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[P]
Anti war protests

By bil in MLP
Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:18:02 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Last night I went on my first anti-war protest. There were a few hundred people there from all walks of life, from christian groups, to the Socialist Workers, from students to families. A small start perhaps, but a start nontheless.

If you are against the bombing of Afghanistan, dont just sit around shouting at the TV or arguing on the web, but find a local event and get involved.


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For those in the UK CND have a list of events as do the Stop The War Coalition. If people have listings for other countries please post URLs.

People may think this is a waste of time, but I for one would rather waste my time standing up for something I belive in then sat at home watching TV.

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Poll
What do you think about the bombing of Afghanistan?
o Its wrong and should be stopped. 48%
o Its right and should be continued. 51%

Votes: 145
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o find a local event
o CND
o Stop The War Coalition
o Also by bil


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Anti war protests | 656 comments (633 topical, 23 editorial, 4 hidden)
Do it, but don't expect anyone to hear about it... (3.57 / 19) (#1)
by RareHeintz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:22:45 AM EST

Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of recent media coverage (for me, anyway) is the complete lack of coverage of anti-war protests. I've seen no fewer than three in person (I live in the Boston area), completely by accident. I watch the news nightly, and not once have I seen an anti-war rally covered.

Someone, somewhere, seems to think this will all go better if we pretend that all Americans are of one mind on this matter. I don't know if the government has actually applied pressure to news outlets to give this appearance, or if the spineless bastards did it of their own initiative, but it's terribly unhealthy and undemocratic.

OK, I'm done. Just my two cents.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily

True. (3.66 / 9) (#9)
by bil on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:40:38 AM EST

Here in the UK the only mention I've heard about anti-war protests in the news is to dismiss them as small events held by the usual suspects (read socialist workers and co.) without any popular support (we didn't make the local news). But remember the more people who protest the less they can ignore it.

bil


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

Well, (3.16 / 6) (#23)
by pallex on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:14:13 PM EST

the `socialist w**kers` lot probably complain about crop rotation! I`d say the level of coverage of anti-war demos is roughly proportional to their level of support. What is there to say? Yes, theres bombing going on; yes, there will be civilian casualties; no, that wont be enough to stop the `war on terror`; yes, some people are protesting about it.

[ Parent ]
You haven't? (4.16 / 6) (#18)
by Anatta on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:04:28 PM EST

I have. I, too, live in the Boston area. I've seen news coverage of Anti-War protests in the news on multiple occasions. Generally, the protesters looked like about 50-100 people chanting stupid, vapid slogans and holding candles. Often the coverage consisted of 10 seconds, a report that there was an anti war protest and a few billboards, then cut to commercial... but still, I certainly have seen coverage on the local news.

I saw images of the protests in Washington, San Francisco, at Harvard, and other places. It seems to me that given the very small number of people who think we're wrong to defend ourselves in relation to the vast number of people who think we are right to defend ourselves, the media has been pretty fair. I doubt that there are more than 500,000 people in the US who are really out there marching and protesting against this war, compared to the country population of about 275 million. Most of the anti-war crowd gets its news from non-mainstream sources anyway, and are inclined to not believe the major news stations. Why should the news stations devote that much time to the protests?

Someone, somewhere, seems to think this will all go better if we pretend that all Americans are of one mind on this matter. I don't know if the government has actually applied pressure to news outlets to give this appearance, or if the spineless bastards did it of their own initiative, but it's terribly unhealthy and undemocratic.

And yet I can think of numerous people who are happy to proclaim their dissent from what the current administration is doing. Off the top of my head: Susan Sontag... published. Bill Mahr... aired. Ann Coulter... published. Jerry Falwell... aired. Michael Moore... published. Noam Chomsky... published. The Nation (except Christopher Hitchens)... published. Harry Browne... published. Whatzisname from Rage Against the Machine... aired. This doesn't even take into account the availablity of non-US sources like the Guardian, Le Monde, and the Observer, all of which are readily available in the US.

If you, or any American, has the desire to find dissenting opinions, it would take all of 1 minute to find them on the net, perhaps 5 minutes at the local library... not really that much longer than it would take to find non-dissenting opinions. As much as Mr. Chomsky would like to see consent manufactured, anyone who wishes to find dissenting opinions can do so quickly and easily.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Then pay attention. (4.00 / 10) (#20)
by finial on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:08:07 PM EST

Then you haven't been watching. They've all been covered on 4, 5, 7, NECN, the Globe, Herald and Phoenix. Just because you're not paying attention doesn't mean it's not being covered. What do you want them to do, come to your door? Or do you just want to see yourself on TV?

[ Parent ]
ehhhh (2.33 / 6) (#122)
by Lelon on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:09:23 PM EST

most polls have like 90% of americans supporting the bombing. sometimes when a minority is so small, its not really worth reporting on. that is the case here.


----
This sig is a work in progress.
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but... (3.75 / 4) (#141)
by RareHeintz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:17:27 PM EST

Another way of thinking about it is that perhaps consensus is so broad because so few people have been exposed to any alternative viewpoint on the matter. Hell, most Americans still think anti-American sentiment is about "hating freedom".

And I'd also disagree that 10% is such a small number. Think hard, and maybe you'll come up with an instance where 10% or so of the voters decided an election by voting for a spoiler candidate.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

No, I don't agree (none / 0) (#641)
by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 05:49:55 PM EST

sometimes when a minority is so small, its not really worth reporting on.

10% of the us is 27 million people, roughly equal to the entire population of afghanistan.

In a free society, dissent isn't silenced. In cases where it's obviously stupid or wrong, it's aired, then popularly dismissed as stupid.

[ Parent ]

It isn't news (3.00 / 2) (#237)
by titivillus on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:52:36 AM EST

College students with time on their hands skipping classes (or sometimes assigned by the classes) to scream about how America is bad. It isn't news. It hasn't been for years.

[ Parent ]
How about this ? (3.50 / 2) (#570)
by ColeH on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 01:27:26 AM EST

How about offering a *real* solution to the problem rather than attending an anti-war protest ? I hear so much about how the U.S. is wrong without hearing *realistic* alternatives. I think living in peace so long has left many people soft.... in the head.

[ Parent ]
Bombing is the right action to take (if) (4.21 / 19) (#2)
by theantix on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:25:41 AM EST

I support the bombing 100% if, and only if they try to minimize the civilian casualties. They seem to be doing this thus far, and I hope it continues.

When I first heard of the WTC attacks, I actually cried because I thought the americans would go "ape shit" and start carpet bombing cities for revenge. When I found out they have built international coalitions trying to minimize loss of life, I support the action to "get the bad guys" as they are going about it right now.

I have heard some inital reports of civilian casualties, but these are unavoidable. We all know that america could not sit back and let its cities be destroyed without fighting back in some way. It is undisputed that Bin Laden has called for the deaths of all American males -- civilian or military regardless, and he has also financed the terrorist camps that trained terrorists all over the world. Even if the link between him and the WTC/Pentagon terrorists cannot be established 100% America had to prevent more training and financing eminating from that region.

They could have taken any response, and have chosen a fairly mild reaction given the provocation. I personally commend President Bush in acting responsibly where I feared he would not. So while I am generally anti-war, I will stand with the Americans in this fight, for the sake of the civilization that Bin Laden is attacking.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!

Minimize murder (2.64 / 14) (#3)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:33:08 AM EST

We all know that america could not sit back and let its cities be destroyed without fighting back in some way

An undeniable proposition. The question is whether or not the murder of even one innocent person is justified as a response. An addendum to this question is whether or not the starvation of 1000s and possibly 10,000s and more as a result of our cynical, shortsighted interventions is justified.

I don't agree with you that these are "fairly mild" responses. If the "civilization" that you are defending is one that allows you to murder innocents for whatever reason then it's not worth it. The efficacy of this US-led mass-murder in reducing terrorism is questionable at best.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Slaughter of innocents (3.50 / 6) (#16)
by defeated on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:01:23 PM EST

"The question is whether or not the murder of even one innocent person is justified as a response. "

I agree with you, but let me ask an ugly question - Is the life of one innocent Afghan citizen worth the lives of ten innocent US citizens?

[ Parent ]
No (3.71 / 7) (#21)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:10:47 PM EST

and the life of one Afghan is not worth the life of one US citizen and the life of one US citizen is not worth the life of one Afghani.
Killing others is only justified when one's own life is in immediate danger and there is no other way to avert this threat.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
incorrect premise (4.28 / 7) (#33)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:27:23 PM EST

I heard a great interview on Chicago public radio betweeen pacifists and nonpacifists (specifically a professor at the military academy). My understanding of the position of a complete pacifist is "killing is wrong, no matter what, and should never be done." The military academy professor said that this is based on incorrect premise of ethics and referred to something by Kant (I forget what writing) that spoke of how it was wrong to lie, even if that lie would save the life of my bestfriend. This to the professor (and to me) made no sense.

The professor explained it this way: "The goal is to minimize the total amount of killing. If by killing a few people you prevent a larger number of people from dying, then you've done well".

Yes, all killing is bad. But, lowering the total amount of killing is a good goal. If we prevent another plane from flying into a building by killing terrorists then good. If we kill non-terrorists in our bombing, but the total killed is less than if another building was hit, then overall, its still good. Fortunately, the military doesn't want to kill innocents and is trying to minimize that as well.


HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Crazy alternative scenario. (4.00 / 9) (#48)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:56:44 PM EST

Bush on CNN:

"We have decided to show what we are capable of. Begining now all the population of Kabul should abandon the city because it will be destroyed in 48 hours"

CNN 48 hours later:

"The US aided by the UK launched the first atomic attack since WWII. Kabul has disapeared from the map. Few casualties are expected because the city was emptied before the attack"


Bush a bit later:

"I would like to extend an olive branch now in an attempt to avert disaster for the people of Afghanistan and further deterioration of the relations betweeen the West and the Islamic world. Thus I want to pact a ceasefire with immediate effect and would like to sit in the negotiating table with Osama bin Laden to discuss ways to reduce the tension and to begin to look for ways to clear misunderstandings. We have hit each other badly, many people have died. This should not be allowed to continue. This should stop now."

My point is that I would like that for a moment somebody somewhere could think that perhaps, just perhaps, the person accross the divide is human, and that perhaps, just perhaps, negotiation could be a first alternative before killing more people.

I did not say the only alternative, but one worth trying just to give peace a chance. One life is worth the political risk of ruining a Presdient's political carrier.

This should have happened 11 years ago, or after the Gulf War. I know it is preposterous now, but to all those that talk about colateral damage when refering to afhganis, just think that the panic and terror and incomprehesion is the same for innocent people in Afghanistan when a bomb lands in their home (unintentionaly I am sure) than the terror and panic of people in NY the 11/9.

Many of you can bear that. Good for you. I can't.

I ask to all those people going back to Church, to all those devote Christians happy to bomb others: what would Christ do in this situation if he was Bush? (sleepery terrain, where is my asbestos....).

To all those Muslims ready to die in Jihad: where in the Holly Book, the Koran, The Prophet, peace upon him, justifies indiscriminate killings?

People: are you all bananas or what?!?!?


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Flawed argument. (4.00 / 3) (#103)
by physicsgod on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:20:42 PM EST

Your entire argument is based on the assumption that bin Laden (and those who think like him) is human. He isn't, at least not by my definition. He thought about and planned the death of THOUSANDS of innocent people, who did nothing more to him than be born in the wrong place or not worship how he wanted. History from Khobar Towers, to the African Embassies, to the Cole, show that bin Laden won't stop killing until he gets what he wants: an uber-fundamentalist Islamic state across the middle east, and elimination of Jews from (at least) that state. Any attempt at negotiation would be seen as weakness and just impel him to do more.

Your scenario is also flawed: Many people in Kabul wouldn't evacuate, either because the Taleban didn't warn them, or they thought it was a bluff. Then when the city is destroyed the US will be lambasted across the world for killing innocent civilians, and thousands of terrorists would flock to bin Laden's training camps hoping to kill americans, and anyone else who gets in the way.

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

I know argument is flawed. (2.50 / 2) (#221)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:52:18 AM EST

I am fully aware of that. This conflict is beyond the point of negotation. What matters now is who can kill enough of the other side to claim victory, who can instill more fear in the opponent.

Negotiation and compromise was needed after the collapse of the USSR, after the end of the Gulf War.Now it is too late.

I would just hope that people involved in all this would stop to refer to god. And that goes for both sides. Every call for Allah, every "god bless America" (while at the same time people is being killed, how is that for double speak and double standards?) just confirms the fears and prejudices of the other side.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Defense mechanisms (4.50 / 2) (#280)
by gambuzino on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:56:56 PM EST

You are the one with the flawed argument. You're resorting to an age old tactic. It's called "dehumanization of the adversary". It goes like this:

1. What this person has done is not acceptable for a human being.
2. In fact, it is so unacceptable that this person should be considered as having renounced being considered human by other human beings.
3. If this person is not human, he/she doesn't deserve the normal reserve and consideration I would have in dealing with a human adversary.
4. Anything I do to wipe him out or punish him should be considered justified by his heinous acts.

I'm not saying you are suggesting we go from step 3 to step 4, but it seems evident from your post that you agree with steps 1 to 3.

I have no problem with step 1 - there is such a thing as unacceptable behaviour, and it such be punished according to its seriousness. In fact, this is what we have done throughout the ages. Criminals and evildoers are persecuted and punished.

I have a BIG problem with step 2 - however much you desire Bin Laden to be a demon from the twilight zone, he is not. He is, by definition, human, and thus capable of the best and the worst, as humans have shown throughout history.

As an example of dehumanization, you can look at what happened in WWII in Germany. Large numbers of "normal" in one of the best educated states in the world were able to justify mass slaughter of Jews by resorting to this argument: "They are not really human, they're sub-human. They don't suffer like us, think like us or act like us. They don't deserve the luxury of pity or empathy, which are reserved for my fellow humans.

In Israel we can see the same process at work, with Israelis now playing the opposite role. Children learn to hate arabs from an early age. They say or are told: "They're not human, how could they be? They don't care about their dead like we do, otherwise how would they send their young to die like this. They don't suffer, they only pretend to in order to cativate an audience. They don't even deserve to be treated as I would treat an Israeli murderer, they are not worth that much consideration."

You can see this at work in most wars, and in fact this was also used frequently by colonists, as a way of justifying their acts.

It does not make it right.

This phenomenon can be accompanied by a related one: demonization: "The acts commited by my enemy are so evil, that it shows my enemy is capable of anything, no matter how much worse it is. Anything I can imagine, he is willing to do, and probably even worse things that I can't imagine. He is an all-powerful devil, and anything I do is justified if I am fighting the devil."

Wake up - Osama Bin Laden is just a man, working with other men. A smart man, probably. An evil one, granted. The Al Qaeda are a determined, organized and dangerous group of men who have to be watched, stopped and punished. But they are only men, and there are limits to their evilness, or at least to their capability to convert that evil into actions. Their power cannot compare to the power of a modern, organized society. They are no match for our collective knowledge. We might suffer, but they will lose. Inevitably. We don't have to throw everything plus the kitchen sink at them. There are more sophisticated responses out there, ones that might prevent the bloodshed on the way to their defeat.

Saddam Hussein is not an evil genius. Milosevic is not an evil genius. Osama bin Laden is not one either. This is not a movie. These are powerful, dangerous, clever men. Don't let exageration deform your analysis. Exagerating a point too much to win an argument has its dangers.

Another constant theme is the refusal to discuss the roots of evil. "Evil has no cause, it exists by itself. It has always existed, and always will. Evil thrives in evil for its own sake. Evil hates us for what we are, and not for what we do."

It's the same with bin Laden, the Al Qaeda, the taliban, muslims, anti-americans, critics everywhere. People say: THEY HATE US FOR WHAT WE ARE, AND NOT FOR WHAT WE DO. NOTHING WE COULD DO WOULD CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOUR."

How can you prove that without even trying to change your behaviour?

This kind of self-assuring mantras are used to help people avoid the need for self-analysis. Self-analisys can be very painful. But it has to happen if things are to change.

Nothing justifies terrorist acts. But that is not to say they are born out of a vacuum. They can arise from illegimate or petty reasons, but they can also arise from valid reasons.

Having a valid grievance doesn't by any standard justify a terrorist response, but if you ignore an important complaint for long enough you might see that kind of response come from the fanatics that exist in every society.

Punish the fanatics, but if you persist in ignoring the grievances it's possible more will arise.

It is interesting to see how Bush and bin Laden seem to agree on one thing: This is a war of good against evil. It seems almost symmetrical, but of course it isn't. It's a pity that the most powerful and sophisticated civilization in history has to resort to simplistic, manicheistic arguments to justify its acts, and climb down to the level of a vengeful, "god"-inspired madman.

[ Parent ]
Definitional problem (3.00 / 1) (#295)
by physicsgod on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:26:10 PM EST

You and I are using two different definitions of "human". I agree that OBL is Homo sapiens, but as far as I'm concerned that doesn't make him human. Two months ago I wouldn't have known Muhammed Atta from Adam, and would probably have given him the benefit of the doubt as to his humanity. But no human can hijack a plane full of people and crash it into a building, THREE TIMES! Anyone who commits, plans, funds, orknows about but does not stop, such an act is not what I call human, and thus has no protection under humanity. OBL and his cronies have killed people, thus they have no claim on the right to life. OBL et al. have demonstrated they want to kill me, my family, and my friends,thus I am obliged to take whatever measures I feel necessary to protect myself and others. This is just my personal ethit, YMMV, but you're going to have a hard time convincing me it's wrong.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
human vs. humane (4.00 / 1) (#357)
by gambuzino on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:44:34 PM EST

I understood your use of the word "human", I just don't agree with it, since it can easily lead to misuse. When you characterize an act as inhuman and then proceed to deny its perpetrator recognition as a human, I disagree. Humanity is an intrinsic, non-alienable condition, no matter how gruesome the actions under consideration. That shouldn't stop you from handing out severe punishment, but it should help you avoid retaliating in similar "inhuman" terms.

If you appreciate clarity, why not use humane instead of human?

[ Parent ]
so then (none / 0) (#444)
by physicsgod on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:32:30 AM EST

What benefits come from humanity? I ask because life isn't inalienable. If humanity isn't identified with life then appeals to humanity have no relevance(just because he's human doesn't mean I can't kill him), if it is then humanity isn't inalienable. Like I said, this is a disagreement in ethics, but the point I want to make is that saying "X is wrong" doesn't make a very good argument.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Humanity and evil (none / 0) (#643)
by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 06:14:15 PM EST

Your entire argument is based on the assumption that bin Laden (and those who think like him) is human. He isn't, at least not by my definition.

You're wrong there; he and his people are all human, every one of them. The true horror is that actions like theirs can lurk within a human soul; that evil, like good, has an authentic human face.

Let none of us forget this lesson. The Germans learned it, by hideous demonstration, half a century ago; the Israelis teach it to those of us who watch their actions and attitudes with horror; as do Osama and his death cult; and if we do not learn these lessons, treat them as a reminder to bind and frustrate the evil within our own hearts, someday we Americans too may learn them more directly and painfully.

[ Parent ]

Killing in self defense (5.00 / 1) (#421)
by khym on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:47:10 PM EST

Killing others is only justified when one's own life is in immediate danger and there is no other way to avert this threat.
I disagree. If someone initiates an attempt to kill me, by initiating that attempt, they've lost any right they have not to be killed, and will only regain that right once they stop trying to kill me. If, say, someone was trying to kill me, and there was a way to stop him without killing him that would have a 90% chance of working, but a 10% chance that I'd end up dead; in such a case, I wouldn't take the 10% chance, but just kill him.

I also disagree with the "immediate" part. If, say, someone had kidnapped me, and threatened to hunt me down and kill me if I escaped, if I was able to make an escape attempt, I'd kill him in the process (if I could), rather than wait until the point where he'd tracked me down and the threat was immediate. Also, I wouldn't stay a prisoner just to avoid killing him.

To take this further, lets say that some guy kidnaps me and uses me as a slave. If the only way to escape is to kill him, I'd kill him, rather than remain a slave for life; I'd consider this entirely justified.

Also, what if you have a small woman trying to ward off a large rapist with a handgun. If she shoots, she might kill him, but he's still coming at her. Should she shoot, and possibly kill him, or throw the gun away and let herself be raped? I say she should shoot him.



--
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 ]
quick response (4.30 / 10) (#17)
by theantix on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:01:32 PM EST

The question is whether or not the murder of even one innocent person is justified as a response.
If we assume that the Americans went in without destroying the air defense capabilities of the Taliban, they would have attacked american aircrafts (likely including humanitarian aid by accident) killing their own people. The americans obviously value the lives of their own soldiers more than the supporters of the people who want to kill them. It's a justification that I accept.
An addendum to this question is whether or not the starvation of 1000s and possibly 10,000s and more as a result of our cynical, shortsighted interventions is justified
No, you have that wrong. Millions of people are starving there, regardless of any American intervention. They have repeatedly stated that they are hoping to provide relief to the Afgan people, and have taken token efforts towards this already. They are providing millions in assistance, while the Taliban are arresting aid workers trying to help their people. So don't pretend that the Americans are out for the starvation of the people there -- they are working hard to prevent that.
I don't agree with you that these are "fairly mild" responses.
They are when you consider the history of war. I was just in Carthage recently -- they told of the Phoeneticans conquering Rome in about 250 BCE, and in response the Romans destroyed the city and killed the entire population of Carthage and burned it to the ground. More recently, when the Japanese attacked the United States, they eventually responded with nuclear weapons killing 100,000 innocents. Even more recently, when American interests were threatened in Iraq, they attacked in a very unrestrained manner. When the american people are calling for a bloody war, and Bush responds with targeted minimal attacks -- I call that a very mild response. Especially given the provocation -- the terrorists were likely calling for a response much more agressive than what the americans are giving.
The efficacy of this US-led mass-murder in reducing terrorism is questionable at best.
We have not seen this mass-murder, even on the arabic television networks stationed in Kabul. If it does happen, support for their coaltion will vanish among educated people, and they know it. Well, at least I hope the Canadian government (mine) will not take part -- I would personally protest our troops involved with any mass-murder. But this has not happened yet, and I hope it will not, and I suspect it will not.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
War apologists have a tough job. (3.10 / 10) (#45)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:45:49 PM EST

No, you have that wrong. Millions of people are starving there,
My post stated
the starvation of 1000s and possibly 10,000s and more

and more incorporates millions does it not?
regardless of any American intervention.
Ah, well the American intervention goes back a long way and was responsible for destabilizing the pro-Soviet democratically elected regime. So I would argue that we do indeed have to thank "America" for this.
They have repeatedly stated that they are hoping to provide relief to the Afgan people, and have taken token efforts towards this already.

stated and token are the operative words there. Put it into context with the USs deliberate inculcation of war in the region 20 years ago.
They are providing millions in assistance

which is going to purchase supplies and transport of supplies and personnel to distribute it to how many people?
while the Taliban are arresting aid workers trying to help their people

What's your point? One gang of evil bastards kills the people hand-to-hand. They are financed by another gang of evil bastards who kill them long range. The first evil bastards fight some other evil bastards and then bomb innocent people back at the second evil bastards country so then those evil bastards go in and kill yet more innocent people and then offer them token aid
So don't pretend that the Americans are out for the starvation of the people there -- they are working hard to prevent that.

Well, Medicins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders and the World Food Program agree with you that the US efforts are tokenistic.
Press release, Islamabad, Oct 8, 2001: The international medical aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has been working in Afghanistan since 1979, today cast doubt on the so-called 'humanitarian airdrops' by US and British military forces, which have accompanied the military strikes against Afghanistan over the last 24-hours. Such action does not answer the needs of the Afghan people and is likely to undermine attempts to deliver substantial aid to the most vulnerable.
MSF's Dr Jean-Hervé Bradol, speaking from Pakistan, explained that the so-called 'humanitarian' action, was in fact a purely propaganda tool, of little real value to the Afghan people.
Moreover, the deliberate adoption by the military of a 'humanitarian' purpose, was likely to cause real problems for truly independent non-governmental aid organisations who are less likely to be perceived as impartial actors in the future.
"How will the Afghan population know in the future if an offer of humanitarian aid does not hide a military operation?" questions Dr Bradol. "We have seen many times before, for example in Somalia, the problems caused for both the vulnerable population and for aid agencies when the military try to both fight a war and deliver aid at the same time."
Dr Bradol explained that the real impact of the much-vaunted 37,500 single day rations on the burgeoning nutritional crisis within Afghanistan was likely to be minimal.
It's pure propaganda designed to allow us to claim that "we are not against the people of Afghanistan"..it's just tough shit they happened to get in our way so we'll murder them.
When the american people are calling for a bloody war, and Bush responds with targeted minimal attacks -- I call that a very mild response.

Two points to that: first, there is again the "targeted" fiction being put about. We saw in the Iraq/Gulf conflict that you mention that the "precision" of US armaments was less than desired even when targets could be correctly identified. Couple this with the Sec. of Def. statements that there are no "high value" targets to chase down and the report that a building that housed Aid workers (mine clearing program) and one starts to doubt how targetted anything like this is. I don't think it's a far stretch to compare it to a cop chasing a suspected murderer and without trial or any evidentiary process hurling a grenade into a building that contains the accused. (But we're used to doing that sort of thing here and we have acquitted our cops of that sort of thing ); second, you admitted that millions are at risk. Our war heightens the risk, hence the condemnation of our attacks by the WFP etc. We are now delivering less aid than we were before the war..
I don't accept your moral framework that allows you to define "restrained" in comparison to the appalling war crimes of history. That is a relativistic slope that doesn't appeal to my morality. Saying that murdering 20 people is restrained compared to 6 million (or whatever) is not something that I am prepared to accept.
We have not seen this mass-murder, even on the arabic television networks stationed in Kabul. If it does happen, support for their coaltion will vanish among educated people, and they know it.

Unfortunately we already have at least 500,000 under-5 Iraqi children murdered. Sure, "educated" people know about it, but they do damn all about it.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
hold on a second... (4.83 / 6) (#64)
by theantix on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:23:58 PM EST

Listen, I understand your concern okay? I don't want to see any innocent people killed either -- but I also include more American deaths as well. I have been critical of American mid-east policies, and of US-led war efforts in the past. I understand that the military aid is token thus far, and is hindering other efforts -- your point is well taken. But you are showing no sympathy for the tough position the Americans are put in. They have absolutely no interests in the region unless they are provoked.
Unfortunately we already have at least 500,000 under-5 Iraqi children murdered. Sure, "educated" people know about it, but they do damn all about it.
No, they were not murdered by Americans. Perhaps the americans allowed it to happen, perhaps they ignored the plights of the people in Iraq because of the adversarial situation with Hussein. You can debate the morality of the situation, but it is not the same as murder. But it is not americas role to defend the world -- only when their interests are threatened should they use military force! The western world has shown time and time again that they will give aid to poverty around the world when they can. In Afganistan and Iraq, it is difficult because of the governments there.

The americans were not given a choice. War was declared when Afgan-trained terrorists struck first. I don't want to see people killed -- anywhere, for any reason. But what were they to do? If they did not take action, the terrorist camps where murderers are trained would continue... that is undisputed! The Taliban is so dependant on Bin Laden that they are not able to pressure him to stop... they proved unwilling to co-operate on a peaceful level, and even tried to use the aid workers as hostages.

I am optimistic that if and when the government is replaced, aid workers will be able to work more freely within the country, more people will be helped, and a more stable governmental system will enable a road to prosperity to begin. I believe the US when they state that they are fighting for the Afgan people, and will help create a better life than they had under the Taliban. If we see otherwise -- if we see mass murder, if we see the actions we saw in Iraq and Vietnam -- I will join you in your protest. But until then I support the Americans.

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

Historical evidence challenges you. (1.88 / 9) (#73)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:43:30 PM EST

They have absolutely no interests in the region unless they are provoked.

At this stage it does not even have to be US interests in the region that are the motivator. Put simply, the US has to be able to show that it is the world military power and that when it says jump, you guys jump. It is necessary to obliterate anyone that stands up, because to do otherwise would encourage others to stand up. Strike hard, fast and early.

No, they were not murdered by Americans. Perhaps the americans allowed it to happen, perhaps they ignored the plights of the people in Iraq because of the adversarial situation with Hussein. You can debate the morality of the situation, but it is not the same as murder

The morality of the situation is precisely what is under debate. If you don't like the word "murder" and have a favorite dictionary definition that proves that starving people under an armed blockade and destroying the electrical, water and medical infrastructure is not "murder" then OK, it's not murder. I'm afraid that I beg to disagree with you. This seems to me to be deliberate, pre-meditated killing. Malicious, cruel and counter to international humanitarian law. You can call it something else if you like.

But it is not americas role to defend the world -- only when their interests are threatened should they use military force!

Given that the US has systematically undermined democratic regimes and subverted the United Nations and taken to acting outside of international law then the moral responsibility falls completely upon "America" (by which I presume you mean the US) . In this country there is an ethic of taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions (or so we're constantly told) this ought to apply to our nation also.

What do you mean by "when their interests are threatened"?

I believe the US when they state that they are fighting for the Afgan people, and will help create a better life than they had under the Taliban.

Given the US's long history of genocide why would you believe that? Just because they state it? Would the support for the Contras, the Taliban, Suharto, Hussein, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the attacks on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos etc etc etc not make you a little unsure of this?



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
last comment on this thread by me (4.40 / 5) (#88)
by theantix on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:15:54 PM EST

What do you mean by "when their interests are threatened"?
The US has not used military power in many, many cases where it did not affect them. In recent memory I'm thinking of Tibet, Chechnya (sp?), and other groups of people oppressed by their governments. If it does not benefit the United States to defend them, they generally will not, regardless of the pressure of the world. They don't like to lose soldiers on campaigns that will not benefit them. They ignored Afganistan because it didn't threaten them, or any of their friends. Now that it has affected them in such a personal way, it is now in their interest to stop them. That is what I mean, and I think it was pretty clear the first time.
Given the US's long history of genocide why would you believe that? Just because they state it? Would the support for the Contras, the Taliban, Suharto, Hussein, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the attacks on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos etc etc etc not make you a little unsure of this?
Yes, I am unsure of that. I strongly hope that I will be right and you will be wrong. As I have stated numerous times, they have yet to make any actions causing the genocide you speak of that we have seen in the past. I hope they have learned their lesson -- if they have not I will join you in your protest. The difference between me and you, is that I am going to wait until I have somthing to protest because I assume the best until shown otherwise. You assume the worst until shown otherwise, which is perhaps partially justified given past US action. But now that the consequences are brought home for them -- they seem to be much more apt to act responsibly.

I'm done with this thread, my point has been made clearly. I hope that my optimism is justified.

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

Optimism (3.00 / 2) (#123)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:09:57 PM EST

I hope your optimism is justified, but you have absolutely no reason for it.
As I have stated numerous times, they have yet to make any actions causing the genocide you speak of that we have seen in the past.

Yup, you've stated it several times and it doesn't make it any truer. Currently, now, at this moment, right at the present, as we speak, the starvation of the Iraqi people is being carried out by the US's armed blockade. It's not in the past, it's current. Those are not the actions of a country that has "learnt" anything.
I'm not going to sit back smugly and say that I will protest after genocide has occurred. What's the point of that? This isn't some pissing contest about morality, it's about trying to stop genocide.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Phallusy... er, Fallacy.... (3.00 / 2) (#379)
by phylum on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:15:51 PM EST

It is not the fault of the United States if a foreign government chooses to starve its people. Saddam Hussein was starving his own people (and much worse -- look at the Kurds) long before he invaded Kuwait. And, if I'm correct, the U.S. does not block humanitarian aid to Iraq or any other nation.

Your assertion makes the fallacy of false cause.

-phylum

[ Parent ]

I'm going to have to laugh at you now. (4.40 / 5) (#87)
by Anonymous 6522 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:11:25 PM EST

Ah, well the American intervention goes back a long way and was responsible for destabilizing the pro-Soviet democratically elected regime. So I would argue that we do indeed have to thank "America" for this.

Hahahaha! Ok, I'm done.

You obviously don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Here's a summary of what really happened. Afgan communists take power in a coup. Soon afterward, Afganistan plunges into civil war, and the Afgan communist government asks the USSR for help "to save the situation". The USSR gets pulled into the war. The situation was already shot to hell, and the USSR was involved, so the the USA decides to help whoever is fighting the Russians. That's what really happened.

[ Parent ]

Ho ho! (2.33 / 3) (#117)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:55:45 PM EST

You obviously don't know what the fuck you're talking about.
Really...? I think you may be making an unwarranted assumption about what I mean by the democracy that the US helped to overthrow. I can only assume from the obscenity and intemperance of your post that you think that I refer to the Najibullah or Taraki governments. But I'm not. I'm referring to the notable lack of US support for the democratically leaning constitutional monarchy that was headed by Daoud under Zahir, and later Daoud with the PDPA.
I think there's an important fact or two that you're leaving out of your summary. Here's a more accurate one:
1947 Britain withdraws from India, but first partitions up things so that borders are redrawn with Afghanistan losing territory to Pakistan - the so-called Pashtunistan
Note that Zahir Shah is the unelected feudal monarch
1953 Prince Daoud elected as Prime Minister
1954/5 Daoud/Zahir seek outside help for Pashtunistan. US rejects, USSR accepts
1963 Zahir Shah demands resignation of Daoud
1964 PDPA (Afghan Communist Party) founded by Karmal
A new constitution is declared and Karmal is elected to parliament
1965 A second election and Karmal is again elected
1973 Daoud and PDPA lead succesful coup which is widely supported
1976 New constitution, women's rights enshrined, Daoud starts assasinations of political rivals
1978 Communist coup, Daoud assassinated.Terror starts. USSR drawn in. Taliban founded. US gloats at downfall of USSR after almost 20 years of ignoring struggles toward greater democracy.
The old story plays itself out. The US of A looks after its short term interests, doesn't support democrats and uses anything it can to attack the Soviets.
Ho ho ho!

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Whatever... (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by Anonymous 6522 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:02:31 PM EST

I'm referring to the notable lack of US support for the democratically leaning constitutional monarchy that was headed by Daoud under Zahir, and later Daoud with the PDPA.

The US is not responsible for things that it doesn't want to get involved in, period. There's not a single thing on that timeline that would indicate that the US is responsible for any destabilization of any government except maybe the USSR's.

You said something that was factually wrong according to all of the information I've seen, including yours. Just admit it, you were wrong.

Ho ho ho!

You Santa Claus?

[ Parent ]

OK (4.60 / 5) (#138)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:20:07 PM EST

I admit it I was wrong.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Re: Minimize murder (4.00 / 1) (#420)
by khym on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:29:44 PM EST

If the "civilization" that you are defending is one that allows you to murder innocents for whatever reason then it's not worth it.
Alright then, what about WWII? Even if the Allies had engaged in no carpeting bombings or nuclear attacks, they would have killed some civilians in defeating the Third Reich. Would that have been murder? Should the Allies simply have tried to contain the Nazis, so as to not harm the civilians in their territory, and give the Nazis a chance to get their second wind?

Of course, it might be that the current situation has not reached such a point as was reached in WWII, but killing accidently killing civilians in a war isn't necessarily murder.



--
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 ]
Don't rush to judgment (none / 0) (#642)
by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 05:57:17 PM EST

I share your goals (or maybe your hopes) - but I'm young, and in some ways probably naive about international events.

A few years from now, when the dust has settled, we'll be able to look back and accurately answer the question, "what happened in afghanistan?" Until then, the jury of reality will still be out.

[ Parent ]

I'm all for stopping the war... (3.50 / 18) (#5)
by Ialdabaoth on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:35:07 AM EST

...but not a moment before the West has achieved victory over Osama bin Laden and the militant Muslim reactionaries that fight alongside him. Sure, war is evil, but we're not the ones ramming hijacked airplanes into office buildings.
*******
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley

Victory will not come with bombs (2.88 / 9) (#11)
by bil on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:46:53 AM EST

I have no problem with arresting Osama bin Laden and putting him on trial, but this isn't the way to do it. This is just the US saying "you killed some of ours so we're going to kill some of yours" it has nothing to do with justice, its just revenge.

You do not arrest a terrorist by fireing cruise missles at an airport.

bil


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

not directly but (4.00 / 4) (#40)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:36:01 PM EST

You're absolutely right, a cruise missile has a hard time arresting someone.

So, what should we do to arrest bin laden?

first, lets ask the taliban to give him over since they are running the country.

now, we really want this guy so if the taliban says no, we'll let them know that we intend to get him.

if they still say no, we'll have to arrest him ourselves.

Now, the taliban probably isn't going to let our FBI in to get them, so we'll have to give the FBI a military escort for protection.

The taliban probably won't like that either, and they won't let the plane fly in to their airports so we should probably disable their anti aircraft artilliary and surface to air missiles with some bombing runs.

They probably won't like that either, so we should prevent their air fleet from taking off by bombing their planes and runways.

Binladen probably isn't going to surender, so we'll probably need to send in the Marines or another elite force to get him too.

so while you don't use a cruise missile to arrest someone, you may need to use it to be able to arrest them.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

There is another way. (3.00 / 1) (#181)
by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:55:10 AM EST

So, what should we do to arrest bin laden?

How about actually trying to persuade the Taliban to hand him over, and I dont mean "Hand him over or we'll blow you to sh*t". Perhaps presenting some sort of evidence to the Taliban when they requested it rather then just repeating "Hand him over or we'll blow you to sh*t" at a louder volume, perhaps you might have had to offer a carrot to them (or even better enough carrots to feed their people) so that they feel that they were doing it for the greater good. Or lean on Pakistan to use their influence to help you. Maybe offering to try him in a neutral court (the war crimes tribunal in the Hague perhaps).

Hell, even sections of the Taliban dont like bin Laden so a little bribery and corruption in the right places and they might have turned a blind eye while you sent in a speacial forces snatch team.

At this point you are shouting "BUT IT WOULDNT HAVE WORKED!!".

My question is: how do you know?

You dont, because you didn't even try

You just got impatient and decided to throw your weight around and who gives a toss if it gives a whole new wave of people another reason to hate America, that it will lead to a whole new wave of suicide bombers being recruited, that it runs a real risk of uniting the Afghans behind the Taliban.

No, stuff all of that, "diplomacy takes to much effort, lets just blow some stuff up".

There is no justice in the barrel of a gun.

bil


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

Not a crime but a disease. (2.57 / 7) (#51)
by Ialdabaoth on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:00:36 PM EST

Your view of terrorism as a crime seems to be part of the problem, Garlic. I prefer to think of terrorism as a cancer infecting civilisation. As such, terrorism must be eradicated firmly, but dispassionately.

The only ways to deal with cancer are to cut it out, nuke it with radiation therapy, or poison it with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, healthy tissue is also harmed in order to kill the cancer.
*******
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley
[ Parent ]

All terrorism? (none / 0) (#611)
by norge on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:19:49 PM EST

I am curious: You seem to have very strong feelings about destoying terrorists (and presumably supporters of terrorists who President Bush has stated are morally equivalent to terrorists). Do these feelings extend to the United States military? Let me not make reference to the middle east, where passions are running rather high right now, but let's rather discuss Latin America. The United States Army runs a facility in Georgia that was called The School of the Americas until a very recent name change. The school was originally in Panama (when the U.S. directly governed parts of Panama) and has always existed to teach Central and South American military personal. The classes offered at the school have ranged from standard military training to torture and psychological warfare. Many of the famous South American nasties (including Manuel Noriega) were trained at the school and a very healthy portion of all people in Central and South America who the United Nations has accused of war crimes were trained there as well. The list of attrocities committed by graduates of the School of the Americas includes the destruction of entire villages of peasants. I hope these actions fall within everyone's definition of terrorism. So... should we erradicate the U.S. army for training these people?

In case anyone is confused about my beliefs, I am not implying that America's rather disgusting history with our neighbors to the south justifies anyone flying a plane into the WTC or that it even has anything to do with the situation we find ourselves in now. I am merely trying to point out that there is quite a danger of exposing oneself as ignorant or addlebrained when one expresses extreme moral indignation. We all need to do our best in these difficult times to think for ourselves about what the best path forward is. I have a very hard time believing that simple black and white thinking (terrorists bad! freedom good! eradicate terrorists!) as endorsed by politicians is healthy for our society.

Benjamin


[ Parent ]
Imagine... (5.00 / 3) (#78)
by Anonymous 6522 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:54:57 PM EST

That the US got all pacifist after the attacks, and instead of military action they sent a couple of FBI agents to arrest bin Laden. How long to you think it would be until they were put in prison for crimes against Islam and got their heads shot off in a soccer field?

Or alternatively, they nicely ask the Taliban to hand over bin Laden. Remember, they're pacifist now, they're not backing up their request with the threat of an asskicking. How long would it take for the Taliban to hand bin Laden over? Would they ever do it?

You do not arrest a terrorist by fireing cruise missles at an airport.

No you don't, I agree with you. Those missles will never arrest bin Laden. It's just the US proving that it was not bluffing when it threatened military action and that the Taliban really screwed themselves by not cooperating right after the US said "bend over".

[ Parent ]

Who wants the US to be pacifist? (2.00 / 2) (#185)
by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:20:14 AM EST

Who wants the US to get all pacifist? Just getting half an ounce of sense would do me.

I keep repeating myself here but lets goi through this again:

How do you know asking nicely wouldn't work? Nobody tried it. Instead they threatened violence and refused to put up any evidence. We wouldn't bend over for that no matter how powerfull the country that threatened us, so why do we expect them to?

We never bothered to try diplomacy, to exhaust the subtle options, to try limited military operations. Any of which stood a better chance of actually getting bin-Laden. No, we go straight to the cruise missile stage (who cares that they really dont have much thats a real target). Why? not because it will help get justice, but because the Taliban refused to bend over and do as they were told. Thats the real reason for these strikes, the Taliban stood up to the US and now must be destroyed and replaced with a more pliant regime.

bil


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

Well... (3.00 / 1) (#350)
by Anonymous 6522 on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:15:35 PM EST

How do you know asking nicely wouldn't work?

Because bin Laden and the Taliban leadership are friends, I don't think that it's likely that they would give up a friend, to a nation that they consider evil, just because they were asked real nice. They know that if bin Laden gets in the US' hands he'll be sent to prison for life of executed, they don't want that to happen.

We never bothered to try diplomacy...

You can't have diplomatic relations with a government that you don't recognize as legitimate.

not because it will help get justice

You can only have justice after someone has already done something nasty to you, you can't seek justice for people who haven't already been killed. If you don't want any more people to die in terrorist attacks, you don't get justice, you get the terrorists before they get you.

but because the Taliban refused to bend over and do as they were told. Thats the real reason for these strikes, the Taliban stood up to the US and now must be destroyed and replaced with a more pliant regime.

Bingo, you hit the nail on the head. The Taliban is acting in ways that the US (and most of the world) considers unacceptable, and can tolerate them no longer.

[ Parent ]

Christ (2.00 / 1) (#472)
by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:55:14 AM EST

bin Laden and the Taliban leadership are friends, I don't think that it's likely that they would give up a friend, to a nation that they consider evil, just because they were asked real nice.

Ahh wel thats ok then, you "dont think" they'd hand him over so that justifies killing lots of people.

Consider this:-
A plane crashes killing 200 people. On investigation they find out that it ran out of fuel. When asked the guy in chrage of fueling says "well I thought they had enough so I didn't think it was worth checking".
Do you say a) "well you didn't think so, so thats ok." or b) "why the f**k didn't you spend 30 seconds checking". And then beat him round the head with a bit of wood.

The question is, is "I didn't think it was worth the effort" a good excuse for killing people?

Personnally I'd say not. Some times the people die anyway, but at least you tried every other option first. You are of course free to your own opinion.

You can't have diplomatic relations with a government that you don't recognize as legitimate.

Easy, you go over to there ambassadors house in Pakistan and say "excuse me, can I have a word...". You dont have to recognise a group as a government to be able to talk to that group.

You can only have justice after someone has already done something nasty to you, you can't seek justice for people who haven't already been killed.

Personnally I thought flying a plane into the WTC counted as nasty, if you dont agree feel free to tell me what does count.

If you don't want any more people to die in terrorist attacks, you don't get justice, you get the terrorists before they get you.

So you want to kill the terrorists BEFORE they've done anything? And how is this different from me gunning you down in the street and then saying "well I thought he might become a criminal one day!". Would you agree I was right to do it? Or would you say "yeah but he might not" and then lock me up?

The Taliban is acting in ways that the US (and most of the world) considers unacceptable, and can tolerate them no longer.

I think the US is acting in an unacceptable manner, am I then justified in bombing Times square? bin-Laden thinks that the US has been acting in an unacceptable way for years, thats what got us into this mess in the first place...

bil


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

Asking them nicely? (5.00 / 1) (#454)
by khym on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 02:29:21 AM EST

How do you know asking nicely wouldn't work? Nobody tried it. Instead they threatened violence and refused to put up any evidence.
There's public evidence that Bin Laden has been involved in other terrorist attacks, he's admitted to some of them, and he's publicly called for the killing of American citizens; in spite of this, when we asked them years ago to hand him over, they didn't, nor did they even put him on trail themselves. Given that they shelter him in spite of all this evidence, they have to think that he's just a swell guy, and basically agree with what he's doing, so why would they give him over if we asked nicely? They didn't put him up for trail for previous acts of terrorism with good proof against him, so why would they put him for trail in this instance? If there hadn't been a threat of war, they'd wouldn't have done anything.

And even if they handed him over, what about all the terrorists and training grounds left in Afghanistan? If we ask nicely, are they just going to change their minds about supporting terrorism and help to dismantle the terrorist network within Afghanistan? We'd either have to continuously breath down their neck with the threat of war, never letting up, or just invade and get rid of the Taliban.

And as for giving evidence that Bin Laden was involved in the WTC attack: there's the above listed evidence of his involvement in other terrorist attacks. That's enough to demand to hand him over. Bush should have said "No, there's already enough evidence on previous instances of terrorism, and you should turn him over for that alone; we aren't going to expose our intelligence network by giving you evidence about this latest attack."



--
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 ]
if you're considering joining these protests... (3.00 / 14) (#7)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:35:45 AM EST

Maybe you should consider this first: a nation must be held accountable for its government! Even if that government is not supported by all or even a majority of the population. In Afghanistan, only the Afghans themselves can run their country. And the Afghans in power have supported a direct attack on the United States of America. Unfortunately, this means that all Afghans share responsibility. It is their country, and the elements of their society who run it have committed an act of war against America. Their government must pay for this, and as long as that government is accepted by the people of Afghanistan, then the people must suffer along with their leaders. Unfortunate, but true. Idealism must give way to practicality if we want anything to change, it's the only way to defend our country and prevent another attack.

-----
"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
clarification... (3.57 / 7) (#12)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:47:54 AM EST

I am not advocating violence against the Afghan civilians. Absolutely not. What I meant was: unfortunately, civilian casulties happen in wars, but people must accept that this is going to have to happen to get anything done against the people who committed the attacks.

-----
"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 ]
Your intial argument is completely broken. (4.50 / 4) (#31)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:26:25 PM EST

People that can barely feed themselves can't be held responsible for the actions of a tyranical band of mostly foreign maniacs.

During wars murder of civilians are not unavoidable, it has become acceptable which is a completely different matter.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
That's not right. (4.57 / 7) (#13)
by theboz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:49:10 AM EST

a nation must be held accountable for its government! Even if that government is not supported by all or even a majority of the population.

So you mean to tell me, a government that does not represent it's people, does not run the entire country, is somehow directly linked the people of Afghanistan? There are people fighting against them within Afghanistan as well. Would you say those trying to overthrow the Taliban are responsible for the Taliban continuing to be in power? Not everything is as black or white and simple as you see it.

In Afghanistan, only the Afghans themselves can run their country.

If you would bother to look at what is going on there, a small subset of Afghans that are extremists are holding the other Afghans, who can do nothing, under threats of death. That doesn't sound like the Afghan people running their country at all.

And the Afghans in power have supported a direct attack on the United States of America.

Wrong, they are not in power of the country. They are in power over part of it militarilly. The people of Afghanistan are terrorized in the same way the U.S. was, just in a less showy manner.

Unfortunately, this means that all Afghans share responsibility.

In your eyes perhaps, but I feel that is wrong. I don't want to be responsible for the murders the U.S. government, which is full of people that I didn't elect, have committed. Why should I be responsible for someone else's actions? I shouldn't, and neither should the Afghans who are innocent.

I'm not going to bother saying much more, but when you grow up and get into the real world you will see that governments are not fully supported by the citizens of their country, if they have any support from the populace at all. When Timothy McVeigh bombed the fed building in Oklahoma, the action was taken against him. The police didn't go around shooting all the people that lived in Oklahoma, or blowing up the houses of people that might have met Timothy McVeigh at some point. The U.S. didn't declare a war on terrorism and include home grown terrorists like McVeigh and the country that trained him and provided a palce for him to live. No, a specific action was taken against him.

So despite what you think, murdering other innocents because someone from their country, or someone from their country met some of the people involved with terrorism, is wrong. I have no problems with blowing up terrorist camps and such, but when you involve innocents, it's mass murder.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

sorry... (2.66 / 6) (#29)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:24:37 PM EST

By your logic it would have been wrong to stop Hitler if it meant killing one German civilian, it would have been wrong to bomb German forces in France if it killed one Frenchman, etc. Sorry, but in cases where reasonable precautions are taken against harming civilians, civilian casulties are unfortunate but nessicary.

-----
"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 ]
Yes, it would be wrong. (4.50 / 2) (#89)
by squigly on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:16:04 PM EST

Perhaps it would be neccesary, but being the lesser of two evils does not make it right.

[ Parent ]
Nop (2.50 / 2) (#146)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:57:10 PM EST

Hitler was elected, and widely supported in Germany. He was able to put food into their mouths, and put the blame of their economic plight on a group of people who do not deserve the blame, much like you are doing to the Afghan citizens.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
lay off the hypocrisy would you? (4.00 / 2) (#153)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:44:36 PM EST

To paraphrase something said by an earlier poster who seems to share your views, what about the poor 4-year-old German toddlers, born after Hitler started the war? They deserved it? I'm not blaming all of the Afghan people for their leadership's crimes, but I am saying that Afghanistan and the Afghan people are a tool, even a weapon, of the Taliban and until they cease to be one, there is going to be collateral damage. We can't (won't, really) occupy Afghanistan, so the it's up to the people there to take the opportunity we're giving them to rid themselves of the Taliban. Make no mistake, they are the only ones who can do it. But, it remains to be seen what they'll do. Until then, unintentional citizen casualties will likely continue to happen, it's just a fact of war. It was sad but true in Germany and Japan 55 years ago, and it still sad and still true today.

-----
"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 ]
Lame (4.00 / 1) (#313)
by PhillipW on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:11:39 PM EST

How can they possibly rid themselves of the Taliban? Those people have to be more concerned with getting water than who is ruling them. How do you expect them to overthrow such a regime? Especially when said regime is using America's best weapons.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Woah There! (4.00 / 6) (#14)
by greyrat on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:55:48 AM EST

Unfortunately, this means that all Afghans share responsibility. It is their country, and the elements of their society who run it have committed an act of war against America. Their government must pay for this, and as long as that government is accepted by the people of Afghanistan, then the people must suffer along with their leaders. Unfortunate, but true. Idealism must give way to practicality if we want anything to change, it's the only way to defend our country and prevent another attack.
So it's OK for muslim extremists to attack random Americans too, because our accepted government has committed acts of war against them. Practicality and Idealism indeed!

Rethink, resumbmit and repost please.


~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
why don't you reread... (3.40 / 5) (#28)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:23:20 PM EST

So it's OK for muslim extremists to attack random Americans too, because our accepted government has committed acts of war against them. Practicality and Idealism indeed!

I am not advocating direct attacks on civilians. I never have. But, direct attacks on civilians are what has happened. bin Laden's men, acting with the obvious conscent and support of the Taliban have attacked American civilians numerous times. The WTC is not the first such occurance, and nor would it be the last. And the Taliban, claiming to be a legitimate government, did nothing to prevent this. The US has kept and will continue to keep its fight against the people who committed these crimes, however, damage to the country that shelters them is going to happen, and innocent people in that country will pay for its government's mistake. That is unavoidable, but it doesn't make the US's fight wrong.

-----
"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 ]

And your evidence is? (4.40 / 5) (#15)
by bil on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:59:21 AM EST

a nation must be held accountable for its government!

I have not yet seen any evidence that the Taliban knew about the WTC attacks before hand. Bush / Blair claim there is evidence against bin Laden and I have to take their word for that, but the only arguement the US has with the Taliban seems to be the fact that they wouldn't hand bin Laden over.

If the Taliban had demanded the west hand over a terrorist suspect we would have a) demanded evidence, and b) demanded they had a fair trial, and if the Taliban didn't comply then we would have refused (and rightly so). When the west demanded the Taliban hand over a suspect they asked for evidence and we refused to give any. Why should they then hand him over?? The only reason seems to be that we have more firepower.

Maybe the Taliban were involved, but unless evidence is presented they (and so by your logic the Afghan people) are innocent. Innocent untill proven guilty, not untill accused by somebody with superior firepower.

bil


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

please... (2.83 / 6) (#22)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:10:54 PM EST

If the Taliban had demanded the west hand over a terrorist suspect we would have a) demanded evidence, and b) demanded they had a fair trial, and if the Taliban didn't comply then we would have refused (and rightly so). When the west demanded the Taliban hand over a suspect they asked for evidence and we refused to give any. Why should they then hand him over?? The only reason seems to be that we have more firepower. Maybe the Taliban were involved, but unless evidence is presented they (and so by your logic the Afghan people) are innocent. Innocent untill proven guilty, not untill accused by somebody with superior firepower. Wrong. bin Laden himself has been proven to be in connection with many other terrorist acts, and even if direct proof of the WTC involvement is not obvious to the Taliban (of course it is, but even if the US had not shared it), the proof of these numerous other attacks should be more than adequate. He's hardly a first time offender, and the Taliban KNEW THIS. They gave him training camps inside their country. Thousands of bin Laden's men fight along side the Taliban forces. They know exactly what he is, and they support him.

-----
"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 ]
Uh huh (4.00 / 2) (#145)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:54:39 PM EST

Wrong. bin Laden himself has been proven to be in connection with many other terrorist acts, and even if direct proof of the WTC involvement is not obvious to the Taliban (of course it is, but even if the US had not shared it), the proof of these numerous other attacks should be more than adequate. He's hardly a first time offender, and the Taliban KNEW THIS. They gave him training camps inside their country. Thousands of bin Laden's men fight along side the Taliban forces. They know exactly what he is, and they support him.

So then why did the US govt hand over no evidence?

-Phil
[ Parent ]
um, right (4.50 / 2) (#150)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:30:53 PM EST

Why don't we just call Osama bin Laden up on the phone and tell him exactly where (read: WHO) we get our information on his organization from?

-----
"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 ]
Explains a lot. (1.00 / 1) (#187)
by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:29:59 AM EST

Ahh so you're saying that you have absolutly no evidence that you'd be willing to put forward in a court of law...

bil


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

delaying release of the evidence (4.00 / 1) (#204)
by fires10 on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:48:47 AM EST

Evidence is normally not released in any case until the suspects are in custody. The US does not have trust in the Taleban and would probably wait until they knew he was in custody. Also the US said it would not stand up to the standard of American criminal courts, however Pakistan who has seen the evidence has stated there is enough for an indictment.

[ Parent ]
But you still need evidence. (3.00 / 1) (#215)
by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:42:59 AM EST

But if you wanted extradition from any nation you would provide them with evidence before you expected them to give you the suspect. I just dont see why, just because the US dosn't have a treaty with the Taliban, suddenly evidence becomes unnecesary.

I can understand not trusting the Taliban with sensitive intelligence data, but to not even present them with the evidence given to the Pakistanis (whose government is full of Taliban supporters so is not really secure either), or even that that has been made available to western TV, seems to me to be at best a complete disregard of justice and at worst a deliberate attempt to provoke war.

bil


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

I got into your house.... (2.16 / 6) (#27)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:21:14 PM EST

...I kidnapped your family, do anything against me and they are toast.

Thank you for supporting my cause.

BTW your logic is spotless.....


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
you got into my house... (2.25 / 4) (#35)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:29:31 PM EST

...kidnapped my family, and are holding knives to their throats. (unlike Afghanistan, my house is not the source of your power) But anyway, while you're holding my family hostage, you are also preparing a bomb that will destroy the rest of the city and everyone in it. Is it wrong for the authorities to storm the house, knowing that if they don't, a lot more people will die? If the choice was mine, even if it was my own family, I know what choice I'd make...

-----
"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 ]
You lost the plot my friend. (3.50 / 4) (#62)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:16:14 PM EST

You are claiming Afhgan people are reponsible for what the Taliban and ObL are doing.

In my little alegory, you and your family are the Afghan people, I am ObL and the Taliban.


What you said is that you and your family are responsible as I would be for any crazy fanatic ideas I could have.


I hoped it was clear, obviously it was not...
------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
but... (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:20:49 PM EST

You're hopefully not a member of my family. The Taliban are Afghans. They derive their power from Afghanistan and the people who live in it. Afghanistan is, willingly or not, (this is debatable), one of their weapons.

-----
"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 ]
sorry... (none / 0) (#74)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:44:01 PM EST

When I said... "you're hopefully not a member of my family" I of course meant the you in your little allegory, not you the person in real life.

-----
"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 ]
whooo (4.50 / 6) (#58)
by streetlawyer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:10:14 PM EST

Maybe you should consider this first: a nation must be held accountable for its government! Even if that government is not supported by all or even a majority of the population.

Jesus, you'd think that an American would be the last person to decide that the world should be held to that standard!

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I'd like to hear your comment on the ICC (5.00 / 3) (#180)
by hjw on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:40:55 AM EST

The US has hampered attempts to set up an International Criminal Court. This court would be able to instigate prosectution against anyone who commits crimes on the international stage.

It would have been perfect for the 11/9 situation. The US could have called for prosecution against the terrorist organisations it has targeted. We would be able to get a formal concencus from world leaders on whether to prosecute or not, and there would be a framework for prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators.

The request for the criminals ( Bin Laden etc. ) would be coming from the UN and a refusal to cooperate would be a clear statement by the Taliban. One that would lead to UN sponsored retribution ( sponsored by the current US position on the matter ).

The attitude that a civilian society is responsible for it's leaders actions carries very little weight in a country like Afghanistan, where the people are controlled by a totalitarian regime, who punish with death, without much consideration of justice. How can these people overthrow the Taliban. Especially considering their stock of western supplied arms. Are we responsible for arming the Taliban?

What's more disturbing is that this is a large part of the justification for the 11/9 attrocities. The dogma of shared national responsibility is what Bin Laden and his cronies cry all the time. They don't want to hear that most US citizens are oblivious to what has been happening in the middle east.

It's also a large part of the dogma that went around in WWII concerning the bombing of civilian targets.

For more information on the ICC<:br> The Washington Working Group on the ICC
The Heritage Foundations angle
Make up your own mind



[ Parent ]

A nation's government (4.00 / 1) (#406)
by Merc on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:49:22 PM EST

A nation must be held accountable to its government. I happen to agree with this. I don't think it's an absolute however. I think that citizens of a dictatorship should be held less responsible for the acts of their government than the citizens of a democracy. By all accounts the Taliban is a repressive dictatorial government. So the citizens of Afghanistan should be held less responsible for the acts of their government than a free society, one such as the US.

The US government has been responsible for a lot of deaths and suffering of innocent civillians around the world (think Hiroshima, the Philippines, Nicaragua for blatant examples). Doesn't that make the citizens of the US accountable for their government's actions?

Consider the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Is that a military target? I would argue it's as valid a military target as any of the targets the US is attacking in Afghanistan. If it is a valid military target, what are the civillians who died in the attack? Are they innocent civillians who are the result of a terror attack? Or are they "collateral damage", and partly responsible for the actions of their government?

Flame away.



[ Parent ]
Your comment is colored by western society (none / 0) (#644)
by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 06:37:59 PM EST

In Afghanistan, only the Afghans themselves can run their country.

Afghan government is not representative; it's authoritarian. The people of Afghanistan (like those of Iraq) have about zero say over who rules them; those with the guns rule by default, and they're mostly foreigners (Pakistanis and Arabs) driven by a witches' brew of non-Afghan motives.

Don't think that, because our government is representative, every government is.

You know all those quotes like "we feel for the American people, we know what their government does isn't their fault"? Afghans have barely even heard of representative government, and don't think in terms of it.

[ Parent ]

Okay good point (3.30 / 13) (#8)
by /dev/trash on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:40:28 AM EST

We'll stop our end of the war if they stop wanting to destroy us. Otherwise we must defend ourselves.



---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site

You do realize (3.20 / 5) (#118)
by Wah on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:57:23 PM EST

that our end of the war is stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, keeping Isreal armed, and bombing Iraq. Just a quick reminder.
--
Information wants to be free, wouldn't you? | Parent ]
Wanting? (3.50 / 2) (#402)
by Merc on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:31:58 PM EST

When they stop wanting to destroy us?

I hope you at least mean "when they stop trying to destroy us". The fact that someone wishes you were dead doesn't give you the right to try to kill them.

Also "defend ourselves" is not the same thing as "attack them and their friends".



[ Parent ]
Bombing (3.50 / 18) (#10)
by quartz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:45:58 AM EST

If you ask me, bombing is neither right nor wrong, it's just lame. It's like the US, or the UN, or NATO, or whoever is doing it said, "well, bombing is our one and only answer for every problem, so let's bomb them". I've seen this mentality in action in Kosovo. People are revolting? Bomb them. People are un-democratic? Bomb them. Poeple are being terrorists? Bomb them. It's pretty lame, especially when you decide to bomb an entire country just to get at ONE man. Yeah, I know, the taliban leaders have been talking about "Jihad against the filthy Americans" for some time, but that's just TALK. Do you bomb people because they talk? Do you go and bomb a whole country because ONE guy who may or may not be in that country pissed you off? Oh well. The "civilized" world, as it likes to call itself, has not yet been able to come up with a good answer to terrorism, so I guess a lame answer is good enough for now, as long as it makes us feel better. Or something.

Oh, BTW, missing poll option: I don't give a sh*t.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
Support justice, oppose the bombing. (2.83 / 6) (#30)
by bil on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:25:21 PM EST

I agree, the bombing seems to have started because people have run out of ideas on what to do next, but knew they had to do *something* because public opinion demanded it.

This is part of why I support the anti-war movement, innocent people are dying because the US government cant think of any ideas that dont end in a *BANG*. Cant think of a way to get justice? Well blow some stuff up instead, its nearly the same. You wouldn't accept that from a human being so why do you accept it from a group of human beings (government)?

We are no nearer justice now then we were last week, we just have some more rubble to show for it.

P.S. I assumed anyone who didn't "give a sh*t" would be bothered voting. Sorry.

bil


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

Poll (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by quartz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:35:34 PM EST

P.S. I assumed anyone who didn't "give a sh*t" would be bothered voting. Sorry.

That's alright. This is all Rusty's fault. I've become so accustomed to see a "(0) don't care" option in the story voting system, that I've come to expect the same weirdness from the story polls as well.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
one man? (3.80 / 5) (#41)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:40:05 PM EST

bin Laden has thousands of men, and he has numerous government sponsored camps throughout the country. Hardly one man, he's prolly directly behind somewhere between 4-7% of the Taliban's fighting forces.

-----
"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 ]
Not just talk (4.50 / 6) (#47)
by theantix on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:51:44 PM EST

Poeple are being terrorists? Bomb them. It's pretty lame, especially when you decide to bomb an entire country just to get at ONE man. Yeah, I know, the taliban leaders have been talking about "Jihad against the filthy Americans" for some time, but that's just TALK.
The talk has been about the death of every american male -- anybody that supports this is an associate of the murders on Sept 11. It's very clearly not "just talk" by Bin Laden et al. Just in case you have been hiding under a rock, people closely connected with his organization flew aircraft into American buildings. That goes beyond talk. Americans didn't bomb anyone because of "just talk" -- they waited until direct actions of mass murder were carried out against them.

To clarify. They say: "we will kill all americans". They train people to kill americans and other non-muslims. People that they trained, and likely commanded, then killed thousands of innocent people in America. Anybody who supports them after this is an associate of the murder. What is unclear here? The americans are rightly doing the best they can think of to combat this problem! If you have a better idea, suggest it. Don't just call it lame, that doesn't help the situation either.

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

Even better... (4.35 / 20) (#24)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:14:42 PM EST

You are right, going to a protest is likely more effective than watching TV. But you know what's even more effective? Coming up with a reasonable and practical alternative plan.

So we stop bombing Afghanistan. What would you have us do? Ignore the issue entirely? Start a series of protacted extradition negotiations with a known belligerent, unrecognized "government"? What?

Play 囲碁
Valid Question (3.12 / 8) (#37)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:34:20 PM EST

We should look into alternatives to military force. Unfortunately nobody ever even looks for an alternate solution. Just suggesting that there might be an alternative to bombs automatically makes someone a dirty hippie who doesn't shower. This attitude is best presented here.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
For instance? (3.00 / 5) (#43)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:42:34 PM EST

What alternatives? Call Osama up and ask him what he'd like (and would you like fries with that?) and then implement all his suggestions? What if some right-wing, Montana-shack-living nutjob blows up the White House because he hates that now we are all speaking Arabic and reading the Quran? We switch back?

There are always people who are passionately, even violently, opposed to what I want to do. And I can't please them all. That means I need defense. Which, at this scale, means bombs.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Court (3.42 / 7) (#49)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:58:09 PM EST

As you know, the right wing nut scenario has already occured(Ted was actually extremely leftist, though that is irrelevant.) We had him arrested and prosecuted. It took a good 20 years to catch him, but ultimately we never had to drop bombs on the Montana countryside. If we had not been so inflexible, and were willing to show evidence, the Taliban CLAIMS that they were willing to hand him over. The Taliban is not the most trustworthy group of people as they, like all governments, have everything to lose(power.) But we didn't even try!

My feeling is that International Court with charges of crimes against humanity is the best solution. Even if it takes a long time like it took us to catch him as it did with Kaczynski, it will definitely be best in the long run. We often say here in America that we must let the process of justice play out... that is as true right now as ever.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Sure, but (4.12 / 8) (#69)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:30:48 PM EST

This doesn't really sound like a bad idea. But I don't think it handles the question of How do we prevent bin laden or others from causing a large scale massacre between now and the time we catch and prosecute him?

The news is playing the governments answer to this question: we get him/them now. I haven't really heard the government discussing how they'll prevent other people from becoming terrorists however.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Unfortunately (3.50 / 2) (#83)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:03:27 PM EST

I'm not so sure there really is a way. Just like there is no way to prevent people from becoming thievess or murderers. We can tell our kids in school that killing is wrong, but that will only stop 99% of them from becoming killers.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
me neither. (3.66 / 3) (#93)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:24:52 PM EST

Neither am I. The only thing I can think of is to get the current terrorists, and reviewing US policies to correct any problems with it to help prevent people from wanting to be terrorists.

This looks to me like what the government is trying to do. I just hope they remember that this is a "war on terrorists" not a "war on the taliban".

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

The alternative to bombing is easy (1.66 / 6) (#157)
by driptray on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:10:52 PM EST

What alternatives? Call Osama up and ask him what he'd like (and would you like fries with that?) and then implement all his suggestions?

Exactly. Osama has already said what he wants. This morning I watched video footage of Osama. The important bit (paraphrased) went something like this:

Americans will continue to live in terror while Palestinians live in terror, and while American military forces are on muslim soil.

My translation - "if America withdraws its support for Israel, and removes its forces from Saudi Arabia, we'll call off the whole terrorism thing."

Quite reasonable, and not too hard.

What if some right-wing, Montana-shack-living nutjob blows up the White House because he hates that now we are all speaking Arabic and reading the Quran? We switch back?

Errr, have you heard Osama bin Laden, or any other islamic leader, suggest that they want to convert America to islam? I don't think that's on the agenda.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
You too (3.20 / 5) (#162)
by glothar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:23:19 AM EST

My translation - "if America withdraws its support for Israel, and removes its forces from Saudi Arabia, we'll call off the whole terrorism thing."

Quite reasonable, and not too hard.

You are so naive its funny. Did you just come out of a cave? Osama bin Laden has stated a long time ago that his goal is to replace all infidel governments with fundamentalist <insert whatever bin Laden's religion is here> governments. Do some research next time.

He has also stated (and this is paraphrased to make a point) that he wants to see you killed. Until you convert to whatever perverted religion he is.

So yeah. Really simple. Stop supporting Israel, withdraw from the Middle East. They'll stop attacking the US because they'll be too busy slaughtering every last jew in the Middle East, and that will give you time to kill yourself or convert. Nice to know you support that. I'm very happy that you support peace.

[ Parent ]

Re: You Too (2.00 / 5) (#168)
by khym on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:02:00 AM EST

Osama bin Laden has stated a long time ago that his goal is to replace all infidel governments with fundamentalist <insert whatever bin Laden's religion is here> governments. Do some research next time.
While Bin Laden would no doubt love to have the whole world under the rule of a Taliban flavored Islam (shudder), how much resources, and how many volunteers, is he going to get if the U.S. stop pissing off the Muslim world? If the U.S. was having no influence on Muslim countries, how many fanatics would Laden be able to find who'd be willing to kill themselves in an effort to turn the U.S. into a radical Islamic nation? I'd have to say that Laden would lose most of his power if the U.S. ceased to be a boogyman for his supporters.

And, yes, Israel probably would be wiped out, but why should we get involved in an age old religious conflict happening half way around the world?



--
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 ]
Did you just... (3.00 / 3) (#205)
by glothar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:51:10 AM EST

...advocate the eradication of a nation?

And, yes, Israel probably would be wiped out, but why should we get involved in an age old religious conflict happening half way around the world?

BECAUSE WE, AS A NATION, WILL NOT ALLOW ANY OTHER NATION DESTROY A THIRD NATION, ESPECIALLY IF THAT NATION IS A FRIEND OF OURS

But you probably disagree right? Its okay for Iraq to invade Kuwait. Its okay for Russia to invade Afganistan.

You're a supporter of the Holocaust right?

Or, maybe you're not, but you think that the death of millions of people is no reason for us to get involved.

We'll just wait till they attack us.

Or perhaps we'll attack whoever we want. Because why should anyone else stop us from invading? They have no business sticking their nose in our affairs.

Or wait. I forgot. The US shouldn't stick its nose in anyones affairs, but everyone should tell the US when its doing something wrong.

If you were in Afganistan, Iraq, or even perhaps friendly places like Syria, you would be killed for questioning your government.

And, I'm not going to research for you. I work for a living and dont have that much free time today. He released a statement long ago stating the goals of al-Queda (sp?). I dont have the text handy, but he wants to punish the US not because they are on Islamic soil, but because the US once set foot on Islamic soil. Try to undo that. If you believe that he will stop if we pull out or stop support of Israel then he has succeeded in using you against the US. That statement he released was a tool to try to get the actual followers of Islam to support him. He wants the support of Palestinians and Iraq. It will hurt both to be associated with bin Laden. And he wants people like you to be duped into thinking that there might be an end.

So many people refuse to believe a single thing the US Gov't says, but when a known terrorist says something, they take it as absolute truth without questioning.

Sounds to me like you are just naive and feel the need to fight the mainstream view because it makes you feel intelligent.

[ Parent ]

what about (2.00 / 2) (#220)
by alprazolam on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:52:09 AM EST

Or, maybe you're not, but you think that the death of millions of people is no reason for us to get involved.

I guess the death of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians is forgivable. They are Arabs after all.

[ Parent ]

RE: what about (3.50 / 2) (#251)
by glothar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:44:57 AM EST

Who started that war?

Lemme guess: Israel, for being created.

It was the UK's land. They had sovreign control of it, and created a new country. They are allowed to do that.

And if you'd pay attention, you'd see that the US is trying to make Israel give up the land they occupy. However, whenever the US gets close to getting both sides to be peaceful, Osama bin Laden or his "brothers" the Palestinians have attacked. Oh, Israel is not innocent, and I see no difference between the death of an Israeli and that of a Palestinian, or Egyptian, or Iraqi. But I dont remember Israel ever stating that they will not rest till all Arab nations are destroyed.

How many arab states have said the reverse?

[ Parent ]

now who's naive? (3.33 / 3) (#245)
by chopper on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:17:44 AM EST

BECAUSE WE, AS A NATION, WILL NOT ALLOW ANY OTHER NATION DESTROY A THIRD NATIONunless, of course, the third nation has nothing we want.

the us is not the white knight you make it out to be.

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Huh? (3.66 / 3) (#257)
by glothar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:58:31 AM EST

Have I ever said the US is perfect and innocent?

We protect our way of life. Countries do that. Sometimes you do things you shouldn't. Can you see into the future?

Nonetheless, you have failed to comprehend my statement. It is known and established national foreign policy that the US will not allow any nation to expand its boarders with violence.

Now, as one person intelligently pointed out, Israel is one exception.

Since its creation, Israel has been continuously attacked. Not for foreign policy, but for its existance. When they occupied neighboring countries, it was not territorial expansion or desire for wealth. But even then, did the US help? No. They used the help we already gave them. And we coerced them into stopping.

Give me more examples of countries that were invaded without receiving help from the US? You may be surprised at what "help" is, but I doubt you'll find many.

[ Parent ]

okay. (3.66 / 3) (#275)
by chopper on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:51:22 PM EST

how about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia?

not so much a land-grab, but nonetheless an invasion by Soviet troops.

or the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese in 1949?

or the Warsaw Pact invasion of Hungary in 1956, in response to the revolution which attempted to install a liberal government?

or the Turkish invasion of Cypres in 1974?

i've been looking, but haven't found evidence in any of those cases of US assistance (i may be wrong, i'm still looking for evidence of US involvement).

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Not good examples (3.00 / 1) (#411)
by tjb on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:33:48 PM EST

The only decent example in that group was that of Turkey invading, but Turkey is a NATO member and at the time, keeping the Alliance together against the Soviets served the greater good. Eliminating the Soviet Union without mushroom clouds was *the goal* at the time (and a damn good goal, too), all other issues were decided by how they affected this goal.

For this reason, the other examples weren't a question of "Should we help out here?", but rather: "Is this worth precipitating the extinction of the human race over?" Provoking the USSR or China into a full-out war had limited upside (accomplishing our goal) and virtually unlimited downside (tommorrow's weather forecast is cloudy skies and temperatures reaching 3500 degrees farenheit with 700 MPH winds).

As an aside, as things were politically viable, the US did put its neck on the line. Underwriting the Polish solidarity movement, for instance.

Tim


[ Parent ]
all very valid points. (none / 0) (#489)
by chopper on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 10:18:11 AM EST

...but the poster asked for examples of instances of countries invading others, and no US intervention, not 'wherein the US stayed out for no good reason'.

basically, i was criticizing the broadness of his earlier statement.

on an aside, info on the Turkish invasion is a very interesting read, but most of the info i've found has been on websites that seem to lean a little far to one side. i'd like to find some more unbiased coverage, do you have any good sources?

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

one detail (none / 0) (#513)
by chopper on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 01:55:27 PM EST

Provoking the USSR or China into a full-out war had limited upside (accomplishing our goal) and virtually unlimited downside (tommorrow's weather forecast is cloudy skies and temperatures reaching 3500 degrees farenheit with 700 MPH winds).

well, i understand about the USSR wrt Czechoslovakia, etc, but China didn't have nuclear capabilities in 1949 when it invaded Tibet. no 3500 degree temperatures or 700 mph winds. so why didn't we help?

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Re: Did you just? (4.00 / 2) (#416)
by khym on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:59:27 PM EST

First off, I'd like to say that I support the current war against Afghanistan, just to avoid any confusion...
But you probably disagree right? Its okay for Iraq to invade Kuwait. Its okay for Russia to invade Afghanistan.

You're a supporter of the Holocaust right?

No, I'm a person who does not believe in "if you're not against something, you're for it".
We'll just wait till they attack us.
Actually, that would have been a very good reason to get involved in WWII. An expansionistic government like the Third Reich that believed in conquering territory for "living space" would, sooner or later, be a threat to us. And as soon as we learned about the Holocaust (this wasn't known about until after the U.S. entered the war), there'd be even more reason to enter: the Nazi's believed that Jews were genetically programmed to be enemies of the Aryans, and since there were several million Jews in the U.S. (which the Nazi's considered to be a tool of the Jews), they wouldn't feel safe until those Jews had been wiped out too.

However, I don't believe that it's a government's job to protect the lives of citizens in other countries, just for the sake of protecting them.

He released a statement long ago stating the goals of al-Queda [al-Qaeda] (sp?). I dont have the text handy, but he wants to punish the US not because they are on Islamic soil, but because the US once set foot on Islamic soil. Try to undo that. If you believe that he will stop if we pull out or stop support of Israel then he has succeeded in using you against the US.
No, I don't think that Bin Laden would stop. My point is that Laden is getting support from many Muslims who's reasons for supporting him are merely to get the U.S. out of the Middle East. If most of his support dries up, how effective is he going to be? How many Muslims will be willing to dedicate their lives to hurting the U.S. if the U.S. is just some country on the other side of the world who's not doing anything to them?

--
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 ]
Osama's goals (2.75 / 4) (#174)
by driptray on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:04:34 AM EST

Osama bin Laden has stated a long time ago that his goal is to replace all infidel governments with fundamentalist <insert whatever bin Laden's religion is here> governments. Do some research next time.

I'd be happy if you could point me to your sources for this. I admit to not having done a lot of research into Osama bin Laden's beliefs and statements, however I based my comment on this piece of video which presents Osama bin Laden's demands in a relatively reasonable light. He certainly seems just as reasonable as George W. Bush.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
lets see if this helps (3.50 / 34) (#25)
by jayfoo2 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:18:15 PM EST

From an email I got last week. This more or less encapsulates my feeling on anti-war protests.
_________________________________________________
What to do if you happen upon a peace rally by
naive hemp-shirt-wearing college idiots. To teach
them why force is sometimes needed:

1) Approach ignorant student talking about
"peace" who's saying there should be "no
retaliation."

2) Engage in brief conversation. Ask if military
force is appropriate.

3) When he says "No," ask, "Why not?"

4) Wait until he says something to the effect,
"Because that would just cause more innocent deaths, which
would be awful and we should not cause more violence."

5) When he's in mid sentence, punch him in the face as
hard as you can.

6) When he gets back up to up to punch you, point out
that it would be a mistake and contrary to his values
to strike you, because that would "be awful and he
should not cause more violence."

7) Wait until he agrees pledges not to commit additional violence.

8) Punch him in the face again, harder this time.

Repeat steps 5 through 8 until he understands that sometimes it is necessary to punch back.

______________________________________________


Well. . . . (3.55 / 9) (#36)
by nicksand on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:30:34 PM EST

1) Rat-faced guy, whom you have had disputes with in the past, punches you in the back of the head and runs away before you can get your bearings back.

2) You see a cranky, eccentric, old granny, relation of rat-faced guy, walking down the street.

3) Beat the living shit out of said granny.

4) Feel good about yourself.

Replace rat-faced guy with Osama Bin Laden (have they actually shown the public any noncircumstancial evidence yet, or are we still considered unworthy of such knowledge?). Replace granny with Afaghanistan (note that I wrote the country, not the Taliban).

The above little anecdote pretty much sums up my feelings on this whole war matter. Not that I am antiwar; I frankly just stopped caring. However, I do break out in a fit of laughter whenever I hear an American bring up the "good vs. evil" thing (yes, I'm American too).

[ Parent ]

Not quite... It's more like: (4.00 / 3) (#99)
by dbc001 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:47:59 PM EST

1. Rat-faced guy hides in a large building after punching you, which just happens to contain granny and other innocents.

2. You get out a megaphone and clearly state that the building will be demolished if the rat-faced guy isn't delivered.

3. At this point everyone in the building should realize that granny will get hurt if the building is demolished, so they should deliver the rat-faced guy.

4. At several different points, people emerge from the building and say "we dont know where he is", then later "we know where he is but you have to prove that he hit you", etc.

5. Another warning is delivered that building will be demolished.

6. Building is finally demolished, and Rat-Faced guy & all his friends are well aware that they could have saved granny by delivering Rat-Faced guy.

One of the most interesting things that I have noticed about this conflict is the enormous amount of cultural elitism that resounds througout the various debates. I personally make an effort to appreciate all cultures and try to avoid judging them, but I truly belive that there are aspects of some of the Middle Eastern cultures involved that are so far off from western moral values (and the values of the modern world) that makes this very complicated.

In this example, at point 3 everyone must assume some degree of guilt, as all of them should have collectively made an effort to remove all innocents from such a dangerous situation. While I understand that Afghanistan is a poor country, I must doubt that these communities lacked the ability to escort women & children to safety if not by individual action at least collectively. This (and other stuff that I cant think of right now) contradicts modern values at an extreme level and requires extreme actions to solve the problems.

Perhaps we can view the bombings as sending a message that all cultures must comply with a certain set of modern values, including aid for innocents and sufferers and compliance with things like the Geneva convention?

-dbc

[ Parent ]
Or... (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by regeya on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:53:00 AM EST

6. Utility shed, where rat-faced guy was teaching people to punch others in the back of the head, which Granny was in close proximity to, is blown up. People in Building A make great noise about Granny being blown up as well, while people in surrounding buildings make great noise about Building A being blown up solved nothing.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Afghanistan isn't a building (4.00 / 1) (#377)
by Merc on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:14:51 PM EST

Only this scenario is really different from Afghanistan.

  • Afghanistan is a big, desperately poor country with land mines, huge mountains and no infrastructure, not a building
  • When the US started demanding bin Laden, people did try to leave, but because it's a big country with no infrastructure, land mines and huge mountains everywhere many couldn't go anywhere.
  • The taliban originally said they didn't know where bin Laden was (plausible in a big country with huge mountains, no infrastructure, and land mines everywhere)
  • A week later the taliban said that they knew where bin Laden was. They didn't say "ok, we knew where he was all along", they said they had located him.
  • When the taliban found bin Laden they asked for proof he was involved before handing him over and were flatly refused.
  • bin Laden is a trained fighter who would not be easy to hand over, not a rat faced guy who punches people in the back of the neck.
  • When the US started attacking the country they mostly hit "targets" (empty camps, empty airfields, empty houses) and in the process scared people bringing in relief supplies to innocent civillians
  • The US then dropped a few packages of relief supplies (a tiny quantity compared to the amount they stopped by starting the bombing)

You say:

Perhaps we can view the bombings as sending a message that all cultures must comply with a certain set of modern values, including aid for innocents and sufferers and compliance with things like the Geneva convention?

I'm not up on the Geneva convention and all it allows and forbids. I'm pretty sure, however, that as a member of the UN, the US had some duty to consult the UN before launching an attack on another country. If the nation of Afghanistan had attacked they might have been legally allowed to counterattack Afghanistan. But Afghanistan didn't. A former Saudi citizen allegedly in their lands was allegedly behind the group that committed the attack.

The US ignored the very existence of the UN and simply attacked. Or should I say "the coalition". Answer me something. What countries are in "the coalition" and what are each of their roles? If there is a coalition this should be pretty easy information to answer. It's easy to say that Britain is in the coalition because they've been saying they're behind the US right from the start. Probably safe to say Canada and Australia are in too, they always fall in line pretty quickly. What about Italy? India? Germany? Japan? Spain? Russia? Many of these countries have pledged some kind of support to the US, but I've never heard them say "we're joining the coalition in this capacity".

From what I've been hearing the US is doing what it wants to do. If other countries want to help out, the US will tell them what it wants them to do and I guess that makes them members of "the coalition". If they don't want to help... well they're with the terrorists, right?

The Taliban is an awful, repressive group. They subscribe to a fundamentalist attitude towards the Koran that most muslim scholars think is completely unjustified. Their laws encourage horrific treatment of women. They appear to have strong ties to Osama bin Laden. But they have never attacked the US.

If they haven't ever attacked the US, how can the US justify attacking them without even consulting the UN? The US is acting like a vigilante. Their intentions may be good, and they may do good in the process, but what gives them the right to make that decision?

The idea of a set of laws that all countries must adhere to is a good one, but it's not a new one. The UN is supposed to at least partially fill this role. The problem is that one of the countries with the worst record when it comes to following UN rules is the US.



[ Parent ]
They didn't know where he was? (none / 0) (#452)
by khym on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 02:07:05 AM EST

The taliban originally said they didn't know where bin Laden was (plausible in a big country with huge mountains, no infrastructure, and land mines everywhere)
First the Taliban said that Bin Laden couldn't possibly have done it, because they'd had him under such tight control. Then they say they can't find him, then they say they lost him again. If they'd had him under such tight control, how'd they loose track of him? And if they had him under such tight control that he couldn't be involved with it, why would they believe any evidence? If they had indeed done that, any evidence would have to be faked. My impression is that they don't want to give Bin Laden up, but they don't want to be attacked either, so they're just engaging in delaying tactics.

--
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 ]
Entirely possible (none / 0) (#479)
by Merc on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:11:55 AM EST

I wouldn't be surprised if the Taliban knew where bin Laden was all along, and they were lying through their teeth. They have never seemed like the most honest and trustworthy government to me. But could they have turned over bin Laden if they wanted to? Who's the more powerful leader, Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar? I have heard speculation from informed sources that if anybody was going to be handed over, it would be bin Laden handing over the Taliban.

Even if the Taliban was lying and decietful, the US was just as bad. They first demanded that Osama bin Laden be turned over, knowing that it wasn't possible and wouldn't be done. Next they refused to provide proof when the Taliban said (pretended?) they would hand him over if they saw proof he did it. Then they rejected the idea of handing him over to a Pakistani court.

In his speech Bush said that the Taliban would have to turn over every terrorist in their land or they would be attacked. If the US can't even do that themselves (think Unibomber and McVeigh) what chance does the Taliban have?

The Taliban may have been using every excuse they could find to delay an attack, but at the same time the US was using every excuse they could find to rush into an attack.

Which country here is observing international law? The Taliban is probably breaking the Geneva convention, but since they never signed it they have no obligation (other than a moral one) to follow it. They may be a horrible, repressive government but as far as I know Taliban != Al Quaida (sp?) and the Taliban has never attacked the US or its allies. The US, as a member of the UN, is forbidden to attack another country without UN permission. They haven't even asked for permission. While they may be in the right, why are they the ones to unilaterally decide what's right?

My point is that bad as the Taliban may be, the US is lowering itself to their level. It's only making anti-US sentiment in other countries grow.



[ Parent ]
Hey, hey. (none / 0) (#561)
by regeya on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:22:27 PM EST

Thank you Mr. Literal.

Their laws encourage horrific treatment of women. They appear to have strong ties to Osama bin Laden. But they have never attacked the US.

Right. Which is why the U.S. blew up facilities belonging to the terrorist organizations.

If they haven't ever attacked the US, how can the US justify attacking them without even consulting the UN? The US is acting like a vigilante. Their intentions may be good, and they may do good in the process, but what gives them the right to make that decision?

In excess of 7,000 dead; more injured.

And, look, there are organizations who feel, and as I've stated I have acquaintances who are happy to tell you this is how they feel, that the U.S. is personally responsible for deaths in Iraq due to the trade embargo, and due to Israelites killing Palestinians.

So what are you advocating? That the U.S. sit back and take it? You've got to be joking. The idea of a set of laws that all countries must adhere to is a good one, but it's not a new one. The UN is supposed to at least partially fill this role. The problem is that one of the countries with the worst record when it comes to following UN rules is the US.

Since I can get away with it, I'll just say: "Nice troll."

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Of course... (4.60 / 5) (#38)
by Anatta on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:34:33 PM EST

the natural response to this would be for the protester to call the police and have them arrest you. Many of the protesters advocate arresting and trying Bin Laden in an international court (I disagree).

I don't think the punch-in-the-face metaphor is a good one. A more accurate one would be to hold a vial labeled ANTHRAX in front of the protester's girlfriend/boyfriend/mother/daughter/loved one and say "I'm going to kill your loved one in a violent, painful, awful death" and open the vial. See how said protester reacts.

Bush claimed Jesus to be his favorite philosopher, and I've seen a great deal of the anti-war left blather on about how Bush should follow Jesus' advice and turn the other cheek. That's all and well when it's the individual under attack, however when the attack is against others, the turn-the-other-cheek philosophy dissolves very quickly. Ignoring the mass murder of innocents has nothing to do with turning the other cheek.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Reference? (5.00 / 2) (#44)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:42:52 PM EST

Where is your biblical reference to this philosophy dissolving? According to the Bible you should always turn the other cheek, as you will be eternally rewarded in heaven. This is why turning the other cheek makes sense in Christianity.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
how about (3.50 / 2) (#50)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:00:09 PM EST

according to the Christian Bible (vs any other bible) Jesus died to forgive us for our sins or not turning the other cheek because as humans, there are going to be times when we smack someone up the side of the head.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

sure (4.00 / 3) (#55)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:05:43 PM EST

That does not mean that it is ok in the eyes of God. I am no biblical scholar, but as far as I know the bible allows for forgiveness of every sin, including murder.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Fantastic! (3.00 / 4) (#56)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:06:04 PM EST

We all have got a blank check to kill each other.

Goodness gracious! I though it was all a gesture from god showing he would sacrifice anything if we genuinely repent.

he also say: "You shall not kill". Not once, twice (once to Moses, once by the mouth of Jesus himslef).

Damn! I must be dumb or something because I cant get it:

"You shall not kill" No ifs. No buts.
YOU SHALL NOT KILL


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
religion can be complex and confusing (4.00 / 3) (#66)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:24:43 PM EST

funny how the next thing God did, in Moses time, was to have his people go and fight and kill those in modern day Israel to get the land from them.

yes, killing is bad. No, killing someone doesn't keep you from sharing paradise with God. So can you go ahead and kill someone? No, killing is bad. So what happens if you kill someone? you can still share paradise with God. What does this all mean? I don't know. lets not argue about though, ok?


HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

OK (1.00 / 1) (#225)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:05:04 AM EST

I got a trolling fit yesterday, that is all ....
------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Here ya go (4.75 / 4) (#68)
by Anatta on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:26:32 PM EST

Well, let's start with the origin of the quote, Matthew 5:38-42. It must be noted, however, that turning the other cheek may not be a metaphor for "don't defend yourself." Examine John 18 to see how Jesus reacted when he actually was struck in the face. Matthew's "turning the other cheek" may refer to an insult rather than a physical attack, which completely alters the meaning of the phrase. In those times, a slap on the cheek would be similar to spitting in one's face, in modern times. Turning the other cheek does not necessarily mean "if someone stabs you in your stomach, let them stab you in your chest."

Now let us look at John 15:12-13 where Jesus speaks about how laying down one's life in the defence of others is the greatest sacrifice possible. This would suggest that violence in the course of defending others is quite acceptable, even noble. Finally, Jesus seems to have little problem with the occupation of a soldier: Luke 3:14 illustrates this fairly well.

All in all, Jesus would probably have liked to see everyone turning the cheek and no one performing atrocities, but he recognized that the world was more complex than that.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Absolute Rule (2.00 / 2) (#92)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:21:49 PM EST

Thou shalt not kill.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
religion can be complex and confusing (none / 0) (#96)
by garlic on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:43:53 PM EST

Religion can be complex and confusing as I said further down in #66.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

A more accurate translation... (none / 0) (#98)
by Anatta on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:45:50 PM EST

...would read Thou Shalt Not Murder.

As the New Oxford Annotated Bible (a scholar's bible) puts it in its footnote on Exodus 20:13, "This commandment forbids murder (see Gen 9:5, 6 n.), not the forms of killing authorized for Israel, e.g. war or capital punishment."

Looking at Genesis 9:6, we have "Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's blood be shed; for in his own image God made mankind."

The commandment does not forbid killing in all cases.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Faking Jesus teachings. (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:01:15 PM EST

He said, amongst other 9 things, You shall not kill.

No ifs, not buts.

We have it from the horse's mouth as they say.


The son of god himslef.

No ifs, no buts.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
The Ten Commandments (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by defeated on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:04:16 PM EST

"He said, amongst other 9 things, You shall not kill.

No ifs, not buts. "

I thought God said that, not Jesus.




[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#136)
by finial on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:12:08 PM EST

Yes, it was one of the talking points given to Moses.

[ Parent ]
Kill (none / 0) (#108)
by finkployd on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:31:13 PM EST

"Thou shall not murder" is the more accepted translation these days I believe. It also fits in with the rest of the bible very well.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Interesting. (1.00 / 1) (#224)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:01:33 AM EST

It is not "murder" in the Spanish, Catholic Bible (Spanish speaking people make the core of the Catholic church worldwide). It would be very interesting to know the interpretation in other languages.

Any way, Jesus led by example. He did not kill anybody, he was not violent, he pardoned the sinner, he did not raise against the tyrant. The most violent he got was against merchants in a temple.

So I completely fail to see how a Christian can kill and feel it is right to do so under any circumstances.

Was not the Jewish people under Roman opression? Why did not Jesus decided to unleash god's power and punish the Roman agressors with inmmediate death and confustion from the skies bombing to oblivion their radars and airports.

I think I am getting confussed here....



------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Some ifs and buts ... (3.00 / 1) (#336)
by Dlugar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:36:09 PM EST

Certainly, thou shalt not kill ... well, unless God says otherwise.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
You assume (2.83 / 6) (#60)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:11:44 PM EST

that those that are against this war are pacifists. I am against wars that advance US imperialism and destablize international democracy replacing it with the slave-society that the US has become.
I am quite happy to admit that in the absence of other ways of solving things I'd kill in defence of myself. Similarly I'd happily punch you back if you punched me. I hope you meet the Black Bloc someday.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Oh goodness... (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by Rocky on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:38:37 PM EST

> the slave-society that the US has become

...I can't help it

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HOOOO <PANT><PANT>

Gosh, I'm a very happy slave. I'm imprisioned in a cage of wealth and plenty.

If I'm lucky, my captors might let me out so I can buy an SUV and gorge in one night on more food than some people eat in a week.

But only if I'm a good slave...





If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
Slave Society (3.00 / 1) (#105)
by finkployd on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:26:18 PM EST

Your ignorant statement about a slave society dishonors the memory of those actually suffered under slavery. I would love to hear what kind of reasoning you used to come to that conclusion about the US.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Slave society (1.33 / 3) (#131)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:55:57 PM EST

Your ignorant statement about a supposedly ignorant statement dishonors the memory of those who have actually suffered under slavery.
A country that whose entire population rents their bodies for food and toys is a population of slaves: wage-slaves. Please see Das Kapital and consult Jefferson's vision of armed, independent owners of the means of production. (Yes I know J had slaves, no I don't think that's right).

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Lack of outcome != lack of opportunity (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by finkployd on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:25:53 PM EST

Everyone has a choice. I chose to "rent my mind" as you would say, as a mainframe programmer. I never had anyone force me to do this, heck, I never had any help or encouragement either. I just did it. If I grow tired I could just as easily take what I have gained from my short time working and buy a plot of land and produce everything I need for myself.

However, I LIKE the way things are here. You work hard and have a usefull skill to contribute to society, you are rewarded. If you don't like the reward you get or don't feel it is enough, then you are free do do whatever else you please. If you and other like minded people wish to design a commune and live in a marxist setting, you are free to do that (read Walden II sometime, it is an excellent book and something that I believe could happen).

I am armed, I own means of production for many things, yet I still choose to employ my skills in exchange for money from a company who appearently values my skills more than the money they pay me. Since my view is the oppposite, it's a mutually beneficial situation. Please explain to me how this is anything REMOTLY like slavery (which I still maintain you lack any comprehension of)

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Hobson's choice (none / 0) (#415)
by M0dUluS on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:59:19 PM EST

Everyone has a choice. I chose to "rent my mind" as you would say, as a mainframe programmer

Yes and in the choice between doing well and taking from others or letting others take from me, I also make a "choice". But it's from a poll with very limited options.

I bet that you do programming because it is a reasonably lucrative career. This enables you to pay for your material wants. If you are lucky enough to be completely enthralled every minute at work and never have to give up time when you'd rather be doing something with your family or for yourself then you are indeed a lucky being. For myself, my job is reasonably interesting and pays well, but there are many occasions when I'd rather be at home (such as for example 3 am when a drive decides to fail). I do not have the option NOT to do this job if I want to support my family. I suspect that you are in the same boat.

I am NOT free to do whatever else I want. That is like saying: if you don't like walking you are free to grow wings and fly. The reality is that I am a moderately educated proletarian. I have to convince other people that own things to rent my time from me. I am a wage slave. So too are you unless you actually OWN your means of production. You say that you do, and I'm afraid that I doubt it. The means of production are the complete apparatus that allows you to produce a product to the point of exchange for its value. This means that if you are writing software you do not own the means of production unless you own the company that sells/rents the software to the last person in the chain of consumption.

A slave is someone that has restricted choices.

Concise OED 2.a drudge, a person working very hard
3.a helpless victim of some dominating influence

I never had anyone force me to do this, heck, I never had any help or encouragement either.
A classic success story. Well done. Now, if you hadn't done that you would have not been in a position to buy a plot of land and live on peas and beans, would you?



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Still (none / 0) (#536)
by finkployd on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 05:50:15 PM EST

Nothing is stopping you from "going Amish" :) The reason most people don't go off and lead a self sustaining life with no reliance on modern society is that it is not a fun alternative. Could I? Yes, do I want to? No.

And by means of production I mean that should I choose to be, I could be completly self sufficient. I wouldn't have a cable modem and Playstation, but I wouldn't be dead either. I have a piece of land that I can live on.

Ah, but like you said, I had to work to do that. And if I wasn't a programer I would have to do something else to get this far. While you seem to somehow see that as slavery, I see it as oppertunity. Were you expecting that everyone who is born should be given a little plot of land and free training on how to live off the land? I mean, this is the same the world over. Are we all slaves? To whom then? We can argue over the details forever but you still haven't convinced me of anything remotly approaching slavery.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
I accept (none / 0) (#598)
by M0dUluS on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:04:03 PM EST

your wish to have a restriction on what the boundaries of the conversation might be. I accept that my initial usage of the phrase "slave society" may have been misleading and provocative in that the conditions that you and I live under are far, far better physically than those endured by the pre-dominantly African slaves and their descendants that were exploited here.
That said I maintain that there is a very strong argument to be made that we are wage-slaves, that we lack choice, that we rent our bodies and minds to others that profit from the excess capacity of our labor and that they are in a position to do so because they are the inheritors of power and wealth that was accumulated by force in the past and that is maintained by force now.
I had anticipated your "slaves to gravity" objection, which is logical and reasonable. Yes, we are slaves to gravity. Am I railing against that? No, because there is little point. We are constrained by physical reality, we have no choices that are not determined by those immutable laws.
However, what I am objecting to are those societal, man-made laws that restrict us.
I have little to complain about in my personal situation compared to the vast majority in this society, let alone the rest of the world, but my relatively priveleged situation is still not good.
There are a couple of things that I wish were otherwise, I wish I had more time with my family and more assurance that if I lost my work my kids would not suffer too much. In this society I don't have that security.
I am doing my best by my own efforts to ensure that, I live quite frugally in order to save (no car, no cable, no TV, don't eat out too often, I rarely go abroad, etc etc). The point of this is not to show what a wonderful little guy I am, it is that I am actually quite well placed compared to many and yet it is still a problem.
This is of course nothing compared to the problems of millions of people that literally and truly slave in your sense to manufacture goods that will travel to me. There are many, many more who have the "choice" to starve or to accept underpaid work. When they attempt to unionize they are murdered by regimes that we support militarily and morally. I do not want them to be treated in this manner. I believe that there is no need for them to be treated badly. They are creating huge amounts of "excess labor capacity" and are made to do so by physical force to benefit a small number of people in our society. Our ancestors fought many battles with Capitalists who made them do similar things in the past and won rights such as an 8 hour day, paid sick-leave, overtime etc. Many of them were murdered in this battle. Now some of their gains are being rolled back.
If you are interested there are plenty of references that detail how the real earning power of the "middle" class has plummeted sharply since the late 60s.
You refer to "going Amish" and trying a Walden-style commune (I'll look out for that) and how it is that most people don't want to do without modern comforts. Well, I don't believe that the choice is between industrial society and small communes. I believe that division of labor, exchange of goods, industry, etc. are useful and produce a better standard of life. My objection is that science and news and industry and leisure and politics and sport are all harnessed to one goal - the production of excess profit for Capitalists. These are the people that own the means of production. The system is directed by them to maximize their profits.
It is not directed to maximize the health, leisure or happiness of the people that do the work.
I don't want to go on at any more length about this because its an analysis for which you will undoubtedly ask for more and more detail, clarification and reference (as indeed you have every right to!). I can only suggest that Marx was correct in his analysis of Capitalism , and how it removes choice from us. I should add that I totally disagree with the Marxist Leninist (and especially) Bolshevik conception of a dictatorship of the proletariat, preferring instead anarcho-communist, left-libertarian models of society.
Am I suggesting that we do not need to work? No. I am suggesting that if I work then I should profit by it and not someone else.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Defination (none / 0) (#537)
by finkployd on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 05:55:56 PM EST

A slave is someone that has restricted choices.

By that narrow defination we ARE all slaves. Damn laws of physics. However in the more broad social sense you are severly twisting the meaning of the word to suit your purpose.

Concise OED 2.a drudge, a person working very hard 3.a helpless victim of some dominating influence

Working hard alone does not make one a slave. This is blatently false.
Again, we are all slaves to gravity, and to other physical laws. However, not socially. Perhaps we need to establish what boundries we are referring to in this conversation.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Against wars (none / 0) (#164)
by Verminator on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:34:20 AM EST

I'm against wars that won't solve anything. Vietnam, the Cold War, and now Afghanistan/"the war on terrorism" are wars that never could be truly won.

This war will never solve the underlying problem and there's little chance our actions once it's done will either.

The country of Afghanistan's best shot is to get beat badly and we'll all be driving cars built there in 40 years.
If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state subsidized alcohol! And our powerlifting team better kick ass!
[ Parent ]

sometimes it's necessary to defend oneself. (4.00 / 2) (#197)
by drquick on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:59:10 AM EST

Sometimes you must defend youreself, but you assume that attack is defence. Ducking the blow would be enough. If he puches back, what guarantees is there to not being punched again. Since you are the vehicle of punches against him, maybe you could be addressed in a different fashion. Restrained for instance. One could run away.

All of the above are only temporary sollutions. Even punching back is a temporary sollution that escallates the violence.

All in all, the only long term sollution is to educate idiots who attack peaceful demonstrations. A society where you have to punch back is not safe anyhow. Now!, defence is more than punching back!

[ Parent ]

yeah, i got that email, too. (4.00 / 1) (#248)
by chopper on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:21:10 AM EST

...so i sent a reply, saying in effect, how lame it is to advocate violence against people exercising their first amendment rights.

the response was garbled, but included such witty bits as 'I will find out who the fuck you are and beat the crap out of you' and 'I hope your family dies, not just one but every fucking member'.

i guess the taliban exists in america too, doesn't it?

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Someone named... (1.50 / 2) (#317)
by Count Zero on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:23:50 PM EST

...Mahatma Ghandi was able to win freedom for an entire country by not fighting back.

[ Parent ]
oh good! (5.00 / 2) (#376)
by jayfoo2 on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:13:23 PM EST

I was waiting for this response. I'm surprised it took so long. I'm disappointed that you didn't throw MLK in there too.

Ghandi and MLK won with non-violent resistance this is true. But here is the difference between then and now.

I'f our debater went up to the protestor and started hitting him repeatedly he would eventually be restrained by the police (not the other protestors, remember that they are non-violent too).

That's how MLK and Ghandi won. The societies they were fighting aginst actually a) had social consciences and b) had influence over their governments.

But fast forward to today. Terrorists do their thing while groups like the Taleban cheer them on. We could sit back and kum-bay-yah forever and the Taleban wouldn't stop Al-Queda. We could have all the candlelight vigils we want and no one would arrest Bin-Laden.

Here is the moral. Non-violent resistance works against societies and governments when the oppression of one group is against the norms of that society. It does not work against criminals.


[ Parent ]
But you forgot something... (2.00 / 1) (#567)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 11:19:56 PM EST

I saw this on slashdot.

My reply pointed out that the naive hemp-shirt-wearing college idiot could use a defensive blocking move instead of doing nothing. And that although it would take longer, the idiot giving the punches would eventually give up.

If the naive hemp-shirt-wearing college idiot punched back, it would just encorage the other idiot to punch back. Now you have to idiots fighting, who will not stop untill one can't fight anymore, or someone stops the fight.

[ Parent ]

Cry me a frickin river (3.05 / 18) (#32)
by dbc001 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:26:28 PM EST

I would guess that there are reasons for bombing the shit out of Afghanistan other than just physical destruction - first, a week of bombing will do serious damage to enemy morale. Second, if we get anywhere close to sensitive people, they will probably begin to move them, and I would guess that our intelligence will watch very carefully where the movement is in hopes of finding bin Laden & the rest of those bastards.

As far as lack of media coverage, that's because most people are pretty patriotic nowadays. Everbody knows that war is bad and killing people is bad, but the terrorists will continue to attack us until we wipe them off the face of the planet (I would like to hear a rebuttal to that bit!).

Media outlets do not wish to appear un-american, and for the most part, the people in power want us to eradicate terrorism and feel safe again, so it's pretty obvious why they wouldn't cover anti-war demonstrations.

I think this has been mentioned on K5 before, but you anti-war pansy types need to quit bitching - it's a good thing nobody demonstrated during World War 2 or we would all be wearing swastikas on our sleeves. I'm all for free speech and all that, but you don't seem to understand the fact that these people want to kill you whether you are for the bombing or against it.

They wanna kill us! (3.33 / 3) (#227)
by Khedak on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:17:04 AM EST

these people want to kill you whether you are for the bombing or against it.

Calm down. You need some xanax? Anyway. Who are 'these people'? Everyone we bomb? They are covered in the blanket definition of 'people who deserved to be bombed'. Not because Americans have carefully considered all the evidence and have decided its time for military action, but because of a propaganda-nurtured knee-jerk reaction to a perceived threat.

Even if we did suspect the Taliban of organizing serious terrorist organizations against us (which we do), we should be presenting our evidences and grievances to the UN Security Council. Or do those treaties which we sign mean nothing? The fact is that this war is illegal, and we don't care. Why?

Because of this widespread knee-jerk reaction of "They want to kill us!" thereby justifying the massive use of force in self-defense. Tell me, do the 500,000 Iraqi children who have died due to US-sponsored sanctions want to kill us? Do the thousands of sick Sudanese who need medicine and will die because they can't get penicillin want to kill us? Is that why we destroyed their pharmaceutical stockpiles and pharmaceutical production ability with a missile attack?

And the Afghans, I forgot! You know Islamic extremists who carried out the 9/11 attacks were not from Afghanistan. Nor is Osama bin Laden. The evidence linking the Taliban to this attack is non-existent... our justification for this attack is that we demanded Bin Laden's extradition unconditionally. The Taliban ask for evidence of his involvement. Rather than give them evidence, we start killing people. Actually we starting killing people the day we halted humanitarian aid into Afghanistan.

The point of all this is that despite the story that the media-government propaganda machine have tried to spin to you, there is no substantial evil enemy to bomb over there. These military actions will have no effect on terrorism world wide except to anger more Islamic fundamentalists into becoming fanatical terrorists.

As others have said, this will make the problem worse, not better. Consider this: If Osama Bin Laden had just attacked the Pentagon and some Air Force bases, and then said "Oh, I didn't target any civilians!" would we have just stood by and acknowledged that he was not targeting us?

I think the Afghanistani civilian population will have much the same reaction that we would, despite the fact that we are only bombing 'military' targets. Because this war is illegal, and because we didn't do what we needed to to justify it. When their television shows declare America a bully, how can we disagree? Sure, we can call Osama a bully too, but does that make us less of a bully to them? All they know is that their country is being destroyed a piece at a time by foriegn warplanes.

Just as Osama bin Laden told them would happen. Time to sign up to become a Freedom Fighter.

The cycle of violence has to end somewhere. We need to capture and prosecute individuals and groups of terrorists. Not bomb angry war-torn nations, creating new terrorists.

[ Parent ]
Some of your points are inaccurate (none / 0) (#425)
by Macrobat on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:18:40 PM EST

I must take issue with some of your statements, as they strike me as inaccurate:

First: a "perceived" threat? I suggest you take a walk around the rubble of the former World Trade Center and see if you don't perceive the threat. If you think the death and destruction there is somehow an imaginary media concoction, I suggest it is not xanax, but stronger medicine, that needs dispensing. Now for the rest:

Tell me, do the 500,000 Iraqi children who have died due to US-sponsored sanctions want to kill us?
The Red Cross has repeatedly attempted to deliver service to the Iraqis, but have been turned away by Hussein's army. It is he, not we, who is choking off aid to his own people. In the original days following the war, your statement may have been relevant, but no longer.

Actually we starting killing people the day we halted humanitarian aid into Afghanistan.
Not preventing something is neither logically nor morally equivalent to causing it; and even if we do have a moral charge to look after the well-being of the Afghan civilian population, consider: the U.S. is delivering humanitarian aid packages to Afghan refugees just behind the Pakistan border right now. Maybe they need to do more, and I have no doubt that they're doing it just to look good, but it's hardly "halting" humanitarian aid. (Side note: Does anyone have statistics comparing what we're doing now with what we were delivering before the attacks? Please post a reply if you do.)

...despite the story that the media-government propaganda machine have tried to spin to you...
Um, the media and the government haven't always exactly seen eye-to-eye on everything, to put it lightly. To conceive of a media-government propaganda machine is a little far-fetched. Remember, "media" is a plural noun, and there are a lot of different voices out there.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

The points in question (none / 0) (#520)
by Khedak on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 03:41:47 PM EST

First: a "perceived" threat? I suggest you take a walk around the rubble of the former World Trade Center and see if you don't perceive the threat. If you think the death and destruction there is somehow an imaginary media concoction, I suggest it is not xanax, but stronger medicine, that needs dispensing.

I think you have misread me. That a threat exists is not in question. The question is whether Afghanistan and/or our targets in that country (besides Bin Laden himself) are the source of the threat, and therefore are okay to bomb to smithereens. My assertion was that I'm not convinced that our attacks on Afghanistan are justified in that I'm not convinced they will affect the source of the attacks, and will certainly affect the populace of Afghanistan.

The Red Cross has repeatedly attempted to deliver service to the Iraqis, but have been turned away by Hussein's army. It is he, not we, who is choking off aid to his own people. In the original days following the war, your statement may have been relevant, but no longer.

I am not assigning blame. Madeleine Albright herself in an interview was asked a direct question about the sanctions of the United States being responsible for the deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq and she replied "yes, we think the price is worth it." Perhaps you don't agree with her position, either. I know I certainly don't.

Not preventing something is neither logically nor morally equivalent to causing it; and even if we do have a moral charge to look after the well-being of the Afghan civilian population, consider: the U.S. is delivering humanitarian aid packages to Afghan refugees just behind the Pakistan border right now. Maybe they need to do more, and I have no doubt that they're doing it just to look good, but it's hardly "halting" humanitarian aid. (Side note: Does anyone have statistics comparing what we're doing now with what we were delivering before the attacks? Please post a reply if you do.)

Well, I am actually specifically referring to a particular event that happened, not the current state of affairs. I refer to the halting of all US-sponsored humanitarian that had been flowing into Afghanistan only 2 days after the attacks. The investigation of the attacks was barely begun, and already we had decided to allow thousands of their people to die. A couple of weeks later we resumed aid, but the question needs to be asked, why did we stop in the first place? How many died as a result of that decision?

Um, the media and the government haven't always exactly seen eye-to-eye on everything, to put it lightly. To conceive of a media-government propaganda machine is a little far-fetched. Remember, "media" is a plural noun, and there are a lot of different voices out there.

It's not far-fetched at all. If you mean that media people and government people don't work closely, especially at high levels of government, that's clearly untrue. Actually, the media seems to reflect the government very closely. When there is no external conflict or crisis, our politicians start fighting each other, and that's on the news all the time, that and pieces about scandal. If you think the reporting of scandals is the realm of media independent from politics, may I suggest that is naive as well. And of course, the media is instrumental in our election procedures. If your candidate gets time on the big news network, you know it's serious.

Maybe you see now that I don't mean to suggest a conspiracy, but that the synthesis of our media and our government can serve to create a propaganda machine. Whether by accident, design, or mere encouragement (aka bribes), that's the way it's used quite often.

[ Parent ]
Let me respond. (4.00 / 1) (#562)
by Macrobat on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:39:09 PM EST

Well, first, I'm guessing that the strike on Afghanistan is only the first of such raids on several countries in the area, which will be conducted with varying amounts of support from the regional governments. So if you think that only striking at Afghanistan won't stop terrorism, I agree. But that's not what we're doing.

And if you think that the targets have no military significance, well, I'd be disinclined to believe you. It just risks too much in terms of manpower and resources to mount a campaign like that with no evidence whatsoever. Yes, the military does wrong things, and no, I'm not happy that I don't have all the evidence before me either, but to imply that they just shot at the first target they could think of (which is kinda what your post sounds like) is stretching it.

As for the halting of the U.S.-sponsored humanitarian aid two days after the WTC attack, I don't know the details. But let me suggest to you that, if it was being carried out by American personnel, maybe they withdrew from Afghanistan because they were afraid for their lives, and not without reason. After 5,000 people die for the crime of being American, you might want to withdraw to safer havens too. And you and I can sit back in the safety of our own homes and speculate as to whether or not they were really under threat, but if my life were at stake, I'd err on the side of caution, too.

As for the media, I have no doubt that some of them are playing the tune the government's paid for. But there are a lot of media sources out there. I don't watch television so I don't know what they're doing in TV-land. But I actually do read and hear dissenting voices on the radio, online, and in print. So it's not like it's just one monolithic source out there. Remember, "the media" supplied you with that Albright quote, and I don't hear you voicing any healthy skepticism about that.

I respect that you don't feel the attacks are justified; I think they are, but it's still a sad reflection on American diplomacy. I opposed the gulf war and I don't trust GW any further than I can throw him. But in light of everything that I do know (which admittedly, isn't the whole story, but who really has that?), I think we're doing the best we can in a crappy situation.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Re; Cry me a frickin river (none / 0) (#534)
by khym on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 05:22:32 PM EST

I would guess that there are reasons for bombing the shit out of Afghanistan
We aren't "bombing the shit out of Afghanistan", we've bombed infrastructure and terrorist training camps.
first, a week of bombing will do serious damage to enemy morale.
No it won't. The enemy, which is the Taliban, think that Allah is on they're side and that we're evil incarnate; it won't do a thing to their moral. Also, in the history of modern warfare, non-nuclear bombings (of civilian targets, which we aren't doing) have never decreased moral, but have rather hardened their resolve.

--
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 ]
Damn (3.29 / 17) (#34)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:29:15 PM EST

So instead of watching TV, you're trying to get ON TV. You aren't actually looking to solve anything, or even provide the means or idea behind a solution. You're just looking to create suncertainty and conflict here in the US while our soldiers risk their asses doing the best jobs they can on orders they didn't choose. That's pretty fucking weak. Why don't you just go back to the hole you live in and watch some more TV instead, since TV is all you seem to understand?

When facing an armed conflict and opposed to it, the number one rule is, if you're going to whine, you can't just whine - you have to provide some useful notion of what the alternatives ARE. Just saying "address the root causes" and other silly leftist catch phrases doesn't mean anything - what ARE the causes, and how can we address them(specifically,) and how do you know this will fix the problems? How do you know that the "root causes" you claim to see aren't just excuses made up by people who hate western culture per se? How do you know that these people will be able and willing to give up their great cause, even if it becomes irrelevant? Why would powerful men leading such causes just give up and go home? Are you stupid?

Carry that sign, hero. Your aching feet will save America!

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

So... (2.60 / 5) (#42)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:40:08 PM EST

Essentially what you are saying is that somebody who does not agree with dropping bombs should shutup and not try to change things for what they think is a good cause?

When facing an armed conflict and opposed to it, the number one rule is, if you're going to whine, you can't just whine - you have to provide some useful notion of what the alternatives ARE.

This is fine and dandy. But thus far, noone with any real power has even listened to the alternatives, and not so much as a discussion on possible alternatives has occured in America. How do you expect to find alternatives if you do not look? Furhtermore, everyone else just dismisses it as "pacifist pussy crap"(yes, someone said that to me.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Funny... (3.71 / 7) (#54)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:04:53 PM EST

Essentially what you are saying is that somebody who does not agree with dropping bombs should shutup and not try to change things for what they think is a good cause?
No. He's free to say what he wants to say. I'm free to call him a crude asshole for doing it. If he were providing respectable notions of what should be done instead, that'd be fine. Just saying "bombing is wrong" and "war is wrong" and so on is not a solution - and without a better solution, it isn't even necessarily true.
But thus far, noone with any real power has even listened to the alternatives
This is a discussion on a weblog. I'm listening. I'm waiting. So far, I've heard lots of persecution complex crap from pacifists, and not a single solution. I'm still waiting. Enlighten me. But be careful, because if you tell me we should just give bin Laden whatever he wants, I'm going to point you at a certain British Prime Minister from the first half of the last century...

And incidentally, notice that he isn't talking about alternatives either - he's talking about carrying around a sign that says "war is wrong" or some similar inanity. He's not trying to get any message across except that he's horrified by bombings. Well, I'm horrified by what's left of the WTC, too, so if he can't find a reason better than horror, why not bomb everything in sight?

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

[ Parent ]
Even Funnier (none / 0) (#82)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:00:29 PM EST

No. He's free to say what he wants to say. I'm free to call him a crude asshole for doing it. If he were providing respectable notions of what should be done instead, that'd be fine. Just saying "bombing is wrong" and "war is wrong" and so on is not a solution - and without a better solution, it isn't even necessarily true.

So, questioning the accepted rhetoric makes you a crude asshole? I am sure that if this were 1968 you would be calling him a crude asshole for protesting the Vietnam war.

This is a discussion on a weblog. I'm listening.

You are not in a position of power... in short, you don't count. That may make me sound like a crude asshole, but it's true. This same discussion is not taking place on a national level... at all.

So far, I've heard lots of persecution complex crap from pacifists, and not a single solution.

Once again, the "pacifist crap" line comes in. Also, the world is complex. Get used to it. And you have heard solutions, such as international court. But this requires patience.

I'm still waiting. Enlighten me. But be careful, because if you tell me we should just give bin Laden whatever he wants, I'm going to point you at a certain British Prime Minister from the first half of the last century...

I'm certainly not saying to give Bin Laden what he wants. Why don't you provide a solution? And if you say that reacting in the same way that they do(violence) I will point you to a couple of multi-century bloodbaths(Ireland & Israel.) And while we are using historical examples, let's bring up Martin Luther King. Pacifism worked for him and the people he lead. He might have died before his dream became a reality, but it happened. Things probably would have been different had he firebombed the home of any racist governors of the time.

He's not trying to get any message across except that he's horrified by bombings. Well, I'm horrified by what's left of the WTC, too, so if he can't find a reason better than horror, why not bomb everything in sight?

He is saying he thinks bombings are wrong. All of the logic in the world will not convince you that it doesn't make him a crude asshole. If God himself tapped you on the shoulder and said it was wrong, you wouldn't believe it.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Ah (3.16 / 6) (#90)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:16:49 PM EST

I am sure that if this were 1968 you would be calling him a crude asshole for protesting the Vietnam war.
True enough, and with more justification. After you add in all the MIAs that are in fact dead, more than 60,000 US citizens died in that war, and most of them had no choice whatsoever about being there. The protests were a large part of why politicians hampered the generals, which is a large part of why those 60,000 people are FUCKING DEAD.
You are not in a position of power... in short, you don't count.
Then neither do you, so why are you still talking?
This same discussion is not taking place on a national level... at all.
What IS "a national level," and how are you aware of it? Do you think such discussions start spontaneously of some mystical will of their own, or is it more likely that they arise from people like you and me talking, and from others hearing it, and talking, and so on?
And you have heard solutions, such as international court.
How precisely will you get anyone TO the international court, given that there is no law abiding government in Afghanistan? This "solution" requires the same military action we're taking right now - it isn't a solution, but rather a decision on what might be done in the aftermath of a real solution.
Why don't you provide a solution?
Because I don't have one. That's why I'm not out carrying signs saying the government is doing the wrong thing. If you're going to do that, then have the decency to tell them what they SHOULD be doing instead of just how wrong they are. Nobody respects(or listens to) a whiner with no ideas.
And while we are using historical examples, let's bring up Martin Luther King. Pacifism worked for him and the people he lead.
When you can explain to me the similarities between a civil rights movement in a basically peaceful and humane country that has a few bad problems and attempting to root out and destroy a terror network in a hostile country with an outlaw government, please let me know. It should be blatantly obvious to the most dimwitted five year old that these situations are not one size fits all, and you're not going to be able to use the same methods to resolve them.
He is saying he thinks bombings are wrong. All of the logic in the world will not convince you that it doesn't make him a crude asshole. If God himself tapped you on the shoulder and said it was wrong, you wouldn't believe it.
Not true. If he tells me what he thinks we should do instead and makes a credible case, while I may still disagree with him, I will at least acknowledge that he has a valid perspective. Right now, he's just a whiney punk who doesn't want to face reality unless that reality is cute and cuddly and happy, as far as I'm concerned. And yes, mindless no-solution-providing protests while your fellow countrymen are out there putting their lives in danger are pretty fucking crude. You want right and wrong, it is wrong to undercut the support those guys need to get home alive without so much as even suggesting what the alternatives to their actions might be. That's fucking wrong.

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

[ Parent ]
So... (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:52:50 PM EST

True enough, and with more justification. After you add in all the MIAs that are in fact dead, more than 60,000 US citizens died in that war, and most of them had no choice whatsoever about being there. The protests were a large part of why politicians hampered the generals, which is a large part of why those 60,000 people are FUCKING DEAD.

And yet, had we listened to all the pacifist crap, we wouldn't have been in the Vietnam situation in the first place.

Then neither do you, so why are you still talking?

Because I feel the need to express myself.

What IS "a national level," and how are you aware of it? Do you think such discussions start spontaneously of some mystical will of their own, or is it more likely that they arise from people like you and me talking, and from others hearing it, and talking, and so on?

National discussions usually start from our leaders hinting at or suggesting things. There was not a crusade to impeach Bill Clinton until his enemies in the government suggested it.

How precisely will you get anyone TO the international court, given that there is no law abiding government in Afghanistan? This "solution" requires the same military action we're taking right now - it isn't a solution, but rather a decision on what might be done in the aftermath of a real solution.

Again, this would take patience. Osama Bin Laden will eventually make a mistake in some way or another, and it will be possible to bring him to justice.

Because I don't have one. That's why I'm not out carrying signs saying the government is doing the wrong thing. If you're going to do that, then have the decency to tell them what they SHOULD be doing instead of just how wrong they are. Nobody respects(or listens to) a whiner with no ideas.

You don't have a solution, yet you are slamming him? I see nothing wrong with saying "I don't have a solution, but this certainly doesn't make sense to me."

When you can explain to me the similarities between a civil rights movement in a basically peaceful and humane country that has a few bad problems and attempting to root out and destroy a terror network in a hostile country with an outlaw government, please let me know. It should be blatantly obvious to the most dimwitted five year old that these situations are not one size fits all, and you're not going to be able to use the same methods to resolve them.

There are plenty of parallels. The great majority of people elected in the south were openly racist, and acted on this, in much the same way that the Taliban is intolerant of non-Muslims. The only reason the southern states obeyed the laws is because they had been defeated in a Civil War.

You want right and wrong, it is wrong to undercut the support those guys need to get home alive without so much as even suggesting what the alternatives to their actions might be. That's fucking wrong.

Anti-war protestors are yelling to bring the troops home, which is out of harms way you should note. How does this further the cause of them getting killed?

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Not watching the news? (4.00 / 4) (#106)
by Anatta on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:28:35 PM EST

Anti-war protestors are yelling to bring the troops home, which is out of harms way you should note.

Apparently you haven't heard... you should go to the New York Times and look at the Sept. 12th edition.

There is no "out of harms way" anymore.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Ok (2.00 / 1) (#110)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:40:27 PM EST

So then why don't you go take a vacation in Afghanistan and stroll around downtown Kabul. It is much better to have our troops at home than on the battlefield.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Simple solution... (5.00 / 1) (#522)
by beergut on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 03:54:08 PM EST

"Fuck it."

Yep, that's right. Fuck it.

Bring our troops home. From everywhere. Then, we wouldn't need a standing army.

Stop propping up other governments. Everywhere. Meaning, no more foreign aid. Of any kind. Then, our taxes would go down, and nobody else's nose could get out of joint because of our "imperialism."

Trade with us? Fine.

Fuck with us? You wouldn't want to do that. While we have no standing army now, our navy can still obliterate you.

Invade us? Yeah, right. You'd get about a mile inland before you were cut to ribbons by the armed citizens.

Protect and exercise your Second Amendment rights, and disentangle us from foreign problems, and then we can talk turkey.

Otherwise, if you want to be involved in wacko organizations like the U.N., and have our fingers in everyone else's pie (foreign aid,) then don't make the mistake of sticking your head in the sand.

Remember, when your head's in the sand, your ass is in the air, and you can't hear a zipper.

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 ]

How to always be right (5.00 / 4) (#113)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:55:20 PM EST

And yet, had we listened to all the pacifist crap, we wouldn't have been in the Vietnam situation in the first place.
Or maybe, just maybe, our leaders knew more of Soviet plans than a bunch of hippie street protesters, and were right about their claims that Soviet expansionism had to be stopped. It'll be a hundred years before all the evidence is declassified and we can really say for sure, but obviously you don't care about facts. And hey, if you don't care about facts, you can always be "right."
National discussions usually start from our leaders hinting at or suggesting things.
You've been listening to Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw, haven't you? This statement of yours has no relationship to reality. Leaders become aware of issues because of concern for them among other people; they are not omniscient and supernaturally wise beings.
Osama Bin Laden will eventually make a mistake in some way or another, and it will be possible to bring him to justice.
This is called "wishful thinking." If your argument were a mathematical proof, this step would say "and then a miracle happens." Typical pacifist attitude - if we just stick our heads in the sand and wait, things will work out fine! Real life doesn't work that way. Why would he make a mistake? How do you know he will? What sort of mistake? (Remember, all he has to do, if we take the pacifist stance, is sit tight, continue to prop up the Taliban regime, and keep training people to kill our citizens. There are no mistakes to be made in this plan which would ever expose bin Laden to any international court.)
You don't have a solution, yet you are slamming him?
Notice that I'm not the one carrying a protest sign.
I see nothing wrong with saying "I don't have a solution, but this certainly doesn't make sense to me."
Saying it is one thing. Trying to legitimize it as a point of view, which will create among the mass of people who do not think critically an opposition to war despite the fact that they have no better solution, will create another Vietnam. Lots of dead people, and nothing to show for it. These people are making a bad situation worse. Which is why the media isn't covering them, I'd bet.
The only reason the southern states obeyed the laws is because they had been defeated in a Civil War.
And yet you think a government like the Taliban will ever give us bin Laden without a fight. You're making my point for me here... maybe I should just sit back and let you keep going, and soon everyone will agree with me!
Anti-war protestors are yelling to bring the troops home, which is out of harms way you should note.
Home to where? Hopefully not NYC. Your concept of "harm's way" is out of date as of 9/11/2001.

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

[ Parent ]
You fail (2.66 / 3) (#142)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:17:55 PM EST

Being reactionary certainly isn't how to always be right.

Or maybe, just maybe, our leaders knew more of Soviet plans than a bunch of hippie street protesters, and were right about their claims that Soviet expansionism had to be stopped. It'll be a hundred years before all the evidence is declassified and we can really say for sure, but obviously you don't care about facts. And hey, if you don't care about facts, you can always be "right."

Facts? I see no facts. Here is one: Ho Chi Minh was democratically elected. Self-determination anyone? Only if they elect people we like.

You've been listening to Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw, haven't you? This statement of yours has no relationship to reality. Leaders become aware of issues because of concern for them among other people; they are not omniscient and supernaturally wise beings.

Leaders lead. They don't follow. This is why they are called our country's leaders. I don't recall the general public becoming paranoid about communism... it was all brought on my our leadership.

This is called "wishful thinking." If your argument were a mathematical proof, this step would say "and then a miracle happens." Typical pacifist attitude - if we just stick our heads in the sand and wait, things will work out fine! Real life doesn't work that way. Why would he make a mistake? How do you know he will? What sort of mistake? (Remember, all he has to do, if we take the pacifist stance, is sit tight, continue to prop up the Taliban regime, and keep training people to kill our citizens. There are no mistakes to be made in this plan which would ever expose bin Laden to any international court.)

Saying things like "typical pacifist attitude" certainly isn't productive, nor does it prove your point. Slinging mud is a childish tactic, and has no place in a civilized discussion.

Notice that I'm not the one carrying a protest sign.

No you aren't, but you sure do support the current action. Therefore, you think that they are a solution.

Saying it is one thing. Trying to legitimize it as a point of view, which will create among the mass of people who do not think critically an opposition to war despite the fact that they have no better solution, will create another Vietnam. Lots of dead people, and nothing to show for it. These people are making a bad situation worse. Which is why the media isn't covering them, I'd bet.

Please backup your claims that the Vietnam war protestors caused the deaths of soldiers, and why we had a right to be in Vietnam anyways, since we were trying to oust an elected leader.

And yet you think a government like the Taliban will ever give us bin Laden without a fight. You're making my point for me here... maybe I should just sit back and let you keep going, and soon everyone will agree with me!

No. Not true at all. The Taliban said they'd hand over Bin Laden if provided with evidence, to which we firmly said "NO!" How ridiculous, to ask for evidence. They told the Taliban that Bin Laden was guilty, so they should have handed him over anyways. Yeah... sure.

Home to where? Hopefully not NYC. Your concept of "harm's way" is out of date as of 9/11/2001.

Is it? Screw it then! Let's have the walk around fields around the world clearing land mines, since they are obviously safe no matter where they go.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Facts? You call those facts?! (5.00 / 4) (#147)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:59:07 PM EST

Ho Chi Minh was democratically elected.
In the same manner as was Nikita Kruschev, yes.
Leaders lead. They don't follow. This is why they are called our country's leaders. I don't recall the general public becoming paranoid about communism... it was all brought on my our leadership.
You don't recall? You weren't there. The "Red Scare" did not start with Joe McCarthy, although admittedly he did popularize it. He inherited that idea from others. Most initiatives of our "leaders" are actually ideas fed to them by various intellectuals of one sort or another. There's a reason people covet access to leaders in high places, you know. As for "Leaders lead," this is such a horrible misunderstanding of leadership that I'm beginning to wonder if you've ever led anything bigger than a group of friends headed out to get lunch. Good leaders often follow, and more often listen.
Saying things like "typical pacifist attitude" certainly isn't productive, nor does it prove your point. Slinging mud is a childish tactic, and has no place in a civilized discussion.
Ok, but now answer the central point I made, which is that you are engaged in wishful thinking regarding the likelihood of getting bin Laden by peaceful means. Furthermore, explain how we could shut down his whole organization by such means, and do so in light of the fact, mentioned below, that it is considered likely that the Taliban is in fact a puppet show run by Osama himself. No more hiding behind "you're being mean to me" rhetoric - I say you've committed a reasoning error on a specific point, and if you want a "civilized discussion," then do the civilized thing and answer that charge.
No you aren't, but you sure do support the current action
Actually, as I've said elsewhere, I'm very ambivalent about it. I don't think it will succeed, you see. To paraphrase your above quoted remarks: Making up positions and ascribing them to your opponents is a childish tactic, and has no place in a civilized discussion.
Please backup your claims that the Vietnam war protestors caused the deaths of soldiers,
The general consensus among historians is that we could have achieved our goals in Vietnam with much fewer casualties than we incurred in failing had the generals been allowed to run the war as they saw fit, but that they were hampered by political interference designed to appease pacifist elements of the US electorate. This is common knowledge; I do not have to back it up, but rather, you need to read a history book.
and why we had a right to be in Vietnam anyways, since we were trying to oust an elected leader.
See above on "elected leader," and also ask yourself this: since when has a decision about going to war ever been about any country's right to be anywhere? Nobody cares about rights when he goes to kill people.
The Taliban said they'd hand over Bin Laden if provided with evidence, to which we firmly said "NO!"
The Taliban said they'd hand him over or else try him locally. The truth is, they were hoping to get evidence and get a world consensus that they should be allowed to try him, so that they could let him off with a slap on the wrist. Similarly, they claim to have taken away all his communications, despite the fact that we have photos from as late as August of him travelling in a convoy of SUVs equipped with satellite uplinks. They're lying to preserve a known terrorist and his organization. This is why we don't recognize them as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

In fact, the opinion of many ex-Taliban people who've left the country is that in fact the Taliban is basically a puppet state backed covertly by bin Laden, and that as such, he's essentially untouchable while he remains in Afghanistan. Think about that before you answer the above question about wishful thinking.
Is it? Screw it then! Let's have the walk around fields around the world clearing land mines, since they are obviously [not] safe no matter where they go.
If(and I say if, because I'm quite uncertain of this) military action can remove bin Laden's organization, thereby making us safer in the US, then your statement makes no sense. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to try.

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

[ Parent ]
So which is it... (4.00 / 1) (#308)
by PhillipW on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:59:00 PM EST

Do you support the action, or do you think it will fail?

In the same manner as was Nikita Kruschev, yes.

The elections were US backed.

You don't recall? You weren't there. The "Red Scare" did not start with Joe McCarthy, although admittedly he did popularize it. He inherited that idea from others. Most initiatives of our "leaders" are actually ideas fed to them by various intellectuals of one sort or another. There's a reason people covet access to leaders in high places, you know. As for "Leaders lead," this is such a horrible misunderstanding of leadership that I'm beginning to wonder if you've ever led anything bigger than a group of friends headed out to get lunch. Good leaders often follow, and more often listen.

Well it sure didn't start with the average citizen saying "You know, those damned commies are evil, and want our blood." Those with power in this country started their "Communism is evil" bullcrap rhetoric.

Ok, but now answer the central point I made, which is that you are engaged in wishful thinking regarding the likelihood of getting bin Laden by peaceful means. Furthermore, explain how we could shut down his whole organization by such means, and do so in light of the fact, mentioned below, that it is considered likely that the Taliban is in fact a puppet show run by Osama himself. No more hiding behind "you're being mean to me" rhetoric - I say you've committed a reasoning error on a specific point, and if you want a "civilized discussion," then do the civilized thing and answer that charge.

I do not hide behind "you're being me to me rhetoric." However, I do not respond when people behave like children, and start slinging mud.

How many more times do I have to tell you that Bin Laden needs to be tried in court. And don't give me that line about the Taliban refusing to hand him over. They offered to if we would show proof, but that was totally refused. We had our chance, and we passed it up. We would have been totally justified to send in the UN to extract Bin Laden from Afghanistan had we provided evidence, and then they not hand him over. But I suppose this is just more pacifist crap eh?

Actually, as I've said elsewhere, I'm very ambivalent about it. I don't think it will succeed, you see. To paraphrase your above quoted remarks: Making up positions and ascribing them to your opponents is a childish tactic, and has no place in a civilized discussion.

I have derived what I believe your position to be from other posts, such as the one linked to above. Calling me a child for attacking a position you take seems rather silly to me.

The general consensus among historians is that we could have achieved our goals in Vietnam with much fewer casualties than we incurred in failing had the generals been allowed to run the war as they saw fit, but that they were hampered by political interference designed to appease pacifist elements of the US electorate. This is common knowledge; I do not have to back it up, but rather, you need to read a history book.

Our goals, of course, to pick off an elected leader. Not very noble.

The general consensus among historians is that we could have achieved our goals in Vietnam with much fewer casualties than we incurred in failing had the generals been allowed to run the war as they saw fit, but that they were hampered by political interference designed to appease pacifist elements of the US electorate. This is common knowledge; I do not have to back it up, but rather, you need to read a history book.

Once again, it wasn't our place to be there in the first place.

The Taliban said they'd hand him over or else try him locally. The truth is, they were hoping to get evidence and get a world consensus that they should be allowed to try him, so that they could let him off with a slap on the wrist.

They wouldn't get that kind of consensus, seeing as to how the WTC bombing killed people from around the world, and Osama Bin Laden's attacks have been made in more than just the US.

Similarly, they claim to have taken away all his communications, despite the fact that we have photos from as late as August of him travelling in a convoy of SUVs equipped with satellite uplinks. They're lying to preserve a known terrorist and his organization. This is why we don't recognize them as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

No, we do not recognize them as a legitimate government because they are intolerant and fascist, and siezed power in a horrible coup. The terrorism came later.

In fact, the opinion of many ex-Taliban people who've left the country is that in fact the Taliban is basically a puppet state backed covertly by bin Laden, and that as such, he's essentially untouchable while he remains in Afghanistan. Think about that before you answer the above question about wishful thinking.

I realize this. Bin Laden harbors the Taliban, not really the other way around. I have no problem with removing them from power, and have said this before. The objectives of stopping Bin Laden are not the problem. The problem is that people are looking at this and thinking that military is the only solution, which is exactly why this whole thread started. It's a horrible idea to send troops in when we don't think it will accomplish our goal. Because then what have you got? A bunch of dead soldiers, and nothing done.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Ah... (5.00 / 1) (#321)
by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:32:07 PM EST

Do you support the action, or do you think it will fail?
I think it is doing well in terms of coalition building, as I said in the post you linked. I think that so far, it has worked well. I still think there will be far more difficulty in actually taking out al Queda than anyone is admitting, and it probably will be an intractable task short of using means we are (probably correctly) unwilling to use.
The elections were US backed.
There have been a lot of foreign elections with US backing that didn't actually have fair results. Just look at South America. So what?
Well it sure didn't start with the average citizen saying "You know, those damned commies are evil, and want our blood." Those with power in this country started their "Communism is evil" bullcrap rhetoric.
Um... communism as it existed in real countries WAS evil. That wasn't "bullcrap rhetoric." And as for where it started, it started among intellectuals - not politicians. It reached the public about the same time it reached the pols. The shameful part about McCarthy is that he enjoyed widespread support among the people, because they agreed with him before he ever got started, and only later realized what a nutbag he was.
How many more times do I have to tell you that Bin Laden needs to be tried in court.
You know, I really don't believe that. At some point, after deliberately admitting multiple terrorist attacks, praising terrorism, and saying you will do it again, and when you run the government of an entire nation covertly, you are at war, rather than just engaged in criminal activity, and when you are at war, and you are the leader, you are a legitimate target, as per international law.
And don't give me that line about the Taliban refusing to hand him over. They offered to if we would show proof, but that was totally refused. We had our chance, and we passed it up.
They did not offer. They said they would consider it, but that they'd rather try him at home. Given that you admit in your post that the Taliban is controlled by al Queda, what makes you think they'd EVER hand him over to the Great Satan?
We would have been totally justified to send in the UN to extract Bin Laden from Afghanistan had we provided evidence, and then they not hand him over.
The UN wouldn't do that. They only do peacekeeping missions, and have neither the will nor the capability to engage in this sort of thing.
They wouldn't get that kind of consensus, seeing as to how the WTC bombing killed people from around the world, and Osama Bin Laden's attacks have been made in more than just the US.
True, but they'd take the evidence, conduct a show trial, and then slap that wrist anyway, and at that point, support for military action to retrieve him would have dwindled considerably, getting them what they wanted. At that point, we'd have to engage in unilateral action, and pacifist goons such as yourself would be even louder, and people in predominately Islamic nations would hate the US even more. What a great plan.
No, we do not recognize them as a legitimate government because they are intolerant and fascist, and siezed power in a horrible coup.
We recognize lots of governments that fit that bill. You're just being silly now.
I realize this. Bin Laden harbors the Taliban, not really the other way around. I have no problem with removing them from power, and have said this before.
How do you think you can remove a regime like the Taliban without a military action? You think harsh words will do it? No. You think economic sanctions might do it? They already are trading in heroin, which is banned pretty much everywhere, and they're making money. Sanctions won't do anything. The only way to get them is to fight them.

As for bin Laden, he is only one man. al Queda would go on without him. How do you propose to get rid of al Queda without military action?

I don't hold out much hope for the current action, but it is probably more likely to succeed than any alternative. I can't really throw support behind it, because I'm afraid it will be a disaster, but I can't really oppose it, because I think it is the best of a whole lot of bad options.

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

[ Parent ]
I'm getting tired of this.... (5.00 / 3) (#161)
by glothar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:02:50 AM EST

The Taliban said they'd hand over Bin Laden if provided with evidence, to which we firmly said "NO!" How ridiculous, to ask for evidence.

Osama bin Laden has admitted to several terrorist attacks on the US. Really, whether he was involved in the most recent one or not, he himself admitted guilt to several others. Do you mean to imply the Taliban think he wasn't involved?

Wow. You are naive.

[ Parent ]

not to mention (3.66 / 3) (#216)
by Ender Ryan on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:43:32 AM EST

That Al Queda (sp?) has threatened us with more Airliner attacks if we do not meet their demands. Sounds pretty much like admitting guilt for the first Airliner attacks to me...

This nonsense about "proof" is getting really ridiculous. The U.S. stated that it would not simply hand out the proof because that would comprimise our sources, and after Bush met with UN representitives and revealed evidence to them, they all agreed.

Also, the Taliban is a hostile regime who has supported bin Laden in the past and has called for Jihad against Americans itself, how can you expect to cooperate with such a state?

Getting really sick of this nonsense...


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

Admittance (3.50 / 2) (#279)
by PhillipW on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:54:36 PM EST

Even if the accused admits guilt, so long as it is outside of a court of law, the trial must still go on. This is court, not the playground at school.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
No, actually... (3.66 / 3) (#286)
by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:08:16 PM EST

When a government deliberately supports someone like bin Laden and his call for a war against you(they today said they're now supporting bin Laden, so all talk of this being speculation on my part is horseshit as of now,) that's not a criminal act. That's an act of war, and you don't respond with a trial. You respond with massive military retaliation, and you destroy that government. We'll regret not doing it in Iraq for decades; we'd best do it right in Afghanistan. The moment the Taliban announced their support for bin Laden, his jihad, and his terrorist intent to blow up more aircraft and so on, they became the enemy, as far as I'm concerned. The Afghan people are mostly innocent, but as long as the Taliban is in power, even the treaties negotiated by leftist hippie dumbasses at the UN don't prevent us from going after them under the present circumstances. Get over it.

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

[ Parent ]
laughable! (3.50 / 2) (#306)
by Ender Ryan on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:58:36 PM EST

LOL! You crack me up, that is the first time someone on K5 has actually made me laugh out loud while wasting my time here at work...

What court are you talking about? Who's law?

I'm sorry, but this is the real world, terrorists being harbored by rogue states who support them don't appear at a court to be tried for their crimes.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

I am aware (none / 0) (#311)
by PhillipW on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:04:46 PM EST

...of people not showing up for their trials. That is what arrest is for. If someone refuses to show up for their trial we arrest them, not blow the fuck out of the neighborhood they are residing in.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
arrest? (none / 0) (#318)
by Ender Ryan on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:24:38 PM EST

So, let's march into Afghanistan and arrest bin Laden... Right...

Even if that were possible, which it isn't, what do we do about the Taliban, which has now voiced its support of bin Laden? Does that not make the Taliban a terrorist state? Shouldn't the Taliban be removed?

It's unfortuneate, but there are times when war is necessary. This is one of those times.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

A correction (none / 0) (#143)
by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:18:44 PM EST

That last clause should read "since they are obviously unsafe no matter where they go."

-Phil
[ Parent ]
You sure you're not a Republican? (none / 0) (#144)
by roystgnr on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:26:00 PM EST

As far as I've seen, most libertarians believe that forcing people to go halfway around the world against their will, kill others, and possibly be killed themselves, is a bad thing. Most libertarians also believe that vocally denouncing bad things is a good thing...

[ Parent ]
Heh (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:10:49 PM EST

I can't see any way in which a volunteer military can be "forced" to do anything. When you sign up, you KNOW what you're signing up for. Maybe not where, or when, but you do know, and they take pains to spell it out for you in detail.

Libertarians of most stripes are not pacifists. They believe that self defense, either of an individual or a nation, is a proper and just thing to do. The only remaining question, of course, is whether or not going after al Queda(sp?) is self defense. I think it is, but I do not think we're going to succeed doing it, and therefore I'm very ambivalent about our present actions.

However, I strongly oppose the head-in-sand pacifism that many people are espousing. When you ignore a bully, he doesn't go away. He hits you again.

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

[ Parent ]
Clarification (none / 0) (#327)
by roystgnr on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:53:09 PM EST

I can't see any way in which a volunteer military can be "forced" to do anything. When you sign up, you KNOW what you're signing up for.

That assumes you sign up. Vietnam (and WWI, WWII, Korea...) was not fought by a volunteer army.

[ Parent ]

You want solutions? I got solutions! (none / 0) (#189)
by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:22:38 AM EST

You aren't actually looking to solve anything, or even provide the means or idea behind a solution.

Ok, my ideas:

1) Provide the evidence of bin-Laden's guilt to the Taliban, they asked for it we refused. Point out that killing inocent people is anti-Islamic and so bin-Laden is anti-Islamic and not worthy of their protection.

If that fails:
2) Lean on Pakistan, the Taliban need the support of Pakistan, so they have a lot of influence. Pakistan needs stuff from the west (lifting of trade sanction following nuclear testing for example).

Failing that:
3) Offer the Taliban lots of help (food, reconstruction aid, recognition, etc etc) in return for bin-Laden. If we can persuade them that what they were doing was for the greater good of the Afghan people (and them) they might agree. We could even lean on the Northern Alliance to agree to partition the country thus securing the Taliban's Islamic revolution. This has the added benifit that we then become their friends, and can influence them to ease up on some of their more repressive policies, (not to mention their opium production).

If that fails:
4)Offer one of the Taliban factions (of which there are several) help to give us bin-Ladens location and "look the other way" while we went to get him. The more moderate elements in the Taliban dislike bin-Laden and his arab extremeists already, one of them might be willing to do a deal if we offered the right incentive (this could be a large quantity of cash in a secret bank account, or food for the people in the region he controls or whatever seemed appropriate)

If that fails:
5) Wait for bin-Laden to make a mistake (like try and communicate with the outside world using his satalite phone) and have a unit of speacial forces types waiting to jump on him at a moments notice. Patience is a virtue after all.

Is that enough ideas for you? I could probably come up with more if I thought about it a bit. Notice that I havn't at any point suggested bombing anybody, but instead have focused on acheiving justice against the alleged organiser of the attacks.

Oh and if you want ideas on how to deal with the root causes I have some of those as well, and guess what? None of them require cruise missiles either!

bil


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

But, I'm not sure I understand your strategy (none / 0) (#274)
by billman on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:49:23 PM EST

First of all, we did 2 & 3. We would never do #1 because the demand for proof was not a valid request, it was a delay tactic common in negotiations. The demand for proof was the Taliban's way of saying "No".

So you're probably saying "We didn't do #3" and I would say that there's more than a good chance that the US extended a covert offer to the Taliban via the Pakistani diplomats. It was probably along the lines of "Let us go in there and get him and we'll . . . [insert your ransom demand here. lift sanctions, offer to sell arms, etc.]. With the way the US is handing out favors in exchange for bin Laden's head, it's highly unlikely that the US did not make covert offers before labeling the Taliban as hostile to US interests.

#4 is such a big "if" that any serious strategist would dismiss it without comment. The Taliban holds public executions for things like women driving cars. Who would risk their life because they hated Osama that much? The only upside that could be worth the risk is if we promised to help destabalize the Taliban clearing this person's way to gain power.

#5 is just too risky for the US. What if bin Laden was able to carry out 4 or 5 more strikes agains the US before he slipped up? How many lives are you willing to risk in order to avoid using massive military force?

And to sort of just wrap this up, based on your suggestions, at the end of this, the Taliban is still in power and still putting slugs into people's heads for entertainment. I can't make this point more clear that these people are just so out of touch with the rest of the world that it's almost insane. Before all of this started, one journalist asked a Taliban official if he thought it was right that the Taliban use the soccer stadium that was built with international relief funds to conduct public executions. And in 100% seriousness, he responded that the international community should assist the Taliban in building an execution stadium so they could return the soccer stadium to its intended use.

[ Parent ]

Strategy (none / 0) (#289)
by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:20:44 PM EST

We would never do #1 because the demand for proof was not a valid request, it was a delay tactic common in negotiations. The demand for proof was the Taliban's way of saying "No".
Pointless blather. Asking for proof is always a valid request. In addition, what on Earth is the justification for refusing to supply proof on the grounds that the Taliban might not believe it? Supply the damn evidence. Let the Taliban say "No" at their own peril after that. What the fuck does it have to do with "delaying tactics"? The bombing begun a month after the attacks: that was more than enough time to wait for a response and still continue to build up troops in the region.

The Taliban were not the only ones who asked for proof, half of the entire world asked for some evidence of OBL's guilt also. The only ones who have been applying delaying tactics are the US who first promised to show the "convincing evidence", then backed down on that promise, then released via UK PM Tony Blair a document consisting mainly of circumstantial crap about the embassy bombings and the WTC bombing in 1993. The entire "evidence", so far, consists of pointing out what a bad boy Bin Laden has been in the past, and how he's likely to be the guy who planned the Sept 11 attacks. That's not "proof". That's not even circumstantial evidence.

So you're probably saying "We didn't do #3" and I would say that there's more than a good chance that the US extended a covert offer to the Taliban via the Pakistani diplomats. It was probably along the lines of "Let us go in there and get him and we'll . . . [insert your ransom demand here. lift sanctions, offer to sell arms, etc.]. With the way the US is handing out favors in exchange for bin Laden's head, it's highly unlikely that the US did not make covert offers before labeling the Taliban as hostile to US interests.
The US announced early on, in no uncertain terms, that there would be no negotiations with the Taliban, and there weren't. It was obvious from the git-go that Afghanistan would be attacked, as people have been saying on this site from day 1, and it was obvious to Pakistan as well, since they withdrew support for their protegés with alacrity. No sense in backing the scapegoat.

Somebody had to pay for the Sept 11 bombing, and Afghanistan was volunteerd for the position 15 minutes after the second tower toppled.

[ Parent ]

Nope (4.00 / 1) (#457)
by billman on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 03:24:19 AM EST

Asking for proof is always a valid request.

Perhaps if the Taliban was a recognized government and not also suspected of being an accomplice that argument might hold some water.

That's not even circumstantial evidence.

Do you recognize the difference between a trial by jury and cause for military action? Perhaps you're a little confused about sequence of events . . . the UN gave the thumbs up to "self-defense" which to most people (probably not thick headed lefties) attacks against those who had attacked the US. The whole world did not ask for evidence because . . . THEIR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES GAVE US MOST OF THE PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Show me the requests of France, Germany, Australia, China, Russia, or whoever asking for proof. Won't happen because it didn't happen.

If you believe that there's some room for doubt about OBL's guilt, then I should probably just quit responding because you and I will never see eye to eye. Having been interested in terrorism prior to Sept. 11, it was obvious by the time the second plane hit (unless you can quote more than two books on the subject of international terrorism, shut the hell up because you're nothing more than an armchair quarterback). Of course, if you're looking to build a beyond a reasonable doubt case, that will never happen. I mean, he's done all but admit it and I'm sure even if he did, the anti-war people would try to find some way out of that too.

[ Parent ]

Ah, good (3.66 / 3) (#290)
by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:21:08 PM EST

I was getting sick of that PhillipW whiner continually trying to accuse me of being mean to him and refusing to answer the question. Thanks for not doing that:)
1) Provide the evidence of bin-Laden's guilt to the Taliban, they asked for it we refused. Point out that killing inocent people is anti-Islamic and so bin-Laden is anti-Islamic and not worthy of their protection.
Seeing as the Taliban does all sorts of things that are "anti-Islamic" every day, I doubt they'll care. bin Laden is a national hero in Afghanistan, for his role in the war against the USSR. They're not going to give him up, all the moreso because he fights against the US, which they consider to be the enemy. Our leaders have known this for years; why you don't is beyond me. They said they "might" hand him over, but they said they "would" try him at home. Do you think they'd really punish a national hero? About as likely as us handing Henry Kissinger over for a war crimes tribunal.
2) Lean on Pakistan, the Taliban need the support of Pakistan, so they have a lot of influence. Pakistan needs stuff from the west (lifting of trade sanction following nuclear testing for example).
Pakistan already read the riot act to the Taliban, which responded by telling them to eat a dick. We tried this method.
3) Offer the Taliban lots of help (food, reconstruction aid, recognition, etc etc) in return for bin-Laden.
You think they'd be caught dead accepting help from the Great Satan? No Islamic fundies(such as themselves) would ever speak to them again! They wouldn't get invited to any of the rich Arab guy parties on yachts! No way, man. (Seriously, this is absurd; we already were providing more aid to Afghanistan than you would believe, and they didn't care.)

The Taliban would never agree to your (snipped) idea about partitioning the country, and furthermore, they're not going to give up their heroin trade, as it is the only real valuable export they've got. You are failing to recognize that the Taliban is not subject to diplomatic pressure; they're fundies. In addition, it is looking more and more likely as time goes on that ex-Taliban forces that have defected are telling the truth, and the Taliban really IS a puppet state run by and for Osama bin Laden and his organization.
Offer one of the Taliban factions (of which there are several) help to give us bin-Ladens location and "look the other way" while we went to get him.
You do realize that the price of being found out would be complete extermination, right? You'd have to offer quite a lot more than this deal is worth to make it happen, and even then, his organization would still be there; you would only get the head, and a new head would pop up to take his place.
5) Wait for bin-Laden to make a mistake (like try and communicate with the outside world using his satalite phone) and have a unit of speacial forces types waiting to jump on him at a moments notice. Patience is a virtue after all.
We've been waiting since the early 90s doing just this. We tried to nail him once using his phone, so now he never turns it on. How long should we wait, while they keep killing our people?
Notice that I havn't at any point suggested bombing anybody, but instead have focused on acheiving justice against the alleged organiser of the attacks.
True enough, but you have nowhere suggested how to destroy al Queda, which is necessary, and you have nowhere suggested anything likely to work at a reasonable cost. Your plans, at best, even if they got bin Laden, would not stop attacks on Americans, and would probably increase them in fact. (You are aware, are you not, that the WTC bombers from the early 90s were convicted on Sept 11? An interesting coincidence, I say, and one oddly not seeing wide reporting in the media.) That's not justice. That's self immolation.

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

[ Parent ]
My pleasure. (none / 0) (#474)
by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:56:13 AM EST

Seeing as the Taliban does all sorts of things that are "anti-Islamic" every day, I doubt they'll care.

Get some leading Islamic scholars to declare the attacks un-Islamic broadcast the fact worldwide. This might not work on the Taliban or on bin-Laden but at least you've tried. It gives the Taliban a chance to give in with honour ("we're not doing this for America but for Allah!!"). More importantly it gives people who might support bin-Laden (including a whole new generation of terrorists) have one more reason to stop and think that what they are doing may be un-Islamic and therefore not a good idea.

They said they "might" hand him over, but they said they "would" try him at home. Do you think they'd really punish a national hero? About as likely as us handing Henry Kissinger over for a war crimes tribunal.

But how much effort would it have taken to call their bluff? Evidence was presented to the UK media (and I'm sure others), write that on a piece of paper, fax it to the US ambassador in Pakistan, get him to take it round to the Talibans ambassadors house (stopping only to pick up some journalists on the way). Job done. One more way in which the US would be in the right (and be seen to be in the right), one less defence for the Taliban in the popaganda war, and hell it might even have worked...

You think they'd be caught dead accepting help from the Great Satan? No Islamic fundies(such as themselves) would ever speak to them again!

Then be clever about it. Get Pakistan to make the offer so bin-Laden is handed over to them in return for Pakistani aid (Of course the Pakistanis got it from Eygpt who got it from the UN who got it from France who got it from the UK who got it from the US, but its well laundered) The Pakistanis will then put bin-Laden on trial in an international court to "prove his innocence to the world" and the wheels of justice turn.

The Taliban would never agree to your (snipped) idea about partitioning the country, and furthermore, they're not going to give up their heroin trade, as it is the only real valuable export they've got.

How do you know they wouldn't accept partition? Have you (the US, not you personly) asked them? How much effort would it take to try (your ambassador could even ask while he's delivering the evidence to the Taliban ambasador, and so save on his petrol (gas) expenses!

The Afghan heroin/opium trade is worth about $500million, Bush has $40billion to play with, for that you could easily pay them to produce food, imagine what half that amount could do to rebuild Afghanistan and give them something real and tangable to loose if they were involved in terrorism again.

[snipped stuff about buying off a Taliban commander] You do realize that the price of being found out would be complete extermination, right? You'd have to offer quite a lot more than this deal is worth to make it happen, and even then,

Again you have $40billion to play with, and the average monthly wage in Afghanistan is about $8. Thats a hell of a lot of leverage, enough, I would suspect to persuade one of the sections of the Taliban to risk death. If Taliban fighters are defecting already without incentives how much would you need to persuade them betray their old ally (who, as I say, many of them dont like anyway) remember meany of the Taliban used to fight for other factions, they've changed sides before, they can do it again.

his organization would still be there; you would only get the head, and a new head would pop up to take his place.

His organization exists in 60 countries worldwide, you could turn Afghanistan into a radioactive wasteland and not destroy the whole thing.

you have nowhere suggested how to destroy al Queda, which is necessary, and you have nowhere suggested anything likely to work at a reasonable cost. Your plans, at best, even if they got bin Laden, would not stop attacks on Americans, and would probably increase them in fact.

Bombing Afgahanistan is not going to destroy Al-Queda (which I agree wiould be a Good Thing ), and it too costs a lot, how much for a cruise missile? $1million? how much for a bomb plus fuel to fly it half way round the world? and then you take into account those civilians who will inevitably killed no matter how accurate you try to be (80% accuracy is good but still leaves a 20% chance of hitting the wrong thing, I hear a mosque was hit in Jalahbad). And finally, how does bombing prevent attacks on America? most Al-Queda memebers aren't in Afghanistan (how many arrest in the US? 260? more?) is bombing going to do anything to persuade them not to retaliate? Or is it going to make them even more fanatical in their jihad?

bil


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

Not so good (none / 0) (#596)
by gambuzino on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:52:35 PM EST

I was getting sick of that PhillipW whiner continually trying to accuse me of being mean to him and refusing to answer the question.

That you label him as a whiner instead of accepting he has a different position from your own helps make Phillip W's case.

That you do so after he's apparently left the discussion and possibly won't defend himself (or even be aware of an attack) shows you are not confident in your arguments. Why can't you let your extensive discussion with him speak for itself?

People who can't argue often turn to abuse.

[ Parent ]
All has either been done, or won't be done (none / 0) (#449)
by bburton on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 01:20:33 AM EST

1) Provide the evidence of bin-Laden's guilt to the Taliban, they asked for it we refused. Point out that killing inocent people is anti-Islamic and so bin-Laden is anti-Islamic and not worthy of their protection.
Bush has already made his demands clear to the taliban, either give Bin Laden up, or we'll come in there and get him. Not negotiable.
If that fails:
2) Lean on Pakistan, the Taliban need the support of Pakistan, so they have a lot of influence. Pakistan needs stuff from the west (lifting of trade sanction following nuclear testing for example).
Doing that, we need as much middle eastern friends as we can get.
Failing that:
3) Offer the Taliban lots of help (food, reconstruction aid, recognition, etc etc) in return for bin-Laden. If we can persuade them that what they were doing was for the greater good of the Afghan people (and them) they might agree.
We could even lean on the Northern Alliance to agree to partition the country thus securing the Taliban's Islamic revolution. This has the added benifit that we then become their friends, and can influence them to ease up on some of their more repressive policies, (not to mention their opium production).
Remember Bush's policy? We treat terrorists and the countries that harbor them the same. We might as well just give Bin Laden food and blankets. Northern Alliance is much different than the taliban, and the Northern Alliance is our new best friend!
If that fails:
4) Offer one of the Taliban factions (of which there are several) help to give us bin-Ladens location and "look the other way" while we went to get him. The more moderate elements in the Taliban dislike bin-Laden and his arab extremeists already, one of them might be willing to do a deal if we offered the right incentive (this could be a large quantity of cash in a secret bank account, or food for the people in the region he controls or whatever seemed appropriate)
See response to 3. Besides I don't think that they would cooperate anyways.
If that fails:
5) Wait for bin-Laden to make a mistake (like try and communicate with the outside world using his satalite phone) and have a unit of speacial forces types waiting to jump on him at a moments notice. Patience is a virtue after all.
Trust me, we are doing this, and probably have been for a while. But he knows we are doing this, and thus is being very careful. Remember that he was trained by Americans so he knows how all this works.

[ Parent ]
It would never work (none / 0) (#531)
by khym on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 05:14:44 PM EST

Point out that killing inocent people is anti-Islamic and so bin-Laden is anti-Islamic and not worthy of their protection.
There's been past terrorist acts against the U.S. were there's not only good, publicly available evidence of Bin Laden's guilt, but he's also admitted to doing them. This happened years ago, yet the Taliban still harbours him. Their idea of Islam is much different from most other Muslims' concepts of Islam, so pointing out that he killed innocent people won't work (and they already know he's done that).
Offer the Taliban lots of help (food, reconstruction aid, recognition, etc etc) in return for bin-Laden. If we can persuade them that what they were doing was for the greater good of the Afghan people (and them) they might agree.
The Taliban (or the factions of the Taliban that are in control) think that they're the only government on Earth who are running things the way that Allah wants it run, and that Allah is backing them up. They're religious fanatics, giving them aid isn't going to change their minds.
Offer one of the Taliban factions (of which there are several) help to give us bin-Ladens location and "look the other way" while we went to get him.

....

Wait for bin-Laden to make a mistake (like try and communicate with the outside world using his satalite phone) and have a unit of speacial forces types waiting to jump on him at a moments notice. Patience is a virtue after all.

And the nex time that we want a terrorist who's in Afghanistan, we do that again? If we keep on doing that, the Taliban would consider it an act of war, and declare war on us. If the Taliban repeatedly kidnapped people they considered criminals from the U.S., the U.S. would consider that an act of war.

--
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 ]
No choice (3.12 / 16) (#46)
by nobbystyles on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:46:11 PM EST

Sit back and do nothing and let them get away unpunished. Yes that will stop the terrorists, I'm sure.

I hate pacifists as they believe in some fantasy world where the lambs sit down with the lions and we all live in peace.

Bollocks, war is something that you have to resort to as there a lot of very nasty people out there. Do it with minimal casualties but sometimes the death of these madman is the only way to achieve peace and you can't do that by sticking a flower in a Taliban tank's gun...

Consistency... (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:11:16 PM EST

There are many "christians", even priests, that don't see anything wrong with going and kill people. Hypocrats.

I agree with you, but I also can't stand all thess "God bless America" crap in the context of murdering other human beens. In the name of Allah, God Bless America. Suspiciously similar.

The name of God and Christ and Allah should be kept out of all this just out of pure shame.

Watched TV last night? All these pilots giving high fives to each other, embracing each other, smiling full of joy?

I almost vomit, honest. I almost vomit...




------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
::THWACK:: Welcome to reality. (none / 0) (#111)
by physicsgod on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:45:59 PM EST

It sucks. You may hold the belief that killing is wrong, period, but there are those of us who view killing x people to prevent the deaths of nx (n>2) people as the right thing to do. Who are you to tell me your religious beliefs are better than mine? BTW the Catholic Church has long recognized the concept of "just war" and has a series of mental guidlines to figure out what is and isn't just. Since these guys make thier living studying the bible (and presumably have a direct line to God) I'll take their word for it that "just war" isn't hypocritical.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I didn't see the same video... (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by eightball on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:08:17 PM EST

The only ones I saw both 'high fiv[ing] and embracing each other' were the ones who were dropping food not bombs.

[ Parent ]
I hope you are right. (1.00 / 1) (#232)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:39:01 AM EST

Honestly I do. War should nothing to celebrate. If it has to be done so be it, rejoicing on it would be sick.

If the ones celebrating were the ones dropping aid, good for them.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
But That's Part of the Problem (none / 0) (#267)
by billman on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:24:37 PM EST

You had no idea what you were talking about but formed an opinion and a level of disgust based on some images you couldn't be bothered to find out more about. Now, think how many other policies, actions, etc. you know nothing about that you're offering your opinions on.

[ Parent ]
Not on the BBC (none / 0) (#186)
by nobbystyles on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:27:08 AM EST

All I saw was british pilots sipping tea and keeping a 'stiff upper lip'...

[ Parent ]
history is not on your side (none / 0) (#196)
by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:54:55 AM EST

Sit back and do nothing and let them get away unpunished. Yes that will stop the terrorists, I'm sure

Come on, be honest. How did peace in Northern Ireland come about? Was it by violently putting down the IRA, interning them without trial, etc? Or was it by, more or less, letting convicted bombers out of jail scot free and giving them most of what they demanded?

Or to put it another way, do you care about revenge or results? Both answers are morally defensible, by the way.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Northern Ireland peace process started (none / 0) (#206)
by nobbystyles on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:51:26 AM EST

was when both the British and the IRA had reached a military stalemate. So force was being used by the British to achieve this stalemate. The IRA did not achieve their goal of a united Ireland and the resulting provincial government is similar in structure to power sharing one which collapsed under unionist and IRA pressure in 1974.

What are the clear aims of the Al Qheida terrorists? Vague wish for american involvement to stop in middle east or a generalised hatred of western culture? Is there anyone there to negotiate with? They are not so much a political groupimng like the IRA than a religious cult...

[ Parent ]
not sure I agree (3.00 / 2) (#228)
by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:18:24 AM EST

The history I remember is that Stormont 1 collapsed in the face of a general strike by unionists, and was largely supported by republicans. And the IRA only started their current campaign *after* the collapse.

Furthermore, you might consider the "other" IRA; the 1920s forerunner of the Provos. It was their original and almost complete success that led to there being a Northern Ireland to begin with.

As far as I'm aware, the demands of Al Quaeda are

  • A Palestinian homeland
  • International recognition of the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan
  • Departure of American troops from Saudi Arabia.


--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#236)
by nobbystyles on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:51:27 AM EST

As far as I'm aware, the demands of Al Quaeda are
  • A Palestinian homeland
  • International recognition of the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan
  • Departure of American troops from Saudi Arabia
  • if we granted these demands, you really reckon that Al Queida would stop then or as is more likely raise the stakes to other things that annoy them about the West and America in particular?

    Me thinks that these are justifications for their actions rather than actual demands.



    [ Parent ]
    Demands (5.00 / 1) (#277)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:53:26 PM EST

    Their demands seemed to me to be:


    Destruction of Israel and Jews out of the Middle East (or killed). Their statements have been much stronger than just a homeland for Palistineans (something I personally support).

    "Infadels" out of the Middle East (or at least SA, "holy lands" is ambiguous, might not just military). Besides, are they the government of Saudi Arabia? If not, how can this demand be considered reasonable?

    Also, does "holy lands" include Jerusalem? If so, this is an impossible demand and they know it. Jews and Christians find this city pretty holy too. I doesn't just belong to them (or Israel, or the Jews, or the Christians).


    On the "Taliban rules Afghanistan" demand:

    I thought that one of the big arguments against bombing Afghanistan was the Taliban != terrorists? Did they now admit that they are tied more closely together? If not, why is this demand coming from the terrorists?

    Personally, I think the Taliban is a disgusting theocracy whose goals are the fever dreams of madmen. But if they didn't help terrorists kill thousands of civilians in other countries, I would say leave them to lie in their own filth.

    Once they decided to side with indicted terrorists who have killed thousands, they made their own bed.



    [ Parent ]
    Crusader kingdoms (none / 0) (#338)
    by aphrael on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:39:43 PM EST

    "Infadels" out of the Middle East (or at least SA, "holy lands" is ambiguous, might not just military). Besides, are they the government of Saudi Arabia? If not, how can this demand be considered reasonable? Also, does "holy lands" include Jerusalem? If so, this is an impossible demand and they know it. Jews and Christians find this city pretty holy too. I doesn't just belong to them (or Israel, or the Jews, or the Christians).

    Almost certainly not. In islamic tradition, the Hejaz (the part of Arabia where mecca and medina are located) is supposed to be free from foreign influence, but jerusalem isn't particularly at issue. This is why, for example, the moslem princes of the area tolerated the crusader kingdoms, until they ventured into the Hejaz, at which point they were expelled from Palestine.

    [ Parent ]

    Jerusalem (none / 0) (#353)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:28:02 PM EST

    thanks for the response.

    I've read is that Jerusalem wasn't particularly important to Muslims historically. Your comment seems to agree with that.

    However, recently it has become much more important. The violence that started when Sharon visited his religion's holiest site shows this.

    Given that, is the long term historical perspective accurate in this case? Or does the violence triggered by Sharon's visit indicate that things have changed?

    So which lands _exactly_ must infadels leave?

    Who are these infadels, just U.S. soldiers, or any non-Muslim?

    Disregarding all this, what right does bin Laden have for demanding this?


    [ Parent ]
    Infidels and the Hejaz (none / 0) (#356)
    by aphrael on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:40:05 PM EST

    There are a couple of different issues here, which, as always, just makes it harder to tell what's going on. :)

    The infidels-out-of-the-Hejaz thing is one of the issues. It's a long-standing policy of various political entities; the Ottomans didn't allow 'infidels' in that part of Arabia, even though their policy in general was very tolerant of other religions (different religious communities were essentially self-governing, with their heads appointed by the sultan, and tax benefits being granted to moslems). Now, there are in actuality no foreigners in the Hejaz --- but this has gotten expanded to being infidels anywhere in Arabia. In particular, bin Laden is objecting to Saudi Arabia, but i'm sure that he finds Dhubai and Muscat just as obnoxious.

    Then there's the Palestinian thing. When Sharon went to pray and triggered rioting, it was a symbolic act that reflected a particular bone of contention in the local debate between the Israelis and the Palestinians over control of that land --- notably, the question of who would have sovereignty over the Temple Mount. The rest of the Arab world reflexively supports the Palestinian position on such issues --- but it's worth noting that they wouldn't care particularly if there were Jews, or Christians, in Palestine, as long as the state was a Palestinian one; they certainly didn't before.

    Where does bin Laden get the authority? Nowhere. But, by the same token, where do the people leading the anti-war protests get the authority for demanding that the US government stop bombing Afghanistan? *Leaving aside acts of terrorism for a moment*, thinking of bin Laden's role as being that of a leader of a protest movement isn't that far off. The things he's demanding are pretty broadly supported by the people in most Islamic coutnries, if not by their governments --- which is one of the causes of great instability throughout the region. Once you bring terrorism back into the picture, however, it changes; most people, even in that part of the world, disagree with the attacks on the wtc (although they aren't convinced that bin Laden was responsible). Does he have 'authority' to demand the things he's demanding? yes and no.

    [ Parent ]

    Protestors are not morally equal to terrorists (none / 0) (#375)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:13:15 PM EST

    I call BS on your comparison of OBL to anti-war protestors.

    You can't just ignore his acts.

    There is no moral equivalence between mostly non-violent protestors and a mass murdering terrorist.

    -----

    So you admit that the demands for _where_ inFidels are not allowed has expanded to at least all of SA. Are you really sure this doesn't include Jerusalem?

    After all, it was just a visit to Jerusalem that triggered Infatada II. Sounds like they don't want non-Muslims there either. How can you say they don't mind Jews there when the visit of one triggered a tremendous amount of violence?

    So I guess we disagree on the potential extent of the "holy lands", but they've already expanded from just the areas around a few holy sites to at least the whole of SA.

    You still didn't answer who are the infidels? (sh*t, I've been spelling it 'infadels' for at least a week)

    If they are all non-Muslims, it sounds a bit like a call for "ethnic cleansing". If it is just U.S. soldiers, it is much more "reasonable", yet OBL still has no right to demand it or threaten and commit violence to further this end.



    [ Parent ]
    More detail (none / 0) (#380)
    by aphrael on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:21:45 PM EST

    I call BS on your comparison of OBL to anti-war protestors. You can't just ignore his acts.

    Oh, I agree (assuming he's actually culpable, which is unproven). I was trying to address this:

    OBL still has no right to demand it

    Of course he does; he has the same right to demand it that anyone living in the Philippines does to demand that the US keep its nuclear fleet out of the country. I agree that he doesn't have a right to commit violence to further the end --- but making the demand, in and of itself, is something that anyone should be able to do, if we truly believe in freedom.

    Are you really sure this doesn't include Jerusalem?

    Absolutely. There is absolutely zero historical justification for such a claim, especially given that the Ottoman Empire (which ruled the region until its collapse at the end of WWI) was the most religiously tolerant state of its era.

    How can you say they don't mind Jews there when the visit of one triggered a tremendous amount of violence?

    There are two different issues here which are getting conflated: the general objection in Islamic societies to infidels in the Hejaz, and the political problem of Palestine. Absent the existence of Israel, every indication from historical behavior is that non-Moslems living in Palestine would not be a problem in the minds of the Arab elite. (Now, it's possible that's changed --- but I haven't seen any evidence that it has). The problem is the political question of sovereignty.

    who are the infidels

    Any non-Moslem within the Hejaz.

    it sounds a bit like a call for "ethnic cleansing"

    How do you get that? There *are* no infidels living there; the Saudi government wouldn't allow it. There are some as tourists, and some as military troops --- but there is no foreign population to force out; everyone was converted more than 1000 years ago.

    [ Parent ]

    Ethnic cleansing (none / 0) (#394)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:58:22 PM EST

    Anyone can "demand" anything (at least in a free society). OBLs demands are really threats of (further) violence. He has no right to make threats or actually carry out violence. Is that better?

    I still state that there is no moral equivalence between OBL and non-violent protestors.


    ----

    I'm a little confused.

    It sounded like OBL wants infidels out of all of Saudi Arabia (at least), not just the holiest sites. Am I wrong in believing that?

    This would involve removing non-Muslim peoples from SA. This sure seems like ethnic cleansing to me. I know Islam is the only allowed religion, but I thought there was a (small) minority of non-Muslims. Perhaps I am wrong on this? Are the only non-Muslims not natives/citizens of SA? If this is the case, ethnic cleansing is too strong a word, and mass deportation (while not 'nice') could rid SA of infidels without ethnic cleansing.

    Again, I don't think that the less recent historical record on Jerusalem necessarily predicts the future. We disagree on this, no biggy. I still think that OBL has impossible demands.


    [ Parent ]
    Pacifists (none / 0) (#645)
    by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 08:54:10 PM EST

    I hate pacifists as they believe in some fantasy world

    I don't agree. It's good to have a loyal opposition; they help to keep us honest. Sometimes they are right. (But not this time, I think.)

    [ Parent ]

    Retaliation is necessary, but bombing is not (3.41 / 12) (#57)
    by bpt on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:06:40 PM EST

    I agree that retaliation against the terrorists and the ``government'' that supports them is neccessary. However, I do not agree that bombing is the correct method of retaliation.

    Bombing, while accurate, causes a lot more damage than neccessary; it is also expensive, and mistakes can happen (such as when the four UN workers were killed earlier). It only takes a few people to assasinate key Taliban and al Queda leaders.

    (One possible advantage of bombing is that it can destroy equipment, too; but that can be a disadvantage, because that prevents, say, the rebel groups in the north from utilizing the equipment. If some equipment was truly useless to the rebel groups, it could be destroyed with explosives, not bombs, if necessary.)


    --
    Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.
    Bombs vs. Assassins (none / 0) (#107)
    by titivillus on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:30:42 PM EST

    Bombing, while accurate, causes a lot more damage than neccessary; it is also expensive, and mistakes can happen (such as when the four UN workers were killed earlier). It only takes a few people to assasinate key Taliban and al Queda leaders.

    It'd take a whole heck of a lot of assassins to take out an entire government. Well, they have a name for a bunch of people who are trained to kill, all organized together: an army. There'a an army there, but right now, the Taliban has better support than the Northern Alliance. We'd rather not send in more troops than necessary, so how do we even the odds? Air support.

    It'd be nice if a few James-Bondian deeds could set everything right, or at least right enough. But that's just fantasy.



    [ Parent ]
    Nah.. (none / 0) (#217)
    by Hefty on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:44:41 AM EST

    If you gonna wage a war then do it the right way, don't pussy foot around. First you pound strategic targets from the air, weaken defenses, demoralize the enemy. Then roll in the heavy equipment and filter in ground troops behind the heavy advance while your air support flies tactical cover. We are probably going to send special forces in to the Northern Alliance to organize there forces into a proper assault of Kabul. Analyst say we will have Kabul under our control within a few weeks.

    [ Parent ]
    Did the UN workers really die? (1.00 / 1) (#222)
    by Colol on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:54:25 AM EST

    It's a good question. We've seen multiple times that the Taliban is just a big PR machine which can't keep its answers the same from one second to the next.

    As a friend of mine brought up when the story originally broke, the UN pulled all its workers from Afghanistan shortly after the WTC attacks, and supposedly had not allowed any workers to return yet.

    Where, then, do UN workers magically materialize from? The Taliban's imagination is certainly a good place to start (anyone have a link with some decent verification that there were indeed UN workers in the building?).

    [ Parent ]
    Just as an FYI... (none / 0) (#337)
    by Rocky on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:37:06 PM EST

    ...from what I understand, all non-Afghani U.N. workers were pulled out before the bombing started.

    The only U.N. workers left are Afghanis. Some of these were the ones who were supposedly killed.

    If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
    - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
    [ Parent ]
    I'm sure you'll feel different... (2.50 / 20) (#65)
    by Neuromancer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:24:18 PM EST

    When you die of anthrax at the hands of the Taliban...

    Keep bombing Afghanistan, keep me safe. If you want to die and not fight back, then you go over to Afghanistan and martyr yourself.

    Not to be inflammatory of course (4.50 / 2) (#70)
    by Neuromancer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:38:24 PM EST

    That came across as too inflamatory, I apologize. People acknowledge that there is risk in life... What, just for us? We'll risk getting killed by them so we don't have to fight back? No thanks, they risked getting their asses kicked by us when they decided to pick on us. Much like the guy in the bar who wants to pick a fight, they deserve what they get when we decide to fight back.

    [ Parent ]
    Then say something reasonable. (3.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Dlugar on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:51:07 PM EST

    Please show me anywhere where citizens are in danger of Anthrax attacks directly from the Taliban!?

    Dlugar

    [ Parent ]
    Dude (4.50 / 2) (#81)
    by Neuromancer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:59:09 PM EST

    These people are screwing with us. I respect their soveriegnty, I respect their mothers, I respect them. They threw the first punch. Are we to decide not to bomb them just because we're bigger? Would you let someone shoot YOU and then yell at the police for arresting him? I was inflamatory before, and I backed down, please don't get in my face about it. I don't mean to be unpleasant, but this is just foolish. I feel bad. If it makes you feel any better about this, I would prefer that nobody died. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work like that. This is a military campaign and good strategy is good strategy. As for not fighting back... if we don't nip this in the bud it will happen again. Make no mistake about it. Much like taking out the Nazi's, we have to take these people out... or were the Nazi's somehow different?

    [ Parent ]
    Well yeah... kinda (none / 0) (#109)
    by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:34:35 PM EST

    The Nazis were going for world domination. The Taliban is only practicing their religious fascism in Afghanistan.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah... but (none / 0) (#116)
    by Neuromancer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:55:09 PM EST

    They also harbor known anti-us terrorists. Analogies to WWII spout freely from there.

    [ Parent ]
    Then please say that. (none / 0) (#129)
    by Dlugar on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:40:24 PM EST

    I have no problem with people stating their views. Had you said something like, "Yes, I feel we should bomb the Taliban because their support of known terrorists makes me feel unsafe." However, the further you get down this chain the shakier the reasoning. For example, many people would support bombing those who bomb the United States or send Anthrax our way. Fewer would support bombing people who train those who bomb the US. Still fewer would support bombing those who support people who train people who bomb the US. And so on and so forth.

    Feel free to be one of those who supports bombing those who "harbor" terrorists--I agree with you to a good extent. But don't misrepresent the position.

    thanks, Dlugar

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry (none / 0) (#86)
    by Neuromancer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:08:26 PM EST

    Listen, I agree. If you want to protest, go ahead and protest, but I agree with our military action. This is like the weakest kid in school picking a fight with the biggest kid. The biggest kid isn't a bully, he isn't doing anything wrong, but the weak kid decides to pull a knife on him or something. So he beats the kid up after the kid stabs him. Imagine that.

    So, what's our solution here. We send the big kid to detention before he can even get the wound patched up. Rather not. Again, I respect your views and I don't want any of you to die, but there's just some practicality here.

    [ Parent ]
    Stop it before it starts (3.36 / 11) (#84)
    by Wing Envy on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:06:42 PM EST

    When dealing with rational people, logic always prevails. Unfortunately, wars are not started by the actions of such people.

    Don't carry signs- teach, learn, grow.
    Learn self-defense, so you can stop the actions of such people before it hurts others.
    Learn martial-arts, in case they know how to fight back.
    Learn how to fly a plane, so in the event of any like occurance taking place, you can stop it. (How far would these actions have gone if everyone on those planes knew self-defense and how to fly a plane?)

    Push for increased education of such subjects in those around you- your schools, your community. Don't rely on protection from others- learn to protect yourself. Care enough to protect others. Be alert and aware of things around you. Never take anything for granted. Fear is born from ignorance, strength is developed from challenging it. If you still feel the need to carry signs, they should read "War is an offense. Learn defense." followed with whatever local resources you deem to be important in defending yourself and others, and include addresses and telephone numbers.

    Simply saying "Stop! Don't do that!" doesn't work. You must provide reason to those without, and in the case that they still don't, you must provide defense to those that are capable of reasoning.


    You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
    -mrgoat

    2 Questions for the Anti-War protesters. (4.76 / 17) (#91)
    by Carnage4Life on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:17:12 PM EST

    1. 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?

    2. What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan? 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 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?

    3. 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?


    Good Questions (4.12 / 8) (#104)
    by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:25:20 PM EST

    These are very good questions. Being opposed to this military action, I will try to answer them.

    1. 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?

    There are a number of reasons. First off, I am opposed to the idea of war. War is the lack of diplomacy. Both sides are responsible for this. And, I think everyone is saddened when a civilian is killed. But I think the main reason that I, personally, am against war is because it tends to hurt the citizens of a nation more than it does that nation's leadership.

    2. What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan? 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 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?

    As I have stated in other posts, I think that the best possible thing to do here is to have Bin Laden tried for crimes against humanity in International Court. Again, this sort of thing requires a lot of patience, as it will not see immediate results, which is something many people desire. But this course of action is probably much better for the human race in the long run.

    3. 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?

    I do think it would incur heavier losses on both sides actually. But even if it put heavier losses on the American Military, and lighter losses on Afghan civilians, it would still be unpreferable. I do not value the life of an Afghan anymore than that of an American, or vice versa. However, The killing of civilians is always unpreferable. My personal preference would be that there were no deaths on either side, but I abandoned hope for that a long time ago.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    re: trying bin laden (3.00 / 4) (#112)
    by cicero on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:54:46 PM EST

    As I have stated in other posts, I think that the best possible thing to do here is to have Bin Laden tried for crimes against humanity in International Court. Again, this sort of thing requires a lot of patience, as it will not see immediate results, which is something many people desire. But this course of action is probably much better for the human race in the long run.

    honestly, this is probably the most sane and correct thing to do, but the trial would be pretty lame if the deffendant weren't there.
    I imagine w really wants to try/convict bin laden up in front of the world to show terror groups everywhere that this sort of crap won't be tolerated (by anyone), but it's not as if the taliban is rushing to get him on the next flight to the hauge. IIRC, w did ask (read demand) that bin laden be handed over for trial, but nothing came of it.

    so here we are.


    --
    I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
    [ Parent ]
    Right (3.00 / 2) (#115)
    by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:30:49 PM EST

    That is why we need to get ahold of Bin Laden first.

    And yes you are correct that Bush asked Bin Laden be handed over. The Taliban asked for evidence, and Bush refused. You need evidence before you indict someone. Also, it is questionable that the US would have refrained from attacking, even if Bin Laden was handed over.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    bin Laden was already indicted (4.00 / 1) (#264)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:17:05 PM EST

    He was indicted for other attacks already. The Taliban refused to turn him over. I guess the attacks that only killed dozens or hundreds weren't enough for the Taliban.

    Do you really think any evidence would be enough for them to turn him over?





    [ Parent ]
    what W wants to do (2.00 / 2) (#159)
    by crayz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:42:31 PM EST

    What I imagine he'd like to do is what Ryan did at the end of Executive Orders(IIRC): go on TV with a speech about how terrorism won't be tolerated. show a satellite video of a house on the TV. a few seconds later, show the house being turned into a hole in the ground

    note: if you haven't figured it out, bin Laden is in the house

    [ Parent ]
    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... (3.00 / 1) (#299)
    by ronin212 on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:31:48 PM EST

    note: in case you haven't figured it out, Bin Laden is not in a house. He's hiding somewhere in the caves of Afghanistan where he'd survive even if we carpet-nuked the entire country. Furthermore, he would likely have no qualms at all about being ``martyred'' for his beliefs, and killing him would simply be a call for a hundred new lunatics to take his place. His money will survive, and I for one am willing to bet that he's ensured it will be usable for more terror acts after he's dead.

    So just what do you propose now, Mr. I've-read-all-the-Clancy-novels-and-know-it-all-now?

    --
    Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
    [ Parent ]
    note... (none / 0) (#455)
    by crayz on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 02:55:43 AM EST

    In case you haven't figured it out, bin Laden does not just live in caves, and very likely does not want to die(he's had plenty of chances to volunteer for suicide attacks and has apparently chosen not to). Perhaps you also haven't figured out that he is privately wealthy, and has a large public image that he has built over the past 20 or more years. There aren't a whole lot of people who could replace him - in fact, let me do a count....0.

    And lastly, I was telling you what I think Bush would like to do - that is, publicly kill bin Laden, as opposed to putting him on trial like the previous poster suggested. Clancy is in many ways an idiot, but given the fact that he actually imagined and wrote about an attack very similar to this one years before it happened makes me wonder how much of a right you have to claim such intellectual superiority.

    [ Parent ]
    problem is not just with bin laden (4.25 / 4) (#137)
    by theantix on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:15:11 PM EST

    As I have stated in other posts, I think that the best possible thing to do here is to have Bin Laden tried for crimes against humanity in International Court. Again, this sort of thing requires a lot of patience, as it will not see immediate results, which is something many people desire. But this course of action is probably much better for the human race in the long run.
    If Bin Laden was handed over to the International Court, it would not address the problem that America has with Afganistan. As many have pointed out, both here and in the media, pruning the head of the organization would do nothing to stop the training going on in the Afgan murder (terror) camps. Besides, it would be exceptionally difficult to prove that Bin Laden himself approved of the specific WTC actions -- it's much easier to demonstrate that the terrorists attending the murder camps, and that UBL financed and oversaw those camps, and that Al Qaeda members had foreknowledge of the attack. The entire organization and the environment it was allowed to flourish in must be eliminated. The free world depends on this... he would kill you and me if he could, he's said that publicly... the attacked buildings were perhaps the most multi-ethnic and multinational in the world.

    Personally, I feel a preferred course of action would have been for a UN-led effort to replace the Taliban, and enable the removal of the terrorist camps after/during this campaign. However, this would be much more difficult to achieve, and would probably be much more bloody.

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

    Yeah (3.00 / 1) (#140)
    by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:54:08 PM EST

    I think that it would be great if there was a much more tolerant group in power. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to accomplish this. The possibility exists of supporting the Northern Alliance, but once they got into power they would likely turn into a friendlier version of the Taliban.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    more problems with N. Alliance (4.00 / 2) (#166)
    by theantix on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:47:35 AM EST

    I think that it would be great if there was a much more tolerant group in power. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to accomplish this. The possibility exists of supporting the Northern Alliance, but once they got into power they would likely turn into a friendlier version of the Taliban
    The other problem with the N. Alliance is that they have been criticized by the Afgan people for raping and pillaging in the past... and have almost no support from the Pashtun (sp?) ethnic group which represents the Taliban. Hopefully that changes for the sake of the Afgan people, because it certainly looks as if the US-led coalition will be supporting a N. Alliance-based government in the near future. If the Americans are responsible for a change -- the royal if!

    --
    You sir, are worse than Hitler!
    [ Parent ]
    Hmm. (3.50 / 2) (#305)
    by physicsgod on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:55:11 PM EST

    From what I've heard it sounds like the US(definatly) and Northern Alliance(probably) will support the former king calling a grand tribal council and setting up a provisional government, which would probably ask for UN assistance in infrastructure, security, etc.

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]
    Hopefully... (3.00 / 1) (#314)
    by PhillipW on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:14:04 PM EST

    Any UN aid would come with strings attached about allowing for Afghan self-determination, as it should with any situation similar to this, if this were all to come true.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    I wonder. (3.00 / 1) (#445)
    by physicsgod on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:38:08 AM EST

    If the carpet bombing of the front (the part of a war where people die alot) wasn't a message to the Northern Alliance as well, sort of a "This is what we can do, don't fuck with us."

    --- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
    [ Parent ]
    So say the wrong people get in (none / 0) (#646)
    by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 09:47:55 PM EST

    Any UN aid would come with strings attached

    What are we going to do then, withhold aid? Letting millions die?

    [ Parent ]

    well, let's see if I can help (3.00 / 6) (#134)
    by czar chasm on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:05:37 PM EST

    **Disclaimer: These are not the views of all anti-war persons, these are my views which happen to be anti-war**

    1. First for me, it is the idea of pasivism, because we will respond more harshly ("Swift and descisive judgement") than they attacked in terms of the loss of life. But more importantly is is because of American imperialism. Some have called this the holy war: Christianity vs Islam (yeah, yeah, America isn't "christian" per se), and they would seem to be right. The reason for this is because we as America have acted like terrorist to those islamic nations. We bomb them, we invade neighbors, and we support nations that don't differ too much in our Christian views (Israel). While some of this is by UN request, the rest is for the continuation of our own idea set, and for economic reasons. It is much like how most people in America look down on socialists, communists, or anarchists (to which I belong); we are told from day one that Americanism is the only way to live.

    2. I believe that the alternative is what Afghanistan said they would do: If we provide enough convicting evidence, they would provide bin Laden. We didn't like that because that would question our national soverignty, so we just went ahead and attacked ater Mr. Blair said he had 21 pages. I think our problem was forgetting where we started. The Supreme Court constantly looks at the Federalist Papers to get an idea of how something should be ruled based upon how America should have been. Why, then, do the President and Congress not look at similar writings? I vividly remember reading a paper written by George Washington telling the Congress to not get involved in foriegn affairs. We did this pretty well until WW1. I'm not going to speculate what would have happened if America wasn't in WW1, but if we had done what we were cautioned to do, then I can gurantee that we wouldn't be attacked/attacking.

    3. Well, as the guest on Politically Incorrect said (I can't for the life of me think of his name), it is quite cowardly to send rockets over and bomb them. Now, if it did come to it, and we did need to attack them, I would say send the troops in, but do not station them like in Vietnam. The reason soldiers are preffered is because people have morals. A person fighting wcould make better desisions of the targets than a missile that is targeted launched and then forgotten about. Yes, there will be civilian death regardless, but a soldier would feel bad about it (expecially if womyn and childern) whereas some pushing a button doesn't see the death. The other reason is reciprocity: We ought to give them the decency of straight out fighting them. If we are the superpower, then can we not win without being 1000 miles away?

    -Czar Chasm
    Bloo!
    [ Parent ]
    Good answers, Here are my followups. (3.75 / 4) (#149)
    by Carnage4Life on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:28:39 PM EST

    First for me, it is the idea of pasivism, because we will respond more harshly ("Swift and descisive judgement") than they attacked in terms of the loss of life.

    Whether the loss of life will be larger or not is yet to be seen but does this mean that if teh use kills 6000 or less Afghans, then it's OK?

    We bomb them, we invade neighbors, and we support nations that don't differ too much in our Christian views (Israel).

    The only bombing campaign the US has been involved in within the Middle East is bombing Saddam's bases which many believe the US had cause to do. In my opinion, the rationality of continued sanctions against Iraq is questionable but I do believe that the bombings of Saddam's bases was justified. As for supporting Isreal, the alternative is allowing them to be massacred by the Arabs.

    I believe that the alternative is what Afghanistan said they would do: If we provide enough convicting evidence, they would provide bin Laden.

    The evidence was good enough to convince Pakistan and they are the Taliban's staunchest supporters because they helped create the Taliban. Secondly the Taliban refused to hand over Bin Laden and made demands that were intended the humiliate the US if it acceded to them. Finally, arresting Bin Laden does nothing about the fact that there will still exist a terrorist organization within Afghanistan supported by the Taliban that is devoted tho slaughter of Americans by any means necessary.

    I vividly remember reading a paper written by George Washington telling the Congress to not get involved in foriegn affairs.

    This is extremely naive. The world has grown to interconnected for one country to ignore what is going on in others. Do you think the US wouldn't suffer if the Middle East was engulfed in a war with Isreal especially since Isreal has nukes, or that the if teh war in the Balkans had spread to cover more of Europe that American interests wouldn't suffer? Heck, Bush has already learned the hard way that trying to do things unilaterally can bite you on the ass as can be seen by the fact that the US now has to get international support especially from Afghanistan's neighbors to carry out any sort of attack on Bin Laden and his terrorist army.

    Well, as the guest on Politically Incorrect said (I can't for the life of me think of his name), it is quite cowardly to send rockets over and bomb them.

    Only people who haven't felt the ravages call it cowardly to lesson the amount of deaths on your side. Would you rather your friends, family members or coworkers died fighting in Afghanistan to keep this medieval notion of bravery when bombing the airbases and military camps could have softened up the enemy first?

    [ Parent ]
    nope (2.00 / 1) (#218)
    by alprazolam on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:48:05 AM EST

    As for supporting Isreal, the alternative is allowing them to be massacred by the Arabs.

    That is Israeli propaganda, and I for one don't buy into it.

    [ Parent ]

    I understand the Arabs were pretty clear about it (none / 0) (#647)
    by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 10:10:55 PM EST

    ...in '48. And '56. And '67. And '73.

    Not to justify the boneheaded actions of certain generals who think they're politicians, though.

    [ Parent ]

    Pakistan's support (4.00 / 1) (#342)
    by Merc on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:51:18 PM EST

    The evidence was good enough to convince Pakistan and they are the Taliban's staunchest supporters because they helped create the Taliban.

    Do you honestly think that Pakistan had the freedom to say "we're not convinced by this evidence"? What then, the US would have said "Oh well, thanks for considering it. We'll try to find some more evidence, and until we can convince you we won't use your airspace".

    I don't think it's that simple. Pakistan knew that it was either "with the US or with the terrorists". If they didn't like the evidence the US showed them they knew the bombs would fall on them as well, afterall it's a terrorist base too isn't it?



    [ Parent ]
    Right on! (4.00 / 7) (#156)
    by glothar on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:08:52 PM EST

    The reason for this is because we as America have acted like terrorist to those islamic nations. We bomb them, we invade neighbors, and we support nations that don't differ too much in our Christian views (Israel).

    Exactly. The US is just as much of a terrorist organization as bin Laden et al. I mean, remember that time when he gave us all that money? And when he protected the US from invasion?

    How dare the US protect Israel. They should stop sending money too. Damn them for trying to send food to Afganistan. Damn them for trying to prevent wide scale war. They should keep their noses out and let the region erupt into a war where millions would die. That is the path to true pacifism. (I like that you dont even know how to spell pacifism).

    But you are right, I do look down on anarchists. They benefit from a government they say shouldn't exist. You wanna be an anarchist? Grab an island and live there. Good luck getting supplies.

    If we provide enough convicting evidence, they would provide bin Laden.

    If we provide enough convicting evidence they will isolate and kill all sources of information we have on bin Laden.

    We didn't like that because that would question our national soverignty, so we just went ahead and attacked ater Mr. Blair said he had 21 pages.

    We dont like exposing what little intel gathering capabilities we have. Why do you think Blair saw it? Because we trust the UK the most. Hell, most of the intel was probably theirs.

    You sure trust the Taliban a lot. You are convinced that the US is lying an cheating, but the Taliban are perfectly honest? Would you rather live in Afganistan? I'm sure you'd get a couple days down before you were beheaded. They would be much more understanding of your views.

    vividly remember reading a paper written by George Washington telling the Congress to not get involved in foriegn affairs. We did this pretty well until WW1.

    Golly. You just made my point for me. Isolation works fine until you realize that you are on the brink of a war that spans most of the globe. It works great until a warlord has its legions on your border. Dont be confused. Isolationism causes this. Human nature causes the occasional dictator to feel that he should have more power, and isolationism allows them to develop and grow strong. Of course, anarchy does the same thing, so...

    The reason soldiers are preffered is because people have morals

    They also die. And, of course, being a pacifist, you want to see as many people die as possible. I mean, its not about how many people die, its about how bad we feel about it. We should get into a drawn out land war where thousands die on both sides, more civilians are killed, and the country is left in ruins.

    The other reason is reciprocity: We ought to give them the decency of straight out fighting them.

    Of course. They gave us a chance to fight.

    No. Welcome to the real world. I expect and demand that the US finish the war with the least number of US casualties possible, while minimizing useless loss of life.

    Or perhaps we should like up the 40,000 Taliban and 40,000 of our troops, we'll all grab AKs, since they are cheap yet effective, and we'll shoot till one side is dead. This is you being a pacifist?

    It looks as if all the supporters of the Taliban are about as peaceful as you are.

    [ Parent ]

    Thank You! (none / 0) (#348)
    by aluminumaloi on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:13:41 PM EST

    I think this post was the most intelligent comment I've seen on here all day. Thanks for the insight!

    [ Parent ]
    Re: well, let's see if I can help (4.00 / 1) (#158)
    by khym on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:38:26 PM EST

    I believe that the alternative is what Afghanistan said they would do: If we provide enough convicting evidence, they would provide bin Laden.
    The problem with that is that there'd still be other terrorists in Afghanistan that the Taliban wouldn't be doing anything about. I'm not exactly sure why Bush and company only demanded Bin Laden, rather than demand that the Taliban help clear terrorists out of their country rather than harboring them. Of course, a demand like that would likely lead to war, but maybe Bush was planning on asking them for more and more, until they would refuse; maybe he thinks he looks more reasonable that way.
    Well, as the guest on Politically Incorrect said (I can't for the life of me think of his name), it is quite cowardly to send rockets over and bomb them.
    Why, exactly, should something like cowardly versus brave matter in a war? I know that many people have called the terrorists cowardly, but ignoring whether or not that's true, I don't think it should matter, but only the fact that they killed some 6,000 non-combatants.
    Now, if it did come to it, and we did need to attack them, I would say send the troops in, but do not station them like in Vietnam. The reason soldiers are preffered is because people have morals. A person fighting wcould make better desisions of the targets than a missile that is targeted launched and then forgotten about. Yes, there will be civilian death regardless, but a soldier would feel bad about it (expecially if womyn and childern) whereas some pushing a button doesn't see the death.
    So, the targeting information for missiles isn't accurate enough, or that the people controlling the missiles will launch them if they're only sorta sure? When police go in for things like drug raids, they have a tendency to shoot at anything that looks threatening, because if it is threatening and they don't shoot first, they're dead. Things are even more serious in a war; do you think that ground soldiers are going to be more accurate than the missile control people, who are safe, calm and have time to think things over?

    Anyways, when the things being bombed are things like anti-air defense centers and terrorist training camps, there aren't going to be any civilians around (except for the terrorists, that is). The other things that are being bombed are infrastructure things, like electricity and such. In the case of infrastructure, it's not a question of morals or being in close to the killing, since it's not humans who are being target, but rather the accuracy of the missiles. Are missiles not currently (or can never be) accurate enough to use them in destroying infrastructure, because it might cause civilian deaths?

    Are you saying that the missiles aren't accurate enough? That the people targeting the missiles don't care about the target in the same way a soldier on the ground would? The missiles aren't deciding things for themselves, they're being directed by humans.
    The other reason is reciprocity: We ought to give them the decency of straight out fighting them. If we are the superpower, then can we not win without being 1000 miles away?
    This doesn't make much sense to me. Something like a "straight on fight" makes sense when both parties agree to it (implicitly or explicitly), like in a boxing match or a fight between rival gangs. This is (or should be) a war of self defense, to dismantle the terrorist networks in Afghanistan, get their leaders, and reduce the risk of terrorism. In a fight for self defense, things like trying not to kill civilians matters, but not any notions of "fair fighting".

    --
    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 ]
    3 answers for your 2 questions :) (4.22 / 9) (#155)
    by driptray on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:57:43 PM EST

    Thanks for your questions. They get to the heart of things.

    These answers are my own, and nobody elses. FWIW, I am an Australian, and my government has pledged seemingly unconditional support to the American military in this affair.

    1. 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 opposed to the concept of war. Sometimes it is the best option. I don't think that this is one of those times. My main reason for this belief is that I basically have sympathy with the goals of Osama bin Laden, if not his methods. He has made quite specific demands - that America withdraw its troops from "muslim lands" (I take this to mean Saudi Arabia), and that America withdraws its support from Israel. I think these demands are quite reasonable.

    Even if I bought into the idea that we must wage a "war on terrorism", I think bombing the Taliban is the wrong way to go about it. Even if it does have short term success in disrupting today's terrorists (and there is no certainty it will), it will surely only perpetuate the conditions that give rise to this sort of terrorism, ie, the perception (and reality!) that the US is a violent imperialist. For a long term solution the US needs to ensure that people around the world view it as benign. That will take a couple of decades of radically different behaviour from the US, and that's what I advocate.

    2. What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan? 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 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?

    Accede to their demands. I don't see this as a backdown but more like an awakening. You mention that doing so will have negative repercussions, and you're right, although perhaps things would not be quite as bad as you make out. Israel is already at war with Palestine, and considering the actions of the Israelis over the last few decades I have little sympathy for them (Israel) if they get wiped out (and I'm Jewish!). However if it was managed well, and Israel withdrew from the more contentious areas and basically pulled its head in, things may turn out all right.

    As for Saudi Arabia, I really have no knowledge about whether a coup is likely, desirable or disastrous. But coups happen all over the world and people die - why is Saudi Arabia any more important than elsewhere?

    The answer is oil, and your fear of "unstable" oil prices. Well, I don't really care about oil prices. I know that instability in price and/or higher oil prices could create massive economic dislocation. Well bring it on. It's time we weaned ourselves off oil anyway.

    3. 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?

    This question is irrelevant from my perspective. I don't see that there's any good reason to fight Afghanis, so the question of how to fight them doesn't arise.


    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]
    Give up == more terrorism (3.00 / 1) (#351)
    by Shadow Knight on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:17:58 PM EST

    Alright, look, this is very simple. I, too, oppose pre-9/11 US foreign policy in the Middle East. But you know what? We can't change it now. Giving in to the demands of bin Laden will NOT solve the problem, it will create many more problems. If we give in it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that terrorism works as intended. That is the worst possible message to send! Osama bin Laden is not the only man in the world with a grievance. And psychological analysis of him indicates he is megalomaniacal, anyway. If we give him what he demands, he will demand more. And even if he doesn't, we've proven his methods work, thereby inviting every other angry person in the world to duplicate them. We can't give in to every demand placed on us, that'll never stop the killing. It will only encourage other people to kill innocent Americans, because that has been shown to get positive results. The only way to stop this form of terrorism is to demonstrate that it is not effective in achieving goals. That means we must not accede to bin Laden's demands, under any circumstances. Why is this not clear to you? I really want to know.

    The really weird thing is I considered myself a liberal before all of this. I still support gun control, a national health care system, public education, etc... why are these issues necessarily tied to anti-Americanism? I'm so confused...

    later,
    Shadow Knight


    Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
    [ Parent ]
    Deterrence is not the issue (5.00 / 1) (#410)
    by driptray on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:15:15 PM EST

    I, too, oppose pre-9/11 US foreign policy in the Middle East. But you know what? We can't change it now. Giving in to the demands of bin Laden will NOT solve the problem, it will create many more problems. If we give in it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that terrorism works as intended. That is the worst possible message to send! Osama bin Laden is not the only man in the world with a grievance.

    First of all, reversing US foreign policy is not something that can happen overnight. It would take many years, if not decades. Due to the slow way in which this would happen, any link between the events of Sep 11, and the change in foreign policy would become blurred, if not forgotten. It would also be possible to spin the change in foreign policy to make it appear as either a purely American initiative, or as a response to something else entirely.

    Secondly, your fears about encouraging terrorism are only relevant if there are others out there with the skill, courage, conviction, etc to perform terrorist acts. I'd say that in the absence of interventionist US foreign policy there would be no such people. There really aren't that many now, and the number would drop even closer to zero.


    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Deterrence is not the issue (4.50 / 2) (#418)
    by khym on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:11:38 PM EST

    First of all, reversing US foreign policy is not something that can happen overnight. It would take many years, if not decades.
    But in the mean time, we'd need to to something to reduce the risk of a similar terrorist attack (reduce, because there's nothing to be done that could eliminate it entirely). Also, I think that there's some people who would like for the U.S. government to announce "Alright, we're pulling out of the Middle East, but it'll take us a long time". If we did something like that, it would be evidence that terrorism works, and they'd keep on attacking us to try and speed things up.
    Secondly, your fears about encouraging terrorism are only relevant if there are others out there with the skill, courage, conviction, etc to perform terrorist acts.
    It wouldn't have to be something as big as the WTC attack, or involve suicide attempts, or anything. It could just be a whole lot of small scale terrorist attacks, which would, over the long run, cause as much damage as a few big terrorist attacks.

    --
    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 ]
    Answers From A Pacifist (3.83 / 6) (#169)
    by phliar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:13:15 AM EST

    1. 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?
    War == death of innocent civilians, by definition. Even in the "Good War", look at what the good guys did: think of Dresden. (Ha! Foiled you!! You thought I was going to bring up Hiro- er, you know, that city I'm not going to bring up.)

    And then of course there's the what the fuck is left in that country to bomb after 20 years of war? factor.

    2. What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan? Specifically what should the US do about the fact that Afghanistan houses a terrorist organization ...
    The person or persons responsible for Sept. 11 are criminals and mass-murderers. They should be brought to justice.

    The general problem of Militant Islamic terrorism: we just need to think about why those people want to kill us so badly. I think it's because of our foreign policy. We need to stop supporting evil governments. Well, that's easy to say, but dictators don't go around with white and black hats... no, it's much simpler. We support freedom and democracy. We stop being one-sided supporters of Israel. We step in to stop human rights abuses but we don't overthrow "communist" governments to install our own puppet regimes.

    It will not happen overnight; and until it happens, people like bin Laden will keep killing more people. That is the price we will pay for our past mistakes.

    There will always be factions that want to hurt us. There is nothing we can do about that, no security measures bargained for with the loss of civil liberties. That is the price of having a Bill of Rights. But if we're just and honest in our dealings they will never be able to recruit people to do their dirty work.

    3. Do you think ground troops as an alternative to bombing
    This war is insane! What are we bombing there? After 20 years of war, there is nothing left. We're just stirring up the rubble. And killing civilians. Do you really think that any of the Taliban leadership are going to be hurt? What are the odds bin Laden will be affected? No, all the bad guys are safe and sound in their bunkers. Only the poor civilians are out in the open.

    The food drop was a joke. They dropped what, 35,000 meal equivalents? In a country of 20 million starving people? And none of it was dropped in Taliban controlled areas? Honestly, Washington seems to be filled with idiots. They had one good idea and they fucked it up. They should have dropped a lot more food. And maybe leaflets that say exactly what happened on the 11th. Convince the population we don't hate them and they will get rid of the Taliban and bin Laden themselves. The average Afghan, just like the average American and the average Israeli and the average Palestinian, is a good person.


    Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
    [ Parent ]

    Summary and Analysis. (4.33 / 3) (#304)
    by SPYvSPY on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:54:28 PM EST

    Your responses boil down to three points:

    1. There is nothing left in Afghanistan to bomb.

    2. US foreign policy is to blame for Muslim extremist terrorism.

    3. Killing people is always a bad thing.

    I'll keep my responses short and simple:

    1. There are military installations and there are places that house the despicable Taliban and the convicted criminal bin Laden. There are communications facilities and there are stockpiles of weapons and transport. There are mobile weapons, and anti-aircraft bunkers. These are left to be bombed.

    2. US foreign policy is not a single, coherent thing. It is cumulative, and reflects the priorties that Americans have at home. Our government has sound reasons for interfering with the Afghan invasion in the 1980's and for interfering with the invasion of Kuwait in the 1990's. Namely, we blocked Russia from taking access to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Arabia, and we block Hussein from expanding his dirty regime. The consequences that we are dealing with today are purely the collective will of the people of Central Asia (yes, even despite the fact that most people in the area would not support the Taliban, given a choice).

    3. There is such a thing as justified killing. If you don't agree, then you and I will never be on the same moral plane. People like you would hold out hope for reforming Jeffrey Dahmer or Adolph Hitler. You'd probably feed and cloth them and give them nice bedtime stories with proper moral endings. I'd just shoot them between the eyes.
    ------------------------------------------------

    By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
    [ Parent ]

    hmm (4.50 / 2) (#563)
    by hstink on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:54:01 PM EST

    The general problem of Militant Islamic terrorism: we just need to think about why those people want to kill us so badly. I think it's because of our foreign policy. We need to stop supporting evil governments. Well, that's easy to say, but dictators don't go around with white and black hats... no, it's much simpler. We support freedom and democracy. We stop being one-sided supporters of Israel. We step in to stop human rights abuses but we don't overthrow "communist" governments to install our own puppet regimes.

    You haven't suggested the alternative to said "evil governments."

    Bin Laden sees his homeland of Saudi Arabia as being ruled by a corrupt regime. The USA backs this regime. Do you think that if Bin Laden overthrew it, that the government he'd install would be a breath of freedom and democracy? Have you failed to notice that almost *all* the people in said part of the world with the *means* of forming a government, don't exactly share our rather recent idea of civil governance?

    The fact of the matter is, religious fundamentalism does not mix with democracy, the two have historically tended to be inversely proportional. Propose a 'cure' for fundamentalism, and you might see the establishment of democracy you seek.

    If you think the removal of western influences in the middle east will somehow trigger pacifist and democratic revolutions throughout the area, I'd like to see your line of reasoning.

    -h

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Answers From A Pacifist (5.00 / 1) (#572)
    by khym on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:47:37 AM EST

    After 20 years of war, there is nothing left.
    Not true. They have houses, shops, and hospitals. They have roads, electricity, and other infrastructure. The whole populace of Afghanistan isn't living in tents and shanty towns. There's also anti-aircraft encampments, training camps, and military centers, which we are bombing. What did you think we were bombing? Just targeting missiles at random locations? Blowing up their tents?
    Do you really think that any of the Taliban leadership are going to be hurt? What are the odds bin Laden will be affected? No, all the bad guys are safe and sound in their bunkers. Only the poor civilians are out in the open.
    Do you really think that's the goal of the current stage of bombing? While there have been bombings of a few locations where the Taliban and company might be (if we were lucky), most of the bombings have been of infrastructure, anti-aircraft encampments, military centers, and so forth. This is the first stage in preparation for a land war, when we can capture or kill the Taliban. In WWII, most of the Nazi leadership was killed and captured.
    The food drop was a joke.
    The intent of the food drop was probably to convince the rest of the world that the U.S. isn't a total meanie, not to feed the Afghans; if it couldn't have been used for any sort of PR, I doubt the government would have done even that.
    Convince the population we don't hate them and they will get rid of the Taliban and bin Laden themselves.
    Why haven't they done this already? Most of the Afghans probably have no love for the Taliban, so if they haven't already overthrown them, they must lack the capacity to do so. They're tired, hungry, and don't have weapons; it'd be difficult to pull of a revolt in that situation.

    --
    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 ]
    alternatives (4.00 / 8) (#193)
    by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:49:57 AM EST

    What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan?

    I would be much more likely to respect this as an argument against those opposed to the bomding if I thought that those who raise it could answer it. It seems to me that the pro-bombing side have not given any thought to the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan either. "Because we can't think of anything else to do" seems to me to quite poor as a reason for bombing anywhere, even when compared to "because Allah told me to".

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]

    Erm... 3 questions... (4.14 / 7) (#200)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:25:56 AM EST

    Very good questions (all three of them ;-) .

    What are your reasons for protesting the bombing of Afghanistan?

    They are stupid, ill thought out, and very unlikely to bring bin-Laden to justice, let alone reduce terrorism. In fact they will almost certainly increase the number of recruits to bin-Ladens cause. Its not targetted at achieving justice, despite what's claimed. They are targetted at punishing the Taliban for daring to defy the US, (how dare they ask for evidence!!) and to placate US public opinion by showing somthing is being done (dosn't matter if its the RIGHT thing, as long as its SOMEthing).

    What do you think are the alternatives to bombing Afghanistan?

    (I've answered this elsewhere but to repeat) Bring bin-Laden to justice by trying one of:-

    1) Provide the evidence of bin-Laden's guilt to the Taliban, they asked for it we refused. Point out that killing inocent people is anti-Islamic and so bin-Laden is anti-Islamic and not worthy of their protection.

    If that fails:
    2) Lean on Pakistan, the Taliban need the support of Pakistan, so they have a lot of influence. Pakistan needs stuff from the west (lifting of trade sanction following nuclear testing for example).

    Failing that:
    3) Offer the Taliban lots of help (food, reconstruction aid, recognition, etc etc) in return for bin-Laden. This has the added benifit that we then become their friends, and can influence them to ease up on some of their more repressive policies, (not to mention their opium production).

    If that fails:
    4)Offer one of the Taliban factions (of which there are several) help to give us bin-Ladens location and "look the other way" while we went to get him. (The more moderate elements in the Taliban dislike bin-Laden and his arab extremists already)

    If that fails:
    5) Wait for bin-Laden to make a mistake (like try and communicate with the outside world using his satalite phone) and have a unit of speacial forces types waiting to jump on him at a moments notice. Patience is a virtue after all.

    While doing this encourage (read "force") the Isrealis and Palistinians to make peace, and make sure the world knows you're trying (being seen as a good guy is whats important here). The ideal result will be an independant Palestinian state that recognises Isreals right to exist, and has enough foriegn investment so that its people have a real stake in a continuing peace (somthing to do with that $40billion that congress gave to Bush), if you cant get this then keep trying, and make sure the world knows you're trying. You will not please all the people, but trying removes one of bin-Ladens main reasons for hating the US.

    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?

    There is a maxim that goes along the lines:-
    "there are two rules to strategy:
    1) never march on Moscow
    2) never fight a land war in asia"
    Good advice.
    So no, using land forces in any major way is not a good idea. Thats why diplomacy is the way to go.

    bil


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

    Some points (4.00 / 1) (#367)
    by Happy Monkey on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:39:43 PM EST

    1) Provide the evidence of bin-Laden's guilt to the Taliban, they asked for it we refused. Point out that killing inocent people is anti-Islamic and so bin-Laden is anti-Islamic and not worthy of their protection.

    The Taliban frequently executes its own subjects for "religious" infractions. I'm not sure they'll respond to this line of reasoning.
    2) Lean on Pakistan, the Taliban need the support of Pakistan, so they have a lot of influence. Pakistan needs stuff from the west (lifting of trade sanction following nuclear testing for example).

    We've been leaning on Pakistan, and they've grudgingly become anti-Taliban. We could have kept up this phase longer. Perhaps it would have been effective...
    3) Offer the Taliban lots of help (food, reconstruction aid, recognition, etc etc) in return for bin-Laden. This has the added benifit that we then become their friends, and can influence them to ease up on some of their more repressive policies, (not to mention their opium production).

    As with most opressive governments, most foreign aid doesn't make it's way to the general populace. Especially those termed "refugees".
    4)Offer one of the Taliban factions (of which there are several) help to give us bin-Ladens location and "look the other way" while we went to get him. (The more moderate elements in the Taliban dislike bin-Laden and his arab extremists already)

    This would probably have to be a covert CIA-type mission. Our track record isn't too hot in that field in that area.
    5) Wait for bin-Laden to make a mistake (like try and communicate with the outside world using his satalite phone) and have a unit of speacial forces types waiting to jump on him at a moments notice. Patience is a virtue after all.

    He has given up electronic communication, choosing to rely on couriers instead. In fact, the Taliban claimed to have removed his ability to do so, while he was "under suspicion." It is only now that they are under attack that they have "allowed" him to again have access to communications equipment.
    While doing this encourage (read "force") the Isrealis and Palistinians to make peace, and make sure the world knows you're trying (being seen as a good guy is whats important here). The ideal result will be an independant Palestinian state that recognises Isreals right to exist, and has enough foriegn investment so that its people have a real stake in a continuing peace (somthing to do with that $40billion that congress gave to Bush), if you cant get this then keep trying, and make sure the world knows you're trying. You will not please all the people, but trying removes one of bin-Ladens main reasons for hating the US.

    This seems to be the Middle East policy from the past couple decades, depending on what you mean by "force."
    ___
    Length 17, Width 3
    [ Parent ]
    yes, but... (5.00 / 1) (#478)
    by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:04:04 AM EST

    He has given up electronic communication, choosing to rely on couriers instead.

    I wasn't aware of this.

    You have pointed out some of the reason why my ideas might not work you havn't given a single reason why they weren't tried (except the above quote which would make option 5 almost impossible). It seems to me that the US has just ignored all the diplomatic options and has instead decided to go straight to the "blow them to sh*t" option. Rather then try to resolve the situation with subtlety and sensitivity to world opinion, they have opted to kill people.

    The dumb thing is if they really wanted to destroy terrorism then being seen by the world (espeacially the Arab world) to be killing people without having tried to do things peacefully just reinforces the image people have of America The Bully, encouraging more terrorists.

    This seems to be the Middle East policy from the past couple decades, depending on what you mean by "force."

    Possibly, but for decades the US has been seen as supporting Isreal almost uncritically. What I'm suggesting is that this should cease. Yes, make it clear that Isreal has a right to exist and you will protect this, but also make it very clear that you belive that Palestine also has a right to exist and will do what is needed to make this happen, promising investment in a Palestinian state, for example, sends a clear message. Possibly come up with a framework for peace and, if the governments do not agree, go straight to the people and publish it in the regions newspapers. Basically apply pressure on both sides for a fair peace, and be seen to do so. The US may already do this privately but as an avid current affairs follower I cant remember them ever doing it publically with any consistancy (although that does seem to be changing over the last month).

    bil


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

    'Cuz (1.66 / 6) (#333)
    by SnowBlind on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:31:44 PM EST

    Answers:
    1. 'Cuz we say its bad.
    2. 'Cuz we say its bad.
    3. 'Cuz we say its bad.


    Yep, that pretty much summs up the "logical" reasoning of the pacifists.
    Granted, you did'nt ask any hard ones, like:
    How would you like to live under Islamic Fundamentalist Rule?
    What are you willing to sacrifice to prevent war?
    Where do you get off telling those who are willing to fight that they are wrong?

    Individuals have the luxury of being pacifists and surviving, civilizations do not.

    There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
    [ Parent ]
    My answers and some questions for you. (5.00 / 2) (#488)
    by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 10:07:17 AM EST

    How would you like to live under Islamic Fundamentalist Rule?

    Not very much, I like beer too much for a start.

    What are you willing to sacrifice to prevent war?

    Everything except justice. I just wish that the US government had been willing to sacrifice the few hours needed to try the diplomatic options. Rather then deciding that ordering other people to kill was less like hard work.

    Where do you get off telling those who are willing to fight that they are wrong?

    When they start fighting in my name, then I'll tell them what I think.

    So how about telling us:-

    How many Afghanis do you have to kill before you think you have justice?
    What are you prepared to sacrifice to fight a war (in terms of US servicemen in body bags, in terms of personnal freedom, and in terms of taxes to fund the war)
    Where do you get off fighting a war in my name and then telling me I'm not allowed to state my views about it?

    Then when you've answered those easy ones how about:-

    How does bombing the Afghan people/Taliban bring bin-Laden to justice?
    How does creating a whole new reason for muslim fanatics to hate the US bring about the defeat of Terroism?
    How do you know when you've won?

    I look forward to your answers.

    bil


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

    Ok (5.00 / 1) (#538)
    by SnowBlind on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:02:41 PM EST

    How many Afghanis do you have to kill before you think you have justice?

    None. But some will die, unfortunately, no matter what we do. Even if there is no "war" some will still die under the hands of their own leaders.

    What are you prepared to sacrifice to fight a war (in terms of US servicemen in body bags, in terms of personnal freedom, and in terms of taxes to fund the war)?
    As many soldiers as it takes, but let's not be stupid about it. Should be well under what we lost in Vietnam without accoplishing anything.

    Taxes: So long as it is less then the Brits pay.(Nothing personal U.K., just needed an easy target)
    Freedom: I'd use the Brits again, but it's not fair. So long as there is an actual declaration of war, as many freedoms as we lost in World War II. Loss of freedom on an indeterminate basis is NOT ACCEPTABLE! A D of War will limit the term of these losses.

    Where do you get off fighting a war in my name and then telling me I'm not allowed to state my views about it?
    Did'nt say you could'nt mouth off, I just said don't give the guys ready to die for your right to drink beer any crap.

    How does creating a whole new reason for muslim fanatics to hate the US bring about the defeat of Terroism? (sic)
    Uh huh, ask the Brits about this one and the Irish. Being "nice" just pisses them off. Besides, the dead ones won't bother us any more.
    How do you know when you've won? You don't, per se. We THOUGHT we beat the Germans in WWI (the war to end all wars). But, in the most general sense, you kill the bastards (not the civilians) that do bad things, and then bad things stop happening. QED.

    Diplomatic solutions would NEVER work in this situtation, as the Taliban does not want what we are selling. Hindsight is 20/20, but look how fast they moved to support him once we started dropping bombs. This was their actual stance all the time, the other stuff was just buying time.
    Quite frankly, the "war" is, in some sense, "punitive damages" for commiting the original act of war. The best solution is sealing our boarders to keep them out, a firewall if you wish, and then rooting out the ones inside the firewall.
    This will, of course, make things hard for inbound immigrants, students, and other foreigners, but will not hurt citizens. I hate to see it happen, as many immigrants help our society, but that the best we can do for now.

    Like I said, individuals have the luxury of being pacifist, but civilizations do not.

    There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
    [ Parent ]
    Thank you for the answers. (4.33 / 3) (#576)
    by bil on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 07:09:36 AM EST

    What are you prepared to sacrifice to fight a war (in terms of US servicemen in body bags, in terms of personnal freedom, and in terms of taxes to fund the war)? As many soldiers as it takes, but let's not be stupid about it. Should be well under what we lost in Vietnam without accoplishing anything.

    I'm not convinced by this, many of the Taliban have been fighting in this land for 25 years, I think confidence that US servicemen, who have far far less experience of war, and far far less knowledge of how to fight a war in Afghanistan, will win easily is an underestimation of the situtation. On a related point I saw on the BBC TV news that the Northern Alliance are not happy with the idea of US ground forces and may well fight them.

    Taxes: So long as it is less then the Brits pay.(Nothing personal U.K., just needed an easy target) Freedom: I'd use the Brits again, but it's not fair. So long as there is an actual declaration of war, as many freedoms as we lost in World War II. Loss of freedom on an indeterminate basis is NOT ACCEPTABLE! A D of War will limit the term of these losses.

    I for one dont take it personally :) The thing is that by bombing the Taliban you are provoking a new wave of militants to consider terrorism against the US, so if this really is a war on terrorism rather then just an attempt to depose the Taliban you are lengthening the war with each bomb you drop. A war against a country will end one day (either you win or you lose, either way its over) but a war against a terrorist group can go on indefinatly, we in the UK have been fighting the IRA for a hundred years, part of the reason for the loss of freedom you mention.

    How does creating a whole new reason for muslim fanatics to hate the US bring about the defeat of Terroism? (sic) [bah! I want a spellchecker for the kurshin post form!] Uh huh, ask the Brits about this one and the Irish. Being "nice" just pisses them off. Besides, the dead ones won't bother us any more.

    This is just plain wrong. As I said we fought the IRA for a hundred years, we are now enjoying peace (or at least a ceasefire) because we stopped fighting and started being "nice"(ish), we have acheived far more in 5 years of talking then we did in 95 years of fighting. The IRA were not beaten militarily, they were negotiated into halting their war.

    Diplomatic solutions would NEVER work in this situtation, as the Taliban does not want what we are selling. Hindsight is 20/20, but look how fast they moved to support him once we started dropping bombs. This was their actual stance all the time, the other stuff was just buying time.

    How do you know they wouldn't work? They weren't tried. Perhaps they started supporting him because you were bombing them, it didn't take the US long to ally itself with Iran and the Northern Alliance after 11/9/01 does this mean that the US has supported them all the time? Or does it in fact imply that people offered support and you took it?

    bil


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

    Some answers (5.00 / 2) (#569)
    by elefantstn on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 11:51:39 PM EST

    I realize your comments were directed at the previous poster, but I'd like to take a shot at them if I could.

    How does bombing the Afghan people/Taliban bring bin-Laden to justice?

    It brings about justice by destroying the Taliban's means to fight any sort of war. The stated goal of the airstrikes is not to get the Taliban to capitulate, as was the goal of the Serbian airstrikes, but to soften up defenses to allow coalition ground troops to enter the country and destroy terrorist training camps.

    I'd actually like to reiterate that point: In the Kosovo-related bombings, the goal was to bomb Serbia into submission. We wanted them out of Kosovo, and we accomplished it by bombing Serbia until they did what we wanted. In Afghanistan, the bombing is preparation for a ground assault, in which our troops will eliminate the training grounds of terrorist organizations in the country, apprehend suspects, and establish a stable government. In my opinion, the bombing of Serbia was much more morally objectionable, as it amounted to bombing Belgrade until Milosevic gave up or the citizens gave up for him. The bombing of Afghanistan, however, is tactical in nature. It is meant to destroy the Taliban's ability to fight.

    How does creating a whole new reason for muslim fanatics to hate the US bring about the defeat of Terroism?

    Well, it doesn't, obviously. The point would be to not create new fanatics, and the US is trying to accomplish that through humanitarian aid to the region. Obviously, it would be naive to think that dropping food is going to make people suddenly love the United States, so the secondary objective would be to eliminate those who are training to kill American/Israeli/European civilians. The problem with Afghanistan is that without a legitimate, stable, reasonable government in power, terrorist organizations could easily train and fundraise without coming under any sort of scrutiny; the administration's stated goal of eliminating governments who harbor terrorists and aiding governments who try to stop them is aimed at the problem of possible future terror.

    How do you know when you've won?

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you mean in Afghanistan, we've won when the Taliban is out of power and a democratically-elected government controls the nation. If you mean in general, then I don't know, and neither does anyone else. Like the wars on crime and poverty, it may never end. That does not, however, mean we should give up.



    [ Parent ]
    Good answers, but not good enough. (none / 0) (#580)
    by bil on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 08:26:59 AM EST

    I realize your comments were directed at the previous poster, but I'd like to take a shot at them if I could.

    Go for it, debate is good! (actually these were far more sensible answers then most I've had, althought I still think you're wrong!)

    [The bombing] brings about justice by destroying the Taliban's means to fight any sort of war. The stated goal of the airstrikes is not to get the Taliban to capitulate, as was the goal of the Serbian airstrikes, but to soften up defenses to allow coalition ground troops to enter the country and destroy terrorist training camps.

    I would have far less problem with the war if I thought that justice was its aim. But I dont. If the US wanted justice they would have followed the diplomatic route and tried to negotiate bin-Laden's hand over, which the Taliban offered to do (as an aside this is why I think the serbian bombings were more justified, diplomatic efforts had been tried and didn't work). As I have stated elsewhere I'm not convinced it would have worked, but I belive it was worth the attempt. You would probably have to have agreed to a international court, but if the evidence is as good as is claimed that would not be a problem (I actually wonder, if the evidence can not be revealed for security reasons, how would the US hope to prosecute?). A diplomatic option could have acheived the removal of the terrorist groups from Afghanistan without anyone getting hurt. A long shot perhaps but one with such high rewards its worth the effort it required.

    The point would be to not create new fanatics, and the US is trying to accomplish that through humanitarian aid to the region. Obviously, it would be naive to think that dropping food is going to make people suddenly love the United States, so the secondary objective would be to eliminate those who are training to kill American/Israeli/European civilians.

    The bombing of Iraq has created a wave of islamic militants who hate the west (it is one of bin-Ladens stated grievences), and it is very predictable that bombing the Taliban will do exactly the same. So this will not lead to peace or increased security for the US, in fact if anything it will lead to reduced security. Dropping food is a plus in the popularity war, but bombing is such a minus that it wipes out any food effort you could make. This means that while you might wipe out one set of trainee terrorists, but by doing so you imediately hand bin-Laden (or his successor) a whole new wave of freshly militant recruits.

    There are far cleverer ways of persuing justice against bin-Laden and the war against terrorism, and I'm sure even the whitehouse can come up with them (hell if I can they must be able to), but they are not attempted because justice isn't what they want. They want revenge, and a pliant government in Kabul, justice is a distant third.

    bil


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

    Consequences of stalemate (none / 0) (#583)
    by nichughes on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 09:19:07 AM EST

    I have a couple of problems with your reply, so lets start here;
    If the US wanted justice they would have followed the diplomatic route and tried to negotiate bin-Laden's hand over, which the Taliban offered to do
    The problem with this is that the Taliban only offered to negotiate after they were facing a credible threat of massive military action. In the previous several years they had blithely ignored all normal diplomacy, the evidence already available regarding previous attacks and the repeated resolutions of the UN security council. Normal diplomacy had failed for years and people were dying by the thousand as a result of that failure.

    So the US threatened massive military action and the Taliban decided to start talking. They could have simply extradited on the previous evidence and UN resolutions as required by international law but oh no they were not going to do that, they wanted to see the intelligence files held by the US and pass those files to OBL. They claimed they had OBL under house arrest, then they claimed they had no idea where he was. They changed their story and demands on an almost daily basis. Nothing they said during this whole period had very much credibility at all.

    All this time the very threats that brought the Taliban to the table was precipitating a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan worse than the very worst possible outcome of military action. So after 3 weeks of stalling the US concluded that the Taliban had neither the will nor the ability to extradite OBL nor to dismantle the apparatus of terrorism within their area of control. You believe the negotiated route was worth the attempt - how many Afghans were you willing to see starve in this attempt, how long would you continue? Make no mistake about it that was the inevitable consequence of a continuing stalemate, it was already happening.

    The US (and presumably the UK) decided that 3 weeks was long enough for them to comply if they had the slightest interest in complying. As in all such decisions it was a very tricky judgement but it should be obvious to everyone that the Taliban were largely playing a PR game with perhaps half a thought to delay real action until after winter had set in - although that latter would condemn millions to certain death by starvation.

    --
    Nic

    [ Parent ]

    So? (none / 0) (#587)
    by bil on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 10:21:08 AM EST

    the Taliban only offered to negotiate after they were facing a credible threat of massive military action.

    Yes, and? you got them to the negotiating table by threats of force, congratulations, so far so good, do you now a) negotiate (with the threat of force still in the background to keep them there), or b) attack them anyway.

    they wanted to see the intelligence files held by the US and pass those files to OBL.

    Possible. But eventually you would hav to present evidence in court, wherever that court is, so why not present that evidence to the Taliban, even the evidence that was shown in the western media would have been better then no evidence at all.

    They claimed they had OBL under house arrest, then they claimed they had no idea where he was. They changed their story and demands on an almost daily basis. Nothing they said during this whole period had very much credibility at all.

    Yes, they thrashed around looking for a way not to get bombed. The fact that they were looking for a way out means that if you had shown them a suitable one they might have gone for it. If you had offered them an escape that would not walk all over their principles then it might have worked. They weren't going anywhere and we were spending weeks building up our military might, a suitable diplomatic approach could have gone on in parrallel.

    All this time the very threats that brought the Taliban to the table was precipitating a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan.

    This either means that the US has precipitated the starvation of 5 million people in return for the deaths of 5000, or that the US threatened to cause a drought for the last three years, neither of which make much sense to me. But as I have said before, diplomatic efforts could have been made during those three weeks over which troops were being built up, after three weeks it would have been fairly obvious if these efforts were working or not and so we wouldn't be any worse off then we are now (humanitarian wise) and in fact would be better off because we'd have tried all the options and might have got away without bombing anyone.

    bil


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

    Nice to see you agree (none / 0) (#590)
    by nichughes on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 10:47:55 AM EST

    But as I have said before, diplomatic efforts could have been made during those three weeks over which troops were being built up, after three weeks it would have been fairly obvious if these efforts were working or not
    Anybody not living down a tunnel for the past month would have noticed all the frantic diplomacy that went on since the 11th. As you say, after 3 weeks of everyone trying everything they could it was fairly obvious that the efforts were to persuade the Taliban were futile - even their close religious and political allies in the Pakistani religious parties could not persuade them to comply with international law.

    As you appear not to have been watching the news this link might be helpful.

    --
    Nic

    [ Parent ]

    Could have, but weren't (none / 0) (#652)
    by bil on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 06:46:04 AM EST

    I have been watching the news recently and so I know that the Taliban have offered on several occasions (three or four at least) to hand over bin-Laden for trial in a neutral country if presented with evidence for his guilt. I have also seen large amounts of "frantic diplomacy" aimed at building an anti-terrorist coalition but I still havn't seen anyone apart from the pakistani religious leaders actually trying to talk to the Taliban. In fact Bush claimed "the time for negotiating is past" pretty much as soon as the attention turned to Afghanistan and way before any military strike was even planned, let alone prepared for. He could have, and should have tried diplomacy, but instead his first move was to reach for the cruise missiles. In my opinion this is wrong.

    bil


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

    OK, lets try (5.00 / 1) (#577)
    by nichughes on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 07:44:23 AM EST

    How many Afghanis do you have to kill before you think you have justice?
    Nobody knows, in principle none but the Taliban were never likely to agree to that - after all they had years of UN extradition demands with plenty of evidence to back them up, all to no avail. How many Afghanis would have died this winter anyway - the WFO says that 50,000 tons of food are needed per month but "difficulties on the ground" mean that they have never - even in summer - managed to get more than 30,000 tons trucked in within a month. By my estimate that means that prior to the 11th 2 million Afghans were destined to die of starvation this winter due to lack of cooperation from their rulers.

    What are you prepared to sacrifice to fight a war (in terms of US servicemen in body bags, in terms of personnal freedom, and in terms of taxes to fund the war)
    Money is not an issue, the economic impact of terrorism is more expensive than attacks on Afghanistan anyway. Ask the 30,000 children (mostly African) that the UN estimates will die due to increased poverty from the direct economic shockwaves from the WTC attacks. As for military casualties, the strange thing is that we will only have western body-bags because we are trying to minimise Afghan casualties - if western lives were paramount we would never send in ground troops. I happen to believe that Afghan lives are also a consideration and that our commanders will have to take the tough decision to ask our soldiers to risk their lives.

    In terms of personal freedom I am willing to make compromises largely because I understand that there is balance between suppressing terror by internal controls and suppressing it by external coercion. On the other hand I believe that a purely internal security response to the threat would have to shatter our civil liberties if it was to work without any threat of violence against those who willingly allow terrorists to arm and organise against us. I believe the long-term price for such internal security would be greater than the short-term price of trying to deal with at least part of the problem at source.

    Where do you get off fighting a war in my name and then telling me I'm not allowed to state my views about it?
    Nowhere, express your views and let me express mine. Don't complain when other people call you an idiot (or worse), that is their freedom of speech too.
    How does bombing the Afghan people/Taliban bring bin-Laden to justice?
    It is one part of the process. It is intended to remove or disperse the army that had stated its intention to prevent any attempt to find and arrest Bin Laden.
    How does creating a whole new reason for muslim fanatics to hate the US bring about the defeat of Terroism?
    They have all the pretexts for extremism they will ever need, just as they turn a blind eye to all the ways that failures of Muslim society have contributed to their situation. Removing the camps and leadership will not remove the hate but it will hinder the ability of nihilist extremists to transform that hate into violence.
    How do you know when you've won?
    There is no final victory, just as there was no final victory in the war against slavery. Whenever the world turns a blind eye slavery creeps back into some backwater country, even if all nations genuinely did try to abolish terrorism it would take constant vigilance to keep it abolished.

    --
    Nic

    [ Parent ]

    I'll answer just one of the questions (none / 0) (#648)
    by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 10:42:22 PM EST

    ...because it's the only one I'm sure about.

    How do you know when you've won?

    When nobody on the planet is inclined, able, and willing to mount such attacks (or a campaign of smaller ones) against the US.

    Like you, I'd like to rely only on "inclined" - but that's not realistic, no matter how nice we are. (Of course, just ignoring "inclined" would be a stupid mistake too.) The war is about "able" and "willing."

    [ Parent ]

    Good questions! (5.00 / 2) (#549)
    by epepke on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:49:35 PM EST

    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.

    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:

    1. Invent an imaginary enemy (the Trilateral Commission, the International Conspiracy of Communist Jewish Bankers, Satan, The Boogeyman).
    2. 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.
    3. Have an existing enemy, which requires some luck.
    4. 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


    [ Parent ]
    An excellent idea. (4.04 / 50) (#97)
    by EdFox on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:45:04 PM EST

    An excellent idea. I plan on attending the next protest in my area against an organization dedicated to violence, hatred, and murder. We'll hold up signs and chant that these awful people should be brought to justice. I mean, just look at a partial list of their crimes, perpetrated in the name of "freedom" and "equality for their people":

    1988: PanAm Flight 103, destroyed by a bomb planted by Libyan Islamic militants. 270 dead
    1992: A hotel in Aden bombed in an attempt to kill US servicemen by Islamic militants. One tourist dead.
    1993: The first WTC attack, a truck bomb planted by Afghan Islamic militants. Six dead.
    1994: A plot to simultaneously destroy eleven US airliners over the Atlantic Ocean, plotted by Islamic militants.
    1995: Car bomb in Saudi Arabia planted by Islamic militants. Five dead.
    1996: The Khobar Towers barracks destroyed by a truck bomb planted by Saudi Islamic militants. Nineteen dead.
    1997: Seventy tourists machine-gunned in Luxor by Egyptian Islamic militants.
    1998: US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania bombed by Islamic militants. 224 dead, only 12 of whom were American.
    2000: A plot to set off multiple bombs in the Los Angeles airport, foiled by the capture of an Islamic militant.
    2000: Plot to bomb US warship in Yemen by Islamic militants foiled.
    2000: The USS Cole, bombed by Yemeni Islamic militants. Seventeen US sailors dead.
    2001: Plot to bomb US embassy in New Delhi by Islamic militants.
    2001: Four US airliners hijacked. Two crashed into WTC tower, causing them to collapse. One crashed into the Pentagon. 7,000 dead.

    You, of course, being an enlightened member of the pacifist elite, should have absolutely no objection to my protesting against Militant Islam.

    On a more serious note, such naiveté as anti-war protests is not all that surprising from someone who is comfortably thousands of miles away from the death and destruction and who has the luxury of endless free time in which to read screeds by Chomsky.

    Such views, while repulsive, are part of what makes America great: the right to dissent.

    Perhaps if Islamic Militants set off a bomb in a college dormitory, their views would change. If a university computer science building was hijacked and crashed into a major structure, the peace movement might lose quite a few proponents. If Congress was debating allowing cashiers at holistic food stores and college professors to carry firearms for protection against terrorist attacks, a few viewpoints might shift.

    The protestors and students can rest in peace, however. The Taliban and other militant Islamic organizations are nothing if not media savvy. They know better than to attack their greatest resource in the United States.

    So go ahead, rail against the evil, jingoistic, neo-Nazi fighting men and women of the armed services of the Untied States, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and other countries who are so valiantly assaulting the "inalienable right" of Islamic Militants to set off car bombs and crash airplanes full of civilians whenever they choose.

    These same men and women look at your protest and beam with pride, for they know that it is their service and sacrifice which allows you the freedom to protest.

    -- EdFox


    Heh (2.33 / 3) (#102)
    by PhillipW on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:59:34 PM EST

    Protesting against the Taliban has no point, since 99.9% of the world is in agreement on the subject of them being scum.

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    ha HA! (1.00 / 1) (#151)
    by glothar on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:33:59 PM EST

    ...and since we are all in agreement, we should do nothing!

    I mean, now that we are agreed that they are bad, we dont need to do anything about it.

    I'm sure they'll figure out they are wrong and apologize soon.

    No need for military action.

    (This is a general response to PhillipW's comment, not a disagreement with him)

    [ Parent ]

    Excellent ideas all 'round! (4.33 / 6) (#165)
    by phliar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:46:19 AM EST

    EdFox writes:
    You, of course, being an enlightened member of the pacifist elite, should have absolutely no objection to my protesting against Militant Islam. ... Such views, while repulsive, are part of what makes America great: the right to dissent.
    I'm speaking only for myself, of course. But of course I have no objection to you protesting against Militant Islam! (I'll join you.) And we agree completely that the right to dissent is what makes this country great.

    Perhaps if Islamic Militants set off a bomb in a college dormitory, their views would change. ... So go ahead, rail against the evil, jingoistic, neo-Nazi fighting men and women of the armed services of the Untied States, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and other countries...
    Unfortunately I think you, and too many other people misunderstand pacifism. (But of course since you're a pilot, I forgive you everything! ;-)) I am a pacifist - although I don't know if I'm part of the enlightened pacifist elite. And trust me, pacifism, or ahimsa, or non-violence or whatever you want to call it - is very hard. I have lost a loved one to violence. And I do respect people in the armed forces - a lot. (My brother is an air force pilot.) They have the courage of their convictions to act on their beliefs; they are willing to die for their country.

    Well, you know what? I'm willing to die for my country. However I cannot kill for my country.


    Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
    [ Parent ]

    Forgive me everything? :) (4.00 / 2) (#172)
    by EdFox on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:47:14 AM EST

    That's a dangerious thing to do... :)

    Anyway, good comment.


    [ Parent ]
    god's sakes! (2.20 / 5) (#192)
    by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:46:57 AM EST

    So go ahead, rail against the evil, jingoistic, neo-Nazi fighting men and women of the armed services of the Untied States, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and other countries who are so valiantly assaulting the "inalienable right" of Islamic Militants to set off car bombs and crash airplanes full of civilians whenever they choose.

    And the funny thing is, it's always twats like this who are the first to shout "strawman!" if you for one second forget to observe the fine distinction between a conservative and a libertarian.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]

    Nah (none / 0) (#322)
    by ubu on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:32:16 PM EST

    There's nothing "fine" about that distinction. You're listening to the wrong people. Only conservatives think conservatism is anything like libertarianism.

    Ubu


    --
    Feminists today are pro-choice on only one issue. -- Lew Rockwell
    [ Parent ]
    Dont tell me what I am. (2.66 / 3) (#207)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:54:49 AM EST

    On a more serious note, such naiveté as anti-war protests is not all that surprising from someone who is comfortably thousands of miles away from the death and destruction and who has the luxury of endless free time in which to read screeds by Chomsky.

    Such views, while repulsive, are part of what makes America great: the right to dissent.

    Well for a start I'm not in America and in fact have never been any nearer to the US then Dublin. I'm English.

    Secondly, I'm not a pacifist, I can think of several wars that were right for us to fight, the first world war (started as a response to an act of terrorism incidently), the second world war, for example, and several others that I have issues with but were generally right for us to have fought, the Kosovo war, the gulf war, etc.

    This isn't one of them. This is an attempt to extract revenge for the WTC bombings on the Taliban and the Afghani people, who we have no evidence were involved. A just action would be to hunt bin-Laden down and try him as the criminal he is. Bombing Afghanistan does nothing to acheive that, and in fact does a lot of harm to that cause by giving him another propaganda tool to beat the US with, another reason for violence, another wave of recruits to his cause.

    Thirdly my country has been at war with terrorists (US funded by the way) for about a hundred years. Do not attempt to tell me that I am "is comfortably thousands of miles away from the death and destruction" (By the way whats your earliest memory? Mine is watching the funeral of an IRA bomb victim on TV)

    bil


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

    How do you hunt down bin Laden? (none / 0) (#238)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:54:15 AM EST

    How do you hunt down bin Laden without going to Afghanistan?

    How do you go into Afghanistan without removing the threats to your forces first?

    How do you remove the threats of warplanes, anti-aircraft guns, morters, etc without blowing things up and killing people?

    As far as I know, the allied bombing is being done against military targets. Do you have evidence that the bombing is indescriminate?


    I like your defense of WWI. Just about the stupidest, most pointless war ever, started by the assassination of a couple of people.

    Yet this latest war isn't justified by a well organized group murdering thousands of civilians from dozens of countries.

    Whatever.



    [ Parent ]
    With subtlety, not brute force. (none / 0) (#250)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:36:13 AM EST

    My defence of world war one was that we (that is Britain, my country) got into it to protect Belgiums neutrality, and to help our ally (france) fight off an invasion. Apart from that it was the most stupid war ever fought. Morally we were in the right, tactically and strategically we sucked.

    This latest war isn't justified because it does nothing to bring those responsible to justice. It is a war that attempts to bring the Taliban down because they refused to bend over when the US demended they should. Cruise missiles can not arrest people. Bin-Laden is not stupid enough to hide in a military target. So how is this going to further the cause of justice for the WTC?

    Bringing bin-Laden to justice is a worthwhile cause, but this wont do it. For my thoughts on what would I refer you to this comment

    bil


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

    I just can't agree (none / 0) (#294)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:24:25 PM EST

    So, Britain intervening to maintain another countries "neutrality" is a good reason for a horribly destructive war, but the murder of thousands of civilians on three continents isn't a good reason for a relatively limited response?

    That is (IMO) pretty messed up.

    On your other post:

    I disagree that we didn't try diplomatically. We tried diplomacy for years against the Taliban.

    You know that bin Laden was indicted for terrorist acts _before_ 9/11/2001, right?

    The Taliban has enough evidence, they chose to support bin Laden and his group anyway.

    We tried working with Pakistan too. Didn't work.

    So much of what you what to do failed already.

    Bombing may not get bin Laden, but it is a prerequisite for a ground campaign to root him out.

    This is far different from the random bombing done by Clinton.

    Bush's response is not just to bomb, but to bomb in order to allow a ground force to get bin Laden and his organization.

    So, no I still don't agree.

    Dissent is fine of course (at least in the Western world), no reason we need to agree.

    Peace.

    [ Parent ]
    Not really messed up at all. (none / 0) (#468)
    by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 05:57:57 AM EST

    So, Britain intervening to maintain another countries "neutrality" is a good reason for a horribly destructive war, but the murder of thousands of civilians on three continents isn't a good reason for a relatively limited response?

    Hmm, well Britain guaranteed Belgiums neutrality, they were invaded, for no reason so we went to there defence. Whatever the causes of WWI they had nothing to do with Belgium so yes we were right to respond. The fact that we fought the war in a mindnumbingly stupid fashion has nothing to do with the "rightness" or otherwise of the cause. (Although seeing as you've brought it up, its a great example of how a war fought for the right reasons can turn into a nightmare that people like you can condemn as evil because of the horrific nature of the fighting while ignoring WHY it was fought. The road to hell is paved with good intentions...)

    The murder of thousands of people would be cause for a "relatively limited response" IF THAT RESPONSE WAS TARGETED AGAINST THE MURDERERS. In my view its not. It might be targeted against the murderers friends, but that is nowhere near the same thing. It is not aimed at hurting bin-Laden, or his organisation, its aimed at bringing down the Taliban.

    So much of what you what to do failed already

    So much is not all. There are still valid options for a solution to this affair that does not involve bombing civilians (and lets be clear, no matter how carefull you are there are always civilian casualties in a bombing campaign). The fact that the US can't be bothered to try them does not make the bombing legitimate. A legitimate response is one that seeks justice, this will not, can not, achieve that and therefore is wrong.

    bil


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

    America and the Great War (none / 0) (#649)
    by ariux on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 02:13:59 AM EST

    The Great War was fought by an aging British Empire trying to preserve the overwhelming naval supremacy which had enforced her preeminence as a world power for over a century. Germany's internal development gave her the production capacity, and her ambition the will, to challenge British sea power. This defined Germany as the enemy; an expensive arms race followed, and alliances with France (previously a hated enemy) and Belgium were entered in this context.

    The parallel is interesting, because Britain's world dominance at the time and her desire to preserve it were not unlike America's today.

    But it's not accurate, because the war of Britain and Germany was a contest of equals until the balance was tipped by British access to American trade, while today's war is not. It might be thought of as the war Europe shed her colonies rather than fight; today's opponents were born of and tempered in anti-colonial nationalism through the middle of the century.

    The actual American equivalent to the Great War, the Cold War, was never fought; by then, military technology had grown too powerful to be used safely by either party.

    [ Parent ]

    IRA terrorists (3.00 / 1) (#241)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:00:28 AM EST

    Personally, I think the UK should come down much harder against its own terrorists or give up and get out.

    I have very little sympathy for people who target civilians. You want to stop them, go right ahead.

    Your government didn't choose the best path by listening to Clinton with his "Peace Process" crap.

    "Peace Process" is just Orwellian doublespeak for a continual state of low level war.



    [ Parent ]
    Peace Process (none / 0) (#252)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:46:57 AM EST

    A large part of the point of the peace process in Northern Ireland is to end a system of institutionalized religious discrimination. I'm not saying that the IRA's methods were justified (I use were because they have been observing a ceace fire for several years), but that doesn't mean their cause itself was/is wrong. And if the British are going to come down harder on the IRA, then they need to come down equally hard on all the Loyalist paramilitary groups (UVF, LVF, RHD, UFF, UDF, etc...). And even harder on the supposed law enforcement officers of the RUC who have supported those groups or colluded in assasinations of people like Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane.

    And what exactly is so wrong with the peace process? The two sides of the troubles in Northern Ireland have hated each other for centuries. I think it's pretty admirable to try to get them to come to the table and talk peace. Even more so if you can actually engage them in a shared government. I don't much like Clinton. In fact, I think this may be the first time I've ever found myself defending the man. But I have a hard time seeing how anybody not on the radical extreme of one of the two sides in Northern Ireland (are you?) can oppose the peace process.

    [ Parent ]
    Nothing wrong with negotiations during war but (none / 0) (#285)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:07:18 PM EST

    I have no problem with both sides in a conflict talking. This is pretty much done in every conflict.

    The term "Peace Process" seems to imply more than this. It is a lie designed to sound good. It is just like renaming the "War Department" to the "Peace Department".

    I have a low tolerence for BS, and the term "Peace Process" pegs my BS-O-Meter.

    Peace Process == War.

    The truth is that, say, Israel and the Palestineans are at war. The bs is to say that they are doing the "Peace Process".

    Using the term "Peace" to descibe war is _exactly_ what Orwell meant by "Doublespeak".

    [ Parent ]
    A "peace process" is named after its goa (none / 0) (#650)
    by ariux on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 02:19:29 AM EST

    Israel's was genuine until the assassination of Rabin. Since then, only the name has remained, cloaking the usual reciprocal thuggery.

    [ Parent ]

    Pacifist... or Libertarian? You decide... (3.00 / 1) (#298)
    by phylum on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:30:20 PM EST

    This is an attempt to extract revenge for the WTC bombings on the Taliban and the Afghani people, who we have no evidence were involved.

    You mean, of course, "who I have no evidence were involved." Because unless you or I happen to be a member of the U.N. Security Council, or a CIA operative, or Tony Blair, or George W. Bush, you're not going to know if such evidence exists. That is because such evidence cannot be revealed publicly without destroying the sources of any such the evidence, including quite possibly the slaughter of operatives.

    Of course, this means you'll have to trust that someone who posesses knowledge that you don't is acting in the best interests of your nation. And if your belief that it's not possible for someone to know better than you do tells you that this isn't acceptable, well then, my "Atlas Shrugged"-reading friend, you should get in line behind Susan Sontag and the other closet-objectivists parading around in the shroud of pacifism.

    -phylum

    "I've always thought it must be wonderful to be a contrarian intellectual. What a great way to shrug responsibility, and look smart at the same time!"

    [ Parent ]

    Sheep, more likely. (3.00 / 3) (#312)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:05:48 PM EST

    You mean, of course, "who I have no evidence were involved." Because unless you or I happen to be a member of the U.N. Security Council, or a CIA operative, or Tony Blair, or George W. Bush, you're not going to know if such evidence exists. That is because such evidence cannot be revealed publicly without destroying the sources of any such the evidence, including quite possibly the slaughter of operatives.
    Ah. Very convenient. Government agencies that tell me bald-faced that they have "evidence" of "crimes", but they cannot reveal either the evidence or the sources for "reasons of national security". I must trust their judgement. It's for my own good.

    Would you, as a good State lackey, mind explaining then why

    • No exact specification of Bin Laden's involvement has been given, despite the fact that "specification" and "proof" are two different things.
    • How the fuck they can show such concern for the welfare of "operatives in the field", while the same fucking field is currently being bombed to Kingdom come? Or haven't you noticed that Afghanistan is under bombardment?
    • Information about the hijackers involved is being given freely, somehow without "compromising security"? Information is also flowing freely about Bin Laden's involvement in other attacks, ranging from the embassy bombings to the attack on the USS Cole. No "security problem" there, either. No worries about "the slaughter of operatives". In fact, as far as previous attacks go (1993 WTC bombing, embassy bombings) the full fucking identities of informants have been revealed. Splashed all over the cover of Time magazine, as it were. It seems the only problem they have is releasing information about Bin Laden's involvement in the Sep 11 attacks. No sir, that's sooo sensitive. Hush hush. My arse.


    [ Parent ]
    Well-meaning people who can't seem to think. (3.00 / 1) (#316)
    by phylum on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:23:19 PM EST

    No exact specification of Bin Laden's involvement has been given, despite the fact that "specification" and "proof" are two different things

    Yeah, in mathematics, maybe. "Evidence" and "conviction" are the terms you're looking for. And, as the great variance in world courts show us, the evidence required to elicit a conviction is all over the map. Even in the U.S., "criminal" proof (a.k.a. conviction) is different than "civil" proof. If you're going to suggest that the exacting requirements of criminal evidence as applied in the U.S. courts should also be applied to global terrorist organizations in order to require conviction, then we should be currently vacating the convictions of most of those found guilty at Nuremburg.

    How the fuck they can show such concern for the welfare of "operatives in the field", while the same fucking field is currently being bombed to Kingdom come?

    D'ya think that maybe we told our operatives, "don't stand on a Taliban airfield tomorrow night?" We're not exactly carpet-bombing civilian neighborhoods in Kabul, y'know.

    Information about the hijackers involved is being given freely, somehow without "compromising security"?

    Perhaps that's because the hijackers are dead now. The likelihood of them "compromising security" is right about zero.

    -phylum


    [ Parent ]

    Rubbish (2.00 / 4) (#329)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:01:17 PM EST

    and this kind of mindless CNN-parroting is getting tiresome. I see it 24/7 on TV; I'm tired of people spouting that crap second hand as well.

    It should be possible to specify exactly what Bin Laden did without endangering any lives. What exactly did he do?

    • We know he didn't pilot the hijacked planes. So don't give me any crap about "he attacked the WTC". He didn't.
    • Did he direct the attacks? A simple yes or no from the US would suffice, without involving any "operatives" identities being revealed. There has been to date, no official answer to this question. Unofficial sources indicate "No, he did not".
    • Well then, did he directly finance the attacks? Again, a simple yes or no would suffice without compromising any "operatives". Amazingly enough even this simple question has not been answered.
    • Did he indirectly finance the attacks, by providing the terrorist cells involved with seed money? Again, no direct answer.
    • Well, then, did he know of the attacks beforehand? Here, at last, we have an official answer. It is "possible". Fuck me, is this why we're bombing Afghanistan? On this morsel of "evidence"?
    This is what I mean by "specification". I don't need to know what Undercover Agent #114 did or saw, I just want an unequivocal specification as to what exactly Bin Laden's fucking rôle was. Fuck the evidence, just tell me without waffling, exactly what part he played?
    Perhaps that's because the hijackers are dead now. The likelihood of them "compromising security" is right about zero.
    I'm sorry, but I have to call you a fuckwit on this one. The hijackers didn't reveal any information about themselves because they are fucking dead. All information was gathered by detectives, investigators, and informants - and literally thousands of tips - from the US, France, England and Germany. Most of this information has been made public - the results were announced as they were obtained. You tell me, right now, what is so fucking special about information about Bin Laden that no-one can even say exactly what he did, much less show any proof, without compromising "operatives", while information about Abu Bin Hijacker is front-page news? Especially since it is known that before the WTC attack the CIA didn't have even one single informant in the Taliban? If these precious "operatives" are so close to Bin Laden that their lives are in danger, why the fuck didn't they warn the CIA of the WTC attack in time?

    Sheep.

    [ Parent ]

    Say, "Baaaaa" my lamb... (4.00 / 1) (#347)
    by phylum on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:08:48 PM EST

    From CNN.COM, 10.01.2001:

    "The Bush administration has begun the process of providing to its allies evidence that links Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, senior administration officials said. Officials said the evidence is contained in diplomatic cables to certain U.S. embassies. The first round of cables was expected to go out Monday to English-speaking countries, including Great Britain, Canada and Australia, the sources said."

    Be happy in the knowledge that evidence has been sent, and has been acted upon. You don't need to know what that evidence is. You're probably not going to know what that evidence is until after the active military campaign is over. Learn to deal. That's how war works. I've never understood people who can't accept the fact that things can work correctly, legally, and justifiably, even when they're not involved.

    tell me, right now, what is so fucking special about information about Bin Laden that no-one can even say exactly what he did, much less show any proof, without compromising "operatives", while information about Abu Bin Hijacker is front-page news?

    Christ, when it comes to the intelligence community, I'm about as savvy as Chevy Chase in "Spies Like Us"; but even I understand the difference in value between information collected before an event, and information collected after an event. Let me be more clear: the terrorists who attacked the WTC will never attack anyone again. Osama bin Laden (along with countless other living beings) can still attack someone. As a result, information collected about their current position and tasks is far more important (from the perspective of saving lives) than information collected about the WTC attack. Thus, this information is more privy to secrecy.

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    Spoken like a true sheep... (3.50 / 2) (#359)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:52:15 PM EST

    From CNN.COM, 10.01.2001:

    "The Bush administration has begun the process of providing to its allies evidence that links Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, senior administration officials said. Officials said the evidence is contained in diplomatic cables to certain U.S. embassies. The first round of cables was expected to go out Monday to English-speaking countries, including Great Britain, Canada and Australia, the sources said."

    Old news. The "evidence" has gone out and we have seen it. UK premier Blair saw fit to enlighten UK parliament in a keynote speech, the transcript of which is available on most news sites. There was even a story in the k5 queue about it today. Suffice it to say that the "evidence" does not include one single thing the general public does not already know.

    There is no evidence. None. Zip. Nada. None has been released, and none is forthcoming, because there isn't any.

    Christ, when it comes to the intelligence community, I'm about as savvy as Chevy Chase in "Spies Like Us";
    You got that right ...
    the terrorists who attacked the WTC will never attack anyone again. Osama bin Laden (along with countless other living beings) can still attack someone. As a result, information collected about their current position and tasks is far more important (from the perspective of saving lives) than information collected about the WTC attack. Thus, this information is more privy to secrecy.
    ... and here you show the reason why. So Bin Laden had very close ties to the hijackers. That's what we are told, because that's why we are bombing Afghanistan. One organisation, one conspiracy, right? So why then is the information purporting to one part of this organisation available, and not for the part pertaining to Bin Laden? Do you honestly think there are two totally disparate sets of "informers", one for the hijackers and one for Bin Laden?

    Christ almighty, two weeks ago the FBI was openly soliciting for tips and informants to come forward, and the CIA openly admitted to not having any field operatives in Afghanistan. Now all of a sudden they have "secret informants" whose identities must be protected at all costs?

    You don't need to know what that evidence is. You're probably not going to know what that evidence is until after the active military campaign is over. Learn to deal
    Sorry, no deal. In a totalitarian State maybe; not a democracy, and certainly not a democracy with such matters on its conscience as the Iran Contra affair, the School of the Americas, and the bombing of Libya (retaliation for a bombing that was later found out to have been carried out by Syrian terrorists), or the Kosovo "genocides" (which turned out never to have actually occurred). The very last thing I want is to learn, after the fact, that we fucked up again. The world is littered with our failures and it's about time politicians were held accountable for their heedless actions.

    Jesus, the US administration must be pleased with such acquiescent sheep as yourself as subjects.

    [ Parent ]

    So what's it like? (3.00 / 1) (#370)
    by phylum on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:00:07 PM EST

    So tell me, what is it like standing on the sidelines, demanding that you know everything, yet still confident that everything you're being told by your government is bullshit?

    Suffice it to say that the "evidence" does not include one single thing the general public does not already know.

    If you believe that the only evidence the U.S. has is what PM Blair saw fit to say before both Houses is the only evidence, then you're more naieve that I thought. Even here in the U.S., the State Department has acknowledged that it was only sharing certain information (both evidentiary and otherwise) with a group of eight Congressmen, rather than the entire body of Congress, to prevent media leaks. You see, sometimes, you have to trust that other people know a lot more about how to do things than you do. That's not being a sheep. It's being a rational human being.

    As for the evidence that we (the general public) do know, it may be only circumstantial, but there's one hell of a lot of it. Allow me to provide you with a sample of simple deductive reasoning:

    • We know as fact that, on 9/11/2001 the WTC was attacked by two planes; the Pentagon was attacked by one plane; and one plane crashed into rural PA about 1 hr. SE of Pittsburgh. I use the term "attacked" because I assume that you're reasonable enough to believe that four crashed Boeing jets within a 2-hour period is more than just coincidence.
    • We know as fact that all four planes were hijacked (due to both black box recordings, and phone calls from frantic people who died on the planes).
    • We know as fact that several Islamic arabs with known ties to al Quaeda were issued boarding passes on all those planes.
    • We know as fact that Osama bin Laden is the founder and leader of al Quaeda.
    • We know as fact that substantial circumstantial evidence links Osama bin Laden to other terrorist acts against the U.S.
    • We know as fact that a Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Osama bin Laden for conspiracy in these crimes.
    • We know as fact (and due to the Taliban's admission) that Osama bin Laden is currently in Afghanistan, and has been for some time.

    This facts are more than enough evidence to deliver an indictment in almost any court of law in the world. We asked the Taliban to hand over bin Laden for trial; they refused (in my opinion this was done to try and ligitimize their government; if they could make the U.S. negoitate with them, it would have given them tremendous clout in the eyes of the fundamentalist Islamic world, and would have encouraged even moderate fundamentalists to attack U.S. interests for the purpose of getting a seat at the negotiation table. By discounting their demands for negotiation, we effectively discredited their brutal, misogynistic regime.)

    We played nice by asking them to hand him over, so that we could put him on trial. They didn't, and went so far as to ignore the circumstantial evidence the rest of the world had (evidence which, ironically, is far more damning than the evidence being used by the Taliban right now to hold eight Christian aid workers on charges of heresy and treason).

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    Plus (none / 0) (#437)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:31:45 PM EST

    We know that OBL hinted about attacks very shortly before the WTC attacks occurred.

    We know that he claims that attacks won't stop unless he get what he wants. (if he had nothing to do with it, how can he know the motives of the "real killers"?)

    We know enough about his previous actions to indict him for previous attacks _including_ one on the WTC and one that killed hundreds in Africa.

    ------

    On the "scapegoat" theory:

    Why the heck would we go after someone uninvolved?



    [ Parent ]
    There may be no public showing of evidence. (none / 0) (#390)
    by sludge on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:50:48 PM EST

    Be happy in the knowledge that evidence has been sent, and has been acted upon. You don't need to know what that evidence is. You're probably not going to know what that evidence is until after the active military campaign is over. Learn to deal. That's how war works.

    Is there any reason to believe this information will be released at a later date? Let's concern ourselves with the possibilities:

    1. The US has highly probable but inconclusive evidence. Upon releasing the information, a rebuttal from a credible source years down the road could invalidate the evidence, causing heavy criticism worldwide against the US and the Bush Administration.
    2. As mentioned above, the evidence could very well be inconclusive, and the US themselves could later find out additional information that would lead their efforts away from Afghanistan, thus causing hostility towards the military action.
    3. The progpaganda is in the details. Listen to CNN, and when they talk about the Al Quaeda terrorist network, they often finish their sentences with "and other terrorist organisations". To release conclusive and solid evidence against the current aggressors could relinquish the American public's fuel once the revenge factor has been taken care of, even if the Bush administration sees a clear cut case for continuing the operation.
    To these ends, I think conclusive evidence will never see the light of day. However, the media will present credible explanations, and this will satisfy the general public.
    SLUDGE
    Hiring in the Vancouver, British Columbia area
    [ Parent ]
    Non sequiter (3.00 / 1) (#334)
    by aphrael on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:35:04 PM EST

    How the fuck they can show such concern for the welfare of "operatives in the field",

    Huh? This doesn't follow, i'm afraid. Al Qaeda (bin Laden's organization) is global, with cells all over the world; members of the organization have been arrested recently in the US, Italy, and Germany. It stands to reason that there are 'operatives in the field' who are intelligence agents *within some of these cells*; it is the welfare of *those* agents that the governments are concerned with.

    [ Parent ]

    Germany and the US (2.00 / 1) (#343)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:52:40 PM EST

    Huh? This doesn't follow, i'm afraid. Al Qaeda (bin Laden's organization) is global, with cells all over the world; members of the organization have been arrested recently in the US, Italy, and Germany. It stands to reason that there are 'operatives in the field' who are intelligence agents *within some of these cells*; it is the welfare of *those* agents that the governments are concerned with.
    It certainly does follow, given that these "intelligence agents" within the "terrorist cells" in the US and Germany, did not have the slightest inkling of what was to happen on September 11. The entire international intelligence community was caught flat-footed.

    Unless you want to hypothesize the implausible scenario that Bin Laden telegraphed proof of his involvement in the days immediately following the attacks from his hideout in Afghanistan to "cells" all around the world. Or even more implausibly, to only those "cells" that conveniently had US infiltrants.

    Besides, UK premier Blair hinted in his speech that important information came from an otherwise unidentified "lieutenant" close to Bin Laden. If that "close lieutenant" subsequently fled to the West than Bin Laden will have a pretty good idea who his personal Judas is. There would be little point in protecting his identity. If the "lieutenant" didn't, well then he's hardly being "protected" by the missiles and bombs falling all over the place, now, is he?

    The whole story is so unbelievably implausible that it could have come straight from the Soviet Ministry of Information in the good old days of Kruschev.

    [ Parent ]

    OK, here's a question (4.00 / 1) (#358)
    by aphrael on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:46:20 PM EST

    Your use of the quotes around "terrorist cells", plus your statement at the end, makes it clear that you completely disbelieve everything the US and British governments are saying on the subject.

    Now, i'm not completely convinced that they're telling the truth; I think there is a danger of the US angrily lashing out at any scapegoat it can find. But I haven't been able to find a compelling narrative that competes with the one the government is telling. We know, because a grand jury was willing to return an indictment, that there is good reason to believe that Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization. The British government tells me that some of the guys involved in the hijacking --- who were identified by seat assignment by cell phone conversation with passengers on some of the planes --- have links to Al Qaeda. OK, granted, this evidence is circumstancial --- but there doesn't appear to be even circumstancial evidence pointing at anyone else.

    The whole story is so unbelievably implausible

    Then what do you think is going on? Specifically, who do you think took out the wtc? If you don't believe Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization, then what is it, what is it's purpose, and how do you explain the grand jury indictment? The story may be implausible --- but I don't see any more plausible stories out there.

    [ Parent ]

    Good question (5.00 / 1) (#378)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:14:52 PM EST

    ... and I will try to answer it politely.
    Then what do you think is going on? Specifically, who do you think took out the wtc? If you don't believe Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization, then what is it, what is it's purpose, and how do you explain the grand jury indictment?
    Yassir Arafat has a past as a terrorist, and may very well still have connections to terrorists, but every time a Palestinian suicide bomber blows himself and innocent Israeli citizens up it does not mean that Arafat himself knew about it, organized it, or was indeed in any way responsible for that particular attack. That, of course, does not stop the Israeli right from calling for his head in retribution. It does not negate the fact that, however Arafat might personally feel about yet another suicide attack, he could not necessarily have done a damn thing to prevent it from occuring.

    Gerry Adams of Sinn Feinn, the political wing of the IRA, is guilty of atrocities in the past, but quite simply he cannot know about, and be involved in, every shooting, knifing, beating, bombing, intimidation or harassment that Irish thugs carry out in the name of the IRA. He plays a very important role in the IRA, but no-one is under the illusion that his death would spell the death of the IRA. No-one is under the illusion that, should all current members of the IRA be magically detected and eliminated today, the IRA would cease to exist. It would not. Tomorrow, other, new, frustrated, Irish youths would be attacking Loyalist targets, finding other sympathisers, and calling themselves the "IRA".

    None of this is meant to absolve Adams or Arafat, or Bin Laden from their crimes both past or present. It is simply inherent in the nature of such organisations, that there is no real central control. This is pretty messy, politically speaking, and handling it is a thankless and interminable job. The IRA have not gone away in half a century, the ETA are still active after 20 years in Spain, and we all know what kind of mess Israel and Palestine are in.

    This is also politically unacceptable for the US: the attacks of September 11 demand a response. A response demands a clear and identifiable enemy, and Bin Laden is playing that role. I personally don't think there is much evidence linking Bin Laden himself with the events of Sept 11, and in spite of my aggressive k5 "where's the evidence" campaign, I think Bin Laden's role, guilty or innocent, has been heavily overstated.

    I find it much more significant that the suicide hijackers were relatively well-off, educated, "Westernized" Saudis, Lebanese, Egyptians, and Palestinians. I find significant the undercurrent of immense hate and anti-US sentiment that permeates so much of Middle Eastern societies leading so many well-off people to work for years in secret towards their own deaths, in order to hurt the US just a little bit. I find it noteworthy that the attack could have been carried out for less than $200,000. My mortgage is higher than that. It becomes unimportant whether or not Bin Laden financed the attacks; funding of such magnitude is trivial to obtain and there will be other sponsors, there will be other suicide attackers.

    In this light, bombing Afghanistan makes as much sense as bombing Belfast or bombing the Gaza Strip. It's pointless, accomplishes little, and in the light of the dishonesty surrounding the Bush Administration's campaign so far, immoral.

    But it is retaliation, and that is what the US public wants right now. What the US public does not want to hear, is that there may be no quick solution; that there may be no identifiable villains; that our support of oppressive, fundamentalist, or dictatorial governments breeds wide resentment; above all, that this could go on for decades without the real culprits ever being brought to justice. However, that would require ice cold, bare-faced candour from the US government about its activities, policies, and politics, and require revealing some very uncomfortable truths. This has never happened the past 40 years, and I do not expect such candour to be forthcoming now.

    But this is a very long message to convey, which is why I usually content myself with shouting "Where's the evidence", in an attempt to prod people to think.

    [ Parent ]

    The Difference (none / 0) (#384)
    by phylum on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:32:36 PM EST

    None of this is meant to absolve Adams or Arafat, or Bin Laden from their crimes both past or present. It is simply inherent in the nature of such organisations, that there is no real central control.

    Certainly, we both agree that al Quaeda (and other organizations) are very dispersed, and that minimal centralized control exists. The difference between that organization and the ones you mention above is that, when Protestant children are burned alive in Armagh by a firebomb, Gerry Adams doesn't go on television and state "they had it coming." (nor do Loyalist leaders when Catholics are murdered). Similarly, I've never heard Arafat declare his joy when a misguided Palestinian boy blows himself up (along with a half-dozen Israeli jews) in a Jerusalem mall.

    Recognize that bin Laden actually went as far as to release a video in which he said that the WTC attack was "a good thing", and he was followed-up by the Taliban saying that terrorism would continue (which implies ownership) until the U.S. was out of Arab interests.

    I assure you that if Arafat were to praise the WTC attack, we would immediately cut our ties with the PLO (we already gave Ariel Sharon a slap on the wrist for speaking for us).

    Wanting the U.S. to change its policies is one thing; doing by murder is simply unacceptable. Look at the successful pacifism that Gandhi employed to significantly change the British empire.

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    This is as irrelevant as they come. (5.00 / 1) (#397)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:11:35 PM EST

    Gerry Adams and Yassir Arafat are now politicians. As a consequence, they now also behave as politicians. Regardless of their personal feelings, they are not going to display joy openly, even though they have both been personally responsible for atrocities against innocents in the past.

    But when a Palestinian suicide bomber blows himself and Jewish victims to bits, there is rejoicing in the streets of Gaza. When Israeli gunships retaliate by attacking targets in Palestinian townships, Jewish settlers celebrate.

    Bin Laden is not a politician. In contrast with Sharon, Arafat, or Adams, he is not going to be sitting round the negotiation table with Bush any time soon. He has a price on his head, and has had it for quite some time now. The US has been trying to kill him for years. He therefore does not give a shit about Western public opinion, and you are not going to hear him express his sorrow at the casualties either.

    Tim McVeigh never expressed his sorrow at the deaths he caused either.

    Wanting the U.S. to change its policies is one thing; doing by murder is simply unacceptable. Look at the successful pacifism that Gandhi employed to significantly change the British empire.
    Violence works. Period. It may be more comforting to face a Ghandi, but pacifists are far outnumbered by violent men. Regardless of the outcome of the attack on Afghanistan, the terrorist attacks on the US have changed the US immensely. One single attack has resulted in:
    • The US has been shocked to the core.
    • Their actions have occupied practically all world media 24/7, nonstop, for a month.
    • Stock markets worldwide have been affected to the tune of trillions of dollars.
    • The sanctions against Pakistan have been lifted.
    • Pakistan has been turned literally overnight from a rogue state into an American ally.
    • Russia's incursion in Chechnya is now seen as legitimate by the US government
    • The US has recognised the Palestine state's right to existence.
    • The US is paying UN dues again
    • Intensive bilateral contacts between the US and the EU have been intensified.
    • Afghanistan is getting food aid from the US
    • The US has shelved plans for the time being to unilaterally break ABM treaties with Russia.
    All this. In less than one month. By 18 suicide hijackers. Suceeding where thousands of peaceful, friendly EU, UN, Russian and Pakistani delegates failed in years of politics, negotiation, and talks. A little violence works miracles.

    [ Parent ]
    Interesting... (none / 0) (#481)
    by phylum on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:19:02 AM EST

    All this. In less than one month. By 18 suicide hijackers. Suceeding where thousands of peaceful, friendly EU, UN, Russian and Pakistani delegates failed in years of politics, negotiation, and talks. A little violence works miracles.

    Intereresting. You seem to be suggesting that it's OK to apply violence to further goals where politics and diplomacy fail to work. If that's so, then why is it not OK for the U.S. to do the same thing?

    As to Adams, Arafat, etc., I can certainly guarantee you that violence is a means, not and end. al Quaeda starts with violence, and completely ignores diplomatic and political channels.

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    State Terrorism (5.00 / 1) (#404)
    by greenrd on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:46:18 PM EST

    Wanting the U.S. to change its policies is one thing; doing by murder is simply unacceptable.

    Wanting Afghanistan to change its policies is one thing; doing so by state terrorism and mass murder is simply unacceptable. Make no mistake, it is state terrorism - textbook definition - violence to achieve political ends.

    About the mass murder:

    • The Taliban has conscripted men and boys from all over, some as young as 13. They did not ask to fight, but they are now military targets.
    • Probably more significantly, the UN says 5 million Afghan's are at risk of starvation. The refugees aren't doing very well, either. This was a calamity directly brought about by the war. Starving someone to death is as bad as putting a bullet through their heads. The US and UK govts have blood on their hands.

    "Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
    [ Parent ]
    Good answer (none / 0) (#395)
    by aphrael on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:02:17 PM EST

    Thank you. :) One of the things that has bothered me about what i've seen of the public opposition to the US response has been the degree to which it seems mindless and reflexive; it's nice to see a well thought out and articulated argument.

    but every time a Palestinian suicide bomber blows himself and innocent Israeli citizens up it does not mean that Arafat himself knew about it, organized it, or was indeed in any way responsible for that particular

    Agreed. However, if Israel can demonstrate that the suicide bomber in question was a member of Fatah, the question becomes more complicated --- was it an official act of Fatah? If so, can you reasonably hold the leadership of Fatah responsible for it? (It's a little bit like holding the US government responsible if a CIA operative kills, say, Kabila).

    It is simply inherent in the nature of such organisations, that there is no real central control.

    Agreed. Moreover, the organizations are deliberately built in such a way as to prevent central control --- so that they can go on operating even if their heads are cut off. It's tactically brilliant.

    <emI find significant the undercurrent of immense hate and anti-US sentiment that permeates so much of Middle Eastern societies leading so many well-off people to work for years in secret towards their own deaths, in order to hurt the US just a little bit</em>

    I find this slightly bizarre, and hard to understand. I understand some of the root causes --- the existence of Israel and US support for it; resenment over the way the colonial powers treated the area after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire (and bizarre attachment of the US to that --- bizarre because this occurred during the time that the US was basically not involved in the world); a feeling that the modern economy and geopolitics are set up against the peoples of the region, and blaming the US for them. But I don't understand the dynamic that turns that into suicide attacks --- if nothing else, all that attacks like the one on sept. 11 achieve is the *opposite* of their objective; the target becomes united in anger and lashes out and becomes *less* likely to ajdust their policies.

    It becomes unimportant whether or not Bin Laden financed the attacks; funding of such magnitude is trivial to obtain and there will be other sponsors, there will be other suicide attackers.

    True; there will be other attackers. But that doesn't mean that it isn't worthwhile to take out this particular network, to the best of our ability.

    and in the light of the dishonesty surrounding the Bush Administration's campaign so far

    Dishonesty? I have yet to see any case where the Bush administration has outright lied. I've seen a lot of *concealing*, but that's normal for US administrations during wartime.

    What the US public does not want to hear, is that there may be no quick solution

    Odd; i've heard Bush and Rumsfeld both say that, and Powell as well. I think, at least among the intelligentsia in the US, this is a well understood concept --- this is probably going to be the defining issue in international geopolitics for the next decade or more. Everyone I've talked to in person understands that there is no magic bullet or poison pill, and that what is being sold by the media as a 'war' will go on indefinitely.

    that our support of oppressive, fundamentalist, or dictatorial governments breeds wide resentment

    There's an irony here, though. Every government in the modern middle east is to some extent oppressive or dictatorial. Many of them justify that by arguing that without being oppressive or dictatorial, they will be overthrown by fundamentalist governments, forcing us to choose the lesser of evils. And, arguably, by far the *most* dictatorial government in the region is Syria, which we do not support --- but our failure to support that government breeds resentment, as well. And opposition to oppressive (Iraq) or fundamentalist (Iran, Afghanistan) governments also breeds resentment --- it very much seems that there isn't a *thing* we can do in the region that won't engender resentment. sigh

    [ Parent ]

    Addendum .... (5.00 / 1) (#407)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:58:37 PM EST

    ... while I basically agree with your post above, I want to address one final point, and that is the question of why the US is so uniquely hated in the Middle East.

    In contrast, European nations in the Arab world have in the past been equally meddlesome, if not more so, than the US: France in Algeria, Spain in Spanish Sahara and Morocco, Britain in Egypt, Israel and Lebanon. Yet there is very little anti-EU sentiment in the Middle East: EU flags are not burnt, nor are European targets bombed by Arab fanatics. I think this is due to a few factors:

    • Brand recognition. The US is a clearly defined entity, with clearly defined symbols (the flag, the dollar, Hollywood), and promotes its own image agressively. In contrast the EU is a union of disparate countries, has few symbols, no images, little self-promotion and keeps a low profile.
    • Neutrality: The EU tends to emphasise neutrality in Middle Eastern matters; the US tends to pick sides. This is partly a consequence of the bipolarity of the Cold War, and partly a consequence of the fact that US foreign policy is disproportionately and often conflictingly influenced by special interest lobby groups at home.
    • Unilateralism: no single EU country undertakes unilateral actions in the Middle East. Consensus building is paramount. US actions are almost always heavily unilateral.
    • Expectations: Through historical accident, necessity, and some homegrown political conceit as well, the US has built up expectations in the international community that cannot be realistically met. They are expected to act as global policemen, arbiters, sponsors and partners, and this has led to the discovery that you can't please everybody all the time (and in fact you can easily wind up pissing off most people most of the time).
    How to solve the Middle East problem? The thorny problem is the dependency on oil; the dependency on Saudi Arabia in particular. If US involvement in the Middle East were primarily economic and humanitarian instead of political, (i.e. not isolationist, but non-interventionalist), I think the image of the US as the Great Satan would fade from the Middle Eastern public consciousness in a matter of a decade or so.

    [ Parent ]
    Neither (none / 0) (#470)
    by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:16:53 AM EST

    You mean, of course, "who I have no evidence were involved."

    Fair enough, who I have no evidence were involved, and whose involvment nobody has even tried to convince me there is evidence for. Evidence has been presented against Al Qaeda, and I'm sure a lot exists that they havn't presented (although nobody seems sure how conclusive the evidence is), but

    Al Qaeda != Taliban
    and
    Taliban != Al Qaeda
    So far as I can see the only gripe we have with the Taliban is that they refuse to hand over bin-Laden. The affrontary of these people! How dare they ask for evidence!! Isn't our word good enough for them?? Well we put our evidence on CNN so thats good enough,... what do you mean they dont get satilite TV... Ahh stuff it lets just blow them up, easier then this thinking lark.

    bil


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

    Semantics (none / 0) (#480)
    by phylum on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:13:28 AM EST

    Al Qaeda != Taliban
    and
    Taliban != Al Qaeda

    True, al Quaeda is not the Taliban (and vice-versa). However, I would argue that:

    Taliban ~= al Quaeda (WRT political and religious beliefs)
    and
    Taliban != Afghan people

    I add that last one because it's important to remember that our targets are the installations of a brutal, misogynistic, and quite totalitarian government, not civilian installations. Yes, it it likely that some civilians will be killed, and that is, for lack of a better term, bad. However, when the only two choices are a few hundred dead people in one country vs. potentially thousands of dead people in another country (and make no mistake, those are exactly the only two possibilities), then the lesser of two evils should prevail.

    If you don't think that our only choices were to attack the Taliban or suffer more attacks at the impugnity of al Quaeda, let me present some info in another post I made yesterday:

    • We know as fact that, on 9/11/2001 the WTC was attacked by two planes; the Pentagon was attacked by one plane; and one plane crashed into rural PA about 1 hr. SE of Pittsburgh.
    • We know as fact that all four planes were hijacked (due to both black box recordings, and phone calls from frantic people who died on the planes).
    • We know as fact that several Islamic arabs with known ties to al Quaeda were issued boarding passes on all those planes.
    • We know as fact that Osama bin Laden is the founder and leader of al Quaeda.
    • We know as fact that substantial circumstantial evidence links Osama bin Laden to other terrorist acts against the U.S.
    • We know as fact that a Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Osama bin Laden for conspiracy in these crimes.
    • We know as fact (and due to the Taliban's admission) that Osama bin Laden is currently in Afghanistan, at the invitation of, and with the consent of, the Taliban.

    We asked the Taliban to hand over bin Laden for trial, based on the evidence above (this is evidence that would elicit an indictment in just about any court in the world). They refused (an in my opinion this was done to try and ligitimize their government; if they could make the U.S. negoitate with them, it would have given them tremendous clout in the eyes of the fundamentalist Islamic world, and would have encouraged even moderate fundamentalists to attack U.S. interests for the purpose of getting a seat at the negotiation table. By discounting their demands for negotiation, we effectively discredited their brutal, misogynistic regime.) We played nice by asking them to hand him over, so that we could put him on trial. They didn't, and went so far as to ignore the circumstantial evidence the rest of the world had (evidence which, ironically, is far more damning than the evidence being used by the Taliban right now to hold eight Christian aid workers on charges of heresy and treason).

    Diplomatic means are always a preferred method to resolving a problem. War is a terrible thing, for everyone involved. However, we've clearly exhausted every reasonable diplomatic option:

    We already built a massive international coalition (including Pakistan) to apply pressure to Afghanistan; diplomatic pressure has clearly failed.

    If we ignored the Taliban, they would continue to harbor Osama bin Laden indefinitely.

    If we negotiated with the Taliban, we would only encourage more attacks against the U.S., since it would show that terrorist could get what they want by killing civilians.

    We don't know if we have enough info on the location of Osama bin Laden to effectively use "low impact" black ops.

    This leaves us with one choice (assuming that our goal is to prevent people from killing more Americans): attack the Taliban.

    Sadly, bil, the world is filled with a lot of horrible people, against whom all the diplomacy in the world will have no effect. They are people who hold no value for life. They simply cannot be reached, other than with force.

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    Words are be important. (none / 0) (#491)
    by bil on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 10:37:56 AM EST

    Ok.
    Al-Quaeda may have very similar (or even identical) beliefs to the Taliban, but one attacked the WTC and the other is being punished for it. If your friend hits me, am I justified in kicking the sh*t out of you in revenge?

    We asked the Taliban to hand over bin Laden for trial, based on the [snipped] evidence above

    No, you demanded they hand over bin-Laden and (repeatedly) refused to give any evidence when they asked (they repeated the request yesterday).

    By discounting their demands for negotiation, we effectively discredited their brutal, misogynistic regime.

    We played nice by asking them to hand him over, so that we could put him on trial.

    You demanded they hand him over, threatened violence if they didn't and refused to present evidence against him, even the minimal evidence you released it to the rest of the world, and thereby showed that you have no interest in justice, but just want to make things go *BANG*.

    They didn't [play nice], and went so far as to ignore the circumstantial evidence the rest of the world had

    This is the same evidence that you refused to give them when they asked. Has it occured to you that they may have ignored the evidence because they dont watch CNN and so havn't seen it (this is a group that has banned TV after all).

    Sadly, bil, the world is filled with a lot of horrible people, against whom all the diplomacy in the world will have no effect. They are people who hold no value for life. They simply cannot be reached, other than with force.

    Sadly true, however when you refuse even to try diplomacy you become one of these people. No matter how noble you may think your cause is, when you would rather use violence and terror over diplomacy to further your cause, when you value your enemies life so lowly that you would rather kill them then even attempt peacefull means, then you are no better then those you target.

    bil


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

    Splitting hairs... (5.00 / 1) (#503)
    by phylum on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:52:54 PM EST

    Al-Quaeda may have very similar (or even identical) beliefs to the Taliban, but one attacked the WTC and the other is being punished for it.

    The Taliban isn't being attacked because they slaughtered 5000+ people at the WTC. They're being attacked because they refused to hand over Osama bin Laden despite having enough evidence to indict him in a court of law. And by "enough evidence", I mean that they are trying eight Christian aid workers on charges of treason and heresy in their own country at the moment; yet the evidence they have against these eight is much less that the publicly-available circumstantial evidence against bin Laden which is available to them.

    War happens when people refuse to play by generally-accepted principles of diplomacy and politics. Had the Taliban acknowledged the publicly-available evidence against bin Laden (more on that below), and handed him over for processing through any world court which both of our nations recognize, we would not be currently boming the hell out of Taliban resources in Afghanistan. Case closed. But instead, the Talban wanted to use bin Laden as a tool to get some juice (U.S. slang for "clout"). They thought that if they could force us to negotiate directly with them, it would legitimize their government in the eyes of other nations. Unfortunately for them, they were wrong.

    If your friend hits me, am I justified in kicking the sh*t out of you in revenge?

    You are if I then turn to you and say, "ha, ha! You got punched in the face, you pathetic loser! I hope my friend keeps hitting you! And to ensure that he does, I'm going to block you from retaliating against him by standing in your way."

    You demanded they hand him over, threatened violence if they didn't and refused to present evidence against him, even the minimal evidence you released it to the rest of the world, and thereby showed that you have no interest in justice, but just want to make things go *BANG*.

    In case you hadn't noticed, we didn't play cowboy on this one. We sent a lot of diplomats around the world, and asked them for their opinion and, if they offered it, their support. We spent almost a month building a colaition of nations. Christ, even the French are backing us on this. :-) We got wronged in a bad way, and there are at least 75 nations on this planet that feel we're doing the right thing. This was not a "shoot-'em-up".

    This is the same evidence that you refused to give them when they asked. Has it occured to you that they may have ignored the evidence because they dont watch CNN and so havn't seen it (this is a group that has banned TV after all).

    That's a pretty specious argument, especially from an intelligent (albeit misguided) fellow like yourself, bil. If you've noticed, they use satellite phones, digital video phones, and lots of weapons. They're not exactly Amish. In addition, they've been replying directly to unofficial communications through CNN and other news outlets. They know exactly what's going on.

    I'm always curious why some people are willing to believe governments such as the Taliban over the U.S. when they insist that we're "bombing hospitals and baby food factories", when these regimes clearly display ultra-authoritarian, misogynistic behavior against their own people. Granted, my country is not exactly at 100% compliance when it comes to human rights (nor, IMHO, is any nation, democracy or otherwise), but we're also not intentionally starving our own people, and committing active genocide against their minorities.

    Sadly true, however when you refuse even to try diplomacy you become one of these people.

    Nice rhetoric, but totally unsubstantiated. We presented circumstantial evidence, and asked the Taliban to hand over bin Laden. They refused, so we built up a world-wide colaition of governments, and got the majority of the world to sign off on the bottom line. You must understand that, under no circumstances, could the U.S. afford to treat the Taliban as the recognized government of Afghanistan. If we had, we would currently be watching another mass murder on U.S. soil, as every ultra-reactionary fundamentalist in Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Indonesia, etc., would be planning an attack in order to get recognition as a legitimate organization.

    No matter how noble you may think your cause is, when you would rather use violence and terror over diplomacy to further your cause, when you value your enemies life so lowly that you would rather kill them then even attempt peacefull means, then you are no better then those you target.

    Again, we attempted peaceful means. We attempted diplomatic means. As is sometimes the case, it didn't work. Remember what happened when your own country (along with France, Italy, and the BeNeLux states) capitulated to Germany in the mid-1930's? Does the statement, "We need breathing room" mean anything to you?

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    Important hairs though. (none / 0) (#586)
    by bil on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 09:50:01 AM EST

    The Taliban isn't being attacked because they slaughtered 5000+ people at the WTC. They're being attacked because they refused to hand over Osama bin Laden despite having enough evidence to indict him in a court of law. And by "enough evidence", I mean that they are trying eight Christian aid workers on charges of treason and heresy in their own country at the moment; yet the evidence they have against these eight is much less that the publicly-available circumstantial evidence against bin Laden which is available to them.

    Possibly so. But if our evidence is so good why did we not present them with it when they asked? If they asked us to hand over Colin Powell (to pick a name at random) would we a) say "yes no problem, here you go" or would we b) say "show us the evidence you have and we will consider it". I'm betting (b) so, if we would not do it, why do we expect them to do it? Because we've got bigger guns?

    In case you hadn't noticed, we didn't play cowboy on this one. We sent a lot of diplomats around the world, and asked them for their opinion and, if they offered it, their support. We spent almost a month building a colaition of nations. Christ, even the French are backing us on this. :-)

    We didn't actually send a diplomat to the one government who could provide the help we really needed, Afghanistan. We spent so much time getting the French on side, we didn't bother doing the real task of trying to achieve justice for those who died.

    That's a pretty specious argument, especially from an intelligent (albeit misguided) fellow like yourself, bil. If you've noticed, they use satellite phones, digital video phones, and lots of weapons.

    The weapons were supplied by the CIA or Pakistan, or captured from the Russians. None of them can pick up CNN. I very much doubt the Taliban use video phones. Any dipiction of a living thing is banned as un-Islamic, thus the Taliban are very unlikely to use them. bin-Laden might use them, but how likely is he to turn round and present the Taliban with the evidence they need to hand him over? And I doubt the presence of satalite phones, but if they do have them, well they still dont get the world news unless somebody rings them! At the end of the day, by not taking the time to go and present the evidence in person you left open an excuse for not handing him over.

    You must understand that, under no circumstances, could the U.S. afford to treat the Taliban as the recognized government of Afghanistan.

    You dont have to recognise a group as a government to negotiate with them, you just have to be willing to talk to the group.

    I'm always curious why some people are willing to believe governments such as the Taliban over the U.S.

    I dont belive the Taliban. I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them! But they offered a peacefull way out and we refused to take it. They may have refused to hand him over anyway, but I belive that for the small amount of effort it would have taken to call their bluff (and even raised the stakes with my ideas here) it was well worth it for the potential rewards. Instead, however, we just decided to throw our weight around.

    we attempted peaceful means. We attempted diplomatic means. As is sometimes the case, it didn't work. Remember what happened when your own country (along with France, Italy, and the BeNeLux states) capitulated to Germany in the mid-1930's? Does the statement, "We need breathing room" mean anything to you?

    We didn't try diplomatic means. Thats my point. The situation in Europe in the 1930's has huge differences with that we currently face (see the story in the queue for more details). And as for breathing room, I dont understand what you mean by this, you're killing people because you need time to think?

    bil


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

    Why we do things is just as vital as what we do. (none / 0) (#609)
    by phylum on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 04:49:15 PM EST

    But if our evidence is so good why did we not present them with it when they asked? ...why do we expect them to do it? Because we've got bigger guns?

    You must understand that the Taliban has a huge inferiority complex, because only three governments in the entire world recognize them as the ligitimate leaders of Afghanistan. If we had placated the Taliban by dealing with them directly, they would have immediately gone to Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, etc., and declared, "see, we made the U.S. recognize us and deal with us as a legitimate policital force! We've got clout!" (note that, in Middle Eastern cultures, negotiation is a way of life). This would have spawned God-knows-how-many organizations to commit terrorist acts against the U.S. and our interests, in order to get us to recognize them. We would currently be in the middle of some deep, deep do-do.

    If they really wanted evidence, and had any intention of reviewing it, they would have gone through Pakistan (one of the 3 nations that recognizes them) to make requests and accept evidence. They didn't do that. Instead, they wanted to play hardball by trying to force the U.S. to deal with them directly. It was a gamble. It didn't pay off.

    We didn't actually send a diplomat to the one government who could provide the help we really needed, Afghanistan.

    Again, we don't recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. To do after 09.11.01 would have been political (and quite possibly literal) suicide.

    None of them can pick up CNN.

    Then how come they're responding directly to U.S. media outlets? Are you suggesting that information is being distributed via camel-riders from Islamabaad to Kabul?

    I very much doubt the Taliban use video phones.

    Except, of course, for the coverage on CNN that shows them using video phones, cell phones, and Betamax cameras.

    Any dipiction of a living thing is banned as un-Islamic, thus the Taliban are very unlikely to use them.

    Um, then home come they're issuing videos?

    This is rediculous. The Taliban sees world media. They know exactly what's going on. They know exactly what the circumstantial evidence against bin Laden is. They simply refused to act on it.

    Look, I can understand that you're a pacifist, and that war == bad. I think war is bad, too. However, you're clearly an intelligent person; there's no need to embrace highly implausible possibilities. Just accept the fact which, deep down, we both know is true: the Taliban saw the evidence, but refused to act on it.

    You dont have to recognise a group as a government to negotiate with them, you just have to be willing to talk to the group.

    Talking to a group == recognizing that group. If we had done that, we would now be in the middle of attempted attacks from every half-baked organization around the world.

    But they offered a peacefull way out and we refused to take it.

    There was no peaceful option (other than for them to go through Pakistan to ask for evidence, or simply hand bi Laden over -- they rejected both those options). Had we "called their bluff" and spoken to them directly, in the eyes of the world, we would be recognizing them as a legitimate entity. We would then be attacked by any group that wanted our recognition, because it "worked for the Taliban."

    situation in Europe in the 1930's has huge differences with that we currently face (see the story in the queue for more details). And as for breathing room, I dont understand what you mean by this, you're killing people because you need time to think?

    The similarities of this situation to western Europe in the 1930's are staggering. Back then, western Europe let Hitler slide, as he encroached on Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovnia, Romania, Lithuania, etc. Their belief was that they could capitulate to him for a while, and eventually, he would no longer feel the need to invade nearby nations, and everybody would remain safe and happy. Of course, then he invaded Poland... (Hitler's justification for this was, "We Germans need breathing room")

    In a similar vein, capitulating to the Taliban by throwing them a bone (specifically, dealing with them as a recognized entity) would land us in a heap of trouble, as it would incite other groups to attack us to get recognition, and would give the Taliban a *lot* of clout in the Muslim world. You would have tens of thousands (if not more) young, healthy, Islamic males lining up to join the Taliban to wreak havoc on the U.S. and Israel.

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    hey asked for evidence. (none / 0) (#653)
    by bil on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 07:42:48 AM EST

    Okay, lots of stuff to say, so little time to say it in.

    If they really wanted evidence, and had any intention of reviewing it, they would have gone through Pakistan (one of the 3 nations that recognizes them) to make requests and accept evidence. They didn't do that. Instead, they wanted to play hardball by trying to force the U.S. to deal with them directly. It was a gamble. It didn't pay off.

    They did. Their amabasador said "we will hand over bin-Laden for trial in a neutral country if we are presented with evidence of his guilt". We responded with "the time for talking is over, hand him over or face the consequences". If the US had asked the UK for a suspect and had presented no evidence would you be suprised if the UK refused. If the Taliban asked the US for a suspect but refused to give their evidence would you be shocked if the US refused? No you would say they were right to do so and supported them (as would I). This is one rule for us and another for them. It's not the Taliban who are playing hardball its the west.

    Look, I can understand that you're a pacifist, and that war == bad. I think war is bad, too.

    I'm not a pacifist, I belive that there can be a just war. I just belive that war should be the last resort when all else fails. We are using it as the first resort.

    Talking to a group == recognizing that group. If we had done that, we would now be in the middle of attempted attacks from every half-baked organization around the world.

    Yes but

    Talking to a group != recognizing them as a government.
    You can recognise a group without recognising them as a government. The UK government recognise the existance of the IRA but nobody thinks they rule anything. The police negotiate with hostage takers everyday, but none of them are deemed a legitimate government. As an excuse for refusing to negotiate this is about as poor as you can get. You are aware that the US government talks to the PLO (and invites Yassur Arrafat to tea at the White House) and to Sinn Fein (political wing of the IRA) and no doubt to others. I dont quite see how talking to the Taliban could make things worse.

    The similarities of this situation to western Europe in the 1930's are staggering. Back then, western Europe let Hitler slide, as he encroached on Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovnia, Romania, Lithuania, etc.

    Hmm, this is obviously a different WWII to the one in the history books. For a start to invade Lithuania you have to go through Poland (and I have a feeling that Stalin invaded it first), Bosnia wasn't an independant country at the time (it was part of Yugoslavia, which wasn't invaded untill 1940, after the fall of France iirc), Romania fought alongside Hitler on the Russian front, and Austria welcomed German troops with open arms (cheering and waved flags in fact). But ignoring that, I have yet to see any evidence that the Taliban are intent on invading anywhere (except perhaps those parts of Afghanistan held by the Northern Alliance), or that they claim to "need breathing room" for their country. Here you are trying to catch a terrorist, not prevent the invasion of an innocent country. You are not trying to prevent the rampant expansionism of a major industrial power but to persuade a minor player to hand over a suspect for trial. These are major differences.

    bil


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

    Read carefully (plus a history lesson) (none / 0) (#654)
    by phylum on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 07:57:18 PM EST

    First, let's get the history and geography out of the way:

    For a start to invade Lithuania you have to go through Poland (and I have a feeling that Stalin invaded it first)

    ...or you can get there through the Ukraine and modern-day Belarus. :-) Point taken that the order of invasion was incorrect.

    Bosnia wasn't an independant country at the time (it was part of Yugoslavia, which wasn't invaded untill 1940, after the fall of France iirc)

    Bosnia-Herzegovnia, to which I referred, is a region of the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia is a modern-day Republic.

    Romania fought alongside Hitler on the Russian front, and Austria welcomed German troops with open arms (cheering and waved flags in fact).

    So did the Sudeten Czechs in 1938; this doesn't belie the fact that the Germans did, in fact, invade the country, at the cost of the lives of many non-Germanic Czechs (including many Jews, who I can only presume wished that their country was no longer part of the Reich when later that year, Kristallnacht hit).

    As for Austria, the "Anschluss" was not a military occupation, it was a governmental union. The Austrians received full citizenship in the Reich; plus, they were culturally Germanic to begin with. Plus, the union occurred in the spring of 1938, prior to the Hitler's revealing publicly that total European domination was his goal.

    I have yet to see any evidence that the Taliban are intent on invading anywhere (except perhaps those parts of Afghanistan held by the Northern Alliance), or that they claim to "need breathing room" for their country. Here you are trying to catch a terrorist, not prevent the invasion of an innocent country. You are not trying to prevent the rampant expansionism of a major industrial power but to persuade a minor player to hand over a suspect for trial. These are major differences.

    The Taliban are intent on removing all un-Islamic culture from the face of the earth. The Nazi Party was intent on removing all non-approved culture from the face of the earth.

    Just as the Nazi party leveraged society's existing suspicion of the Jews to convince otherwise reasonable people that they must be purged, the Taliban is trying to leverage the Arab world's own cultural ties to Islam and their suspicion of things Western to justify our destruction. And if you don't think that one of the goals of radical Islamic fundamentalism (or any religious fundamentalism for that matter, including Christian and Jew) are to attack and subjugate governments, then you should check out the current state of politics in the Phillipines, Indonesia, and the Sudan.

    That, in as direct terms as I can state, is the frightening similarity.

    Their amabasador said "we will hand over bin-Laden for trial in a neutral country if we are presented with evidence of his guilt".

    Again, one final time in case I haven't been adequately succinct or direct: WE COULD NOT NEGOITATE DIRECTLY WITH THE TALIBAN. This includes providing them with the same evidence that they saw on CNN. To do so would have, in the minds of many terrorist organizations, implied to them that they could get what they wanted simply by slaughtering some Americans.

    You can recognise a group without recognising them as a government. The UK government recognise the existance of the IRA but nobody thinks they rule anything.

    Yes, but the IRA doesn't claim to be the legitimate government of Northern Ireland, do they? It's quite simple: if we had spoken directly to the Taliban (which is the failed gambit they played), we would have been inviting countless terrorist organizations to attack us.

    -phylum

    [ Parent ]

    Agree to disagree. (none / 0) (#655)
    by bil on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 06:19:33 AM EST

    Bosnia-Herzegovnia, to which I referred, is a region of the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia is a modern-day Republic.

    Very true but I dont see how this invalidates my point that we didn't "let Hitler slide, as he encroached on Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovnia, Romania, Lithuania" because two of these countries (Romania and Austria) were allied with Hitler (in the same way Italy was), and the other two (Bosnia and Lithuania) were conquered while we were at war with Germany. Wether Bosnia or Bosnia-Herzegovnia is the correct name for the region at that time is fairly minor to that point. It was part of King Peter's Kingdom of Yugoslavia and was attacked after the fall of France. The Europeans didn't let Hitler get away with it, they just couldn't do anything to stop it (interesting to note that Yugoslavia bought its ammunition from Germany so would have run out if it fought a long war against its supplier), the British tried to defend Greece, which was the Nazis next port of call (and the real target, Yugoslavia was just in the way), but were soundly beaten.

    So did the Sudeten Czechs in 1938; this doesn't belie the fact that the Germans did, in fact, invade the country

    A far better point then your previous ones, and as to why war was not declare when Czechoslovakia was invaded I dont know, but I guess it was because we were desperatly trying to avoid another European war and thought the price worth paying (obviously we didn't ask the Czechs, they may not have agreed!). Poland prooved war was the only way to stop Hitler, so thats what happened.

    History lesson over. I still dont belive there is a direct parrellel with today. Afghanistan has shown no signs of terratorial expansionism, yes they encourage fundamentalism (either directly, or by example) but they (or there fellow travellers) do not have the military might or the popular support to seize power in other countries. Unless of course somebody drives large sections of the Islamic world into their arms (Say by turning them into Islamic martyrs...). Hitler had the power to carry out his aims, the Taliban do not (yet).

    Again, one final time in case I haven't been adequately succinct or direct: WE COULD NOT NEGOITATE DIRECTLY WITH THE TALIBAN. This includes providing them with the same evidence that they saw on CNN. To do so would have, in the minds of many terrorist organizations, implied to them that they could get what they wanted simply by slaughtering some Americans.

    We're going to have to agree to disagree here. I think that it was worth the risk for a peacefull settlement, you obviously disagree. I would point out thought that Washington has no problem talking to the PLO, and now claim to want an independant Palestinian state (a good thing in my opinion) so it is obvious to me that the US will deal with terrorists if the right pressure is applied, not talking to the Taliban tells me you will deal with terrorists but not islamic fundamentalists, you will deal if the group wants something from you, but will bomb if they have something you want.

    bil


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

    The fate of the taliban (none / 0) (#639)
    by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 05:21:44 PM EST

    They're being attacked because they refused to hand over Osama bin Laden despite having enough evidence to indict him in a court of law.

    They're being attacked, not because of anything they have done since 11 sept, but for allowing things to come to this pass in the first place. After something like this, the responsible parties and their direct collaborators don't get a second chance.

    After the morning of 11 sept, the only way the taliban could have avoided attack was to immediately capitulate, destroy all their arms, and welcome in an international occupation force. Whatever both parties said to appease international opinion, the taliban never had the option of staying in power. They had only the choice of falling peacefully or through war, and they chose war.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Words are be important. (5.00 / 1) (#526)
    by khym on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 04:37:52 PM EST

    Al-Quaeda may have very similar (or even identical) beliefs to the Taliban, but one attacked the WTC and the other is being punished for it.
    There's good evidence that Bin Laden and the Al-Quaeda have been involved in previous terrorist attacks, and Laden has even admitted to some of them, yet when we asked the Taliban to hand them over, they refused, nor did they even put him on trail. They've been harboring Laden and terrorist camps for years, knowing that they're terrorists, and knowing that they've called for the killing of American civilians. I'd consider that to be some serious aiding and abetting.

    The Taliban is doing this out of religious beliefs. Being religious fanatics, they ain't gonna change. To dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan, and make it no longer be a safe harbor for them, we need to get rid of the Taliban.



    --
    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 ]
    They offered, we refuse. (1.00 / 1) (#581)
    by bil on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 09:08:35 AM EST

    There's good evidence that Bin Laden and the Al-Quaeda have been involved in previous terrorist attacks, and Laden has even admitted to some of them, yet when we asked the Taliban to hand them over, they refused, nor did they even put him on trail.

    They offered. They said "give us the evidence against bin-Laden and we will hand him over for trial, or try him ourselves". They said it several times. They are still saying it. We replied "You dont need to see the evidence, hand him over or else" and then started bombing. It is very hard to put somebody on trial if you have no evidence against them.

    Wouldn't you just love to live in a country that belives in the rule of law, rather then the power of the gun?

    bil


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

    International law (5.00 / 1) (#584)
    by nichughes on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 09:30:47 AM EST

    The law that governs trans-national matters is international law. Under international law there is no doubt whatsoever that the Taliban were required to hand OBL over for trial. The UN security council had reviewed the evidence and passed resolutions years before on the basis that the evidence was more than sufficient for extradition - in matters affecting international security the Security council is the supreme officiating body and there is no appeal to any higher body.

    The Taliban position was an obvious flim-flam with no legal basis. Do you really believe they have such a deep seated need to see proper evidence and a full and fair trial that it supercedes international law. If so how do you explain their storming the UN compound in Kabul and summarily lynching a former Afghan ruler and his brother. Or did you forget that? --
    Nic

    [ Parent ]

    Does the UN recognise them? (1.00 / 1) (#588)
    by bil on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 10:33:42 AM EST

    One moment people are saying "We shouldn't negotiate with the Taliban because we dont recognise them as being a legitimate government", and the next they're demanding they obey international law as if they were a recognised government...

    Do the Taliban have a seat at the UN? Why do we expect them to follow UN rulings then?

    Whatever you think of the Taliban I belive that it was worth making an extra effort, going the extra mile, for a peacefull resolution. If that meant not following the rules precisly well at least then nobody could have accused us of not trying all the other options first. Violence should always be the last resort in international relations, in this case it seems to have been the first and only resort.

    bil


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

    Laws apply whether you are illegal or illegal (none / 0) (#626)
    by nichughes on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 03:19:57 PM EST

    The laws apply to you whether your status is legal or illegal, would you consider an illegal immigrant beyond the legal powers of a country where they commit a crime?

    The UN security council has the power to demand compliance from any group that threatens international peace and security, whether they be a legal government or not. Before continuing your legalistic quibbling I suggest you go to the UN website and try reading what legal powers it does and does not have.

    --
    Nic

    [ Parent ]

    What about his confessions? (5.00 / 1) (#603)
    by khym on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 04:01:01 PM EST

    They offered. They said "give us the evidence against bin-Laden and we will hand him over for trial, or try him ourselves".
    Good grief, he's admitted to some of those terrorist acts! If a confession plus publicly available evidence isn't enough for the Taliban, nothing will ever be enough.

    --
    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 ]
    Evidence (none / 0) (#638)
    by ariux on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 05:11:10 PM EST

    If this were a trial in a court, you'd be absolutely right. The us government hasn't produced anything close to clear and convincing evidence of even al kaida's involvement, much less the taliban's. There's no jury of peers, all the evidence is secret, and no public ruling was even made - a travesty of justice.

    But. This wasn't a crime; it was an act of war. The perpetrators were organized, came from abroad, and killed thousands of people.

    By war's looser standards of proof, the intelligence apparatus has sniffed out many signs of al kaida direction (down to a return of leftover funds to one of their lieutenants days before the operation was carried out), and the taliban is well known to be harboring and supporting them. By these standards, the people in charge are convinced enough to act; and are doing so.

    [ Parent ]

    Man this is really bad.... (2.76 / 13) (#126)
    by Lelon on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:26:54 PM EST

    This post seems to have brought about the largest collection morons posting comments I've ever seen on k5 (thats saying a lot).

    A few things. Being generally opposed to war and violence is NOT pacifism.

    There is no debate on the good vs. evil we have here. Its crystal clear.

    When 90% of Americans support the bombings, it isn't suprising or wrong that news organizations ignore the very very very very very very small % of people protesting the war.

    I haven't read one post that actually *understands* the anti-war stance, so don't say "They have no solutions" because you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

    We aren't bombing the country to find one man. We are (wether we're saying or not) holding the taliban responsible for the attacks. (Personally, I think we should hold every living person in Afghanistan responsible)

    The protestors DO NOT fit the general stereotype that many of you adopt. They aren't all college students smoking pot. The come from all walks of life, and in fairly equal proportions.

    gibichung is right. you all should read his post a minimum of 3 times.

    All that being said, I still get a warm fuzzy feeling when I see anyone excercising their right to free speech. Edfox said it pretty well, and i'm repeating it because it bears repeating.

    "These same men and women look at your protest and beam with pride, for they know that it is their service and sacrifice which allows you the freedom to protest. "




    ----
    This sig is a work in progress.
    Is a 2-month old responsible? (4.25 / 4) (#139)
    by snowlion on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:40:04 PM EST

    Apparently you believe that we should hold "every living person in Afghanistan responsible".

    Does this include the people who faught against the Taliban rise to power?

    How about the now-single mothers, forced into prostitution, who aren't allowed to work. Are they responsible?

    How about 2-month old babies; Are they responsible? Is it crystal clear-ly obvious that we should be killing 2-month old babies? Remember, it was you who said that "I think we should hold every living person in Afghanistan responsible."

    What a piece of crap that the people there are responsible for the actions of their government.

    I am ashamed of the actions that my government (USA) commits, the laws we pass, the culture we raise, the things we say as a country. Am I to be held accountable for the terrors of my country? Or should I be chastized for not spending my every waking moment towards convincing you and others about the evil in our country?

    Your perspective makes me sick; You would have us commit injust murder in the name or justice. Shame!


    --
    Map Your Thoughts
    [ Parent ]
    Thank you (1.10 / 10) (#242)
    by raaymoose on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:02:50 AM EST

    Your comment has reminded me once again that not all US citizens are small-minded, drooling war hawks, contrary to evidence provided. ;)

    [ Parent ]
    yawn (1.00 / 2) (#262)
    by Lelon on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:14:17 PM EST

    i should clarify.

    those fighting the taliban should, of course, not be held responsible.

    small children (such as yourself) should, of course, not be held responsible


    ----
    This sig is a work in progress.
    [ Parent ]
    ooh, now comes the childish name calling! (none / 0) (#288)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:20:37 PM EST

    "small children (such as yourself) should, of course, not be held responsible"
    couldnt you have come up with something better or more offensive? "tree-hugging faggot" for example?
    come on you can do better than that!

    [ Parent ]
    Do you mind if I Kipple (2.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Phage on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:28:37 AM EST

    For those in uniform who may feel that they are getting the rough end of the stick in terms of support from the public (refer Vietnam). May I refer them to this from another time.

    Aplogies to PhysicsGod whose sig reminded me of this, and whom I have already directed to this quote


    I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
    Canthros
    [ Parent ]

    waht? (3.00 / 2) (#191)
    by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:44:42 AM EST

    That Kipling poem refers to the Boer War. Are you suggesting that the bombing of Afghanistan is a similar imperialist adventure?

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    Ahhh no, (none / 0) (#385)
    by Phage on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:33:03 PM EST

    That hadn't even occurred to me. I was drawing a parallel between the treatment of the soldiers then and now.

    Interesting you should mention that though...


    I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
    Canthros
    [ Parent ]

    heck no (none / 0) (#528)
    by anonymous cowerd on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 04:52:53 PM EST

    ...a similar imperialist adventure?

    Heck no. Chamberlain and Kitchener and Rhodes were out on a capitalist/imperialist romp, definitely. But Kipling isn't talking about them at all, he's talking about... well, reminds me of this quote in (I think) Paul Fussell's book about English poetry in the First World War, where someone had asked one of those soldiers on the quay, "What ideals are you fighting for, what are you hoping to achieve?" and the guy under the pie-plate helmet replied, "Dunno, we're just going to fight the bloody Belgiums." You just can't rationally accuse Tommy, whom the bar girls giggle at, of imperialism or anything half so thought-out as that.

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

    A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.
    [ Parent ]

    Crock (none / 0) (#178)
    by ubu on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:55:51 AM EST

    "These same men and women look at your protest and beam with pride, for they know that it is their service and sacrifice which allows you the freedom to protest."

    Huh? That's a fat load of horseshit, on its face. Aren't we talking about sacrificing freedoms for the sake of this silly, stupid war? What freedoms, exactly, are your young servicemen and servicewomen securing us? The freedom to look down on foreigners because we bombed the shit out of them?

    Feh, let's hold a soccer match. Bragging rights are harder to guarantee, but the cost is ever so much easier to justify.

    Ubu


    --
    Feminists today are pro-choice on only one issue. -- Lew Rockwell
    [ Parent ]
    Um... (3.00 / 1) (#212)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:35:04 AM EST

    Did you somehow miss the part where 7000 civilians were murdered? Or the threats to do so again? How about freedom from terror? Or how about the freedom of the majority in Afganistan who do not support the Taliban to be something other than militant Islamic? And there's always that whole "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness" (yeah, I know it's specifically american, and it's not law). al Quaeda, supported by the Taliban, have deprived thousands of the first of those. And which freedoms were we sacrificing? The freedom of terrorist organizations to committ mass murder? The freedom of governments to protect mass murderers? Fine with me! (no, I'm not advocating reductions in civil rights)

    [ Parent ]
    Oh fuck off already. (2.50 / 4) (#272)
    by ksandstr on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:32:46 PM EST

    7000 civilians are a fly's fart in the desert compared to the total bodycount of the policies that the U.S. has been exercising worldwide. The U.S. is as much (or more) a terrorist-harboring nation as Afghanistan -- the main difference is just that you can claim that your generals are executing their state-terrorist operations with "U.N. approval".



    Fin.
    [ Parent ]
    Oh come off it (3.00 / 1) (#282)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:01:58 PM EST

    The US does not deliberately target noncomattants. That does not necessarily mean they will not be injured or killed. And I'm not talking about individual actions of maverick soldiers/agents either. I'm getting pretty sick of the boilerplate anti-US bullshit. No, we're not perfect. But the US population is, by and large, pretty altruistic. And while our government is certainly far less than perfect, I believe (and accuse me of being naive all you want) that the United States has worked harder for justice and freedom all over the world than just about any other country. Often we are unsuccessful, and sometimes it backfires pretty badly. And we usually get egg smeared on our faces. But since World War II, I believe that the United States has tried very hard to make a positive difference in the world.

    Oh and before you go screaming about how we were just pursuing our own financial or political interests, think about why that's so bad. Yeah, we try to pursue our interests overseas. Big fucking deal! So do most other countries who have the breathing space to look outside. And in a lot of cases, the goals of altruism and pursuit of our interests have coincided. There's nothing wrong with that.

    And no, I won't fuck off. But I'll also have the consideration not to tell you to do the same. Seems like a pretty silly thing to say to someone reasonably participating in an online (or any) discussion.

    [ Parent ]
    Warm glass of shut the hell up (3.00 / 3) (#293)
    by ubu on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:23:58 PM EST

    The US does not deliberately target noncomattants.

    Wrong. The atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima deliberately targeted noncombatants.

    But the US population is, by and large, pretty altruistic.

    Wrong! Say that Americans are friendly, charitable, proud, gregarious, whatever you like. But let us please hear the end of this altruism bullshit. The mythos of American altruism is the same that powers our socialistic faith in government to save us from terrorists... mere weeks after the government utterly failed to protect 7,000 lives from the exact same terrorists.

    the United States has worked harder for justice and freedom all over the world than just about any other country.

    All I can say is that you must be disabused of this outrageous notion. I suggest you begin with a review of CIA history in Peru and Haiti.

    Oh and before you go screaming about how we were just pursuing our own financial or political interests, think about why that's so bad. Yeah, we try to pursue our interests overseas.

    So quit whining about altruism, period.

    Big fucking deal! So do most other countries who have the breathing space to look outside.

    Here's the million dollar question: why does "The United States" pursue "American interests", when Americans are more than capable of pursuing their own individual interests? Why use coercive military, intelligence, trade, judicial, and UN power to achieve "American interests"? If you want to intervene, fucking do it yourself. What gives you the right to do it as America, with my tax money, and putting me and my family at risk of terrorist attack?!

    And no, I won't fuck off.

    Well, you really should.

    Ubu


    --
    Feminists today are pro-choice on only one issue. -- Lew Rockwell
    [ Parent ]
    bad aim? (none / 0) (#301)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:34:57 PM EST

    "The US does not deliberately target noncomattants"
    ok how come approximately 500,000 iraqi civilians were killed in the gulf war?

    [ Parent ]
    streetlawyer subtraction service (2.00 / 3) (#190)
    by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:32:51 AM EST

    When 90% of Americans support the bombings, it isn't suprising or wrong that news organizations ignore the very very very very very very small %

    The number you are looking for is "10".

    Happy to help.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]

    *cough* (none / 0) (#201)
    by caine on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:31:56 AM EST

    Isn't it 0.1? :) Or 10%, but not just 10.

    --

    [ Parent ]

    Actually (none / 0) (#211)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:27:23 AM EST

    10% is only the difference between the approval rating (90%) and the total possible (100%). If memory serves, the actual disapproval rating was closer to 4%.

    [ Parent ]
    Stats & Reading comprehension 101 for streetla (none / 0) (#234)
    by sonovel on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:44:38 AM EST

    Statistics lesson:

    100 % is total percent of people

    90 % support the war

    x % don't support it

    y % have no opinion

    Conclusion 1:
    So x is likely < 10%,


    Reading comprehension:

    Note that the post is says 90% support and and only a very small percent _protest_.

    Not all the people who are against the war protest.

    Say z % protest

    z < x

    Conclusion 2:

    z < x < 10%

    Even less than 10% protest, perhaps much less as the original poster pointed out.


    I know a pedant appreciates being corrected so from one pedant to another, you're welcome.

    sonovel


    [ Parent ]
    A few nitpicks, if I may... (none / 0) (#260)
    by ksandstr on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:09:58 PM EST

    This post seems to have brought about the largest collection morons posting comments I've ever seen on k5 (thats saying a lot).
    Agreed.

    There is no debate on the good vs. evil we have here. Its crystal clear.
    Please clarify. Are you referring to the "Good vs. Evil" referred to by dubya? If that is the case, I'll say that it's far from crystal clear. Good/Evil, with the capitals and all, refer to absolute Good and absolute Evil. That is to say, persons only capable of objectively good or evil actions and nothing more. From an European point of view, saying that the US is "Good" and the Afghans (with or without the so-called terrorists) are "Evil" makes about as much sense as saying the US are Evil and the Afghans Good. There are extremely few people who only do Good or only do Evil and nothing else. (Either that or your president is an utter blockhead. Occam's razor seems to suggest that much.)

    When 90% of Americans support the bombings, it isn't suprising or wrong that news organizations ignore the very very very very very very small % of people protesting the war.
    When you say that 90% of US citizens are estimated to support (I'm assuming that you're referring to an estimate, since it'd be hard to ask every single north american about the matter) the terror bombings of Afghanistan targets, you're also saying that 100-90=10 percent don't at the very minimum passively support it. That, in my book, doesn't qualify as "very very very very very very small % of people", though I'll admit that not all of them are actively voicing their dissent.



    Fin.
    [ Parent ]
    read it again (none / 0) (#265)
    by Lelon on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:19:36 PM EST

    1st, the 90% figure is backed up by numerous polls (everyone i've seen) about the "myterious" 10%, you are the 2nd person (along with streetlawyer) to make that mistake. the very very ... very small % were the people PROTESTING, 10% of Americans are not protesting the war. The simply don't [passively] support, which also means they could not [passively] oppose it. Its near impossible to estimate the number of protestors, but my guess is less than .01%


    ----
    This sig is a work in progress.
    [ Parent ]
    Forgot something... (none / 0) (#266)
    by ksandstr on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:22:29 PM EST

    We aren't bombing the country to find one man. We are (wether we're saying or not) holding the taliban responsible for the attacks. (Personally, I think we should hold every living person in Afghanistan responsible)
    Think again. Does bin Laden hold every living person in U.S. responsible for the continued presence of U.S. military (eq heretic) personnel in the middle east (on the land of sovereign nations, no less) or not? After all, most of that stuff is pretty much a requirement for the north american people to be able to continue their current extremely wasteful and inefficient way of life. (As far as I'm concerned, a way of life for a few people (say, 200 million) that requires the continued exploitation of foreign countries should be attacked relentlessly, though I personally wouldn't stoop to killing civilians unless I had no choice.)

    From what I've gathered from both conventional and on-line media during the last few weeks, bin Laden and his jolly fellows would be completely happy if the U.S. stopped acting like they had the right to do whatever they please (see, for instance, the support for the continued Israeli repression of the Palestinians, military presence in several locations in the middle east, etc etc) and started acting like the rest of the world.

    The media may not tell you this, but there are plenty of people in Europe who agree with bin Laden that the most harmful Rogue State in the world at the moment is the U.S.


    --
    Somebody set up U.S. the poor man's cruise missile.

    [ Parent ]
    gonna need a lot of bombs..... (none / 0) (#297)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:30:15 PM EST

    "Personally, I think we should hold every living person in Afghanistan responsible"
    now is this in reference to the events of 9/11, or about the harbouring of bin laden?
    if it is about the attack, then you are saying that all countries that have terrorist should be wiped out by the u.s.? iran, iraq, isreal, libya. how about ireland? and the u.s. too?
    and good vs evil, that is quite a subjective topic. do you know what the "good" u.s. government has done to people all over the world over the last 40+ years? sure, the media tends not to say too much about stuff like that, but you can find out all the wonderful things they have done if you do a little reseach. bombing a pharmaceutical factory in the sudan, because they mistakenly thought it was a chemical weapons factory. ooops! only killed 10,000 people. and destroyed the entire industry. he, wait a minute, that is more people than were killed on 9/11. i dont quite remember the same amount of coverage, do you? who cares, those people were probably evil anyway.
    try to put yourself in the shoes of someone else, you might learn something.

    [ Parent ]
    Media and protest (3.77 / 9) (#127)
    by John Thompson on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:27:39 PM EST

    This is a good idea, and if you're involved in organizing such an event, make sure the media knows about it. Pester them until they agree to show up. I happened to see the morning news on Monday and saw about 10 seconds of video total from several locatations on protests around the country. This was followed be at least 5 minutes of interviews with movie stars and such like bemoaning the cancelation of the Emmies (or whatever, I don't pay much attention to that stuff) as a sad but necessary thing. So little time spent on airing issues (either pro- or against the bombings) and so much on frivilous stuff like the effect on movie award ceremonies. This has to change.

    -John

    Protest isn't debate (none / 0) (#188)
    by Sunir on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:12:07 AM EST

    There has been an awfully large amount of informed, intelligent televised debate as well as a larger body of written debate. An anti-war protest is hopelessly naive if its entire message is "Peace". If it only manages to communicate that much, it is hopelessly ineffective. Thus, I suggest that if one wants to enter into the arena as a citizen, one could take this glowing opportunity to learn about the Middle East in the modern era, and then attempt to write an informed letter to the editor of the local newspaper.

    Of course, I speak from a Canadian perspective. I'm not entirely sure what the news coverage has been like on American television (assuming you are American from the Emmy comment). CBC Newsworld has been doing a fantastic job.

    "Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
    [ Parent ]

    ANTI-WAR? (2.84 / 13) (#152)
    by {ice}blueplazma on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:35:04 PM EST

    Excuse me, but didn't the Taliban sponsored terrorists just spend the past decade or so killing citizens of various nationalities? Yes, thats what I thought. Now tell me, did you ever into a fight in school. Let me tell you, no one just stands there and gets beat on unless the can't fight. We damn well can fight and we sure as hell better or those terrorists who have killed millions are gonna keep at it. So think again and don't tell me that they haven't done anything wrong. All the "innocent" Afghans have fled. The rest either want to fight us or just don't care. They could have left. They want to help Bin Laden. I don't like him much. So think again, the Afghan population hates us, don't tell me we are bombing innocents. Most of them have Soviet rifles. The terrorist networks deserve payback for what they have done. To quote, "Turning the other cheek only eggs on your enemy."

    "Denise, I've been begging you for the kind of love that Donny and Smitty have, but you won't let me do it, not even once!"
    --Jimmy Fallon
    You misunderstand pacifism. (3.00 / 2) (#163)
    by phliar on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:28:35 AM EST

    {ice}blueplazma writes:
    Now tell me, did you ever into a fight in school. Let me tell you, no one just stands there and gets beat on unless the can't fight.
    You are an idiot.

    Sorry, it had to be said. I'm 5' 11", 160 lbs. I used to be on the college cycling team. I used to play soccer. Oh yeah, and I used to box. Of course schoolyard bullies picked on me. I have never been in a fight. And you know what? No one hates me.

    All the "innocent" Afghans have fled. The rest either want to fight us or just don't care. They could have left. They want to help Bin Laden. I don't like him much. So think again, the Afghan population hates us, don't tell me we are bombing innocents. Most of them have Soviet rifles.
    Now wait a minute. Your tongue is firmly in cheek, right? No one can be this much of an idiot!

    Your grammar needs work too.


    Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
    [ Parent ]

    Nice try (4.00 / 1) (#177)
    by ubu on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:51:11 AM EST

    Standing up to fight for yourself in a schoolyard is a pretty ridiculous metaphor, on its face, for war. On my schoolyard, nobody got shot and killed.

    Little as you may like it, your "honor" is actually the "honor" of street gangs killing, raping, and looting for the sake of their "hood". Where I come from we call that behavior "retarded". Oh, look, the shoe fits.

    Ubu


    --
    Feminists today are pro-choice on only one issue. -- Lew Rockwell
    [ Parent ]
    haha (none / 0) (#287)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:11:32 PM EST

    soviet rifles? real good for shooting down b-12's.......

    [ Parent ]
    Bah (3.37 / 16) (#160)
    by regeya on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:19:54 PM EST

    I suppose you also think that spanking children should be an offense punishable by imprisonment and that it causes severe, life-lasting emotional trauma.

    Let's get real for a moment. Hey, I was a college student not long ago, so I know that, for various reasons :-) many college students live in a semi-cognitive fog.

    Okay. I'm betting I know why you're scared of war in Afghanistan. It's because you're afraid that this will make citizens of Afghanistan hate us more, and that this will only incite people to do great harm to us (meaning the Western world.)

    Hello! Wake up! We're (and by we, I mean mostly the U.S., though the international community was certainly affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th) hated because we help Israel. No, let's not mince words; let's not nitpick details of what we've done to this country or that people in the last few decades. Ask someone from a country in the Middle East. Heck, someone I consider to be a friend was raised in Yemen, and he'll be happy to tell you precisely what Taliban mucky-mucks have been saying to world media in the last week: if the U.S. wants to live in peace, they need to stop helping Israel.

    By helping Israel, the U.S. has gotten itself into a centuries-old hatred between two peoples whose need for vengeance against each other isn't about to end any time soon.

    And, oh, look, the U.S. picked a side, too! Good for us, right?

    If the pacifist crowd wants to protest anything, perhaps it should be the U.S.'s involvement in Israel. But then the jackals would descend upon Israel and rid the Holy Land of Jews.

    Quite a quandray, eh? Something to contemplate while you're sitting snug in your dorm passing the bong about, planning your next peace rally.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

    At least K5 has *one* good parent (2.83 / 6) (#176)
    by ubu on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:46:21 AM EST

    I'm glad you established that Real Men favor war; dissenters are clearly scared of it. And it's good to know that there is a wholesome majority (with the courage to spank its kids) that is willing to stand up and face the horrible ugly Truth: We have to send our young men and women overseas to kill and die.

    It's great to hear, in part, because it's comforting to know that the children you so lovingly and carefully raised -- even disciplining with spankings, as odious as such parental duties can be -- are the same children you will so gladly volunteer for sacrifice at the altar of American bloodlust.

    It is so rare, nowadays, to hear of people so dedicated to what they believe that they will stand up and declare their willingness to send their very own children as lambs to the slaughter, knowing full well that every day Providence spares their lives it will be for the sake of ending, in turn, the lives of foreigners.

    What Heavenly light shines from such parental icons! You, sir, are a saint.

    Ubu


    --
    Feminists today are pro-choice on only one issue. -- Lew Rockwell
    [ Parent ]
    Hrm. (none / 0) (#363)
    by regeya on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:22:21 PM EST

    Database b0rked again?

    Or are you high?

    Better that a few hundred trained soldiers die, than 7,000 trade center employees die.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
    [ Parent ]

    Violence begets violence, mmkay? (none / 0) (#179)
    by Skwirl on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:20:33 AM EST

    >I suppose you also think that spanking children should be an offense
    > punishable by imprisonment and that it causes severe, life-lasting emotional
    > trauma.

    I don't suppose you care, but experts say that physical punishment probably isn't all that healthy or necessary for children.

    > If the pacifist crowd wants to protest anything, perhaps it should be the U.S.'s
    >involvement in Israel. But then the jackals would descend upon
    >Israel and rid the Holy Land of Jews.

    Actually, this is exactly what they were saying at the peace rally I attended in Portland, Oregon.



    "Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
    [ Parent ]
    Israelis versus palestinians (4.20 / 5) (#183)
    by nobbystyles on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:56:06 AM EST

    Is not a centuries old conflict. It goes back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 where Great Britain promised a national home to Jews to curry favour with influential Jews. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire after WW1 allowed Great Britain to administer Palestine and it partly implemented it allowing for increased Jewish immigration to Palestine during the 1920s and 1930s which caused understandable resentment by the Palestinians.

    During the Ottoman period there were a few Jewish settlements and also some communities of religious Jews scattered through Palestine. They were not resented as they were small and introduced modern farming methods to arabs living there. Mass immigration of Jews after the First World War bred this conflict. Arabs and Jews normally got on quite well in the centuries leading up to the 20th.



    [ Parent ]
    We protest that, too. :) (none / 0) (#254)
    by perdida on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:56:39 AM EST

    The U.S. should stop helping Israel until it stops treating the inhabitants of the West Bank like blacks in South Africa.

    A solution CAN be found. Israel is a parliamentary state whose Arab policy is bound by a bunch of small right wing and religious parties that won't let Israeli governments cede certain areas. Leaders won't give up East Jerusalem, fr'instance, because they are afraid of losing an election.

    America's help means that to Israel the foreign pressure to solve the Palestine problem has never outweighed domestic pressure to maintain current Palestine policy. If the US were to withdraw help this balance might shift.

    Furthermore, if the US were to withdraw help maybe the "moderate Arab states" would focus more on pressuring Arafat to clean up his act and abandon terrorist methods.

    The most adequate archive on the Internet.
    I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
    [ Parent ]
    Or more likely, (none / 0) (#278)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:54:21 PM EST

    The Arab states, on seeing us pull out of the Middle East and quit supporting Israel, would probably try to get revenge and recreate Palestine by force. Israel, pissed at the US and not giving a flying fuck what we say, would then proceed to nuke them into the stone age, possibly getting nuked in return by Pakistan. World War III would start in a matter of weeks, as the US stepped in to try to clean up the mess, China and Russia sent troops to keep us from "having our way," and the world went straight to hell.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

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

    [ Parent ]
    I hope you wake up one day. (3.35 / 14) (#171)
    by Apuleius on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:29:03 AM EST

    Maybe it will be the Baghavad Gita. Or maybe The Gathering Storm[0]. Maybe you'll just come to realization one day. But I hope that day comes. Because if you think the US can afford not to respond to the WTC attack, you, sir, with all due respect, are deluded. You may not want war. Sometimes war wants you.

    [0] By Winston Churchill.




    There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
    And I you. (none / 0) (#210)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:06:49 AM EST

    And I hope you, sir, one day realise that war is not the only response, and that sometimes it can be the wrong response

    Peace be with you.

    bil


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

    Ahem. (4.00 / 1) (#300)
    by Apuleius on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:33:50 PM EST

    I am perfectly aware that war is not the only response, and often not the proper response. THat has nil to do with the current situation,


    There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
    [ Parent ]
    Yikes (3.00 / 2) (#194)
    by darkseer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:50:45 AM EST

    War: The act of a sovern country imposing its will on another sovern country by means of force. This is possibly the most horrible of all possible things that countries can do to one another and should be avoided whenever possible. However, you cannot be totally polarized for or agianst war without understanding the how or why of it. It is not simply enough to say war is bad and be opposed to it. Lets take another example:Killing another person is probably the worst anyone can do. To quote Mr. Eastwood "Funny thing about killin' a man, you take away all he has and all he's ever gonna be." Therefore killing is bad and you should never do it right. Now the realm of what ifs.... Someone is attacking your family. Someone is in great pain. Someone is attacking you. You are now put in the awkward poaition of killing another person or watching horrors that are equally unspeakable. Life is funny that way, no constants. Back to the original thread, is war bad, yes but what alternative do we have. The oposition will only use civil negotiation to futher oppertunities for more terrorism. Is this vengance, an eye for an eye till the whole world is blind? What if your opponent is already blind with rage, what horrible position are you left with, what rational alternative? none. Oh, and here is the kicker....either way we loose. Lets not respond at all, let the world be angered by our pain and anguish and do nothing, this invites more attacks. Lets route out terror in the region or the world, even with our smart bombs how many innocents will we kill, how many more UN workers will die as collateral damage? We must say this is the line, you may cross no futher, you cannot pass here. Now you endanger our way of life, freedoms, and life itself. What you have taken from our innocents we will now take from you, it is an unequitable trade at best but the one you have rendered. But we must be wary not to be consumed by the fury which has been started. When we have damaged them physically and politically we must walk away, be done with it and mend the wounds that have been so terribly wrought by our actions and theirs. It is simply not enough to score a military victory, we must convince our enemy that peace is the alternative so this may not happen agian. "to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived-- this is to have succeeded." -Emmerson

    What is pacifism? (2.90 / 11) (#195)
    by slaytanic killer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:53:06 AM EST

    People consider pacifism to be just like warmongering, except with one bit a 0 instead of 1. That is completely wrong and naive.

    There is little overlap. For example, warmongers ask, "How do you defend yourself if you're unwilling to go to war?" Well, for one thing that is an absurd question because people are rarely 100% anything; many pacifists would have understood the need to stop Hitler and Stalin. But to the point, pacifists are more interested in preemptive solutions to problems. If your country is warlike, people treat your country that way. From the pacifist's perspective, the warmonger strategy will lead you to more strife and pain.

    If the US had responded with a desire to speak with bin Laden, things would have been much better. The terrorists would have had nothing to grasp. They couldn't call the US an unfeeling, unthinking alien nation. But our leaders know this is political suicide. We want blood, dammit.

    Pacifism implies finesse. That makes us better human beings, and safer. But us westerners are not that evolved yet.

    How? (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:44:15 AM EST

    How do you talk to someone who has just masterminded the murder of 7000 civilians? What do you have to talk about? How can you justify trying to satisfy such a mass murderer? And what about the consequences? So Bush talks to bin Laden. Tries to find some sort of peaceful accomodation. Then what? Every time some fanatic wants to have a face to face chat with the president, all he has to do is murder a few thousand people. begin sarcasm Now that's a really good idea. end sarcasm Your committment to peace is admirable, but it is also naive. I wish things were that easy, but they are not. Sometimes violence is a necessary evil. bin Ladin (with Taliban support) has attacked the United States time and again. And he has vowed to continue the attacks. He has demonstrated that he can kill thousands on our own soil. It is, by definition, the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens from all external threats. This is probably the oldest and strongest reason for the existence of govrenment. The United States and British governments are simply exercizing this responsibility.

    [ Parent ]
    Easily (none / 0) (#213)
    by slaytanic killer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:40:21 AM EST

    The US Army studies something called "guerrilla tactics." That means guerrilla tactics are a well-understood form of fighting, when you are severely outnumbered and outgunned.

    That is war. The US practices conventional warfare when it is strong, like nowadays. When it was weak, in the past, the US would practice guerrilla warfare. Americans like me would practice terrorism.

    One should have a basic understanding of war before pursuing it. Otherwise you're just an animal.

    begin sarcasm
    Don't posture. Talk. Otherwise you prove that all you warmongers know is rhetoric and not how to talk.

    [ Parent ]
    What are you trying to say? (none / 0) (#226)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:17:02 AM EST

    I'm not really sure what your point is for the most part here. As for understanding war, I think I have a better understanding of war than most people my age who have not served in the military. I have studied it fairly extensively because it has always been something I find fascinating (that doesn't mean I think it is a good thing). As for calling me a warmonger, that is totally unjustified. Anyone who has studied war as much as I have and is a warmonger is also a maniac. But just because I think war is a pretty aweful thing doesn't mean I do not believe that it is occasionally a necessary evil. Don't put words in my mouth.

    And as for talking vs. posturing, you would be well advised to take your own advice. I'd still like to know what exactly the point was in the first two paragraphs of your comment. I am aware of guerrilla tactics. Michael Collins, who I think is one of the most interesting historical figures, pretty much invented urban guerrilla warfare. I just don't understand the relevence here.

    [ Parent ]
    I am actually a warmonger (none / 0) (#230)
    by slaytanic killer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:34:51 AM EST

    At least by my own definition. I called for military efforts against bin Laden, as long as he wasn't a scapegoat.

    However, the pacifist worldview is a very interesting one, and worth understanding. The American warmonger worldview is mainly blunt and reactive, while pacifists tend towards more preemptive strategies.

    How can we combine both? That is important for everyone.

    And as for talking vs. posturing, you would be well advised to take your own advice.
    I already take my own advice. I don't go around putting little "sarcasm tags" in my posts because that doesn't offer me anything. If I think you're stupid, I'd just be more concise and waste less time, not more.
    I'd still like to know what exactly the point was in the first two paragraphs of your comment. I am aware of guerrilla tactics.
    Bin Laden used guerrilla tactics against a massively powerful enemy. Americans use guerrilla tactics in the same position. I don't mind if you dispute that fact, as long as you're open to the possibility that us Americans aren't the kindest creatures on earth.

    [ Parent ]
    Guerrilla vs. Terrorist (4.50 / 2) (#239)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:56:56 AM EST

    There is a difference between guerilla tactics and terrorist tactics. Guerrilla tactics specifically target military/occupational forces. To raise my previous example, Collins attacked British Auxilliaries, Black and Tans, Secret Service, and military targets (yes, the IRA did later become a terrorist organization). He also attacked informers who supported those groups. The IRA became a terrorist organization when it started bombing movie theaters and killing civilians (for example). So maybe it could be argued that bin Ladin used guerrilla tactics when he bombed the USS Cole, or the barracks in Saudi Arabia (can't spell the name and don't feel like taking the time to look it up when you'll understand anyway). But the attack on the 11th was not a guerrilla attack.

    BTW, if you consider the war to have already started, then why do you have a problem with the United States striking back?

    [ Parent ]
    Psych ops (4.00 / 1) (#263)
    by slaytanic killer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:16:00 PM EST

    There is a difference between guerilla tactics and terrorist tactics.
    Psychological operations is part of any guerrilla movement. Terrorism is the negative subset of psych ops. Therefore "terrorist tactics" is a subset of guerrilla tactics.

    We might just be getting semantic, but I think this is an important distinction.

    I think you have more of a problem with the atrocities commited by bin Laden, rather than terrorism itself. When people go overboard, they commit atrocities, and that holds true for both conventional and guerrilla warfare. For example (and this is not a beating stick, just an example), Hiroshima was an atrocity committed during conventional warfare.

    BTW, if you consider the war to have already started, then why do you have a problem with the United States striking back?
    I don't. It's far too late for preemptive strategies. I find great wisdom in the idea of speaking with bin Laden, but that might just result in Bush's assassination. So in a Realpolitik sense, I don't see much choice but for war to continue.

    It just needs to be done with a desire to be as human as possible. With a determination to somehow understand those whose lives have been ruined by American actions, because we need to clean out the skeletons in our closet and forestall further anti-American hate. I unfortunately don't believe this will happen though.

    Basically, I just want America to be one of the good guys again. ;)

    [ Parent ]

    this is how (1.33 / 6) (#231)
    by ckotso on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:38:19 AM EST

    How do you talk to someone who has just masterminded the murder of 7000 civilians?

    Ask anyone who talked with Clinton or Bush Sr. about the wars in Serbia and Iraq respectively.

    --
    Yes, I *am* biased against the US; stop bitching about it, and start thinking why it is so.


    [ Parent ]

    Sorry. Can't negotiate with terrorists. (5.00 / 3) (#244)
    by SPYvSPY on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:11:32 AM EST

    You don't respond to terrorism with "talks". This only encourages them and others to kill your people the next time that they feel ignored. The backwardness of your argument is absurd. You accuse the victim of being the aggressor. You sound like bin Laden's lackey, just like every other person calling for peace in response to horror.

    I know your type: If some big guy insults your girlfriend on the street, you cower and do nothing. Then you spend all night awake, imagining what you should have done. Let's clear this up right now: A real man fights to defend those that he loves.
    ------------------------------------------------

    By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
    [ Parent ]

    Make way for the aggressively dumb ones... (3.50 / 2) (#258)
    by slaytanic killer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:58:46 AM EST

    I know your type: If some big guy insults your girlfriend on the street, you cower and do nothing. Then you spend all night awake, imagining what you should have done.
    Nice ad hominem attack. But you missed. ;) I didn't know we started letting stupid people post.

    Oh genius... If you look closely in this thread, I note that I really am for US force against bin Laden. You can't deal w/ ambiguity, can you? Sucker.

    Ever use physical force to defend two acquaintances against someone who molested them? I have.

    Try not to be anyone else's chump today, okay?

    [ Parent ]

    Dumb, stupid chump sucker responds. (none / 0) (#500)
    by SPYvSPY on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:23:58 PM EST

    While eloquence is apparently as elusive to you as bin Laden is to American bombs, I feel compelled to point out that you've lost the plot. I was responding to the following comment, posted by a certain cretin above:

    If the US had responded with a desire to speak with bin Laden, things would have been much better. The terrorists would have had nothing to grasp. They couldn't call the US an unfeeling, unthinking alien nation. But our leaders know this is political suicide. We want blood, dammit.

    You've clearly stated that you think we should negotiate with terrorists. Your response, in which you claim to have physically assaulted a molester, only reinforces my point.

    Now put down your fancy herbal tea and take your hand out of your pants and get your nasty little self back into your yurt-like hovel.
    ------------------------------------------------

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    [ Parent ]

    oh yeh (3.00 / 2) (#276)
    by streetlawyer on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:52:40 PM EST

    I know your type:

    Not half so well as we know yours.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]

    Wrong (none / 0) (#535)
    by khym on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 05:30:40 PM EST

    I know your type: If some big guy insults your girlfriend on the street, you cower and do nothing.
    I support the current war, but if the above scenario happened, I'd just ignore the idiot. Violence is only justified by self defense, and an insult simply isn't something that you can use to invoke self defense.

    --
    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 ]
    So chivalry IS dead. (none / 0) (#589)
    by SPYvSPY on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 10:45:29 AM EST

    You can forget about a lady's honor, but you will do so at your own risk.

    Do you have any idea what beautiful women go through on a daily basis? Believe me, pretty girls want a man to defend their honor against the endless harassment that constantly beseiges them. Obviously, you needn't punch every guy that leers at her. I'll tell you what I tell those guys: "Excuse me. Show some respect for the mothers, sisters and daughters of this world." It's a lot better than cowering, and I'm ready to back up my words with my feet and fists and elbows.
    ------------------------------------------------

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    [ Parent ]

    Re: So chivalry IS dead. (none / 0) (#613)
    by khym on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 05:29:42 PM EST

    A woman's honor (or a man's) is entirely her own, determined only by her own actions; there's nothing anyone else can do to harm it, or that anyone else can do to defend it. Reputation is another matter; if my girlfriend was, say, accused of embezzling, I'd defend her reputation against that. But an insult by some random guy on a street, no one believes that, not even the jerk who said it; there's no reputation to defend. Why would I dignify the blatherings of an idiot with a response?

    --
    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 ]
    The school yard analogy and rants... (3.11 / 9) (#198)
    by jonr on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:12:06 AM EST

    I just have to speak out here... It seems to me that USA (citizens and goverment) are looking for conveinient scapegoat to show their might. "How dare they hit us? Retaliate!". But I can't help thinking that we are only slighlty curing the symptons, but not the deasise. USA needs to get out of the cold-war mentality. You can't just act like the biggest and baddest bully in the schoolyard. The WTC attack is a wakeup call. It's the equalent of using a slingshot to hurt the bully and then hide. And now he's looking for revenge. Don't get me wrong, I have no sympathy for the criminals who did this deed, just becouse somebody is a bully, doesn't give you the right to hurt him back. I have never understood why people would think that killing your neighbour solves problems.
    I think of my self as a global citizen, I love my country, but I would be willing to sacrifice all that for a global peace. Call me romantic idiot, but that just the way I think.
    The people of Cuba, The Balkans, Palestinia, Iraq and others have my sympathy, I sincerely wish for them to be able to live a peaceful life...
    Enough ranting...

    Peace must be tempered with justice! (3.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:33:35 AM EST

    I love peace as much as anyone, but this is just silly. If you think that the US could have enduring peace by sitting back and taking the hit, then you are woefully naive. If we did not retaliate in some way for this, we make it clear that terrorists may attack our nation with impunity. What you are arguing for is not peace, but a global environment in which any nation or group with a lack of responsibility may use violence extensively and without fear of response in kind. Take the Taliban in Afganistan, for example. This is a government that in only a few years has accumulated an abominable record for human and civil rights. It clearly has no repect for the value of human life. And they have no qualms about sheltering people who are actively engaged in terrorist activities. Activities that recently resulted in around 7000 deaths in the United States. They were not receptive to diplomatic measures. Sure, they said they would hand over bin Laden to the UN if given enough evidence. And then everybody on K5 started screaming that we don't have any evidence because we won't hand it over. That is absolutely untrue. There is a very simple and very obvious reason why we don't go public with all our evidence. It is called protecting our sources and methods. If a human intelligence asset gives you a piece of information, you have to be very careful about acting on that information because if you aren't, the leak will be traced to that person, and he or she will be killed. If you get the information from another intelligence source (intercepted transmission or whatever), you still have to be careful about acting on it because the source will most likely dry up. We could go public with the evidence we have. And we'd be betraying every field agent who helped gather that information, and screwing ourselves over in the process. So no, there is not a reasonable diplomatic solution. So what would you have us do? Say, "Well, I guess you can keep protecting the terrorist organization while it plots more attacks, more murder, more violence"? What if bin Laden got his hands on some smallpox (and there is some evidence that he has tried)? He could then launch a bioterror attack that could potentially kill billions. I guess if a significant percentage of the world's population died, you'd probably get your beloved peace. But at what cost?

    Don't get me wrong. I love peace. But sometimes violence is a last resort. And sometimes violence is the cost of the greater peace. And peace without justice is a very empty thing.

    [ Parent ]
    oops (3.50 / 2) (#214)
    by alprazolam on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:40:54 AM EST

    This is a government that in only a few years has accumulated an abominable record for human and civil rights. It clearly has no repect for the value of human life. And they have no qualms about sheltering people who are actively engaged in terrorist activities.

    Wait a minute, what country are we talking about here?

    [ Parent ]

    Fairly obvious (none / 0) (#219)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:50:29 AM EST

    The previous sentence makes it fairly clear that I'm talking about the Taliban: Take the Taliban in Afganistan, for example.

    If you're implying that the US is as bad as the Taliban, then I think you're out of your mind.

    [ Parent ]
    I guess we'll find out (none / 0) (#229)
    by alprazolam on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:20:05 AM EST

    when we have a total civilian body count. I hope we win.

    [ Parent ]
    Total Civilian Body Count (none / 0) (#233)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:40:23 AM EST

    I'm not sure that's a particularly accurate way to measure it. The most important reason for our military action (at least in my opinion) is to prevent future attacks like the ones on Sept. 11. It is possible that the total civilian body count in Afganistan will be greater than what has happened in the US thus far. But it still might save lives in the long run. Also, make sure that the Afgan civilians killed by the Taliban get chalked up to their side too.

    [ Parent ]
    If you can do it can we do it too?? (none / 0) (#240)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:59:36 AM EST

    I love peace as much as anyone, but this is just silly. If you think that the US could have enduring peace by sitting back and taking the hit, then you are woefully naive. If we did not retaliate in some way for this, we make it clear that terrorists may attack our nation with impunity.

    Considering that you have expressed support for the IRA on previous occasions I have to ask... Do you think the British government would be justified in shooting IRA suspects dead without even bothering to TRY and bring them to justice? How about if they said "well we have evidence but we're not going to tell you what it is, you'll just have to trust us that it exists". What if the IRA got their hands on some smallpox (and there is evidence they thought about it) they too could cause thousands (I think billions is stretching it a bit) of deaths so does this mean that the British government would be justified in using cruise missiles against them?

    I doubt you'd agree to that, in fact you would be outraged. But its ok if the agressor is the US and the target is the Taliban?? What is it thats so different here? Why is it ok for the US to do it if you would condemn somebody else for doing it??

    bil


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

    Good Questions (none / 0) (#247)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:18:58 AM EST

    You raise some very good questions, and some of them certainly are hard to answer. First of all, as far as smallpox goes, if the IRA ever used smallpox, I would be the first to strongly advocate their oblitteration by any means necessary. I guess I have been rethinking my support of the IRA a bit too. I certainly support their cause. I don't support the methods they have used in the more recent past. I guess it would be better to say that I support Sinn Fein. I also respect the committment that the IRA has shown to peace in the last several years. They were presented with a viable peaceful resolution to their problems and they have persued it. No, they haven't absolutely gone along with what the Loyalists would like as far as decommissioning. They've even been chastised by the international commission. But they have shown a willingness to work with the commission and they have not carried out any attacks in the last several years. That I respect.

    Do you think the British government would be justified in shooting IRA suspects dead without even bothering to TRY and bring them to justice? That has happened. Actually, I think the US has tried. And we have passed out evidence to quite a few nations. Part of the problem here is that we do not really trust the Taliban at all. And rightly so. British security forces have open access to Northern Ireland where most of the IRA terrorist activities are based. They may not have as much access to the Republic, but especially in recent years there has been a lot less tolerance for IRA in the Republic, and the gardai have gone after them.

    Finally, I think the scale of the attacks is rellevant. The IRA doesn't try to kill thousands in one attempt. In fact, I'm not sure whether the IRA has ever killed as many as al Quaeda did in one day. And I don't really think they would try. I don't think they were ever after that sort of attrocity. Some would argue that scale isn't morally significant. I disagree.

    I think even my previous "support" of the IRA on K5 was not so much aimed at saying that the IRA is good as pointing out that there are major differences between the IRA and al Quaeda/bin Laden. If I haven't satisfactorily answered your questions, please let me know.

    [ Parent ]
    Hmm. (none / 0) (#273)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:42:41 PM EST

    Actually the more I think about it the more I think that bombing the Taliban is the same as shooting Sinn Fein members. They are not (necessarily) terrorists, but are members of an organisation that has links to them. Similarly the Taliban are not terrorists (and nobody has put forward any evidence that they are) but we are bombing them because they are associated with Al-Quaeda. Neither hurt the real target, neither are morally justifiable, neither will acheive justice, both will just lead to a new wave of violence.

    There is a difference in scale here (although if you go on percentage of population the IRA "win") but surely justice is what is wanted (even if it is gained by "big boys rules"). But I dont see how this is meant to acheive it.

    BTW our views on Sinn Fein are rather closer then may be apparent...

    bil


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

    justice for who? (none / 0) (#283)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:02:31 PM EST

    9/11 - approximately 7,000 people (americans) killed.
    gulf war - approx. 500,000 iraqi civilians killed.
    1998 - the u.s. bombs a suspected chemical weapons factory in the sudan. 10,000 civilians killed. it turns out to be a pharmaceutical factoy. u.s. wipes out entire industry leading to even more suffering.
    there are many more examples like this.
    put yourself in the shoes of someone in the middle east, an iraqi for example. the u.s. bombs the hell out of your country during the gulf war, killing hundreds of thousands, for what? oil (dont give me any crap about helping the kuwaiti's, 800,000 people were killed in rwanda, and i didnt see the u.s. rushing in there). what other reaction to america can you have besides hatred?
    why are we suprised that terrorist attacks take place against the u.s.?
    i agree that what happened on 9/11 is indefensible, but so are many of the things the us government has done to other nations/people. i would also be happy to see the removal of the taliban, and the capture of bin laden. however, the us governement is not really on higher moral ground than the terrorists. i think that this quote from the above post applies more to the us than it does to afghanistan. "use violence extensively and without fear of response in kind".
    are not the attacks of 9/11 "response in kind"? the killing of civilians, destruction of property and infrastucture are things the americans have been doing to others for the last 40 years.
    again i dont support terrorism in any way, and i hope bin laden is captured, fairly tried and punished, but where is the justice for people the u.s. has screwed over?

    [ Parent ]
    Big numbers (none / 0) (#291)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:23:22 PM EST

    I haven't really seen many casualty figures from either Iraq or Sudan, but both of those numbers are a little hard for me to believe. So there were 10000 people working in that pharmaceutical factory (I'm still not convinced that there wasn't chemical weapons research going on there)? 500,000 civilians killed in the Gulf War? I don't know.

    And I really don't understand the idea that simply because altruism isn't the only motive for doing something, then the US is wrong for doing it. The United States and its allies did the right thing by pushing Iraq out of Kuait. And I also don't buy the whole idea that we have no right to defend our interests over seas. But if you really question US altruism, then wtf were we doing in Kosovo? No, we don't go in everywhere there is injustice. But I can't think of any real selfish reason for US troops to be in Kosovo.

    I think it's a tragedy every time a civilian dies a violent death. But that doesn't mean that I oppose the direct action that caused it. Collateral damage happens. Mistakes happen. They are tragic. But that doesn't mean that the Gulf War was wrong. That does not mean that the current war is wrong. A lot of the people you refer to has having been screwed over by the US, I think of has having been screwed over by their own government (BTW, how many Iraqis has their own beloved leader murdered?). And I almost think that's more tragic. But we can't let that tie our hands. The other day I heard about soldiers in Somolia having to deal with soldiers surrounding themselves with their families...wives and children. I started thinking about how I would deal with that if I were a soldier. I realized that I would shoot back anyway. If innocents were killed, it would haunt me for the rest of my life, but if I do otherwise, then they have won. I think that in that situation, it's the enemy soldier who is responsible for the deaths of his family members.

    [ Parent ]
    Nice remark ... (none / 0) (#302)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:43:01 PM EST

    The other day I heard about soldiers in Somolia having to deal with soldiers surrounding themselves with their families...wives and children. I started thinking about how I would deal with that if I were a soldier. I realized that I would shoot back anyway. If innocents were killed, it would haunt me for the rest of my life, but if I do otherwise, then they have won. I think that in that situation, it's the enemy soldier who is responsible for the deaths of his family members.
    Nice remark. You as a US soldier in Somalia, uninvited, on Somalian soil, in a country which declared no war on the US, and carried out no terrorist attack on the US, or any other such provocation, shoot a Somalian fighter, his wives and children. Because he happens to be "surrounded by his family". (Where else would he live? Somalians primarily fight in clan groupings, not in the familiar Western military structures.)

    You're nice enough to be "haunted" by it, but nevertheless, it's the dead guy who's responsible for his own death.

    Nice. You make Bin Laden seem almost human.

    [ Parent ]

    Somalia (none / 0) (#307)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 01:58:50 PM EST

    Okay, I honestly don't exactly remember why the US was in Somalia. I was under the impression that it was a humanitarian mission. I certainly can't think of any selfish reason to be there. But from the individual soldier's perspective, it doesn't really matter. I was really thinking about the idea of a soldier using his family as a shield. And the way I heard the story, that was the impression I got of what was happening. But as an individual soldier who is under fire, you're god damned right I would shoot back.

    Nice. You make Bin Laden seem almost human.
    Wow. I think you just found about the only thing you could have said in what I had intended as a civil discussion that would prompt me to react this way, but: Go fuck yourself, you sanctimonious prick!

    [ Parent ]
    My apologies .... (none / 0) (#320)
    by StrontiumDog on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:31:42 PM EST

    You just unequivocally stated you were willing to shoot unarmed women and children, in a country which had not provoked you in any way, and with only the very vaguest of ideas as to what you would actually be doing there.

    I said "You make Bin Laden sound almost human". I apologise for that. It was uncalled for. There was no need for me to sully Bin Laden's name by comparing him to you. He may kill defenceless innocents, but at least he has a stated reason for doing so. You are willing to slaughter civilians out of sheer ignorance, and are proud of it to boot, too.

    And people think Bin Laden is a monster.

    [ Parent ]

    Moron (none / 0) (#387)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:42:42 PM EST

    In the hypothetical situation, I am being shot at. Maybe that doesn't seem like reason enough to shoot back to you, but to be completely honest, that's fine with me. And no, I am not willing to slaughter civilians out of sheer ignorance. I would be willing to shoot back as a man who was shooting at me. If he has deliberately placed his family in harms way in an underhanded (though effective) effect at psychological deterence, then I feel pretty bad for his family, but I'm not going to stand there and get shot while he puts them in harms way. If I happened to be pinned down in a location where escaping would mean totally abandoning cover, then the only choices are to shoot back or to die. I'd shoot back. There is a world of fucking difference between that and deliberately murdering 7000 noncombattants for nebulous reasons (I'd advocate withdraw from SA if their government requested it...not sure about the others).

    I'd suggest that in the future you wait until the situation is clear to you before making vicious personal attacks. You really don't know me at all, yet you had no problem saying that I am worse than bin Laden. I wonder what that says about you.

    [ Parent ]
    500,000 (none / 0) (#310)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:01:49 PM EST

    "500,000 civilians killed in the Gulf War? I don't know."
    for weeks did we not get to watch the bombs fall on bagdhad on tv? in regards to the factory, i am not sure why the number is so high either. perhaps the factory was in a city? people who died due to lack of medicine? these are just two examples, there are many more. palestine, to name one.
    what exactly does "right to defend our interests over seas" entail? killing thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of civilians? if they were liberating kuwait, why were they bombing iraq? i know that the had to destroy missle installations, airbases, etc, but why bagdhad?
    as far a kosovo, i would say the u.s. got involved because it was taking place in europe, not africa. it can also be argued that the u.s. cares more about the caucasians of the world than other about other races (a whole nother can of worms ;).

    [ Parent ]
    I'm sure that they feel pretty bad that they (none / 0) (#440)
    by sexyblonde on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:12:34 AM EST

    are bombing these people. You need to understand that they are doing this for us. The difference between the U.S. and the Taliban is we actually FEEL bad for killing people. The Taliban doesn't give a f*ck who they are hurt. The soldiers who are actually doing the damage are going to come home feeling proud but eventually it will catch up with them and they won't feel so good, it's called ptsd. Do you think terrorist suffer from ptsd?? Hello No! Why? Because they end up dieing theirselves in the end. We are dealing with something far more dangerous than just a little terrorist attack on the wtc building & the pentagon as you put it. That was nothing from what Osama Bin Laden has pointed out. We can't just sit back and not do nothing. Eventually, they are going to do more damage. So if I were you I would back the u.s. soldiers up 100 percent. Because like I said before if we don't get them all this will never end. I'm still wondering about the Anthrax case in florida. 3 people have come down with it with one of them dead already. It was obviously an intentional act which is pretty scarey. Osama Bin Laden is smirking at all of us.
    When you say: "I think of my self as a global citizen, I love my country, but I would be willing to sacrifice all that for a global peace. "
    I have 4 kids. I'm not willing to sacrifice them just because I feel bad about the people in afghanistan. Sorry, I'm just being honest. If I were a single person then maybe I would think like a lot of you posting to this thread.


    [ Parent ]
    If we don't blow the crap out of Afghanistan (2.41 / 12) (#199)
    by sexyblonde on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:21:11 AM EST

    and these people down hiding in our state they are going to wipe us out. Their goal is to kill a lot of u.s. citizens, maybe all of us. They are sick in the head and truly believe that if they wipe us out and theirselves that they will go to a higher god. We cannot change their minds. Don't think our troops are just going in to mean. And I agree two wrongs don't make a right. But I want to see my children graduate. I believe that we are in the right this time.

    what? (none / 0) (#269)
    by ly on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:27:35 PM EST

    huh? is this some kind of troll ;)?

    [ Parent ]
    No, I'm very serious (none / 0) (#365)
    by sexyblonde on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:35:38 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Anti-UV Protest (2.93 / 15) (#208)
    by Eight Star on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:59:02 AM EST

    I don't think the sun should bathe UV rays down on earth. This is a terrible terrible policy, resulting in countless deaths every year. As much as we might try to protect ourselves with ozone and sunscreen, these are stop-gap solutions that do not address the source of the problem: Fusion Power. It is Completely immoral for the sun to direct this harmful energy at us, when we account for far less than 1% of it's feild of view.
    I propose we mount an expedition to mercury, to confront the sun directly, as well as diplomatic missions to other, more responsible stars, so they might put added pressure on the sun to stop these constant attacks.

    (Now, you might think I'm silly to ask the sun to stop shining(even if only in one band, in one direction), but is that any more silly than asking america not to bomb?)



    You're a moron (1.40 / 5) (#315)
    by Duke Machesne on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 02:17:20 PM EST

    What you are saying is that the inherent nature of the United States of America is to rain down bombs indiscriminantly, without which action it would cease to be what it is. You are also saying that without the US possessing that fundamental nature of raining down bombs, all life on earth would cease to exist. You're a moron, and an incompetent schmuck. Creepy things of your ilk should crawl into holes and die, or at the very least never, ever open their hideous jaws in public. You are utterly incapable of forming a valid argument, or of understanding one made in your presence. I'm surprised you can read at all. I hope a plane crashes into your house and carnage ensues. Go die.

    __________________________________________________
    arts schoolsweight loss
    [ Parent ]

    It was an analogy (none / 0) (#383)
    by Eight Star on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:29:51 PM EST

    ...and all analogies break down at some point, it takes an intelligent person to realize that that doesn't make them invalid.
    My intent was to describe the futility of protesting, not to comment on the inherent nature of the United States. I'm sorry if I was unclear.



    [ Parent ]
    too bad. (none / 0) (#486)
    by garlic on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:55:14 AM EST

    it would have been much more funny/satirical if that was your intention.

    HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
    [ Parent ]

    It's the stupidest analogy I've ever seen (2.75 / 4) (#504)
    by Duke Machesne on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 01:10:51 PM EST

    You wrote: (Now, you might think I'm silly to ask the sun to stop shining(even if only in one band, in one direction), but is that any more silly than asking america not to bomb?)

    And that's not making an implication about the fundamental nature of our Great United States? It's no more silly to ask the sun to stop shining than it is to ask the US to stop bombing? You must have had your head stuck up your ass for so long, that all you can think is shit! Come to think of it, I should be absolutely humbled to be reading the words of The Infinitesimal, a human(?) consciousness so small as to be immeasurable! Your intent in inventing this brilliant little "analogy" is so completely irrelevant to anything in the real world, that you may as well just stop existing! At this point, my friend, you have got nothing to lose and you may as well just join the Rainbows and smoke lots and lots of pot.

    The Rainbows, in case you're not familiar, are a sort of nonorganizational nomadic family of people who move from one US national forest to the next. In fact, their are Rainbow Gatherings all over the world. The Rainbow Tribe has nothing to do with the Rainbow Coalition, Rainbow Alliance, or Rainbow Youth, and are not a gay organization, although everyone is accepted equally regardless of sexual orientation.

    I personally will have you know that although I am not gay, I am absolutely peaches&cream with the idea of good American people getting their orgasms any and every way they please, be it homosexual or otherwise.

    I do hope to have helped and I wish you only the best.
    Good Luck!

    __________________________________________________
    arts schoolsweight loss
    [ Parent ]

    streetlawyer, here's a good example (none / 0) (#393)
    by garlic on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:55:27 PM EST

    if adequacy had more stuff like this, they'd be more enjoyable for me.

    HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
    [ Parent ]

    What are you, a tree hugging hippie? (3.84 / 19) (#209)
    by BOredAtWork on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:06:40 AM EST

    Welcome to the real world. Military action is never a happy occasion, but is sometimes necessary. What on earth would you have us DO right now? Bin Laden has said that he won't be satisfied, and won't stop the bloodshed until Israel no longer exists, and the Jews are destroyed right alongside the Americans. And you, my nearsighted friend, are playing right into his hands.

    Think about it. What's the biggest snafu the US Military has ever been involved in? Vietnam. Fighting guerillas in the worst of territory, in persuit of a semi-unknown enemy, without the support of civilians back home. THIS is EXACTLY the situation Bin Laden hopes to bring about. His grand plan is to entice us into slipping up, hitting a few civilians, or burning a few mosques. Notice that we've been very, very careful to avoid both. Bin Laden is waiting and watching for two very important things.

    First, he's looking for the right moment to jump up and scream "See? I told you! They hate Islam, and we must unite against them!" Right now, the more moderate Islamic states will tell him to blow it out his ass, he's a heretic and an embarassment to Islam. But if we start taking out Mosques or babies, that tune will change quickly. He's hoping it does, I'm sure. Notice how careful Bush has been to ask Americans to be tolerant and supportive of this Islamic brothers, and said over and over again that Islam is beautiful, and we are not at war with Islam.

    Second, he's looking to create division here at home. To destroy this nation, he must divide it. You want proof? Take a look at Vietnam versus World War II. Don't underestimate the importance of national unity to a war effort. This is why you piss me off. You're helping division to happen. I'm hardly one to advocate joining the majority simply BECAUSE it's the majority, but this is one instance where there's bigger things going on than you exercising your right to protest - we're trying to PROTECT that right to protest. You want to see the future if we don't strike back? It's already here. It's called Afghanistan. Non-muslims are criminals. As are women, overly educated men, and anyone who doesn't buy into the status quo.

    Make no mistake about it, Bin Laden and company are plenty fanatical. But not stupid. They're looking for another world war, so they can come out of the ashes and build a world of their chosing, and that would NOT be a pretty thing. They need two things for it to happen - division here in the US, and unity of the Islamic nations. So far, even Arafat has condemned his bullshit. So has Pakistan. He overestimated his worldwide support at this stage. And so far, division here in the US is minimal, with over 90% of people supporting the air strikes. Lets not fuck this up, hrm...? No mosques getting bombed, no civilians killed, and no hippies going off half cocked about "freedom" and "peace" when they're supporting the alternative.

    Luckily I've never hugged a tree in my life... (4.00 / 1) (#246)
    by bil on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:18:02 AM EST

    (Well there was that once, but needless to say I was very, very, drunk ;) ) Oh and I've never been any closer to the US then Dublin (or nearer Afghanistan then Poland). I'm English.

    Joking aside, I dont see how bring bin-Laden to justice is helped by bombing Afghanistan. In fact if he really is looking for the US to slip up and bomb a mosque or whatever, or to start a world war then surely it would be far better not to bomb, but instead to seek justice through more peacefull means, or at least means more tightly focussed on the objective (a snatch squad sent to get him personnally would be one idea). If he wants us to do something why are we risking doing it?

    Dont get me wrong, the world should do something to apprehend bin-Laden (and as many of those responsible for the WTC attacks). But this isn't going to help anything, in fact it has a much better chance of doing the opposite.

    I've expanded on what I think would be a better idea here.

    bil


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

    I'll take a stab at that one (4.50 / 2) (#339)
    by SEAL on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:49:12 PM EST

    Joking aside, I dont see how bring bin-Laden to justice is helped by bombing Afghanistan.

    Bombing achieves a couple goals in this situation:

    First, it is a standard tactic for the U.S. to try to achieve air-superiority as soon as possible in any conflict. We would never put men on the ground first without trying to secure the air. This means taking out command centers, radar installations, and anti-aircraft weapons.

    Second, what the U.S. is really doing right now is waging a psychological war. We usually go after power stations, television and other broadcast centers, fuel stores, and supply routes. In the first few days of air strikes, we create major blackouts. Our ground forces are trained and equipped to operate at night. This creates fear and confusion.

    This has been working well in this situation, just as it did in Iraq. Already, there have been reports of Taliban soldiers defecting to the Northern Alliance. They know what's coming and they want no part of it, even though their leaders think they do.

    Best regards,

    SEAL

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

    I'm a tree hugging hippie (none / 0) (#525)
    by anonymous cowerd on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 04:35:31 PM EST

    Really. I haven't had a haircut for the last fifteen years (pretty few before then too), and I hug trees. Literally, and I have grr rrg poison ivy burns on the insides of my arms right now to prove it.

    It's not that I loooove trees - I do like them very well but not quite that passionately. But that's how land surveyors measure the diameter of a tree, wrap a measuring tape around it and divide by pi.

    Yours WD "Benadryl lotion" K - WKiernan@concentric.net

    A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.
    [ Parent ]

    overview (4.44 / 18) (#223)
    by garlic on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:57:09 AM EST

    This situation is a tough one. Many people don't like bombing of Afghanistan, but many people believe the only thing that will work.

    Pacifists and others want bin laden to stand trial. To do this would require 1 of 2 things, either the Taliban hands him over, or the US catches him themselves.

    Now the Taliban didn't hand them over when the US asked. The US didn't give the Taliban evidence of Bin Ladens guilt, possibly for the good reason of protecting its sources. The Taliban was unlikely to give him over anyway since the US has wanted bin laden for ~ 10 years with more public evidence yet the Taliban didn't give him to the US then.

    The other method advocated by some pacifists is to wait it out. We'll catch bin laden eventually, and he can be tried then. There's no need to bomb Afghanistan because we'll get him someday. However, I don't think this stance takes into account the need to prevent Bin Laden and Al Queda from doing any more harm between now and when we'd "eventually" get him.

    Some advocate this stance of no bombing because they don't want innocent Afghans killed. This desire to keep innocents from dying is held by almost everyone however. Noone wants to kill innocent people. Everyone wants to prevent the death of innocent people. Some pacifists don't want anyone at all killed, guilty or innocent. However, innocent people have already died in the WTC attacks. If more terrorist attacks occur, more innocent people will die. So, while killing is wrong, we must do our best to lower the total amount killed. This means that if killing terrorists prevents them from blowing up another building, then that is a better solution than just not killing terrorists. If in killing these terrorists, innocents are killed, but this number is still less than if the terrorists weren't killed then its still a better solution. Yes, the best solution would be to only get the bad guys. However, mistakes happen unfortunately.

    A lot of those against the current bombing when asked for a solution list some ideas that they would have implemented in the past to prevent the need for the bombing. Hindsight is 20 20, but it doesn't solve our current situation. And yes, implementing some of these ideas now may be a good idea. Reviewing US foreign policy is an excellent idea. However its unlikely that the US will reform enough for the militant Islamic terrorists to no longer be terrorists. That means that while gradual change of the US policies is necessary, something still must be done about the current terrorists.

    Is the US doing the best thing possible now? The absolute best, no. but the solution right now is a good fit to the parameters of the problem.

    HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.

    You pay US taxes == you are not innocent. (2.66 / 3) (#485)
    by QuantumG on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:52:09 AM EST

    The workers in the WTC paid a lot of taxes. A hell of a lot for most of them. This is the cruel trueth. The US government indescriminately wages wars against civilians. Radio and television stations are targets for cruise missiles -- they're used for propoganda, therefore they are a military target. Well the WTC had one purpose, to move money around, US money. Money that is used to buy and build bombs to kill the fellow countrymen of the people who attacked it. It's scary to think that the tax payers of the US are willing to fight a war (oh, but they call it a conflict) as long as it is localized to the middle east. As soon as it is on their doorstep they are shocked and silenced. It is even more frightening to see the response. Classic demonization of the enemy. "Oh, they killed civilians.. my government never does that, therefore we're morally superior!" Please. To all you tree huggers who are against the alaskan pipeline, here's your reward. To all you Californians who have 2 cars in the garage and 3 parked on the street, here's how you've been paying for your fuel -- made from the blood of an undeclared war waged by your government, in your name.

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    so. (none / 0) (#523)
    by garlic on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 04:05:54 PM EST

    Is anyone innocent then?

    HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
    [ Parent ]

    Excellent (5.00 / 2) (#550)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:50:53 PM EST

    In that case, there is no innocent person on this earth, because everyone pays taxes to his government, and everyone's government is guilty, so the US can commence bombing any and everyone we don't like. In particular, Afghans pay taxes to the Taliban, which harbors Osama bin Laden and has destroyed culture and enslaved, beaten, maimed, and killed innocents on a massive scale, so they're clearly guilty, and should be wiped out to a man for their crimes against all humanity.

    This, hands down, is the single stupidest atttempt at an anti-US argument I have ever seen. You sir, have reached a new pinnacle of pea brained inanity. Congratulations.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Evidence (3.44 / 9) (#235)
    by Fenian on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:49:21 AM EST

    I really wish we could put this issue of giving the Taliban the evidence to rest. Yes, we have evidence that it was bin Ladin and al Quaeda. No, we are not going to release it publicly. If we did so, any human intelligence assets (aka people/field agents) who helped gather evidence would most likely be murdered. Any other intelligence assets involved would dry up in other ways. Giving it to the Taliban would be no different from releasing it publicly. The Taliban supports bin Laden. If we gave them the evidence they might hand him over to the UN. And that's a pretty big might. They would pass on all the information to al Quaeda. All the intelligence sources would dry up (well, except for the blood spilled in the process). And al Quaeda would still be there with a new leader. We would have accomplished very little. And we would have betrayed the field agents who have the courage to be in hostile environments trying to protect the United States. Protecting sources and methods is not just about keeping the intel coming (though that is a good enough reason by itself...proper intelligence can save lives). It's also about protecting the people who have risked their own lives to protect ours. And endangering their lives in an attempt that is not even guaranteed to get us bin Laden, much less the rest of the organization, would be totally irresponsible.

    Evidence is not the entire issue. (4.50 / 2) (#346)
    by Ignis on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:05:48 PM EST

    While I'm afraid that I agree with billman and spectra72 above regarding the likelihood of the Taleban actually turning over bin Laden, I think you're confusing the issue of the legal prosecution with the rights of sovereign nations under international law. To wit: Despite the fact that the Taleban was never, ever going to hand over bin Laden to the US for trial/execution, it is the responsibility of the US under international law to pursue bin Laden as a criminal.

    This does means presenting a supported case against him. This does not mean revealing all the sources of every scrap of evidence tying him with the 9/11 attack.

    (While the parallel with international law is not ideal, review the case law of most western nations relating to the permissability of evidence presented without damaging intelligence agents. The US (sadly) uses this legality to prosecute drug dealers without exposing their undercover agents who are deep moles in the drug trade.)

    For example, Tony Blair released a ludicrous 'analysis' of the evidence presented by the US. This was A Good Thing(tm). This summary of the circumstantial evidence against bin Laden was bullet-ridden at best, but at least it did not expose any undercover intelligence agents to revenge by terrorists. What it did, however, was to give the UK a decent legal footing under international law to pursue bin Laden by whatever means necessary.

    Why the US didn't publish a similar document (at all, let alone before the UK) is a mystery to me, and it totally invalidates the moral and legal status of the US retaliatory attacks on Afghanistan.

    [ Parent ]

    No need (none / 0) (#434)
    by billman on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:23:26 PM EST

    The US was given a quite thumbs up by the UN to "defend" itself. And let's face it, the UN knew exactly what it was authorizing by authorizing self-defense. Notice they haven't spoken up? Notice that the OIC, which by definition comprised of nations with Islamic interests, have completely walked away from Afghanistan and are strangly quite as we invade a Mulim nation? Believe me, everybody knows damn well who did it.

    What proof should we provide and to who? The UN gave us the thumbs up. Everyone we've shown the evidence to said it was sufficient. Even using criminal justice standards, you would have a lawyer come with the police to serve a search warrant and prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the landlord that the premise being searched was being searched for valid reasons.

    [ Parent ]

    Carefully-worded dissent != consent. (none / 0) (#439)
    by Ignis on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:57:29 PM EST

    I agree with the opinion expressed previously that you're reading far too much into the UN declaration here. I cannot speak for the UN, but looking at the language of the declaration, the US bombings of Afghanistan remain illegal under international law.

    Does this mean that charges will be brought against the US for attacking another government without a declaration of war? Of course not. With the entire EU embracing the action, such a motion would be shouted down almost immediately. And with the stranglehold the US has over the finance of so many other UN nations, a smaller nation pressing this suit would be damaging their own economy in the process.

    On another note, you are completely incorrect in your assessment of the reaction by the OIC to the US attack on Afghanistan. The communique issued by the emergency meeting of the OIC very clearly separated the 9/11 terrorist attack and the need for the US to defend itself from the attacking of any Islamic nation. Look at the statements by the leaders of Qatar and Syria for specific examples, as well as the text of the communique itself.

    And even if the OIC had been--as you allege--completely complacent in the bombings, can we not assume that it is in the best interest of US-allied Islamic nations to do everything in their power to appear neutral on the issue on the world stage? These are goverments which already take great pains to crush any democratic dissent or protest in their own countries; why should they be seen to be anything other than favourable to the very nation that defends them against their own internal Islamic fundamentalists who hate them for 'selling out' to the 'enemy' that is the US?

    [ Parent ]

    How to Deal With Pacifists (1.56 / 16) (#243)
    by pseudocode on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:08:09 AM EST

    What to do if you happen upon a pacifist in order to show that sometimes a show of force in necessary: 1) Approach pacifist talking about "peace" and saying there should be,"no retaliation." 2) Engage in brief conversation, ask if military force is appropriate. 3) When he says "No," ask, "Why not?" 4) Wait until he says something to the effect of, "Because that would just cause more innocent deaths, which would be awful and we should not cause more violence." Or "America has brought it on itself, given its imperialist actions and has angered the people of..." 5) When he's in mid sentence, punch him in the face as hard as you can. 6) When he gets back up to up to punch you, point out that it would be a mistake and contrary to his values to strike you, because that would, "be awful and he should not cause more violence." In addition, tell him that his "actions angered you and that he brought it on himself." 7) Wait until he agrees and has pledged not to commit additional violence and that the reason you punched him was mostly his fault. 8) Punch him in the face again, harder this time. Repeat steps 5 through 8 until the pacifist understands that sometimes it is necessary to punch back.

    Foo (3.00 / 3) (#255)
    by ksandstr on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:57:49 AM EST

    This is the classical Line of reasoning in support of the use of force. Being a classic in anti-pacifist rhetoric, it is also easily refuted (see the provided link for a couple of examples).

    Fin.
    [ Parent ]
    newbie (4.00 / 1) (#268)
    by Lelon on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 12:25:00 PM EST

    1st off, taking something from a chain letter nad passing it off as something you thought up is lame (and until previously, something I though below most k5 members) 2nd, this has already been posted, word for word, by someone else (and he gave credit where due). Please read the comments before posting your own (or in this case, posting something that is not your own)


    ----
    This sig is a work in progress.
    [ Parent ]
    (OT) your sig (none / 0) (#469)
    by Kalani on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:12:04 AM EST

    THERE IS NEVER A CHOICE BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND EASE OF USE. THEY ARE TOTALLY UNRELATED.
    I think that's true only if you're looking at it from an end-user perspective. If you consider "ease of use" from the position of programmers writing to the programming interface of an Operating System then obviously things can get convoluted if, for instance, you need to parse information returned from a block-device interface function and that information consists of n streams aligned on page boundaries. It's probable that it'd be less easy to "use" that interface function than, say, b = new u_char[get_blockdev_buffer_size(hdev)]; read_blockdev(hdev, b);

    Just a thought.

    -----
    "I [think] that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement; in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board."
    --Richard Feynman
    [ Parent ]
    way OT, but ease of programming != ease of use (none / 0) (#543)
    by Lelon on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:28:17 PM EST

    the idea that computers have to be complicated in order to have better "performance" is the main problem with computers today. the idea itself has also been proven bunk. theres no reason linux can't be as easy to use as win98 (and current version of redhat almost are, and just as buggy) now, if you want to talk about lazy programmers, that discussion warrants an entire new article :-p


    ----
    This sig is a work in progress.
    [ Parent ]
    er ... (none / 0) (#564)
    by Kalani on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 10:06:52 PM EST

    I wasn't making that point at all. However, since you've brought it up, it's much easier to develop a system that's easy to use if the programming interface is easy to use. Still, I'd appreciate it if you'd actually respond to the point of my last comment.

    -----
    "I [think] that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement; in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board."
    --Richard Feynman
    [ Parent ]
    How to deal with a thug (3.50 / 4) (#360)
    by Macrobat on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 04:56:59 PM EST

    What to do if approached by a thug while protesting military actions:

  • When asked if military force is appropriate, say "Not in this situation, no."
  • When he asks why not, notice which leg is forward, but keep an eye out for his entire body.
  • When, in the middle of explaining why, you notice him start to punch you, step inside and toward the blow, parrying the incoming fist with the appropriate hand; for a moment, he will be off-balance, and a quick, light shove will send him toward the ground, shaken but not harmed.
  • Explain that you have a second-degree black belt in jujitsu as you watch him pick himself up and dust himself off.
  • If inarticulate goon tries again, repeat the takedown, but this time also apply a joint lock to keep him down while your friends call the police.
  • While waiting for the authorities, explain to the immobile but otherwise unharmed loser that intelligent people have ways of applying force without inflicting violence, and that, in any case, a streetfight and a war are completely different animals.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

  • Heh (none / 0) (#364)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:30:35 PM EST

    I know roughly a dozen people who have black belts in various martial arts. All of them might well do what you're suggesting, though none of them are military pacifists. However, none of them are stupid enough to brag about it, and I suspect that if you'd ever been in more than a couple of real fights in your life, you wouldn't either.

    The problem is, all too often, a guy with a black belt gets his ass beaten by some dumbfuck who doesn't know what he's doing. Martial arts give a large edge, but if you think you're invincible against "street punks," you're a moron. You can and will lose sooner or later, and unlike you, the people you're liable to lose to are unlikely to leave you relatively unharmed.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Chill (none / 0) (#382)
    by Macrobat on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:29:35 PM EST

    Actually, note that I said to say that *after* said assailant was already knocked down once. Implying that our fictitious jujitsu-ka already knows the skill level of his opponent.

    In any case, chill. It's a parody of an idiotic post. If I wanted to be more realistic, I would have made the point about the armlock on the first attempt.

    And don't make assumptions about what I think, or how many fights I've been in. For what it's worth, in my adult life I have only been in one real fight, and that was to defend a homeless man who was being kicked while he was down.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

    Well... (none / 0) (#386)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 06:41:16 PM EST

    Actually, note that I said to say that *after* said assailant was already knocked down once. Implying that our fictitious jujitsu-ka already knows the skill level of his opponent.
    If you think you can get a firm grasp on what someone is capable of because he threw one punch, you're a serious danger to yourself.
    In any case, chill. It's a parody of an idiotic post. If I wanted to be more realistic, I would have made the point about the armlock on the first attempt.
    I found the parody far more idiotic than the original. The original is something that, sad to say, actually would work on a great many pacifists, who seem to have no grasp whatsoever on reality.
    And don't make assumptions about what I think, or how many fights I've been in.
    After which sentence you proceed to tell me that I was right. Go figure.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Whatever (2.00 / 1) (#399)
    by Macrobat on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:14:23 PM EST

    Look, if you don't like the joke, say "not funny." But if you insist on making assumptions about me based on my fictitious example, then you, my friend, are the one who has no grasp whatsoever on reality. The reason I haven't been in more fights is because I do know how dangerous they are.

    My serious point is, you cannot argue by analogy between a mugging and a war. If you have to get your panties in a bunch, argue with that, and not with an imaginary opponent.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

    In general, maybe (3.00 / 1) (#401)
    by trhurler on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 07:29:10 PM EST

    However, in this instance, I'd say the analogy isn't wrong, as long as you don't take it too far. If we go about our business as we were, this is going to happen again. If we try to give them what they want so they'll leave us alone, then the next time they're pissed, they'll kill a few thousand more people. The only proper response is to find and punish whomever is responsible, and unfortunately, there is no sufficient legal infrastructure in place in Afghanistan to do that by nonmilitary means. If they'd been based in western Europe, Canada, or whatever, yes, but that just doesn't work when they're in a country that doesn't even have a real government, but rather just a bunch of bullies who make demands and torture and kill those who defy them.

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

    [ Parent ]
    Now we're talking (5.00 / 1) (#408)
    by Macrobat on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 08:07:46 PM EST

    I like this kind of talk better.

    Honestly, I believe that a failure of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East and our support of Israel, even after they have committed their own repeated acts of brutality, have led to a situation where we now no longer have the option not to go to war. So although I (grudgingly) feel that military action is necessary, that doesn't mean we were the peaceful protester just standing by, as the original post implied. More like our allies were the belligerents, we were paying money to watch them do it, and when the terrorists struck back, we had the gall to say it was unprovoked.

    So I don't think the analogy justifies anything in this case. But thank you (sincerely) for getting back on topic.

    (Note to anyone who cares: Yes, I know our relationship with Israel and the rest of the region is more complicated than I imply above, and no, I'm not apologizing for the terrorists, hindsight is 20/20, et cetera, et cetera. But these actions did not arise out of a political vacuum.)

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

    What they're demanding.. (none / 0) (#483)
    by QuantumG on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 09:39:58 AM EST

    I really is amused to hear people say this. "We cannot give into the demands of terrorism!!" assumably because this will result in more terrorist acts. It's funny. Think back to all the times you have seen terrorists in movies. What are they demanding? A million dollars? A helicopter to the airport? Their astranged father be released from prison? It's funny that none of them are ever demanding that the U.S. stop sending robot bombs to kill people in their homeland and send their military troops back to their own god damn country. Personally, I dont ask nicely for justice. I expect it. I demand it and when I dont receive it, I pledge that justice will be served. The U.S. and the U.K. have done a really stupid thing this week, they've demonstrated to the people of the middle east that they will continue to be bullied, just as they have been for the last 80 years. They have said, when you stand up and demand justice, you will be knocked down and we dont care how loudly you scream. You wanna end terrorism? Stop fucking with other people's countries.

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    Um... (5.00 / 1) (#499)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:23:04 PM EST

    If you think deliberately killing 7000 innocent people and then not even making any demands constitutes a plea for justice, you clearly are a complete and utter nutjob.

    You know what the Muslim world would do if we "stopped fucking" with their countries? They'd starve in the streets, you dumbass. Then they'd come bomb us for "starving them." Not to mention the fact that without US presence and support of both sides, Israel would probably start World War III in a matter of months or a couple of years, complete with a sizable nuclear arsenal ribbed for her pleasure.

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

    [ Parent ]
    sizable nuclear arsenal ribbed for her pleasure (none / 0) (#593)
    by QuantumG on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 11:28:10 AM EST

    That the US gave to them for free?

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    slip (1.00 / 1) (#436)
    by anonymous cowerd on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 11:30:02 PM EST

    The original [i.e. a disgusting. puerile aggro fantasy of repeatedly punching "a pacifist" in the face] is something that, sad to say, actually would work on a great many pacifists, who seem to have no grasp whatsoever on reality.

    What makes you think that? I don't follow your train of thougfht, either of you. For example, out here in the world, I am a pacifist, in a general, political sense. But if you, as a single individual, punch me in the face I will sure whip your ass, or at least try pretty hard to do so. Then afterwards on top of that (provided I survive that long, that is) I will summon the police and have you arrested, for having thrown the first punch, which made you legally liable for the whole fight.

    There's no "logical" contradiction at all. If you perceive one, it's because you mistakenly believe that in all things one individual should always act like a whole mighty state, and vice versa. What may be sensible behavior for a nation with an army, bombs, etc., obviously is not necessarily identically good for one private individual on the street.

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

    A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.
    [ Parent ]

    Ah (none / 0) (#501)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 12:24:17 PM EST

    But if you, as a single individual, punch me in the face I will sure whip your ass, or at least try pretty hard to do so.
    That makes you different from most of the people I know who call themselves "pacifists." Most of them are college kids with no sense of reality, who also go around saying things like "why can't we all just get along" without any sense of irony whatsoever, smoke dope constantly, and so on. Of course, in truth, most of them would eventually at least try to cover up to protect themselves, but they'd get beaten senseless, because that's what they've told themselves they should do.
    Then afterwards on top of that (provided I survive that long, that is) I will summon the police and have you arrested, for having thrown the first punch, which made you legally liable for the whole fight.
    This is not actually true in most places in the US. You are legally allowed to take the minimum action necessary to defend yourself and escape, and nothing more. For instance, if you knock me down and don't immediately run away, then all claims of self defense are moot unless you have some compelling reason to believe you cannot run away and that I will still come after you. I personally question the wisdom of this policy, but that means very little in terms of what will happen to you if you get into a fight.

    --