laden actually cares about Palestinians? You think he cares about his "brothers" in Iraq? How come bin Laden attacked the US whenever there was a chance of peace in Israel? He doesn't want peace. He wants the extermination of Israel. Do you? He knows that Hussein wants to take over Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and Iran the first chance he gets. He needs to ally with anyone else who might be angry at the US.

We should certainly take action to apprehend those responsible for the attack. But killing civilians, even as we say we're trying to avoid it, is NOT the right way to go about it.

Okay. We'll just attack the places where all the military people are. I am truly sorry for every innocent Afgani native who dies in the attacks. But Osama bin Laden has been very specific in saying that he wants to kill me. Until I convert to his perverted religion which bears as little resemblance to Islam as Islam does to Hindu, he wants to kill me. Whether he is directly involved or not, he is at least responsible for past attacks, and will know who did commit the crimes.

So wake up. Its my government's job to value my life over the life of someone who is not a citizen. The government is supposed to protect me and my way of life. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban have made it known that they want to take that away from me by any possible means. I expect the government to protect me, by any possible means.

[ Parent ]

Please (3.66 / 3) (#115)
by PhillipW on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:41:23 PM EST

You really think that the US feels that it is completely innocent? Do you think that the Government feels that it has never done anything wrong? Are you really that ignorant?

Well they certainly have not said that there is a real reason that these people are angry with us.

Being under the sovreign control of the UK, the UK can do whatever it wants so long as it still respects the rights of the citizens there.

Respect the rights? They certainly did not do that. Unless you consider "Pack up your bags and leave, we're moving a different group of people in here based on ethnicity and religion. Come come now, shut your kids up, they will be happy to live in the surrounding nature!"

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Double Standards (3.75 / 4) (#128)
by glothar on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:15:26 PM EST

Well they certainly have not said that there is a real reason that these people are angry with us

Its not the US's fault you aren't paying attention. Everyone knows why they are angry with us. The US (including, by proxy, me) have imposed our will on other people. We have declared our position to be "right" and view their opinions as "wrong".

And you know what? I'm fine with that. I do not support an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Perhaps you believe that the matter should be kept between Iraq and Kuwait. I do not support the extermination of the nation of Israel. Perhaps you believe that its okay for countries to decide that another one should no longer exist.

I guess this is me being evil and imposing my will on others. That is a purely American trait. I'm sure that Iraq imposing its will ("We will have all of your oil") and the anti-Israel countries imposing their will ("You will all die horrible deaths and burn in Hell") is acceptable, because they are ... well... You tell me. Oh wait, I bet we caused Iraq to invade Kuwait, because we aided Iraq against Iran, which was justified in attacking Iraq because we had tried to control them...

Come to think of it. We should just completely isolate ourselves. We'd run into so much less opposition that way. You probably like this idea. Did you graduate from High School? Ever learn about the World Wars? Why did they happen? Isolationism. They happened because people did not want to meddle in the afairs of others.

What happens in the Middle East if we dont stop Iraq? Iraq invades Kuwait. They get the +1 morale, and some experience. So they invade Saudi Arabia. We dont help of course, not our fight, dont want to set foot on the Holy Land. Saudi Arabia falls. More people are conscripted, and now, a dictator has control of a staggering amount of oil. Yes. I know many people bring this up. "The Gulf War was fought for oil!!!" Yes. Yes it was. Control of that much oil can buy many things. Tanks, Guns, Missiles, Nuclear Weapons, Biological Weapons, and of course Troops. They would invade Iran soon after that. Or perhaps if they needed to take some heat off, they could destroy Israel. Down goes Jordan too. When do we step in? How many dead is enough?

No. You learn. You hit aggressors as soon as you can, ethically. But before that, you keep an eye on all areas of the world. You stick your nose in all conflicts. So that no conflict gets out of control. You take bruises from everyone so that no country has to be brutalized like so many countries were in the World Wars.

But my favorite:

Respect the rights? They certainly did not do that. Unless you consider "Pack up your bags and leave, we're moving a different group of people in here based on ethnicity and religion. Come come now, shut your kids up, they will be happy to live in the surrounding nature!"

Where do you live? America? We took this land from the Oh-so-peacefull native americans. Perhaps the UK? The Normans did the same to the Anglo-Saxons. The Russians took their land from whatever germanic tribe existed before them.

And I ignored the Middle East. People have been stealing land from each other for literally thousands of years there. But of course the Palestinians are completely innocent.

Do I support forced deportation of Palestinians? No. I support the groups living together peacefully. But I see that the Palestinians have demanded the bloody death of the entire nation of Israel much earlier and more often than Israel has prevented peace.

I know of no nation composed of people who have not usurped some other groups land. So no one is innocent. However, unless you are an anarchist (in which case this whole conversation should end now, since anarchy is a big joke) you have to at least respect sovreignty. Few middle east countries respect Israel's sovreignty, so I see no reason why they should reciprocate.

Was the creation of Israel done in the best way possible? No. Oooh oooh. I have a solution:

Kill them all!

I thought that is what you were arguing against?

Face it. Israel exists. We cant let it stop existing. We can promote peace in the area. We can force (I prefer: coerce) Israel into granting Palestinians rights and citizenship.

But we can only do it if we have friendly relations with Israel and a presence which would hopefully be friendly in Palestine and the surrounding countries.

Honestly: Do you want to see the nation of Israel die, in a horrible war where many, many people including innocent Israelis and Palestinians will die? I really want to know. If not, what do you propose to do to prevent those deaths?

[ Parent ]

Not really, though (4.00 / 3) (#132)
by PhillipW on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:52:54 PM EST

Its not the US's fault you aren't paying attention. Everyone knows why they are angry with us. The US (including, by proxy, me) have imposed our will on other people.

No. Not really. Considering most Americans get their news from CNN or NBC, this hasn't really been covered. As far as most of the citizens of the US are concerned, they are angry with us because we are a democracy, and it has nothing to do with starving children in Iraq, and noone anywhere is the least bit mad at us supporting totalitarians like Saddam Hussein, Pinochet, and others worldwide.

Come to think of it. We should just completely isolate ourselves. We'd run into so much less opposition that way. You probably like this idea. Did you graduate from High School? Ever learn about the World Wars? Why did they happen? Isolationism. They happened because people did not want to meddle in the afairs of others.

There is a huge difference between Isolationism and not making ourselves absolutely dependent on their most abundant resource.

What happens in the Middle East if we dont stop Iraq? Iraq invades Kuwait. They get the +1 morale, and some experience. So they invade Saudi Arabia. We dont help of course, not our fight, dont want to set foot on the Holy Land. Saudi Arabia falls. More people are conscripted, and now, a dictator has control of a staggering amount of oil.

First off, Bin Laden tried to assemble a group of middle east nations to fight off Saddam Hussein. Second, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are both run by Despots. Both treat women like dirt, and will cut off someone's hand for the crime of theft.

They would invade Iran soon after that. Or perhaps if they needed to take some heat off, they could destroy Israel. Down goes Jordan too. When do we step in? How many dead is enough?

Didn't we arm them to fight Iran in the first place?

Where do you live? America? We took this land from the Oh-so-peacefull native americans.

I am well aware of this. That certainly does not justify it. While the reservations that the American Indians have here are absolute crap, it is something, and they are allowed to live here and practice their culture and religion without taking crap. This of course is not the case in Israel. Not to say that the Palestinians aren't barbaric, but the Israelis are as well, and I, for one, do not think we should be giving them money, effectively financing murder.

Honestly: Do you want to see the nation of Israel die, in a horrible war where many, many people including innocent Israelis and Palestinians will die? I really want to know. If not, what do you propose to do to prevent those deaths?

No, I don't. I do not have a solution, nor should I, as I have not created, nor contributed to, the problem. If I could, I would knock some sense into the thick heads of both sides over there, and show them that they really can live in the same society without blowing each other away with grenades simply because one group says Yaweh and the other says Allah.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Clarifications and Questions (4.00 / 2) (#157)
by glothar on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:46:06 AM EST

No. Not really. Considering most Americans get their news from CNN or NBC, this hasn't really been covered. As far as most of the citizens of the US are concerned, they are angry with us because we are a democracy, and it has nothing to do with starving children in Iraq, and noone anywhere is the least bit mad at us supporting totalitarians like Saddam Hussein, Pinochet, and others worldwide

Gee. I keep hearing CNN beating me on the head with the idea that bin Laden hates us for stepping foot on Saudi Arabia. And now he lumps in Iraq and Palestine to try to get support. And so many people have fallen for it. He hates us for being "infidels" and simply making our presence known in the Middle East.

Do you really think that its our fault that children are starving in Iraq and Afganistan? And if it was, how is $600,000 (one estimate i heard on the cost of the WTC/Pentagon silliness) better spent, attacking the US, or buying some damn food. He has millions of dollars that he is unwilling to use for peaceful purposes. If this is about starving children why doesnt he use any of his money? Why does he support a regine in Afganistan that refuses to let humanitarian aid into the country? Sounds like he's real concerned about starving people.

And I dont see you raging against France, who has supported Hussein much more than we have. But thats because the US should be held to a higher standard like it always is.

There is a huge difference between Isolationism and not making ourselves absolutely dependent on their most abundant resource.

There is also a big difference between declaring war on a nation and trying to maintain a balanced budget

??? (Look, I can spout nonsense too!)

Oil has nothing to do with this. In a pinch it is simple for us to reduce oil demand. But many other countries will be hurt severely. They will be willing to trade arms for oil. Should we allow such a situation to be set up? Do you want Hussein to get a hold of some cheap missiles? I bet bin Laden would, he's all for helping the starving children in Iraq.

First off, Bin Laden tried to assemble a group of middle east nations to fight off Saddam Hussein. Second, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are both run by Despots. Both treat women like dirt, and will cut off someone's hand for the crime of theft.

Oh. Wait. You must be mistaken, bin Laden doesnt want to hurt the starving children in Iraq. (thats sarcasm...). By denouncing Kuwait and Saudi Arabia do you mean to imply that we should let them be overrun by a dictator? I dont see why human rights abuses are relevant here. I would hope they would be dealt with in time. However, there are much bigger problems in the Middle East than harsh crime and mistreatment of women. Are you really telling me its wrong for us to attack a minority armed force in order to capture one man who is known to attack our country, but is okay for Iraq to invade Kuwait and Saudi Arabia killing thousands and taking control of strategic amounts of resources because they treat their women badly?

Are you joking?

Didn't we arm them to fight Iran in the first place?

Yes, you did your homework. For extra credit, why did we do that?

A: Kuala Lampur
B: pi * r2
C: C is always right
D: Because we wanted to prevent Iran from controlling Iraq, and thus controlling strategic amounts of world resources allowing them to use oil to purchase unlimited amounts of military suppolies.

...stuff about Israel...

This I think we agree on. I do think that our policy in Israel needs to change. But it needs to be done gradually, and we cannot stop supporting them. We should get the Israeli's and Palestinians to live together. I have always referred to the people of Israel as Israeli's and not "Jews" because I would wish for a day when both Muslims and Jews could live together and make Israel a state that would be the shining example it should be: A state in the middle of a religious region where all religions are accepted.

But as I stated in another comment: Take note, Osama bin Laden will hate the US for even trying to do this. Our choice is clearly laid out: support Israel and be subjected to terrorism, or let Israel fall in a bloody war, and still probably be subjected to terrorism. Choose wisely. This is a decision our children will live with, not us.

[ Parent ]

More Stuff (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:18:11 AM EST

Gee. I keep hearing CNN beating me on the head with the idea that bin Laden hates us for stepping foot on Saudi Arabia. And now he lumps in Iraq and Palestine to try to get support. And so many people have fallen for it. He hates us for being "infidels" and simply making our presence known in the Middle East.

That is an very small percentage of reports. Most of the time, when someone on TV is explaining why the terrorists hate us, it is because the US is a beacon of freedom worldwide, which really is not why we are so hated. I'm sure religious intolerance plays a role as well, but there are a lot of Americans that despise other nations for the same reason.

Do you really think that its our fault that children are starving in Iraq and Afganistan? And if it was, how is $600,000 (one estimate i heard on the cost of the WTC/Pentagon silliness) better spent, attacking the US, or buying some damn food. He has millions of dollars that he is unwilling to use for peaceful purposes. If this is about starving children why doesnt he use any of his money? Why does he support a regine in Afganistan that refuses to let humanitarian aid into the country? Sounds like he's real concerned about starving people.

While this may be true, the sanctions surely can not help the situation. And on top of this, they are not working the way they were intended, quite the opposite.

And I dont see you raging against France, who has supported Hussein much more than we have. But thats because the US should be held to a higher standard like it always is.

Well, I have not been extremely vocal about it because I do not live in France, so the French government does not represent my desires. And, in my previous post, I was also critical of the French government, especially in Vietnam.

Oil has nothing to do with this.

Sure it does. Were it not for our dependency on oil, we would not be dependent on the region. In an ideal world we would not have to associate and do business with the vile governments in the Middle East. Of course, we do not live in a perfect world.

Oh. Wait. You must be mistaken, bin Laden doesnt want to hurt the starving children in Iraq. (thats sarcasm...). By denouncing Kuwait and Saudi Arabia do you mean to imply that we should let them be overrun by a dictator? I dont see why human rights abuses are relevant here.

Bin Laden was concerned with removing Saddam Hussein from power. In regards to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, I would say they are already run by dictators.

And yes, I do agree with you on the desired end result in Israel. It would be a truly great accomplishment to establish peace there. But there is too much bad blood there, and I can't forsee that happening in the next 25 years. It would require that one side be willing to not retaliate for every little thing. Unfortunately, our involvement in the area has not seemed to help much.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
France and Iraq (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:13:01 AM EST

You write:
And I dont see you raging against France, who has supported Hussein much more than we have. But thats because the US should be held to a higher standard like it always is.

France didnt bomb Iraq. She is not responsible for the death of 500000 children. The issue here is double standards. Anyhow, France's supposed innocence doesn't rub of on America, simply because France is not innocent. The French defence industry made a lot of good deals in Iraq. Thats why France did it. The large Arabic minority in France might influence France to keep good relations to Arab countries, but really money was the main motivator.

[ Parent ]

Here's a plan... (3.00 / 2) (#148)
by Danse on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:44:42 PM EST

The thrust of your post seems to be that we all do some evil shit sometimes, and you seem to understand that that's why we're being attacked now. So basically your view is that we can do as we like as long as we have the muscle to back it up, right? We did plenty to hurt afghanistan and others, and while they probably have good reason to attack us, we shouldn't worry about trying to atone for our past deeds. We just just kick their asses and get on with our lives.

Ok, maybe I'm oversimplifying your points, but I don't think I'm too far off. Sure, Israel exists. That doesn't mean that we should support the fact that they've expanded well beyond what they were supposed to. Thanks to us, they have one seriously good military, and they are using it against people who have no real way to fight except by suicide attacks. The palestinians are pretty sick of being kicked further away and having their land confiscated and their homes destroyed. Why the hell did we support Israel this long? I don't care if Britain did occupy the land when they created Israel, that doesn't make it right. Nor is it any comfort to those who were forcefully removed from their homes, farms, and land. It's just another case of someone bigger and stronger doing as they please.

Face it. Both sides hate each other. That's not going to go away any time soon. So since you seem to believe that might makes right, why don't we just redraw the borders and tell Israel to get its ass back where it belongs and then make sure that both sides understand that that's the way things are going to be, and if either of them tries to screw with the other side, they WILL receive a pounding they won't forget. Doesn't that work according to your philosophy on international relations?






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
One little question... (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:57:56 PM EST

That doesn't mean that we should support the fact that they've expanded well beyond what they were supposed to.

...why don't we just redraw the borders and tell Israel to get its ass back where it belongs...

In what position are you to tell Israel what it can and can't do, where its borders should and shouldn't be? Sure, you think that Israel shouldn't have occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but the thing is Israel thinks otherwise, you know they did get attacked more than a couple times. Anyway, you also seem to forget that those areas are ruled by a Palestinian quasi-state, and that Israel only seems to send troops there whenever a few bombs happen to go off in shopping malls.

[ Parent ]

No... (2.00 / 1) (#214)
by Danse on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:00:31 PM EST

In what position are you to tell Israel what it can and can't do, where its borders should and shouldn't be?

If you read my post, you'd know that simple force is all that is required. They use force to expand their territory, and have done so since the state was first established (wrongly, IMO). Why not use force (or the threat of force) to balance things out over there and keep both sides from attacking each other. As I said, from reading your post, I get the impression that you feel that whoever is strongest makes the rules and the rest can either go along with it or get their asses kicked. I'm just throwing out a suggestion along those lines.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Your favourite ??? (none / 0) (#165)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:34:50 AM EST

You write:
But my favorite:
[snip]
Where do you live? America? We took this land from the Oh-so-peacefull native americans. Perhaps the UK? The Normans did the same to the Anglo-Saxons. The Russians took their land from whatever germanic tribe existed before them.

It's wrong! It was always wrong! It will always be wrong!
Could you please elaborate a bit on why you think it was right of the Normands (sp!) to attack the brittish isles?
Shit happend and that doesn't make it right. You have obviously a need to seek justification from and before the middle ages. Justifying conquest with Napoleon or Hitler would be too obvious.

[ Parent ]

What? (5.00 / 1) (#207)
by glothar on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:44:36 PM EST

You seem to have both clarified my point and missed it completely.

The Norman invasion was a terrible thing for the Anglo-Saxon people. Should will kick out all of the people in Briton who are decended from the invaders? Then we can kick out all the people decended from the Angles, since they invaded from the area of Denmark. Then the Saxons and the Celts,

Do you see the pattern? Everyone stole land from somebody? Who are you going to say owns it?

(Some) People say that the Palestinians should own Israel. Why? Because they lived there 50 years ago? 100 years ago my ancestors lived in Russia. Do I get my land back? Or is there some magical number of years that pass, presumably more than the number of years since the creation of Israel, after which time a people have a permanent claim to the land they live on?

Now, perhaps my views are different, but whether the Native Americans or native Anarchists despise the government or not, it is protecting and serving them. Right now, in Israel, Palestinians dont like the Israeli government, but there is no reason it cannot serve and protect them. Instead of perpetuating the kicking-out process, how about we support the cohabitation of all people who live in Israel instead of killing all of them?

Or let's kick them out. Then we'll kick all the white people out of South Africa, and all the Europeans out of South America, and the British out of Australia. I'll get some nice farmland in Russia.

Yes. Bad things happened. Do you really want to undo them? Or should we work with what we have and try to promote peace?

[ Parent ]

Just a quote from the guardian... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by drquick on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:29:51 PM EST

The Guardian:
"US political leaders are doing their people no favours by reinforcing popular ignorance with self-referential rhetoric."

I absolutely agree!

[ Parent ]

Timing (3.50 / 4) (#51)
by maveness on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:05:30 PM EST

This morning over breakfast with friends, I speculated that an attack on Afghanistan would happen today (Sunday) because tomorrow is Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Official Washington will be much emptier than usual as almost all federal workers have the day off. Can't say I'm happy to be proven right, but it does make some sense.

If there is to be any terrorist retaliation, it will likely happen either right away with cells or assets already in place waiting for a "go" signal, or after quite a lag while such capability is built up. But I think the government decided that it would be wise to take advantage of the reduced worker presence in Washington (and indeed in other major US cities) on Monday. If evacuation is necessary, it'll go a lot more smoothly with a lower traffic load.

Just a thought.

*********
Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.

Once again, people in need... (3.50 / 8) (#54)
by martman on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:25:50 PM EST

Ok, so you gave to the Red Cross after Sept. 11. Good. Now let's spare a thought for the people who have endured 27 years of war, more than 5 years of drought and the rule of an oppressive and militant government. You know who i'm talking about (though you probably wouldn't have known just a few weeks ago...). There's a disaster relief fund here.

Slap (3.71 / 7) (#61)
by finial on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:59:22 PM EST

If you were sincerely interested in soliciting funds for a cause, you would leave out the bitch slaps.

[ Parent ]
Slap? (1.00 / 1) (#223)
by martman on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 09:24:09 AM EST

Can't preach with one hand and ask for money with the other? Works for everyone else. Why shouldn't it work for me?

[ Parent ]
bin Laden statement (4.80 / 5) (#55)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:30:05 PM EST

Here are some links to different transcrips of the bin Laden statement (in order of perceived completeness):


BBC News
ABCNews
CNN
MSNBC

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a transcript off Al Jazeera website, mainly since I don't understand Arabic and the site seems to lack English portion.


Also, I couldn't find any reference to Hiroshima or Nagasaki in any of the transcripts I've read, and would like to see some links to those references (re: my sig)!


"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." -- Winston Churchill



Nothing to see here (3.50 / 2) (#60)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:58:09 PM EST

After further re-reading the transcripts, every one of them refers to civilians dead in Japan. Not directly to Hiroshima or Nagasaki, which is why I missed them the first time around.

[ Parent ]
Ironic inability to see his own situation. (4.00 / 2) (#111)
by Brett Viren on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:37:59 PM EST

Thanks for the links. I couldn't catch a single word when his speach was on the tv.

I found bin Lauden's rant to be somewhat humourous. Besides the fact that he sounds like a two bit religious cult wacko you hear on the street corners of most large cities, he also shows a remarkable lack of self awareness.

He says that if you stray from the (presumably, muslim) god he will forsake you and points to the WTC attack as proof of god forsaking the US. Yet, in his very next breath he points out to the "humiliation and contempt" that "his" people (meaning the people of Afghanistan, and not Saudi Arabia, presumably) have suffered through the past 80 years.

Hmm, isn't this proof that his god has forsaken him and "his" people as well.

[ Parent ]

You're wrong (4.16 / 6) (#119)
by Moneo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:31:16 PM EST

He says that if you stray from the (presumably, muslim) god he will forsake you and points to the WTC attack as proof of god forsaking the US. Yet, in his very next breath he points out to the "humiliation and contempt" that "his" people (meaning the people of Afghanistan, and not Saudi Arabia, presumably) have suffered through the past 80 years.

That sort of thing is hardly limited to bin Laden...the "great" religions are relatively rife with contradiction but that's never stopped a True Believer (tm).

I found bin Lauden's rant to be somewhat humourous. Besides the fact that he sounds like a two bit religious cult wacko you hear on the street corners of most large cities, he also shows a remarkable lack of self awareness.

I'm sorry to hear you say that. Perhaps his speech losses its strength when being read after being translated into Or perhaps you aren't aware that a million children have died in Iraq (how much of the responsibility for it can be placed on the US is debatable, I suppose, but some certainly can). And that hundreds of thousands did die at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And that Israeli tanks do assault Palestinian cities. You may disagree with his arguments and his interpretation of events, but you they are never-the-less logical and consistent arguments and interpretations (well, as much so as any in politics or religion). As someone who speaks/understands Arabic well and is fully fluent in English, and who watched both Bush and bin Laden speak live, I have to say that I found bin Laden to be eloquent and impressive...perhaps even inspirational, while I found Bush humourous at best, boring at worst and, from his oversimplification of the conflict into a battle between Good (tm) and Evil (tm), showing a remarkable lack of global awareness.

No, I'm not agreeing unilaterally with bin Laden or justifying the WTC attacks. I am, however, pointing out that Osama bin Laden is not the fervent lunatic many would have us believe and that, whether he was behind them or not, there was a reason for the attacks.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

You missed my point entirely. (3.60 / 5) (#129)
by Brett Viren on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:36:50 PM EST

Either due to your irrationalism or my poor writing you missed what I meant.

I just found his "logic" humourous. On one side he says the suffering around the WTC is proof of the US being forsaken by god, yet in his next breath he mentions the horible conditions inflicted (internally and externally) on Afghans, and somehow this is not proof of forsakenness?

[ Parent ]

I guess I did miss your point (3.00 / 1) (#173)
by Moneo on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:58:28 AM EST

When I read your original comment, it seemed that you were dismissing bin Laden as 'humorous' and a 'two bit religious cult wacko' which isn't a fair description of him.
Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
my question: (4.60 / 5) (#75)
by crayz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:13:27 AM EST

We now appear to be helping the Northern Alliance opposition. I haven't really heard too much about these guys. What is known about their politics and the way they have acted in the territory they control?

What I mean is, we have been talking about the injustice by the Taliban against women and people who believe religions other than Islam. To what extent is the opposition group more tolerant, if they are at all?

Before we were supporting the Taliban(hell we gave them $40 million this year for cutting down on the opium production) and now we've decided they need to be taken out(which I agree with). But I would rather we not support some other group that is just a little less totalitarian than the current one.

Independent has a little info on NA (4.00 / 3) (#86)
by ehintz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:22:41 AM EST

This story at The Independent doesn't paint a particularly attractive picture... Kinda looks like the same ol' same ol', mine enemies enemy is my friend. And, I suppose the Bin Laden of 2010 is likely among them. Always look on the bright side of life...


Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
The enemy of my enemy is my friend ... (4.50 / 2) (#87)
by Philipp on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:06:19 AM EST

... until he becomes the enemy.

The Northern Alliance is a loosely connected group of warlors who caused chaos and violence for much of the 90s in Afghanistan, here some info on that by the New York Times.

There is also talk about reinstating the former King of Afghanistan after the war...

It would be nice to see the USA using its power to install democratic order in Afghanistan after the war and prop it up with economic aid. Of course some kind of Islamic party would win these elections, but it would be so much better than insane warlords or a senile king.

This is about "freedom", isn't it? Ok, I am an naive idealist.

alias kn 'killall -9 netscape-communicator'
[ Parent ]

The king... (4.00 / 1) (#151)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:43:15 PM EST

...it seems, doesn't want to rule, or recreate the hereditary monarchy, he wants to be a peacemaker and bring Afganistan out of it current situation, at least according to an NPR interview I heard last week.

[ Parent ]
$40 million (none / 0) (#221)
by vectro on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 10:46:58 PM EST

Do you have a citation for this?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
My countrys shame (2.28 / 14) (#79)
by Tyke on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:56:51 AM EST

Id just like to register my shame and disgust at my countrys invlvment in these strikes against Afghanistan. Im British and my goverment on my behalf (hoho) have decided to go in on the first strikes with the US using missiles launched from submarines, for shame. This is David and Goliath, or that is how the islamic world will see this. And please no more talk of justice vs terror or good vs evil, everyone seems to have frogotten something very key to these events, OIL,, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_156000/156497.stm
Beware of looking too deeply into the abyss, lest the abyss look deeply into you F.Nietzche
Absolutely (3.20 / 5) (#83)
by gbd on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:07:08 AM EST

Where, oh where, would the free world be if it were not for the endless flow of all of that Afghani oil?

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]
Inform yourself.... (3.33 / 3) (#93)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:56:03 AM EST

Afghanistan is seen as a route for pipelines comming from neighbour countries.

If you think this is bizarre, I think it is in the same league as drilling for oil in unspoiled (so far) Alsakan nature reserves...



------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Dont be stupid. (4.00 / 1) (#103)
by bil on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:13:04 AM EST

Kazakstani (& Uzbeckistani ?) oil coming in a nice fat pipe across Afghanistan, reaching the sea (and a nice, big, highly profitable, oil terminal) in Pakistan. Thus the Pakistani support for the Taliban who provide a stable, friendly, government who owe Pakistan big time (or thats the theory).

Alternativly of course you could run the pipe through Iran. I'm sure the worlds oil companies (not to mention governments) would love that...

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

The truth about oil (3.50 / 4) (#88)
by rgrow on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:02:09 AM EST

The truth about oil in the Middle East is that the Western powers surveyed, explored, drilled, and developed all of it with their own capital, personnel, and everything else. The local despots received half or so of the proceeds just for being the local despots. Later, the local despots decided half wasn't enough so they kicked out the Western companies and STOLE the equipment, refineries, and the oil itself from Westerners.<P>

If anyone has a gripe about oil in the Middle East, it's the West. It's our oil. They stole it from us. We should have gone to war over nationalization in the early 50's and installed client regimes friendly to our property rights throughout the entire region.

[ Parent ]
If Western companies behaved like in Mexico... (4.33 / 3) (#94)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:03:14 AM EST

...I would say good ridance.

In Mexico the Oil companies diregarded local labor law until they wer kicked out in 1938. Their disgusting practices are very well documented for the poeple that wish to educate themselves. I guess they did not behave so much differently in the middle east.

Oil belongs to the country under whose soil it lies. No, exploitation, development and extraction does not give you ownership of it. Companies get licenses to exploit the resource, no ownership.

You can say whatever you want about the despots (they surely are despots) but in many of those countries things like health care are free for everybody and people don't starve on the streets...


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Hi I'm crack.. (4.50 / 2) (#122)
by Wah on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:56:10 PM EST

..do you smoke me?

It's our oil. They stole it from us. We should have gone to war over nationalization in the early 50's and installed client regimes friendly to our property rights throughout the entire region.

Isn't that what we did?

Where does eminent domain fit into all of this? Wow...

It's our oil. They stole it from us.

You've got to be joking here, pretty funny stuff.
--
Information wants to be free, wouldn't you? | Parent ]

You're thinking with your heart, not your head. (4.66 / 3) (#100)
by EriKZ on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:06:39 AM EST


Although the UK has been a friend of the US for a very long time, I am surprised at the level of involvement. I suspect that it's not all altruistic.

Think about 2 years from now, after the US is satisfied with what it's done to investigate and punish the WTC. The UK having made obvious aid to the cause. Now the UK turns to the US and says "Now, how about helping us with OUR terrorists? Most of their funding comes from private US citizens!"

How could the US say no?


[ Parent ]
HAH!! (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by bil on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:01:41 AM EST

Britain has been trying to stop American funds to the IRA for decades (IIRC the IRA was set up at the end of the 19th century using funds raised in the US), and now you say that perhaps, in a couple of years when you've finished your war on bin Laden you might just about condescend to give us a little bit of help with ours as a reward??

ROFLMAO

No friend, what will happen is that the world will help you fight your "War On Terrorism" then you will go back to supporting those terror... sorry freedom fighters that you control or can get you votes when it comes to re-election.

The US has long shown that its condemnation of terrorism only goes as far as those who go against the national interests of the US and its corporate lobby. The only anti-IRA measures that I expect the US to make will come as a result of three IRA men being arrested aiding the communist rebels in Columbia, nothing at all to do with what Britain does or does not do.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

I agree. (2.33 / 3) (#105)
by bil on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:29:01 AM EST

Id just like to register my shame and disgust at my countrys invlvment in these strikes against Afghanistan.

Same here.

This isn't an attempt to bring a terrorist to justice, its not even an attempt to bring "freedom, justice, and democracy" to an oppressed people. It is a blatent and unashamed attempt to destroy a government because they fail to roll over and play dead when the western powers demand they do.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Face it, Af. lost it's last line of defenses (none / 0) (#145)
by Highlander on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:42:43 PM EST

The Taliban have argued that they would have handed Bin Laden over to a court if the U.S. gives proof.

With his speech, Bin Laden has made it clear that he is supporting terrorism, thus destroying any credibility he would ever had at denying his involvement.

A bad move for him, this talk.

Interesting to me, I have a feeling he doesn't look happy. I also get a feeling he would need a kick in the ass by a father figure.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Supporting Terrorism != Terrorist != Responsible (5.00 / 1) (#222)
by vectro on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 10:59:47 PM EST

You are saying that by supporting terrorism, Bin Laden implies that he is responsible for the WTC attacks.

Does that mean that if I say I thought the WTC attacks were a good thing, I am somehow responsible for them?

Timothy McVeigh said that terrorism against the united states was a good thing. He acted on his thoughts. Does this mean he is somehow responsible for the attacks?

Face it, supporting the action, performing similar actions, and performing a particular action are all different things.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Sooo.... (3.00 / 3) (#98)
by slaytanic killer on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:54:51 AM EST

Bin Laden knows where our forces are, and our likely targets. What resources does he have? We are conventional folk, and he is a guerrilla sort.

For all our care, 20 civilians died. Those are 20 people who will never create, but bin Laden's goal is about killing civilians spectacularly.

What resources does he have? The US only has information, equipment, and numbers. But bin Laden must be shepherding an element of surprise, since that is the point of war. The US wants as few surprises as possible, since it has numeric superiority. Bin Laden wants to be tricky and small.

The only weakspot the US really has is its homeland. Hard as attacking Afghanistan may be, we are assuming that we will lose a lot of military. Is this a diversion, to strengthen bin Laden's future position somehow? Is he getting money or consolidating deals with other groups? Has he spent some of his billions making the Afghanistan territory impenetrable, building deep underground? Does he have weapons of mass destruction?

If he doesn't have all these hidden resources, then has he already succeeded? The US once nurtured Japan and Germany to become strong rivals. If bin Laden was behind these attacks, did he find the Arab situation so terrible that he needed to create chaos and let the chips fall where they may?

Reading bin Laden's speech (none / 0) (#99)
by slaytanic killer on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:04:25 AM EST

It was an eloquent thing. With our psychological ops units, we admittedly know a thing or two about terrorism. I look at the situation in a calculated way, because the US has no choice but to proceed with as little civilian bloodshed and as possible. And bin Laden can no longer be allowed to attack us.

However, I know that all he's undertaken is guerrilla warfare. That happens. It is the only possible form of warfare when the enemy is too powerful. Rationalism predicts this. One must be rational enough to understand the situation coldly, and irrational enough to see how mad and painful it all is.

[ Parent ]
Let's get this right... (3.64 / 17) (#109)
by jd on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:43:16 PM EST

The media has essentially one source of information, that of the US and UK commanders. Now, I'm not going to disparage those commanders - it's their job to lie, well, like troopers, during a war. They are doing what they are paid to do, and they are doing a very good job of it. If you were to go strictly on quality of workmanship, these people have done a far better job than any comparable leaders in the history of war.

Now, if you look at the other side of the coin - the reality of what's going on - you will get a very different picture.

First, the "military target" line has been brought out with every other major conflict. Yet the civilian death-tolls in Libya and Iraq have not been insignificant. True, civilian deaths are an inevitable part of a war. They are going to happen. Pretending otherwise, or blaming bombs that "fell the wrong way", may be astute politics but it's also still an outright lie.

Second, the current conflict (as in both the aforementioned conflicts) is a media war. It's fought, not to achieve any military target, but to manipulate the audience. It's doing that very successfully, too. Every news channel, every news paper, waits on the words of George Bush and Tony Blair, as if they were Old Testament Prophets. (In truth, most of the Old Testament Prophets would have given their right arm for half the attention those two are getting.)

Last, but by no means least, failure is guaranteed in this current "war". They want Bin Laden, so they go strafe some poor oil storage facility. Yeah, like that's a likely hiding place for him! They want the Taliban out, so they shell the troops who were all set to rebel and switch to the Northern Alliance. Bugger all chance of that happening now. No, the most likely outcome of this war is the status quo. Which is all these "wars" ever seem to achieve. Odd, that. Well, not if you're familiar with the political satire "Yes, Prime Minister". At which point, bombing people into being exactly where they were, anway, makes perfect sense.

The reality is, America and Britain don't give a damn about the treatment of women, the poor, or other religions, in Afghanistan. They didn't, on September 10th, and there's no reason to believe that that has ever changed.

The reality is also that America and Britain don't give a damn about International Terrorism. Americans regularly fund organizations such as the IRA, calling them "freedom fighters". I'm sure blowing up 5 year olds in city streets does much for freedom. Those who finance organizations which thrive on terror have no business passing judgement on others, when it comes to terrorism. Put the oh-so-holy attitude in the trash - it fools nobody and disgusts many.

In the end, this isn't about freeing the oppressed, or liberating civilization from Terrorism. Humanity -could- have done both, for over a decade, in Afghanistan, but chose to let the sores fester, instead. Now, they're converting the evidence of their apathy into rubble and organic fertilizer.

This war is about preventing change, not creating it. It's about the feel-good factor, rather than actually doing good. Doing good is hard work. Feeling good just requires catharsis.

The US claims to be doing "humanitarian" work, by also dropping food supplies. Aside from the fact that, at 20,000 feet, a food parcel is not going to look much different from a bomb, and aside from the fact that humanitarian agencies are staying the hell away, which means that the food won't get distributed effectively, assuming it is ever collected at all, right now, food is NOT the biggest problem over there. I suspect that if asked, the problems would likely be something like:

  • Unexploded munitions & land-mines
  • Outside interference
  • Psychological scarring from numerous wars
  • Lack of clean water
  • Lack of housing (which the US is busy adding to)
  • Lack of fuel, for the winter (which the US is also adding to) - this is NOT a country you can simply relax outside, in the winter, under the stars. I would expect that any elderly or very young, displaced in the current conflict, will likely die of hypothermia within one or two nights.
  • Education - the West is very good at keeping poorer nations ignorant and therefore poor. It makes for great cheap labor! That's half the reason US prices are so low. Don't think Nike is the only one. From fruit to computers, the cost is borne by underpaid, overworked peasents who have no hope of anything better, and have seen a great deal worse. I suspect countries like Afghanistan have figured out that the higher costs that would result from treating them like humans would be violently opposed by consumers, who don't give a shit what conditions the workers are in, provided the products are cheap.


Yes...we really should.... (4.00 / 2) (#160)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:23:39 AM EST

Well...I am curious as to how you "know" so much about the inner workings of government and military.

First, the "military target" line has been brought out with every other major conflict. Yet the civilian death-tolls in Libya and Iraq have not been insignificant. True, civilian deaths are an inevitable part of a war. They are going to happen. Pretending otherwise, or blaming bombs that "fell the wrong way", may be astute politics but it's also still an outright lie.

Well...two big faults here.

One: Civilian death tolls are an interesting point. The problem is, is that the entire country knows that military action is coming. If civilians are killed because of their proximity to a military facility or probable target, this should not be an example to the attackers that they should be more careful, it should be an example to those on the ground that they should. (If the people in those towers would have known to expect action against them...would they have been there?) We already go to extremes to try to make weapons precise to give them a chance to do just that. If we didn't care about innocent fatalities, we do have the firepower to carpet bomb that desert into a sheet of glass...actually...it would probably be easier, and sadly, probably much cheaper and more safe to do so. We aren't doing that though...and not very many people over here want that or would stand for it.

Two: Weapons aren't perfect. Some bombs WILL miss their mark. NOTHING in this world is truely 100%. Don't let that come as a surprise to you. If you think that's an "outright lie", your nuts. That kind of accuracy is not a trivial thing...and it is not perfect.

Will reply to more later...sleep now...work in the A.M.

[ Parent ]
Bah. (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:41:53 AM EST

Civilian death tolls are an interesting point. The problem is, is that the entire country knows that military action is coming. If civilians are killed because of their proximity to a military facility or probable target, this should not be an example to the attackers that they should be more careful, it should be an example to those on the ground that they should.
If you really want to avoid civilian deaths then you have to
  • Inform them of the exact location of the targets to be bombed, and the time the bombings will occur. Do that early so that innocent people have time to get away. (Even the IRA does this, now and then, when they are feeling generous).
  • Allow fleeing refugees to cross the border into neighbouring countries. Unfortunately Afghanistan's borders have been sealed against refugees.
If I told you that America would be subject to a terrorist attack sometime in the next six months, would you consider that fair warning? Is that enough information to act on? Would you wait until I told you more, like where exactly the attack would take place, and (if it should be near you) when, so that you could head into the mountains for the duration? Or would you quit your job and flee the country immediately on the strength of that, leaving your house and belongings behind?

That's a looter's fantasy come true. For the rest of us, life must go on. This also goes for a country of thousands of square miles, with millions of people and thousands of potential targets that could be bombed any time between now and the next ten years, if Iraq is anything to go by.

But sure, ease your conscience by blaming it on the victims.

[ Parent ]

It's not that simple... (none / 0) (#183)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:57:43 AM EST

Allow fleeing refugees to cross the border into neighbouring countries. Unfortunately Afghanistan's borders have been sealed against refugees.

We don't have anything to do with that decision directly. Their neighbors do. In the mean time we are at least trying to send supplies, which even if humble - is a good thing.

Inform them of the exact location of the targets to be bombed, and the time the bombings will occur. Do that early so that innocent people have time to get away. (Even the IRA does this, now and then, when they are feeling generous).

Which in alot of cases, would give their military time to move a valuable target out of an area to be struck. I haven't heard anything about us aiming for purely civilian targets and the such, under this current campaign yet, so don't try to use that as a valid arguement until it happens. If we started doing that, I don't think we'd keep the support we've won so far, for very long. This is touchy, and I think most people know it...the support of alot of nations in that area is strained at best, and depends very heavily on how we handle this.

But sure, ease your conscience by blaming it on the victims.

Yeah...and the WTC victims really had it coming...

[ Parent ]
Last word (3.00 / 2) (#184)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:23:36 AM EST

Yeah...and the WTC victims really had it coming...
I never said the WTC victims "had it coming". You, on the other hand, very explicitly said that any civilian casualties in Afghanistan had only themselves to blame for their deaths.

Point is, civilian causalties in warfare are inevitable. The US is bombing Afghanistan knowing full well that innocents will be killed. Whether that is acceptable or unavoidable is not the problem: it all depends on your viewpoint and personal values. For some it is a necessary price to pay. For others it isn't. Which ever way you look at it, people are going to die in these bombings who were neither directly, nor indirectly, responsible for acts of terror against the US. You can face up to that and declare the deaths of innocents to be necessary - a decision I may not agree with, but respect fully. Or you can weasel out and mumble about "humanitarian" food droppings and silly civilians living too close to targetted areas, and how the WTC victims also didn't deserve to die, why are you blaming us, we're the victims, bla bla bla, whine whine whine. That's a wanker's attempt at rationalisation. That's the moral coward's way out, and it is shit-all prevalent in the US.

[ Parent ]

What is you response? (4.00 / 1) (#187)
by sonovel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:55:57 AM EST

If you were supreme commander of a country attacked like the U.S., what would you do?


The U.S. is doing about as much as it can to avoid civilian casualties, while prosecuting a war.

The only way to do more, would be to decide to not respond to the WTC attack.

Heck, sanctions might be even more damaging to civilians than these bombs.

So what would you do?

You must have a better idea, right? You aren't just bashing the U.S. for, well, being the U.S. are you?

If you are a pacifist, say so. It will save a lot of arguing to say "there are no conditions were responding with violence is appropriate". If you aren't a pacifist, what response is better?



[ Parent ]
Response (4.00 / 1) (#196)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:03:36 PM EST

If I were the president of the US this would be my response:
  • Me: "Who the fuck attacked us?"
  • Aide: "Saudi Arabian hijackers, Mr. President."
  • Me: "Put King Fahd on the hotline, now!"
  • Me: "King Fahd, I am very fucking pissed off! A bunch of your motherfucking towelheads just attacked us. I am about to go medieval on you guys and nuke Riyadh. Start talking!"
  • King Fahd: "So very sorry, Mr President sir, we do our best to repress all Saudi dissidents but sometimes some slip through the cracks, you know. We're very sorry. Won't happen again, inshah Allah."
  • Me: "Well, you're very fucking lucky you're sitting on all that oil otherwise we'd nuke you to Kingdom come!" Hangs up angrily.
  • Me, to aide: "Well, we can't nuke Mecca; who the fuck can we blame?"
  • Aide: "Afghanistan, Mr President."
  • Me: "Have they got oil?"
  • Aide: "No Mr President."
  • Me: "Have they got anything of any fucking value?"
  • Aide: "No Mr President."
  • Me: "Dos anyone like the motherfuckers?"
  • Aide: "No Mr President."
  • Me: "Well, let's nuke the fuckers!"
  • Aide: "Yes Mr President."
  • Me: "Make up something convincing for the press, something like how the Afghani towelheads hate us because we are so handsome and have shiny SUVs and everything. Get Ari to read it out, have anyone who questions my judgement hauled before the Committee For UnStrontiumDogLike Activities, and roll out the troops. This is war, motherfuckers."
  • Aide: "Yes Mr President."
Well, fuck me silly. I would have done exactly the same thing, hypocrite that I am.

[ Parent ]
If bin Laden did it, then Afganistan is target (4.00 / 1) (#205)
by sonovel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:12:32 PM EST

I don't get it. If bin Laden masterminded this plan, the appropriate person to "get", if anyone should be "gotten", is him.

If he is in Afganistan, then that is the country we need to go to to get him.

If the government of Afganistan is sheltering and supporting him, it seems that they bear some responsibility.

If they refuse to give him up, what is your response?

Your rant was just whacky, and didn't answer the question.

Once again, louder:

WHAT WOULD _YOU_ DO?

Is that such a hard question to answer?

Is you reading skill so low that you can't understand the question?

You criticise the U.S. but you offer no alternatives. Sounds like you're just U.S. bashing.



[ Parent ]
Dumbass ... (none / 0) (#211)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:09:44 PM EST

If bin Laden masterminded this plan, the appropriate person to "get", if anyone should be "gotten", is him.

If he is in Afganistan, then that is the country we need to go to to get him.

If the government of Afganistan is sheltering and supporting him, it seems that they bear some responsibility.

If they refuse to give him up, what is your response?

If, if, if, if.

The key question you want to ask yourself is, why Saudi Arabians are willing to kill themselves in order to hurt US targets. That is a question you, and millions of other dumbasses, never bother to ask yourselves.

Bin Laden did not pilot the planes. Afghanis didn't. Dozens of Saudi's and Egyptians were willing to die in an attack on America and you still obsess about bin Laden and the Taliban. Is there an iota of sense in you that wonders why, or do you buy the party line that keeps repeating "Taliban, Taliban, Taliban" until you fully believe that these guys actually bombed the WTC?

I don't get it. What the fuck do you want: an end to terrorism, or a war against Afghanistan? If the former, then you have to start asking some searching questions. If the latter, then my previous posting should suffice.

[ Parent ]

Reasons and Who Dunit? (none / 0) (#216)
by sonovel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:31:22 PM EST

I personally don't really care much about reasons. The people who did it weren't trying to communicate a "message". They were trying to kill people. You seem to think bin Laden's group didn't do it. So if bin Laden's organization _didn't_ do it, why should I look to him for reasons?

Let's assume he did do it. One of his biggest themes seems to be that "infadels" shouldn't be in Saudi Arabia. So should the U.S. not be in SA even though we were allowed in by the SA government?

Do you see reasons that justify the attack on the WTC? I don't. No moral code can justify it. Had the attackers bombed the Pentagon only, using some other means than a hijacked civilian plane, maybe I would consider it a "valid" response to something. The act as committed was designed to kill civilians.

Unless you are defending the _act_, reasons are really not very important. This wasn't a political message, it was an act of mass murder and war.

----

on the if, if, if stuff:

So you think bin Laden's organization didn't do this?

Or do you think they did, but you hate U.S. policy so much that you think the attack justified?

The people who hijacked the planes are dead, so I guess the U.S. should do nothing?

You still haven't answered what the "correct" response to the WTC attack was. I'll still assume your bizarre rant wasn't serious unless you tell me otherwise.

-----

I just asked some questions. You got mad and didn't answer them. Who is more of a "Dumbass": One who questions another or one who responds to questions with insults.

I don't think the Taliban committed the attack. They just protected and aided bin Laden so his organization could do it. The Taliban was given the opportunity to disown the attack and bin Laden, but chose not to. They chose to side with bin Laden. Now they pay the price for an act of war against the U.S. That is what happens in wars. If you side with one of the combatants, you are at war with the other.

I don't want war with Afghanistan. I do want bin Laden's organization stopped. The latter seems to require the former.




[ Parent ]
I guess you didn't ask me but... (none / 0) (#212)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:12:46 PM EST

Once again, louder:
WHAT WOULD _YOU_ DO?
I would negotiate, but not with the terrorists directly. Using broad islamic organisations that represent the muslims better than their pro-american govenments I would bring them a message:

Me:
- Salam aleikum brothers, Israel sux. We will change our foreign policy. You can kick out the foreign bastards. If they can't defend themselves their positon is, inshah Allah, wrong! Read the Quoran folks and be just.

Islamic Peoples:
- You are obviously trying to truly change your evil ways. Let's make peace.

:-) And they lived happily ever after.

[ Parent ]

"giving up" as a response (none / 0) (#217)
by sonovel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:53:16 PM EST

On your title:

Of course you can respond. This is a public forum, the more rational responses the better.

At least you didn't have to resort to insults rather than answering my questions like StrontiumDog.


-----

I personally don't think giving in to the terrorists demands is the best choice.
But hey, it is an another option. I don't support it, but it is different from attacking Afghanistan.

Giving in to terrorism just encourages it more.


[ Parent ]
If you are going to say what I said.... (none / 0) (#189)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:13:48 PM EST

at least get it right.

I never said the WTC victims "had it coming". You, on the other hand, very explicitly said that any civilian casualties in Afghanistan had only themselves to blame for their deaths.

Interesting...your putting words in my mouth here. I said " If civilians are killed because of their proximity to a military facility or probable target, this should not be an example to the attackers that they should be more careful, it should be an example to those on the ground that they should." That does not say that they have only themselves to blame...and it's certainly not very explicit. That says that we are taking alot of care to hit relavant targets (we spend an awful lot to use precision weapons rather than just carpet bomb the place...)...our international support depends very heavily on that...if you decide to stand next to a relavant target when there is a war going on, then who is directly to blame? Neither side is directly to blame...but it seems that we've already on some pretty big tasks to minimize the risks for them as much as we can, given the situation. (Alot more than ramming planes into office buildings anyways, which is pretty much the exact opposite.)

Or you can weasel out and mumble about "humanitarian" food droppings and silly civilians living too close to targetted areas, and how the WTC victims also didn't deserve to die, why are you blaming us, we're the victims, bla bla bla, whine whine whine. That's a wanker's attempt at rationalisation. That's the moral coward's way out, and it is shit-all prevalent in the US.

Oooook. I am drawing a line here. I did not talk about "silly civilians". Your taking my words and twisting them with your own bias. Stop trying to turn them into what you want them to be, to make your position easier to defend...thats a very, very lame tactic. In the WTC attack, alot of people WERE victims...innocent ones no less. And yes...they didn't deserve to die...neither does Afghanistan's innocent civilians.

I fail to see how I am being a moral coward here though...I am saying it how it is. Innocent people died...but for the terrorists, their very target was innocent people. They wanted to kill as many as possible then, and they want to kill more in the future. At least our very targets are not civilians by the thousand. If we did, we'd lose all the strained support we have in that regeon and probably several other places. Even beyond that - We don't want to either...it's not like we enjoy killing, believe it or not. I don't have a crystal ball to see the future, but I am betting that we won't do that. That is the simple truth of it. We don't want to for both ethical and strategic reasons.

At least how I am percieving "our" view over here. I can't speak of it for all American's.

[ Parent ]
your justifications? (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:52:46 AM EST

You write:
One: Civilian death tolls are an interesting point. [snip]
I don't really think so. These countries are attacked, not the rulers. That's enough! If the watersupply in Libya, Sudan or Iraq is bombed, then people will die. In Serbia US ran out of military targets and hospitals were bombed. All because soldiers were provably there, even transported by military vechicles. No shit, Sherlock! Maybe they were wounded?
The point is: US makes it's colateral dammage statistics themselves. Anything can be counted as legal target. Damages can be counted only during emmediate action.

You write:
we do have the firepower to carpet bomb that desert into a sheet of glass...actually...it would probably be easier, and sadly, probably much cheaper and more safe to do so. We aren't doing that though...and not very many people over here want that or would stand for it.

Well, if I could shoot you, is it allright to break your nose? Btw, your day-dreaming is revealing.

[ Parent ]

their justifications? (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:39:29 AM EST

In America, the WTC was bombed, which has NO military value. Alot of people died. It had even less military value than a hospital...It's purely civilian. Our rulers and military were not attacked...our country was...forgive us if some of us have a problem with that. That is and was NOT the best way for them to help their cause...

Well, if I could shoot you, is it allright to break your nose? Btw, your day-dreaming is revealing.

Well...your day dreaming is equally entertaining and all, but if you or your friend that you are covering up and protecting, broke my nose first, you really shouldn't be surprised if I come after you...especially if I have considerable means to do so, and especially when your friend still wants to harm me more in the future.

I am curious about one thing though...and I am not saying this with saracasm - I am geniunly curious. Do you know what purely civilian targets have been hit so far? The list I found the first bombing were as follows:

Kandahar:
An attack was made on the city airport, destroying a radar station and the control tower. The command center of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, housing areas of al Qaeda terrorists and the headquarters for Taliban forces, may have also been attacked.

Kabul:
The Taliban's Ministry of Defense and the capital's airport were attacked. Antiaircraft sites in the south and terrorist camps in the north may have also been struck.

Jalalabad:
The city's airport was hit. A terrorist training camp south of the city may have also been attacked.

Herat:
A fuel storage facility at the city's airport was hit.

Mazar-e-Sharif:
Pentagon officials say a concentration of Taliban military equipment, including several tanks, was attacked.

Shindand:
The city's airport was attacked

Those are from ABCNews.com. Honestly, those things as targets do not sound all that questionable.

[ Parent ]
Sounds pretty fuckin questionable .... (none / 0) (#185)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:41:47 AM EST

... what the fuck is a "terrorist training camp"? No really, I'm having trouble with it: what the frig is a terrorist training camp?

Also, what the fuck is "housing for al-Qaeda terrorists"? A big Pentagon-like building with a big "Welcome To Terrorist Boulevard" neon sign? Apartments full of bearded Arabs who lie at night clutching their AK-47's, dreaming of flying 737's into office buildings?

If you ask me they bombed airports and radar installations, and "terrorist training camp" is a handy euphemism for "oops".

[ Parent ]

Look it up...I am not going to do it for you. (4.00 / 1) (#191)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:22:56 PM EST

... what the fuck is a "terrorist training camp"? No really, I'm having trouble with it: what the frig is a terrorist training camp?

Ok...this is a shot in the dark here, but I am thinking it's a place where terrorist's train. If you doubt their existance, your kidding yourself....even the governments of alot of countries in that regeon acknowledge their existance. The existance and even some general locations of the camps isn't even in question.

If you ask me they bombed airports and radar installations, and "terrorist training camp" is a handy euphemism for "oops".

I'd have to say...hmmm....probably not, unless you have more than your biased opinion to back that up.

[ Parent ]
Looking things up .... (none / 0) (#194)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:40:19 PM EST

Ok...this is a shot in the dark here, but I am thinking it's a place where terrorist's train
Look this up: the WTC bombing was carried out by terrorists who were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon, who lived in Germany and the US, were educated in German universities, and who trained in flight schools in the US. There is no definite evidence to indicate that any of them were ever in Afghanistan at any point in their lives.

This is the easy part. The FBI and CIA have been very generous with information about the background, origin, character, habits, and activities of the WTC terrorists. (They have been markedly less forthcoming about releasing evidence about Bin Laden's complicity. Apparently that would "compromise security" or "endanger informants' lives". Funny that that's no problem at all with releasing evidence about Mohammed Bin Suicide-Pilot.)

Wipe the CNN pap from your mouth and consider chewing on some real meat. The WTC terrorists were never anywhere near any of the "training camps" being bombed right now.

If you ask me they bombed airports and radar installations, and "terrorist training camp" is a handy euphemism for "oops".

I'd have to say...hmmm....probably not, unless you have more than your biased opinion to back that up.

How about a UN building with mine-clearing personnel?

Oops.

[ Parent ]

flight schools in the US ? (none / 0) (#200)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:37:49 PM EST

Look this up: the WTC bombing was carried out by terrorists who were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon, who lived in Germany and the US, were educated in German universities, and who trained in flight schools in the US. There is no definite evidence to indicate that any of them were ever in Afghanistan at any point in their lives.
I was just thinking. Shouldn't the Flodida flight schools be bombed as terrortist training camps. If these schools had been in the muslim world they would be bombed no questions asked and their governments threatened before it.

This actually clarifies somehing to me: I used to wonder why the terrorists took flight classes in the USA, when they could have taken them anywhere else? Obviously, they didn't want to implicate anyone innocent.

[ Parent ]

Umm...there's a difference.... (none / 0) (#203)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:51:22 PM EST

Flight schools unknowingly trained them to do some of what they did. The other camps trained them for a slightly more particular purpose that people are having issues with. There's a pretty serious difference...open your eyes.

Why did they take flight classes here? It's probably the easiest place to do it, and in case you haven't noticed, ALOT of people come here for their educations. There are reasons for that too. It also eliminates them having to go continent hopping to do their "job". If you think they care about people who are not part of their movement terribly much, your incredibly naive. They'll bomb our embasy in any country...you think they care about the bystanders? (They kill quite a few more bystanders than they do American's actually.)



[ Parent ]
Yes... (4.00 / 1) (#202)
by TheCaptain on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:44:17 PM EST

Actually...just a shot from the hip here, but those camps were a terrorist threat BEFORE we took action on this scale. From this article:
The perpetrators of the WTC bombing turned out to be a group of New Jersey men who had been suspected of terrorism for more than two years.[2] Yousef attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, where he honed his skills as an explosives expert. He then traveled around the world working as a professional terrorist in the name of Islamic Jihad, although expressions of religious faith or motivation were notably absent from his statements....

That was about the 1993 bombing of the WTC. They haven't been turned into amusement parks in the mean time. This is not just retaliation for one event...this is a war on terrorism. Look it that up. I think your looking at it as pure retaliation, which is rather shortsited. That is only part of the equation...open your eyes. They are rather blatantly training and using terrorists from these camps. I REALLY don't have a hard time seeing that...and I am pretty sure I could come up with other links that link people from those camps to terrorist activities. It's just not that hard...look it up, and please realize this isn't just us lashing back about Sept 11...it's been a problem for longer than that, and in more than one place on the globe.

[ Parent ]
Seems you didn't read what I wrote (none / 0) (#198)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:27:22 PM EST

Issue 1.
Break noses etc.: I was curious as for what justifies violence to you. Obvioulsly it's ok to harm if it "could" have been even worse, i.e if you could nuke then it's ok to bomb conventional. The logic of that still escapes me. (And you still just dream on about revenge - whilst I ask a rethoric question)

Issue 2.
I don't give a flying fart about civilian or non-civilian targets. (you should have read my previous post) The key issue is that the country is attacked and therefore civilians will suffer. In this specific case (Afghanistan) people will starve and freeze to death. "Colateral dammage" is peanuts in comparison. (again you should have read what I wrote)

The true suffering caused by bombs is not the direct damage at time of action. What do you really expect when quote, "infrastructure", is targeted?

--

P.S. As I write this, the UN has been bombed by the USA. But, that's really off the point.

[ Parent ]

Very well.... (none / 0) (#218)
by TheCaptain on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:09:39 AM EST

Issue 1.

Well...what justifies violence to me is a rather open-ended question. Honestly, it depends on the circumstances. If you break my nose by accident, I am probably not going to be terribly happy about it, but I am not going to go throwing punches over it. However, if I am a random guy who has nothing to do with what angered you, and you start throwing punches, your damned right I am going to hit back.

As for the circumstances with the terrorists, I do believe violence is justified. They are insane...I don't know how many times that has to be pointed out to people. The don't like us, so they blow up our embassy's in Africa - and kill many times as many africans as they do Americans. But they are happy...they killed Americans. Again...they don't like us, so they hijack and run planes into the WTC towers. They killed several thousand Americans, and literally hundreds of foreign citizens from all over the world, who worked there. These are not government targets, or military targets...they are killing civilians - and they are making it a point to do so. What's worse is they are killing people who don't even have anything to do with their problems as they aren't even Americans. They don't give a damn...they aren't rational. This is not about revenge...this is about not paying the price for things that I had nothing to do with. That's a quick and dirty explaination of how I personally see it, and how it's justified to me. I can't speak for my entire country.

Issue 2.

The key issue is that the country is attacked and therefore civilians will suffer.

Yeah...there's alot of that going around lately. Just happened here recently too...although the civilians were the direct target here.

The true suffering caused by bombs is not the direct damage at time of action. What do you really expect when quote, "infrastructure", is targeted?

Well...one nitpick before I address the statement. You don't have to say quote, and then encase the word or phrase in quotes. I know your trying to take a belittling tone with me, but if your going to try, at least have the decency to get it right.

As for the statement, what do I expect when the infrastructure is targetted? I agree about some of it...their trade and industry are going to be disrupted for awhile. I am not going to make illusions about that. Their lives are definitely going to be rougher for awhile...but as far as people starving and freezing to death though, I don't know, and I don't think you do either...I can't see the future.

[ Parent ]
just curious (5.00 / 2) (#161)
by SEAL on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:34:03 AM EST

It sounds like you would prefer U.S. or U.N. people on the ground, to properly distribute food, clear mines, and improve general living conditions. Do you remember what happened last time the U.S. attempted that type of mission? Even if 99% of the civilians in Afghanistan WANT that type of humanitarian aid, all it takes is a few fanatics to turn the whole mission into a hellhole.

It always surprises me how quickly people forget lessons learned in past conflicts. Thankfully it seems the current U.S. administration has not.

Best regards,

SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

Reservations about Northern Alliance (4.66 / 6) (#110)
by datian2001 on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:17:27 PM EST

From the reports I've read and heard, the Northern Alliance are no angels either. Think it was a report by that Afghan women's group that before the Northern Alliance was driven north by the Taliban, they committed thousands of rapes and other attrocities. They also fund their war effort with heroin.

So, it seems that when the Taliban are broken and Al Qaeda evicted from Afghanistan, a regime led by the Northern Alliance will be no better than what's there now. And given the tribal politics it's not clear that there could ever be a government in Afghanistan that would be more interested in making life for the people suck less than in enriching themselves and pursuing personal vendettas.

If the Northern Alliance form the new government, I doubt the country would even cease to be a base for terrorists, given that they'd likely continue to tolerate such activity much as Pakistan does. They make millions off the drug trade, so that will probably continue unabated as well, no matter how much aid flows to them. They are not friends of the US, or anyone else. They barely manage to not attack each other. How can these people be expected to do any better for Afghanis?

Perhaps the world might have better luck putting together an interim government, administered by Afghanis and members of the Arab League, that would oversee the fair distribution of aid, reconstruction, and the establishment of sustainable sources of revenue in the form of income from oil pipelines transporting crude from Central Asia. That would defuse charges of Western imperialism, give Arab governments a chance to shine by helping out their suffering neighbors, and maybe begin a hopeful new chapter in the region. Yes, it's an unlikely miracle. But if it doesn't happen, then you can bet we're gonna be right back there again in 10-20 years, fighting to oust the next oppressive government.

All this said, there is not much alternative to working with the Northern Alliance now. Militarily, they're not much. But they do have intimate knowledge of the country and probably know every nook, cranny, cave, and hidey-hole where the Taliban and Al Qaeda might be hiding, because they have used them themselves. Not working with them would make the Coalition's military task more difficult by several orders of magnitude; it would also make the subsequent political situation impossible. In this case, the enemy of our enemy is not our friend, but we're stuck with them nonetheless.

What a bunch of tripe... (4.46 / 13) (#117)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:15:45 PM EST

I'm not in favor of this military action, because I don't think any of its goals are practical. However, I must say that the rabid anti-US crowd that has been commenting here can eat my ass.

Put simply, assuming you believe the Taliban(remember that they have a strong motive to lie,) 20 civilians died in the attacks so far. That's unfortunate if true, but also very, very low for a bombing campaign that hit 30 different targets and by and large did what it was intended to do. In fact, it may be among the lowest civilian casualty rates of any armed conflict in history. Credit where credit is due.

And then, there are the "oh, yeah, right, humanitarian aid" people. Folks, you don't need the Red Cross to "distribute" MRE packets. When they land, you pick them up, open them, and eat them. It isn't hard. Now, if you mean to say the distribution will be inequitable, that may be so, but it is still the best effort we can make given that we're not in control of the situation on the ground, and cynical dismissals just aren't appropriate; they're really trying.

Finally, there's the "the US is the aggressor" crowd. What a bunch of hypocritical fucks. Your governments quietly support most of what the US does, because they want it done too. Otherwise, we couldn't do it. We're not omnipotent; we need and get your willing cooperation. You, by and large, chose those governments, and are as much to blame as anyone else; certainly as much to blame as any US civilian who has no say in these matters anyway. In addition, for all the "deploring" they've done of US actions, look at the French, blowing up civilian activists, letting French "peacekeepers" go on looting sprees, and so on. There are similar examples from almost every nation, ranging from looting to massacres, invasions, occupations, and so on. I'm not saying it is right because everyone does it. What I'm saying is, save your bile for statist government, which is the problem, rather than the US, which is merely another victim of statist government.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Civilian deaths (2.80 / 5) (#121)
by Moneo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:45:46 PM EST

Put simply, assuming you believe the Taliban(remember that they have a strong motive to lie,) 20 civilians died in the attacks so far. That's unfortunate if true, but also very, very low for a bombing campaign

Yeah, that is pretty low for a bombing campaign. You're conveniently forgetting, however, the millions of people who were flirting with starvation before the humanitarian aid was forced out of the country and the borders closed (in Pakistan, at least, under direct US pressure). And frankly, no, dropping some food in isn't going to help. Assuming you can drop in enough food to actually feed everyone, you still haven't handled epidemics, hypothermia and all sorts of other life-threatening conditions.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

Ok. (3.50 / 2) (#123)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:15:09 PM EST

Thing is, though, if only 20 civilians died, odds are we didn't destroy housing. I would agree that it is too bad the aid workers left, and we probably ought to go in there when we're done and rebuild things as best we can to where they were before we showed up, and maybe better, but it isn't as though we've got a lot of practical options.

Think about it. bin Laden's main goal is to get the US entirely out of the middle east. If we went along with that, there would be war in the middle east inside of five years, and that war WOULD both involve and affect the US. On the other hand, if we don't go along with that, he's going to keep blowing up buildings and so on. Our only other option is to get rid of him and his cronies. There's no way to do that which will not have an impact on the people who live where he lives; I'd like to have it otherwise, and I am against what we're doing because I think it will fail, but I don't know what else we could do; sticking your head in the sand is not going to make these people quit attacking us. Given all this, yes, we certainly need to help the people, but what else?

By the way, a very reasonable, though perhaps less than kind, analysis of such countries is that perhaps they ought to face mass starvation; they clearly have no business with populations in the tens or hundreds of millions, which they cannot feed by any stretch of the imagination, and it isn't as though there is any hope that Afghanistan and similar countries could ever natively support that many people. Why should they be charity cases in perpetuity? What have they done to deserve to be kept on life support at someone else's expense?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Avoiding war and terrorism (3.00 / 4) (#124)
by Moneo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:27:23 PM EST

There's a remarkably simple way to stop terrorism: address the underlying causes. Someone has to be pretty far gone to fly a plane into a building...so something must have gotten them that upset. Searching for those causes and attempting to address them is far more likely to decrease the amount of terrorism than a military strike, which will probably just create more dispossessed, angry, frustrated people who blame the US for their situation (and may therefore do "evil" (I wish GWB would stop using that word...it's embarassing, especially when it comes from the (nominally) most powerful man in the world).

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
Let's Hug for Peace... (4.00 / 4) (#136)
by defeated on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:09:54 PM EST

"There's a remarkably simple way to stop terrorism: address the underlying causes. Someone has to be pretty far gone to fly a plane into a building...so something must have gotten them that upset. Searching for those causes and attempting to address them is far more likely to decrease the amount of terrorism than a military strike"

Do you seriously think that an "Aww, geez, why did the poor things want to go so far to kill US civilians" attitude will thwart future attacks and promote peace? No one would even claim responsibility for the Sept. 11 carnage when it happened! Evidence was purportedly found and presented to the Taliban, and they refused to hand over bin Laden, so now they get the LART. US foreign policy most certainly has it's flaws, but you can't please all the people all the time. If the US allowed a terrorist act to begin negotiations, every tin pot third world dictator wannabe would be prepping for destruction to further their own causes.

Maybe I'm naive, but if the people behind this felt that they had a just cause, they would have been better served by appealing to the American people to rein in their government. Osama's not a stupid man, and he's proven himself capable of thinking outside of the box. The American population can be blissfully ignorant of the world around them, but we're also quick to take up causes. Ever since 9/11, CNN has regaled us with tales of starving people in Afghanistan, but they have guns! They don't have shelter, but they have tanks! If Osama wants to help his fellow Muslims, why doesn't he start by selling some weaponry and buying some fucking food with those millions he's supposed to have? Because he doesn't want that, he wants to further his own agenda. Oh, and it's easy to harvest new recruits when you can promise them at least one square meal a day.

[ Parent ]
Or better yet... fight for peace! (1.00 / 1) (#154)
by PhillipW on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:05:00 PM EST

Or maybe we can commit adultery for marriage sakes. Anyways, time to refute!

Do you seriously think that an "Aww, geez, why did the poor things want to go so far to kill US civilians" attitude will thwart future attacks and promote peace? No one would even claim responsibility for the Sept. 11 carnage when it happened! Evidence was purportedly found and presented to the Taliban, and they refused to hand over bin Laden

The attitude of "you bombed and harmed our civilains, so now we are going to do worse to you" certainly isn't going to help, either. Furthermore, the US refused to show evidence. When evidence was requested GWB said that the demands were not negotiable. Though I do not see how evidence is a form of negotiation.

Maybe I'm naive, but if the people behind this felt that they had a just cause, they would have been better served by appealing to the American people to rein in their government.

Not true. America has, as recent as 50 years ago, refused to help a nation remove French Imperialists from their land. Despite the fact that this was a nation's fight for self-determination, America sent in Military advisors to help the French. When the French decided it wasn't worth it and withdrew, America sponsored Democratic elections. And then they opposed the man that was elected, and sent in troops. The elected leader in this case being Ho Chi Minh.

Ever since 9/11, CNN has regaled us with tales of starving people in Afghanistan, but they have guns! They don't have shelter, but they have tanks!

Keep in mind we are talking about Afghan citizens, not the Taliban. To say that the Taliban is a government that represents the people of Afghanistan is extremely far fetched.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
So what's the answer? (none / 0) (#186)
by sonovel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:44:20 AM EST

What is your proposal for responding to this attack?

Is there any case where responding militarily is appropriate?

Does the Taliban bear any responsibility for the U.S.'s response?

How about bin Laden?




[ Parent ]
Good Question (none / 0) (#190)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:14:22 PM EST

I personally would reccommend that Bin Laden be tried in an International Court, and also that we look at the reasons behind his actions. And no, his reason is not because America is a champion of freedom.

Is there any case where responding militarily is appropriate?

Absolutely. Though very rarely is it the case when an enemy is not marching troops over to initiate an attack. While sitting around picking our noses will not help anything, bombing will only lead to more terrorist attacks, even worse than previous ones. This in turn will lead to us retaliating in bigger ways. And the cycle goes on. Violence against violence will only create a positive feedback cycle.

Does the Taliban bear any responsibility for the U.S.'s response?

How about bin Laden?


They most certainly do. I think anyone who has ever assisted such people, be it financially, with weapons, or anything that has helped them achieve such power, should certainly be punished for harboring terrorism. Wouldn't you agree? Let me ask you, do you honestly think military strikes will put an end to terrorism? Where do you think Osama Bin Laden should be tried, or should there be no trial, as there is evidence?

-Phil
[ Parent ]
International Courts/Military Response (5.00 / 1) (#206)
by sonovel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:34:44 PM EST

So pray tell, how will an International Court try a guy who won't show up for trial?

How does an International Court put a whole government on trial for not turning over a suspect?

Bin Laden has _already_ been indicted for his role in terrorist acts. Afghanistan refused to give him up. There recent "show us the evidence and we'll think about giving him up" was just a smokescreen. We treated several other attacks as criminal matters and it lead to this.

An International Court only has as much powers as the armies that support it.

So do you want an "International Army" to go along with the Court?

If not, how can the court be effective?

Saying you support an International Court criminal trial for bin Laden is basically saying you support doing nothing.

If we capture him, I expect that we will try him. I would guess that the place where his acts caused the most damage would be considered the correct juristiction.

As far as punishing everyone who ever supported him, I would expect that would be half the Middle East, Pakistan, the U.S., and likely quite a bit of Europe. Probably not practical.

Violence _does not_ cause always more violence. Germany and Japan are good examples of the foolishness of this belief.

You can't even really believe this as you state that you believe that _sometimes_ a military response to violence is needed. If violence _always_ led to more violence, the only rational response would be pacifism.

------

So a country can only respond militarily to invading troops?

So things like missle attacks aren't grounds for military response?

Does the attack on the U.S. justify military response?

If not, what is the realistic response?

------

I don't think just random bombing will do squat to stop terrorism. Call random bombing "The Clinton Doctrine", as that was his method of preventing terrorism.

The "Bush Doctrine" seems a bit different. It looks to me like targeted strikes on military targets leading up to some sort of ground action. This is quite a bit different from your caricature.

[ Parent ]
Refute away! (none / 0) (#192)
by defeated on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:23:30 PM EST

"The attitude of "you bombed and harmed our civilains, so now we are going to do worse to you" certainly isn't going to help, either."

It seems to be more of a "you have a murderer in your house, hand him over or suffer the consequences" attitude to me.

"Furthermore, the US refused to show evidence. When evidence was requested GWB said that the demands were not negotiable. Though I do not see how evidence is a form of negotiation."

It's my understanding that numerous links have been turned up that connect bin Laden and the WTC attackers. Not to mention that bin Laden has declared "war" on the US in the past. Not to mention that bin Laden funds the so-called "terrorist training camps." I can understand the reluctance of the Taliban to relinquish a guest who they have extended hospitality and their protection, but there you have it.



[ Parent ]
More civilian deaths (3.00 / 1) (#171)
by pallex on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:21:24 AM EST

http://www.skysports.com/skynews/storytemplate/storytoppic/0,,30200-1031697,00.html

"Four United Nations workers have been killed after a US missile slammed into their office, the UN has said.

The four were working for the Afghan Technical Consultancy - a large landmine clearing project set up in the 1990s - when their HQ was accidentally targeted."


[ Parent ]
Tripe to go around (2.80 / 5) (#126)
by Robert Hutchinson on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:53:13 PM EST

Put simply, assuming you believe the Taliban(remember that they have a strong motive to lie,)
... as do all governments ...
20 civilians died in the attacks so far. That's unfortunate if true, but also very, very low for a bombing campaign that hit 30 different targets and by and large did what it was intended to do.
It's not unfortunate. It's criminal. Such is war.
In fact, it may be among the lowest civilian casualty rates of any armed conflict in history. Credit where credit is due.
Given a choice of situations for comparison, credit will be in short supply. The serial killer does not absolve himself by pointing out the higher murder rates of other convicts. One innocent person killed by a missile is one too many. And it can be helped, if people would stop confusing history with truth.

Robert Hutchinson


No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]
Re: Tripe to go around (4.00 / 2) (#159)
by SEAL on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:21:39 AM EST

One innocent person killed by a missile is one too many.

Whether or not war is a criminal act is your opinion and everyone is entitled to one. However, it is also good to point out that one innocent person killed by a terrorist act is one too many.

The difference in this case is that the terrorists gave no warning whatsoever. The U.S. on the other hand, sent their demands to the Taliban (primarily: hand over bin Laden). Upon the refusal, attacks were launched.

I'm not going to try to convince you that the attacks are the right thing to do: you're obviously strongly opinionated and it would be a waste of time. But at least try to see the difference. Those civilian casualties could have been averted by the Taliban if they:

- didn't harbor terrorists in Afghanistan, so that the attacks on the U.S. didn't happen in the first place, or

- handed over the person deemed responsible.

Now I don't know what evidence the U.S. presented, but it must be strong for the NATO nations to all be in agreement over it. In particular, I think France would have jumped all over this one if the criminal investigation was presented with holes in it.

So in essence, the Taliban decided that they were willing to accept the inevitable civilian casualties. They decided that this was favorable to handing over one man. Why? Take a guess. Handing over bin Laden makes the rest of the Arab nations view you as weak, and a pawn of the U.S. Standing up to the U.S., though, makes you look good to the rest of the Arab world. And as Saddam has shown, any civilian casualties that are presented to the worldwide media tend to undermine international coalitions. Make no mistake: the Taliban's decision was a cold-calculated political choice.

Best regards,

SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

MREs (3.50 / 2) (#146)
by Sir Spankotron on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:00:15 PM EST

What I'm trying to figure out, is where do the Afghanis get the water to reconstitute the MREs? You don't just open and eat, you add water, makes it's own sauce.

How many will choke on them?



[ Parent ]
Not always necessary (4.00 / 2) (#147)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:28:59 PM EST

In fact, while the package has directions (they make them in most every language that has a written form these days,) specifying what to put water in and so on, most of them can be eaten dry, and are deliberately designed that way. Not what you'd call tasty, but a far cry better than nothing.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
they're not MREs (4.00 / 1) (#164)
by crayz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:30:25 AM EST

Not sure if you know this, but what they're dropping aren't actually MREs. They were saying on CNN that they are called Humanitarian something somethings, and they're much cheaper than MREs and possible smaller too.

Anyway...

[ Parent ]
Interesting (4.00 / 1) (#188)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:07:00 PM EST

I just assumed they used what they had on hand; I wasn't aware that the US actually possessed significant stockpiles of any other form of prepack meals suitable for airdrops. That's cool.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Lots of it... (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by beergut on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:33:00 PM EST

... is psy-ops stuff. Food with the U.S. flag on it. :-)

MREs that I've eaten didn't require any water. They were "Meals Ready to Eat." They weren't what I'd call "wonderful," but they weren't bad. And at around 2500 calories per meal, they'd go a long way toward keeping an army moving.

I doubt highly if they were distributing very many MREs, though. Those are probably pretty expensive (like that's ever stopped the U.S. Gov't. from doing anything.) What I'd heard is that they're dropping staple goods, grains and the like, in sacks with U.S. markings so that people know who's putting food in their guts - and it ain't the Taliban.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

I read (4.00 / 1) (#195)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:58:29 PM EST

that they were dropping ready to eat meals, but I don't have any way to know for sure. Anyway, yes, I've eaten dry MREs too. They're expensive, but probably not as much as you'd think. Backpackers' meals are similar stuff, and typically cost $5-15 apiece depending on where you're at, but they're not as standardized or mass produced, and that's retail, so I'm guessing MREs cost the government maybe $2-4 apiece. The nice thing about them is, we have a ridiculous stockpile of the things. Truly ridiculous, in fact. However, if we're not dropping them, I wouldn't doubt that we're dropping something that isn't as well preserved; after all, the odds of it not being eaten soon are pretty slim:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
heh (4.50 / 2) (#197)
by crayz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:19:33 PM EST

this is the government we're talking about. I believe CNN was saying these meals cost $4.25 a piece, as opposed to ~$20! for MREs. and yeah, these apparently are made specially for air drops. one guy was saying yeah have sort of little flaps/wings, so they'll flutter to the ground and not land on and kill someone

[ Parent ]
here we are: (4.50 / 2) (#199)
by crayz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:29:10 PM EST

http://www.dsca.osd.mil/home/humanitarian_daily_rations.htm

The goal of the Humanitarian Daily Rations Program is to provide a low-cost, nutritionally viable, easily delivered, daily ration for use in foreign countries to alleviate hunger after manmade or natural disasters. The HDR is less costly than the meals-ready-to-eat (MRE) ration (usually called the `C' ration) that U.S. forces eat and was used previously for foreign disaster relief. An HDR costs $4.25 for an entire day; an MRE costs $24.00 for 3 meals - a saving of $19.75 per day (or over 80 percent) to the taxpayers.

If you were right about MREs being 2500 calories each though, this would seem to be a bit of a lie...(in that people wouldn't need to eat 3 MREs/day ?)

[ Parent ]

They're at LEAST 2500 calories... (4.00 / 1) (#201)
by beergut on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:42:11 PM EST

... made so that a soldier can survive on one meal per day, but rich enough in energy that he can thrive when fully supplied, but where there is a lot of hiking and other physical exertion.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Hmm... (4.00 / 1) (#204)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:57:16 PM EST

I'm not sure this is actually correct. Are you sure they're set up for 1/day? I've eaten the things, and they're not all that substantial; packing 2500 calories into them would be an interesting exercise in nutritional science. Fat wouldn't do it; you'd need to use all carbs and protein and as little fat as necessary, which is just as well since fat preserves like shit, and if you look at the menus, this makes some kind of sense, but frankly, that quantity of food, even all carbs and protein, just wouldn't have that many calories under any normal circumstances. Otherwise, I'd be eating about 5000 calories a day and rapidly headed towards the Guinness record for world's biggest human.

Someone more knowledgable about nutrition might be helpful here, but I doubt such a one will be forthcoming...

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
they are not health food (4.50 / 2) (#208)
by Wing Envy on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:49:05 PM EST

They're loaded with protein, starch, fat, and dextrose for extra calories, not really for dietary needs, just energy. A full day's rations can be around 4000 calories, mostly empty.


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat
[ Parent ]
MRE (4.00 / 1) (#209)
by finial on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:00:27 PM EST

Some MRE info: As a rough guide, it takes 10 times your weight (in pounds) of calories to maintain your weight at rest. Any exertion will require more than that. So, to maintain a 150 pound person, you would need 1500 calories per day if you had no activity. As a totally irrelevant comparison, a sled dog in the Iditarod can consume 15,000 calories per day. So you can imagine what a soldier carrying a full pack in hostile terrain under great stress can need.

[ Parent ]
woo hoo! (2.66 / 3) (#179)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:25:02 AM EST

woo hoo! I'm famous! or is that infamous?

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Eradication of terror & Attack on Afghanistan (3.57 / 7) (#118)
by exa on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:17:11 PM EST

My country Turkey would be the first to benefit from the eradication of the fundamentalist terrorist groups, but I don't think that America's campaign against Afghanistan will result in that.

First, the Islamic terror is a product of ignorance. Unless you sweep that away, it will bloom like mushrooms all over the earth.

Second, the strands of terror are borne in poverty (as understood very well by my country's politicans after 20 years). If you enslave those nations into eternal suffering, you will reap terrorism.

In Turkey, fundamentalism is the greatest threat to the security of our nation, and it does not seem to me that you can neutralize that threat without thwarting its two main sources.

By the way, the fact that anti-terrorist-bombings and humanitarian-aid-droppings are being done simultaneously shows that it is an effort to solace the American public by showing that
a) They are punishing those who are responsible
b) They are trying to help Afghan people at the same time.
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

Ignorance? (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by Moneo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:36:28 PM EST

I agree that the current military action will not decrease the threat of terrorism -- in all likelihood, it will increase it. I'm confused, however, by the following statement:

First, the Islamic terror is a product of ignorance. Unless you sweep that away, it will bloom like mushrooms all over the earth.

Ignorance regarding what? How does it cause terrorism?

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

ingorince (3.00 / 1) (#131)
by nodsmasher on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:51:15 PM EST

irngorince leads to fundimentalism becouse the quoran is no basis for terrorism its ignorince in the teachings of islam that leads to terrorism. the jihad that bil laden talks about is really a non violent iner stugle if im not mistaken
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Ignorance (3.00 / 1) (#133)
by Anymoose on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:55:09 PM EST

Ignorance in "proper" Islamic practices. Similar to the ignorant Christians who are suckered into "donating" their life savings to a preacher on TV who claims "Jesus told me to raise $6 Million or else!"

I'm no expert on Islam, but my understanding from what little I have read indicates that violence in any form is against the Qu'ran's teachings. Ignorant people, can be mislead into believing they will be rewarded in Heaven for killing innocent people some charasmatic, wealthy, or powerful individual claims are "the Great Satan" in that same way.


I AM, Therefore I THINK
[ Parent ]

Xian ignorance (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:10:35 PM EST

or similar to the ignorance of people that call themselves Christians and simultaneously support a huge military that is used to bludgeon the poor of the world. I'm no expert on Christianity but it seems to me that Jesus would have puked if he could have heard Dubya talking about the attacks which were launched on Sunday.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
There's no nut like a religous nut (4.00 / 2) (#138)
by defeated on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:16:38 PM EST

"I'm no expert on Islam, but my understanding from what little I have read indicates that violence in any form is against the Qu'ran's teachings. "

I am no expert, either, but from what I've read and digested, the Koran (Qu'ran) is not completely opposed to violence, but it does forbid violence against innocents and preaches tolerance. But, just like Christian material, you can find passages to support whatever cause you like, no matter how twisted.

[ Parent ]
Wrt modernity, shall we say? (5.00 / 3) (#139)
by exa on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:17:18 PM EST

OK. I don't think the ignorance part is obvious to non-Islamic readers, but here it goes.

Islam allows one to make political decisions based on religion. Especially, if one takes a not-so-modern interpretation of Islam.

If the audience is ignorant, you can manipulate them to the extent that they believe the objectives of your political agenda are that of Islam's (although they are not). Fundamentalist political parties basically operate on that principle, making masses believe that their politics is God's will.

We have Islamic terrorists here who burned several famous writers alive and murdered a renowned secular writer named Ugur Mumcu among many other atrocities. Not very different in spirit from what fundamentalist terrorists did in US. Those terrorists _really_ believed that they were fulfilling Allah's wish and they were going to Heaven.

It's much harder to manipulate a well educated muslim into a hardened terrorist.

How do they do it? They take the young ones, and educate them in their own institutions, and brain wash them into that fundamentalist interpretation of Islam _and_ their belief system. People who come out of that system might even become well versed in "technical" fields (like engineering or medicine) but would still remain very unsophisticated and rigid in their philosophies.

I find it very difficult to tell it to someone who does not have first hand experience. The result is something like a mind from the Middle Age in the present time, filled with superstitions and fear above all.
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

[ Parent ]
Not really because of Islam (3.50 / 2) (#172)
by Moneo on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:54:47 AM EST

I agree with your point in principle. I live in Muslim countries and I've read Muslim history, so I know exactly what you're talking about.

However, I feel that it is a failure to separate Church and State that allows one to make political decisions based on religion. The Christian world was the same way for much of its history; now, however, most of the 'modern' countries have secularized politics.

Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]

Kurds or someone else? (none / 0) (#175)
by bil on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:24:39 AM EST

When you talk about fundamentalist terrorist groups in Turkey are you talking about the Kurdish groups or do you mean some other group?

I know almost nothing about the politial situation in Turkey so some enlightenment would be appreciated.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Hezbollah (none / 0) (#210)
by exa on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:18:08 PM EST

It was about Hezbollah and alike, there are a lot of such Islamic terrorist groups.

My point about poverty applies to all kinds of terrorism, though (including PKK)

__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

[ Parent ]
The strategical role of this attack (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by exa on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:24:30 PM EST

I have a speculation to make. The USA will not make this air campaign too long-winded, because it is just a diversion. They will capture bin Laden and his associates alive and bring them to court.
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

blah blah blah (2.88 / 9) (#144)
by yonderboy on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:42:05 PM EST

Us "silly" Americans have a saying, "Don't shit in your own nest." Before I explain this colloquialism, I'll provide some background information.
  1. Click this link here. Read the fifth line down. Does that say US? I thought so.
  2. The members of the US congress have people called "constituents." (Say it all together class: con-stitch-you-ents. Good) These are the people that voted for the member into Congress. These people have the power to influence their member of Congress, or that member will no longer be a member of the US Congress.
  3. The US President cannot declare war by himself , despite what the media has told you. To do this, the President needs Congress' approval. (If this is over your head, reread the previous point.)
  4. The US is a member of the UN (that's the United Nations, for those who are not up on their political platforms). The UN is supporting the US with these actions.
  5. Countries that are members of the UN can influence the decisions that the UN makes.
For those of you who are not US citizens but like to bitch about the US, please see the first point and the last two points, then DO SOMETHING about it and stop bitching here. For those of you who are US citizens and do not support its actions, please see the second and third items, then DO SOMETHING about it and stop bitching here.

Finally, refer to my original quote and take a cue from us "silly" Americans and DO SOMETHING about it, rather than bitching here because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that's tired of reading your shit.

hardeehar (3.75 / 4) (#152)
by PhillipW on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:45:57 PM EST

1. Click this link here. Read the fifth line down. Does that say US? I thought so.

You are saying that people who live in other nations are not allowed to express dissenting opinions?

2. The members of the US congress have people called "constituents." (Say it all together class: con-stitch-you-ents. Good) These are the people that voted for the member into Congress. These people have the power to influence their member of Congress, or that member will no longer be a member of the US Congress.

The people making the decisions behind all this are not elected. And I take it that you have never thought that the American People will not support what they are told to. All you have to do is start the flag waving and call anybody who disagrees with you "unpatriotic, pacifist pussies"(happened to me) and the support will pour in.

3. The US President cannot declare war by himself , despite what the media has told you. To do this, the President needs Congress' approval. (If this is over your head, reread the previous point.)

There is a loophole in the Constitution... the president is the commander in chief of the military. War was never declared in Iraq. Nor was it declared in Vietnam.

4. The US is a member of the UN (that's the United Nations, for those who are not up on their political platforms). The UN is supporting the US with these actions.

The US has vetoe power in the UN. Any condemnation would get vetoed. Just like the US vetoed an investigation into the Sudan bombing in 1998.

5. Countries that are members of the UN can influence the decisions that the UN makes.

Please see the above.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
You are *how* you speak. (1.00 / 1) (#163)
by drquick on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:45:39 AM EST

You politely express this opinion:
For those of you who are not US citizens but like to bitch about the US, please see the first point and the last two points, then DO SOMETHING about it and stop bitching here. For those of you who are US citizens and do not support its actions, please see the second and third items, then DO SOMETHING about it and stop bitching here.

So, we must do something, but above all not express our opinions "here"? (If there was a kill file for k5 you would be in it!)

[ Parent ]

*YAWN* (3.00 / 2) (#176)
by bil on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:42:08 AM EST

So the UN support the US in this case, other countries support the UN so we should shut up. Is that a fair summery of your point?

Nowhere in this logic is the idea that if those other countries stop supporting the UN, and the UN stops supporting the US will that stop the US doing anything at all.

And in response to your final point, we are doing something about it, we're discussing the rights and wrongs of the situation, trying to persuade people to our point of view. If you dont like discussions, dont visit discussion sites.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Kabul, Kandahar bombed; troops gather in Uzbekistan | 223 comments (220 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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