I'm not a war protestor, because there isn't any point, given that it's started. If the protestors have any minds at all, they must be protesting because they think stopping the bombing will have a good effect. This is very different from being against the bombing. I might say, though, that the decision to start bombing was incredibly stupid, and so I'll try to answer along those lines.
What are your reasons for protesting the bombing of Afghanistan?
Specifically are you opposed to the concept of war (i.e. a pacifist),
opposed to civilians being killed inadvertantly or are some other reason?
I'm not a pacifist. I don't even object to the killing of civilians per se. When I hear of a civilian attacker being shot during the commission of a violent felony, I am usually glad.
I oppose the bombing because it is stupid. It is stupid for a variety of reasons. I'll just one reason to start, for which I have to quote J.K. Rowling:
They like it.
Being bombed in Afghanistan is the equivalent of choosing Microsoft products in the U.S, taken to the nth degree. They want it because it is what they know. Anything else is to be hated, not because it is worse, but because it is different. These people think that using toilet paper is filthy, it is evil to educate women, and Satan lies inside every safety razor. Ever see videotapes of Arabic clitoridectomy? I have. All the women sing "Ulululululululu" because it makes them so happy. Ever see videotapes of the festival with thousands of people where men present their foreheads and women present their babies' forehead to get cut open by a guy with an unsantized straight razor, so they can jump aroun in a frenzy, slapping themselves on the forehead and smearing themselves with blood? And then come back for seconds? This is what they think is good and holy. Bombing them is like fellating them.
Imagining themselves as poor, oppressed victims who just have to be violent to survive gives their life meaning. They fiercely love a culture that has been based on hating and killing other people for several thousands of years. They are living in a desert, and my, isn't it a coincidence that protein deficiency causes violent tendencies, fanatical devotion to leaders, loss of a sense of self, and psychosis? They need an enemy. The U.S. isn't above the need for an enemy, either, but they are even more so. When you need an enemy, there are a number of options, in order of increasing paranoiac fun:
- Invent an imaginary enemy (the Trilateral Commission, the International Conspiracy of Communist Jewish Bankers, Satan, The Boogeyman).
- Construct an enemy in your midst (Black people, the Patriarchy, a neighbor with a slightly different religion, white boys who wear black T-shirts and listen to Ramstein, etc.) This sometimes can be combined with step 1, as for example given the fact that child molestors exist, you can assume that anyone who has ever worked in a day care center is your enemy.
- Have an existing enemy, which requires some luck.
- Do step 1 and then manipulate someone into playing your enemy and thus making your fantasies real.
Number 4 is the big win, but for that you need a gullible sucker. Enter the U.S., the pre-eminent gullible sucker of the world. We are the Charlie Browns of the universe, constantly running to kick Lucy's football. We never learn. We go along with everything, even the accusation that we positively invented 5000-year-old Semitic behavior.
Make no mistake. When the people who planned the attacks found out that Afghanistan was being bombed, they were orgasmically ecstatic. This is what they wanted. We, like fools, gave it to them.
What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan?<p/>
A man walks into a doctor's office. He complains about constant headaches. The doctor examines him, and in the middle, the man takes out a hammer and, wham, hits himself on the head. The doctor thinks he imagined it. A couple of minutes later, the man pulls the hammer out again and wham! The doctor says, "Well, maybe you wouldn't have headaches if you stopped hitting yourself with a hammer." The man replies "But Doctor, what will I do instead?"
Specifically what should the US do about the fact that Afghanistan
houses a terrorist organization that has dedicated itself to killing as
many Americans as possible
Yours is a very interesting question, but it has to be handled separately from this set of bombings. What to do about terrorist infiltration on American soil? I'd say, we could be as nice as possible to American Muslims and recruit some of them as paid moles and informants. We could establish some revolutionary guidelines such as, if someone who is known to be a terrorist uses his real name, identification, and frequent flyer number to try to by an airline ticket, don't sell him one and maybe, like, pick him up?
Sure, we'd need to do more, but let's show we can do the obvious stuff first, OK?
You can't make a leapord change his spots. The best one could possibly do with terrorism in the Middle East is to contain it. Close borders. Deny visas. What, a lot of bright young Arabs can't come to MIT and learn nuclear physics? Tough luck. You can't wipe it out, not by bombing, certainly. You still need to drop something on them? Take a tip from the British: drop some pork products. I'm absolutely serious; develop some aerosol pork grenades. When dealing with people who don't care about this life, get them in the afterlife.
All this is moot, however, because we aren't bombing them for that. We're bombing them because the WTC got attacked, and we've decided that someone we know is more intelligent and competent than bin Laden but who we think is "linked" to him did it. Also because we're pissed off, and blowing things up makes us feel better. Yes, we like this game, too, though not as much as Afghanistan does. Also, because we're chumps and are fiercely proud of the fact.
until the US stops involving itself in the
Middle East which would be difficult since doing so would mean almost
instantaneous war between Isreal and the Arab states, potential coups
in Saudi Arabia and oil prices being unstable?
Instantanous "war"? Between people who know how to make Uzis, have physicists and engineers galore, a modern industrual infrastructure, and about a hundred nuclear warheads against people who bathe by rubbing themselves with sand and think the 12th century was the best? Try "holocaust" or "armageddon." If the U.S. withdraws from the Middle East, unstable oil problems are going to be the least of your worries.
Do you think ground troops as an alternative to bombing would not incur
heavier losses on the American side than the Afghan side and if so do
you think that this is a fair trade if less Afghan civilains die?
No, they would incur heavier losses. Also, they wouldn't work, unless they were all commando raids. Afghani soldiers have 20 years' experience, a mountainous terrain that provides excellent defense, and a network of supply stations. No way an American in full pack can keep up with a guy in sandals carrying a rifle and a piece of nan bread.
It's too bad, because the only possible outcome from this which minimizes the effects of the stupidity would be to conquer the country, set up a puppet government possibly based on the exiled king, and occupy the country in perpetuity. Hey, I'm not saying I like the idea, but we've already stuck our fingers in the machinery, and we should save what we can. But we won't.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett
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