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[P]
The attacks on America: a foreigner writes

By dash2 in Op-Ed
Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:25:39 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Americans up to and including George W. Bush are calling this a "war". They're wrong.


(NB: In this article I use "you" to refer to US citizens. I've complained about people assuming all K5 readers are Americans before, so please just take this as an "open letter" to Americans. Of course, everyone is free to add their comments.)

I know that hundreds of people have their perspective and thoughts to add on the terrible atrocities in America. I hesitate before using up physical and emotional bandwidth with my own views. In particular, as a UK citizen, do I really have the right to advise Americans - as this article will do - on the appropriate response to these events? Isn't it patronising and insensitive, to a nation reeling after a shock which outsiders cannot fully imagine? Well, I hope I have good advice to give, which K5ers will find worth listening to. The moderators can judge that. But as a citizen of the United Kingdom, I also believe that my country's long history of alliance with the United States gives me some right to speak out. This is not just a matter of historical sentiment. Any act of the US in response to the attacks will be supported by our government, certainly in name, perhaps - as in the bombing of Libya in 1986, when we provided the bases from where the bombers flew - materially. We are likely to be involved and implicated in whatever you do. Furthermore, some - perhaps hundreds - of our countrymen will have died in the World Trade Centre attack. Many of the firms in the WTC were strongly international and will have had employees on exchange from the UK. So we are involved in this from the outset, and the first thing I should say is that we stand with you in horror and anger at this wicked, inexcusable atrocity.

But for me at least there are ambiguities to this situation that Americans may not immediately appreciate. In American reactions, online and in the media, one common response was that this act had made something unambiguously clear. Battle lines had been drawn between the US and its enemies. In fact, many people have used the phrase "this is a war", and used the comparison with Pearl Harbor. It's hard to deny the analogy: a devastating, surprise attack, revealing the presence of a hitherto concealed enemy.

Nevertheless, to European eyes, and especially to a member of the European Left, the attack leaves more questions than answers. Because, you see, to us European Lefties, so often the United States are the bad guys, the evil empire: whether out of ill-considered nationalism, or disapproval at the overweening behaviour of the world's only superpower. And by instinct, many of us - I, too - side with, for example, the Palestinians and against the Israeli occupiers and their American supporters; and against the US on a whole range of international issues.

I know that the US is not a monolith of support for the foreign policies of its government. But still, our European "gut attitude" to you can so easily be one of visceral antagonism. As an example of the depth of this gut feeling, I can tell you that I first heard of the WTC and Pentagon bombings, I was on a demonstration against the arms trade (you can read about it at UK indymedia). They were announced by a CND speaker. There was silence at the news of the WTC. However, when the Pentagon attack was announced, I am very ashamed to say that there were sporadic cheers. The details of the attacks, in particular that the planes were hijacked commercial airliners full of passengers, and the death count, were unknown to us. That's no excuse for cheering; but this example shows how deep roots of anti-Americanism on the Left. The protesters cheered the Pentagon attack because the building is a visible symbol of American military might and domination - a domination we on the European Left see as evil.

So for me at least, this bombing does not set any battle lines. It serves instead as a reminder that, as the Auden line has it, those to whom evil is done do evil in return.Osama Bin Laden, if he is behind these attacks, has responded to, among other things, US backing of the evil Saudi Arabian dictatorship - which Amnesty International castigates as guilty of torture, discrimination and failure to meet its human rights obligations, and which he himself describes as "corrupt" - with an unimaginably wicked act of his own.

So even though this attack may be horribly simple for you, it is not simple for me or many others. My first thought then, is just to echo another motif repeated in the reaction of world leaders on TV and ordinary US citizens online: please, think before you act. Now that may sound like a typical woolly, liberal position: "Don't rush to do anything - let's sit and discuss the causes of this tragedy... blame US imperialism... we are all guilty!" That's not what I mean. The US has a right - and a duty - to pursue justice against those who planned this unjustifiable crime. They must be brought to book.

Some Americans - including Colin Powell and now George W. Bush - would go beyond this. They would say that more than justice is at stake. "This is a war." America needs to strike back against its enemies by any means necessary. The finicky, slow procedures of international justice are irrelevant.

This position is only too understandable. War is certainly what Osama bin Laden, and others, see themselves as waging against the United States - a holy war, a jihad against the Great Satan, a war that can never end until the enemy is extirpated. Should the US see the situation in these terms? The best modern definition of war was given by Clausewitz: war, he said, is the continuation of politics by other means. Something undertaken to further political goals, not to satisfy the demand for revenge. And the US, like every state, has as its primary political goal the security of its own citizens: to ensure, in other words, that the outrages of 11 September are never repeated. How could this goal best be served?

I cannot rule out that the use of force, or the threat of force, against states that sponsor or harbour international terrorists, may serve to deliver those terrorists up to justice. And if so, surely it would be justified - among other things, by Article 51 of the United Nations charter, which allows all countries to act in their own defence. But if this method is a part of the appropriate response, it cannot be all of that response. Here we come back to the need for Americans to think before they act. I don't just mean short-term tactical calculation. That is important, but you also need to try and understand the motives driving these terrorists. Not out of sympathy - I could never ask your sympathy for them in the current situation - but as a matter of national security. America will never be safe unless Americans - all Americans, not just the professional security advisers and the policy wonks - think deeply about what drove men to create these acts. Because only then will you be able to try to remove these motives and to create a safer world. You see, Osama Bin Laden is quite right. Even if he was killed, others would spring up to take his place. It is not Satan, but situations, that create terrorists.

Nobody can fully understand the terrible complexities of world politics and the Middle Eastern situation - I am certainly a complete ignoramus about them. But I can offer a couple of pointers.

First of all, many of you - understandably and rightly - expressed your disgust at the pictures of Palestinians celebrating yesterday's events. But as this article makes clear, the majority of Palestinians did not share this jubilation:

'Most Palestinians joined the rest of the world watching TV coverage of the outrage and agreed with Yasser Arafat [in condemning the outrage]... Mohamed Abe Sneineh, a resident of Hebron, the scene of bitter fighting between Jewish settlers and Arab gunmen, said: "We're disgusted by what happened and in no way support it."'

And you even need to understand what motivated those who did jubilate over the deaths of your countrymen. This Economist article on the situation in Palestinian refugee camps (Economist subscription needed) - provides some of the needed background:

'[Lebanon's 300,000 Palestinians suffer not just from poverty and exile but from a range of discriminatory laws aimed at making them emigrate. They are explicitly forbidden to work in virtually any qualified profession, and a recent rule now also makes it illegal for "stateless aliens" to own property.... Some families are now into their fourth generation in the camps.'

The isolationism that marked the beginning of George W. Bush's presidency must surely now be at an end. These events should prove to even the most entrenched Montana survivalist that no nation is an island. But it is not enough to leave policy to the "experts". That plays into the hands of the special interests who make a living, and sometimes vast profits, from disorder in the world, and who stand to benefit greatly from an America that sees itself "at war". You are all part of America, partly responsible for what America does, no matter how much you may disagree with particular policies. Act swiftly and fiercely to achieve justice. But think deeply and act wisely to aim for peace.

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Poll
Is the US at war with terrorism?
o Yes, and we should launch missile strikes at Afghanistan immediately 5%
o Yes, and we should threaten Afghanistan with attacks unless they hand over Bin Laden 26%
o No, we should negotiate to solve the root causes that drove people to these acts 58%
o No, but we should still get Bin Laden by any means necessary 9%

Votes: 108
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o UK indymedia
o castigates
o describes as "corrupt"
o Article 51 of the United Nations charter
o this article
o This Economist article
o Also by dash2


Display: Sort:
The attacks on America: a foreigner writes | 439 comments (436 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
OT: Palestinian refugees (4.32 / 25) (#1)
by Delirium on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 04:39:52 PM EST

And you even need to understand what motivated those who did jubilate over the deaths of your countrymen. This Economist article on the situation in Palestinian refugee camps (Economist subscription needed) - provides some of the needed background:

'[Lebanon's 300,000 Palestinians suffer not just from poverty and exile but from a range of discriminatory laws aimed at making them emigrate. They are explicitly forbidden to work in virtually any qualified profession, and a recent rule now also makes it illegal for "stateless aliens" to own property.... Some families are now into their fourth generation in the camps.'

Which is exactly why I don't understand why they blame the US for their misery - the laws here (and in Jordan and Syria) are discriminatory laws of Arab countries. The various Arab countries with Palestinian minorities refuse to allow them to live normal lives in those countries, keeping them confined to refugee camps. This is partly due to fear of them as a minority group, as they often stir internal political unrest, and partly due to a desire to keep them as refugees to put pressure on Israel (for the "right of return"). Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan could do a great deal to ease the plight of the refugees, but instead they prefer to use these people as pawns in their strategic conflict with Israel, needlessly prolonging their misery so they'll have be able to continue to say "look at how they're suffering."

So really I don't see why the fact that many Middle Eastern Arab countries have discriminatory laws justifies anger at the US. Of all the parties involves, the US is probably one of the least likely to support such laws.

That isn't OT at all. (3.60 / 5) (#26)
by seebs on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:07:40 AM EST

Indeed, if these countries *really* want the Palestinians to have a homeland, why don't they donate some of their land? The answer is, they'd rather have the Palestinians suffering, and point them at the Israelis and say "they did this to you".

When the Palestinians totally and completely abandon terrorism as a means of negotiation, there will be hope for peace. When the Arab nations welcome the Palestinians as citizens, and give them places to live, there will be hope for peace. Until then, it's just silly to expect peace to just sort of happen without help.


[ Parent ]
Palestinians need their land (4.00 / 7) (#61)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:41:44 AM EST

OK, lets finish the Israel issue once and forever.

As we are probably all aware of Israel state was formed after WW2 in Palestine that was British protectorate at the time. Actual founding of the state was made possible with UN resolution 181. Larger version of the map is provided here.

Resolution was not supported by any of the Arab states of the time (which is probably understandable) however it got implemented as majority of the world deemed Zionists historical claims founded. Israel was attacked shortly after being declared independent state as this artifical state as it was seen by the sorrounding Arab states had no moral right to exist here.

After managing to defend itself the Israel dramaticly changed its map to the one that was valid at the start of 6 day war.

Current maps of Israel state are probably available around everywhere, but the one from Israel probably sums it up nicely.

This is what is considered to be evidence of Israel expanding it's borders on direct expense of Palestinian land. Right now Israel occupies the land that was under UN resolution 181 given to Palestine. Israel is now actualy negotiating about keeping the land it has no legal, let alone moral right to. If you don't think this is bad enough for someone to do, then you can add some more things that have been noted before and after UN resolution 181 was passed.

Jews were accused of atrocities over Palestinian people for many times, but they were never prosecuted or judged even when admitted by highest members of Jewish state.

  • Deir Yassin, 250 man, woman, children, and infants killed
    • "...it is historically important because it was to become the beginning of a second legend with which the terrorists sought to serve their cause and justify their deeds. Just as they claimed credit for the British decision to leave Palestine as being the result of terrorists' attack on British troops, so later they justify the massacre of Deir Yasin because it led to the panic flight of the remaining Arabs in the Jewish state and so lessened the Jewish casualties." (Jon Kimche; New York Times: F.A. Praeger; 1953)
    • "The massacre was not only justified, but there would not have been a state without the victory of Deir Yassin." (Menachem Begin; Jewish Newsletter, October 3, 1960) Menachem Begin was Israels prime minister.
  • The village of Balad Esh-Sheikh was attacked. In this operation, more than 60 of the enemy, most of them non-combatants, were killed in their houses.
  • The village of Sa'sa' was attacked. "In this operation, which was for many years to be regarded as a model raid because of the high standard of its execution, 20 houses were blown up over their inhabitants, and some 60 Arabs were killed, most of them were women and children.
  • In the battle for Kattamon Quarter of Jerusalem, "Arab women working in the St. Simon Monestry as servants were killed."
  • In Lydda town, the local population rose in revolt, and to suppress the revolt, orders were given to fire on anyone seen in the streets. Yeftah troops opened fire on all passers-by and suppress the revolt mercilessly in a few hours, going from house to house and firing at every moving target. According to the commander's report 250 Arabs were killed in the fighting.

Do you think that Palestinian people would take this kind of treatment kindly? Do you think that you would accept this as civilized behaviour? Do you think that Palestinians maybe hate everybody who helps Israel mantain more or less status quo? Can you imagine how much faith did it take for Arafat do stop infatiada and sit down for negotiations with enemy that did this to his own people? Would you sit down to negotiate with whoever did attack USA? Don't judge people just over imression they give. Try to understand what drives them and then you will understand what you can do. Palestinians have after almost 50 years of occupation by all means decided they will accept Israel as a fact just to get back their part of land that is guaranteed to them with 1947 UN resolution. Israel proudly walks around with the resolution, but at the sime time ignores complete passages from it [the resolution] and general UN charter.

One argument that you can hear all the time is that Arabs and Palestinians particulary don't deserve the land that Jews cultivated so successfuly. This cultivation itself is questionable, since there are enough USA and other foreign (non Palestinian) evidence that Palestinians took good care of the good land they were living on. Roughly only half of Palestine has desert climate, the rest has moderate Mediterannean climate which by itself enables agricultural production. You can compare rainfall in Jerusalem (486mm) and Nazareth (639mm) with other places like Paris (571mm), or eastern Germany (408-508mm). As far as the quality of the land goes, in 1946 Walter C. Lowdermilk (Assistant Chief of US Soil Conservation Service) examind the siol and concluded that "the soils of Palestine were uniformly better". If we can belive British Consul at the time, in 1893 he proposed to import trees from Jaffa in order to improve production in Australia and South Africa. On other feats Palestinians managed to impress American consul as well since he suggested that the Jaffa oranges should be considered for planting in Florida as it would bring advantage to production and quality. The only suspicious part here is that until 1946 only 5-6% of population consisted of Jews. Another example might be that statistics collected in 1945 and published in 1947 showed that "... statistics of population and of land ownership prove conclusively that the Arabs constitute a majority of the population of the proposed Jewish State, and own the bulk of the land".

Probably many more examples, proofs and numbers exist and can be found that refute any theory of Palestinian claiming what isn't theirs. While one can certainly accuse them of using wrong methods, one can not accuse them of standing idly watching centuries of their work taken from them. Saying that biblical lands were historicaly Jewish is merely trying to excuse short-sighteness of decision makers of that time. If such historical claims could stand then I guess we should let Serbs have Kosovo, we should let Greeks and Bulgars divide Macedonia. We should let Ireland have it's northern part returned immediately. We should do many things around the world that are simply ridiculous. Even my country has historical claims for half of Austria, but we aren't walking around and expecting it to be returned now. It's part of Austria now and it shall remain so. Why were Jews made an exception? Holocaust? What happened to Romes (Gypsies is probably more familiar). Hitlers final solution was going for them as well. Did they get a state somewhere?

At the end of the day ask whether you really want to support the state that was founded on terrorist actions that drove British out as fast as possible, expanded with terrorist actions designed to scare and drive away oposition, and established buffer zones on land of neighbouring countries (Lebanon, Syria). I certainly don't support them behaving like this. They fly USA planes and they drive USA tanks. If USA wants to help now, it better help with stopping this kind of help. It better help by not trying to help too much. Why doesn't USA help with skilled negotiators only.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Haven't we tired already? (3.66 / 3) (#83)
by Rashomon on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:53:10 AM EST

Why doesn't USA help with skilled negotiators only.

About two or three years ago, the US, did indeed try to help negotiations. Isreal gave up a bit of land. Then in another situation, the US set up peace talks. peace lasts for a little while, and then the stupidity starts up again.

Both sides are very stubborn, and don't seem to really want peace. It's like the Montagues vs. Capulets.

Please correct me if I missed something.
Why is common sense so uncommon?
[ Parent ]

Re: Haven't we tired already? (4.00 / 3) (#123)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:55:15 PM EST

YES! Yes, you tried already (you are probably even tired already) and you get my full, complete and undivided applause for all the good things you have done. Dayton, Oslo, and other agreements are positive, optimistic and the only way I can see that will produce unambigous results.

I agree that USA can't solve all the troubles around the world. It shouldn't even try. My argument is that it shouldn't back countries in ways that majority of world opposes to. Just for most abused example around this article: everyboudy should honestly try to answer these questions:

  • Do you think Jews automaticaly can't be racist just because they were historicaly victims of one?
  • Do you know about black jews living in Africa?
  • Do you know that Israel doesn't accept them as "real" Jews since they are black?
  • Doesn't this strike you as at least little odd?
  • Do you know about massacres that Jews commited in Palestine?
  • Do you know what was the size of Israel that was charted in UN resolution?
  • Do you know how much of weapon systems and other military hardware gets exported to Israel every year?
  • Do you know that USA has policy of not selling weapons or other military related hardware to parties involved in questionable conducts of warfare?
  • Is rocket attack on house of prominent Palestinian official terrorist attack?
  • How about attack on White House?
  • Do you think that just selling weapons to commit terrorist acts isn't objectionable?
  • Do you think that USA isn't guilty of blocking each and every resolution that would stop Israel commiting its genocide?


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Nice explination, but here's what I don't get... (4.20 / 5) (#139)
by SvnLyrBrto on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:08:18 PM EST

Every time Israel has expanded its borders, it has been the result of a WAR started when ISRAEL WAS ATTACKED.

Israel won those wars against its neighbors, and, as a result, Israel grew larger. Israel was NOT the aggressor in those wars.

In damn near every war throughout history, the loser, wether or not that loser was the initial aggressor, has had to give up territory to the winner. This has been the case right up through WWII, when, in the case of Germany, the loser was carved up into occupation zones by the winners, and only recently able to reunite (and they're STILL short some pre-WWII land). Germany's overseas territories were all pretty much stripped, and Japan lost its claims on many an Island it used to own.

Even today, the borders of European and African countries change as wars are fought.

The idea that you can attack a sovereign country, fight a war, LOSE, and immediately return to the pre-war status quo is a VERY recent invention... and it seems to apply ONLY to Israel.

Hell, given the circumstances under which Israel expanded its borders, it's DAMN generous that they gave up so much land as they did. I think they would be perfectly justified to still be in the Sainai pennensula right up to the Suez.

So why is it that ONLY in the case of Israel, the LOSERS (and, lets not forget, the aggressors) of the wars are expected to be able to press the "magic Star Trek reset button" after starting the wars, and go back to pre-war borders likr nothing ever happened?


cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

You're right (3.00 / 2) (#166)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:16:50 PM EST

You're absolutely right. Many things escape when you look at history of Israel state. Of six wars it seems like three of them were started by Israel itself. But than again the claim goes that they were provoked and that can be argued. Another part is that UN delivered this lan to Jews when it was under British colonial rule with British hoping that they will be able to pull out quickly. You add angry arabs who (look at that word again) historicaly claimed this land and what you get is angry mess that you wouldn't want to put your fingers in.

I have another riddle for you. You put together roman catholics, two different kinds orthodox catholics, and some of Muslim belivers. Shake, stir, and ask them to draw country lines. Everyone claims land is his, everyone draws out historical maps that show his point, everyone accuses everyone else of being racis, genocidal, and everything they can pronounce at the momment. Do you want to put your fingers in there?

Maybe USA should start thinking about not helping around so much. It would draw less atention and it would provide for much more peaceful coexistance with more nations around the world. Just ignore cries to come around with military to help them out. It might sound amoral and barbaric, but barbaric civilizations were consistently destroyed by collapsing into themselves. Human cost might be appaling, but it won't be yours any more. Just like we all have to die, eventually overly aggressive countries will die. You just can't save everyone. Need food? OK. Need arms? No way.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
So what are you suggesting? (2.00 / 2) (#253)
by tjb on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:52:11 PM EST

Are you suggesting we stop supporting Israel? They would be attacked instantly.

Are you suggesting we never should have supported Israel? There would have been a murderous orgy to rival the Rape of Nanking while the Jewish people were pushed into the sea.

The amount of crypto-anti-semitism I've seen recently disgusts me.

US support of Israel is the support of a democracy. It is the support of a nation that has never attacked first. If the palestinians were to stop shooting tommorrow, agree to the more than generous offer made last year, and turn over the terrorists they harbor, I can assure you that Israel would stop shooting as well. Can you say the same if Israel were to stop retaliating?

Of course not. The Palestinian leaders will not be satisfied until Israel no longer exists. Peaceful coexistance is not an option to the likes of Arafat. If it were, he would have accepted the offer that *met nearly each and every one of his demands*. Instead, he rejected it, and, rather than give a counter offer, he gave the Jewish people war.

Tim

[ Parent ]
Palestinian/Israeli offers (3.00 / 1) (#326)
by thejeff on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:21:26 PM EST

If the palestinians were to stop shooting tommorrow, agree to the more than generous offer made last year, and turn over the terrorists they harbor, I can assure you that Israel would stop shooting as well. Can you say the same if Israel were to stop retaliating?

Of course not. The Palestinian leaders will not be satisfied until Israel no longer exists. Peaceful coexistance is not an option to the likes of Arafat. If it were, he would have accepted the offer that *met nearly each and every one of his demands*. Instead, he rejected it, and, rather than give a counter offer, he gave the Jewish people war.

When you consider that during the entire time of the negotiations Israel continued expanding settlements in violation of UN rulings and no Israeli offer has ever included giving back any settlement land is it any wonder that Arafat gave up talks.

The offer you refer to was said by Sharon to no longer be on the table. Any negotiations would start back at the beginning. And Israel has refused, in any discussions about peace, to discuss the reasons the intifada was launched. And meanwhile the settlements expand.

thejeff

[ Parent ]

semites (none / 0) (#421)
by delmoi on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:19:49 AM EST

The amount of crypto-anti-semitism I've seen recently disgusts me

Palestinians are semites.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
don't you know (4.50 / 2) (#429)
by alprazolam on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 09:40:32 AM EST

israel is the innocent pacifist, the only democratic nation in the world other than the US. it is a hundred innocent religious people surrounded by a sea of bloodthirsty savages. any in anyway suggesting that they not be provided with weapons of war (to defend themselves) you are displaying overt racism against all the jews of the world, regardless where they live.

[ Parent ]
Not a war? (4.25 / 20) (#2)
by Dlugar on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 05:18:58 PM EST

I am of the opinion that this is very much a war. It is a battle in a war that the US has been fighting for at least ten years, never caring very much because nobody ever thought that mainland US would ever be harmed one whit. We could bomb, arm, and attack other countries with impunity, because no one could ever harm the massive giant that is the United States.

Turns out that we were very wrong, and it's time to take a very close look at this war, why we're in it, and whether we think it's worth it.

Dlugar

easily said... (4.44 / 9) (#12)
by jrh on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:19:35 PM EST

Suppose that the US pulled back all troops from the Middle East; withdrew support for UN sanctions on Iraq; and ceased its economic, military, and diplomatic support of Israel.

I'm actually in favor of some of the above. But would it actually stop terrorist attacks? Or would it increase terrorism by encouraging the fanatics to believe their war almost won, by showing them how easy it is to affect US policy?

I'm inclined towards the latter view, certainly in the short term.

If this is a war, can the US afford the consequences of surrender?

[ Parent ]

not so easily done (4.57 / 7) (#15)
by Dlugar on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:51:54 PM EST

Once you're in a war, it's very very difficult to get out. A lot more difficult than never getting into it in the first place.

You're right--there's no easy solution. I'm not certain how much support the terrorist factions would be able to garner, though, if all you said were to take place. Regardless, I think that right now would be a foolish time for us to do such things.

The dilemma is this: if terrorism does give this country a "wake-up call", so to speak, and causes the US to re-think their policies overseas and withdraw them, then was terrorism a good thing? And if it is not, what should have been in its place?

And, as I'm afraid the case will be, if terrorism doesn't cause the people of this country to give any more thought to the matter but rather give a simple knee-jerk reaction, what ought those countries to do about the policies they find abhorrent?

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
it's clear the US isn't reconsidering anything (4.80 / 5) (#18)
by jrh on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 09:28:16 PM EST

Reading some British papers I was struck by how the conventional wisdom was that the US was suffering the consequences of its role in the Middle East. This is very logical, whether you support the US's policies or not.

In the US mass media, there was nothing of this analysis. If there is at a later point, it will be spun as lunatics lashing out at the well-intended policies of the US. There is relatively little US sympathy for the Palestenians, and the US media is far more pro-Israel than the international press. Now, there may be no sympathy whatsoever (and it's not hard to see why).

The US isn't about to pull out of the Middle East--quite the opposite, in fact. If thousands of our soldiers in the Middle East were killed, they would probably be withdrawn. But we can't withdraw from Manhattan.

I hope that there won't be further successful terrorist attacks on the scale of yesterday's events. If there are...a police state at home, and hundreds of thousands killed abroad. Almost certainly a more active, interventionist US government. And one not concerned at all with human rights. I'd envision a far more violent version of the Drug War.

If there's a way to get US policy to change, it's to publicize the actions of the US government, and hope public opinion shifts. Effective? Not really, judging from history (Nicaragua, for example). But not counterproductive either.

[ Parent ]

I must say... (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:49:59 AM EST

Before all this I was critical of Israel's attacks on political opponents, but after yesterday I see the fundamental difference between the terrorists and the Israeli's. The terrorists specifically targeted civillians, people who didn't have anything to do with the policies they hated, they just wanted a body count. The Israelis on the other hand targeted specific people and organizations they suspected of being involved. Weather or not those suspicions were accurate they demonstrate the fundamental difference between the two sides.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Targets (4.20 / 5) (#27)
by sigwinch on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:31:31 AM EST

The terrorists specifically targeted civillians, people who didn't have anything to do with the policies they hated, they just wanted a body count.
If someone isn't friendly, and they aren't neutral, they are an enemy and thus a proper target for warfare. This includes every citizen of the enemy nation, everyone who pays taxes to the enemy nation, and any other nation that gives them aid. That's the whole purpose of war: to destroy non-neutral non-friendly resources until your will is law. Anything less is just masturbation with blood. The US is very likely to start World War III in the next few months, and you'd better understand how the game is played.

"But that's evil!" you might bleat. Well, that's war. If you don't like it, then you'd better keep uninvolved. Hint: the US is about as uninvolved as a coyote in the chicken house.

The Israelis on the other hand targeted specific people and organizations they suspected of being involved.
I guess somebody teleported me into another universe then, one where Israel is continually evicting Palestinians from their homes and generally making a royal nuisance of themselves. Whether their actions are right or proper or honorable or anything else is irrelevant: they are antagonizing people to the point where those people don't care whether they live or die.

Ditto for US antagonism of Iraq, Afghanistan, and any number of other nations. Again, it doesn't matter whether we have the moral high ground: we are creating enemies who both hate us and don't mind dying to express that hate.

Once you reach that point, there are only two options. 1) Pull out and soak up hundreds of casualties for a generation or two, until enough kids grow up not having the US as their mortal enemy. 2) Nuke them till they glow, then shoot them in the dark.

I doubt enough American politicians have the strength of character to pull off #1, so it looks like WWIII is coming to a town near you. Note that #2 will almost certainly have higher cost and casualties, but it involves plenty of chest thumping and saber rattling, so it is politically acceptable.

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

You must be a programmer (1.00 / 2) (#46)
by EriKZ on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:54:25 AM EST

"If someone isn't friendly, and they aren't neutral, they are an enemy and thus a proper target for warfare."

Ok, so, out of 50k people in the WTC, there wasn't a single person who was friendly to the terrorist movement?

Not ONE who sends money overseas to support the "Freedom Fighters"?

NOT ONE who gives a cheer whenever some foreigner knocks down the US a peg or two?

Because if there was, then they weren't a proper target for warfare. The people who did this DIDN'T warn them, and blowing up the supporters of your cause without reason or warning IS EVIL.


[ Parent ]
Acceptable losses (2.00 / 2) (#107)
by sigwinch on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:49:04 PM EST

Try not to be so literal.
Ok, so, out of 50k people in the WTC, there wasn't a single person who was friendly to the terrorist movement?
You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.
Because if there was, then they weren't a proper target for warfare. The people who did this DIDN'T warn them, and blowing up the supporters of your cause without reason or warning IS EVIL.
War is an expenditure of resources by one party with the goal of denying resources to another party. Good and Evil don't enter into the equation, only costs and probabilities. You ignore this basic fact at your peril. Don't forget that this war was started by busybodies who thought they were fighting Evil with the forces of Good, when in reality they were adjusting costs such that the enemies of civilization found it cheaper to deny US resources (read: WTC) than get on with their own lives.

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

Eggs (1.66 / 3) (#127)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:04:20 PM EST

<I>You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.</I><P>

I'm sorry to hear that our citizens are no more important then eggs to you.

[ Parent ]
Hardly (3.00 / 1) (#147)
by sigwinch on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:04:38 PM EST

I'm sorry to hear that our citizens are no more important then eggs to you.
You seem to have misread. That was an abstract analysis written from the point of view of an attacker. Furthermore, the losses in question were those to the attacker, which in this case are the people sympathetic to [insert name of group responsible] who were killed in the WTC attack.

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

Whoops (2.00 / 3) (#182)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:57:42 PM EST

Sorry, my bad

[ Parent ]
Um...what? (3.00 / 3) (#104)
by UncleMikey on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:41:26 PM EST

Once you reach that point, there are only two options. 1) Pull out and soak up hundreds of casualties for a generation or two, until enough kids grow up not having the US as their mortal enemy. 2) Nuke them till they glow, then shoot them in the dark.

I doubt enough American politicians have the strength of character to pull off #1, [...]

You know, you had me until this section. Your blunt description of what war's about is exactly what a lot of people need to hear.

But: How exactly does soaking up casualties equate to strength of character?! Do you honestly expect us to sit back and say, "Hmm...guess we earned this. We'll just kick back and let our people get slaughtered." Do you honestly believe that that is an expression of 'character'?!

I think that would be an expression of appeasement, and cowardice. I can't think of anything more likely to cause civil unrest in this country, which would undoubtedly amuse the terrorists to no end.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Scenarios and risk management (3.00 / 1) (#247)
by sigwinch on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:05:31 PM EST

But: How exactly does soaking up casualties equate to strength of character?! Do you honestly expect us to sit back and say, "Hmm...guess we earned this. We'll just kick back and let our people get slaughtered."
In one scenario, the attackers were a small, independent group that fought because they hate the US, and they hate the US because of our policy of global interventionism. Maintaining the status quo will result in terrorist attacks into the indefinite future, so that's out. Unless we are willing to saturation bomb the entire Middle East with H-bombs, a military response will merely cause the terrorism to escalate, likely including bioweapons. If we cease Middle Eastern interventionism, the attacks will eventually cease, but it will take years for them to cease completely.

The last option gets the fewest Americans killed in the long run, but in the meantime we run the risk of being attacked and not being able to respond in kind (because if we did it would only cause more terrorism). That's what I meant by "strength of character". Getting worked up into a tizzy and launching a bunch of cruise missiles at Terrorist Headquarters is easy, but it takes real courage to discard 50 years of foreign policy and quietly absorb several more terrorist attacks.

Of course, if the terrorists were operating under the auspice of a national government, the above analysis doesn't apply, and there will be war.

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

Re: I must say... (1.00 / 3) (#43)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:49:56 AM EST

Stop whining. It wasn't the civilians that were attacked. Targets were economic nad military nerve centers. Civilians were just acceptable collateral damage. Not in any way different than USA dropping bombs on bridges and power plants. If you ask me, this was targeted attack with conventional weapons geard to achieve maximum affect with least effort and exposure.

What did you expect? Formal notice that they would be conducting regular assaults on schedule presented in Appendix A? Maybe full role-list of everybody participating? When was the last time USA announced what building exactly will be bombed? Gave out names and ranks of pilots doing the attack? Explained who to contact if any collateral damage incurs? Maybe offered legal help? All I ever heard from USA was "do that or else" line. More often than not the most of world disagreed.

It's your own fault you're in this particular war and you'll just have to accept that USA can bleed as well. No time to cry for mum now.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
the terrorists wanted maximum body count (3.00 / 1) (#99)
by jrh on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:13:07 PM EST

It wasn't the civilians that were attacked. [...] If you ask me, this was targeted attack with conventional weapons geard to achieve maximum affect with least effort and exposure.
So they destroyed two 110 story office buildings at 9 AM because...?

You're completely off base. The method of these terrorists is to kill as many Americans as possible. In doing this, they wish for Americans to realize the cost in American lives of supporting Israel or whatever is too great at home. The economic and military impact is secondary (and relatively minor).

[ Parent ]

Re: the terrorists wanted maximum body count (3.00 / 1) (#153)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:31:28 PM EST

I don't even want to think about what maximum body count would be with full planes (not early ones) and attacks around 11am.

The economic and military impact is secondary (and relatively minor).

The WTC destruction will easily overtake the $775 million in claims caused by the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which ranked as the most costly man-made U.S. disaster to date, the New York-based Insurance Information Institute said.
The destruction of the WTC will likely lead to a rise in rates for commercial policies, said analyst Matt Mosher of A.M. Best Co.
Insurers generally do not cover damages from war and some commercial policies may also not cover damage from terrorist's attacks. But such "exclusions" are generally limited to European insurers.
"It's too early to let out a sigh of relief. All things considered, the U.S. economy is not likely to come out of this incident unscathed," said Takashi Yamazaki, chief investment officer at Tokio Marine Asset Management.
I think the economy part got it. About the military, what can I say... Best prepared military in the world backed with most spread intelegence gathering community in the world taken by surprise? I think things will get reorganized and every reorganization brings time of uncertainty.

I will say this again. I don't condone the attacks or the cause for the attacks, but if you want to play war, treat this as war.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
body count, etc. (3.00 / 1) (#218)
by jrh on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:31:15 PM EST

I have been on many full morning flights; I'm not an expert on aviation patterns, but I would have thought early Monday morning flights would be extremely full with traveling businessmen, more than midmorning or afternoon flights. It's actually a mystery why the flights were so empty--I can't find the article I read on this, but it's apparently not the norm. It doubtless made the passangers easier to control, so perhaps the terrorists intentionally chose mostly empty flights. I could be wrong, but I'd expect most people to be at work by then and I haven't seen any report that significant numbers of employees hadn't arrived.

The economic result of the attack may well be positive, especially if a war ensues. Military and construction spending mean a huge fiscal stimulus. The most serious threat is if the attack lowers consumer spending.

What do you think the terrorists were really trying for--a recession? A reorganization of the military? Or the fearful reactions of millions of Americans?

[ Parent ]

Body count was not what they wanted (4.00 / 3) (#284)
by spiralx on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:14:41 AM EST

Sure they could have done this at a time when there were a lot less people in the building, but if it was purely and simply body count they'd have wanted, they could have gone for some of America's 110 nuclear reactors which being light-water designs that require a lot of effort to shutdown, would most likely have gone critical, causing far more devastation than crashing into the WTC.

This was *not* about body count, it was about symbolism and fear.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

I'm Offended (3.00 / 1) (#111)
by davros on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:13:13 PM EST

Are you seriously suggesting that the terrorist attacks of September 11th have any kind of validity as military attacks on "economic and military nerve centers?" A military target is only valid if it is an essential part of a full campaign. Bridges are targeted to disrupt supply lines, not to terrorize the countryside. Even the Pentagon can only be called a valid military target if the reason for targeting it is to disrupt command and communications in order to achieve other military goals. It's clear to me that any disruption of the US military and economy is negligible compared to the human tragedy, and I am sincerely disturbed and offended that anyone can seriously take such an apologist position, and I call on you to rethink and retract what you said.

[ Parent ]
Re: I'm Offended (3.00 / 1) (#149)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:13:47 PM EST

You should be offended! You should be disturbed! Can you give me explanation of how can somebody target civilian TV station when it's broadcasting?

All I will retract is blunt wording. In essence I stand by the comment I have made no matter how horrific will I look like. I still stand by the opinion that this is result of war waged by USA, that financial and political impact was previously thought as unthinkable (wall street down, economy prospects down, dollar down, federal government frozen for hours). I'm not condonig neither the means neither the cause of attack, but if you go around talking about war at least treat this as war. You can call me hate filled bigot if you want, but the fact is that I have been exposed to the receiving side of your foreign policy and all I saw was what you have at your hands now. Maybe now you'll understand that bombs don't destroy governments, they make them stronger.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Wow (2.00 / 2) (#124)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:58:07 PM EST

This is the second time I have responded to one of your hate filled bigoted responses.

You actually do believe that those people deserved to die because they were Americans don't you?

Economic and military damage my a**. they intended to kill as many civilians as they could. But then again, you agree with them....so I don't expect you to understand.

[ Parent ]
Re: Wow (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:56:17 PM EST

You actually do believe that those people deserved to die because they were Americans don't you?

Nobody deserves to die. Nobody.

You seem to accept the possibility that innocent people will die when USA will retribute. You can't accept that some of us simply accept that innocent people died yesterday just because someone else wanted to retribute. Reason in my eyes is clear, the means are wrong. Who's the bigot now?


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Re:Wow (2.50 / 2) (#173)
by mkelley on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:35:54 PM EST

If you were in that building you would be yelling "Why Me?' not.."Well I'm in America, I deserved this".

m.kelley
life is like a freeway, if you don't look you could miss it.
[ Parent ]

Nobody deserved... (3.00 / 3) (#200)
by BlckKnght on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:30:34 PM EST

what happened. Nobody. I don't think anyone thinks they did (well except for a few real extremists in the Middle East, but not many). We can try to understand why this happened however and how that must shape our response to it.

Lets not do something that will help recruit new terrorists ten years from now. We do need Justice, but not Revenge.

-- 
Error: .signature: No such file or directory


[ Parent ]
Once again (none / 0) (#194)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:12:18 PM EST

You seem to accept the possibility that innocent people will die when USA will retribute. You can't accept that some of us simply accept that innocent people died yesterday just because someone else wanted to retribute. Reason in my eyes is clear, the means are wrong. Who's the bigot now?

Go back and read my posts. Go on. Do it. I DARE YOU. You won't find a single mention of retrebution. Not one.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2001/9/12/163019/268?pid=98#115
http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2001/9/12/163019/268?pid=103#114
http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2001/9/12/163019/268?pid=43#124
http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2001/9/12/163019/268?pid=107#127

all of my posts have been directed at people like yourself that trivalize the deaths of these people as unimportant - or using your words, for Americans to "Stop whining". That we were "walking around naked saying f**k me", and that we (referred to as "she" for a metaphor) "she was asking for it". You have also mentioned that the "Civilians killed were just collateral damage. ", implying that killing 10,000 American civilians is OK by you (or at least unimportant).

you have assaulted Americans for being bigots, and provide no references, or evidence that we are a wholly bigoted society, and yet you continue to make bigoted statements about my countrymen.

You essentially claim that the US never does anything for compassion, implying that we only ever help anyone for greed reasons: "If you think that USA sends soldiers around for humanitarian reasons, then I guess you're either ignorant or plain stupid." Heck, you even lay the blame for the slaughter of millions of Muslims by the serbians at the feet of Americans: "[Without American involvement]...Bosnia wouldn't need to count so many dead".

you have layed the blame of the killing in Ireland at out feet, and you have called for Americans to essentially cease existing in the electronic world(or effectivly so: "Better yet disconnect the internet. Close down the thing at your end and let us have our end without you or your bigotry."

Heck, you even declared your bigotry out in the open for us all to hear: "even us the generic USA haters agree that it can go that far." So don't EVEN call us bigots. You hate the US, and you hate Americans because of the country where we are born. You have said as much across these posts. Yes, your latests posts have added a disclaimer that you don't agree with the attacks, but it is said much like a feverent Anti-Abortionist when they say that they don't condone the killing of doctors. in other words, I think your bias is clear, although you can't agree that the attack on the trade center is an acceptable method of attack, and that you would not yourself kill Americans - you clearly show the bias that you believe that the people who were killed had earned it by being US citizens - even if they don't "deserve" it being human beings.

Take your bigotry elsewhere. This is a country in pain, and the least you could do is not spit in our faces, while we try to clean blood out of our wounds.

And no, I CAN'T accept that "some of us simply accept that innocent people died yesterday just because someone else wanted to retribute". because what I hear behind those words is a cold indifference, and hatred for people born in the United States of America. Your simple acceptance is not unlike the simple acceptance of the people that allow governments to remain in place, such as Iraq, and Afganistan - governments that opress their people, and harbor those who would murder thousands of innocents.

Never before has ANY nation experiences a suprise attack taht has killed so many. Never. Tuesday was a dark day for the world. Stop sticking your head in the sand and shouting "American Problem".

[ Parent ]

Re: Once again (3.00 / 1) (#211)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:11:50 PM EST

Take your bigotry elsewhere. This is a country in pain, and the least you could do is not spit in our faces, while we try to clean blood out of our wounds.

This I take as reasonable request and I will comply. It's citizens of USA that are hurt and they need time to heal. This shootout between you and me is getting out of hands and I'm pulling out from this debate. When things get a little cooler for both of us, maybe we'll debate again, but right now, we just push more and more poison out for no obvious reason other than pushing it out.

Somewhere along the line this has gotten out of my hands and I agree it has to stop. You can dwell through other comments I have made as I don't really see any point in going any further with this either.

The statements I have made, I can not retract. I have made them honestly as I was thinking at the time I wrote them. Even if I changed my mind by now, the history can not and will not be changed on my or anyone elses whim. As such I accept your criticism and judgement as I belive you have made them honestly.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Thank You (3.00 / 1) (#312)
by soulcatcher on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:26:06 PM EST

Thank you. I think this is an emotional time for many people, and I really honestly appreciate your decency in backing away at this time. Maybe in the future we can debate again when it is more appropriate.

Peace Out

[ Parent ]
body count could have been a lot higher (none / 0) (#402)
by srikant on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:53:19 PM EST

As has been noted previously, a hit at around 11 a.m. would have been much more effective in killing more people (the first hit was before 9 a.m. so unless people were early for work they had a good chance of not being in the building). Further, if you have 4 planes at your disposal, a much higher death toll can be achieved by say crashing onto stadia during some popular sports events. Some other possibilities could be targetting nuclear reactors or (I am not sure if this would actually work) dams. This is what I thought about 5 mins after I heard the news. I am sure they are many many more ways of getting a higher body count.

[ Parent ]
Megatsunami: the ultimate weapon? (none / 0) (#423)
by AndrewH on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 06:16:52 AM EST

If the terrorists are psychopathic enough to seek the maximum body count at any cost, they could try destabilising La Palma in the Canary Islands.
John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
War (4.25 / 16) (#3)
by spacejack on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 05:21:45 PM EST

is a word that has been bandied about quite a lot recently. Although I can appreciate the sentiment -- that it would most certainly qualify as an act of war had another country committed it -- for the time being it is a crime. A crime that is in the process of being investigated. Until it can be proven that a country, or an individual or group harboured by a country is responsible, it is merely a horrible crime. What if this plan was hatched by someone other than the most obvious suspects? Treating it as war prematurely could be catastrophic; what if war is precisely the intended outcome?

I will say this however. Watching the news today has shown the U.S. leaders to be acting with great restraint. What I most hope for, as everyone else must, is that a clear perpetrator is discovered so that whatever the punishment, it gets doled out to the right parties.

Please explain, anybody (3.00 / 18) (#5)
by weirdling on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 06:28:37 PM EST

What, exactly, are the 'atrocities' committed by the American people? How, exactly, does the US 'oppress' the Palestinians? Are not these actions done by people in Arab nations and in Israel?

The US does, indeed, support Israel. However, a quick perusal of recent history will show the US as the only country with sufficient pull with Israel to keep them from severely punishing Palestinians on a constant basis and also the country that has consistently worked the hardest to get a Palestinian nation in place.

So, how, again, did the US oppress these people? Please, no vague allegations about companies based in the US, or dictators propped up, etc. I want specific incidents where the US clearly hurt interests in Palestine more than it has subsequently helped.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
egypt and israel are about evenly matched (3.71 / 7) (#9)
by sayke on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:04:10 PM EST

the US has been funding egypt for a very long time, in fact, and egypt's military can probably match israel's. when you combine egypt's military with that of saudi arabia, jordan, syria, and iran, israel can only be considered *vastly* outmatched... if not for one thing: the threat of US military support.

if it wasn't for US support of israel, the various and sundry arab states would have long ago whupped up upon israel, who the arab states view unambigiously as brutally oppressing their palistanian brothers. i also think it's safe to say that many palistanians consider the US to be the only thing preventing the other arab states from rescuing them from israel's opression.

also, the US seriously fucked over iraq. far from merely attempting to prevent future aggression, the US went out of it's way to ensure that the iraqi people had nothing but a starving, thirsty, diseased life of suffering to look forward to. with its sanctions, the US continues to persue that end. many arabic people really, *really*, resent the US for that.

add to this the fact that the US protects the corrupt and fucked up saudi arabian government, and you've caused a whole other group of islamic people to hate you. bin ladin seems to be a spokesman, more or less, for that group.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Flawed analysis (3.40 / 5) (#11)
by weirdling on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:16:50 PM EST

The Saudis are not a military power. The US props them up so that we have cheap oil, and they are grateful. Ditto every other liberal moslem state in the area. This is something that has been done for a very long time. These states have no interest in attacking Israel not because of the threat of US military might, but because of the knowledge that they are dependant on the rest of the world to buy their oil. A simple oil embargo on one of these countries would ruin them almost immediately. Incidentally, this is why a lot of Arabs hate the Saudis et. al. They are corrupted by Western materialism.

Egypt is large. They aren't particularly good. Last time a group of Arabs picked a fight with Israel, Israel kicked all of their asses with *no* help from the US. And, lest people get too uppity, the US *sells* weapons to Israel, often the same weapons that the Saudis and the UAE get. The US does support Israel monetarily, but Israel can go it alone if they have to.

So, while a group including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran might be able to knock off Israel with their combined might, I doubt it for the simple reason that Israel has nuclear weapons. It would be suicide to attempt. However, should the Saudis or Egypt back out, the attempt becomes a meat-grinder, because without the Saudis' superior air force or Egypt's superior ground force training, the rest of the Arabs are pretty much SOL. Remember what the allies did to Iraq? The reason the casualties were so low is that the US can't really stomach an extended war helping anyone else. Israel, fighting for survival, gets quite a bit more deadly. It would not be fun to watch one's entire army evaporate like in the Seven Days' War.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia ? Liberal ? (3.00 / 1) (#131)
by Camelot on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:35:26 PM EST

Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship without any democratic institutions. No freedom of press; internet access is censored. The US supports the Saudi government not
only because of cheap oil, but also because it might otherwise topple. Given
the circumstances, it may be what Osama Bin Laden and a number of
rich Saudi individuals are aiming at -- with the United States preoccupied,
the royal government could be more easily overthrown.

Whether this would have any real effect in Israel is another thing, though.


[ Parent ]
Liberal used liberally... (3.00 / 1) (#175)
by weirdling on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:40:23 PM EST

They're liberal by Arab standards. For instance, they don't kill you for watching Western movies...

The fact is that none of the oil states really can withstand any serious attack. Their militaries are largely phallic symbols, and don't scare anyone. Of them all, Kuwait is probably the most militarily capable, not the Saudis.

Anyway, the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the super-rich oil states all owe their existence to the West and know it. They won't do a thing to hurt the golden calf...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
'Starving, diseased, etc.' (3.12 / 8) (#13)
by weirdling on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:26:58 PM EST

This was there before the US arrived, and is, of course, a factor of Saddam Hussein's insanity, not US intervention. They may not see it that way, but other's inability to understand isn't really my problem.

So, the 'sins' the US has committed is as follows:

1) Failing to annex Iraq and thus end Saddam's reign.

2) Failing to kill off the Saudis, a sovereign nation.

3) Failing to drive out Israel so the Palestinians can have land that isn't theirs and is not certain was ever theirs.

Essentially, the US is being accused of maintaining the status quo. Darn, that's a heavy one; don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.

I guess just because these people think they've been wronged doesn't actually make them wronged.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Israel or Palestine (4.00 / 6) (#17)
by gambuzino on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 08:48:32 PM EST

3) Failing to drive out Israel so the Palestinians can have land that isn't theirs and is not certain was ever theirs.

I beg your pardon? If the land did not belong to palestinians (hint: the word palestinian is derived from Palestine), who did the land belong to? Oh, you mean the Jews were there a long time ago, so they should own it. I suppose you're going to start a movement defending the restitution of USA to native americans, since they were undisputably there before the colonists.

[ Parent ]
No, there's no solid evidence (3.20 / 5) (#20)
by weirdling on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:44:02 AM EST

There's no doubt that the native Americans were here first; I don't care. We beat them in a war of conquest, as did the Israelis. The point is that they fought the *British*. The idea that an invading Israeli army drove out woeful Palistinians is a manufactured one of recent origin and not historically accurate.

However, you are right; the original owners of the land, the Canaanites, as far as I can tell, no longer exist. This land has no original owners whatsoever, having been fought over since time immemorial. The Palestinians are late arrivals, for certain...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Ummm, no (3.66 / 3) (#40)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:40:45 AM EST

When the Zionist movement towards palestine started, the majority population there was Arab, and remained so up until 1948, and probably long after. These are the people now known as Palestinians. It was a British mandate, but it was never settled by the British to any significant extent.

The Zionists operated by buying land, often from absentee Arab landlords. When there were Arabs already living there, they evicted them, often with the help of the British (after all, they were the legitimate owners). Up until the end of the Arab revolt (1939) the Zionists and British were allies, although the Zionists and Arabs fought a long series on conflicts in which the British did not usually intervene. After that, the British decided to limit Jewish immigration, and it turned into a three-way fight.

At the end of WWII Britain decided it could not afford the administration of Palestine, and asked the UN to decide what to do with it. The UN resolved to partition the country into a Jewish and an Arab state, with the Jewish one being slightly larger. In 1946, there were 1.2m arabs and 0.6m Jews living in Palestine.

So, unless you're seriously contending that the country was enpty prior to 1900, which seems improbable to say the least, it would seem to have been occupied primarily by the descendents of todays Palestinians. There is a reasonably impartial source here.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

Exactly (3.00 / 1) (#125)
by weirdling on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:59:34 PM EST

The point is that the original owners of the land were not Palestinians but these landlords of whom you speak, who were not the owners prior to that; it belonged to the Ottoman Empire, iirc, and previous to that, the Roman Empire, and previous to that, the Greeks, previous to that, the Persians, previous to that, the Babylonians, previous to that, the Jews, previous to that, the Canaanites, who no longer exist as a people, and previous to that, I do not know, but the Canaanitish peoples themselves moved in from elsewhere, so they aren't the owners, either.

The Jews have as much claim to that land as anyone else, both from might of conquest, from UN mandate, and from historical claim.

Initially, though, the Jews did *not* drive the Arabs off the land. That was done by UN mandate, as you have said.

Now, for the current problem. Back in the seventies, iirc, the Arabs attacked the Jews. The result was the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Once again, the Israelis did not annex them through overt war; the Israeli state barely won that war, but when they were done, they annexed those places as a buffer zone.

Israel is a sovereign country that is recognized by the UN. It is not some small thing the US props up. If the US pulls out, the predictable result will be widespread Arab bloodshed.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Dude... (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:56:37 AM EST

It's been 50 years. Right now the Palestineans have about as much claim to the '48 boundries as the Jews(hint, the word Jew comes from Judea). Now the Gaza Strip and West Bank are another matter, and the US has shown interest in helping to work out a settlement.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Think backwards and think again (3.40 / 5) (#39)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:35:25 AM EST

I guess just because these people think they've been wronged doesn't actually make them wronged.

Just because USA citizens think that the attack was unprovoked and undeserved doesn't actually make it unprovoked or undeserved.

Let me see the rationale here. You paid for government that sent the pilot. You paid for pilot to drive the plane. You paid for the plane that dropped the bomb. You paid for bomb that killed someone from my family. The reason for this death is being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I would think that you wronged me and I don't see the way you can persuade me otherwise. Luckily I don't see YOU wronging me, I see the country wronging me. I decide to take revenge on the country. Country's might is based on economic and military power. I'll try to destroy those symbols. When I do so you have lost somebody from your family. Now it's me who wronged you and there is no way I could persuade you differently. Do you see the pattern here?

You could probably imagine about what "war" I'm talking about since I'm from Europe. Now do you think I could sue USA for damages? Oh, Milosevic was guilty for that. Aha, so USA can decide what leader is good and who needs to be removed. Since you can decide that then I guess it's good for any country to decide that. Did I mention I don't like certain president that almost half of USA voted for. Give me one good reason why I'm not entitled to bomb your asses out to persuade you that he's not the guy for the position. You have gone to the middle east and look what you have done. Muslim world universaly dislikes (or even hates) USA and USA is returning them with the same. Do you think that meddling in affairs of balkans will do USA any good no matter how noble the reason can be? Why do you think that you can meddle in internal affairs anywhere? You'll just got burned. Siding in religeous wars is dangeorus as it provokes most barbaric and dangeorus types of responses.

<RANT>
USA sent planes over a country that members of my extended family lived and still live in. Luckily none of them was killed or injured, but at least now you can probably imagine how desperate and angry I was day after day that boms were falling. USA amoong other things targeted bridges, TV station, civil communications, power plants, and coal mines. Everything without doubt primarily manned by military units. By accident USA managed to destroy couple of apartment blocks, refuge train, one foreign embassy and car production line. Despite that I don't hate anyone personaly. Neither pilots, neither people, and neither politicians, but you can bet that USA as a country won't get my helping hand anymore. You will, country will not. Right now I'm glad that USA got it's share of crops that it helped to grow, but at the same time I'm sickend over the price that people have paid because of some foreign policy stupidity, arogance, and ignorance. If USA will go to warpath, the war will be long and bloody. I don't see either side giving up and the whole world will be battlefield. Your country will be the prime target. Your family, your friends, and you will be collateral damage. Isn't it funny how disgusting it sounds when you think of YOURSELF as collateral damage. Statistics? Just number? Nobody deserves to be just number! Jews in extermination camps were numbers. Collateral damage is just number that military applies to all those that died unnecessarily. Died without cause and reason. Died to become just numbers. Dehumanized. Degraded. Do you think it would be fun to read names of all those that were collateral damage at USA excursions around the world? Do you think it's fun to read names of all dead soldiers from Vietnam? Do you think death is fun? Go kill yourself for fun. Make sure you get the whole head in front of shotgun.
</RANT>

PS: Take a wild guess what will next terrorist attack include if some a** decides to vaporize the place with nuke. How's that NMD project going already?


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
UN (3.00 / 1) (#143)
by FieryTaco on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:42:17 PM EST

Any chance you'll stop assigning blame solely to the US for what are international actions?

[ Parent ]
Re: UN (3.00 / 1) (#154)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:41:03 PM EST

Good question. Let me see? Will USA stop proclaiming itself to be the leader of free world and land of democracy? Thought so. Just remember that the Statue of Liberty was a gift.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Leader of the Free World (3.00 / 1) (#264)
by The Great Satan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:35:03 PM EST

Ack! You've got to stop listening to our politicians (we don't listen to them). They've been known to talk out their asses in self-serving fashion.

IIRC, we were France's second choice as to who they wanted to give the Statue of Liberty to. Doesn't matter, it's ours now.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Sorry you feel that way (3.00 / 2) (#192)
by weirdling on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:09:12 PM EST

If it's any consolation, Clinton is no longer president. Now, why would you not like Bush? Gore would almost certainly have continued with Clinton's foreign policy.

This is what is mystifying to us Americans, however: if we had not intervened in the Balkans, people almost certainly would have died, and genocide almost certainly would have been comitted, and the US would have been blamed. Pick one, people: either we intervene or we don't.

Personally, I'd rather not. However, I'm certain that a lot of people would hate what I want the US to do more than they hate what the US is doing now. Much of the world is currently policed by American servicemen and women. I want them home. Genocide in the Balkans? Not my problem. Hit the trade center with highjacked airplanes? You *used* to be a country.

BTW, Vietnam was started by the French. Why not blame them? War in the Balkans was a UN affair, with the UN calling for intervention. That the US is the only country in the world with significant offensive capability is the reason we had to do it, pure and simple. I'd rather we didn't, but you can be damn sure that we'll use that offensive might to squish whomever did this, and I don't care at all *why* they did it.

Anyway, I, as an American, am tired of getting yelled at no matter what we do. That is why I prefer a policy of only doing what is in our best interest, because if we are going to get yelled at, it might as well be for something we want...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
The article has strong points : (3.00 / 1) (#205)
by Highlander on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:55:07 PM EST

I think that he strongest point of the article is that leaders should think before doing something.

At this point, there is no evidence at all yet, and politicians are already expressing their support for acts of war.

As far as I can say right now, the attack might just as well come from some loony american ego-shooter players, since I remember uttering the word "pentagon" myself at least once in the last year in reply to some scary idea someone proposed while on a Team Fortress or CS game. Come to think of it, the counterstrike 757 plane map would have been good training ground for terrorists.

What America will probably never understand is that some problems require a social solution, not a technical or military solution (e.g. the nuclear bomb / Star Wars).

Visiting the link to "stratfor", I thought, to consider the Israeli anti-terror strategy a good example for Americas response, just shows how much Americans favor a technical or military solution; Because, my guess is that Israel will not have peace in the East before it sets moral standards again.

In fact, all your scare-mongering will only make things worse; America should win hearts, not wars; because that is a thing that America does better than Islamic States.

---

three of four

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Suspects from Hamburg .. (none / 0) (#217)
by Highlander on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:26:46 PM EST

Hamburg suspects

This might be a lead, and would also hint at the organisational structure of the attacks on the WTC.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

re: strong points (4.50 / 2) (#262)
by The Great Satan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:27:27 PM EST

"At this point, there is no evidence at all yet, and politicians are already expressing their support for acts of war."

Evidence is being gathered. Almost everyone (in the U.S.) is pledging support for acts of war, but no acts of war have yet occured. The leaders aren't thinking before acting? Ever heard the expression "shoot first and ask questions later?" THE U.S. IS NOT DOING THIS. We're asking the questions, putting the pieces together, consulting with allies and countries that aren't even allies (Russia and Pakistan). Yes, we talk like we want to turn the responsible parties and the country that harbored them into a nice smooth glowing glass surface. We have just suffered what is probably the most devasting surprise attack in history, but our response hasn't been to bomb everything that looks even a little arab. Our response has been to launch what is surely the most massive investigation of all time. My country's restraint in this has been nothing short of amazing. We are 90% certain Bin Laden is behind this. We are certain he is in Afghanistan, a country whose leadership has refused to surrender him despite numerous other attacks resulting in the loss of American lives. And yet no bombs have fallen (yet), because we know there is a slight chance that he wasn't responsible and, even though Bin Laden deserves to die anyway, the Afghani's don't. If that isn't responsible, I don't know what is.

BTW, if you want to flog me over the U.S's past imperialistic, pro-corporate anti-human actions everywhere else in the world don't waste your time because I agree with you.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
You are right, but read all paragraphs of comment (none / 0) (#389)
by Highlander on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:22:22 PM EST

You are completely right in what you say, but please consider what I have to say in the second part("What America will probably never understand is that some problems require a social solution, .. ." ) - the first paragraph is a kind of "lead", I should have split the comment into two.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]
social solutions (none / 0) (#419)
by The Great Satan on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 10:16:38 PM EST

This American is thinking about them, and I know others are as well. But I will agree most aren't. Pity.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
So, your suggestion (4.00 / 2) (#318)
by weirdling on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:06:21 PM EST

Is that we send them flowers? We do nothing? What is your concrete suggestion to end terrorism? That we make nice with these people?

That would mean helping them dismantle Israel, something I'm not prepared to do...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Suggestion to end terrorism ? (3.00 / 1) (#390)
by Highlander on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:33:24 PM EST

Suggestions ? Well, I will give it a try:

There are a lots positive, light, steps which can be taken: For example, work together closer with nations that stick to a code of conduct. As proven, Israel is not ( in all respects ) such a nation: Proven by ignoring an UN resolution, settling in palestinian territory, killing about 600 palestinians while loosing about 60 own people.

More suggestions in next comment.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

More suggestions: Day of insecure airplanes (2.00 / 1) (#391)
by Highlander on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:52:13 PM EST

Yet another ideas is to have a day of insecured airplanes (No security checks at all). While this seems to be a completely nutty idea, it is not, since normal mammal instincts dictate that if a looser admits obvious defeat, the winner will not kill him (e.g. wolfs show the throat when loosing). Basically, the fighting is for status, and there is no merit gained in biting.

Of course the penalty for admitting defeat is not being the alpha male. It is obvious that the USA are intent on staying the "top dog", and such would even refuse to show their throat, even if not for the obvious risks.

This goes to show that the WTC terror is, to a very small part, the other side of the balance of being World Power No. 1 in the minds of the world.

---
One possible advice to the U.S. : hire Terry Pratchett as policy consultant, because Cpl. Carrot lives better than the U.S. right now.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Fascinating idea (none / 0) (#437)
by weirdling on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 05:49:17 PM EST

I think that the current fad in airline security is more of our glitz-first society. It's not going to stop highjacking in any reasonable way; nothing short of effectively arming all personnel onboard will, but that violates certain 'no guns on planes' memes that are horrifically well entrenched, if inuspperable.

I think such a day would show that we, as a nation, are more interested in freedom than anything else, though, and would go a long way to dispelling the idea that airline security makes us safer...

So, if for different reasons, I support such a proposal...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Balkan Wars (3.00 / 1) (#267)
by The Great Satan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:53:53 PM EST

<sarcasm>
And to think, we bombed Christians to save Muslims. What a racist country the U.S. is after all. </sarcasm>

I would like to point out that the U.S. took a lot of flak for NOT intervening in Rwanda's genocide. Which is it going to be, folks? Do you want genocide or not?

Toshio, is it your position that there was no ethnic cleansing against Albanians?


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Re:Balkan Wars (3.00 / 1) (#299)
by Toshio on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:55:39 AM EST

This one might start another runaway thread, but still.

Toshio, is it your position that there was no ethnic cleansing against Albanians?

NO! My position is not that of ignoring the facts. My position is that even though the bombing was done for the right reasons (and please remeber that members of MY family were at the receiving end when I admit this) it was far too simplistic answer to situation that took ten years to develop. I don't know what the right answer would be. I don't know what would proper action be, so don't ask me that. I'm not all-knowing deity, but NATO declaring TV stations and bridges on the other side of country to be military targets, has crossed my limits. I know that Chinese embassy bombing was tragical mistake, but the reasons for that mistake make me even more worried now.

I'm worried because US will respond with extreme force, probably with everything that it has available and it will get even more help (military) from NATO and non-NATO countries. I have nothing against that, I just want that the aim will be good and not shaky because of extreme emotional aspect. I don't want somebody nervous at the trigger of biggest gun in the world.

I accept everything that anybody will throw at me right now. I will try to respond in manner that will clarify my views. There is even possibility that I change my views, but the fact remains, that I was not bombed recently, that I haven't lost anybody, and that my country wasn't brutaly attacked.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
You sound like a reasonable guy (3.00 / 1) (#315)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:49:59 PM EST

I agree that bombing was not necessarily the best thing but I'm at a loss as to what else could have been done in the time available. I don't trust U.S. news feeds and I'm not sure what was really happening in Yugoslavia, but from what we were being told each day that went by meant more Albanians killed or pushed out of the country. Time was a factor, not just because more Albanians were shot every day but because of the approaching winter. It's not surprising that a less than perfect decision was arrived at, or that diplomacy was cut short.

That said, I do sympathize with the average Serbian and I wish there had been a better solution. I wouldn't be surprised if there had been a legitimate need for a police action against the KLA. But I don't have much sympathy for Milosevic. I leave room for error in that judgement because of the bias of U.S. media. He was the enemy and had to be villified. Based on the info/disinfo I do have, he seemed to be the typical rich/powerful/greedy bastard trying to pull off another power grab. We have the same type over here, which is why I say I sympathize with you on a personal level. Our own American rich/powerful/greedy bastards seem to have gotten us in trouble the same way Milosevic got you in trouble. Here we are paying the price for their actions the same way you and your family paid for Milosevic and his cronies.

Please don't feel like I'm trying to get on your case. I'd feel the same way if I were in any of the countries the U.S. has bombed or pushed around over the recent decades. I would like to suggest though that the problem is bigger than U.S.=BAD. The problem is with too much wealth/power being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Wherever you're at, it's happening in your country too and it will get you into the same trouble the U.S. is in or Serbia has been in.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Re: You sound like a reasonable guy (none / 0) (#434)
by Toshio on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 01:37:31 PM EST

I don't know if anyone will even read this (at least I hope The Great Satan reads it), but I decided it is better for me and for everyone I might offend to let at least some time to pass.

I agree with everything you said here (again :)), I'll just add one more thing to "clarify" my view a little more. I'm not claiming either side was right in its demands. Actually I belive that both sides were fundamentaly wrong in demanding exclusive rights over the land. I can understand humanitarian notion that provoked NATO intervention, but I find the means objectional. USA seems to be worried how would it look like to cleanly assasinate leader of soverign foreign country, but it doesn't seem to be worried about causing collateral damage when ordering attacks on clearly civilian targets. One might presume that you could destroy TV station as it is spreading regime propaganda (it was laughed at by many already), but what if next target gets to be CNN headquarters for reason of spreading western propaganda? On this I side with those that say WTC/Pentagon attacks were acts of war, but I don't see how you could wage this war with potentialy causing 10,000 more Bin Ladens to form. I think it is time for new Nuremberg trials. If possible avoding things like Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

The thing that really bothers me in the big picture is that I don't remember any military or political leader of any of the developed countries to ever honor innocent victims that interventions caused with at least single minute of silence and recollection of how precious human life is. I say that I don't remeber, not that there weren't any, but no such news never reached me. If you correct me with providing at least one exaple of such event, please do.

One thing I would add my remarks on are personal qualifiers like you for your own leadership. Milosevic will probably be found guilty of things that should end with 3rd reich, but some other influental and decision making people should be brought to Hague as well. Not only from the Balcan, but from other armchairs as well.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Saddam (3.00 / 1) (#86)
by Rashomon on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:29:19 AM EST

Saddam is an ass. He allows his actions to keep US sanctions. He used to randomly bomb and terrorise the Kurd rebels. He is a dictator. If we let him do whatever he wanted, he wouldn't stop with Kuwait. The only reason we didn't kill him off, is probably so Iran would still behave.
Why is common sense so uncommon?
[ Parent ]
Saddam (none / 0) (#87)
by Rashomon on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:34:02 AM EST

Saddam is an ass. He allows his actions to keep US sanctions. He used to randomly bomb and terrorise the Kurd rebels. He is a dictator. If we let him do whatever he wanted, he wouldn't stop with Kuwait. The only reason we didn't kill him off, is probably so Iran would still behave.
Why is common sense so uncommon?
[ Parent ]
I don't think so. (2.00 / 2) (#14)
by Anonymous 6522 on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 07:51:53 PM EST

the US has been funding egypt for a very long time, in fact, and egypt's military can probably match israel's.

But why would Egypt and Israel go to war? I thought the settled their differences.

if it wasn't for US support of israel, the various and sundry arab states would have long ago whupped up upon israel

Read up on your history, boy. The arabs in the area have tried, and they got their asses kicked by Israel multiple times. Israel has gained control of more territory every time it has been attacked.

Most arabs don't like Israel because it exists, not because of any oppression of palestinians.

[ Parent ]

The reason the US has this pull... (4.00 / 3) (#19)
by magney on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 11:14:55 PM EST

...is that most of the rest of the world opposes the vast majority of the Israeli actions against the Palestinians, and the US is the only one protecting them. So whenever the US withdraws that protection, Israel has no cover.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Must I remind you (3.33 / 6) (#23)
by weirdling on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:00:10 AM EST

The Israelis defeated the British without any help from the US and defended themselves rather well for some time without US aid. Granted, Arabs were not so well organized back then, but the US *does not* have to defend Israel. That is fiction.

Israel can easily destroy any Arab military that will stand up and fight and everyone knows this, which is why they do not; they resort to terrorism. The US *does not* need to defend them at all.

For all you doubters there, I present the Seven Days War, which was fought with American equipment but entirely by Israelis, and the only intervention the US engaged in was stopping the Israelis from owning much of the middle east.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
I beg to differ (4.00 / 4) (#30)
by Betcour on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:02:17 AM EST

Look on the bombs that kills Palestinian kids... "Made in America" . And it's not like you can buy them in any Safeway. Obviously I consider selling high tech weapons to a country for a discount is military help - you don't need to have GIs pull the triger.

Israel is violating most war rules - killing civilians, assasinating enemy leaders, etc... if it was Iraq doing this instead of Israel, the US would have sent troops a long time ago instead of providing support.

[ Parent ]
Missiles not bombs. (4.33 / 3) (#32)
by i on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:49:52 AM EST

All Israel-made. Search for "popeye missile rafael" in Google. They are so good America buys them.



and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
Funny as hell (3.00 / 1) (#121)
by weirdling on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:46:29 PM EST

One might actually think you *had* one of these.

Israel is so sophisticated that they developed their own fighter-jet a while back that was superior to the F-16, but abandoned it because the F-16 was so much cheaper. Much of that technology eventually found its way into the X-29, though.

Israel scientists are on the forefront of nuclear rocket research right now. Israeli guns are some of the highest-quality weapons on the market. Uzi? Desert Eagle? Heard of them? Made by IMI - Israeli Military Industries, and imported worldwide. The Uzi is the finest submachinegun to be had, period, and the Desert Eagle is a tank handgun that is used as a sporting arm in the United States due to its size and caliber availability. It is quite possibly the single most accurate semi-automatic pistol *ever made*.

Just because most of the middle east can't find its way out of a paper bag with a torch and a compass doesn't mean Israel is so incompetent. Israel will survive just fine if we didn't sell them weapons. We sell them weapons because it makes us money.

Besides, the level of training in the Israeli army means they could buy weapons off the black market like everyone else in the middle east and still kick butt.

Anyway, it is the US that keeps Israel from committing genocide, which is why this is so mystifying.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Misleading (3.00 / 1) (#254)
by The Great Satan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:54:03 PM EST

The fighter jet you credit Isreal with would be the IAI Lavi, no?

The Lavi Program was financed in part by the U.S. Congress, used technology licensed from a total of 80 different U.S. companies, and was to be powered by an American Pratt & Whitney jet engine. It would have been armed with a French DEFA cannon and carry the Hughes Maverick missile (along with two Isreal-native types). It's also a little unfair to say that the Lavi was better than the F-16 when you only have to look at the two planes to see how heavily the Lavi was influenced by the F-16. The average person would be hard put to tell the two apart. Furthermore, the first F-16 flew Jan 20, 1974 whereas the first Lavi flew Dec. 31, 1986. Nearly thirteen years later. With 13 years of advancements in aerospace and computing the Lavi should have been expected to perform better than the F-16. I can't find any evidence for this though as apparently the program was cancelled (because the U.S. Congress wouldn't allow necessary technology to be exported and the Isreali economy suffered a recession) before the Lavi could be fully tested.

Don't get me wrong, the Lavi was even so a tremendous achievement for a country who's only experience in developing combat aircraft came from retrofitting Mirages and such with modern equipment. But it shouldn't be taken as evidence of Isreal being on an equal footing in terms of native technology and infrastructure as such countries as the U.S., Russia, England or France. Even the European countries are hard put to develop a modern combat aircraft on an independent basis, witness France/Germany/England/etc. collaboration on the Tornado and Eurofighter. Isreal might be able to make insignificant items such as a missile or a machine gun, but a major item such as a combat aircraft is beyond them.

BTW I can't find any evidence for Lavi technology being used in the X-29, please feel free to point me towards your source as this is the first I've heard of it.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
I just remember 'lion' in the name (3.00 / 1) (#327)
by weirdling on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:34:22 PM EST

It was, indeed, a heavily subsidised and heavily aided effort, but note that Israel has the capability to design and fabricate it, indeed, built several of them all by themselves, something *no* other middle-eastern state has *ever* done.

IIRC, it was the research having to do with the canard control hardware that was done jointly between Israel and the US that ended up in the X-29. No, I don't have any links, I just remember hearing that at some point.

The reason the program was cancelled was, as far as I can recall, that the F-16 was so much cheaper and adequately superior to the enemies it faced, which is the real reason the US Navy is going to the F-18 right now. I think Israel would have liked to finish the project, but, as you said, they ran out of money and America didn't feel a lot like funding a competitor to the F-16.

BTW, on a side note, the F-20 is a superior craft to the F-16 in many ways. It really, truly, isn't that much of a complement to say a fighter is superior to the F-16. The only role the F-16 shines in is interceptor. The A-10 is better at ground attack, the F-15 better at long-range, high speed ground attack, the F-22 better at deep penetration ground attack, the F-14 the unquestioned air-superiority defensive fighter, the F-18 easily the best all-around attack craft, and the F-20 being better at rapid deployment and high-load, short-turnaround missions such as the Gulf War.

However, the Lavi did break significant ground that wasn't to be breached in a production fighter until the Euro Fighter came on the scenes.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
IIRC "Lavi" is the Isreali word for &quo (4.00 / 2) (#357)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:45:21 PM EST

Sure, Isreal is way ahead of other countries in the Middle East in aerospace but that's not saying much.

I think you're right about the Lavi being more expensive than the F-16, although the initial, overly optimistic estimates were for 14-15 million a piece which I think would have put it about a million dollars cheaper than the F-16. Congress put a lot of pressure on Isreal to cancel the program though. This could either be because the Lavi would have stolen F-16 sales, or because it was too closely based on the F-16, or both.

FWIW, China has apparently purchased the plans for the Lavi and are going to build their own version designated J-10.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
attack helicopters (3.00 / 1) (#41)
by boxed on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:42:20 AM EST

You can't deny that the Israeli military is using american weapons to kill Palestinians. The attack helicopters they use to get their cowardly revenge most notably.

[ Parent ]
Ahem (3.00 / 1) (#258)
by tjb on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:08:39 PM EST

You also can't deny that the palestinian authority is using M-16's provided to them by the US when they came for police training from the FBI when it appeared the Oslo Talks were going well.

Tim

[ Parent ]
difference of scale (none / 0) (#422)
by boxed on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:23:11 AM EST

Ok, so the palestinians got automatic weapons. Israel got attack helicopters, tanks and such stuff. It's hardly comparable.

[ Parent ]
America fights dirty (4.00 / 3) (#51)
by panck on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:21:16 AM EST

I'm not a history buff, and I don't really know a whole lot about politics, but I can relate an anecdote by an Iraqi citizen now living in the USA with his family.
My father's colleague escaped from Iraq with his mother at some point, I believe 10 years ago or so, came to the US, got a Master's, then PhD.

He told us that when the US was bombing parts of Iraq, one thing they did was to cruise missle specific buildings in Baghdad. Know what these buildings were? They were all the sewage treatment centers for the city. For many years and possible still now, the sewers in Baghdad were completely out of commission.

Those buildings were not military targets, and the only possible reason to bomb them would be to make civilians suffer.

I think that's a fairly good reason to hate the US if you lived in Baghdad.

[ Parent ]
Using the word "war"... (4.21 / 14) (#6)
by cyclopatra on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 06:49:56 PM EST

...is significant, both symbolically and literally, for several reasons. Symbolically and emotionally, for the American people, a war is something we can fight, something we can win, something (according to our notably flawed history books, anyway - I'm sure everyone here knows the real score) we have never lost. Rather than focus on the "terror" of unexpected attacks and the helplessness that implies, "war" lets us feel as though we are fighting, that we can strike back.

Literally, I believe the use of the word "war" will probably have many repercussions. Bush has already asked congress for emergency funding authority to spend on relief efforts and investigation. If he can convince congress to pass a declaration of war, he gets a lot more discretionary power in prosecuting the search for and retaliation upon those who committed the attacks. I'm going to leave aside the matter of whether that would be a good thing, as I'm feeling very ambiguous about it.

Using the word "war", however, is more about morale and emotional rebuilding than anything else. It's about redirecting our fear into anger and our anger into planning and coordination, so that we can *find* the right people and then *punish* them.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email

The score... (2.50 / 6) (#24)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:07:50 AM EST

Revolutionary war: Win
War of 1812: Tie(we didn't acheive our aims, but neither, AFAIK, did the British)<BP> Mexican-American war: Win
Civil War(US): Win
Spanish-American war: Win
World War I: Win World War II: Win Koea: Tie(possibly a win if you consider the goal to be survival of South Korea)
Vietnam: Forfeit (The NVA didn't drive us out, the VC didn't drive us out, the american people drove us out)
Gulf War: Most resounding Win.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
This kind of mentality (4.00 / 2) (#77)
by pranshu on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:42:00 AM EST

Is part of what makes people hate America. Some of these people do not distinguish between Americans and America hence this tragedy.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry (2.00 / 2) (#151)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:24:52 PM EST

That you're so pathetic you can't acknowledge the reality of the situation. There isn't, or ever was, a foreign power that could defeat us in a full scale war. The closest there ever was was 19th century Britian, and we're bosom buddies now. The US armed forces aren't invicible, but they could roll over the entire middle east from Lybia to Pakistan.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
War (3.50 / 2) (#165)
by Dlugar on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:14:23 PM EST

There isn't, or ever was, a foreign power that could defeat us in a full scale war.
That's very true. In fact, that's why terrorists just flew passenger planes into highly populated buildings and killed thousands. They know they can't survive a full-out war, but they're hurting and cornered and don't know how else to strike out at the country that is threatening their very existence.

Until Americans like you stop taunting them with your "Nyah nyah nyah we can do whatever you want and you can't hurt us 'cuz we're a big superpower!" things like this are going to happen more and more and there's nothing you're going to be able to do to stop them.

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Unless... (1.50 / 2) (#188)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:02:20 PM EST

We steal a play from Ghengis Khan and swarm over their strongholds, killing everyone there.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Well, let's see ... (4.00 / 1) (#219)
by Dlugar on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:33:37 PM EST

Hm, yes. I think we should just nuke everybody who might possible be angry enough with the US to commit terrorist attacks against them. Of course, that might make others angry ... heck, let's just nuke'em all! Let God sort them out.

Of course, then a lot of people here in the US might get mad. Maybe we should nuke them, too? Or just have a police state. Yeah, that's a good idea!

Dlugar

p.s. see this regarding your sig.

[ Parent ]
We don't NEED nukes (3.00 / 1) (#230)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:51:04 PM EST

While I think a few nuclear attacks wouldn't be a bad thing we don't have to wipe out everything in the middle east. We just need to take out the organizational structures that exist. Most people in the middle east are sick and tired of terrorism, and they'd love to do something about it, but they don't have the strength. We do.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Ah Genocide (4.00 / 1) (#290)
by pranshu on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:04:05 AM EST

nice one.

I guess you'll make no distinction between guilty and innocent.

Or perhaps you will only kill all the men - and leave the children to grow up hating the US willing to give their lives to bring you harm.

Despite your beliefs the US cannot fight the whole world. Deal with the symptoms AND the cause


[ Parent ]
Only one problem... (3.33 / 6) (#33)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:34:54 AM EST

You can't decalre war against a group of terrorists. Rethoricaly and for the news cameras that is fine, legaly, logisticaly and militarily is just ludicrous.

Of course GB and his advisors obviated already that little detail tying the "cuntries that harbor terrorism" (and its civilians, like the ones killed in NY) with the terrorists.

The terrorists tyed what they see as terrorists (the US goverment) with the country (and by extension the civilians) and we have seen the consequences.

Is the US response going to be to repeat the same atrocity in a different place?

The US certainly needs to defend itself, but if that does not comme accompanied with policies that address the root causes of the problem, then tere is no hope that terrorism will be defeated.



------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Yes you can (2.00 / 1) (#42)
by EriKZ on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:45:26 AM EST

America declared war against Pirates before. Frankly, the US CAN declare war on anything they feel like.

[ Parent ]
The Marine hymn (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by wiredog on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:11:52 AM EST

"From the halls of Montezuma"
"To the shores of Tripoli"

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

And lose it (3.50 / 2) (#76)
by pranshu on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:39:20 AM EST

Just like the War on Drugs... The US needs a response which deals with both the symptoms and the cause.

[ Parent ]
you can't declare war on terrorists... (4.00 / 2) (#155)
by cyclopatra on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:47:07 PM EST

You can't decalre war against a group of terrorists. Rethoricaly and for the news cameras that is fine, legaly, logisticaly and militarily is just ludicrous.

Of course you can't declare war on a person, and that's why Congress is arguing so long and hard on the wording of their authorization for "use of force" - they want to make sure that it gives the prez. the latitude necessary without leaving room for a second vietnam.

But rhetorically, it is a very important word, because it conveys our feelings about the attacks and our response. Saying that this was an act of war, and not a crime, conveys the fact that we do not intend to stretch out the long arm of the law, grab the mastermind and lock him up. We intend to kill him. It neatly sidesteps people's feelings about the death penalty (and while I'm generally anti-death penalty, what else do you *do* to someone who killed 5,000 people?). Calling the attacks "war" says that this was not a murderer, attacking the people he killed. This was an attack on the country itself, and the country itself will invoke self-defense and rid itself of the threat.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Killing the mastermind does not solve the problem (4.00 / 1) (#285)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:15:20 AM EST

So tomorrow NATO (beacuse now it is a NATO matter) launches an attack, uses "smart" bombs to save civilians (we could debate this one quite a bit) and kills a group of terrorists. Then the embargo against the civilians in Iraq continues, the support of the Israeli occupation carries on.

What did you solve? Nothing. You just bred a new generation of terrorists ready to take the place of the dead ones.

Assuming the US can manage to keep terrorists out of the US (close to impossible given the huge size of the US borders) how is the US going to police the rest of the world to protect US interests (perceived or otherwise)? I am sure that more than one terrorist will not have any moral problem to bomb a Macdonalds in <name your town here> as a symbol of US dominance.

So short of mass-murdering all the population in countries in North Africa and the middle east, how else is NATO going to wage an effective war against these people?

A war of attrition in which NATO kills a few and then the terrorists kill a few more is not a nice prospect.

Negotiation and change of politics could achieve far more than the killing of as many terrorists as NATO can manage to hit.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
I reject wholeheartedly... (3.00 / 1) (#330)
by cyclopatra on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:34:43 PM EST

...the suggestion that these attacks were in any way justified, or that the US "brought it on itself" by its policies. That's the sort of thinking that tells girls who have been raped that they shouldn't have worn that slinky dress, or that it must not have been so bad, after all they sleep around a lot, don't they?

There is no justification for this sort of mindless violence, and apologists who call for a change in US foreign policy to prevent further attacks are giving in to exactly what the terrorists want. While I do disagree with many points of US policy abroad, I find it despicable to suggest that the reason we should change it is to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Not only is that nothing better than knuckling under to any idiot with a bomb or a plane or what have you, it ignores entirely the many moral, ethical and even political reasons why that policy should be changed.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Reasons (3.00 / 1) (#348)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:31:04 PM EST

For the 100th time - I don't think anyone is saying the attacks were justified. Explanation != Moral Justification.

While I do disagree with many points of US policy abroad, I find it despicable to suggest that the reason we should change it is to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Not only is that nothing better than knuckling under to any idiot with a bomb or a plane or what have you, it ignores entirely the many moral, ethical and even political reasons why that policy should be changed.

But don't you see - "it creates terrorism" is a good moral reason not to do it. That's what we've been saying all along, long before these attacks. Besides, we are mainly trying to point out the other moral, ethical and political reasons why the policies should be changed - trying to get people to care about US-sponsored terrorism - and genocide - abroad, such as in East Timor in the 70s.


"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 ]

You read what you want to read, not what I wrote. (3.00 / 1) (#382)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:18:32 AM EST

I made an answer to your post, I wrote examples, rewrote arguments, put a better alegory than the raped woman one (which is ludicrous), but after a very good while I realised it does not make any sense to try to discuss this anymore.

Most people are beyond reason now, so reason should get out of the scene.

I hug for you and good luck. We all will need it in the years to come.




------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
She was asking for it? (2.16 / 12) (#7)
by drivers on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 06:51:05 PM EST

Your article reminds me of the attitude that says that if a woman is raped and was dressed provocatively then she was asking for it.


Reread the article. (3.60 / 5) (#29)
by dash2 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:42:48 AM EST

I explicitly describe the bombing as "a wicked, inexcusable atrocity" and "unimaginably wicked".
------------------------
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
[ Parent ]
I reread it and: (3.00 / 1) (#233)
by Malkavian on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:07:35 PM EST

You also ask people to understand why it happened.
If it's inexcusable, it hints at American people being the wrong ones to be asked to understand.
So far, there's almost universal condemnation, which means their own country and religious leaders condemn the action.
The ones who should be made to understand are the perpetrators of the atrocities.
Once people worldwide understand that these measures are anathema to those they proclaim to be working for, then, we may truly be on the road to peace.


[ Parent ]
Everyone want someone else to make the first step (3.00 / 1) (#298)
by dreamer on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:41:06 AM EST

Asking the americans to understand does not necessarily say that the americans are wrong. However, if people try to understand each other regardless of who is right and wrong, the world would be a better place.

Yes, I agree that the terrorist action was wrong. But I do believe the terrorists themselves disagree on that. And turning the whole thing into a fight over who is right and wrong may not be such a good idea.

People willing to die for their beliefs are rather hard to persuade in this matter. I would say we'd be bettor of if everyone tried understanding each others actions; regardless of right and wrong.

And besides, a little more understanding from one side could never hurt, even when both would've been better.



[ Parent ]
Re: she was asking for it (3.00 / 3) (#35)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:50:35 AM EST

Nope, try reading it again. The article says that if woman is raped and was walking around naked saying f**k me if you think you can then she was asking for it. There is a difference between being provocative and being right out stupid, just like there is a difference between standing for a cause and arrogantly forcing others to comply.
--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Re: Really now? (4.00 / 2) (#116)
by oztun on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:32:13 PM EST

So in other words by being in the WTC the hundred or so guys from the UK where walking around saying kill me please? These terrorist didn't just the people who support US policy they killed many people who don't. Next time think before you open so "arrogantly" talk shit.

[ Parent ]
About America and Israel. (3.60 / 15) (#16)
by Apuleius on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 08:28:09 PM EST

In 1956, Israel, Britain, and France attacked Egypt. Britain and France attacked because of the Canal, and Israel attacked because of terrorist raids coming from Egyptian territory. America at the time was trying to obtain the friendship of Egyptian president Nasser, so Eisenhower pulled strings in Britain and France to get the attack stopped. Israel was a problem, however. Our premier wanted to punish the Egyptian president so he'd learn not to sponsor any more raids. If America wanted Israel to hold back, America had to accomplish the same goal for us through other means. Thus began the American flow of money to Israel. In 1956 the dollar aid was not at all significant, but the diplomatic aid American gave in this case did stop the raids.

After 1967, America soon learned that the ability to call in favors from Israel was a damn useful card to keep in her deck. The aid increased, and with it the extent to which the State Department kept Israel on a leash. Hence this big contradiction. America did bring Israel to the negotiating table in Oslo (I am not criticizing America for this: it was worth a try for both America and Israel). America did hold back Israeli military actions on numerous occasions. But America also gave Israel money. And that's a complication for other reasons:

In the Middle East in centuries past, Jews were kept in a very submissive position in society. To this day many Arabs are too damn chauvinistic to admit that Jews kicked their butts. Somebody had to have been behind it. Someone, anyone. America, Britain, France, Russia, and now India have all been accused of being the big power that props up Israel. But the truth is that America keeps us Israelis on a leash, and without this we would show the Palestinians just how fucking bonkers we are. Pallies owe America big time, but Americans should not hold their breath waiting for a thank-you.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
We have to respond. (2.15 / 13) (#25)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:19:23 AM EST

As other people have pointed out the US is a great big target that lots of people hate for a variety of reasons. We can't prevent something like this from happening again without sacraficing almost all our freedoms. The only other option would be to strike out at whoever did this as an example to anyone else that if you pull something like this off you will not destroy the US and we will come after you, we will find you, and we will. crush you.

It might even be a good idea to (assuming bin Laden is behind this) drop a smallish nuke on one of his training camps in the Afghani sticks. Nothing that would cause innocent deaths, but as a sign that we are serious about using everything available. And before anyone bitches about fallout read this and educate yourselves.

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

Unwise. (4.75 / 4) (#28)
by dash2 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:37:50 AM EST

I wouldn't normally vote down a well-written response that I disagree with, but in these circumstances I was tempted. I think a response like what you have suggested would be incredibly foolish.

The idea that you can prevent future terrorist attacks by launching massive, general retaliation is mistaken. The people are literally guilty of this crime are already dead. Those who supported them are unlikely to be afraid of death themselves. The terrorist war is driven by fanaticism and hatred, not by rational calculation (at least at the individual level). Retaliating in a way that violates international law and causes large numbers of civilian casualties - I can't imagine that nuclear attack, or even massive conventional missile attack, would have any other effect - would only fuel these forces. Furthermore, it would be morally wrong.
------------------------
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
[ Parent ]

Proposed action. (1.00 / 2) (#156)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:47:27 PM EST

I am not a military planner, but I see something like this being just and logical:
  1. Land tanks and mechanized infantry in country that supports terrorists, if peaceful landing is denied force the issue.
  2. Proceeding from town to town in the country, remove everyone from the town, indentifying them with specific buildings, "take the town apart" looking for explosives or weapons, if explosives or plans for terrorist action are found all adults in that domicile are executed, the children are shipped overseas to be raised by Jesuits, if other weapons are found they're confiscated, every religious leader who advocates killing in the name of god is executed.
  3. If resistance is encountered the troops pull back, shoot leaflets into town saying "3 days until nuclear strike", 3 days later the town no longer exists. Everyone leaving the town is searched, with those smuggeling weapons undergoing the same procedure as above.
  4. rebuild damage to town caused by search.
  5. Proceed to next country.


--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
RE: Nukes. (3.00 / 1) (#158)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:58:28 PM EST

My suggestion of using nukes immediatly was predicated upon the asssumption that bin Laden has terrorist training camps far from population centers. While I feel it would be an appropriate statement to make I don't think it should be done if it would result in more than, say, 5 innocent casualties, nor if it resulted in instability among the other nuclear powers.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
could we find out *why* they hate the US? (4.50 / 2) (#37)
by ant on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:13:55 AM EST

As other people have pointed out the US is a great big target that lots of people hate for a variety of reasons. We can't prevent something like this from happening again without sacraficing almost all our freedoms. The only other option would be to strike out at whoever did this as an example to anyone else that if you pull something like this off you will not destroy the US and we will come after you, we will find you, and we will. crush you.

I see another major approach: find out why other people hate the US. It's easy to dismiss their hate as being invalid. Things like this happen when living in a make-believe world. Go around and hit people and bully them around, but imagine that you are angelic, and you're going to get punched back.

It's likely that this is a link in a chain of back-and-forth violence that is quite long. Let's attack the violence, not the people. It's tricky though, since you can't use violence. "Attack" has to be interpreted differently here.

Choose one: what feels good in the moment | peace

[ Parent ]

My choice (1.00 / 1) (#161)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:08:30 PM EST

I choose peace, the only certain peace. The peace that results when all those who want war are dead.

If we change our policies now, regardless of if they need changing, the next time someone doesn't like what the US does they'll pull something like this (since life is like a network, it's impossible to be 100% secure) and kill even more innocent people.

We need to send a message to the world: "You are the ones who decides what kind of america you deal with. If you want peace we can be peaceful, but if you want violence we will be violent, and we're capable of a lot more violence than you are."

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

tit for tat kills everyone (3.00 / 1) (#208)
by ant on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:04:58 PM EST

We need to send a message to the world: "You are the ones who decides what kind of america you deal with. If you want peace we can be peaceful, but if you want violence we will be violent, and we're capable of a lot more violence than you are."

Perhaps the violence done on Tuesday was a similar message sent by someone else? I don't see this tactic as working out for anyone in the long term, responding to violence with more violence. The real enemy is not a person or people. It's this response of violence to things, being blind.

[ Parent ]

Can't you find out why the U.S. pushes you around (3.00 / 1) (#320)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:32:10 PM EST

All the anti-U.S.'ers like to remind us that the U.S. does bad things, and like to attack the U.S., but they don't seem to be able to carry it back the next step either.

Let me give you the help you need.

1) Liberal Ideals: Chances are you agree with this one. This covers U.S. actions such as military operations to prevent genocide (Bosnia/Serbia), liberate conquered nations (France, Kuwait), or restore order to a war torn country (Somalia, a failure).

2)CORPORATISM: Making the world safe for our corporations and for multi-national corporations to rape you. The problem with the Middle East is a great example of this. Oil companies are frickin' huge. Oil can not be touched in the U.S. Oil is our President, Oil is our Vice-President. Oil is the only reason why we give a damn about the middle east, and why we have to prop up countries like Saudi Arabia and Isreal. Of course oil isn't the only industry out there pushing around the little foreign guy. Monsanto for example is trying to push it's terminator gene crops on small African farmers. I'm sure you can think of others.

So next time you (general you, not specifically Ant) want to bitch about how America attacks the effect and not the cause why don't you do the same when you whine about America (or bomb it)? You are not helping us. We know what the problem is and we're working on it (if you don't believe me, go by shizit.net and download Cold Naked Protest). Why don't you (general again) contribute something useful for once?


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
If you drop a smallish nuke... (2.00 / 1) (#333)
by T Ov on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:25:59 PM EST

...then somebody will make sure there is a largish nuke that makes Manhattan go up in a big mushroom before the end of next year.

Making nukes are not that difficult, terrorists can do that. Actually, I am surprised that they launched an attack of this scale without using nukes.

Which would be true even if you launch a conventional attack. If you launch a major attack, Manhattan will be nuked, the bigger the attack, the sooner it happens.

And there's nothing, I repeat nothing, you can do to stop it.

[ Parent ]

Usians need better awareness of foreign affairs (4.20 / 20) (#31)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:19:07 AM EST

I was thinking about writing an article along these lines myself....

Point I'd like to raise is that American citizens should take more interest in the foreign policy of their country which causes the level of hatred that led to this atrocity.

The coverage of foreign affairs in the American media is notoriously bad and this has probably lead to the complacent attitude regarding the likelihood of an terrorist attack on US soil. A lot of people in states are probably realising for the first time the level of hatred that their govt has engendered in parts of the world. I am sorry to say that you are not universaly loved nor has your govt always behaved well abroad.

Having said that I fully support the UK's government's position which is to stand by our US ally in its time of need. Any reasonable action including limited and targetted miltary strikes are justified after this atrocity. We in Britain are part of this as well with at least one hundred UK citizens being killed in the WTC. I think NATO was right to invoke article 5 which is that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all.



better awareness (4.00 / 4) (#34)
by pallex on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:42:12 AM EST

"I think NATO was right to invoke article 5"

Interesting that this didnt occur when Lockerbie happened. America is always treated differently to other countries.

Heres a story about why America is so disliked, from a mainstream UK newspaper:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,551036,00.html



[ Parent ]
Lockerbie? (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:52:01 AM EST

Weren't a lot of dead on the Pan Am flight US citizens? So it was attack on the US as well.

The difference between Lockerbie and WTC/Petagon attack is that the scale of attack is immensely greater: 300 people died versus probably 5-10,000 in this one. Probably more British citizens died in the WTC than in Lockerbie.

[ Parent ]
Yes (2.33 / 3) (#44)
by pallex on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:53:20 AM EST

"Weren't a lot of dead on the Pan Am flight US citizens? So it was attack on the US as well."

There were deaths on both sides in both cases. So why was section 5 not invoked then? It refers to an `armed attack`. Lockerbie involved a bomb and a plane;the WTC attack just planes.

I`d be suprised if 10,000 people were killed. Hopefully both towers (and surrounding buildings) would have been evacuated immediately after the first tower was hit, and the figure will be much lower.

[ Parent ]
I know what you're saying (4.25 / 4) (#47)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:58:05 AM EST

That basically because it happenned in the states it was different.

However I think if this atrocity had happenned in London with airliners striking Canary Wharf tower with hundreds of American casualties from the major American investment banks based there, I believe that article 5 of the NATO treaty would be invoked in that thankfully hypothetical case also.

[ Parent ]
Yes (1.66 / 3) (#67)
by pallex on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:01:41 AM EST

exactly, and i`m saying that if Lockerbie had happened in the States it would also have probably invoked Section 5!

[ Parent ]
Not sure (4.33 / 3) (#82)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:50:58 AM EST

As the US didn't invoke article 5 when the WTC last got attacked in 1993. I think that blowing up one aeroplane over the states however regrettable would have provoked the response that current incident has.

[ Parent ]
Evacuated? (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by ronin212 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:04:38 AM EST

I read in some local (NYC) paper this story: after the first tower was hit, the second was being evacuated but they were told on the way that that tower was secured and they could return to their desk. The subject of the story ignored the advice and returned home immediately, but told of all his colleagues getting off circa the 30th floor and returning to work. Likely, they were later reduced to dust by the attack.

On another note, what the hell is wrong with these "Oh my god! I forgot my laptop and my cell phone!" people? Darwin Award. Sheesh.

--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
110 stories (none / 0) (#138)
by ZanThrax on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:02:36 PM EST

take a very long time to evacuate. Even when nearly empty, it takes the better part of an hour for those on the top to take the stairs to the bottom.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

This is quite different from Lockerbie (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by squigly on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:27:11 AM EST

Terrorists managed to take control of the aircraft, and it was not one, but 3, and a fourth attempted takeover. These were explicit targeted attacks on major buildings. There is good reason to believe that someone will try to do this again, in any other NATO country.

[ Parent ]
Complete Foolishness (3.73 / 15) (#45)
by Metrol on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:53:34 AM EST

Not sure why I'm bothering to comment here. I suppose the notion of "we had it coming" is really starting to get on my nerves. Let's just go point for point here shall we?

An attack on US soil taking the lives of thousands of our citizens is an act of war. There is no ambiguity here. This isn't a political matter of left or right, it simply is an attack on our soil by a foriegn power. By any measure, this is an act of war.

so often the United States are the bad guys, the evil empire: whether out of ill-considered nationalism, or disapproval at the overweening behaviour of the world's only superpower.

Okay, this is a Brit posting this? From what was formerly known as the "British Empire" due to it's actual ownership of lands around the world? The same British Empire that literally owned what we now refer to as the Middle East by armed force? A citizen from this nation is lecturing the United States of America about imperialism?

Osama Bin Laden, if he is behind these attacks, has responded to, among other things, US backing of the evil Saudi Arabian dictatorship - which Amnesty International castigates as guilty of torture, discrimination and failure to meet its human rights obligations, and which he himself describes as "corrupt" - with an unimaginably wicked act of his own.

Somebody cranked the ignorance throttle to full here. First off, the main problem that bin Laden has with the Saudi government is that it's not nearly strict enough! Furthermore, this is the same fella that the US actually helped support when he was actively involved with fighting the Soviets during the Afghan war. That's right, the US was there to help remove a foriegn enemy from their lands, and for that they hate our guts. You see, it's not the policies or actions of the US they hate, it's the fact that we exist at all.

Furthermore, Britain is certainly no nation to lecture the rest of the world on human rights issues... at least if you ask one of Irish desent.

And by instinct, many of us - I, too - side with, for example, the Palestinians and against the Israeli occupiers and their American supporters; and against the US on a whole range of international issues.

Instead of relying on "instinct" how about doing a little reading? Just who in the hell do you think created the Israeli state in the first place. Give you a hint... it was a nation that had a vast amount of control over the region at the time. Same nation that literally drew the borders on the nations that exist today. Same nation that fought the Iraqis out of Kuwait back in 1967. Same nation that runs the oil fields in Saudi to this very day. Yes my lefty poster to this board, you need to look to your very own homeland for all that.

Mind you, I have no ill will towards Britain itself. I don't believe that the US is by any means an innocent nation in world affairs. What I personally can't tolerate is this person taking a high and mighty position that there is ANY ambiguity here. This is as black and white as the vast sacrifices made by citizens of my nation to yank Europe out of literally destroying itself twice in the last century.

Oh, and your welcome for having a nation of your own.



The american black and white (4.66 / 6) (#50)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:18:38 AM EST

View of the world is part of the problem here. You've got to realise you're no better or worse than many other countries in terms of behaviour, it's just that you have the power to implement your policies without much opposition very much like we Brits did during our heyday. And you criticise Britain for the various shitty things we did without looking at your own imperialistic record.

You've got to realise that the propoganda that your media spouts about you being always a power for good in the world is certainly not what many people in less developed countries feel when they are at the receiving end of violence from either your forces or governments that you support. You spout democracy and justice but then behave in a cynical and realpolitik manner in the middle east especially.

I don't think the above justifies the terible events of Tuesday in any way but I really think that part of solution along with any military action (IMHO justified) is a good look at various aspects of your foreign policy to ensure that the hatred for you is diminished.

[ Parent ]
And Yet, The Net Effect Is (4.71 / 7) (#55)
by garbanzo on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:56:30 AM EST

more black and white thinking and less shades of gray. Others have noted, rightly so, that no nation, religious faith, or society is completely monolithic.

I would amend that to say: "...until it is attacked from outside."

The truth is that there were, perhaps still are, many USians with a point of view very sympathetic to arab and muslim political causes. I was not happy with the policies of Sharon in Israel either. (Didn't think suicide bombing was the right response, though.) Likewise, the no-fly zones and bombing in Iraq is capital-S Stupid, since it is largely uneffective in accomplishing anything except the impoverishment and endangerment of Iraqi citizen bystanders. (Didn't think firing at US planes was too bright either.)

Somehow, I don't think those points are as important to me after Tuesday. Suddenly, the great majority of Americans are doing something they very seldom do: agreeing completely. Even worse, we are largely a bloodthirsty bunch at this particular moment. Most of the folks I know are in no hurry--no need to go off half-cocked. There are many arabs and muslims in my city. My company does business with many arabs. We know that "arabs and muslims" are not the enemy.

But we also know that there IS an enemy. And we are not likely to be satisfied by anything less than splling the blood and ending the life of that enemy. When you can turn my Unitarian mommy into a hawk, you've done something truly awful, and that is what Bloody Tuesday has done.

More black and white, more us and them. No way to tell what that will turn out to be in the end, but also pretty tough to stop it at this point.



sure, it's all fun and games--until someone puts an eye out

[ Parent ]
A few differences (4.50 / 4) (#72)
by Metrol on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:25:05 AM EST

At no point am I suggesting here that all things that the US does is all good. We've gotten our hands dirty in a lot of places. Unlike a certain "Empire" where are troops are stationed around the world is not to enforce our rule. Without exception, every base the US has outside of it's borders is there to try to keep the folks in that region of systematically killing each other. This goes triple for Europe! And for this we are hated.

...is a good look at various aspects of your foreign policy to ensure that the hatred for you is diminished.

We're not good little Marxists, so you lefties over there are going to hate us no matter what we do. The majority of us don't pray to Allah, and don't subscribe to strict Islamic laws. For that we will continue to be hated by those folks no matter what we do. We support our friends, either Jew or Arab, with equal conviction. We did this to the point of negotiating a peace settlement that addressed the vast majority of what both sides of the conflict concerning Israel and Palestine claimed they wanted. When it came time to sign, both sides upped the ante on what they wanted to a point of being totally unreasonable. This was apparently the fault of the US, and thus we are hated.

You've got to realise you're no better or worse than many other countries in terms of behaviour

I don't need to realize any such thing. The US has poured billions of dollars into Europe over the last 80 years when it needed it most, and without much in the way of payback. Nevermind the kinds of debts that have been forgotten over the years. Yes, I am certainly including both the world wars that we dug you guys out of, but not entirely. There was also 1956 when we bailed France out of a major financial crisis... no debt paid back. It was US dollars that propped Germany back up following the war, and the US Marshall Plan that got things going again. All the while helping to give all these nations back to their respective peoples. Other nations of lesser honor only seeked to conquer and control. It was the US efforts that thwarted these things from happening.

How about in the Middle East? Who has constantly been there to negotiate peace between the nations in question. 1978 when President Carter got Israel and Egypt to stop killing each other. As was pointed out on post #16, in 1956 we intervened to stop the attacks on Egypt. I personally went as a member of the US Air Force to defend Saudi Arabia from a very probable Iraqi attack. Today, it's the US again in the mix stopping Iraq from rebuilding it's arms to once again attack it's neighbors, and actively working to end the conflict with Israel and Palestine. Again and again, the US is there to try and stop these folks from killing each other.

In Africa we're criticized for not taking an active role in civil wars going on. All the while it's forgotten how US medical teams are first on the scene when major outbreaks of Ebola occur. Or going back a bit further with US teams erradicating Polio from that continent. To this day, millions of dollars of US citizen charity flows into the nation to try and get food to those stricken. When we fail due to these folks wanting to kill eachother, we didn't do enough. We're still licking our wounds from Somalia, as we tried to stop these folks from killing eachother.

...very much like we Brits did during our heyday.

The less than subtle difference here is that we never wanted to have troops stationed around the world. It was only after losing thousands upon thousands of US lives in European wars did we put ourselves in the position of preventing that happening in the future. If today Britain has a small military force, it's due to American protection in that region. The same holds true for the rest of the military powers of old. Europe simply can't be trusted to NOT try and exterminate eachother. For this expenditure of money, time, and resources that the US has invested you lefties march in the streets about the evil US military on your lands. Nevermind that it's that same show of force that has kept that region from major conflict. Not even the US can stop all the regional conflicts as the urge to kill one another over there seems pretty great.

...is certainly not what many people in less developed countries feel when they are at the receiving end of violence

Kinda like sending a naval fleet down to attack Argentina for having the gaul to take back an island off their own coast? A certain island "owned" by a European power. Hey, at least you finally gave back Hong Kong after there wasn't any money left in the opium trade down there. Shall I go on?

To this day, when trouble happens in this world of ours, it's US citizens and money that go racing to try and help. No other nation in the history of the world has a track record like the US for charity and defending the lands and freedoms of other nations. Even with the downsides to our actions, I truly do believe that we do act in a way that no other nation does, or ever has.



[ Parent ]
Lopsided thinking (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by Best Ace on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:38:24 PM EST

Your arguments against British imperialism and the excesses of the British empire are the arguments of an era long since gone. You are judging the events of yesteryear with the values of today. I say this not to pass off the guilt of the British empire, but merely to point out that that is history. American imperialism, on the other hand, is here and now. It can be adressed today and dealt with now.

'...you ... are going to hate us no matter what we do.'

That simply is not true. People hate the US because the US government has its boot placed firmly on their throats and has slowly been squeezing harder and harder, often for no more reason than that these countries express slightly left-leaning views. Examples are so numerous that you could write books about them (as indeed has been done). Removing that boot would go a long way to nullifying the root cause of these terrorist attacks.

'The US has poured billions of dollars into Europe... without much in the way of payback.'

Not quite without payback. The US needed European export markets and the Marshall plan set the stage for development of American trans-national companies. American taxpayers' money basically bought the pre-eminence of the American economy today.

You point out many examples of 'good' US involvement abroad. I think it is a little naive to maintain that American intervention extends only to 'stop[ping] these folks from killing each other.' . If this were the case, then why intervene in Iraq, but not in East Timor, where the US government was actively involved in supplying arms, money and training to a genocidal regime that resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 in that region? (yes, that's two hundred thousand).

'No other nation in the history of the world has a track record like the US for charity and defending the lands and freedoms of other nations'

Maybe you are right about the charity. defending lands and freedoms is far more dubious. Your attitude of deny, deny, deny everything bad about my country, and failure to even want to find out how things really are, is disturbing. This attitude will not do anything to prevent further terrorist atrocities, nor is it going to endear yourselves to the rest of the world.



[ Parent ]

East Timor (2.00 / 1) (#114)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:28:13 PM EST

If this were the case, then why intervene in Iraq, but not in East Timor, where the US government was actively involved in supplying arms, money and training to a genocidal regime that resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 in that region? (yes, that's two hundred thousand).

Hey, a very good friend of mine was in East Timor, on official duty as an American Marine. Granted, we left the Australians to handle most of it, but we did bring military force to bear on the problem.

[ Parent ]

the US in East Timor (3.00 / 1) (#144)
by Best Ace on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:43:42 PM EST

If America did bring force to bear militarily, then it was very belated, and only there on the insistence of the Australians. The truth is that the US deliberately and systematically provided money, arms and training to the Suharto regime,(over $1bn of weapons since the 1975 invasion, and $150m of 'military aid' during Clinton's time in office) in full knowledge that the Indonesian army was comitting mass genocide in East Timor.

And the reason? Indonesia, with a population of 200m and with a load of natural resources, was far more important for America's economic interest than the human rights of a region with a population of less than 1 million.

Whichever way you look at it, the US attitudes and actions towards East Timor are unjustifiable and grotesque. To suggest otherwise is offensive to the memory of the hundreds of thousands who died because their lives were worth less to America than the profits of its corporations.


[ Parent ]
Sure. (3.00 / 1) (#358)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:19:16 PM EST

And this attack is going to make everything 200 million times worse.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Helping rebuild: not just charity (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by netmouse on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:28:54 PM EST

Just wanted to comment on the attitude expressed here that the US helping the UK and other places rebuild after the second world war was somehow pure Charity. I think it's reasonable to step back for a minute and consider how much of the world the national socialist regime intended to conquer and how much the countries that tried to stand against it put into that battle. For the most part America was very lucky in that little of that war hit our homeland, but not pure blind luck - hard work by the countries that are now our strongest allies. Rebuilding those countries so they could continue to be our allies - not just militarily but also in the realms of science and medicine, journalism, and other aspects of culture, was all to the advantage of the United States and was partly out of an appreciation of what those countries gave of themselves to defend -in effect- the world from an oppressive and genocidal regime (and not just genocidal, a regime (and alliance) that was also killing homosexuals and others in cold blood and many people in war.)

The U.S. waited a long time before entering that war -too long, I think. And we should not disregard what we owed our allies in a moral sense at the end of it. To discuss our economic assistance to them as though it was pure charity is to do just that.

--netmouse

[ Parent ]

It wasn't just the British (3.00 / 1) (#263)
by tjb on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:29:17 PM EST

You forget that at the end of WW2, it wasn't just the British and French who received US aid. Germany, Japan, and even the USSR (though in lesser amounts) received US aid.

The US could have taken the Roman option (as the Soviets did): burn the villages and salt the land, and nobody would have thought the worse of them for it.

Instead, we rebuilt Germany and Japan. In the case of Germany, going even further tto the point where during the Berlin airlift our president went to announce that he was, in fact, a jelly doughnut :) But that slip-up aside, within 17 years, we had transformed Germany into a functional democracy and a prosperous nation that we felt worthy of defending against the truly, truly evil empire to the east.

We had no moral obligation to re-invent germany and japan, but we did, and it was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to all 3 nations.

Tim

[ Parent ]
But it was in your interests to (3.00 / 1) (#265)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:46:48 PM EST

We had no moral obligation to re-invent germany and japan, but we did, and it was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to all 3 nations.

Maybe no moral obligation, but the truth is that by helping to rebuild those countries, that also helped serve the American national interests (providing more markets to sell goods, extra places to build Macdonalds :)

[ Parent ]

An American response to the British Left position (4.08 / 25) (#48)
by billyboy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:11:46 AM EST

(Note: In response to the style of the original post, I will use us to mean Americans and you to mean mostly British, but sometimes Europeans.)

I could scarcely believe what I was reading when I read this article. Some people are ignorant of history.

It was stated that many in Britian (such as the writer) support the Palestianian position, not the Israilis. Then I have to ask - why did you put Israel there? The whole region was once a British Colony. When you pulled out, you decided to install Israel on Palestianian territory before you left (Remember the Balfour agreement?)

You state that Saudi Arabia is an evil dictatorship. Then why did you create it? The Saudi clan controlled a small piece of the Arabian penninsula before World War 1. But you wanted to drum up support, so you offered to give the Saudis the whole penninsula in exchange for support during the war.

In fact, almost all of the hot spots in the world today are a direct result of European colonialism! (Middle East, Vietnam, Sudan, the whole of Sourthern Africa...) You created this mess we are in, and are now denouncing the U.S. for it. Look to your own history before judging us!


Not Objective (3.80 / 5) (#56)
by Trephinator on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:01:23 AM EST

It was stated that many in Britian (such as the writer) support the Palestianian position, not the Israilis.

You have misunderstood the writer's context. If he means he supports the Palestinians, then *obviously* he also is against the original creation of the the state of Israel. Don't confuse his nationality with his country's past mistakes.

I expected Americans to have this response, but I don't think this was entirely objective. Yes the British created a lot of these problems, but to take your point to it's logical conclusion means that whoever did it missed the real target by a couple of thousand miles.

If Osama bin Laden is responsible, and it looks likely, then the British are indirectly responsible, but if they had more to blame then surely Britain would have been attacked as well? This may be Britain's fault historicaly, but it is the direct result is the US foreign policy, not British coloniasm.

[ Parent ]
Pardon me... (3.00 / 3) (#106)
by Samrobb on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:46:55 PM EST

Don't confuse his nationality with his country's past mistakes.

Isn't this exactly what these terrorists did, and all terrorists do? It didn't matter to them who, exactly, was in the WTC - only that they were Americans, or on American soil. That was enough of a reason to kill thousands of people. Regardless of what the author of the artical thinks, or where his loyalties lie, by this line of reasoning, he's a walking dead man... the terrorists in the Middle East just haven't gotten around to dealing with him yet. With conflicts that go back 3000+ years in some cases, waiting a few generations to extract revenge is nothing out of the ordinary.


"Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment." Job 32:9
[ Parent ]
Generalising (3.00 / 1) (#110)
by Trephinator on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:11:11 PM EST

Well, I can see what I wrote was a bit ambigious, but I was merely commenting that the reply to the writer seemed to take him on on a personal level, and then generalising and extrapolating it from there :

It was stated that many in Britian (such as the writer) support the Palestianian position, not the Israilis. Then I have to ask - why did you put Israel there? The whole region was once a British Colony. When you pulled out, you decided to install Israel on Palestianian territory before you left (Remember the Balfour agreement?)

He was saying the writer's argument was not credible because of an assumption about his POV because of his nationality, and that's an incorrect assumption. Sure the fact is that Osama bin Laden or whoever acted out because of US action in a British-created scenario. But then you can take it back and say the British merely created the scenario because of WW1 and the pressures that the higih-powered Zionist movement put them under. And then you can take it further and further, even beyong the 3000 years you propose. But that doesn't change the fact that Osama bin Laden (or whoever) acted out at the US BECAUSE of it's history of involvement in the Middle-East.

You've got to stop reaching back somewhere - just like the land-grab issue in Zimbabwe.

[ Parent ]
Current Leadership (3.00 / 2) (#187)
by BlckKnght on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:02:17 PM EST

One issue that may make the revenge motive especially potent for Arab extremists is that the current US leadership is almost exactly the same people as those who did many very shady things in the region in the past decades. Bin Laden in particular is offended by George Bush Sr's placement of the US military in Saudi Arabia.

Similarly modern Palestinian anger does not as much stem from the Israeli/Arab wars of the past, but rather the recent treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied territories. Hell, the current violence was set off almost single handedly by they PM candidate, now elected Prime Minister Sharon.

While looking to history to try to find who to blame is will undoubtably find many people and governments responsible for much hatred and violence, we don't need to look that far to understand what's going on now. What we (Americans, and really the West in general) is to try to achieve Justice for this terrorism without further commiting attrocities of our own on other peoples or nations. We must also acknowlege (even if just to ourselves) that our past behavior is not clean and that it is our responsibility to hold ourselves to the same standards of justice we hold others too.

Our current and recently past leaders have a lot of blood on their hands, which we are largly ignorant of. We should not allow the evil done by terrorists to justify us doing more evil of our own.

-- 
Error: .signature: No such file or directory


[ Parent ]
Britian made Israel? Try some history. (4.33 / 3) (#276)
by mattip on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:05:39 AM EST

"It was stated that many in Britian (such as the writer) support the Palestianian position, not the Israilis. Then I have to ask - why did you put Israel there? The whole region was once a British Colony. When you pulled out, you decided to install Israel on Palestianian territory before you left (Remember the Balfour agreement?)"

I am Israeli. My reading of the war in 1948 in Israel was that the british did quite a bit to make sure the Arabs conquored Palestine. They organized the Arab Legion in TransJordan and made sure they were well armed and trained, then as they lost control of Paelestine they made sure the well fortified police stations were in Arab hands.

The Balfour _declaration_ (noone actually _agreed_ to it) was made in recognition for Jewish support of the allies in WWI, at least 20 years before the UN declaration that Arab states rejected violently. You would think that if the british actually meant to set up a Jewish homeland, 20 years would have been enough for them to do it on their own.



[ Parent ]
Thanks for the information (2.54 / 24) (#52)
by Patrick Bateman 10005 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:24:37 AM EST

I didn't realize what a bunch of assholes constitute the European Left.



Great Satan? (3.42 / 7) (#53)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:25:07 AM EST

There's just this question I want to ask: Does anyone think the US is the Great Satan?

I am an American, I live well, and wherever I go, I have all the benefits of being one. And it is so clear to me how terrible our country can be. Individual Americans do wonderful things, like give out aid, but we elect leaders we can barely stand living under, and they impose their wills on other nations, manipulating their lives to kill each other and keep stalemate.

The sad thing, the thing that could make me laugh until they deport me and put me away, is that we have these little soap operas with Microsoft vs. the Good Guys, and we haven't yet learned that the US nation is 100X worse, orders of magnitudes worse than any Microsoft. We have learned nothing from our stories.


Re: Great Satan? (5.00 / 3) (#142)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:33:36 PM EST

I don't think USA is great satan. Not that I even belive in one. The issue here is that USA good great deal of good things (rebuilding Europe, driving technical advancement, putting the man on the moon, helping others after disasters and all) however this same USA also did horribly wrong things (Vietnam, Chile, Grenada, Israel, Yugoslavia, Panama, Cuba to name few places). Unfortunately it also persistently did the good things just to those who it agreed politicaly with and horrid to those that didn't want it around.

No country is without sins, no country is ever safe from terrorism or other kinds of attacks, but USA managed to consistetly wrong so many innocents, that it's really not hard to see this situation arriving. We're all horrified with extent of damage and terrible price in lifes, but we are not surprised. Only you were surprised this could happen. Maybe Nur put it best when she said she was glad that USA was hurt, but when reports started coming about the extent, she got sick. Everybody did.

USA is not universaly bad, as nobody is, but it is not universaly good either as you seem to picture it. Palestinians and Israelis sat at the negotiation tables and that is great achivement that can't provoke such attacks. Why and just why can't USA do more of this good things and stain them with less of bad things.

Have you ever prayed for innocent civilan victims of wars around the world? Have you liked the notion of 'lucky truck driver' presented to you by Schwarzkopf barely escaping the smart bomb? Did you laugh? Did you cheer every bomb that you saw on CNN hitting some building, air duct, shelter? You're not evil, you just don't ask the right questions. USA isn't evil, it just doesn't question it's actions enough. Mr. Bush Jr. is your president and as such he now needs your guidance and faith, but be prepared to ask and truthfuly answer your own questions. You could probably count at least 5 countries that would be willing to sponsor such attack. Don't you think you deserve to ask yourself why so many?


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
What makes you think we aren't asking questions? (3.00 / 1) (#359)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:14:16 PM EST

I feel like you are watching too much T.V. Get this into your head: American media is not America. American media exists for one purpose: to make money. Media corporations put together a product dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. The politicians do the same thing. Media and politicians are as far removed from the truth as it is possible to get. Just because you don't see the average Joe questioning foreign policy on T.V. doesn't mean it isn't happening in real life. How many Americans here on K5 have tried to explain to you that we do know what the country has done, is doing, and that we IN FACT ARE NOT SURPRISED to have been attacked? Don't you think there are Americans who are trying to make changes? Try to understand the real problem: poor vs. rich. All of you Marxists on this site ought to be able to understand the idea of class struggle. We protest, we get tear gassed, thrown in jail, villified on the news. We raise enough controversy to get the School of the Americas shut down, they reopen a new one elsewhere. A poor minority starts a movement (AIM, Black Panthers) to help their oppressed community, the govn. runs a cointelpro on it. The rich have the money, the power, and everyone else locked down. You continue to help them by demonizing us, bombing us, lumping us all into one category. You are helping the rich and powerful to shut us down.

Again, I don't mean all that venom for you Toshio. It's more for the collective of EuroLeftMarxists with the anti-capitalist blinders on.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
war? of course it is! (3.90 / 11) (#54)
by Ender Ryan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:47:52 AM EST

How can you say this is not a war? ~10k(+- a lot) innocent people were killed. More will be killed in the future. More will continue to be killed.

By waging this war and killing all those responsible, they'll be too dead to continue killing Americans.

Yes, the morality of this is all very confusing and troubling, but, I would rather the terrorists who go about killing innocent people are dead than have more innocent people killed.

Does anyone else find it ironic that people who are foyful at the thought of thousands of dead innocent Americans can call America "The Great Satan"?

I should hope you feel terribly ashamed about your glee at the death and destruction at the Pentagon, loss of human life is never something to be joyous about.


-
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!


Read the article. (5.00 / 4) (#62)
by kvan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:47:18 AM EST

By waging this war and killing all those responsible, they'll be too dead to continue killing Americans.

The point of the article is exactly that you cannot "kill all those responsible". If there is vengeance in place of justice, you will in fact accomplish exactly the opposite: create even more people who are willing to die to inflict any amount of damage upon the US. The more you kill, the more potential terrorists you create. Much like the War on (some) Drugs, this is a war that can only be won by addressing the very failed policies which created it in the first place.

Note that nowhere in the above do I say that the criminals responsible for this crime should not be brought to justice. I shouldn't have to explain this on K5, but knee-jerk reactions abound at this time.


"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, most do." - Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
Hmm. (4.33 / 3) (#126)
by FieryTaco on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:03:42 PM EST

An interesting option would be to go to these countries that harbor terrorists and tell them that we are setting up schools. And all their children under the age of 18 are going to be there. And if they don't like it, we'll kill you. And of course people will cry and moan, but if we educate their children and teach them, raise their standard of living, then in 20 years time perhaps they will think twice before allowing monsters to live among them. And as horrible as it sounds, if we raise their standard of living then there will be something for them to lose in the event that such an occurance as the WTC happens again.

[ Parent ]
Ridiculously arrogant (5.00 / 1) (#337)
by norge on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:39:35 PM EST

You know, some of "these countries that harbor terrorists" are not living in the stone age. They have schools. They have professionals. They have just about everything we have in the US (of course, not necessarily in the same quantity). Iraq in particular had a very high standard of living before the US started dropping bombs on them. Interestingly, many countries have educational systems that are better than the systems in the US (I say systems because there is no single cohesive educational system in the US). I would be willing to bet that a higher percentage of non-US citizens have a reasonable grasp on international politics than US citizens.

I don't know what is the best way to improve the scary and sorry state of the world, but your suggestion won't do anyone any good.

Benjamin


[ Parent ]
250k (4.25 / 4) (#63)
by Znork on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:48:04 AM EST

You know, a quick calculation says about 250000 human lives are lost every day around the world. A lot are lost from natural causes, but all loss of life is painful for those who are close.

Perhaps we should all take a moment to reflect upon perspective, mortality and the frailty of human existence.

[ Parent ]
You people make me sick!!! (3.58 / 17) (#57)
by unstable on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:01:37 AM EST

Can you drop your anti US bigotry for five minutes to see that it was HUMANS that died in this... I mean you fucks cant see anything without drawing border lines around it and putting up flags so you can say "it wasnt us".

This was an attack against people.. it doesnt matter were it was or were those people live.. possibly thousands of PEOPLE died here.. and all I see is post say "well US did this, and US did that"

NOBODY deserved this to happen to them no matter what THEIR GOVERMENT did.

If you fail to see that then as a human I'm telling you to get off my planet. We are all one race!



Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Innocent humans are unfortunately (4.50 / 6) (#58)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:07:41 AM EST

Dying through out the world as we speak in Afghanistan, Palestine, the Congo, Angola and countless other places. It's just not in the western world. Are you going to help them as well?

The article said that this was an unspeakable horror which should be punished even militarily. But also you must address the underlying causes of this which is some of the foreign policy actions of the US.

[ Parent ]
and domestically? (2.00 / 1) (#69)
by westcourt monk on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:16:48 AM EST

Within the US borders people are dying of starvation, neglect, and oppression. It is called the poverty cycle and it is not unique to any country.

The US and other western powers built a country out of dust, fought tyrants, and did some nasty things in the process. BUT EVERY COUNTRY DOES IT!!!! The countries that cry fowl do far worse things than anything the US could do.

But you idiots that cry the Americans should look inward are wasting your breath. NATO will strike hard. I find some comfort in knowing that anyone who promotes terror and cowardly attacks civilians will be dead within the year.



[ Parent ]

Well I am talking of armed... (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:34:28 AM EST

Attack on innocent people like the one you've just experienced in the states.

Or even worse things like genocide in Rwanda. I didn't notice the Americans leading a world coalition against the Hutus. But this happenned in Africa rather than on the sacred soil of USA....

[ Parent ]
Yes . . . (3.00 / 1) (#362)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:25:47 PM EST

And what did your country do to stop Rwanda? What did the U.N. do? The U.S. is always in hot water for trying to be the World's Policeman. When we try to intervene in other countrys' affairs it makes China, Russia, and the like very nervous. IIRC we were in it pretty heavy over Somalia, Serbia, Haiti, and the Gulf War. I don't blame the Clinton Administration for wanting to lay low for a while even if it was the wrong thing to do.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
unfortunately but not without response (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by G_Man on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:30:05 AM EST

Dying through out the world as we speak in Afghanistan, Palestine, the Congo, Angola and countless other places. It's just not in the western world. Are you going to help them as well?
Yes, i think they (the US) are trying to. Has the US ever once called for Isreal to go bust up Palestine? No. In fact, the US has brokered numerous cease-fires/peace-accords there, and throughout the world. May not be able to stop all the death, but work their collective asses off to stop the violent ones.

The article said that this was an unspeakable horror which should be punished even militarily. But also you must address the underlying causes of this which is some of the foreign policy actions of the US.
You may have to consider where the US is coming from. Most are EXTREMELY proud that, in their history, people die for liberty and freedom (and more recently equality) often. They consider many freedoms a matter of human rights. Their ventures into foreign policy reflect these ideals.

[ Parent ]

bin Laden decalred war years ago (3.80 / 10) (#59)
by 0tim0 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:12:36 AM EST

Are you kidding me?

bin Laden is a warrior who (thinks he) defeated the Russians and wants to improve his legend by defeating America. Yes, it's (almost) that simple.

bin Laden fougt against Russia on behalf of Afgan. He was given weapons and training by the US. After Russia withdrew from Afganistan, he was looking for another battle. He was ready to go to war with Iraq after they invaded Kuwait. We came first, that was the beginning of his hate for the US.

He murdered our soldiers in Somalia (no kidding). He bombed us in Saudi (he was exiled from there). He bombed our embassies in Africa. He made attempts (that were foiled) to kill the President of the US (Clinton -- when he was in the Phillipenes), THE POPE, and to bomb many other airlines. And, of course, he wants to eradicate the Jews.

He is the leader of right wing Muslims that want the entire Middle East to live in consservative. Muslim fasion. (Do you people know how they treat women under the Taliban?)

These people hate the US, because we are close to (and support) the centrist governments in the Middle East (Egypt, Saudi, Jordan, etc). And the fact is, we do. We know that, although these governments aren't yet up to our standards of liberty, they are much better than the right-wing alternative. Not just for us, but for the everyday people of the Middle East.

A couple of years ago (1998 or 1999 -- I can't remember) bin Laden declared war on all American citizens. And has been carrying out that war. Most of the Middle Eastern governments will have nothing to do with him (his war heroics is why he is protected in Afganistan). It's time for us to enter this war.

Some of the countries in the Middle East tolerate these extremists, even though they don't agree with them because they don;t want the extra fight ('if they're blowing up the Americans, it's better than overthrowing our governments'). That is what has to stop. Military action against the Taliban would be a first step (And, I think most Afgans would like to see it) toward ridding the Middle East of these groups. Once the countries understand the we'll hold them liable for allowing terrorist to form and train in the lands, they will feel compelled to put a stop to them

Hey, these guys went after the Pope. Does that sound like they are fighting for freedom or for glory? Ask yourself.

--tim

Certain indescrepencies (3.50 / 2) (#60)
by Trephinator on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:36:18 AM EST

We came first, that was the beginning of his hate for the US.

While the rest of the response was correct, his hatred for the US stems from many other things, but in his own words he hates the US because they co-ordinated and launched attacks against Iraq from Saudi-Arabia (bin Laden is a Saudi), which means to bin Laden that the US desecrated Holy Land. Sort of like performing an abortion in St. Marks, according to him, to continue your Catholic slant.

It takes 2 to Tango; it takes two sides to make a war. There's no doubt that whoever did this thinks they're in a war, but the question remains if a war will solve this. This is very much like the mythical story of the snake - cut off it's head and there will be two snakes. You can kill the prepretrators, but you won't kill the idea that way.

[ Parent ]
Yes and No (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by 0tim0 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:01:28 AM EST

I agree with you that he says that's why he hates us. But it sounds like a hollow reason to me. While we did use Saudi land to launch our attack, we didn't kill people on that land. That was done in Iraq and Kuwait.

The reality (admittedly in my mind) is that he was considered a great Muslin military leader (probably the greatest living one) and he was shone up (in a huge way) by the strength of the US miltary. That really hurt his ego. He then used this 'Holy Land' story to rally his troops and to get a Religious decree against us. Sounds a little childish, I know, but read on.

Don't get me wrong - I do understand his side. He is proud and it would be best if the Muslin community could have solved the Iraqi problem without NATO intervention. But the reality is (and everyone knows it) is that he would have gotten his ass kicked by Sadam.

If you belive the idea that Sadam would have went for Saudi after it went through Kuwait then this reason really doesn't hold water. The result would have been that rather than us using Saudi as a base to stop Sadam, Sadam would have killed many people on this very land.

I did't realize I had a Catholic slant (I'm not Catholic), but to carry that through, what do you think would be better: a doctor walking through St. Mark's on his way to perform and abortion or for St. Mark's be overrun by murderers during Sunday mass?

Don't get me wrong. I know the reason we went in there was for oil. But the reality is we saved many lives and improved the quality of a vast many of others.

--tim

[ Parent ]

My thoughts sumed up by a Canadian (3.05 / 17) (#64)
by mikecra on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:57:07 AM EST

I recieved this from a co-worker, and it sums up how I feel against all the Anti-American setiments that are going around these days.

"This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor

Widespread, but only partial news coverage, was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon?

You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at.

Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking Down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.""

Memorial to the tragedy: http://wtc.tuxnami.org

Jesus, what a pile of crap (3.33 / 3) (#70)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:18:54 AM EST

Let's start off with the glaring obvious innacuracies here:

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Heard of Airbus by any chance? Believe this company has a 50% market share in the world civil aviation market.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

Looked on Google and couldn't find any reference to France collapsing in 1956. 1958 General De Gualle took over following the 4th French Republic's collapse without any American aid.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Erm I don't remember the Americans asking for help during any natural disasters much as most other proudly independent countries wouldn't.



[ Parent ]
Airplanes (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by BurntHombre on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:45:49 AM EST

This piece was written back in 1975, which might explain the airplane claims.

As for your third comment...don't you think it's sorta lame to say, "Well, they never asked for help"? It'd still be nice to get offers of help. And, I'd like to note, I've heard of several other countries offering to help the US in the current tragedy, even Cuba(!)

[ Parent ]

Check the date it was written, (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by An Diabhul on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:48:54 AM EST

This isn't a current article. Its probably over 20 years old. The reference to France is a typo. It should have been the Franc, their currency. When it was written, airbus didn't hold any significant market share, if any at all.

[ Parent ]
In my defense (3.50 / 2) (#92)
by mikecra on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:45:08 AM EST

To reiterate, these are not my words. I was not about to change someone else's words. I don't know the exact source of this quote, but I do belive it was written some time ago. I just thought it would have some meaning here.

Heard of Airbus by any chance? Believe this company has a 50% market share in the world civil aviation market.

Yes. I have heard of Airbus. I can identify the differnces between an Airbus and a Boeing aircraft at at least 2 miles away. But at the time this seems to be written (it mentions the TriStar, which is all but gone in commercial airlines) Airbus wasn't around. The only choices in aircraft were Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, de Havilland, and Brittish Aerospace. Brittish Aerospace had a very small presence, and de Havilland was almost killed due to the Comet.

Looked on Google and couldn't find any reference to France collapsing in 1956. 1958 General De Gualle took over following the 4th French Republic's collapse without any American aid.

I know nothing about French history, but we did help them out greatly in WWII, and they just thumb their nose at us.

We seem to be helping out the world all the time, but people just seem to insult us, and put us down because of it. That's what I'm sick of, and that was what the meaning behind my post was. Just because it's not up to date, or slightly inaccurate, doesn't mean it has no spirit behind it.

[ Parent ]
So none of the rest of western world (3.50 / 2) (#96)
by nobbystyles on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:00:25 PM EST

Doesn't help out? Bollocks. Scandanavian countries spend more percentage wise on foreign aid and the UK probably has more troops involved in peace keeping than you do.

You're just another western country not exceptionally good nor exceptionably bad. Sometimes you act alturistically, sometimes you act ruthlessly in your own interests. the same can be said of the UK, France or Germany...

[ Parent ]
uhm (none / 0) (#408)
by akma on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 11:58:38 PM EST

For the peace keeping missions, the US has 700+ people out, and the Uk 600+ people out as of the end of last month according to UN figures. (that includes police, nurses and such, as well as troops. Actual break downs on that available on www.un.org) But then again, the US forces in S. Korea are at least nominally under UN control by way of the United Nation Command in Seoul, (it isn't defined as a peace keeping mission though) having been maintaining 37,000 to 42,000 full time troops over the last almost 50 years now. And those troops there aren't just places there as a nice jump off point to hop into the rest of Asian when needed. They don't tend to reduce the numbers even when fighting in other places as they are protecting against a real threat. And for many many years, those 40k troops supplied over half of S. Korea's GNP!

Want a shocking number? Bangladesh has over 6000 people in peacekeeping missions. Hard to belive that one, but its true.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
Context -- Gordon Sinclair '73 (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by bigdavex on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:02:53 PM EST

This is from Gordon Sinclair in 1973. Quoted from the who2 link:
Gordon Sinclair was a colorful figure in 20th-century Canadian radio journalism. For over 40 years he produced a daily radio series called "Let's Be Personal;" he gained a reputation for "telling it like it is" and became a familiar figure to millions of listeners. Sinclair is especially remembered for a broadcast he made praising the United States on June 5, 1973. The text of that broadcast, known as "The Americans," has been widely circulated on the Internet, particularly after the air attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September of 2001.


[ Parent ]
Good and bad sides of the US (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by bil on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:44:00 PM EST

To deny that the US has ever done any good in the world is indeed stupid, Marshall aid is one very good example (of course none of it went to the Soviet Union which was be far the most deverstated country, but we'll let that pass as a mistake rather then malice), but to even up the US score you must also look at the times that they have claimed to be "the defenders of democracy" while the CIA has been overthrowing democratically elected governments, denounced terrorism while arming the Mujahadin, Contras, and IRA (this last one not officially obviously, but US citizens provide 70% of the money that blew up British men women and children for a hundred years), denouncing war while invading Granada, and wherever it was Noriaga was president of. I could go on, but I have a bus to catch

The US is certainly not some great satan whos every move is designed to inflict harm on the world, but neither is it a paradise from which only goodness and light flows. There are legitimate reasons to hate it, just as there are many reasons to like it.

bil

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

Marshall plan and USSR (3.00 / 1) (#179)
by physicsgod on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:50:21 PM EST

The US offered aid to the USSR under the same terms as the rest of Europe, namely they had to let US military bases on their soil, but the USSR (not surprisingly) declined, preferring to rebuild thier economy by raping eastern europe.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Not what I heard (3.00 / 1) (#291)
by bil on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:09:57 AM EST

I heard that the USSR applied for aid but the request was "lost in the post" no mention of whos post office lost it though thus the description as mistake rather then malicious.

bil


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

documentation (4.00 / 1) (#313)
by physicsgod on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:35:00 PM EST

According to the US State Department:
Sixteen countries--Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and West Germany--received Marshall Plan assistance. The USSR and countries under its influence declined participation; clearly positive responses from the Polish and Czechoslovak Governments were vetoed by Moscow. The Plan, reduced somewhat by Congress, totaled $13.3 billion throughout the life of the program from 1948 to 1951. This would be more than $88 billion in today's dollars.


--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Don't you dare speak for all Canadians (4.00 / 1) (#135)
by tzanger on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:51:01 PM EST

I had that 30-year-old article sent to me at least a half dozen times.

The U.S. is not the tree hugging, warm fuzzy teddybear that article makes it out to be. Their government is (in my opinion) corrupt, out of control and acting without the intrest of the average American in mind.

Good Lord that article pisses me off. It's either a piece of propaganda bullshit or written by someone so blinded by the giant south of us that he can't think straight.



[ Parent ]
I speak for no one but me (3.00 / 1) (#140)
by mikecra on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:21:29 PM EST

I am not posing this as anyone views but my own. Do not go and attack me, and blame me for speaking for anyone but myself. All I said is that I agree with this, and this is how I feel. It is true, the US does protect it's own intrests above all, who wouldnt, but we do help out on many humanitarian efforts that have nothing to do with our interests. Yes, we may have corruption, but so does everyone. There is not one government without at least one corrupt official. I am sure your government has scandals and corruption too.

[ Parent ]
I humby retract my assertion (3.00 / 1) (#209)
by tzanger on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:08:02 PM EST

I am not posing this as anyone views but my own.

I do apologize. I swear I saw something along the lines of "I think I speak for all Canadians when I post this." I've read through your post again and the posts around it. I honestly thought I saw something to the effect of you speaking for all Canadians on this. My apologies; whatever I was smoking must have apparently been some really good shit.

Yes, we may have corruption, but so does everyone. There is not one government without at least one corrupt official. I am sure your government has scandals and corruption too.

I never meant to claim that Canadian's shit smelled any better than anyone elses'. I had specifically brought up the US corruption because it is my firm belief that this is THE cause for this terroristic attack. I don't think that it's easy being a superpower but I also think that the US government and military should have conducted themselves very differently over the past 50 years, especially in the affairs of the Middle East.



[ Parent ]
Causes for the terrorist attack (5.00 / 1) (#365)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:38:53 PM EST

American corruption was the INDIRECT cause of the attack.

The DIRECT cause was an as yet unnamed madman (likely Bin Laden) who decided he knew enough about right and wrong to murder the lives of 4000+ people and all who will follow them.

America does need to change. I don't think I've seen anyone argue that we've been doing EVERYTHING right-shut-up-and-go-away. Do you think you can handle the robber-barons any more effectively than the protestors and movements over here have?


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
It is a war! (2.85 / 7) (#65)
by haro on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:01:06 AM EST

If a foreign power had sent 3 cruise missiles with conventional explosives, I don't think anyone would have argued that this was not a war. If a foreign terrorist had sent 3 cruise missiles from a ship, I don't think anyone would have argued that this was not a war. When a foreign terrorist (assuming it is) manufactures cruise missiles in the US from passenger planes it still is a war.

Against Who? (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by davidmb on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:27:37 AM EST

Normally wars are fought against other nations. How will the US declare war against a geographically-dispersed organisation of terrorists?

If you employ the normal machinery of war in this situation, an awful lot more innocent people are going to die. This is why people the world over are saying, "Please wait before acting."
־‮־
[ Parent ]
An Answer (4.00 / 2) (#79)
by Davidicus on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:44:11 AM EST

Actually, its pretty simple.
"We, The United states, have an interest in capturing Person X. Should any country that harbor him or his followers, this will be concitered an act of war against us, and thereby all of the countries in NATO, and most of the UN. Pleashe hand him and his followers over now, so that we can end this peacably"

or , at least, that's how i would do it.
--dave

[ Parent ]
So France declared war on NZ in 1985? (none / 0) (#407)
by iwnbap on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 10:25:33 PM EST

By your argument France declared war on New Zealand in 1985.

[ Parent ]
My quick two cents... (4.15 / 13) (#68)
by Mzilikazi on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:08:51 AM EST

One thing that I keep hearing over and over again in this whole mess is that America must change its foreign policy... But what foreign policy? The attackers made no effort to clearly identify themselves or their reasons for doing this, though we'll certainly find that out in the days and weeks to come through our own investigations. Bin Laden has denied responsibility but agrees with the strike... So which of the 100 things that he hates about American policy are we supposed to change? Is it the bombing of Iraq, or all of the humanitarian aid we send to Afghanistan? Is it the support of Israel, or the defense of Kuwait? Or, listening to those that think the attack came from somewhere other than the Middle East, is it a result of our lack of help in resolving the Kurile/Sakhalin Island situation between Russia & Japan (for a purely out-there example)?

How can we even consider changing our foreign policy when we haven't been clearly told by the bastards that did this what it is that they hate about the US? People keep comparing actions like this to the American Revolution, for example... Remember that the Declaration of Independence had clear objectives, and also had a load of signatures at the bottom. England was made very clear of what we wanted, and who wanted it. They explained the situation and were prepared to suffer the consequences of their actions. The cowards involved in the WTC attack do not deserve the same respect. In fact, because of their vaugeness and secrecy, *more* innocent people on their side are going to die because of it as more targets are hit and more organizations are rooted out.

And I'm glad to see that the NATO defense clause has been activated. Whether or not we ask for actual assistance remains to be seen, but the symbolic guesture is important, and should serve as a good reminder to those behind this who haven't been paying attention for the last fifty years: an attack on any NATO nation is an attack on all of us.



Claiming responsibility (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by bigdavex on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:43:45 AM EST

The attackers made no effort to clearly identify themselves or their reasons for doing this, though we'll certainly find that out in the days and weeks to come through our own investigations.
I'll bet that the group has claimed responsibility, along with hundreds of other groups. There's just no reason for the government or the media to give voice to all their demands.

[ Parent ]
dash2 is right! (3.77 / 9) (#71)
by WickedET on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:23:10 AM EST

at least until now: Definition of 'war' from dict.org.

1. A contest between nations or states, carried on by force,
whether for defence, for revenging insults and redressing
wrongs, for the extension of commerce, for the acquisition
of territory, for obtaining and establishing the
superiority and dominion of one over the other, or for any
other purpose; armed conflict of sovereign powers;
declared and open hostilities.

Note: As war is the contest of nations or states, it always
implies that such contest is authorized by the monarch
or the sovereign power of the nation. A war begun by
attacking another nation, is called an offensive war,
and such attack is aggressive. War undertaken to repel
invasion, or the attacks of an enemy, is called
defensive.

No, sovereign power, that authorized this attack is known,
that means, this terrible event doesn't fit into the definition of war.

I think, the USA should take some time to calm down and recover, before taking any actions.
Plus, IMO, retaliation doesn't solve any problems but it makes them worse.

Yes...but (3.00 / 1) (#338)
by TheCaptain on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:40:32 PM EST

dictionary.com says this:
war (wr)
n.
A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties. The period of such conflict. The techniques and procedures of war; military science.

A condition of active antagonism or contention: a war of words; a price war. A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious: the war against acid rain.
---------------------------------------------

And to me and alot of other people, that is exactly what war is. Plain and simple...and it does not seem to be a definition chosen to suit my particular purpose...it's simply what it is.

As for retaliation not solving anything? Then why would a body retaliate on any cancer that plagues it? Osama bin Laden, if he is found to be behind this, is a cancer on this world. To attack an American embasy (or more than one) in Africa, he also injured and killed alot of Africans, who have NOTHING to do with any of this. To attack the world trade center blindly to kill more Americans, when in reality there may be Arabs and Islamics in there, and not caring? Especially when they are random civilians who have little to nothing to do with the wrongs he feels we (the US) commited...those are not the actions of a rational being. If bin Laden is removed from this earth, I think the earth will be better for it.

As for your other comment - we ARE taking time to calm down. You haven't heard of us making any strike yet have you? I do believe that we are trying to get all the facts straight on this one, get the names and addresses of those involved, and from there, (I hope) we will do what we must, so that this problem is addressed.

If Pearl Harbor was an act of war, then to me personally, this SURE as hell is.

[ Parent ]
Excuse Me! (1.71 / 7) (#78)
by Hefty on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:42:23 AM EST

But our countrymen have done nothing but support and aid these other countries. How much relief or support have these countries offered us in return?

This week (2.66 / 3) (#117)
by Spendocrat on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:34:41 PM EST

Thousands upon thousands of Canadians have lined up to give blood.

Do you know about this? Obviously not.

Why? Because your self-centric media hasn't said a thing about other countries except to report that US planes have landed in Canada, and that EU is having a 3 minute silence this friday over the tragedy.

The fact that your media is too preoccupied with itself (all the time) to report what else is going on the world does not mean nothing is actually going on in the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]

media coverage... (4.50 / 2) (#172)
by f00b4r on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:33:02 PM EST

There are two points in you message that should be addressed. First off, what nations media is NOT self-centric?? It is human nature to care about what effects your life the most. This is what the media reports (for the most part). In case you havent noticed something very major happened in America this week, and it makes a hell of a lot of sence for the media to devote most of its air time to reporting about this tradedy rather than spending a lot of time reporting that a lot of blood has been donated by Canadians. For heavens sake what is more important? YES, Americans do appreciate the aid.. but what do you expect??

Secondly, I am not sure how much of American news channels you have been watching, but I have been watching a fairly large amount since Tuesday and I have seen few a segments about foriegn aid.. Not only blood donation but also other forms of aid such as expert rescue teams who specialize in destroyed buildings from Israel.

[ Parent ]
Coverage (3.00 / 1) (#235)
by Spendocrat on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:11:14 PM EST

I've been at work all day, so I've missed the talk about the coverage. Living where I do I do get pretty much every major network out of the US (except for TNT and UPN as far as I can tell :).

I'm not saying I expect the US to put a lot of focus on what the rest of us are doing, my reaction was the the poster who seemed to assume that the rest of the world has been sitting around on its ass while the US scrambles. I assumed the OP had actually been watching the networks (as I have morning and evening), but maybe I was wrong to assume someone with an attitude like that would actually be informed.

Now, again, I'm not expecting the US media to put tonnes of emphasis on what the rest of the world is doing, but when CNN starts repeating the same US-centric stuff for the Nth time, maybe it's time for them to be looking outside the border to see what's going on. But, I've been at work all day, so I'm not sure what they're talking about right now.

As for the self-centricness of a nation's media, I still maintain that the US media is worse than most. Though I really can make that conclusion from seeing media here in Canada, and stuff that's brough in from the UK, Australia and a few other places in the EU.

[ Parent ]

Typos (none / 0) (#237)
by Spendocrat on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:14:08 PM EST

first paragraph: "so I've missed *the latest* coverage"

last paragraph: ""Though I can really only make..."

[ Parent ]

actually, yes they have mentioned it. (4.00 / 2) (#191)
by akma on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:08:46 PM EST

They've mentioned the blood drives in Canada, in both Isreal and Palestine, offers of rescue related aid from China, hell, even offers of potential military aid from China (which is flat our amazing considering relations between the US and China recently). They've shown more offers of aid and assistance than I can count. Some of the offers I'd actually be unable to accept too. Like the blood from Palsstine and Isreal. Not on any ideological grounds, but because quite honestly, they look like they both need it way more than we do. The offers aren't going un-noticed by some of us either. Some of us are taking notes for future reference.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
Hmm, that reminds me (3.25 / 4) (#178)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:47:30 PM EST

Two years ago, terrorist blew a tower of apartments in Moscow. Today I see russians (who are starving) laying flowers in the american embassy. How many americans did the same for them ( or Turky, or India . remember the earthquakes ). Why the hell are you being so rude to the people who are supporting you ( and no, we don't like america that much, but we don't hate you american citizens, is it so hard to understand ? )

[ Parent ]
OK, Isolationism, as per your request. (3.07 / 14) (#85)
by An Diabhul on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:23:19 AM EST

Ok. You (in a generic sense) don't like us? Fine. How about the US go back to an isolationist policy? The next time the UN needs someone to take care of a problem somewhere, don't look at us. Having a national disaster of some sort? *shrug* Not our problem. You've been invaded and want help? That's nice. Ask China, or Sudan, or Saudi, or Iraq, or North Korea. I'm sure all the help you need will be there shortly. Hitler Jr in power in Europe somewhere? Cool. Send us lots of news footage since there's nothing good on TV here. Having a famine? Really? Damn....bet you're hungry huh? Ask Ethiopia. We heard they have plenty food to spare. We're tied of sending out food and then being bad mouthed for it. We're tired of being the UN's work horse and getting told how bad we are for playing world cop at the UN or other host country's request. we're tired of being the only one to act far too often when others are screaming that someone should do something, and then having the same armchair quarterbacks complain when something is done.

A comparison can be made with a meddling parent (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by pranshu on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:43:59 AM EST

Who keeps poking their nose in even though their children are grown up and capable of looking after themselves.

[ Parent ]
The problem is, of course... (none / 0) (#197)
by _Quinn on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:21:13 PM EST

(PS: Upon reflection, I realized that a lot of people might think of this as hopelessly parochial and ignorant; which means it very well could be. While this then makes this comment perhaps more representative of the average American citizen than I want to be, I think it's nonetheless valuable (for that reason).

As for peaceful solutions: justice is about vengeance, so don't hope for one. Point number two: appeasement doesn't work. Point number three: changing American foreign policy is 'letting the terrorists win,' -- so it won't change soon for that reason. On the other hand, I hope the cooler heads in Congress will to try and slip away from of the more egregious foreign policy mistakes without being obvious about it, so that as time goes by, there's less to (rationally) complain about.)


... that (A) Americans collectively don't believe that most of the rest of the world is grown up (at least well enough to take care of themselves) and (B) for many countries, one can point to specific examples that support that position.* I think it would be a fair comparison that the US treats much of the rest of the world as if it were a rich uncle: we've learned better (or were never willing) than to try and prevent (a generic) you from doing something stupid (except when it, to some extent or another, causes us problems), but we are, on occasion, willing to help out and try to give 'you' a helping hand, usually along the lines of 'use this to get back on your feet'; appending the (eminently fair, IMO) 'and don't come back and ask for more.'

Remember 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth...?'** That's why the US has become so reluctant to do anything: we beat the third most powerful army in the history of time, and then stared down the most dangerous dictatorship (in the history of time) and the reaction seems to 'Why didn't you do a better job?' and/or 'Fuck you, asshole.' The only reason the US hasn't completely withdrawn is that we learned better than that when he had to intervene in Europe the second time.

The US hasn't done the best things -- or frequently, even a good thing -- but it did do what it set out to do (protect the world from `communism')***, the directionless last ten years notwithstanding. Now everyone's saying, "What have you done for us lately?" And the answer is, pretty much, "1/3 of the (global) economy, cheap oil, and troops for UN missions." :)

I think there are a few reasons why so many people get so pissed off at the US. I think one is envy, whether admitted it or not: the US is so wealthy that it can't sell anything new that's not a replacement for something else (or a something quite literally without prior peer) without advertising campaigns larger than some countries' government budgets. That is, the American economy has succeeded in providing for its citizen's creature comforts. (I know that America has poor and homeless, etc; but who really thinks about them from the outside, or when considering the gestalt?) I think another is America-as-scapegoat: the world changes, and out there, the source or the benefit of the change, is America. I think another is disappointed hopes and dreams: for forty years, America fought for the hearts and minds of people everywhere, in two ways: bribery (the Marshall plan, other internationl aid) and advertising (America-as-Land-Of-Peace-And-Plenty). As remarkably effective as the bribery was, the advertising was even more so: when America does something `bad', people are outraged and disappointed and indignant: "You're supposed to do better than that; you told us all these things about how wonderful you were -- and we believed you."

Finally, I offer thoughts from two different quotes (paraphrased) I've seen recently. I don't recall the sources, but I recount them in reverse order of recency.

"When I left [Israel, for America], I was told that America did everything bigger -- cars, roads, food, buildings; and now I find out it even gets the biggest terrorist attacks." To whit, "America is a like a big and friendly puppy in a small room: every time it wags its tail, it breaks something." Or: "America is like that guy who offers crack to everyone at the party, and still nobody likes him."

For everyone that regularly complains that America acts like/is a teenager: I have to admit, that especially in cultural matters, that you have a point. But frankly, I think I'd rather be a teenager, ready to live and learn and become an adult and really have a chance to do something -- than a dear and conniving old man (Britain) or a bitchy old lady concerned with fashion (France).

-_Quinn

* Most agree that many, if not all, of the problems one regularly hears about in Africa are because of incompetent and corrupt governments that (actively) prevent the development of an economy that can supply its people's basic needs in a time of trouble. Ditto for lots of the problems in South America (though the US is in some (or many) cases responsible for the terrible governments). People in the 'non-Western' parts of Europe seem to regularly try to kill everyone that's not like them, now that the USSR isn't sitting on them.

** ... is the harsh tongue of a child for its parents?

*** The dictatorship which tried ruling with the official religion of state ownership of the means of production, as stated by the Prophet Marx and his Apostles Lenin & co, and killed more of its own people than the Germans ever managed to (Russians /or/ its own people).


Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]

Sorry, K5 timed out. (none / 0) (#255)
by _Quinn on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:56:55 PM EST

Could someone delete the earlier of the duplicates? Thanks.

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]

The problem is, of course... (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by _Quinn on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:23:56 PM EST

(PS: Upon reflection, I realized that a lot of people might think of this as hopelessly parochial and ignorant; which means it very well could be. While this then makes this comment perhaps more representative of the average American citizen than I want to be, I think it's nonetheless valuable (for that reason).

As for peaceful solutions: justice is about vengeance, so don't hope for one. Point number two: appeasement doesn't work. Point number three: changing American foreign policy is 'letting the terrorists win,' -- so it won't change soon for that reason. On the other hand, I hope the cooler heads in Congress will to try and slip away from of the more egregious foreign policy mistakes without being obvious about it, so that as time goes by, there's less to (rationally) complain about.)


... that (A) Americans collectively don't believe that most of the rest of the world is grown up (at least well enough to take care of themselves) and (B) for many countries, one can point to specific examples that support that position.* I think it would be a fair comparison that the US treats much of the rest of the world as if it were a rich uncle: we've learned better (or were never willing) than to try and prevent (a generic) you from doing something stupid (except when it, to some extent or another, causes us problems), but we are, on occasion, willing to help out and try to give 'you' a helping hand, usually along the lines of 'use this to get back on your feet'; appending the (eminently fair, IMO) 'and don't come back and ask for more.'

Remember 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth...?'** That's why the US has become so reluctant to do anything: we beat the third most powerful army in the history of time, and then stared down the most dangerous dictatorship (in the history of time) and the reaction seems to 'Why didn't you do a better job?' and/or 'Fuck you, asshole.' The only reason the US hasn't completely withdrawn is that we learned better than that when he had to intervene in Europe the second time.

The US hasn't done the best things -- or frequently, even a good thing -- but it did do what it set out to do (protect the world from `communism')***, the directionless last ten years notwithstanding. Now everyone's saying, "What have you done for us lately?" And the answer is, pretty much, "1/3 of the (global) economy, cheap oil, and troops for UN missions." :)

I think there are a few reasons why so many people get so pissed off at the US. I think one is envy, whether admitted it or not: the US is so wealthy that it can't sell anything new that's not a replacement for something else (or a something quite literally without prior peer) without advertising campaigns larger than some countries' government budgets. That is, the American economy has succeeded in providing for its citizen's creature comforts. (I know that America has poor and homeless, etc; but who really thinks about them from the outside, or when considering the gestalt?) I think another is America-as-scapegoat: the world changes, and out there, the source or the benefit of the change, is America. I think another is disappointed hopes and dreams: for forty years, America fought for the hearts and minds of people everywhere, in two ways: bribery (the Marshall plan, other internationl aid) and advertising (America-as-Land-Of-Peace-And-Plenty). As remarkably effective as the bribery was, the advertising was even more so: when America does something `bad', people are outraged and disappointed and indignant: "You're supposed to do better than that; you told us all these things about how wonderful you were -- and we believed you."

Finally, I offer thoughts from two different quotes (paraphrased) I've seen recently. I don't recall the sources, but I recount them in reverse order of recency.

"When I left [Israel, for America], I was told that America did everything bigger -- cars, roads, food, buildings; and now I find out it even gets the biggest terrorist attacks." To whit, "America is a like a big and friendly puppy in a small room: every time it wags its tail, it breaks something." Or: "America is like that guy who offers crack to everyone at the party, and still nobody likes him."

For everyone that regularly complains that America acts like/is a teenager: I have to admit, that especially in cultural matters, that you have a point. But frankly, I think I'd rather be a teenager, ready to live and learn and become an adult and really have a chance to do something -- than a dear and conniving old man (Britain) or a bitchy old lady concerned with fashion (France).

-_Quinn

* Most agree that many, if not all, of the problems one regularly hears about in Africa are because of incompetent and corrupt governments that (actively) prevent the development of an economy that can supply its people's basic needs in a time of trouble. Ditto for lots of the problems in South America (though the US is in some (or many) cases responsible for the terrible governments). People in the 'non-Western' parts of Europe seem to regularly try to kill everyone that's not like them, now that the USSR isn't sitting on them.

** ... is the harsh tongue of a child for its parents?

*** The dictatorship which tried ruling with the official religion of state ownership of the means of production, as stated by the Prophet Marx and his Apostles Lenin & co, and killed more of its own people than the Germans ever managed to (Russians /or/ its own people).


Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]

Many valid points (4.00 / 1) (#288)
by pranshu on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:59:31 AM EST

You make many valid points which I agree with. Americans and America has done much good in the world. With much (possibly most) of what is done America means well yet there is a lack of perspective.

To focus on the point about America as a rich uncle. I hate it when people do something for "someone's own good", this is how the abject failure that is the war on drugs started. Sometimes things are just not your story and you shouldn't get involved as without perfect knowledge of the situation you may just fuck things up further (no matter how well intentioned your actions are).

I learnt this lesson when I tried to save a friend of mine from an abusive relationship. I caused much pain all around (including for myself). It was none of my business & I should have left it that way.

There is a chinese idea where if you save a person's life you must now support him as you have taken responsibility for him. I'm sure many Americans could not understand this viewpoint.

[ Parent ]
OT: No you shouldn't have. (3.00 / 1) (#309)
by FieryTaco on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:37:59 AM EST

I learnt this lesson when I tried to save a friend of mine from an abusive relationship. I caused much pain all around (including for myself). It was none of my business & I should have left it that way.
Perhaps you were clumsy in how you handled it, but if you had a friend in an abusive relationship you certainly shouldn't have left it alone.

[ Parent ]
OT: If they want the help - yes (none / 0) (#424)
by pranshu on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 06:35:31 AM EST

She didn't want to get out and told me that clearly. I ignored the request to leave it alone thinking I knew better.

Ah well...



[ Parent ]
Re: OK, Isolationism, as per your request (4.33 / 6) (#98)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:07:37 PM EST

<bIf this means you also won't be exporting any more missiles or bombs (or any kind of other weaponry) it's fine with me. If you think world can't go ahead without USA, then you're ignorant. Lately USA has been much more trouble than help and it's USA that can't go ahead without the world.</b> Usualy one offers help without asking to be treated differently afterwards. If you think that USA sends soldiers around for humanitarian reasons, then I guess you're either ignorant or plain stupid. If that would be the case, Kurds would already have state, Ireland would be united, Corsica would be free, Catalan would be deciding for themselves, Bosnia wouldn't need to count so many dead and couple of other nationalities would get what they desperatly ask for. Did I mention Tibet?

The only reason USA intervenes anywhere is its own national interest. One fast way to get support is to simply develop a nuke and delivery system. Right after that you'll send food, suplies, medicine and everything else just to keep us away from getting some more. You're scared shitless USA and you brought it over yourself.

I guess you supported the shah of Iran because he loved and cared about his people. Maybe king Fahd distributes his wealth so evenly that everybody loves him. I guess royal family in Kuwait certainly takes car of all people that belong to it. Maybe president Allende really wouldn't be good president for Chile. Nicaragua was certainly happy country to be divided. For last 10 years the only question the world had about USA was "What will you bomb today?" Did you know that China sent it's deepest regrets, but it didn't offer any help. Do you know why? Would it be that bombed embassy has something to do with that?

If you ask me you'll be the safest country in the world if you decide for isolationism. Only bombs you'll have to care about will be homegrown and those can be avoided with strict control of all communications. I wonder how come that countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway, just to name a few, don't seem to have such pressing terrorism problems? Are they isolationist? Then what might be the difference?

Better yet disconnect the internet. Close down the thing at your end and let us have our end without you or your bigotry. The only thing USA has to defend its bigotry is economic and military punch it can make. As far as I care, those two were hit and damaged. Civilians killed were just collateral damage.

USA will get its revenge. That is certain and everybody, even us the generic USA haters agree that it can go that far. All we are trying to say is for Gods sake please think before you act next time. Even Afghanistan as the bad guy in this story doesn't want trouble with this, why would you think that anyone else would want it.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
The only Bigot is you (4.75 / 4) (#115)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:28:57 PM EST

How Dare you. you make it sound as if the bombers did a good thing. What an ugly horrible attack you have made upon us.

How can a liberal (assumed from the text of your comment) hold so much hated, and so little understanding. At least wait a week before you start your vicious attacks on the people and the government of a country in mourning.

did the US make mistakes in the cold war? yes. is any government perfect? no. we are humans, and we are TRYING to do what we think is right. Almost every one of us. Yes, there are many in the US who go about it in ways that I don't agree with, from the Corperations who have adapted to a sandbox where seeking maximum quarterly profit is the only legal thing they can do (minority shareholders can sue if a company does not maximize profit - and not just in the US) to the Christian Right who are trying to turn this country into a religious outpost....

They are all still doing what they think is best. Monsanto is concentrating on trying to revolutionize Agriculture, to make all fields produce an abundance of food - that seems like a pretty noble thing. Many of us just happen to disagree how they go about doing it.

The US government is similar in many ways. We as a country fought a war against a country for 30 years, and I firmly beleive that just about anything is better then living under soviet rule - because it was a terrible dictatorship. Mistakes in that fight were made, some have come back to bite us - but the overall effort has led to a freer world.

and NO, we do not rush in only where our political interests lie - the US is ASKED by many countries to intervene, and save them from unspeakable horrors, such as Bosnia, Timor, and many others.

It all comes down to one cold hard fact. The US is the single most powerful country in the world. It has the most political might, the biggest military, and consumes the most resources. In short it is the big kid on the block. The US is rich in compariason to almost every other country on the planet.

The fact is, we earned it. Most of the time ethically, sometimes not. The US has stabalized the world economy by providing a benchmark (the dollar) that many countries have abandoned gold itself to rely on our financial strength. (and if you disagree - well fine, you are flat wrong - the world can I believe never sink into a 1930's style depression again - largely because of the US, and they way we manage finances to provide this stability to everyone else)

Can our leaders be morons? Yes, they can - we don't expect them to be anything but human. At least our system of government allows us to correct that every 2-4 years.

What does this lead to? Countries that are angry with us because we have stopped their militia from extinguishing whole races. Countries that are angry with us because we identify more with their enemies then we do with them. Countries that wish they could have our financial strenght and our plush way of life (some even say decedant). Countries that hate us because our corperations are polluting the world (I have news for you - corperations in every country are that way. Look at Russia, look at Britain, look anywhere). Countries that are angry because they make their appeals to us, and we don't make appeals to them. Countries that are angry that we cease giving them gifts of aid when they support people who kill our citizens.

all of these are understandable human emotions. Really, they are. But the US is not some great evil, and we are not 135 million bigots as you make us out to be.

The only bigot here is you. You who attack and condemn all americans, just because we were born in a country that has policies you disagree with, or has make past mistakes that you harbor resentment from. You are the one who is showing his true colors as a bigot, and as barely human in practiacally supporting people who would murder as many as 10,000 innocents by telling us we deserve it.

No one deserves terrorism, but until tuesday, the united states did not have the political capitol to stop it on out soil, and on the soil of others WHO HAVE ASKED OUR HELP. Only now will the world understand us not being tolerant of a country that would harbor these cowards.

I personally work every day with a muslim man from Cairo, Egypt. Yes, the home country of some of the terrorists. I implicity trust this man, and would protect him from violence directed towards his person. I work also with a man from china, and a man from India. I work with an englishman, and with a gay black man. These are my co-workers, and these are my friends. THAT is America. America has the most diverse, and broad population of ANY country.

Next time before you make ignorant remarks about American bigotry, look in a mirror - that is the only distance you need travel to find a true bigot.

[ Parent ]
Don't mention TIMOR (3.00 / 1) (#176)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:42:13 PM EST

I allmost agreed with you (except for the "noble" intentions of Monsanto who developed seeds that did not provided more seeds). But Timor ? Do you want me to send you posts and mails from americans about timor ? What the hell did you did for them ? US greenlighted the invasion, armed and trained indonesian troops, and except for the payed lobbies none of you did nothing or cared for them. You were only asked to stop supporting Indonesia, and only did that when it was inevitable. But please, don't believe it just because I say so, go ask a timoree.

[ Parent ]
You are correct... (3.00 / 1) (#186)
by soulcatcher on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:01:46 PM EST

To be honest, I don't know tones on Timor, and it may have been a bad example. The reason it came to mind is that a Marine friend of myine was deployed to Timor.

As far as Monsanto, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I agree with how they do business. Actually, I consider them to be one of the nastiest companies in the US. But I bet you that at least many of Monsanto's employees are there every day because they think they can find the solution to world hunger.....

[ Parent ]
Thank you. (3.00 / 1) (#207)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:03:54 PM EST

At least you are calm enough in this discussion. The way people are nervous today, I was expecting a much more angry reaction, "like shut up you eurotrash f**khead, we kicked hitler's ass, etc". Thank you for keeping K5 civilized. And you're right about Monsanto employees.

[ Parent ]
You are *SO* right (3.00 / 1) (#379)
by dvNull on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:54:53 AM EST

Thank you .. Your reply today put a smile on my face and made me proud to be a part of this country.

I get so angry when people say that the US 'policeman' action causes so many problems in the world. Each time the UN or a country requires protection they turn to us. Many times American blood is spilled to give freedom to others. Each time humanitarian assistance is required, its the US who comes to their aid. EVen with Afghanistan harbouring terrorists, the US was to provide food and other humanitarian services.

And what do we get for this? Our humanitarian workers possibly facing a death penalty for a dark ages era law. Our buildings destroyed and mass murder of our citizens. Believe me, sometimes I think we should stop giving aid. Fsck them. Lets see how many of these countries come back to us asking for help.



If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.
[ Parent ]
actually, china did offer aid. (3.33 / 3) (#122)
by akma on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:50:20 PM EST

Actually, you aren't very well informed about China. Jiang said China would offer any help required in the context of the rescue operations, and Vice Foriegn Minister Wang stated that china would not rule out military assistance if done within the contet of a broader framework such as the U.N. Arms exports? yes. The U.S. is the highest ranked. And the U.S. does seem to be sending out a lot of those flying bags of rice considering its the largest supplier of humanitarian aid as well. Does the U.S. act on soley humanitarian grounds always? No. Now, if the U.S. is to be condemed for that th ough, who exactly does run around the world doing all this stuff for other countries when they have no national interests at stake of some sort? And why does the U.S. often get criticized when it does nothing, yet no one seems to say a word about the rest of the world when it does nothing either? Righteous indignation can be heard from all quarters when someone does something they think should be stopped, yet when the U.S. stops it, it gets condemed. If it doesn't stop it, it gets asked why it does nothing, since it is obviously the U.S.' responsibility to act due to its size and power. Its simple to put an end to the U.S.' imperialistic hegemony: have a few other countries take up the slack. They may not have paid their U.N. dues, but they have borne a disproportionate of doing the dirty work for the U.N. For those like the Kurds that have no state of their own and such, why haven't all these other mythical wonderful countries with their halo's in place done it? Could it be because they have no interests in doing so? Its seems OK for them though. As for taking time to think....why do you think Afganistan hasn't disapeared yet? None of their neighbors have in the last 2 days either, so it isn't due to a faulting guidance system in an ICBM. They are within range of the U.S. and U.K. forces doing their part in enforcing the U.N.'s sanctions against Iraq. It'd be trivial to hit them from where they are already. As for the world doing so great without the U.S., why the fears being exressed in some countries over the U.S. possibly adopting an isolationist policy? Why when the U.S. in the past drifted into or towards isolationism did other countries want us to do the opposite?

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
Re: actually, china did offer aid (3.00 / 1) (#181)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:54:59 PM EST

Sorry, checked again and yes, I was badly informed. Initialy it didn't offer help, but later it extended it's help.

I won't quote all of the text, but I like it. You know it's not all black and white (and I'm the one persistently talking in black and white) and you know what gets out of USA (carrot and stick). I'm sorry that USA gets called so many times, but these calls in my opinion should go unanswered whenever someone calls to cover it's but he himself uncovered. As far as I'm conserned western world (including me at the momment) should simply stop trying to rescue everyting and everybody.

Yes, I agree that no country does what it does from exclusively altruistic reasons. USA is not an exception here. Exception here is that USA sees much more than any other country to be it's national interest and pokes it's nose in many more places than any other country. This means it has to be extra careful to avoid any overheated spot that has primarily religeous (let's pretend communism is/was a religion of a kind) background as this usualy draws extremist.

I think USA was in most part too generous to the world. Now everybody expects it to help. It's seen as almost a good wizard that will wave with its planes (err... wand) and all troubles will vanish. This is also good time to start taking back. Stop doing favors. Bring the soldiers back home and rethink what realy needs to be done. Can you stand higher oil prices? Can you make sacrifices like that? I think many things can be hard, but I think USA could lead the world even if only working on progressing and helping itself. Worthy will take the lead and follow on their own without special (military) help of the kind USA has been giving around. NATO is good as it provides common defence framework, but one should be careful when using it in enforcement as defence needs tend to be much more common among diverse countries than offence needs.

What have all those mythical beautiful countries done? Nothing. Do you see anyone hijacking their planes around? Rarely. Do you see them critisized for doing nothing? No. Hm. What now? This just goes to show that USA has really been too generous. Everybody expects something from USA since it gave so much out during cold war. This has got to change somehow for everyones good.

As far as attacks on Afghanistan are concerned, I'm applauding USA. I'm congratulating all those who have not swayed into seek-and-nuke, but have rather focused on healing and assesing. When you have even China and Russia offering help, not to mention Taliban pondering the thought of getting rid of Bin Laden you realy don't have the reason to break neck over revenge part. Hurry is not doing things fast, hurry is doing things without pauses between tasks.

This time USA has worlds backing. If for nothing else because they could be next (UK, France, Italy) or they could get seriously beaten (Afghanistan, even Palestinians). This is the time that the only worry the world has is the fact that USA could run wild and that we don't see as good thing. Terrorist have shown the extent of the damage they can cause, and because of that they should be approached with force, precision, and clarity. So far USA has done just that. This for me at least is great. It shows that possibly USA ways are changing and that could bring rethinking and reevaluation of all things done so far. As long as you walk around with cool heads and loaded guns, I sleep well. If you'll start walking around with shoot-everything-that-moves policy I'll head for the mountains as I can't think of many places safe from you.

This might be senseless, but I'll repeat it again. Why do you think the world was shocked, but not overly surprised when it happened? Why you and not some other country? Why?


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
A question for another day. (3.00 / 1) (#196)
by akma on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:19:57 PM EST

Why do you think the world was shocked, but not overly surprised when it happened? Why you and not some other country? Why? Something many people here need to realize, is that's a question for another day. Not just now. A week, maybe two or three away. Not just yet though. The urge to become death incarnate is far too close to the surface right now, and the potential to become just that is far too close at hand. Allow the rage time to dissipate, then ask.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
Denmark, Sweden, Finland, etc. (3.00 / 1) (#367)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:21:01 PM EST

I don't mean to insult those countries, which I would like to visit if we come through this, but they aren't exactly big enough to push anyone around. America's elite are able to push their interests on the world because they've got a big country to back them up. There are nasty people in other countries who would do the same thing if they could. It's not about nations, it's about the elite who see themselves as the natural masters of all. Don't confuse the issue. Our elite are able to pull off rapes other elites only dream of, but it doesn't mean they aren't out there and don't want to.

China's embassy: this is a "conspiracy theory" I've heard. The Chinese provided Serbia with assistance in shooting down our F-117. The strike against their embassy was retaliatory. Do you know what happened to the F-117 wreckage? Does Serbia have it or China?

If anyone knows anymore about this or can debunk it, feel free to contribute.

I'll apologize if it seems as if I've lumped all the anti-USers into one large generic category. Oops, kinda stupid since I've been accusing you of lumping all Americans into one big evil category. Sorry.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Perspectives (4.33 / 12) (#88)
by quartz on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:37:47 AM EST

A few loosely connected thoughts, from someone who is neither American, nor pro- or anti-American. My only connection with America is that I happen to live in NJ at the moment.

The general attitude that I see around me can be summed up in the words of the immortal Tom Lehrer (quoting from memory): I'm sure we all agree that we all ought to be nice and love one another, but I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings, and I HATE people like that!

My friends around the world are saddened by the loss of so many innocent lives. However, their general opinion is that Americans should have taken into account the possibility of such tragedies happening when they started playing policeman with the world.

An interesting thing here in NJ - for me, at least - is the contrast the attitude of the local media makes with the attitude of common people. Local media promotes the "calm and analytic" approach (i.e., let's first find out who is responsible for all this, THEN bring them to justice), while a lot of the people I've talked to and people who call in to talk shows take the general angle of "let's bomb the hell out of anyone who speaks Arab". There have been scattered reports in NJ of Middle Eastern people having been beaten up on the street, or even Arab children aggressed by their schoolmates. Radio talk show hosts advise anyone who looks Middle Eastern to stay at home for a few days.

As for myself, I'm somehow confused by all this. The impression I've formed about Americans during the relatively short period I've spent here in their country is that they are generally peaceful, justice-loving people. Now I see them demanding all-out war against, well, it's not quite clear to me against whom they want to declare war, but the idea is that they would very much like to see the country/countries that host/support in any way the person(s) who they suspect was/were behind the attack get carpet-bombed into oblivion. I won't pass any judgement on this - it's not my place to judge how people react to such tragedies - but if retribution in the form of mass-murder will make Americans feel good, I'll certainly have to adjust my opinion regarding American justice. You can go ahead and indiscriminately kill people in revenge, but in my eyes that won't make you any better than those who took down the WTC...



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
You miss a crucial point... (4.00 / 4) (#112)
by UncleMikey on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:15:05 PM EST

You can go ahead and indiscriminately kill people in revenge, but in my eyes that won't make you any better than those who took down the WTC...

A friend of mine made the crucial point I think you're missing, last night: one of the things that distinguishes a war from a criminal prosecution is that notions of 'better' and 'worse', or even 'right' and 'wrong' all go out the window, and not accidentally so.

By calling it 'war', we're saying, in effect, that we don't really care all that much about the morality, or about being 'better' than they are. We want to stop them, preferably permanently. It's been suggested that the atrocities of Tuesday were in part to demonstrate to the US that its actions in the world have consequences. We now intend to make that same demonstration in return, probably several hundred fold, with the aim of making it much more difficult, if not impossible, for them to return the favor again.

It's been said that this should not be called a war, because it's not about territory or ideology. But it is. Our territory has been attacked; and an ideology -- terrorism -- is being counter-attacked.

The question, in my mind, is not whether we should be calling this new state of affairs 'war', but why the hell we weren't calling it a 'war' from the very beginning!
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

substitute 'jihad' for 'war' (4.50 / 2) (#162)
by mac on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:10:10 PM EST

By calling it 'war', we're saying, in effect, that we don't really care all that much about the morality

And you support this?! I can't help thinking that it is a conviction such as this that begat the WTC attack... just substitute 'jihad' for 'war'.

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietsche

[ Parent ]

Substitute? (3.00 / 1) (#256)
by UncleMikey on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:57:07 PM EST

There's no substitution to make. 'Jihad' means war; a very specific kind of war, mind you, but war, nonetheless.

And yes, I support this. This is not about right and wrong. This is about not allowing an attack of this nature to ever happen again.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

you can only prevent *someone* (4.00 / 2) (#329)
by mac on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:59:17 PM EST

... from doing this again, but you cannot "not allow an attack of this nature to ever happen again." To do that you would have to exterminate every single person from every unfriendly country, and maybe even some of the friendly ones too; you never know when they may become unfriendly. Is this what you propose?

I'm aware that 'jihad' means war. It means 'a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty' according to Merriam-Webster. What I was alluding to is that when you define your war as you did, then it bears a lot of similarity to a 'jihad'. At which point I was hoping you would realize that you have now become the terrorist.

[ Parent ]

round and round (3.00 / 1) (#369)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:33:50 PM EST

Round and round it goes. Your right, we'll hit them, they'll hit us, back and forth. Other than telling the U.S. not to attack, how would you have us change in order to prevent world hatred? Don't tell me to change foreign policy and not push other countries around. You have to address the problem of why our wealthy elite and corporations feel it is their right to take the world up the bunghole, and how to get them in line. Good luck, the Founding Fathers couldn't do it.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Interesting... (none / 0) (#396)
by UncleMikey on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 03:29:57 AM EST

What I was alluding to is that when you define your war as you did, then it bears a lot of similarity to a 'jihad'. At which point I was hoping you would realize that you have now become the terrorist.

"When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy." -- Babylon 5, "Infection".

A fair point; I, and many other Americans have been angry beyond normal reason this past week. I've cooled down a little bit since then.

But what do you recommend? An alarming number of people seem to think we should do nothing at all; or believe that we should change how we behave toward the world. The latter is extremely unlikely, as your other respondant has already suggested.

Every nation since the beginning of recorded history has acted to protect what it believes to be its interest, without any noticable respect for other nations' sovereignty. We're no different. It might be nice to believe in a world where we are, or could be, but we're not.

So, saying that we should essentially wage our war upon our own concept of ourselves is really saying that we should do nothing, because it will never happen that way. That leaves something more old-fashioned.

The war I advocate is the war our leaders (such as they are -- don't get me wrong, I don't hold out a lot of hope for Bush as a war President) are actually telling us we're going to get, if we stop and listen to them instead of all the red-necked yahoos we usually associate with them. Not an arbitrary carpetbombing of civilians, but a careful selection of targets, preferably to be hit all at once...

Hrm...OK, I just alarmed myself a bit. That's basically what was just done to us. Does that reinforce the notion that Tuesday's actions were acts of war; or your notion that any retaliation is just more terrorism.

It's 2:30am here, and I'm not really sure I can tell...
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Definitely do something... (none / 0) (#401)
by mac on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 11:43:17 AM EST

... but make sure it is a well calculated response, not just a lashing out at whomever looks like a good target. I would have absolutely no problem with attacking the people directly responsible for the WTC horror. Although I doubt this will act as a deterrent to other terrorists, at the very least it will prevent those persons responsible from doing this again.

What I find alarming is that the US government is starting to paint the war picture with a very wide brush. Instead of what I was hoping to be a surgical strike, they're basically starting to threaten anyone who's going to be in their way, and then some.

In particular, we have the direct threat to Afghanistan. Yes, you have the right to go get Osama Bin Laden, if he is indeed the one who organized the whole thing, but I don't see how it gives the US the right to wreak havoc in Afghanistan in general (this is what it sounds like to me that Bush wants to do). If the Taliban is going to protect Osama Bin Laden with their own troops, then yes, go through those troops by all means... but to wage war against all of the country? I mean with the amount of warfare materiel and sophistication that US has, I would think that a surgical strike would not be too difficult.

I don't think not handing over Bin Laden is an offence for which a country deserves to be waged war on. I suspect that one of the reasons the Taliban is not handing him over is that the US has not furnished any concrete evidence; I think to them it looks more like the US is saying "I've bin attacked, and so you better hand over Mr. Laden right now; you don't need no proof because I'm the big boy here, and I always get what I want."

In short, the situation reminds me of a school yard bully who got hit in the nose, and now wants to pound someone into the ground, anyone, and snickering is taken as a sign of siding with the enemy. What happened on Tuesday is unforgivable, but the response should be rational. After all, I suspect most Afghanistan citizens do not want to harbor Bin Laden, and yet many of them, innocent, will be killed if the US attacks. What makes their loss of life more forgivable than that of those in NYC?

[ Parent ]

What should the US do? (3.16 / 12) (#89)
by ignatiusst on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:40:07 AM EST

In a perfect world, a calm and peaceful approach would be the best reaction we (Americans) can take to this outrage. By taking a course of action that denies revenge, we stop the cycle of violence and we deny the perpetrators of this horrendous act their only real victory - that of America responding in a manner more violent and bloody than what was inflicted on US Citizens. But, this is not a perfect world, and Americans are demanding retribution. Any denial of this retribution would, to put a crass point to it, be political suicide to the Republican party.

So, let us take a more realistic and more pragmatic view of what our response should be. There will be violence and there will be war against (almost certainly) bin Laden and Afghanistan. What should this war achieve? We cannot hope for "victory" in a traditional sense of the word. Hell, fighting against fundamentalist of this sort may even lead to "defeat." And, defeat, in any sense of the word, is too terrible to contemplate. So what are we (again, the Americans) to set as a goal?

There are, I think, two objectives that must be achieved. We must kill or arrest bin Laden. We cannot start a military action and, at its conclusion, still have this madman alive and/or free to claim victory over US Aggression. This would be the worst possible scenario, and could only lead to more (and more horrific) terrorism on American soil. Secondly, we must make it clear to all countries that harboring enemies of the United States will not be tolerated. Afghanistan should be decimated. The United States needs to make it painfully obvious that no country can afford to host enemies of the United States.

I understand that this last point is unpopular to the Left, both in America and in Europe. But this was not just a terrorist attack, but an attack on America and its way of life. Now, I know that sounds frightenly nationalistic, and perhaps it is so, but look at what it means (and, if you are not American, put your own country in the United States' position). We have a choice that every American citizen needs to make. Either we stop other governments and the terrorist they host from ever attacking the United States again on this level, or we subjugate ourselves to the restrictions of freedom that would be necessary to guard against the potential for another devastating attack or worse. Why should I, as an American, agree to have my basic freedoms restricted so that Afghanistan can continue to harbor a man who has sworn my death and my country's destruction? Does it not make more sense to stand up and say "No. I am an American and I have rights that will not be subjugated so that my enemy can enjoy further aggression against me and my country."?

This really does come down to an "us or them" issue. Either the United States must accept that its enemies rights are equal to those of its citizens, or it must stand up and defend the rights of its citizens for now and forever.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

Re:What should the US do? (5.00 / 4) (#101)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:28:12 PM EST

I agree with almost everything you said, but one little sentence.

... should be decimated.

This I think is the core of the problem. Just like you have laws that punish those who hide wanted criminals, there should be agreements about the countries that are doing the same. In the absence of such agreements, USA needs to get a vote of confidence from majority of the world (some will always opose, but in this case maybe even not) on the action it will take. In my eyes attack on Iraq wasn't questionable as it was directed, supported, and clearly stated in advance. Saddam had the chance to take it back.

Afghanistan or any other country that you will want to punish should be delivered the same message, but how that message should look like (decanation, vaporisation, nuking, ...) should be carefuly considered and generaly agreed upon throughout the world. Russia flattened Chechnya, but little did it help against terrorist attacks in the Moscow. Think about punishment for the country, as the punishment might come back in your face. Take lessons from your and everyone elses history and avoid mistakes. Now is the crucial crunch time. This will be the turning point that will make USA either a great nation or a great failure.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Super Power, A Definition (1.00 / 3) (#343)
by ByronMiami on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:50:25 PM EST

Perhaps we are a little unclear on what it means to be a "Super Power"

We invented the bomb, we built the bombs. We built the planes, the tanks, the missiles, the aircraft carriers.

We paid for said weaponry, with our American tax dollars.

Now, you suggest we go to France, Italy, Germany, etc. for "approval" in defending our own country?

You must be quite insane.

In the last century, was there even a single year in which one European country wasn't at war with a neighbor, at war with itself, or conducting just a touch of "ethnic cleansing"?

Even at the height of the Vietnam War, one of the most tumultuous times in recent American history, we still managed to conduct ourselves with more civility than you Europeans could seldom muster.

Osama bin Laden just killed 5,000 of our civilians in an unprovoked attack that not one of them did anything to deserve. He did it without declaring war according to any of the rules that civilized countries follow.

Afganistan is telling us that Osama didn't do it, couldn't have done it, he's just the sweetest little thing, couldn't harm a fly, and if we touch him, they are going to exact revenge upon us.

I say fine. Blow that fucker up with some nice strategic nukes. Then give Afganistan 10 days to evacuate their major cities. Then blow those up.

If they want to act like savages, then let's return them to the desert where they can live like Neanderthals. Turn that pathetic excuse of a country into a landfill, a place where the Russians and the rest of Europe can dump their garbage.

Oh, and lest we forget that payback is a bitch, give the Israeli's carte blanche in their dealings with the PLO, Hamas, et al.

If they can't live with civilized people, kick them out of civilization with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Send em out into the desert and let them live like the Bedouin for a few generations. You don't see the Bedouin blowing people up.

And that, my ignorant little European buddy, is precisely the sort of reason we paid for all of that military hardware, so that if it ever comes down to them or us, the victory will be ours...



[ Parent ]
Sorry, you don't speak for me. (3.00 / 1) (#371)
by The Great Satan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:48:53 PM EST

Nukes are out of the question. Forget it. Afghanistan should be punished, but that kind of extraordinary force has to be done with the consent of the international community. If you think we can blow off China, Russia, the Islamic world, or the E.U. individually, you're right. Giving them all the collective f*ck you though is suicide, and it's just plain stupid and downright insulting for you to say that considering they all show signs of supporting us anyway. Don't get me killed, cowboy.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
The US way (4.00 / 13) (#93)
by rivo on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:45:11 AM EST

Folks,

this events are tragic indeed and no cause can justify such an atrocity.
Before attacking ideas like Liberty, Justice, Democracy and so on, this act
hit thousand of stories, the stories of all the people who are not amog us
anymore.

The US government can talk about finding the culprits and hitting them,
that's what the whole nation understandably is looking for, but US people
should try to look at their recent history and try not to be as shortsighted
as they have been in the past.

I remember in the 80's Iraq was at war with US' arch-enemy of the time,
Iran of Komeini. As far as I can remeber Iraq has been helped a lot
in that war. The Iraq-Iran war ended and few years later, in the early 90's, the
same equipment has been turned against its supplier.

Afghanistan as well was at war with the US' arch-arch-enemy in the 80's,
in this case it was USSR. So why not help the local muslim rebels setting
up their resistance force with a network of small fighting groups hiding in the
mountains. Camps has been setup with the help of the US government,
military equipment and training has been provided. We all see what the same
people is probably busy doing today.

Now that's what I call being shortsighted, international politics is much more
complicate than the bipolar idea of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

Violence calls more violence, this is not an abstract idea from fairy tales, this
is real, as real as a concrete block falling on somebody's head.

I really hope for the future of western democracies that the US will not choose
to solve this problem by throwing more weapons at it!
This can make public opinion happy but will just make the problem worse in the
future. I firmly believe that stuff like "consumers' confidence for the next quarters"
is less important than the history of US and the western world.


Regards,

Andrea
(an Italian living in Europe)



I disagree - do nothing won't work. (4.00 / 1) (#328)
by orichter on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:36:31 PM EST

Terrorists are not the normal people you think they are. They don't stop if you talk nicely to them. Their idea is to make a lesson of you to get their way. Which means he would rather shoot you than talk if it gets him and his "cause" on the TV.

Terrorism has to be rooted out wherever it is found. The countries that harbor terrorism must be made to realize that they would be better off economically if they stopped this. If this means their economy will be shattered by our intervention, then so be it.

We all did this together (Italians, Americans, etc.) to protect Kosovo. Also many years ago when terrorists held the entire Mediteranean hostage (they were called Barbary Pirates back then). They were dealt with, by a coalition of nations, to the economic gain of all nations involved. Peace brings economic gain, not war. So someone must take the responsibility of making the peace. Yes, it often takes war to make peace. Look at WWI and WWII. Did that stop terrorism. Yes mostly (remember Germany, Italy, and Japan were terrorizing many countries at once.) The Afghanistan war was part of the 70 years war between Western Europe allied with the US in opposition to Russia and its imperial possessions (Eastern Europe).

Did conditions change, yes they did. The world is an ever changing place. I do not believe that the terrorist mentality will go away in a short time. It will take years, it will take many nations working together, it will take lives. This has just gotten the Americans involved, Americans who really wanted to not have to be involved militarily.

Italy, and most of Europe have had their share of terrorism, which still lurks today. Did they not root it out together, over many years, to a large degree?

Unfortunately, there are many people who think international relations is based on people and how people react to oneanother. "Let's just be nice to oneanother and everyone will be happy."

It is not, it is based on national interests, which are almost always economic. It is based on balance of power, which often must resort to the "the enemy of my enemy is my ally" even though one knows that later it will be a problem. This is in no way short-sighted, since international conditions can change overnight, look at the sudden rise of Communism in Russia, and how it spread suddenly to neighboring nations through direct Russian involvement. Dictatorships, unlike republics are much faster at changing the international relations picture, mostly to the detriment of their neighbors.

Notice also that most countries that have supported terrorism or invasion of neighboring countries are dictatorships.

Under these conditions western style democracies have almost never instigated a war, except against dictators. They have most often only responded to wars and attacks, sometimes almost too late. It is easy for you to say this in a western democracy, but you must have forgotten, that these democracies had to shed much blood in order to keep or restore their democracies.

Oh well, I should have thought the history lesson was unnecessary.

(An American who has lived in Europe.)

[ Parent ]
OK, Isolationism, as per your request. (2.94 / 19) (#94)
by An Diabhul on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:47:24 AM EST

Ok. You (in a generic sense) don't like us? Fine. How about the US go back to a nice warm and fuzzy isolationist policy? The next time the UN needs someone to take care of a problem somewhere, don't look at us. Having a national disaster of some sort? *shrug* Not our problem. You've been invaded and want help? That's nice. Ask China, or Sudan, or Saudi, or Israel, or Iraq, or North Korea, or Zimbabwe. I'm sure all the help you need will be there shortly. Hitler Jr in power in Europe somewhere? Cool. Send us lots of news footage since there's nothing good on TV here. Having a famine? Really? Damn....bet you're hungry huh? Ask Ethiopia. We heard they have plenty food to spare. Someone doing the genocide thing near you? Well go take care of it yourself! Don't look at us. Note: many of us are tied of sending out food and then being bad mouthed for it. We're tired of being the UN's work horse and getting told how bad we are for playing world cop for the UN or at some other host country's request. We're tired of being the only one to seriously act far too often when others are screaming that someone should do something, and then having the same armchair quarterbacks screaming for help then complain when something is done. Don't like us? Quit asking us for help, food, money, to put diplomatic pressure on people for you, or military intervention.

BS (2.62 / 8) (#100)
by Betcour on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:27:50 PM EST

Note: many of us are tied of sending out food and then being bad mouthed for it.

Oh you sent food ? Sorry I thought the Israelians where bombing Palestinians kids with AH-64 Apache helicopters and F16 jets. I wasn't aware bag of rice could fly.

We're tired of being the UN's work horse

You are not. Not only do you refuse to pay your debt to the UN, you don't even play by the rules in here, veto everything in the security council etc... Pakistan is a better behaved UN member than US !!

[ Parent ]
yup (4.00 / 2) (#157)
by akma on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:53:47 PM EST

Oh you sent food ? Sorry I thought the Israelians where bombing Palestinians kids with AH-64 Apache helicopters and F16 jets. I wasn't aware bag of rice could fly. Yes. The U.S. is the number supplier of humanitarian aid in the world. We fly and ship bags of rice and other stuff all over the planet. You are not. Not only do you refuse to pay your debt to the UN, you don't even play by the rules in here, veto everything in the security council etc... Pakistan is a better behaved UN member than US !! Considering the disproportionate work load the US has carried out for the UN, they should be paying *us*. And look at the assesment rates for the UN anyway from the lists the UN published Dec 2000. The US was expected to pay the most, at $267,000,000. Pakistan? Their assesment rates didn't make the top 20, and the 21st highest is Saudi Arabia at only $7,000,000. Our's was roughly $200,000,000 more than the UK who was #5 at a tiny $68,000,000. Germany is #3 and still isn't half as high as our's. The only people expected to pay an amount close to us is Japan at $238,000,000. According to ST/ADM/SER.B/568, we got a break that year. Dropping down from being expected to pay 25% down to 22% of the regular UN budget. Screw that. Start coughing up similar amounts, then complain about the U.S. paying dues. And a veto is misbehaving? Right.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
It's economy (4.00 / 1) (#169)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:28:14 PM EST

You wealth is concentrated, the richest are expected to pay more (and don't call me socialist, it's the capitalist way). Besides, giving your excedent production ,is actually good for economy.

[ Parent ]
UN dues (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by cpt kangarooski on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:58:34 PM EST

To be fair, UN dues have always, AFAIK, been based upon a percentage of each country's GNP. These ratios are not at all unusual, and it was intended to be thus; we never had a problem with this in the past, when the US helped to form the thing....

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Time to ask some serious questions. (3.61 / 13) (#95)
by bil on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:54:56 AM EST

I was going to write a piece similar to this but now I don't have to!

America has to look at itself and ask why 20 people were willing to go to certain death to launch a strike that had every chance of failing, these people knew they were going to die probably weeks before (it takes time to train a pilot) and yet they still went ahead. Ask yourself what makes people hate this deeply and you will begin to find the answer to why this happened, and how to prevent it happening again. Revenge attacks are tempting I know, I could understand you carrying them out, but they are not going to prevent further attacks or reduce the hatred felt towards America one bit.

Oh and before anybody starts on the "this is all to do with Israel" line, notice that this strike was not on Tel Aviv which is a far more logical place to strike if all you want is to carry on a war of genocide against the Jews.

bil


bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...

Why? (3.00 / 1) (#228)
by Cenic on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:39:16 PM EST

Because the US has prevented the Muslims from literally exterminating all Jewish people. Because the US has supplied arms to Israel, so they may defend themselves from EXTERMINATION. Because US moves to moderate the foolish, irrational religious wars that have been happening in the middle east for hundreds of years. Because the US said to *all* middle east leaders in the Gulf War, mass slaughter of your neighbors and your people is wrong, and we are willing to try to prevent this. You see this as wrong, only because it doesn't directly affect you. If thousands were dieing in your country for ...religion...., you would see this differently.

Why do they hate us for these actions? Because they are irrational. Because they place their subjective faith above fact. They justify what they do with religion. We try to stand up for what we believe, to prevent the death of thousands. You may not agree, and someone is always going to be on the short end of the stick. However, by doing so, I believe we are doing a greater good. We try to stand up for humanity, well you sit on the sidelines and complain. This is far from being the `great imperialistic nation' as you would like to view us.

You say its wrong for our companies to have offices in other countries. Despite the fact that such companies provide hundreds of jobs to your and others countrymen. Despite the fact that these businesses supplement these governments and put thousands of dollars into your country. You ask for socialism, I say socialism denies the achievements of the individual. Well creating a false sense of equality that can never exist.

[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 2) (#294)
by bil on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:56:28 AM EST

I dont understand this reasoning. If they only(!??) want to kill Jews why try this in the US, if you want to kill Jews/destroy Isreal you can use exactly the same plan, but aim at Tel Aviv. As nobody was expecting such an attack you have pretty much the same chance of succeding and you get to kill far more Jews, and strike a far bigger blow for the Palastinian cause (assuming you think suicide bombings do anything for the Palastinian cause). Now everybody will expect similar attacks, so security will be much greater so the chances of being able to do it again are far smaller so there is no "strike the US then they wont respond when you do the same against Isreal" motive (from now on expect hijacked airliners to be shot down if they appear to be on an attack run).

Oh and Isreal is not entirly defenceless, it is the regions only nuclear power (west of Pakistan) after all...

US foriegn policy is design almost entirely for the benifit of the US, and I guess that is not suprising, however to think that the people who you inflict this policy on should take it lying down and accept that it has some mystical correctness that they dont understand but should accept (without any say in it, they are not allowed to vote in the US afterall), is about as dumb as expecting the US to lie down and roll over when somebody tries to inflict their policy on it without thought for what it means for the US people.

Understand that if you piss people off enough they will strike back with whatever method they have. You may think what the US does is "standing up for what you belive in" but please dont be too suprised if not everyone sees it that way. You have a choice carry on doing what you do now, and accept the consequences, or change, but please do this consciously, just claiming all those involved are "irrational"and saying they "place their subjective faith above fact" and therefore would have done this no matter what is deluding yourself.

You say socialism is wrong, I disagree, you see attacking socialism as defending a "higher cause", I see it as an attempt to suppress my political beliefs. We disagree, according to your logic I am therefore an irrational fool who needs the good ol' US of A to inflict their policy on me whithout my consent because they know whats best for me. Unsuprisingly I do not like this attitude (not enough to bomb anything mind you, but then you havn't been meddling in UK politics for decades).

I am not saying that this wasn't an atrocity, I'm not saying that you shouldn't hunt down those responsible and bring them to justice, I am saying that if you want to know why this happened you have to look, at least in part, to yourselves and what you have done to them. America wasn't chosen by chance. The truth is out there, go find it.

bil


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

reply (2.00 / 1) (#300)
by Cenic on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:59:26 AM EST

<snip> I dont understand this reasoning. If they only(!??) want to kill Jews why try this in the US, if you want to kill Jews/destroy Isreal you can use exactly the same plan, but aim at Tel Aviv. </snip>

Why? for completely illogical, irrational religious reasons. They have been fight for this so-called holy land in a religious jihad for hundreds years. Anyone who stands in the Palestinian ways is view as an enemy to the Muslim religion.

<snip> Oh and Isreal is not entirly defenceless, it is the regions only nuclear power (west of Pakistan) after all... </snip>

They truly are not. However we must look at who is our enemy. The Palestinians are funded by our must recent of enemies, iraq. They have, mind you recently, ran terror attacks against many of embassy in the middle east. So we don't fund our enemy. However, the US is working towards a moderated peace. We do not wish to get to involved, as we would be greatly looked down upon, thus we have not sent in troops.

<snip> US foriegn policy is design almost entirely for the benifit of the US, and I guess that is not suprising, however to think that the people who you inflict this policy on should take it lying down and accept that it has some mystical correctness that they dont understand but should accept (without any say in it, they are not allowed to vote in the US afterall), is about as dumb as expecting the US to lie down and roll over

</snip> If a countries leaders work toward mass genocide, sadly the citizens are going to get the short end of the stick.

<snip> You say socialism is wrong, I disagree, you see attacking socialism as defending a "higher cause", I see it as an attempt to suppress my political beliefs. We disagree, according to your logic I am therefore an irrational fool who needs the good ol' US of A to inflict their policy on me </snip>

this is far from being something of the GREAT ol' US of A thing. My views are my views. Much of north america is very socialistic. I say it denies free will, I say it denies the great achievements of man as a individual. I consider myself to be very pragmatic, and I think that me being a individual is a great thing and I have the free will to create great things.

[ Parent ]
reply (2.00 / 1) (#342)
by Cenic on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:35:01 PM EST

<snip> I dont understand this reasoning. If they only(!??) want to kill Jews why try this in the US, if you want to kill Jews/destroy Isreal you can use exactly the same plan, but aim at Tel Aviv. </snip>

Why? for completely illogical, irrational religious reasons. They have been fight for this so-called holy land in a religious jihad for hundreds years. Anyone who stands in the Palestinian ways is view as an enemy to the Muslim religion.

<snip> Oh and Isreal is not entirly defenceless, it is the regions only nuclear power (west of Pakistan) after all... </snip>

They truly are not. However we must look at who is our enemy. The Palestinians are funded by our must recent of enemies, iraq. They have, mind you recently, ran terror attacks against many of embassy in the middle east. So we don't fund our enemy. However, the US is working towards a moderated peace. We do not wish to get to involved, as we would be greatly looked down upon, thus we have not sent in troops.

<snip> US foriegn policy is design almost entirely for the benifit of the US, and I guess that is not suprising, however to think that the people who you inflict this policy on should take it lying down and accept that it has some mystical correctness that they dont understand but should accept (without any say in it, they are not allowed to vote in the US afterall), is about as dumb as expecting the US to lie down and roll over

</snip> If a countries leaders work toward mass genocide, sadly the citizens are going to get the short end of the stick.

<snip> You say socialism is wrong, I disagree, you see attacking socialism as defending a "higher cause", I see it as an attempt to suppress my political beliefs. We disagree, according to your logic I am therefore an irrational fool who needs the good ol' US of A to inflict their policy on me </snip>

this is far from being something of the GREAT ol' US of A thing. My views are my views. Much of north america is very socialistic. I say it denies free will, I say it denies the great achievements of man as a individual. I consider myself to be very pragmatic, and I think that me being a individual is a great thing and I have the free will to create great things.

[ Parent ]
BRAVO! (3.52 / 19) (#102)
by ehintz on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 12:33:28 PM EST

Kudos to Dash2, for having the courage to speak out. I have been saying much the same thing in other forums, but Dash2 has done it with more fact, insight, and compassion than I. Sadly, it looks like the Sheeple will not stop to think about WHY this happened, other than to blame it on nutty terrorists. Our foreign policy created those nutty terrorists. To sit back and cry victim is ignorant, arrogant, and will only result in repeating history. Unfortunately, both for the US and for the rest of the world, it seems highly likely that this is precisely what we will do. We have all these feel-good patriotic symbols, people waving flags on freeway overpasses, that asskissing baseball-and-apple-pie essay from the Canadian writer, and our newscasters talk endlessly of the "attack on america". Yet not a one of them seeks to understand why. Instead, we scream for retribution.

Here's my prediction: we retaliate. We take out some terrorist targets, and some "collateral damage" ensues. Afgani/Iraqi/Palestinian TV shows Americans cheering; the next generation of terrorists are born. 10-20 years from now, one of them releases a biological, or maybe loads a surplus cold war nuke on a container ship and lights the fuse in an American harbor, to avenge his/her family who were unlucky enough to be "collateral damage". Lather, rinse, repeat.


Regards,
Ed Hintz
But.. (4.66 / 3) (#109)
by ignatiusst on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:09:29 PM EST

Our foreign policy created those nutty terrorists

I have seen many comments just like this over the last few days, and I suppose that you (and the others who I've read) are, to a degree, right. But it isn't fair to make a statement like this without suggesting an alternative. What would you suggest?

Should America not have a foreign policy? Any foreign policy necessarily upsets some government and/or people, and the policy of the only superpower in the world exacerbates the issue.

The fundamentalist that are opposed to us are opposed to our way of life. Would you suggest we conform to their idea of what our movies, music, clothes,.. our philosophy should be like? Would that keep the terrorist off our planes and out of our country?

Should we give up any thought of protecting our interest in Middle East oil? To what effect? Would it be enough to economically cripple America and the rest of the West and make us vunerable to oil shortages?

I know we have enemies. People who hate us really hate us. Do you, though, understand that unless we are willing to give up everything and conform to their ideas of what we should be that they are always going to hate us?

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Re: But.. (4.75 / 4) (#193)
by ehintz on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:09:46 PM EST

I have seen many comments just like this over the last few days, and I suppose that you (and the others who I've read) are, to a degree, right. But it isn't fair to make a statement like this without suggesting an alternative. What would you suggest?

For the most part, easy. If it's beyond our borders, don't touch it. I own a house. I keep my yard clean. I don't screw with my neighbor's yards. They don't screw with mine. I could claim an interest in their yards-my home value is directly impacted by their yards-but we all respect each others property. Why is this different on an international level? I believe this is one thing which has many of those international neighbors upset.

Should America not have a foreign policy? Any foreign policy necessarily upsets some government and/or people, and the policy of the only superpower in the world exacerbates the issue.

Basically, yes. Mind you, I'm not against using our foreign policy to deal with genocide and such, but that's not what we do. There've been terrible examples of genocide in Africa, stuff to compare to Hitler's Nazis, and we've turned a blind eye to it. If it's politically or economically beneficial for our millitary to act, we do so, and it seems that if they can claim doing so for human rights they will do so as well, but our track record clearly shows we won't act on human rights alone. As long as we take the lives of people for financial or political gain, we will continue to make ourselves targets.

The fundamentalist that are opposed to us are opposed to our way of life. Would you suggest we conform to their idea of what our movies, music, clothes,.. our philosophy should be like? Would that keep the terrorist off our planes and out of our country?

I suggest that if we had left them alone, they would have left us alone. I don't see any terrorist bombings in New Zealand or Australia. Perhaps it's because they've not been playing international bully. There is no question it would take time to solve these problems-they took many decades to create. But the solution lies in LESS international intervention, NOT more.

Should we give up any thought of protecting our interest in Middle East oil? To what effect? Would it be enough to economically cripple America and the rest of the West and make us vunerable to oil shortages?

I find it rather arrogant of you that you would suggest we take the lives of other countries citizens to get a little oil. Our dependency on oil is totally avoidable. I propose we do precisely as you suggest. One good oil shortage will get the complacent off their butts and result in better conservation and better technologies. If you want to drive an SUV, fine. But I see no reason foreign citizens must live under oppression for you to do so and I am very offended by the suggestion.

I know we have enemies. People who hate us really hate us. Do you, though, understand that unless we are willing to give up everything and conform to their ideas of what we should be that they are always going to hate us?

Most of them hate us because of our actions. They hate us because we support regimes which have oppressed them or murdered their family members. Do you understand that we have created most of these enemies by holding the political and economic matters of the USA in higher esteem than their lives, and those of their loved ones?


Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
I wonder... (3.00 / 1) (#190)
by the becoming on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:03:44 PM EST

I read your comment, and I hear what you're saying. But I don't agree with you. I can't, and I won't. These terrorists that killed thousands of people on Tuesday, we didn't create them. Our foreign policy didn't create them. And if you believe that, you're failing to see the bigger picture. Those that resort to terror are a very vocal minority - that is all. Most Afghanis don't hate us. Most Palestinians don't have any problem with us either. Those few that you saw dancing in the street on Tuesday - they are a minority. As are those that resort to killing others to "advance" an agenda. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't work. And unfortunately for us, it kills innocents. I, for one, will be pleased to know that I don't need to worry about Osama bin Laden killing more innocent people. But I would never celebrate the death of innocent Palestinians. You would never see me dancing in the street if the al-Aqsa mosque was destroyed with thousands of praying muslims inside. I have a feeling that this is true of most Americans as well.

Terrorists exist because we let them. Because our treatment of them has not been decisive. Because they can get away with what they do. Because they are misguided. No foreign policy will make everyone happy.

I read your comment, and I hear what you're saying. "To sit back and cry victim is ignorant, arrogant, and will only result in repeating history." But I can't help but wonder if you'd be singing the same tune if Samantha had taken Hunter to visit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and perished within.

[ Parent ]
Re: I wonder... (5.00 / 2) (#215)
by ehintz on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:23:03 PM EST

These terrorists that killed thousands of people on Tuesday, we didn't create them. Our foreign policy didn't create them. And if you believe that, you're failing to see the bigger picture.

Really? Funny. I was under the impression the Mr. Bin Laden was trained by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afganistan. Sure sounds like we created him to me.

Those that resort to terror are a very vocal minority - that is all. Most Afghanis don't hate us. Most Palestinians don't have any problem with us either. Those few that you saw dancing in the street on Tuesday - they are a minority. As are those that resort to killing others to "advance" an agenda. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't work. And unfortunately for us, it kills innocents

Another minority are the Christians who blow up abortion clinics. I am surely aware that the perps are a minority. 15 or so of them just wiped out the WTC. Why? I think it's because their family members were killed by US backed regimes. Or maybe their friends. Whatever. We shouldn't be supporting governments that commit human rights atrocities, period.

I, for one, will be pleased to know that I don't need to worry about Osama bin Laden killing more innocent people. But I would never celebrate the death of innocent Palestinians. You would never see me dancing in the street if the al-Aqsa mosque was destroyed with thousands of praying muslims inside. I have a feeling that this is true of most Americans as well.

You yourself just said that these were a minority. What's your point? We all know there are dangerous minorities, both here and abroad. If we counterstrike at an Afgan target, and take out innocents, the American cheering minority is what will be shown on Afgan TV, just like the Palestinian minority was shown on American TV. The solution is to not take out the innocents, and not support governments that do.

No foreign policy will make everyone happy.

Right. But would a much less interventionist foreign policy make them just a little unhappy, versus so irrationally angry that they will take out the WTC? Nobody's bombing Australia. Maybe they're on to something.

But I can't help but wonder if you'd be singing the same tune if Samantha had taken Hunter to visit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and perished within.

I would like to think so. Clearly I'd be in almost unbearable anguish. I'd like to think that I'd still be rational enough to realize that an eye for an eye only leaves the whole world blind. "Anger, fear, aggression, the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will..."

Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Great Idea! (3.33 / 9) (#108)
by SeaCrazy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:08:33 PM EST

First let me say be very careful when you say what Europeans think and feel; you do not speak for me, and just becasue I am European does not mean that I share your values and beliefs.

Do you realize the consequences of the US drastically changin it'sforeign policy to try to please everybody so these attacks will not happen in the future?!

Let's send a big bold message to all fundamentalists (no matter what they are fundamental about) that terrorism works.
You don't like a county's policy, then just murder a couple of thousands of it's unsuspecting citizens to let them know, and they will change it to your pleasing.

I do not understand the attitude some that the US brought this upon itself so it's not really a big deal, the big deal is what they are going to do in response? You think what the US really needs to do is to change it's foreign policy? Do you not realize that you can never satisfy all people, there will always be people that don't like and feel it to be their right and their duty to do something about it.

Instead of making excuses for these terrorists, you should see the act for what it is; mass murder. If someone commits a murder is it somehow make it more ok if you happen not to like the person he killed?

Wether you like the US foreign policy or not is not the point here. The point is that we cannot let terrorist dictate to us what we are and what we are not going to do.

RE: Great Idea! (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by metaDark on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:40:47 PM EST

As I understand it, he didn't excuse the attack, he said that if you don't want it to happen again you need to fix the root cause.

IMHO there is no excuse to something like this, no rational person can excuse something as horrible, I think every body agree that this shouldn't happen again, the question is how avoid it, and why did it happen...

Revenge is easy, but will it avoid that this repeats again? will it cause more actions like this? will it hurt more innocent people? it's worth?

I don't know the answer to any of this cuestions, but I think it is something people should ask themselves before they dicide what should be done.

Again I don't pretend to know why did it happened, and what to do to avoid it in the future, but every body(not only the people in the US) should think about it, and ask themselves how is possible that something like this can happen.

Best regards

Uriel



P.S.: Only one thing is sure, this world needs more Hello Kitty


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Kisu yori dakishimete...
[ Parent ]
What is the root? (4.00 / 2) (#160)
by SeaCrazy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:06:28 PM EST

So for me at least, this bombing does not set any battle lines. It serves instead as a reminder that, as the Auden line has it, those to whom evil is done do evil in return.Osama Bin Laden, if he is behind these attacks, has responded to, among other things, US backing of the evil Saudi Arabian dictatorship - which Amnesty International castigates as guilty of torture, discrimination and failure to meet its human rights obligations, and which he himself describes as "corrupt" - with an unimaginably wicked act of his own.

This sounds a lot like trying to make excuses to me.

However I agree with you, to prevent something like this from happening again you need to attack the root cause of it. However I don't agree with the author assertion that the root cause is that the US has a foreign policy that makes people hate it and it's people and they need to change it.

Sometimes the root cause is a little more complex than that. Would you, for example, during the height of Nazi Germany have told the jews that "Sorry, but the Germans don't seem to like you, you need to figure out why and change yourselves so they will like you"?

Also the author is asserting that the US and all the Americans have already decided that the response to the attack is to bomb the living daylight out of afghanistan and make a parking lot out of it. In fact, many posts here have the attitude like if this has already taken place.
Of course there are extremists that cries for revenge and to kill all of them, but to me this does not seem to be the general attitude, indeed the official comments have been more about finding out who are guilty and bringing them to justice.

[ Parent ]
Israeli (2.30 / 10) (#113)
by Weezul on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:25:43 PM EST

Israeli occupiers is a really bad way to put it. The Palistinians keept the Israelis down for centruies. They Israelis got immagrents and fought back. The palistinians got their arab neighbors to band together to fight Israeli. The Israelis got the U.S. to back them up. Israeli wins.

Still, I am a member of the American left and I did not like the recent Israeli treatment of the palistinians. That changed on Tuesday. I know what terrorism is now and I understand why the Israelis react so violently to the continuous terrorist attacks uppon their citizens. Hell, I think I they are damn restrained for a people who have been under siege so long.

The U.S. saw palistinian chearing about the attacks on tuesday. The propper reaction is to throw infinitly more (nearly) unconditional millitary support behind Israel. Hell, I think we should "promiss" them that they can never be defeated by giving them subs with nuclear ICBMs. That would make it clear to the middle east that terrorism dose not pay. (The point is that the middle eastern nations could never hope to stop a nuclear retaliatory strike launched from subs.)

Jeff

BTW> I think all the talk of nuclear weapons is appropriate since we were in effect hit with a weapon of mass distruction. If a country had done this then I'd say we should have used a large scale nuclear strike as retaliation.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
Re: Israeli (3.00 / 1) (#137)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:00:26 PM EST

The U.S. saw palistinian chearing about the attacks on tuesday. The propper reaction is to throw infinitly more (nearly) unconditional millitary support behind Israel.

Will you cheer when USA strikes unnamed country even when causing 'collateral damage'? Why do you think nobody else wronged by USA isn't entitled for the same? Does freedom of expression apply only to you?

BTW> I think all the talk of nuclear weapons is appropriate since we were in effect hit with a weapon of mass distruction. If a country had done this then I'd say we should have used a large scale nuclear strike as retaliation.

People that think like you scare me. Talking about weapons of mass destruction? Large scale nuclear strike? What do you think the answer would be for that? Do you think that anyone on this world will ever have any sympaty towards you again?

Last time I checked definition the weapons of mass destruction were divided into nuclear, chemical, and biological. Unless you think of people as germs, I think you're either scared or uneducated to call this attack to be in effect weapon of mass destruction. In effect you would be talking about 250.000+ victims without any option of rescue operation.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Collateral damage (3.00 / 1) (#246)
by budcub on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:57:50 PM EST

Have you ever stopped to think about how we go out of our way to avoid "collateral damage"? About how we are constantly developing technology to avoid "collateral damage"? About how we don't get involved with some things because we don't want "collateral damage"? I swear to fucking god, we fight a war, and if one innocent person gets hurt, everyone starts screaming and calling us the evil empire.

[ Parent ]
Palestine Celebrants (4.00 / 2) (#195)
by defeated on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:19:44 PM EST

"The U.S. saw palistinian chearing about the attacks on tuesday. The propper reaction is to throw infinitly more (nearly) unconditional millitary support behind Israel."

Oh, no, no, no. I don't care if they were celebrating a devastating blow to the US. We ignorant, arrogant Americans do not slaughter innocent people because they laugh or jeer us in a times of tragedy.



[ Parent ]
Re: Israel (3.00 / 1) (#199)
by crealf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:25:13 PM EST

Israeli occupiers is a really bad way to put it.

Not only it isn't really bad, but it's also official. In 1947, UNO officially drew a border and created Israel, along with Palestian State. Israel then expanded outside its alloted borders, through wars (some started by itself, some by its neighbors). The Palestinian people is granted the unalienable right to Palestine (the same way, Germany remained [West+East] German, even after losing the war, although one century before, it would have been simply annexed). Israel at some point gave back huge territories it has gained during war against Egypt, but kept other "occupied territories", named as such by UNO resolution. UNO ordered that the Palestian State should be official (long ago), and that Israel must give back all the territory outside its border. Unfortunatly Israel doesn't obey UNO, and worse, is pursuing a deliberate colonisation of those territories, by building houses and providing incentives for Israeli to move to those occupied territories.

Hell, I think I they are damn restrained for a people who have been under siege so long.

No they aren't. If there wasn't for UNO resolutions, there would be no Israel state, so they can do the world the favor of at least respecting *all* UNO resolutions, or at a minimum, not pursuing a colonization strategy.

That would make it clear to the middle east that terrorism dose not pay. (The point is that the middle eastern nations could never hope to stop a nuclear retaliatory strike launched from subs.)

That's very clever. Also I'm sure, after that, Pakistan will be very happy, and won't use its own atomic bombs.

I think all the talk of nuclear weapons is appropriate since we were in effect hit with a weapon of mass distruction.

You must have been mistaken: it was an american plane.

[ Parent ]

I said it yesterday... (3.00 / 1) (#224)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:30:18 PM EST

... and I'm repeating myself. I saw a few palestinians celebrating something. In broad day light. It was at afternoon here, and we have +9 hours than NY. I still don't think it was related to the attack and even if it was, it wasn't expressive like when they do those funerals. You scare more than them, because your country CAN destroy the ALL planet several times, and "THAT IS A PERMANENT CONDITION".

The Armagedeon: we're behind schedule.

[ Parent ]
Heads In The Sand (3.00 / 1) (#274)
by The Solitaire on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:35:51 AM EST

Still, I am a member of the American left and I did not like the recent Israeli treatment of the palistinians. That changed on Tuesday. I know what terrorism is now and I understand why the Israelis react so violently to the continuous terrorist attacks uppon their citizens. Hell, I think I they are damn restrained for a people who have been under siege so long.
Why did it take you so long to open your eyes? The terrorism has been there - it's all over the news. Car bombs blowing up, nail bombs in cafes, the list goes on. I'll never understand why people are so oblivious to what is going on in the world until someone brings it to their doorstep.

People are dying in wars, covert and overt, all over the world, every day. I don't want to take sides as to who's fault things are - they're humanity's fault. I'm just disturbed at how far things are allowed to go before people actually sit up and take notice. And by the time they get as big as they have now - it's difficult to see a solution, let alone one that won't take thousands more lives.

If we'd only keep our eyes open.



I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]
Nukes (3.00 / 1) (#372)
by The Great Satan on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:11:53 AM EST

No nuclear weapons should be used except in an extreme last resort situation. Or if we get nuked first. I just will not support a nuclear first strike.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Well. (3.16 / 12) (#118)
by mindstrm on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:38:57 PM EST

I think, although you make some good points, two things. For the record, I'm not American either.
1) You don't speak for all Europeans, so scrap that.
2) This IS a war. The choice of words is appropriate. Whoever did this, and whoever else assisted them or assists them in the days to come, is at war with the united states. I fail to see how it can be any other way, regardless of what you might think about their foreign policy.

You seem to be trying to appeal to have people udnerstand *why* these terrorists did what they did. THat may be valid, but the fact remains: as long as there is economic unbalance in the world (and there *always* has been, as far back as we can go), there will be those who want to take what others have, and those who are in power, and those who aren't, and so on.

Saying 'we should not strike our enemies because we will always have enemies' is rediculous. They will have them *anyway*.

Aim for peace? What are you thinking? Whatever happened here, they need to a) determine who is resopnsible and b) make an example out of them.




thanks for the advice, but... (1.73 / 15) (#119)
by thanos on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:42:24 PM EST

Seems to me you just went about explaining why liberal pukes like yourself resent the US. You gave plenty of 'pointers.' But I don't see any concrete 'pointers' about exactly what you think we should do. Only that we should 'think deeply and act wisely.' It's always easy sitting on the sidelines criticizing. And it's just the burden that the US has to bear: to be in the driver's seat, to be the center of attention, and to be the leader of the [free] world. You are just another USA-hating drone with all the same garbage reasons and bullshit rhetoric. You say Americans are wrong and that we're not at war? If not, then where are we at?
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
Re: thanks for the advice, but... (3.00 / 1) (#133)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:44:55 PM EST

Direct questions deman direct answers. I will try to provide you with MY answers

But I don't see any concrete 'pointers' about exactly what you think we should do. Only that we should 'think deeply and act wisely.'

This is exactly what you should do. If you say you'll bomb, ok, but be wise about who will you bomb and to what extent. If you say we'll hunt down, ok, but don't turn it into national lynch. That is all. I'm not saying what exactly will be proper response, but I am saying you should under no circumstances make it any worse just for sake of revenge. This is the 'think part'.

It's always easy sitting on the sidelines criticizing.

I have had my share of USA bombs falling around. Let's just say I'm no more ad sidelines as you are. You just haven't realized how involved you are in 'petty' wars around the world.

nd it's just the burden that the US has to bear: to be in the driver's seat, to be the center of attention, and to be the leader of the [free] world.

I don't want you to bear anything for me. You are free to decide for yourselves what do you want, but it certainly doesn't help to deny realities outside the USA. We are not critisizing your, we just want to cover our backs by suggestion rational approach, because if you'll drag this conflict ahead, everywhere you will be will be target next time around. You declared yourselves to be the leaders of free world. OK, but don't run around then crying for mommy if you turned to be just a cop trying to command a neighbourhood. If you want to isolate, fine. Want to pull the plug on internet, fine. At least I won't be getting any more spam. If you need help you'll get help. As I can hear you're still thinking about accepting help from outside. Just don't go around the block next time telling us how we do nothing. Friends are earned, not commanded to be one.

You are just another USA-hating drone with all the same garbage reasons and bullshit rhetoric.

I'll just add one thing to this. Unfortunately USA does much more to create more of such than less of such. Don't blame other for things you did just because you were asked to do them and certainly don't blame the others for things that you did for yourselves. If you ask me to rob a bank, do you really think I'll do it?

You say Americans are wrong and that we're not at war? If not, then where are we at?

This is something I'll turn around. I strongly belive that USA is at war and it has been in perpetual low intensity war for the last decade at least. This time around the horror knocked at your door and you are proved to be no longer invoulnerable. You bleed like everyone else does.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
Re: this is not war (3.00 / 1) (#180)
by crealf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:53:04 PM EST

You say Americans are wrong and that we're not at war? If not, then where are we at?

Unless further evidence is coming, you were the victims of terrorist attacks, like Spain (because of Basque region), Northern Ireland, France (because of Corse), Israel, Palestinians, and many other countries have been. Not matter how successful these attacks were, as much as we know, they are "just" ugly tremendously successful terrorist attacks. This is not war.

[ Parent ]

Excelent article. Agree completely. (2.92 / 25) (#120)
by azul on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 01:46:18 PM EST

Bravo! Wonderful article. I was going to write one along those lines as well. I can not bring my self to agree with you more.

What americans need to do now is look at what they are doing to get themselves so hated in certain parts of the world.

They believe they need to use the force and punish those who did these horrible crimes, when those who committed them were willing to die for them: killing these people will be no punishment, as they are already willing to die fighting americans.

Americans should take a mature look at themselves and their relations with other countries, rather than continue to see everything in black-and-white, we-are-good-you-are-evil. They should try to realize their country is doing some serious evil to some parts of the world, which is the only explanation for such a strong hate for them.

They could look at european countries, who happen to be much closer to the Arab countries yet have much better relationships with them.

Even in Latin America, where I am currently living, I have seen people cheer over this horrible terrorist acts. Doesn't the fact that this act has been received with happiness in so many different parts of the world tell americans something about their attitude towards other cultures?

Lets see some reactions americans have posted to the article:

"Without exception, every base the US has outside of it's borders is there to try to keep the folks in that region of systematically killing each other. This goes triple for Europe! And for this we are hated."

No, this isn't the reason why you are hated. As you implicitly state, it wouldn't make any sense for people to hate you for this. There is something else. Pretending there is no problem is not going to solve anything.

You americans are not being asked by us to justify the horrible things that your country has done to others in order to be as hated as you are in certain parts of the world. We are simply suggesting that you open your eyes and realize of this simple fact: There are parts in the world where people hates you as much as to be willing to do the things they did.

These crimes are in no way justified and should not be tolerated by anyone. But if you want to keep them from repeating themselves, you need to try to understand other cultures. You must understand the motivations these people had to do the things they did.

Calling them sick madman weirdos is not understanding them.

Also note there is a very big difference in understanding and tolerating. I'm not suggesting that criminal acts should be tolerated.

Increasing security in your country or wiping specific organizations off the face of earth is not going to keep this from repeating, as long as there are parts in the world where you make your selves so hated.

Do you americans truly understand why you were attacked?

"Ok. You (in a generic sense) don't like us? Fine. How about the US go back to a nice warm and fuzzy isolationist policy? The next time the UN needs someone to take care of a problem somewhere, don't look at us."

This shows one typical american mindset. "We are the good citizens of this world, there is no one as good as we are!". If this were true, do you think you would be so hated in certain parts of the world? We are not asking you to stop taking your place in world affairs, but to actually try to understand and accept foreign cultures.

This americans-are-good-people mindset might have a strong cause in propaganda and their media. Someone here provided a great example of this sort of propaganda, with the newspaper article which begins along the lines:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth."

Americans should simple accept that, as far as world-affairs are concerned, they are not better than any other country: they simply look for their specific interests (one of which is to be seen as a good country).

"We must kill or arrest bin Laden. We cannot start a military action and, at its conclusion, still have this madman alive and/or free to claim victory over US Aggression. [...] Secondly, we must make it clear to all countries that harboring enemies of the United States will not be tolerated. Afghanistan should be decimated. The United States needs to make it painfully obvious that no country can afford to host enemies of the United States."

A better option for americans would be to stop doing the specific things they are doing to become so hated. Wiping a country off the face of earth is not going to solve anything as long as they continue to become so hated.

Afghanistan and the shock with the Arab culture is only a symptom. The real problem is the americans' attitude toward other cultures (not simply the Arab). How else could you explain that people in both Latin America and Europe (and probably other parts of the world) celebrated this acts (perhaps not openly, but they did feel happy about them)?

"Why should I, as an American, agree to have my basic freedoms restricted so that Afghanistan can continue to harbor a man who has sworn my death and my country's destruction?"

You shouldn't.

Neither should the people in Afghanistan have their basic freedoms restricted. And this isn't from an american point of view, but the basic freedoms as their own culture defines them.

"One thing that I keep hearing over and over again in this whole mess is that America must change its foreign policy... But what foreign policy? The attackers made no effort to clearly identify themselves or their reasons for doing this [...]. Bin Laden has denied responsibility but agrees with the strike... So which of the 100 things that he hates about American policy are we supposed to change?"

And also:

"What, exactly, are the 'atrocities' committed by the American people? How, exactly, does the US 'oppress' the Palestinians? Are not these actions done by people in Arab nations and in Israel? [...] So, how, again, did the US oppress these people? Please, no vague allegations about companies based in the US, or dictators propped up, etc. I want specific incidents where the US clearly hurt interests in Palestine more than it has subsequently helped."

You need to change the things that get you so disliked and hated in different parts of the world.

Which is that? That is precisely the thing you need to ask yourselves.

In my opinion, you need to stop acting as if your culture and country was superior to all the others. You need to stop restricting the freedom of people in the rest of the world in the name of your country.

If americans disagree with me on what the specific thing that gets them disliked is, they still have to admit they are disliked (and very hated, as we saw last Tuesday) and look for different causes.

The fact that you american can't see them does not mean that there are no reasons for this strong hate for you in some parts of the earth. If there were no reasons for this and you americans were as good with everybody as you believe you are, why would people go as far as to do this horrible crimes and why would people in Latin America and Europe express happiness about them?

Actually, the fact that you can't see these things shows precisely the point that dash2 in his very good article is trying to raise: that you should make even more efforts to try to see them.

If you look at most of the comments to this story, it is clear that almost everybody other than americans and canadians can see those things while they can't.

"Can you drop your anti US bigotry for five minutes to see that it was HUMANS that died in this..."

What anti United States bigotry?!

Precisely, humans died in this and it needs to be stopped! We don't want to see this kind of things repeat! Hence, we are asking you americans to take a moment and see that increasing security or wiping countries off the face of earth is not going to solve the problem.

I could go on and on quoting all the responses most americans have posted here: they feel attacked and they argue that they are the best nation on earth. Their shock is understandable --I, not being an american, am terribly shocked too-- but to keep this from repeating they should open their eyes and look for the very things that make them so disliked in some parts of the world.

My most sincere condolences go to the families and friends of those who died in this horrible tragedy. May americans take the right course of action so they never have to face this situation again.

Alejo.



genaralizing schmeneralizing (3.50 / 2) (#128)
by SeaCrazy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:23:35 PM EST

Just as we should be careful not to say all Arabs or Muslims are the same and blame them all, you cannot say whet the "typical American" feels or thinks or want to do.

You may have an opinion--allthough I must say that having a generalized opinion that you stamp all people of a certain nationality, religion, race, etc. is very narrow minded--but do not try to pass your opinion off as a fact.

You are being just as bad as the few people saying that we need to kill all arabs or bomb all of Afghanistan with your generalizations.

[ Parent ]
Pathetic, bordering on evil... (4.83 / 6) (#130)
by Anatta on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:33:46 PM EST

Doesn't the fact that this act has been received with happiness in so many different parts of the world tell americans something about their attitude towards other cultures?

Not really... it just shows that many places around the world (including the US) have a small, but vocal, minority of revolting piles of flesh and bone remotely resembling human beings.

But if you want to keep them from repeating themselves, you need to try to understand other cultures. You must understand the motivations these people had to do the things they did.

So if you "understand" these cultures, but we don't, perhaps you should enlighten us. Maybe you could tell us just what it is that caused the attacks. Perhaps you could explain the motivation.

What's that? You don't know the motivation? You don't know who did it? You don't know if these people have a "reasonable" political cause or if they are nothing more than brutal murderers? Please don't lecture the US on what we could do to prevent this, when you have no idea what caused it.

This shows one typical american mindset. "We are the good citizens of this world, there is no one as good as we are!". If this were true, do you think you would be so hated in certain parts of the world? We are not asking you to stop taking your place in world affairs, but to actually try to understand and accept foreign cultures.

There are many reasons for hatred, most unjustified, and some justified. We do not know the motivation (if any) for this distruction, and it is certianly not clear that American "uppityness" is the direct cause for the murder of thousands. In any case, most hatred is unjustified, and it is very likely that the people who performed this were wronged in no way by the US. Think for a moment about anti-black or anti-latin sentiment. If you automatically believe this hatred of the US is somehow justified, would you suggest hatred of blacks or latinos is automatically justified? I certainly would not, and would argue that those who hate based on race are ignorant (and often evil) fools, and if they act on their hatred, they should be punished. Face it, US "Good guy" mentality may well have nothing to do with the motivation behind this act. That is more likely your pet cause, rather than the cause of the attackers.

Neither should the people in Afghanistan have their basic freedoms restricted.

So you're suggesting that the Taliban, the current rulers of Afghanistan, are protecting freedoms, while the Americans are not. Ridiculous.

The real problem is the americans' attitude toward other cultures (not simply the Arab). How else could you explain that people in both Latin America and Europe (and probably other parts of the world) celebrated this acts (perhaps not openly, but they did feel happy about them)?

I would explain it in one of two ways... the first being that the celebrators did not receive correct information and did not understand what happened. The second reasons is that some people have no moral foundation... it has nothing to do with race, nationality, or creed, and there are many such people in the US.

In my opinion, you need to stop acting as if your culture and country was superior to all the others. You need to stop restricting the freedom of people in the rest of the world in the name of your country.

Yes, we should leave Afghanistan to the freedom-loving Taliban. We should have left Europe to the freedom-loving Nazis. Your pompousness in illogic is terrifying. Could it be that sometimes, the US is justified in its actions, and actually has good intentions? Never!

Precisely, humans died in this and it needs to be stopped! We don't want to see this kind of things repeat! Hence, we are asking you americans to take a moment and see that increasing security or wiping countries off the face of earth is not going to solve the problem.

Not even the hawks are advocating wiping countries off the face of the earth. So far we haven't done anything except put the FBI on the search. You're jumping to conclusions.

You need to change the things that get you so disliked and hated in different parts of the world.

So that means no more aid? No more disaster relief? Just pull out of the middle east and leave Israel to destroy Palestine? Stop the peace corps? Leave the balkans and let them murder each other? Why, that will solve everything! I wonder why we didn't think of it sooner.

If americans disagree with me on what the specific thing that gets them disliked is, they still have to admit they are disliked (and very hated, as we saw last Tuesday) and look for different causes.

I have known people who hate gay people... think they are filth and should be destroyed, put down like dogs. Gay people did nothing to receive such opinions other than simply be who they are. Look, hate isn't always justified, frequently it isn't. You seem to completely not understand how humans work, and what can cause hatred. Religion, money, and national identity hatred can certainly be a much more powerful combination than sexual hatred. Grow up and look at the world and yourself before you condemn the US.

I could go on and on quoting all the responses most americans have posted here: they feel attacked and they argue that they are the best nation on earth

And I would guess bin Ladin feels that Saudi Arabia, should he control it, would be the best nation on earth. Attack brings out patriotism, even in normally un-patriotic people. The US is not the "best" country in the world, however we have the greatest economy, greatest military, and arguably the greatest cultural impact on the world. America also has a love of freedom and democracy. We are the only superpower. Does that make us great? No. But frequently it makes us good.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Not pathetic: the expression of a shared feeling. (3.00 / 3) (#171)
by crealf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:31:46 PM EST

Face it, US "Good guy" mentality may well have nothing to do with the motivation behind this act.

That's exactly the point. US has not a good guy mentality. To caricature: why bomb Saddam? The oil. Why bomb Serbia (illegally, UNO voted against)? A way to get a grip on economical interests in Middle Europe countries, which otherwise can go straight to EU.

Of course, US (but also other Western countries) are famous for supporting miscellaneous dictators, making illegal military operations, many times supporting objectively worst guy just to extend their influence. Simply, US are accused to sometimes apply the politics: "we do this, because we're the best and we can, period."

I would explain it in one of two ways... the first being that the celebrators did not receive correct information and did not understand what happened. The second reasons is that some people have no moral foundation...

No, the celebrators might be better informed than the US, I think that's the problem. The US television is biased, and the average American (because of this, or in addition of this) is not very well informed about everything that happens abroad ; not that in other countries, they are well informed at all, but US is worse. Do you understand that the 70s' crisis was caused by the Kippur war? Do you understand nearly all what happened to the oil prices was driven by politics in the Middle East, do you? Do you understand oil price is crucial to economy (world economy, and US economy along) ? Don't you understand that the IMF, World Bank and some other international institutions are heavily under American control, forcing US libertarian-type politics in the throat of other countries? Or rather you don't understand at all why anyone on Earth wouldn't want US libertarian stance "state is bad, privatise everything", do you?

Let's take a recent example, Kyoto treaty: you think it's ok that the US sign an agreement, and then withdraw their signature, just because it's suddenly unconvenient to them ? BTW, this is the kind of actions, Milosevic was also famous for, on the international scene (sign and lie). And after this, you can't understand that the other 178 countries which still went on and signed this treaty, are certainly extremely pissed ? You really can't ? What do you think US are ? Gods, in front of which all the other countries should be in awe ?

I mean, other Western countries certainly do extremely condemnable moves in international politics. But when they do, most of their citizen don't go and say "what?! we are angels! we are so helpful!", and they are not arrogant. And there is a hundred of other issues, which are censored and misrepresented in media.

Here is the key: much of the world is mourning thousands of American innocent deaths, but is celebrating the slap in the face of the American over-arrogance (which since W. Bush has even significantly increased), at the same time.

[ Parent ]

Interpretations (3.00 / 1) (#269)
by galazi on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:07:36 AM EST

Why bomb Serbia (illegally, UNO voted against)? A way to get a grip on economical interests in Middle Europe countries, which otherwise can go straight to EU.

I can't see this. My interpretation would be it was because a certain President may have wanted to look like a good guy (without loss of life) while distracting folks from a certain sexual misadventure. (cf. film Man Bites Dog for a take on this!)

Let's take a recent example, Kyoto treaty: you think it's ok that the US sign an agreement, and then withdraw their signature, just because it's suddenly unconvenient to them ?

I'm in danger of getting this badly wrong, but from memory I don't think the US ever ratified the Kyoto treaty, nor have many other countries, if any. Nor were they probably ever going to do so - W is just a bit more up front than Bill was about things.

I mean, other Western countries certainly do extremely condemnable moves in international politics. But when they do, most of their citizen don't go and say "what?! we are angels! we are so helpful!", and they are not arrogant.

Oh yes they do! Did you ever argue with a Ukian about the merits of bombing Serbia at the time it was happening? They certainly thought they were being very helpful little angels.

[ Parent ]

Response (3.00 / 1) (#304)
by Anatta on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:35:02 AM EST

To caricature: why bomb Saddam?

Well there was the small, insignificant issue of a nation controlled by a ruthless dictator invading a sovreign (and friendly) nation, killing many, and positioning itself to attack a much more globally-significant sovreign (friendly) nation. But yes, both nations did have a bit of black goop below their ground. However, let's not forget that probably 2/3+ of all countries in the world supported our actions (at least in words), with a higher percentage of "global" countries supporting the US' actions. But those are just minor points, of course.

Why bomb Serbia (illegally, UNO voted against)? A way to get a grip on economical interests in Middle Europe countries, which otherwise can go straight to EU.

I'm not sure what UNO is, whether it refers to Pizzaria Uno or the University of New Orleans, but as far as I can tell it's probably the UN... whose laws America does not need to follow. Last time I checked, the US is a sovreign nation, and the UN does not define what is legal for Serbian soil. I have no idea how to respond to the getting a grip on middle europe countries... they can go to the EU anyway, they could completely ignore the US 100%. Heaven forbid, they may want to "go straight" to the US... (note: I did not support the bombings at all)

Simply, US are accused to sometimes apply the politics: "we do this, because we're the best and we can, period."

I keep hearing this, but yet from what I understand, the US consistantly ranks as less nationalist than many european countries, many latin countries, many asian countries. Perhaps it is our economic/cultural might combined with our seeming lack of care for national pride that frustrates countries with less might and more pride?

No, the celebrators might be better informed than the US, I think that's the problem. The US television is biased, and the average American (because of this, or in addition of this) is not very well informed about everything that happens abroad

And state-run media in other countries is not at all biased. Suure. Perhaps they're just biased in the directions where you are biased, so you don't notice the bias. Yes, American main-stream media frequently leaves out a good deal of information, or misinforms, and probably occasionally disinforms, but I seen no proof that the media in the countries where the celebration occurred have a better media, or a less biased media. And yes, I've traveled all over ther world, so I have seen a great deal of media.

Do you understand that the 70s' crisis was caused by the Kippur war? Do you understand nearly all what happened to the oil prices was driven by politics in the Middle East, do you?

Ummm, yeah.

Do you understand oil price is crucial to economy (world economy, and US economy along) ?

Well it was, but if you actually bothered to look at some statistics, you'd see that oil isn't the economy-killer you make it out to be. In fact, labor is a much more significant to all Western economies at this point. Take a look at this:

Prior to the embargo of 1973-74, total energy expenditures constituted 8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the share of petroleum expenditures was just under 5 percent and natural gas expenditures accounted for 1 percent. The price shocks of the 1970s and early 1980s resulted in these shares rising dramatically to 14 percent, 8 percent, and 2 percent respectively, by 1981. Since that time, the shares have fallen consistently over the last two decades to current levels of about 7 percent for total energy, while petroleum has fallen even further to 3.5 percent and natural gas to just over 1 percent. The shares were lower during 1998, when oil and natural gas prices were lower, but have risen recently in response to higher oil and natural gas prices.
Through the use of hedging, oil price shocks are not the economy-killer they used to be. There is more oil available in the world now than there ever was, and it is historically around the cheapest it has ever been. I have some friends who are energy traders, and now that we have an efficient market in energy, recessions like the one we saw in the 1970s are far less likely to occur.

Don't you understand that the IMF, World Bank and some other international institutions are heavily under American control, forcing US libertarian-type politics in the throat of other countries?

I have to say this is my favorite argument. The IMF and World Bank are forcing these countries to take money. They're invading at gunpoint and giving millions and millions of dollars to countries that don't want it, then they're forcing them to privatise. Blather blather. Many (most?) of the countries the IMF and World Bank support are democratic countries who voted the rulers who asked for support in. Clearly there are many bad moves the IMF and World Bank have taken, and I am strongly against both, but that's another story...

Or rather you don't understand at all why anyone on Earth wouldn't want US libertarian stance "state is bad, privatise everything", do you?

Not even the US privatises everything. There are many state-run enterprises in countries that receive IMF/World Bank aid. Next argumennt.

Let's take a recent example, Kyoto treaty: you think it's ok that the US sign an agreement, and then withdraw their signature, just because it's suddenly unconvenient to them ?

See, you first sign an agreement to say "this is the agreement we're going to bring to our collective legislatures for vote" then you take it and vote on it. The US voted no by a 99-0 margin in the senate (I read that the last time that kind of vote occurred was the vote to help France and Britain in WWII, but that could be quite wrong). Anyway, only one country ratified the agreement the US signed, and that was Romania. Perhaps you should be angry at France for doing the same thing the US did.

Milosevic was also famous for, on the international scene (sign and lie).

Yet our president and congress never signed the agreement, so they did not lie at all. This is getting ridiculously off topic.

I mean, other Western countries certainly do extremely condemnable moves in international politics. But when they do, most of their citizen don't go and say "what?! we are angels! we are so helpful!", and they are not arrogant.

Maybe that's because they're not as helpful as the US, and they don't have as many opportunities to look angelic? Most of us are not arrogant, and our generosity is unparalleled in the modern era.

Here is the key: much of the world is mourning thousands of American innocent deaths, but is celebrating the slap in the face of the American over-arrogance (which since W. Bush has even significantly increased), at the same time.

I doubt that. When 10,000+ innocent people die in a carefully-orchestrated murder, anyone who remotely resembles human would stop, pause, and offer aid. I thank from the bottom of my heart those in the international community who have a shred of respect for this tragedy. I wish not to speak or interact with those of you who have no respect.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Re: response (3.00 / 1) (#339)
by crealf on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:23:35 PM EST

I doubt that. When 10,000+ innocent people die in a carefully-orchestrated murder, anyone who remotely resembles human would stop, pause, and offer aid. I thank from the bottom of my heart those in the international community who have a shred of respect for this tragedy. I wish not to speak or interact with those of you who have no respect.

Don't doubt.

By the way, what about the 500,000+ innocent iraqi dead kids (and the 5000+ would will have died this month, as every month) (see also) for instance ? America first. Sigh.

Peace to the soul of the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks.

[ Parent ]

Statements like this sometimes make me feel... (3.50 / 2) (#159)
by Ressev on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:02:46 PM EST

...that America should have stayed out of WWII and watched you silly Europeans get the socialism balloney you believe in kicked out of you. I despise Facism just a little more than I despise Socialism.

What would your precious Socialism turn into if you actually had to spend most of your own tax dollars on your own military? I think you are overtaxed already with your hand-outs and less than effective social programs that will lead to a more Euthanized European Union in the future. Anybody who thinks that their Government will solve all the Social ills of the world let alone those of their own nation is deluded into thinking that the Government can be trusted to maintain it's sense of respect and obligation to serve it's people who can't bother to help their own neighbor with their own money. I still hear the best health care in Brittan is private.

You are always with great accuracy being played the fool yet accuse others of being the fool. Consider how many wars ravaged your lands within the last 2000 years. America is a nation that Speaks softly, but carries a Big stick. Perhaps you need to revist the 1930's to recall how your thinking people are reasonable led to your being bombed with V1 and V2 rockets - or, if you are French, trying to keep your precious Paris intact under threat of it being leveled by the Germans instead of standing up to the fiend. While there are many peaceful Muslims, Islam is a religion that if you cannot be won through persuasion will be won through the sword.

You Europeans did just as much, if not far, far more, to percipitate the current crisis in the Middle East and the disdain for Westerners that was so revealed in NY this last Tuesday. Stop blaming the US and start thinking about your own woes that you inflicted on them least - if we take your ill advice, you find Big Ben or la Tour Eiffel smouldering.

Democracy attempting to use Socialism is much like a chicken trying to hatch a rotten egg.
"Even a wise man can learn from a fool."
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." - Mark Twain
[ Parent ]

WW2 ? (3.00 / 3) (#168)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:22:55 PM EST

But US stayed out of the WWII until it was directly attacked nad couldn't avoid breaking the isolacionaism anymore.
Just because you didn't get the message from the other guy (which I don't particulary agree) you don't have to insult every European. You're not the first or the last to be bombed and die. You are at WAR right now. If London, Paris, Serbia and even Iraque survived, you with all that military power will survive too, but it doens't mean that THE REST of the world is your enemy.


[ Parent ]
Didn't say that nor do I disagree with you... (3.00 / 1) (#213)
by Ressev on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:17:46 PM EST

...I never said the US is at War with the rest of the world. My comment was directed at the mindset of azul and anyone else who shares his mindset. Heavens, I have a good deal of friends in Brittan!

My statements were directed to those who think like him. Not you.

Survive? I am not worried about surviving the bombing, everybody in NYC alive today survived. I am concerned about the response we have to it since it will affect how future terrorist act. We have survived a lot in this country and NYC is not the fist bombing, nor the first terrorist bombing.

In addition: What message? Where is the note or the phone call? Where is the organization standing up saying: "HaHa we bombed you and it was because..."? There is no clear message sent except this: "we hate you and are to cowardly to say we do". What message do we get? And from whom? All we have heard are known terrorist groups and supporters saying: "It is because of your policies, blah, blah, blah...Oh, and we had nothing to do with it." Chickens.

I almost hope that the individuals and organization(s) responsible are a group of networked terrorists because it will be such the opportunity to remove them off the face of the earth that the World as a whole needs.
"Even a wise man can learn from a fool."
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." - Mark Twain
[ Parent ]

Well (3.00 / 1) (#222)
by urgan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:11:30 PM EST

You misunderstood me, the message I refered was the parent post (the one you were answering).
Maybe I didn't understood you too (mea culpa) but that's because of the first two paragrapghs which I still found uncalled for, and as much or more than you (latino blood), I tend to see red when anyone insults my country.
Anyway, if you have no idea of what Europe is feeling right now images are worth a 1000 words.
We are in 3 days of national mourning (this is problably mispelled) and if I asked you to pinpoint my country in a map, you probably couldn't.
Like not all americans are KKK members, not all europeans are socialist and not all muslim are evil (and we were kicking muslim asses out to africa just 900 years ago, so we don't exactly like them). That's because we have been in wars for that last 1000 years (not 2000) we feel we know a little about it. Peace.

[ Parent ]
The Us aided England from the very beginning. (2.66 / 3) (#332)
by marlowe on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:24:20 PM EST

We sent ships full of aid across the Atlantic to get sniped at by U-boats. As you have conveniently forgotten.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
I didn't knew. But it doesn't count. (none / 0) (#356)
by urgan on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:34:18 PM EST

If I wanted to troll around I wouldn't choose the middle of a thread. Read parent post, my point and the response from the original poster. I don't need to "convenient forgot anything" because I'm not attacking US's honor, just stating a fact.

[ Parent ]
Taxation and Sticks (4.00 / 1) (#378)
by iwnbap on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:16:18 AM EST

Ummm ... you're wrong, sorry.

On taxation, US tax levels are about the same as most other Wetern democracies, at about 45-50% marginal rate. I've figures for the average somewhere, and they're pretty similar, I think the US is 3% lower. The difference is that you've got 35% income tax, 6% employee welfare, 6% employer welfare, 3% (employee + employer) medicare, etc. Add it all together and you get about 45-50% depending on the state. Other countries just have an "income tax". You do get a big tax break on home-loan repayments though, and the figures I have don't really take this into account properly, as they don't deal with the possibility of US property prices being different to the rest of the world.

The big dfference is spending. The US spends much more on "defence" than most other Western nations. There's a good argument to be made that this has the effect of a welfare and industry support scheme, as well as a huge R&D spending grant.

On sticks: the US is rather infamous (n more recent history) for talking very loudly and then leaving the stick at home. Witness Yugoslavia.

None of this is a criticism of the USA - a beautiful and great country, as I've said many times on K5 before. The only issue is that it's big, believes in itself, and can occasionally be a little myopic.


[ Parent ]
Why are so many americans so utterly (none / 0) (#394)
by ZanThrax on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 02:05:24 AM EST

convinced that Europe would have lost the second world war if they'd stayed out of it? By the time the US joined the war, the German momentum had been broken, the USSR was finally getting geared up to really fight, and the various commenwealth nations were fully into the war. It would have taken longer, and the USSR would have controlled a lot more of Europe than they actually did, but the Nazis would have still lost.

Reasons are not excuses and retaliation is not justice.


[ Parent ]
ww2 (none / 0) (#420)
by The Great Satan on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 10:31:40 PM EST

The history classes I had all taught the America: Saviour of Europe p.o.v. This doesn't even get into the propaganda Hollywood and our government pushes. It's too bad but I expect all governments do more or less the same kind of thing.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
What about Jews in WWII? (5.00 / 3) (#244)
by RandomPeon on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:43:16 PM EST

You claim these cowards attacked my country because they have justifiable reasons to hate us. You claim that no one could feel this amount of hatred towards a people unless it was justified.

So do you believe that the Jews in Nazi Germany were evil and justifiably persecuted? The rest of the German people obviously didn't persecute them out of paranoia or a need for a scapegoat. They murdered the Jews because the Jews had to have done something to deserve this fate. What? Well, obviously it was something, or the German people wouldn't have willingly collaborated with the eradication of the Jews.

Read that last paragraph again and think about how ridiculous it is. People will always look for someone else to blame for their problems - its easier than admitting them and all too human of a response. The United States is not a saint, but European nations are willing allies in many of the questionable things we do - I have not seen a refusal by European firms to take their bussinesses into the global marketplace. Some of them support our embargo on Iraq. All of them supported the war in the Balkans. All of them supported the Gulf War. Why is the United States the nation that is supposedly responsible for all the sins of the Western world? Because we are the most appealling scapegoat.

Are their things we should do differently? Absolutely. My government does many things every day that I find disconcerting at best. But on the whole it is not an evil institution, which is why I continue my service to it. It is responsive to the needs of its citizens and their desires to an acceptable degree - it's not perfect, but our democracy functions well enough and will hopefully function better in the future.

Can we do better in affairs with other nations? Of course, we should try to be a more constructive force in the world.

Has my government done some truly terrible things in the past? Definitely, but we have tried to make atonement for many of our misdeeds - the mistreatment of Indians, the internment of the Japanese, the enslavement and mistreatment of African-Americans, our support of Latin American dictatorships. I could go on, but these actions were perversions of the values we hold dear, not moments of pride. I'm willing to admit my government has done a great many things I'm ashamed of, but so has any instistution with a long history. The Catholic Church, older Protestant denominations, any European state, and any longstanding political party are just a few examples of institutions that have all acted on beliefs that we would consider abhorrent today. Does that mean they are evil in their current form? Absolutely not, and neither is the United States. I'm sorry for what we've done in the past, but none of these things are reasons to attack us today.

[ Parent ]
How many times can you say... (4.25 / 4) (#271)
by lightcap on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:18:10 AM EST

You need to change the things that get you so disliked and hated in different parts of the world.

What all of you posters echoing this sentiment are missing is this: It is *impossible* to please or otherwise not step on the toes of every nation-state, religious sect, race, etc and be a player on the world stage. No country that has interaction with others (implicitly all) can do that. We're gonna piss some people off...and piss some off very badly. That's how its worked for a very long time. But, when you react to us, especially in a cowardly, and vicious way such as this attack, you will pay dearly. So stop telling us we need to understand...even if we did understand, do you expect us to act in a way that would undermine our national security? Or to roll over and play dead, while our economic interests are trampled? Not one other country would do that themselves (prove me wrong, I dare you), and because the US is the lone Superpower today, we're the easy target for mudslinging.

I'm absofuckinglutely sick of it. Why don't y'all take a look at the log in your own eye...
Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

Dim, racist anti-Americanism (4.75 / 4) (#282)
by RubemFon on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:20:02 AM EST

Let's see if I grasp the tenor of the responses that express a general agreement with the "foreigners' open letter to Americas".



The reasoning in these postings (or lack thereof) goes something like this: Several strains of anti-US sentiment exist in the world, including the strain exhibited last Tuesday by racist Muslim terrorists and some Palestinians. Therefore, anti-Americanism is justified...since the US must have done horrid things --- to which ordinary Americans turn a blind eye--- in order to become the object of so much universal hatred.

The corollary to these fallacies is that US policies have prompted fanatic Muslims to declare war on the US, a conflict which Americans brought upon themselves.

So, these readers counsel, before releasing any more jingoist bile into our bloodstream (the cause of that imperialist intoxication which compels us to call for all-out war against invisible enemies)we ought to assume our guilt for the sins we have commited against humankind. And for our superiority complex. Also, we ought to strive to understand those who loath us, instead of trying to pulverize them.

If we use restraint, the world may learn to like us (and not just our Hollywood blockbusters and our sneakers)

That, more or less, , is the drift of the tendentious stuff posted on this page.

I'll try to pen a concise response.

Oh, before any reader resorts to ad-hominem assumptions about my origins, bear in mind that my mother was a Scottish Jew who grew up in The Dominican Republic; my father was born in Barcelona, the son of a working-class Cuban father and an Andalusian gypsy mother. I was born in Cuba and raised in Spain, the US, the UK and Venezuela.

I am proud of my US citizenship only because I believe in the promise (and much of the practice) of the American Republic, a reality that most people I meet abroad know nothing about. It is true that in America I have been confronted expressions of racism , xenophobia, the heartless absence of social solidarity.( my gypsy cousins in Europe have similar experiences).

Still, I am a first-hand witness to the pluralism, the upward mobility,the capacity for self-renewal, the tolerance, the creativity and the civic inventiveness of American society. I feel a kinship of sorts with Americans who consistently defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution(admittedly, a diminishing bunch). I feel part of the richness and syncretic power of so much American popular culture.

Though I have been a harsh critic of US foreign policy, American hubris, and US society's provincial ethnocentrism, I nevertheless view the anti-Americanism to which the British writer and other respondents refer as a largely irrational construct. There is no more basis for anti-Americanism than there is for anti-Arabism.


However, the world's main strain of anti-Americanism is not based on coherent reasoning and evidence. It is fueled by resentment towards American power, wealth, and cultural influence, and by the lasting effects of the clever anti-US propaganda and disinformation which the Soviets and their local Communist allies began to spread in the 1920s. While America's multinationals marketed their wares, the USSR and its front organizations ran effective anti-American advertising campaigns .

Since World War II, American governments ( largely opposed and criticized by other Americans) have commited fewer crimes against foreign peoples than other powerful governments. Those of you in an objective mood (of course, you'll need the requisite historical knowledge) might try to compare America's misdeeds with those of the other world powers, including the regional bully-boys.

For example, the USSR was quite more brutal than the US in its treatment of client peoples and national minorities, including Muslims. In Afghanistan, the Soviets killed more Muslims than than Israel in all its wars. In the post-Cold War world Russians murdered thousands of Chechen Muslims.

But where are the public expressions of anti-Russian sentiment in the Arab world? What happened to the public outrage in Arab countries during the two Russian invasions of Chechenia? Should we attribute that silence to the fact that the victims are not Arabs? Or that the perpetrators are not Americans? It's probably a combination of the two.


The sort of selective moral outrage found among so many Arabs and Western progressives appears to be a scarse commodity that must be reserved for evil Yanks.

As for US policy towards Israel and the Palestinian people, if it suffices to explain anti American terror, why doesn't the brutality and indifference of Arab governments towards those same Palestinians provoke anti-government sentiment among Muslims and Palestinians?
Why are Arabs ever so ready to demonize Americans but so unwilling to denounce the policies of Arab regimes that have murdered, displaced, and exploited Palestinians in far greater numbers than Israel?

Why are zealous Arab Muslims so loud in their declarations of war against America and Zionism and so quiet about confronting repressive Arab governments, for instance, the Iraki regime that massacres other Arabs, the Taliban thugs that kill other Afghans, the Algerian security forces that murder other Algerians?


Perhaps because these Arab zealots are double-faced racists, Muslim versions of the sereotypical American Puritan. Their Anti-Americanism is not a product of a consistent world-view but of an irrational rage feeding on a cult of Arab victimhood and Muslim religious nonsense.


The US and Israel have been set up as convenient bogeymen by Arab governments intent on concealing their ineptitude, their cruelty, their corruption and their use of religious fanatics to manipulate their growing legions of desperate have-beens. Of course America and Israel are hardly responsible for the imposition of harsh Muslim law codes, authoritarian regimes, and institutionalized gender and economc inequality in many Arab countries.


There is no rational basis for anti-Americanism. (or any generalized xenophobia) Americans have never constituted a monolithic tribe. Whether foreigners acknowledge it or not, we Americans are the loudest and most eloquent critics of our governments' foreign (and domestic) policies. Don't confuse us with our bloody rulers.

But don't expect us to act like masochistic disciples of St. Francis of Assisi when murderous wolves attack our cities, killing innocents and striking fear into our children. Most of us are not Franciscans. We therefore feel justified in striking back at our enemies, though we will differ on the means, and the cost we are prepared to accept, and the rhetoric we ought to use, and on the reach of domestic measures that threaten to curtail our liberties in the name of a dubious sense of security.

I will never be one of those dim Americans who flog themselves because so much of the world does not like them. On the contrary: In light of the irrational nature of the loathing we inspire, perhaps we ought to forget abour being loved and work instead on being feared.

So what if we often come across as spoiled, ethnocentric boors, indifferent towards the world outside our municipalities? Is that reason enough for foreigners to use the Yankee boor as an opportunity to tag us all as Ugly Americans, legitimate targets in the struggle against the Great Satan?

Those foreigners can go fuck yourselves.


Even if our governments were as evil as our fiercest detractors claim, even if 250 million Americans were faithful replicas of the stereotypes that anti US propaganda has succeeded in selling to millions of people, there can be no bloody justification for the nightmare which our enemies staged on September 11. We did not bring it upon ourselves. Zealots did. And their addled accomplices.

Americans cannot abandon no-holds-barred, cogent self-criticism but we should fall prey to collective self-flagellation. Nor should we accept the findings of that pseudo-science known as Anti-Americanism.


[ Parent ]
Your most insincere condolences are noted... (2.50 / 4) (#335)
by marlowe on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:31:25 PM EST

along with your mindless bigotry.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Dizzy bullshit ... (2.10 / 20) (#134)
by omegadan on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:49:07 PM EST

This is by and far the worst kuro article in recent memory ...

The US is the most generous nation in the world. We prop up your economies we fight your wars, and we've invented *every* technology the modern world now relies on. If you hate us for it, fuck you.

You speak about what drove people to terrrorism as if it could ever be justified ... Its simple what drove them, they are crazy fucks. They've been killing eachother for millinea over issues incomprehensable to a sane person. Hate is not a national identity, nor a cause.

Whoemever planned this attack signed the death warrants of not only thousands of americans, but thousands if not hundreds of thousands of their own people. America *must* attack visciously as a deturant to future threats ...

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

don't you know what hate can cause (none / 0) (#164)
by urbangipsy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:13:14 PM EST

It seems to me that you didn't read the whole article, or didn't fully understand it. Firstly, the US prop up some economies, not just of mere humanitity, but also their own benefits - this behaviour can raise hate among a surpressed poeple (don't you know what happens in Palestine?), which sees now the US as their reason for their suffer. And suffer causes hate, as you probably know (but maybe not). Secondly, allthough this is totally off-topic, the US didn't invent every technology, the world relies on. Did you watched to much bad TV shows? Furthermore, how do you come to your oppinion, that attack visciously, will solve anything. It will neither solve the problem itself, terrorism, nor will it solve the root of the problem, suffer and as consequence hate and fanatism. Do you think you just can bomb out bin Laden (who is SUPPOSED to be the manipulator); how would you find him, with your "technology"? With your intelligence satellites ? In the desert hills of Afghanistan? And if you - by chance - hit him, would that make any difference? -- Others will follow, it isn't that easy. I THINK YOU CANNOT IMAGINE WHAT INCREDIBLE POWER HATE CAN HAVE -- AND YOU POOR BOY/GIRL ARE OBVIOUSLY A VICTIM OF IT in fact, you seem to me similar to those who are responsible for that disgusting atrocity. Take that chance, and think just a moment of it, if you are intelligent enough, you will see that you make just THE SAME MISTAKE they do.

[ Parent ]
don't you know what hate can cause (3.00 / 1) (#167)
by urbangipsy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:20:30 PM EST

It seems to me that you didn't read the whole article, or didn't fully understand it.
Firstly, the US prop up some economies, not just of mere humanitity, but also their own benefits - this behaviour can raise hate among a surpressed poeple (don't you know what happens in Palestine?), which sees now the US as their reason for their suffer. And suffer causes hate, as you probably know (but maybe not).
Secondly, allthough this is totally off-topic, the US didn't invent every technology, the world relies on. Did you watched to much bad TV shows?
Furthermore, how do you come to your oppinion, that attack visciously, will solve anything. It will neither solve the problem itself, terrorism, nor will it solve the root of the problem, suffer and as consequence hate and fanatism. Do you think you just can bomb out bin Laden (who is SUPPOSED to be the manipulator); how would you find him, with your "technology"? With your intelligence satellites ? In the desert hills of Afghanistan?
And if you - by chance - hit him, would that make any difference? -- Others will follow, it isn't that easy.
I THINK YOU CANNOT IMAGINE WHAT INCREDIBLE POWER HATE CAN HAVE -- AND YOU POOR BOY/GIRL ARE OBVIOUSLY A VICTIM OF IT
in fact, you seem to me similar to those who are responsible for that disgusting atrocity. Take that chance, and think just a moment of it, if you are intelligent enough, you will see that you make just THE SAME MISTAKE they do.

[ Parent ]
Self Defense (3.00 / 2) (#374)
by killalldash9 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:16:30 AM EST

Let's put aside, for the moment, any question of whether massive military retaliation will actually succeed in eliminating the threat. Hypothetically, let's assume that it would be effective. Concentrate on whether we should do it or not. When it comes down to it, I could give a flying-fuck as to whether bombing the shit out of some other country would be seen as sinking to their level. My main concern is keeping my own family alive. Wrong or right, my wife and children are worth more to me than anyone in the Mid-East. If it comes down to us or them, I choose us.


Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
US Generosity (2.00 / 1) (#293)
by amanset on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:32:15 AM EST

If the US is so generous, can they please pay their UN fees? According to the UN website the US owes "1.9 Billion" (I'm guessing this means 1900 Million) US Dollars.

[ Parent ]
We can't pay. (2.00 / 1) (#373)
by killalldash9 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:08:56 AM EST

We can't pay our UN fees, couse all of our money is going to supporting other nations in times of need. (That, and we now have about a $30 billion repair bill to fix NYC.)


Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
Not only that... (1.00 / 1) (#386)
by beergut on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:43:17 PM EST

... but would the UN please pay rent on the facilities we currently give it on prime real estate in New York City?

To my mind, it would be fitting if we would make a memorial park on the site of the World Trade Center, and then build a new one on the site of the (former) UN building.

I say, throw those fucking assholes out. Now.

Oh, and while the Europeons are busy whinging about us not paying UN dues, would they gladly pay us the debts they owe us from the last major war? Or maybe pay us for protecting their asses from the Russians? Or how about just taking into account that we pay something like 75% of the UNs administrative bills and salaries, and giving us a pass on all those dues?

Or, just get that organization the hell out of the US.

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 ]

US and the UN (none / 0) (#400)
by amanset on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 09:08:06 AM EST

(a) It is a bit hard to pay the rent if you don't get your income.

(b) I'd happily see the UK pay back every single penny it owes if every piece of the US military is removed from British soil around the world. Somehow I think many other countries that ended up with the US setting us bases on their land will agree. You paid that money in return for many things - one of which was spreading you military all over the world.

(c) In your opinion you saved our "asses" from the Russians. You may be surprised to hear that some countries didn't see the Russians as a threat. The cold war was as much the creation of the US as it was Russia.

(d) You pays the bills but you also get the jobs. I am sure that there are many other countries in the world that woudl like the 4,500 jobs that the UN headquarters provides.

(e) Seeing as the US refuse to pay their fees and hardly allocate any troops for UN peacekeeping missions, it could be argued that the US gets all the benefits of the UN without actually doing much at all.

[ Parent ]

Benefits? (none / 0) (#404)
by beergut on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 08:32:49 PM EST

Please explain to me what these "benefits" are.

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 ]

Benefits. (none / 0) (#414)
by amanset on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 07:06:31 AM EST

Let me see - a large organisation where every member pays a fee, whereby they then set down the rules and regulations that the world lives by (Human Rights etc). The US pays nothing and gets a permanent seat on the Security Council with veto rights.

Note that, amongst other things, the Security Council approves new members of the General Assembly.

Basically, the benefits the US receives are not monetary. The benefits are not tangible. The US receives power - a great deal of power.

[ Parent ]

Power... (none / 0) (#432)
by beergut on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 12:21:13 PM EST

Let me see - a large organisation where every member pays a fee, whereby they then set down the rules and regulations that the world lives by (Human Rights etc).

And this affects the way people in the rest of the world live ... how?

Does this mean that there are no human rights abuses in China, Sudan, or even the United States (Europeons, and those from Canaduh are quick to bang this drum?) No.

Does the UN do anything but talk endlessly about utterly inane bullshit, spend money endlessly to relieve suffering in places where pisspot dictators rule the roost (of course, doing nothing really substantial to actually relieve these people - of their tinhorns,) and generally waste time, effort, money, and resources?

The US pays nothing and gets a permanent seat on the Security Council with veto rights.

Personally, I'd as soon see us throw the UN out, and exercise our veto economically - do something we don't like, NO MARKETS FOR YOU!

I'm glad the US was thrown off the Human Rights panel (and Sudan, of all places, put on.) This shows what the UN is really about - NOTHING. I'm glad the US was thrown off the Drugs panel, too, because US drug laws are insane, and the US used the UN to exercise sway over other nations' drug policies. Now that we're off the panel, others' drug policies are more free.

Note that, amongst other things, the Security Council approves new members of the General Assembly.

And this has precisely what benefit to the US?

Basically, the benefits the US receives are not monetary. The benefits are not tangible. The US receives power - a great deal of power.

Power I believe it should not have, and which I believe comes at too high a cost. The UN is all about demolishing national sovereignty, and that is a task, a goal, a power that they should absolutely not ponder, strive for, nor exercise. I don't want the US' sovereignty infringed. Nor Britain's, nor Germany's, Italy's, or anyone else's (save, maybe, France, which I think should become a nice, dark, smooth sheet of highly radioactive glass.)

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 ]

peacekeeping (none / 0) (#415)
by akma on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 08:27:27 AM EST

As of last month, the US has something over 700 people on peacekeeping missions. The UK has something over 600. Banglidesh however (shocking as it may be) has over 6000 on peace keeping missions. (the numbers include troops, police, and nurses, www.un.org has the breakdowns an precise figures up to the end of last month posted.)

Also, the US has maintained between 37,000 and 42,000 troops in S. Korea for the last 50 years almost. All falling at least nominally under the United Nations Command in S. Korea. It isn't a peace keeping mission though. Due to there only being a cease fire between North and South Korea, technically its still a UN combat mission. Any arguments that its just another foce projection facility will have to deal with the numbers of troops having pretty much remained stable even durring other conflicts the US has been involved in. They did just snatch up all the troops from their from Vietnam for example.

How many other nations have had at least 37,000 (in current numbers. 42,000 was back in the 80's, and higher still before then) troops under UN command for the last near 50 years deployed outside their own borders? And knowing all along, that should the north invade, over 10,000 of those which are north of Seoul are projected to die within hours in nothing more than a single division sized delaying action..... Seoul would be a major target for the North...

To give credit where its due, several other countries do maintain a token force, mostly all I saw was their UN Honor Guard unit though. Looked to be about squad to platoon sized units (in US military terms, that'd be 11-35 people roughly). New Zeland sent 10-11 people to be in the Honor Guard from January to July this year...



__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
typo (none / 0) (#416)
by akma on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 08:30:13 AM EST

Make that: They did't just snatch up all the troops from their for Vietnam for example.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
From the UN site (none / 0) (#417)
by amanset on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 09:04:28 AM EST

The UN obviously disagree with you about the situation in Korea when you look at their website.

As of 31 May 1999, the top contributors of troops to current missions were: Poland (1,052 soldiers); Bangladesh (866); Ghana (774); India (768); Austria (730); Ireland (694); and Argentina (677). The small island nation of Fiji has taken part in virtually every UN peacekeeping operation, as has Canada. Even non-UN Member States have contributed; Switzerland, for example, provides money, medical units, aircraft and other equipment to peacekeeping.


[ Parent ]
Read again (none / 0) (#418)
by akma on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 10:27:35 AM EST

" It isn't a peace keeping mission though. Due to there only being a cease fire between North and South Korea, technically its still a UN combat mission."

I clearly stated, it isn't a peace keeping mission, but still technically a *combat* mission as a state of war still exits, and the United Nations Command that was established back in the 1950's to run the war is still in place. Those US forces are still nominally under it's controll. So quoting peace keeping numbers and pointing out those 37,000 troops aren't listed was a waste of time. Of course they weren't, because as was stated, it isn't a peace keeping mission, but a non-stop continuation of the Korean War.

Also, you've got out of date figures there for the current peace keeping numbers. From their website's most current data:


MONTHLY SUMMARY OF CONTRIBUTORS
(Military observers, civilian police, troops)
as of 31 August 2001

Bangladesh 6131
UK 699
United States 747
(and a bunch more I'm not typing out.)

Have you ever stood in the United Nations Command building in S. Korea? I have. Looked at the Chain of Command structure of the 8th US Army? I have.
Ever been to Panmunjom working under the UN flag? I have.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
NIHism (3.50 / 2) (#305)
by BobaFatt on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:56:21 AM EST

... and we've invented *every* technology the modern world now relies on.

Yes, like the Internal Combustion Engine (Rudolf Diesel-Born in Paris of Bavarian Decent), the Telephone (Alexander Graham Bell-Scottish), the computer (Alan Turing-English), Radio (Marconi-Italian, although credit to those before him, Faraday, Maxwell, Hertz, Lodge, Righi, Tesla), Televison (John Logie Baird-Scottish).........
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]

War, strife, and not loving your neighbor. (2.54 / 11) (#136)
by Ressev on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 02:53:29 PM EST

Well, thank you. I find it surprising that someone who comes from a country that has undergone terrorist threats of it's own would side so readily with the Palestinians. They are in their present situation because of their own choice and that of the other Arab nations. But that is another discussion.

You may easily give us warnings that it would be best to not be punitive against countries or to be overly thoughtful to the point of perhaps patting their heads and say: "now, now, don't do that again." If I recall your Nation made that very mistake with Hitler.

So what. Who cares if there are nations out there who resent America (may I add Brittan there as well) and support financially, spiritually, and physically those who would terrorize civilians. You may be tempted to smoth over and equivocate the situation overall, but there are some of us who do understand the history of what is going on and why a very serious response must be made.
While there are many who condem the attack, there are also many who condone it. How we respond will be closely watched by the perpetrators and other groups who would terrorize (now and in the future). It has always been Americas policy to not bend over to piracy or terrorism. The war against paying tribute for piracy was established and set after the war of 1812 (If I recall you Brits burned down the White House then). In Middle Eastern Culture (do not mistake it for any Westernized Middle Eastern culture) a weak response or little response shows you as weak and easily pushed over. That would be a poor message to send to terrorists who share that culture.

What do I think we should do? Once we find out who is responsible and who is supporting them I would hope that the USA will kill the organization and cripple the military and financial backers. Then once the dust clears and we have proven our point, we will help pick up the countries that supported the terrorists, assist them into Democracy and just like we helped you and the rest of Europe after WWII help them recover.
The lesson from WWI was that you do not let your former enemy lick his wounds - you bandage them yourself. WWII taught us to not let dictators and other oppressors do whatever they want to other countries (Hitler in Austria and Poland). Our last President was a weak world leader and in his equivocating demonstrated that America is weak and a push over. Hopefully the current President will amend that tarnished image.
"Even a wise man can learn from a fool."
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." - Mark Twain

What took them so long? (3.56 / 16) (#141)
by hardburn on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:24:13 PM EST

Many Americans are asking why anyone would want to do such a horrible thing.

I'm asking what took them so long to do it.

The constant support of Isreal, westernization of their culture (many arabs are quite capable of getting a TV, but refuse to because of the crap that spews from it; they're smarter then most Americans here), and just generaly being a bunch of jack asses makes for one big, angry bunch of people.

I've seen a very sudden change in the way people act since the attacks. Much of Slashdot (as much as many K5 readers hate /.) was formerly quite hateful of current US politics, and George W. in particular. Now I can't count the number of posts willing to back up Bush in anything he does in response. I have a feeling they'll follow him right into the abyss.

Nationalism is also very high. NPR reported yesterday that stores selling flags can't keep enough in stock. Always beware of nationalism; bad things tend to happen when nationalism hits a high. Just about every war since WWI (and many before that) was caused by nationalism hitting a high on one or both sides. Many of those wars, particularly WWI, could have been prevented if somebody had just sat down and thought about what they were doing first.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


... they didn't wait long enough (forever) (1.00 / 1) (#148)
by Hobbes2100 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:10:37 PM EST

Yes, you're right. We should have sat down and spent years discussing with Hitler. Perhaps he could have wipped out each and every Jew then there wouldn't be an Israel and hence no Palestine problem.

Bad things happen because of nationalism; so do good things. And thank you, unlike some continents I could mention, I'm quite happy considering my country sovereign and not in need some "union". I am NOT a citizen (in any formal sense) of the world. I do care for my fellow human beings (in general but remember this is language, not logic) but that is not even a moral obligation on me .. I simply choose to do so.

Our support of Israel is not a simple thing. It was necessitated by the Cold War (among, MANY other factors) and with regards to the Cold War ... we wouldn't be here if it had heated up. The simple fact that we survived is justification for both sides. Further, Israel has good and bad just like the Palestinians.

With regards to "westernizing" other cultures. The only way a culture can change is if it is 1) exposed to a new thing (idea, device, etc) and 2) if it accepts the new thing. As you mentioned, some choose not to buy TVs (of course, whether that is b/c of financial reasons or the philosophical reasons you claim, who can truly say).

I know the reasons that such people would give for doing such a thing. I do not accept them as valid, or with moral merit. I do accept as valid and with moral merit, the fact that given a disagreement of this nature, we are justified, as a soveriegn nation, in retaliating in any manner that our leaders deem necessary. As a citizen of this country, I give my support (explicit: via voting and implicit: via not leaving if my vote doesn't carry) to my government. I also give my leaders the authority to make decisions for me (in particular, how they spend MY money that I consent to give them). I am content with this situation and look forward to seeing the American response.

I believe that the American response will be accepted as appropriate by those in this world that have any decency in them (those who disagree strictly on pacifist terms ... I respectfully disagree with you ... here's the difference, I'm not going to kill them b/c they believe differently).

My apolgies for the rambling nature of this. Just responding as things hit me.

Regards,
Mark
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal
[ Parent ]
Easy to say. (2.00 / 1) (#150)
by Ressev on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:14:48 PM EST

Harder to do. Hindsight is always 20/20 wheras forsight is never 20/20.

I would also be careful on how you characterize nationalism. The nationalism of Nazi Germany was racial. It is very difficult to have a racial nationalism in the US expect (of course) if you were born here. Nationalism is very good and very critical to any and every nation if it is not based on race or ethnicity but on the desire to see your country and countrymen at it's best and tethered by strong morals.

I don't blame them for not owning a TV. I don't own one for the very reason that they are trash. But I do blame the mentality that you have to destroy the people of a nation with terror in order to protect your sense of self. So what do we do? As we did with Germany and Japan in WWII: destroy the organization(s) and the governments that support the organization(s) that did this and after we are done help them stand back up on their two feet.

Socialism is just plain dumb - especially in a Democracy.
"Even a wise man can learn from a fool."
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." - Mark Twain
[ Parent ]

Give me a break. (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by Apuleius on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 04:28:06 PM EST

That aid prevents the Israelis from applying the Powell Doctrine on the Palestinians.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Presidential support (3.00 / 1) (#177)
by mold on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:43:50 PM EST

Support for a generally unliked president isn't uncommon during war times. President Lincoln, for example, had some really odd views at the time, and until the Civil War began, Congress wasn't really backing him. Once it had started though, he managed to get some pretty amazing things passed (luckily).

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]
quick comment on your dislike of nationalism. (4.00 / 1) (#184)
by G_Man on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:59:11 PM EST

"Nationalism is also very high. NPR reported yesterday that stores selling flags can't keep enough in stock. Always beware of nationalism; bad things tend to happen when nationalism hits a high. Just about every war since WWI (and many before that) was caused by nationalism hitting a high on one or both sides."

Sure, beware of nationalism, but not only bad comes of it. It unites a nation, local crime rates of all sorts drop, and countless other advantages come with nationalism.
Without nationalism, do you think any country on earth would be able to win a war. What if the US was without any sort of patriotism in WWII, can you imagine the results?

"Many of those wars, particularly WWI, could have been prevented if somebody had just sat down and thought about what they were doing first."
GUFFAW! Who is this someone? And what would they have been able to do against everyone else demanding blood??

Anyways, my overall point is that nationalism isn't inherintly bad, it only needs to be correctly placed and motivated. Unfortunately it is really hard to find those with what i consider the right balance of nationalistic feelings and practical intelligence.

Most seem to want to kick everyones' asses because we are American's and we can, or sit around and do nothing with the 'live and let live' attitude. I say the ballance is in the middle, as both ideas have their merits. Unfortunately, an arguement for the middle is never noticed. One must ballance the scales with heavy weights, or their words will have no effect.

Note: i know i used 'American' to refer to the US people. I know this include north and south, usually. But, fuck, it's the easiest and most powerful way.
"And i'm proud to be an American,
where at least i know I'm free.
And i won't forget the Men who died,
who gave that right to me."

:::song continues:::

[ Parent ]
Nationalism cancels out nationalism (3.00 / 1) (#384)
by hardburn on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:15:42 AM EST

What if the US was without any sort of patriotism in WWII, can you imagine the results?

If there wasn't nationalism in Nazi-controled Germany, there wouldn't be a need for nationalism in the US to counter it. That's the only good thing about nationalism: At least you can count on another nation's nationalism to cancel out the nationalism from another.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (4.20 / 10) (#145)
by Toshio on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 03:47:12 PM EST

This is biased comment

The true rewards of leadership come from striving to live up to a higher standard, from trying to do the right thing. Some people get into the "leadership" game for the next tangible reward--the next pay raise, the next headline. But these individuals are inevitably doomed to disappointment. At the end of the day, they cannot point to these things and say that they are the stuff of which genuine happiness and pride are made. Good leaders sometimes--in fact, quite often--lose in the material world. They go right ahead anyway, knowing that they are going to lose. Are they tiltingwindmills? Do they have a "can't do" instead of a "can do" attitude? Of course not. They are committed to defending the right values. And the right values are seldom safe, easy, or advantageous."
Quoted from Norman H. Schwarzkopf short article titled "Do ethics count any more?"

The bias part:

  • Do you want to do the easy or the hard thing?
  • Do you think you can't talk with your enemies?
  • Do you think that decemating country or countries will stop someone who already decided he has nothing to loose?
  • Do you think that putting more money into military will help?
  • What takes more courage? Bombing from the skies or seeking and removing the roots of such evil even if they are at home?
  • Would you vote for somebody that pointed on himself and said he was wrong?
  • Would you love your country less if you would accept that it did wrong in the past?
  • Do you think retribution under all costs is a valid policy?
  • Who's life is worth more? Yours, your spouses, Israelis, Palestinians?
  • Do you think of yourself as racist?


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
your questions are tiresome (3.50 / 4) (#296)
by speek on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:09:25 AM EST

Here's some pointless answers to your pointless questions:

Do you want to do the easy or the hard thing?

I'd rather do the hard thing (ie, conquer and rebuild these countries as was done with Japan and Germany, not bomb and destroy, and then leave, satisfied)

Do you think you can't talk with your enemies?

These particular ones, no, I don't.

Do you think that decemating country or countries will stop someone who already decided he has nothing to loose?

Nope

Do you think that putting more money into military will help?

Yes

What takes more courage? Bombing from the skies or seeking and removing the roots of such evil even if they are at home?

Removing roots is back breaking work (I've done a lot of it lately). Deciding to engage in back breaking work requires courage. Bombing is cowardly. However, courage vs. cowardice plays no part in my thinking - I think only in terms of results. If it would work, I'd do the most cowardly acts possible.

Would you vote for somebody that pointed on himself and said he was wrong?

Yes

Would you love your country less if you would accept that it did wrong in the past?

I already love my country less - have for a long time. The concept of country is sad. But, apparently we still need the crutch.

Do you think retribution under all costs is a valid policy?

No

Who's life is worth more? Yours, your spouses, Israelis, Palestinians?

In order: my spouse's, mine, Israeli/Palestinian

Do you think of yourself as racist?

Of course I do

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I resign from k5... (2.38 / 18) (#163)
by mkelley on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:11:57 PM EST

As much as I hate to say it, I'm leaving K5 because of comments like this that pass moderation. This is nothing but hatespeech. Hatespeech behind the thin guise of liberalism. You would rather point fingers than help your brother. Shame on you....shame on you in this time that so many have suffered...suffered in a mass of people much greater than many wars and battles. This is a war, a war against a foe that is fighting in the name of religion.

You can type a brilliant piece, but it takes much more to be a brilliant human being.

I resign from k5...

m.kelley
life is like a freeway, if you don't look you could miss it.

I concurr (2.00 / 1) (#220)
by DontTreadOnMe on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:53:55 PM EST

Actually, I "resigned" from K5 quite some time ago, then checked back today to try and get a different take on this week's trajedies.

Having seen a very positive editorial by a Canadian journalist which restored some of my faith in the ungreateful wretches we have been propping up for the last sixty years get voted down faster than the pro-free-software stories were that prompted my original departure while this hateful tripe gets voted to the front page has reinforced my desire not to associate with the likes of K5 readers.

Slashdot sucks, but K5, despite its self-defining airs of superiority and arrogance, makes even that cesspool appear pleasant by comparison.

Good by, good riddence: you are deleted from my life.
--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]

Take a good look in the mirror (2.90 / 11) (#170)
by raz5150 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:28:41 PM EST

It seems odd to me that anyone in the UK would view America as the evil empire. After all, the English have been murdering the Irish for some 800 years now. And it was less than 30 years ago that English soldiers shot and killed 13 Irish demonstrators on Bloody Sunday. Consider how the your own people have reacted to Irish terrorist incidents in England over the years. Now ask yourself how you would respond to a similar well meaning, though condescending, call to reason from an American. The thing is, there are many here who agree with much of what you are saying. But you should realize how inappropriate it is for you to be saying it. It only demonstrates that the Left can be every bit as hypocritical as the Right. It would be nice if England and Europe could find a way to help America for a change, instead of the other way around. That would be a first. But at the very least, take the stick out of your own eye before "helping" someone else with the spec of dust in his eye.

False arguments (2.50 / 4) (#185)
by Best Ace on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:00:23 PM EST

Do not bring the Irish situation up as a reference point in this discussion. It does your argument no favors. Remember that many Americans have been involved in the funding of Sinn Fein, the political arm of an organization that has been involved in terrorism (about 70% of their funding comes from US citizens). Indeed its leader is feted in the USA as a celebrity and man of peace. But by providing funds and support, it could be said that the US is harboring terrorists.

To continue the parallel, it is like the Taliban funding Osama bin Laden (assuming he is behind the WTC attacks), and yet the UK does not talk of bombing the Irish or America for harboring terrorists. Of course British soldiers have done some bad things in Northern Ireland, but put in context, the UK have shown remarkable restraint.

Your final point about providing support to America 'for a change' is rather strange. The UK has consistently been America's closest ally over the years, always lending moral support, and allowing British land to be used as a base for American soldiers. The UK provided the bases for the bombing of Libya in 1986 (the identification of Libya as being behind the attack in Berlin that precipitated the bombing was subsequently found to be questionable). The UK provided moral and political support when the US bombed factories in Sudan in 1998 (also a questionable link to terrorism). The UK is currently supporting the US oppression of Iraq (an illegal operation under the UN charter). Yet what does the US give back to the UK?

The truth is that reality is not black and white. Fault usually lies on both sides, but pointing out each other's deficiencies is hardly a constructive means of solving the problem of terrorism.

[ Parent ]
No argument made (4.00 / 2) (#251)
by raz5150 on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:44:39 PM EST

Referring to the British treatment of the Irish was not for the sake of argument. I simply meant to point out that the English, like us Americans, have many things to be ashamed of when it comes to the treatment of other peoples, or for that matter, even our own people. Are you really so cold hearted to believe that harse criticism and condescension are appropriate during this time of mourning? Or perhaps you really believe that the original article was "a constructive means of solving the problem of terrorism."

[ Parent ]
Perfidious Albion (2.90 / 11) (#174)
by Scrutinizer on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 05:37:49 PM EST

Ah, the europeans. Especially the brits.

What's all this keening about the US being the great oppressor? Have you forgotten the two centuries that Great Britain spent in the conquest and looting of half the world? The victims of that pugnacious little island nation in the north Atlantic must surely number in the millions, since you ran your Empire like a fire sale, taking anything of worth and then leaving.

Except when you got thrown out, that is.

1776, baby...

Or later - Remember China? Boxer Rebellion? Opium War? They just got rid of you in 1997.

"The wogs begin at Calais." - nice philosophy...

And the very thought of Britain giving anyone advice on the Middle East strikes me as highly ironic, since it was you hoity-toity bastards, with your insistance that you knew best, that created most of the areas' problems - those not caused by the Ottomans, that is. Syria? Iraq? Iran? Palestine? Egypt? Saudi Arabia? All have felt the cold, overweening pride of British Soverignty.

Starting wars? You're good at that too, but not so great at finishing them without lots of help from a certain ex-colony. Military, financial, and moral support flowed like a river whenever you needed it, but are you grateful? Don't be silly...

Worry about Ireland, is my advice to mouthy brits, worry about the bloody frogs and krauts going at it yet again, and keep drinking that damned lousy beer you're so fond of....

Arrogant attitudes (3.50 / 4) (#216)
by Best Ace on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:23:10 PM EST

two centuries that Great Britain spent in the conquest and looting of half the world

OK so the Brits did wrong. That was a century ago. American economic imperialism and subjugation of those it deems less worthy is happening here and now. Things can be done about that, if Americans would accept that a lot of their actions outside their borders are questionable.

As for the rest of your post, it is exactly this arrogant and dismissive attitude for anything not American that creates so much enmity bitterness and hatred. If you're not prepared to listen to this kind of argument and take it on board, then progress will never be made.

[ Parent ]

Yeah. Arrogant (4.00 / 2) (#223)
by akma on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:15:06 PM EST

I do have to admit, you are right. There is a lot of arrogance here....but flowing from those in other countries posting here now such as those from europe from those too simple minded to allow a people a few days of mourning to allow the initial rage and shock americans are feeling to fade a little before pointing fingers, and talking about "typical americans", and how the americans know nothing of the outside world, etc... You're right. The arrogance is unbeliveable.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure we speak the same language (4.55 / 34) (#189)
by mjs on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:02:39 PM EST

Because, you see, to us European Lefties, so often the United States are the bad guys, the evil empire: whether out of ill-considered nationalism, or disapproval at the overweening behaviour of the world's only superpower. And by instinct, many of us - I, too - side with, for example, the Palestinians and against the Israeli occupiers and their American supporters; and against the US on a whole range of international issues.

I think that the average American is probably as incomprehensible to most Europeans as you are to us. For example, you describe us as an 'evil empire'. Most of us have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Evil? I truely don't understand: what have we done that is evil? As for empire, this must be the most unusual empire in history. Where are the colonies, the foreign lands restive under our boots? We don't even possess an economic empire in any rational sense of the word. As a culture we consciously rejected even the concept of empire at the beginning of the 20th century: the idea to most of us is abhorent. Frankly, we don't want to rule over you or anyone else: we're not even sure that we want our government to rule us!

You did specifically mention that you support Palestineans over Israel, and I assume that you meant this as an example of something 'wrong' that you can pin on the United States. Could American support of Israel possibly have something to do with the fact that Israelis don't kidnap and murder American tourists? That the Israeli government doesn't sponsor street demonstrations calling for the destruction of our society and the death or enslavement of 300 million people? Yet we still give aid to Palestine, both financial and material. American citizens are free to go to Palestine and give whatever personal assistance their beliefs compell them to do. Think about that - -they hate us, yet we still help them. Perhaps the issue isn't as black-and-white as you seem to think it is.

But still, our European "gut attitude" to you can so easily be one of visceral antagonism

Something that I and my fellow citizens have never understood. Europe was rebuilt largely with American money after WWII. It would have been easy (and in the European mindset of the time, perfectly natural) for the United States to have made all of Europe imperial clients. Yet we didn't. I don't think that anyone on this side of the pond expected European nations to pay back the money we spent; we didn't ask and don't really want it. But to hate us for it? To cheer when terrorists kill thousands of people? What crime have we committed that is so horrible that this is a just punishment? Believe me -- we are capable of learning. Tell us what we did wrong and maybe we won't do it again.

The protesters cheered the Pentagon attack because the building is a visible symbol of American military might and domination - a domination we on the European Left see as evil.

Let's talk about this 'domination' thing for a moment. Do you personally fear American military force? Do you believe that there is a measurable chance that US Marines might someday parade through Downing Street while a rag-tag band of humbled Brits cower under their bayonets? Who exactly is 'dominated' by American military force? When Britian held an imperial empire including India, what was your reaction to Ghandi's practice of peaceful resistance? Indians had reason to fear British military might, as subjugated peoples have always feared their oppressors. Who now fears the American occupation? Heck, it seems to be a lot more difficult to get an American military presence now than any prior time in history: just ask the Bosnians and Albanians how eager the United States is to send troops to their countries, even when they and the rest of Europe ask for them. The government of Somalia asked for American intervention. They got it and it became plain that we weren't wanted. So we left. This is empire? Do Somalians fear American military might? Does anyone?

So for me at least, this bombing does not set any battle lines. It serves instead as a reminder that, as the Auden line has it, those to whom evil is done do evil in return.

The great difference between today's terrorists and the 'freedom fighters' of history is that modern terrorists do not target governments, they target people. Tuesday's acts were aimed at civilians, not government or military installations. Bankers, insurance agents, stockbrokers: these were deliberately targeted in order to create the greatest horror, the most fear, possible. Your statements say that these people did evil to the terrorists, so it was only natural that the terrorists would do this. As a people, we utterly reject such inane, spurious 'logic'. The fantasy on which it is based is the delusion of frightened, spoiled children, not some steely-eyed valient 'freedom fighter' striking for justice for an oppressed people. This wasn't a ringing blow for freedom, nor was it the just or understandable retribution for past injustices: this was a public temper tantrum by spoiled, frightened children espousing causes and beliefs of which they have no understanding. Do you know why so many Americans are calling for death and destruction? Not because Americans were killed -- because innocent people were killed. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters; brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. We grieve for every victim of these cowardly acts, not just for those who happened to be citizens. When firemen pull a body out of the rubble they don't cry just for the white ones or the Christian ones or the ones with New York driver's licenses: their tears flow for all of them, each a unique living, breathing human being who loved and was loved, who had dreams and nightmares and who perhaps desperately wanted someone, some human voice, to talk to as they lay dying. When someone tells me that this was 'understandable' or justified in any twisted, contorted way, I just shake my head in sheer wonder at the apparent human ability to make themselves believe three ridiculous things before breakfast.

I expect that the collective American reaction will not be understood in Europe, either. I doubt that an explanation will help, but in some ways we're a nation of Don Quixotes so I'll have a go at it. As a culture we admire the 'nice guy' and we consciously try to emulate them. Much of the rest of the world perceives our generosity, our willingness to compromise, our extended efforts to resolve differences peacefully, as weakness. That is a delusion. We share the same DNA, you and I and a terrorist. Americans are a peaceful people, or at least we try to be (sometimes more successful, sometimes less.) We are the people who discovered antibiotics, Pluto, jazz. We are among the first to send aid when a hurricane or earthquake levels your town, even if your town is a mud-walled village in a valley next to a mountain in a country we've never heard of before. We are also the people who dropped not one but two atomic bombs on Japan, just in case they didn't understand the first one. We are the nation that fought and won the longest war in living memory, against the Soviet Union, despite having lost most of the battles along the way. We are the nation of Me Lai and Little Big Horn and Vicksburg and Chancellorsville against our own brothers. We aren't proud of these things, but we did them. We wish to God that we hadn't done them, and we pray fervently that they never happen again, but we're no saints. We're human beings, just like you, just like the terrorists who used more than two hundred innocent men, women, and children as unwilling human incendiary bombs. Despite this thin veneer of so-called civilization, we'll react the same way anyone else would if you poke the anthill hard enough. I pray that my government finds another way; I fear that they won't. I'm not afraid for us: I'm afraid for you because when you cast us as the devil, I don't think that you quite understand what you are doing. We're not devils, we're not saints: we're just pissed off people. With nukes.

America will never be safe unless Americans - all Americans, not just the professional security advisers and the policy wonks - think deeply about what drove men to create these acts. Because only then will you be able to try to remove these motives and to create a safer world.

Very true. But understanding does not automatically imply agreement. Let's say for purposes of arguement that we come to a perfect collective understanding of the motivations behind the terrorists' actions. What if we don't agree? What if we conclude that they are whining children looking for someone else to solve their problems for them? Does that then mean that they can or should continue to murder their enemies? Does that make it somehow 'better' when we then turn their villages into dark, smooth lakes of radioactive glass? No. Some other course must be found. But it takes two to make peace, only one to make war. If they will not stop, we can not.

[Lebanon's 300,000 Palestinians suffer not just from poverty and exile but from a range of discriminatory laws aimed at making them emigrate. They are explicitly forbidden to work in virtually any qualified profession, and a recent rule now also makes it illegal for "stateless aliens" to own property.... Some families are now into their fourth generation in the camps.'

Believe me -- we do understand. But our refusal to act is the best evidence that we are not an 'evil empire'. Our government puts what pressure it can on Israel to change the way it treats others, but we also understand that while both sides believe that they are in a fight to the death, attitudes will not change. We strongly believe that people should choose their own course in life. It is one of the tenets of the American view of liberty and freedom that no occupying force can forever keep a people subjugated. If Palestinians want to change their conditions then they should change them. We believe that they have the power to do so. Our government chooses to help Israel, despite the flaws of that regime, because the enemies of Israel have repeatedly said that they intend to destroy that nation, to kill or enslave all of its inhabitants. We believe that they mean what they say, and that they have the power to do so. We refuse to watch from the sidelines not because we have some special love for Jews or Zionism, but because we believe that the extermination of an entire people is wrong. Israel's enemies say that Israel has stolen their land, land that they owned for generations. Yet before them it was the land of others, and before them, still older peoples, the ancestors of both Jew and Arab, lived there. The events of the late 1940's can not be undone; for better or for worse they happened and we are left to make the best of what our father's left us. If the nations surrounding Israel would agree to resolve the dispute in a way other than extermination, you would probably see less American aid going there. But we are not inclined to watch while yet another ancient hatred births a modern holocaust. One other time we watched from the sidelines and look what happened.

I pray beyond the ability of words to express that my government will reflect long and hard before using deadly force in retribution for these acts. I understand that there are many who believe that force is the best way -- or only way -- to answer this horrible event. But even if we know beyond the shadow of a doubt who did this and identify beyond question those responsible, killing them and all of their followers will not prevent acts like this from happening again. We will simply be creating more martyrs, more symbols for fools to rally around, for the future. We need to find some other way. I don't know what that other way may be; in a perfect world we'd all work toward shared understanding and a mutual agreement to leave one another alone, but this is not a perfect world and I strongly suspect that those behind this tragedy are not and will not be content to have made their 'statement' and retire. Failure to respond in some way will just encourage them to act again, and that would be an even greater tragedy than the world has already suffered.

Understanding is the key (4.83 / 6) (#204)
by Best Ace on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:53:57 PM EST

Evil? I truely don't understand...

Perhaps you are justified in feeling offended at the choice of word. It is extremely emotive, but for much of the world, the actions of Americans in pushing their vision of the world onto the everyone else is something that creates much resentment.

As for an empire, this is something the US most definitely does have. Not in terms of conquering and running foreign countries, but the aggressive promoting of the US self-interest around the world is definitely a form of economic imperialism. You say Americans don't want to rule over anyone else. Maybe not in the conventional sense, but America seems to be happy as long as its multi-national companies are dominating the rest of the world.

It would have been easy ... for the United States to have made all of Europe imperial clients. Yet we didn't

No you didn't, the US and UK were (still are) allies. But Marshall aid was not completely altruistic; it provided export markets for US companies and allowed these same companies to become the dominant multi-nationals of our time. Europeans are not ungrateful for your help at that time. I have not seen any Europeans posting in this forum that have said otherwise.

What crime have we committed that is so horrible that this is a just punishment?

The WTC attacks are not a just punishment and those that have cheered these attacks are sick and not representative of most people. But at the same time, you are not innocent.

Believe me -- we are capable of learning. Tell us what we did wrong and maybe we won't do it again.

Judging from the general refusal by most Americans in this forum to face up to the truth over the consequences of America's foreign policy, I wonder if this is true. Please read some of the earlier posts that adress these grievances. They mostly center around the American practice of treating the lives of those outside the US as less important than the profits of America's multi-nationals.

When Britian held an imperial empire...

Britain behaved appallingly when it had an empire. But that was a different era, and most Brits acknowledge that they behaved appallingly. And therein lies the difference. American domination is here and now, and its excesses can be addressed now, if only America were to accept that it does behave appallingly.

You are clearly proud of your country; I respect that, and indeed you have much to be proud of. I also respect your level-headed call for measured restraint. It is a refreshing change from the 'nuke the bastard' mentality that currently pervades much American thought. But an understanding of the reasons that would push people to go to such lengths in their hatred of America is the only way towards being able to prevent similar attacks in the future.

[ Parent ]

You are right, but...... (4.00 / 2) (#236)
by galazi on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:13:32 PM EST

But an understanding of the reasons that would push people to go to such lengths in their hatred of America is the only way towards being able to prevent similar attacks in the future.

I think history has shown repeatedly that it is impossible to counter terrorism fully by physical means, especially if the terrorist is absolutely willing to die for the cause. It's therefore hard to argue with your reasoning that the motivation of the terrorists has to be addressed.

However, achieving the understanding that you talk about is going to be next to impossible IMO. The problem is that the range of reasons why people hate America is so great.

The writer of the original piece dislikes America for different reasons than Osama Bin Laden does (who appears to hate it because it supports the Saudi regime, the true target of his rage), for different reasons than Timothy McVeigh did, and different reasons again to the Palestinians etc, etc, etc.

One grouping who dislike America and whom I have some experience of are the Muslim peoples (and sorry for that shocking generalisation, but that is part of my point). I have travelled extensively in the Middle East and in other Muslim regions like Pakistan. I have talked in depth to Palestinians, Gulf Arabs, Uzbeks, Taliban fighters, and Afghan refugees in the camps in Pakistan and in the ex-Soviet Muslim Republics. Not all of these people disliked America, but in many cases I was struck not only by how deeply the antipathy towards America is, but also how diverse it is.

While the term "Evil Empire" may be the term of choice of European Yank bashers, in the Muslim countries a better all encompassing descriptive term would be the "Great Satan". You can define Satan in many ways - enemy of God, "full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every possible way", The Adversary, the list is endless. But what the term captures is the fact that America is a focus to all the hatred and resentment and anger that these people harbour, whatever the root cause - effectively for all the bad out there.

I could summarise my conversations as: some Muslims see America (though not necessarily individual Americans) as responsible for all that is wrong in their world and in their lives, and all that is wrong in the world and lives of their fellow Muslims. When you add to this the many other groups who dislike America, the range of reasons why America is hated is huge.

When people blame you for everything, trying to gain an understanding of why they hate strikes me as very hard. It's also only a first step, only part of a solution. The second step (which you missed in your piece, but impled) is that you need also to to change these perceptions. Again you are faced with incredible difficulties, not just because there are so many perceptions to change, but because changing these sort of deeply held beliefs is the work of generations, not something that can be done in an afternoon or even probably in a decade. And then you have to face the fact that (as some here would argue strongly) some of the perceptions may be justified and changing the underlying causes of them may run up against very powerful entrenched interests that see no need to change.

Of course that does not mean that America and the "West" in general should not work as quickly and effectively as they can towards acceptance, understanding and amelioration. However, we should accept that in the short to medium term this may only be a palliative, not a cure.

[ Parent ]

Thinking long term (3.00 / 1) (#303)
by Best Ace on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:29:15 AM EST

'...achieving the understanding that you talk about is going to be next to impossible'

You may well be right, but that should not prevent us from striving to reach it. To many, this may sound like lazy left-wing liberalism, but I genuinely do not see any other way of moving forward.

You are right of course that dislike of America takes many forms, but maybe there are some common threads underlying the rhetoric and vitriol. I will not try and identify these here; like you say, this is a difficult job, and is one for the months and years ahead. I will merely point out that all this hatred must surely be founded in something concrete. Although the troubles of many people in this world are falsely ascribed to the US, many also have valid grievances.

Furthermore, I reject the notion that religion is a driving factor in creating this hatred. It may be one factor among many, but to use this as a tool of understanding, or even justification, is simply an abdication of responsibility. Nowhere in the Koran, as far as I know, does it say that murder of innocents is acceptable. (I hesitate to add, because it is hardly relevant, that there are such instances in the bible - the annihilation of the Amalekites comes to mind).

I agree when you say that the required second step of changing perceptions is one that could take generations. This is where I have great concern. Western democracies are not designed or optimized for the design and implementation of policies that have a payback period in decades. A president with a four year term of office will find it much easier to respond with missiles than with talk of understanding and contrition. I am afraid that for me, the glass is very much half empty.

'Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding' - Einstein

[ Parent ]

Wow! (3.25 / 4) (#212)
by Otter on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:15:10 PM EST

I gave it a 5 -- would have given it a 500 if it were possible.

Incidentally, I just came across this picture of the celebration in Lebanon. Notice the (poorly done) Los Angeles Lakers hat and the Chicago Bears jersey. I think one reason Americans have trouble believing so many people hate us is that the same people so desperately want to be us. (I mean, the terrorists could have learned to fly anywhere else in the world, couldn't they? We rolled out the welcome mat for them just like previous generations of Americans did for my family.)

[ Parent ]

Are you sure? (4.33 / 3) (#301)
by BobaFatt on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:12:17 AM EST

We are the people who discovered antibiotics...

I'm not sure Alexander Fleming would have agreed with you (although his assistant really deserves the credit)


The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]

Antibiotics - Arrogance (3.00 / 1) (#377)
by iwnbap on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:55:55 AM EST

The greatest and the worst features of Americans is their arrogance. I love them for their self confidence - love them for their drive - love them for their ability to get things done.

Unfortunately this attitude often translates into arrogance. Case in point - antibiotic yeasts were discovered by an Englishman (Fleming) in 1929. Mass production and medical techniques were worked out by Florey (an Australian - he's on the AUD $100 bill) and Chain (A German Jew). Florey was working in Oxford University, in the UK at the time. Chain subsequently went to the USA.

This is no reason to hate Americans and the USA - the only thing it does is make one occasionally doubt the rationality and sense. The US has a long history of a "make it up as we go along" foreign policy - not good, not bad but ill-conceived, and based on assumptions coming out of the belief that whatever they do is right. If a mouse of a nation has an ill-conceived foreign policy it doesn't really matter. When the 800lb gorilla of nations isn't thinking too hard, that can be a problem. My fear is that in respone to this tradgedy we're going to get more of the same - make it up as we go along, without real objectives style foreign policy.

Compare this and this.

[ Parent ]

Not just the yanks are arrogant... (3.50 / 2) (#381)
by Lord INSERT NAME HERE on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:32:01 AM EST

Fleming was a Scotsman. Are you, perchance, English?
--
Comics are good. Read mine. That's an order.
[ Parent ]
No ... (none / 0) (#406)
by iwnbap on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 10:21:34 PM EST

I was just dropped on my head too many times when I was little. Apologies to all good scotsmen - you are of course correct.

[ Parent ]
Brain fart -- my bad! (none / 0) (#405)
by mjs on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 09:25:38 PM EST

Duh, that 'discovery of antibiotic' thing was hosed, no doubt about it: I was probably thinking about streptomycin. I have no idea why I didn't think of penicillin. Although, in all fairness, Pasteur has to get some credit in the whole thing, as do probably a myriad of unknown others. Nevertheless, I stand corrected as even today, even considering the abuses in usage over the past 40-odd years, penicillin is still one the the most potent antibiotics we have.

Sorry to have offended. Next time I'll try to wake up before typing :)

[ Parent ]

Evil is as Evil does... (3.00 / 3) (#385)
by itsbruce on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:31:27 AM EST

Like the governments of most Western democracies, the US government is a long recored of sponsoring or participating in (however covertly) injustices or atrocities against the citizens of less fortunate countries. The trick is to choose a victim that the citizens of the Western democracies don't care about (being less "civilised" or too far away or just not white-European) or to excuse it as defence of Western Democracy or to use some other big event as a distraction.

In each of the Western democracies there is a section of the population who object to these injustices. Being human, they may tend to object more loudly to the injustices committed by foreign govenments than their own (depending on their psychology). Since the US is bigger, more powerful and more visible, such people will object to the actions of the US government most loudly.

Such people should examine their consciences with more rigour. However, this does not change the fact that such injustices and oppressions are regulary committed by Western governments, including your own. The sad fact is that the cumulative effect has been to build resentment in sections of the victim populations to a level which creates events such as September 11.

Much as I would criticise those whose protest against the US is based on bigotry, I have no sympathy at all for your outlook. To grow up, as you seem to have, entirely unaware of this situation, accepting completely your government's excuses for its actions (much as many of my UK compatriots feel no responsibility for or connection to events in Northern Ireland) represents IMO an active effort to live your life in wilful ignorance.

I'm not trying to justify the bombing: I don't see it as justified. But take of your rose-tinted spectacles, please. Look at the situation with some kind of realism. This is urgent: if America reacts to this murder from the viewpoint which you seem to exemplify then the vicious cycle of retribution will only intensify.

If the citizens of the West were as intolerant of the oppression of foreigners as they are of any attack on their own freedom then we would not need to be having this conversation. Unfortunately this is not the case. Hence the same people who cheered when shown arcade-game-style video of bombs dropping on Baghdad are mystified when others cheer at their own misfortune.


--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]
Peace in our time (2.72 / 11) (#201)
by lovejoy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:32:58 PM EST

First, let me say, authors should learn to make their points in a much more concise manner. It took the author FOUR very long paragraphs to get to his thesis.

Second, he's wrong to even suggest this. He has no standing to make his argument. He is not a citizen and he does not have nor should he have a voice in American policy. I have to say now that I'm fighting a sense of euro-anger. It seems (and I know there are a million counter-examples, and I know I'm going to anger a lot of very good people) It seems that the VOCAL europeans are weak-willed appeasers who will do anything just to get along. (Neville Chamberlain?)

Just like this author, they'll try to provide a context for the attack - say it provides an opportunity to look upon the treatment of Palestinians. No, it doesn't. This brutality stands on its own, outside the context of history. How can you speak for the terrorists' agenda in this way after what they did?

Finally, the scale of these attacks means war. This is not a matter for the courts. The only language these monsters understand is violence, so we will speak to them in their language. I deliberately use the word "monster" here. As Orson Scott Card might say, they are "varelse." We can't understand them because their hatred makes them irrational and therefore incomprehensible. So what do we do with irrational, incomprehensible, deadly threats? We eradicate them.

Does that mean that we will take premature action? No, of course not. It means we will investigate and consider how best to bring this hell back to them. And once we have identified the culprits, we will eradicate them and break the back of all terrorist organizations that threaten the United States. Yes, war is a politics by another means. It is the only effective means which remains.

You may hate us, but that is what we are going to do. In that willingness to act lies the greatness of America.

WWIII (4.25 / 4) (#252)
by daedalus on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:49:30 PM EST

This is the sort of comment that frightens me. I live in Australia, about as far away from the tragedy as you can get. I feel the same sorts of emotions as everyone else apparently does: revulsion, sorrow, anger; but one of my first thoughts as I watched the second plane collide live on national television was: "Some idiot just started World War III."

Quite frankly, I find that much more frightening than the threat of terrorism. I can still remember the quiet terror of the Cold War where nuclear winter seemed a button-push away. A time when Sting wrote Russians.

I support a search for the perpetrators. I support bringing those individuals to justice through the well established means of international law. That's what it's for, but I implore those in the US to exercise restraint. There are plenty of old chestnuts to wheel out at a time like this: "Turn the other cheek." "Don't sink to their level." I prefer to rely on something which is completely self-serving: I'd like to be able to have my children play on the beach one day in the future.

Wouldn't you?


-- Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT after you.
[ Parent ]

Interesting Viewpoint, but one little thing... (4.15 / 13) (#202)
by relayswitch on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:43:37 PM EST

You seem to be indicating that if America had just sat down and shut up and played quietly in the corner, this never would have happened. Let me make one small analogy.

A few years ago, my current girlfriend was raped while out on tour. Yep, held down, beaten, personal violation rape. Although she knew her assailant, she never brought charges and he was never punished. Anybody want to venture a guess why?

When she looked for guidance, she was told that if she hadn't been dressed so provocatively, it never would have happened. Yep, a t-shirt and snug jeans is justification for one of the most brutal crimes on the planet. She was made to feel, by people she trusted, that she was really at fault, that she had brought this onto herself. She still wakes up screaming and crying.

Hrm.. I'm seeing a correlation here. All you US-haters are saying "Well, if your country wasn't in the spotlight, you never would have been targeted". I say bullshit. I say that something like this would have happened to some country somewhere. If the USA wasn't the target, maybe it would be Britain for the colonization hundreds of years ago. Maybe it would have been Israel, for the unforgivable sin of existing in the Holy Land. Maybe it would have been Pakistan for having developed nuclear weapons. Could have been Russia, Japan or even Mexico. All of these countries have had problems with terror attacks.

I refuse to believe that we brought this on ourselves, it's more like John Lennon being stalked and murdered by Mark David Chapman- he was a bright star and easily visible.

The people responsible for this atrocious act have raped America, and instead of being shamed and running away, this country will find those who are responsible for violating our territory and our live and punish them. We will not run, we will not hide, the spine of my country is too strong to be bent to the will of mass murderers.

My two bits
Relay Switch

girl friend (3.00 / 1) (#210)
by ncmusic on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:11:21 PM EST

Please tell me if you knew the assailant that you beat his ass. I think i would react to something like that the same way the country wants to react about the bombing. Especially after we find those responsible.

[ Parent ]
If I'd have known him (3.00 / 1) (#225)
by relayswitch on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:33:24 PM EST

I'd have beaten him to within an inch of his life. Overly agressive male posturing, to be sure, seeing as this happened in another state six years ago, but she's still not OK

Relay Switch

[ Parent ]
You're definitely upping the ante (4.33 / 3) (#214)
by electroniceric on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:21:08 PM EST

by mentioning rape.

I couldn't agree with you more that telling a rape victim that she brought it on yourself is reprehensible. Likewise the idea that we brought terrorism on ourselves. Nobody deserves either of these under ANY circumstances.
All he's suggesting is drop the good-vs-evil thing for a moment, and try to get inside other people's heads. Not to so you have to agree with them, but to find out what's going on.
Terrorism like this is an individual act. Do you really think it's that hard to find volunteers to fly a plane into a building for what they see as unending glory? There are several hundred thousand of them in Afghanistan alone.
All those Afghans may be wrong in calling us the great Satan, but they do. And all it takes is 3 people to blow up two of the most important buildings in this country. I say the better we understand what's in their heads, the better we can prevent this kind of act. And some point - not now - that means listening humbly to them.

[ Parent ]

The crux. (3.00 / 1) (#240)
by Malkavian on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:21:54 PM EST

I disagree that you should be listening humbly to them. They are the ones that should be listening humbly.
The rape parallel is rather more awkward than the 'she was asking for it'. The situation here is more like "The Vice Chairman of the company she works for, who retired 30 years ago, once wore makeup and suspenders in public. Therefore she was asking to be raped.".
What the world really needs to be secure is for all people everywhere to understand that these actions are wrong. When everyone (as almost all in the world already do now, which is a huge gain on just a few hundred years ago) in the world understands this, then you will be safe.
Otherwise, terrorism is fated to happen again and again by people with a bit of a different viewpoint who expect you to listen to them, and think that killing a few thousand people is an acceptable way to get their voice heard.

[ Parent ]
America is the rapist in their eyes (4.66 / 3) (#221)
by iserlohn on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:56:46 PM EST

Don't you understand?

America is thought of as the rapist because it is thought of as the new imperial power that is injecting cash into and supporting regimes that oppresses different peoples. These peoples truly believe that they are only fighting back at the "rape by Americians".

This is the price that America pays to be the policeman of the world, trying to enforce "American Values" in troubled places.

I'm not saying that what was done was right. I'm just saying that the people who did this did not see this as an attack, they saw this as a retaliation.

:: Ultimate Control Dedicated/VM Servers 20+ OS selections
[ Parent ]
Rapists (4.50 / 2) (#297)
by acronos on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:17:25 AM EST

It is very common for rapists to have been themselves abused. It is very common for them to be lashing out in anger at what they feel has been injustance to them. This does not and never will justify their crime.

[ Parent ]
You are carrying the analogy too far (4.00 / 1) (#323)
by iserlohn on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:07:54 PM EST

Take in context of the original message. The original poster has implied that America is the victim. What I said is that America is not seen as the victim in many parts of the world. It is seen as the perpetrator.

Rape is about taking something by force. It does not need to be connected to the current connotation related to sex.

:: Ultimate Control Dedicated/VM Servers 20+ OS selections
[ Parent ]
The American speaks (4.21 / 14) (#203)
by electroniceric on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 06:51:13 PM EST

From an American to a Brit:

Well written. The people who post "we should have let you pansy faggots get conquered in WWII" prove your point exceptionally well. In keeping with your ideas, though, I think it would help Europeans to understand some of the quirks of this country, good and bad:

  • Americans are particularly uncomfortable with the idea of an agenda that is at once self-serving and altruistic. To our minds you are either serving yourself or sacrificing to serve others. So when we offer foreign aid, right or wrong, we are likely to view this as a noble generosity. Similarly, what you believe is supposed to be a logical consequence of the principles you adhere to, not a consequence of some fuzzy "take" on things.
  • We are also convinced (both for better and for worse, I believe) that there is such a thing as Justice. When we believe that something ought to be fair, we really put our hearts into it to make it fair. It makes for the longest tax code on earth, but also real protection of individual freedoms. People here are into being able to do whatever they please, and this country pretty much allows them to. (Please spare us the rants about police abuse of minorities and failures in the justice system - I agree with them, but they're distracting). Our sense of indignation at injustice frequently translates into self-righteous preachiness, which others find insufferable. We are stubbornly naive in this sense, but this is often a refreshing change from cynicism and experience.
  • Americans really, really believe in work. What we "do" to us means where we work. We work more than any other countries, and we not infrequently manage to make ourselves rich. The idea that the point of life is one's work is so deep, so ingrained for us that it's hard to have a meaningful conversation with an American (of any political stripe) suggesting that he or she just do a little less with our time. It makes us frenetic, restless and incredibly productive.

We are also a proud, honest, kind and generous people. Like peoples everywhere. we really are that, in our minds, in our heads, in our part of the world.
To end this cultural send-up on a more personal note, let me mention a Spanish friend of mine who came to visit last summer. She came convinced that we were all cretins, McDonald-eatin, chest-thumpin assholes. She went away seeing that it's true in the way that those kind of generalities are true - they have substantial truth to them, but they miss many important, human points.
Since you speak English, I invite you to come learn about us. (It's harder if you don't). Visit, hang out with Americans, learn for yourself about why we are the way we are. Understand us.

Self-Inconsistent (3.91 / 12) (#206)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 07:01:12 PM EST

Proposition one: The US should accept blame for what was done to it, because it was instrumental in the cause of a cause that led to what was done to it.

Proposition two: The US is to blame for whatever it does now because of what was done to it.

I don't understand how holding both of those is consistent. If you believe we caused them to do what they did, then you must use a similar (free choice deprived) system of logic for what we do in the future, and thus conclude that those found responsible caused their own future suffering.

If you expect us to take upon ourselves the full blame of our future actions, then shouldn't you expect those responsible to take the full blame upon themselves.

Either way, they caused our reprisal or we are the willing instrument of their justice, fuck em and their accomplices in this large scale murder. Tit for Tat. They defected.



Look beyond your old habits (3.83 / 12) (#226)
by Keslin on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:33:39 PM EST

I came here tonight to Kuro5hin for the first time in quite a while, because I thought that this might be a place of unity. I thought that the members of this community, being some of the most intelligent citizenry in the civilized world, would understand that this is a time to come together and share an experience.

I'm very disappointed to see that this community is unable to look beyond its habits and realize that there is something more important going on right now. A US-ian versus non-US-ian debate at a time like this is truly tasteless and inappropriate. It boggles my mind that anybody here would even consider participating in this sort of activity right now.

Those of you on both sides of this debate need to go and turn on the television. Go and watch the inescapable television interviews of the people desperately trying to find their friends and family. Tens of thousands of people are avoiding the conclusion that they will never see the people that they love, ever again. They are clamoring for attention from television crews because they have kept hope alive for days that dad would come home, that mom is unconscious in a hospital somewhere, that it's a cell phone battery failure between them and their loved ones, not death. Those peoples' hopes are collapsing tonight as I write this. They will soon be forced to face the fact that it's over. Life has ended. The people that we love are "missing" tonight, but next week they will be listed as "dead".

Look beyond your old habits. There was a time when it was appropriate to sit around arguing about what country's political policies were more appropriate, or what little pocket of civilization has the most sophisticated cultural attributes. That time is gone, it's time to come together now. Even if the entire civilized world is not destined to be united politically, then this is at the very least a time for humans to join together to share a powerful experience and to mourn a terrible loss.

Anyone with a truly cosmopolitan world view would understand that inherently.

Time to go beyond the moment (4.50 / 2) (#324)
by thejeff on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:13:47 PM EST

Granted the US-ian versus non-US-ian flamewar is tasteless and inappropriate. On the other hand I can't accept that a debate about the history and reasons behind the hatred of the US that led to the terrorist attack is inappropriate especially now. Especially if it can influence what we are willing to accept as a response. You can rest assured that the politicians and others who will make these decisions are not just grieving, they are planning and what they plan will depend on both the facts that are revealed and on the mood of the nation.

I do not think that a cosmopolitan world view is limited to believing that the US is a pure shining light that can do no wrong.

thejeff

[ Parent ]

When the aliens attack... (1.00 / 1) (#387)
by Keslin on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:54:36 PM EST

When the aliens attack, are we going to sit around arguing about whether the pizza is better in Chicago or New York?

[ Parent ]
Once again... (2.50 / 12) (#227)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:34:41 PM EST

Once again, we see that Americans don't have the slightest clue about their governments foreign policy, and how they are seen by the rest of the world.

Did you know that for a period of time, Bin Laden was supported by the US government (when it suited them)? Did you know that many other dictatorships have been supported by the US government because it suited them (Pinochet is an excellent example)? Did you know that America has sold arms & military equipment to many of the countries they then turn around and denounce?

This article is another side of the argument. Noam Chomsky makes some interesting comments as well.

Try learning something about your governments policy before posting your kneejerk responses.

yes we know, dipshit (1.00 / 2) (#234)
by budcub on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:09:57 PM EST

We helped the Afghanis during their struggle against the Soviet Union. At the time the Soviet Union was our enemy, and for that reason we helped their enemy (the enemy of my enemy is my friend).

And this is how they repay us. With their left hand they take our weapons, money, and training, smiling, and with their left they turn around and slap us. The same thing happened with Saddam Hussein and Iraq (we supported them in their war against Iran, again Iran was our enemy at the time).

If there's one thing we should learn, is don't take sides with this mid-east countries, because they have no concept of loyalty.

[ Parent ]

Loyalty (2.00 / 1) (#242)
by Malkavian on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:30:27 PM EST

Actually, they are pretty loyal, just the same as any other sane living being.
Do not judge the countries and peoples by a handful of malcontents and insane.
The closest analogy would be trying to figure out the heart of American dreams by studying the inmates of a lunatic asylum.


[ Parent ]
What a civil comment. (3.00 / 2) (#257)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:03:45 PM EST

Dipshit? How well reasoned and well thought out, and, dare I say it, mature your argument is. Tell you what, when you're ready to discuss this as a reasonable human being, let me know. Until then, I'm not going to bother responding to your thoughts, except perhaps to say: The enemy of you enemy is not your friend, they are just someone who shares your enemy.

[ Parent ]
Enemies and such. (3.00 / 1) (#319)
by DeanT on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:17:25 PM EST

The enemy of you enemy is not your friend, they are just someone who shares your enemy.
I completely agree. And I also think "dipshit" was unwarranted.

Lately, I've been thinking maybe the US should pull back. Don't mess with conflict around the globe.

I might be hard to say "Shucks" and kick our feet and smile when leaders of countries are yelling for help. But, hey, maybe it's time for someone else to be the global assistance organization. At least the US wouldn't be the one making all these enemies.

[ Parent ]

Wrong response (not yours) (4.00 / 1) (#361)
by stuartf on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:17:14 PM EST

Lately, I've been thinking maybe the US should pull back. Don't mess with conflict around the globe.

I think this would be sad, the US has plenty of help to give. However, they could do with changing the way they give assistance. See New Zealand or Australia for examples of countries who give help when needed, but don't interfere.

I might be hard to say "Shucks" and kick our feet and smile when leaders of countries are yelling for help. But, hey, maybe it's time for someone else to be the global assistance organization. At least the US wouldn't be the one making all these enemies.

I think that's rather the point - the yelling for help. The US has rather to ugly a history of helping when they're not wanted, or applying the wrong sort of help. I consider helping bring a dictator to power and supporting said dictator the wrong sort of help. They're not making enemies because they're helping, they're making enemies because they're meddling to suit their own national interests. The same thing seems to apply to the "help" the IMF offers developing nations, which is why they aren't too popular either.

[ Parent ]

Quintessential Chomsky (4.00 / 3) (#238)
by electroniceric on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:15:57 PM EST

Brilliant ideas (not saying they're right), but absolutely misses the point that he's a person like the rest of us.

This kind of ranting, complete with its highly moralizing subtext, is all too present in the debates of over globalism. That people as smart as Chomsky and yourself miss the fundamental humanity of respecting the viewpoint of someone who disagrees, and argue from that basis, make me sad for the left.
None of know what's right, we just try to work it out.

[ Parent ]

Humanity? (3.00 / 1) (#268)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:54:15 PM EST

That people as smart as Chomsky and yourself miss the fundamental humanity of respecting the viewpoint of someone who disagrees, and argue from that basis, make me sad for the left

Where exactly did I (or Chomsky for that matter) show disrespect for the viewpoint of others? I certainly disagree with many of the viewpoints expressed, but I respect peoples right to have them. I do believe it is important to post from an informed point of view, which I try to do.

[ Parent ]

umm (none / 0) (#393)
by core10k on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:22:47 PM EST

You'll have a damned hard time finding people as smart as Chomsky. He's not just a leftist celebrity, you know.

[ Parent ]
Funny conclusion (3.00 / 1) (#241)
by SeaCrazy on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:24:39 PM EST

Once again, we see that Americans don't have the slightest clue about their governments foreign policy,

Ok, tell me what exactly shows you this fact? Obvoisly you think that all Americans are ignorant, but a genaralizing statement like that I find to be very... well... ignorant.

and how they are seen by the rest of the world.

So all the rest of the world hates all Americans, think they deserve to die, and are willing to kill themselves to achieve that?

Not only do you know everything about all Americans, but also everybody else in the whole world. I find that fascinating.

Did you know that for a period of time, Bin Laden was supported by the US government (when it suited them)?

Did you know, that when coming back to Saudi Arabia from Afghanistan (where his efforts to out the Soviets had been supported by the US), thought that the US military on Saudi territory was blasphemy (After the Americans had helped fending Iraq off from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) because according to the Koran no non-believers are allowed in "muslim territory" for a certain amount of time (which I have forgotten) without converting. Did you know, that this was when Bin Laden started hating America and Americans?
Now the US could not really support someone that was so openly opposed to them could they. Besides, the US supported fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, not much point in supporting Bin Lande after this was there?

Did you know that many other dictatorships have been supported by the US government because it suited them (Pinochet is an excellent example)?

Hmm, "other dictatorships"?
Now, exactly where was Bin Laden a dictator?

Try learning something about what you want to make remarks about before posting your kneejerk remarks.

[ Parent ]
Not so funny really (3.00 / 3) (#249)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:23:19 PM EST

Ok, tell me what exactly shows you this fact?

All the responses to the article show it - why did this happen, it's not our fault, America is innocent. Now you're quite right, all the people in that building were innocent, and didn't deserve to die, but that misses the point of what I said. American's don't seem to be aware of the crimes their government commits in the name of America.

Obvoisly you think that all Americans are ignorant, but a genaralizing statement like that I find to be very... well... ignorant.

I don't think all Americans are ignorant, but a great many seem to be unwilling to see that they are not the great good of the world. America, like every other country is a shade of grey, not purest white. Some would venture that internally they are more white than black, and externally they are more black than white, it's a hard call. But to deny that America's foreign policy has nothing to do with this is ignorance.

So all the rest of the world hates all Americans, think they deserve to die, and are willing to kill themselves to achieve that?

Once again, an interesting interpretation of what I wrote. I didn't say that at all. Americans seem to think of themselves as pure and innocent, and a great global leader, whereas many outside of America see that they interfere with a great many things they shouldnn't, purely because it suits their national interest.

Not only do you know everything about all Americans, but also everybody else in the whole world. I find that fascinating.

And I find fascinating the fact that you seem to know everything about what I think. You seem to have completely misunderstood me.

Did you know, that when coming back to Saudi Arabia from Afghanistan (where his efforts to out the Soviets had been supported by the US), thought that the US military on Saudi territory was blasphemy (After the Americans had helped fending Iraq off from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) because according to the Koran no non-believers are allowed in "muslim territory" for a certain amount of time (which I have forgotten) without converting. Did you know, that this was when Bin Laden started hating America and Americans? Now the US could not really support someone that was so openly opposed to them could they. Besides, the US supported fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, not much point in supporting Bin Lande after this was there?

And so what? Why were the Americans meddling in a situation that they had nothing to do with? Because once again, it suited their national interest. And you wonder why some countries see America as the Great Satan.

Now the US could not really support someone that was so openly opposed to them could they. Besides, the US supported fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, not much point in supporting Bin Lande after this was there?

Not much point supporting him before really either. He was deranged before, he's still deranged. To support someone like this is foolishness. Do you give crazy people guns?

Hmm, "other dictatorships"? Now, exactly where was Bin Laden a dictator?

Typo, so sue me. Should have dropped the "other". Is that the best you can do - how about addressing the point?

Try learning something about what you want to make remarks about before posting your kneejerk remarks.

Someone has certainly posted a kneejerk response, I wonder who.

[ Parent ]

you're still doing it (3.00 / 1) (#307)
by SeaCrazy on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:11:28 AM EST

And I find fascinating the fact that you seem to know everything about what I think. You seem to have completely misunderstood me.

Not really, I simply applied your own logic to your message. Yes that makes it a little overbearing, but that is the point.

All the responses to the article show it - why did this happen, it's not our fault, America is innocent.

Again here we go, All the responses!?
Go back and re-read all the responses and count how many are claiming the US to be totally innocent and then come back with your claim.
I don't remember seeing anybody claiming that the US is perfect and has never done anything wrong. I do however see a lot of people claiming that the US have done nothing to justify what happened to it on Tuesday.

I don't think all Americans are ignorant, but a great many seem to be unwilling to see that they are not the great good of the world. America, like every other country is a shade of grey, not purest white. Some would venture that internally they are more white than black, and externally they are more black than white, it's a hard call. But to deny that America's foreign policy has nothing to do with this is ignorance.

Again this is YOUR opinion, you automatically assume that all people have the same values and beliefs as you, and since Americans don't seem to object to thier foreign policy that must mean that they don't know anything about it. Because since your opinion is obviously the right one, if they knew, they would feel the same way as you do.
Has it ever occured to you that many Americans may both know about and agree with their foreign policy?

And so what? Why were the Americans meddling in a situation that they had nothing to do with? Because once again, it suited their national interest. And you wonder why some countries see America as the Great Satan.

While certain other countries (mine included) preide themselves of their so called neutrality the Americans are actually trying to make a difference, no I'm not saying what they do is always perfect, that they never hurt anyone, noone is saying that. But atleast they are trying. I don't understan how people can stand in the sidelines and pride themselves in being too scared to take sides, to get involved.
If you see somebody being brutaly beaten in the streets, or beign raped, would you just stand and watch and say "I am a good person because I don't meddle in these people's business"??
You say the US only does meddle in others business when it suits their national interest.
Well look at it this way, say the person you see being beaten up in the street is some scruffy looking person you don't know, and the assailant is a really big strong looking dude. You might stay out of it from fear of being hurt. Now lets say the person beign beat up is your best friend, or your girlfriend, I don't think you would stand by and say "nah, I might get hurt", because now all of a sudden you have a (national) interest.

What do you really thin would have hapened if there had been no other power to counterbalance the Soviet Union during it's peak? Yes it was very sad that countries like Afghanistan and Korea became the battleground of (the big guys). But do you think the US should simply let the USSR steamroll all over the world?
It's very easy to say you are taking sides and criticise everyone else, when taking sides to you means not actually doing anything about it. Typo, so sue me. Should have dropped the "other". Is that the best you can do - how about addressing the point?

That's what I did, the point was that you were complaining about people posting without knowing the facts. Then you better keep your own facts straight.

Someone has certainly posted a kneejerk response, I wonder who.

Not me said the...

[ Parent ]
Whizzzz!! (3.00 / 1) (#376)
by stuartf on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:44:11 AM EST

What was that? The sound of the point flying completely over your head.

I don't remember seeing anybody claiming that the US is perfect and has never done anything wrong. I do however see a lot of people claiming that the US have done nothing to justify what happened to it on Tuesday.

Yes, and that was my point. If they think America has done nothing to justify it, they could be wrong. America has had a foreign policy that has involved all sorts of things liable to piss people off. That's not to say that America deserved what happened on Tuesday, just that it's not a complete mystery as to why it happened.

Well look at it this way, say the person you see being beaten up in the street is some scruffy looking person you don't know, and the assailant is a really big strong looking dude. You might stay out of it from fear of being hurt. Now lets say the person beign beat up is your best friend, or your girlfriend, I don't think you would stand by and say "nah, I might get hurt", because now all of a sudden you have a (national) interest.

No, but that's not what the US has done in many cases. Sometimes they've installed someone else just as big and scruffy looking to beat up everyone else.

But do you think the US should simply let the USSR steamroll all over the world?

No, but neither do I think the US should be doing some of the things it does.

[ Parent ]

Bad aim, that cheapshot went way wide... (none / 0) (#433)
by SeaCrazy on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:41:21 PM EST

I don't remember seeing anybody claiming that the US is perfect and has never done anything wrong. I do however see a lot of people claiming that the US have done nothing to justify what happened to it on Tuesday.


Yes, and that was my point. If they think America has done nothing to justify it, they could be wrong. America has had a foreign policy that has involved all sorts of things liable to piss people off. That's not to say that America deserved what happened on Tuesday, just that it's not a complete mystery as to why it happened.

Ok, besides the fact that you are contradicting yourself, aren't we in essence saying the same thing here?

I say contradicting because in my mind, the attack being justified = America deserving it.

No, but neither do I think the US should be doing some of the things it does.

Neither do I. I doubt that many people feel that everything that the US has done is completely right and just. But my point is that even though the US has done bad things it does not warrant the kind of response that these terrorists obviuosly thought was justified.

[ Parent ]
Asshole! (1.00 / 1) (#368)
by killalldash9 on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:29:57 PM EST

"And so what? Why were the Americans meddling in a situation that they had nothing to do with? Because once again, it suited their national interest. And you wonder why some countries see America as the Great Satan."

If I thought everyone in Europe was as big an asshole as you, I would wish that America had not meddled in WWII and left you all to the Nazis. Yeah, that's right. You Europeans weren't complaining too much about all of our boys who died to keep your ass free.


Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
Sad (3.00 / 1) (#375)
by stuartf on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:38:47 AM EST

If I thought everyone in Europe was as big an asshole as you, I would wish that America had not meddled in WWII and left you all to the Nazis. Yeah, that's right. You Europeans weren't complaining too much about all of our boys who died to keep your ass free.

I'm not European, so lets get that out of the way first. I never said the Americans haven't been helpful. I have said the Americans have meddled where they shouldn't, and that has justifiably pissed people off. And I'm talking about cause, not fault. It's not the Americans fault that this happened, but given the US foreign policy, you can see why it might have.

And might I just add how well reasoned and mature your post was?

[ Parent ]

On the subject of no clue... (4.33 / 3) (#243)
by Malkavian on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:41:11 PM EST

I'm a Brit, but I know damn well that England changed much of the world to suit itself. Would you say that gives the world an excuse to kill any Brit they come across?
In some of the Middle East countries, women are subjugated by law and religion. This was written to suit the men (I'm a guy, so it's no feminist rant). Does that give the women the right to kill any men they see?
In every place in the world, you see events just like those described in the Guardian, perpetrated by countless people and countries. Slowly the world is learning better, and yet you seem quite happy to single out one country and say it deserves punishment. More, you seem to be hinting that it's ok to kill people if they're ignorant of something. Perhaps it should be deemed quite ok to drop you in the heart of a nuclear reactor because you don't understand quantum physics.
Just sit back and think. We're not all politicians, and if we were, society would collapse tomorrow. If everyone concentrated on each policy of their government, they'd never have time to do their own jobs.
I prescribe one dose of reality to be taken 3 times a day, and some time out of playing politics to remember what it was like to be a real human.

[ Parent ]
I disagree (3.00 / 1) (#248)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:05:55 PM EST

Surprisingly enough, I disagree with you.

I'm a Brit, but I know damn well that England changed much of the world to suit itself. Would you say that gives the world an excuse to kill any Brit they come across?

No, and I never said that it was right for the terrorists to do this.

In some of the Middle East countries, women are subjugated by law and religion. This was written to suit the men (I'm a guy, so it's no feminist rant). Does that give the women the right to kill any men they see?

No, and I never said that it was right for the terrorists to do this.

In every place in the world, you see events just like those described in the Guardian, perpetrated by countless people and countries.

So just because it happens everywhere, that makes it alright for the US to do it? The US, like it or not, has more power than most and imposes it's will on many other countries, whether they like it or not.

Slowly the world is learning better, and yet you seem quite happy to single out one country and say it deserves punishment.

Why has it taken the US so long to learn? Isn't this the land of the free? Only if you're one of it's citizens, but if you're Johnny foreigner, the US can do what they like with you?

More, you seem to be hinting that it's ok to kill people if they're ignorant of something.

Well I grant that that's an interesting interpretation of my words, but plainly wrong. My statements to do with understanding motive, not whether someone deserves it or not. For the US to claim that they are innocent is plainly wrong, although terrorist attacks are not usually the way to achieve it and will make people less likely to realise it. This is clearly shown in the responses to the original article.

Perhaps it should be deemed quite ok to drop you in the heart of a nuclear reactor because you don't understand quantum physics.

Like I say, I didn't say anything about anyone deserving this. It's a tragic, shocking thing that's happened. It's just not the clear cut good vs evil that the US would have you believe.

Just sit back and think. We're not all politicians, and if we were, society would collapse tomorrow. If everyone concentrated on each policy of their government, they'd never have time to do their own jobs.

Thank god we're not all politicians, nothing would get done. However, for americans are asking "why?", and to be told that a good part of the answer lies in their foreign policy is not an answer they're willing to hear.

I prescribe one dose of reality to be taken 3 times a day, and some time out of playing politics to remember what it was like to be a real human

And I presribe some thinking about what I actually wrote, and what you seem to have read.

[ Parent ]

Semantic differences? (3.00 / 1) (#250)
by Malkavian on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 10:39:53 PM EST

Hmmm.. Seems we agree on much.. I don't believe I stated that the US was 'good' here..
I actually don't believe that any country is particularly 'good' in the 'good vs. evil' stakes; they're all shades of grey.
Still, no matter what the foreign policy, I don't believe the deaths of thousands of civilians are acceptable, and open to understanding. To the 'why', all I can think of is there are some sick people in the world.
If the plan was to damage America (not random people), then the buildings could have been toppled at 3 am on a sunday morning, or something like that.. When nobody was in it.
The strike to America would have been almost as telling, except some people may have had sympathy for the message behind it somewhere in the world.
Hell, even many Americans could have listened to the foreign policy explanation then.
I just don't believe that trying to say the deaths of civilians can be put aside by saying they have a bad foreign policy.
As for wondering what's taken the US so long to learn it's way.. Remember, it's one of the youngest countries.. The world hasn't had time to adjust to it's presence yet (influential for perhaps a hundred years or so, out of a couple of thousand or more that many of the rest have been learning their place within the world).
Call me an optimist, but I have faith in humanity as a whole in the long run, but I still see it in the stage of being a teenager, that's just realised it's got a fast car, and a love of drag racing... I know the seeds of a great future are there.. It'd be nice to see it flower soon, but, I just don't expect it for quite a while yet, and I somewhat suspect I won't be around to see it..
What you wrote earlier seems easier to understand with some of the clarifications you've just made, but I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the foreign policy bit as a prime reason for this.
That, as I put in another posting, is an excuse, not a reason.

[ Parent ]
Your Point Please? (1.50 / 2) (#260)
by lightcap on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:18:16 PM EST

Hardly a relevant post. And, most of the people of the world are ignorant of their government's actions (at the very least the covert ones, and most people even those in plain light of day).

So what really is your point?

Please don't use this tragedy as a way to lift your self-esteem. It's really not appropriate.


Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

Hardly relevant? (2.00 / 2) (#261)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:26:33 PM EST

Please, this has everything to do with the actual article, and the subsequent responses. My point is quite clearly stated in my post - that understanding why these people hate America so much is out there for everyone to see, just that some people are unwilling to look.

Please don't use this tragedy as a way to lift your self-esteem. It's really not appropriate

Pardon? What does my self esteem have to do with what I posted? Quite a few people on this particular web site seem to think they have some sort of gift for second guessing what I know and think. This has nothing, repeat NOTHING to do with my self esteem.

[ Parent ]

*Sigh* (1.00 / 2) (#266)
by lightcap on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:51:12 PM EST

I read your point, as you say, it was clearly stated. And, I stand convinced that you're missing the point more so now than before. Allow me to spell it out plainly. Understanding why terrorists do what they do is futile. Your post is irrelevant because whether or not Americans, or Saudis, or Russians, or Georgians are aware, or ignorant of the activities of the Governments is meaningless in this context. The people that died in this attack, died whether ignorant or painfully aware of Our Nations political deeds. And it's no more right to spew such trash than it was to fly that damn plane into the belly of the WTC.

As far as lifting your self esteem, in case you missed your haughtiness...let me point it out: Try learning something about your governments policy before posting your kneejerk responses. Dunno about you, but that sounds pretty holier-than-thou to me...


Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

Why? (1.50 / 2) (#270)
by stuartf on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:12:51 AM EST

Understanding why terrorists do what they do is futile

Why exactly? I would have thought that understanding why terrorists do what they do is quite a sensible thing to do, in order to help prevent future events of this nature. Why do people study pyschopathic killers? So they can understand the mindset of these people, and learn to detect and maybe prevent these people killing again. Or at least that's the theory.

The people that died in this attack, died whether ignorant or painfully aware of Our Nations political deeds.

Yes, but people are asking why this happened, and why they would do such a thing. And America's foreign policy certainly seems to have a lot to do with it. What I'm saying would still apply if they had taken empty planes and flown them into empty buildings.

And it's no more right to spew such trash than it was to fly that damn plane into the belly of the WTC.

Spew trash? Have you bothered to address the points, or are you knee jerking? Think for a while. This is a tragedy, but there will be reasons for this. It's not just crazy people, but it certainly is people who have a different way of looking at human lives.

As far as lifting your self esteem, in case you missed your haughtiness...let me point it out: Try learning something about your governments policy before posting your kneejerk responses. Dunno about you, but that sounds pretty holier-than-thou to me...

Could be, but then again, it could be all the people who believe that America is pure and clean and innocent are just a little bit naive. And BTW, holier than thou doesn't usually have anything to do with self esteem

[ Parent ]

Crying why? (2.00 / 1) (#273)
by lightcap on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:30:56 AM EST

Why exactly? I would have thought that understanding why terrorists do what they do is quite a sensible thing to do, in order to help prevent future events of this nature. Why do people study pyschopathic killers? So they can understand the mindset of these people, and learn to detect and maybe prevent these people killing again. Or at least that's the theory.

The key word there is maybe. Maybe prevent these people kiling again. How often does it work? Not very... Case in point-- How many serial killers have we caught before they became serial killers? If you say we have no idea because we couldn't ever know if they were serial killers until they murdered the Joneses, and the Smiths, and so on...you're right. We have no clue if understanding (if we even can, which I personally believe we cannot) them will prevent future attacks.

As far as your comments about Americans asking why...I don't get why posters like you don't get that its us *crying out* why? Like any family would cry over the death of a member...bloodied hands, criminal record or Mary Magdelene herself. It's a cry beating our chest why! Why the innocents...why the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters? Every one of us Americans knows that our country has done lots of shitty things (you were kind enough to leave most of the more heinous ones out)...but we've done good too. And the bottom line is, that's not why we're asking why anyhow. So stop pointing the finger, it could have been your countrymen just as well.
Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

Well here's where we are NOW. (4.00 / 1) (#317)
by DeanT on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:01:24 PM EST

Lightcap: Understanding why terrorists do what they do is futile

stuartf: Why exactly? I would have thought that understanding why terrorists do what they do is quite a sensible thing to do, in order to help prevent future events of this nature.

I don't care what the injustice that they want to call attention to is. I don't care what attrocity they want addressed. Until they quit hiding in shadows and skulking around, I don't give a damn what they want to say.

When they come forward and say:

"We are the ones responsible. We want to bring this issue to global attention. Here are the details. We are now ready to accept responsibility for our actions."
THEN I'll give consideration to what they have to say.

Until then, I'd recommend you don't offer any assistance to the guilty parties.

America has people prone to knee-jerk reactions, just like any other country, and until someone accepts responsibility for this, the level-headed among us will have trouble getting anyone to listen.

[ Parent ]

Reasons for trying to understand (3.00 / 1) (#325)
by SeaCrazy on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:15:13 PM EST

Why exactly? I would have thought that understanding why terrorists do what they do is quite a sensible thing to do, in order to help prevent future events of this nature. Why do people study pyschopathic killers? So they can understand the mindset of these people, and learn to detect and maybe prevent these people killing again. Or at least that's the theory.

Well, profilers study pyschopathic killers and try to understand them so that they can try to forsee their (or other pyschopathic killers) next move, capture them, and bring them to justice. Not--as you seem to suggest that the US should do--so that they can tell people how to change to keep all would be serial killers happy so they won't become serial killers.

[ Parent ]
Consider the options (4.25 / 4) (#229)
by pkphilip on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:45:05 PM EST

While the US concerns itself with capturing Osama Bin Laden, it needs to also consider the fact that the capture of any single individual is not going to solve this problem of terrorism.
USA will need to determine ways of making sure such things are not repeated in the future - for now, the general strategy adopted by the US seems to be to
  1. Destroy all percieved adversaries and thereby attempt to prevent such terrorist attacks in the future by resorting to lethal force and intimidation.
  2. Increase security at all points.
There are obvious problems with this strategy:
  1. Destroying an individual or even a group is not going to change anything. There will be other terrorists who will take the place of Bin Laden. the hatred towards the US is widespread and for every Bin Laden who dies, there will be many more to take his place.
  2. Intimidation as a tactic is not going to work. Remember that we are referring to individuals so full of hate that they are willing to die for accomplishing their evil plans. The suicidal bomber is virtually unstoppable - consider the problems faced by nations such as India, Srilanka and Israel.
At this juncture, USA will need to make a concerted effort to diffuse tensions while at the same time ensuring that the terrorist factions around the world are destroyed.

I know that at this point, Americans are not willing to look at the factors which lead to people wanting to kill each other. Right now Americans are looking for easy answers - and the answer that seems to be popping up around the place reads something like this - "there are people in the world that hate our american values and so they want to destroy us. Our only hope of protecting ourselves is by destroying them before they destroy us". But is the answer quite this simple?

Consider the historical perspective.. consider the hatred for the Americans which is so wide spread in the middle east and parts of west asia. See why it exists and determine how to resolve them.

Without this introspection and without suitable action for resolving these tensions, lasting peace will remain a pipe dream.



Meditations of a different Brit. (3.92 / 13) (#231)
by Malkavian on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 08:59:04 PM EST

Well, the main post here is something that makes me sad to be grouped with him as a fellow Brit.
He seems to understand much of the politics of the situation, but none of the humanity. An article written from arrogant closed mindedness that I so often associate with the Lefties of Europe.
But, enough of the Leftie bashing, this is neither the time nor place to grind axes... I had something to say, so, I feel I ought to say it.

For myself, I can say, I feel for the people caught in the area, people who have lost loved ones and people who are unsure.. Most of all, at this time, for the people who are unsure.
In my time, I've seen every one of my family holding on to life by a thread at some point in my life or another.
I've seen friends pass away long before their time.
Without doubt, the worst point in my life was standing in a hospital waiting room in an intensive care wing, talking to a Doctor, who was explaining that my Brother would most likely be dead come morning.
Something I'll never forget was almost a calm without rest. Something inside that was missing. Feelings. And the memories of all the times I'd spent with my brother in my life.
All the memories I had of seeing him in my future, and all the things I'd assumed he'd be there for, by my side.
When I saw the pictures on the news as I heard of this disaster, those were the feelings I remembered.
At that point in time, watching the news, I was not a Brit. I was not a European, nor an American. I think even saying I was a Human doesn't cut it.
Quite simply, I was a life.
When you stop, and reflect a while, and look inwards, you feel something. An awareness behind the voice of your thoughts. Something that is just you. Nothing more, nothing less.
In that quiet, listen to your breathing, and the faint beat of your own heart.
That simple awareness is something that ended for many thousands of people.
Every dream they had for the future was severed.
Every dream they were to someone else died along with them.

This is why I have no wish to either talk, nor listen to explanations or politics.
Certainly not to listen to someone rant on about how America is perceived as an Evil Empire or some such.
In truth, I think the claim that the Americans are the bad guys, or the 'Evil Empire' is a complete lie. He perceives it this way, so therefore it must be true, yet again displaying a more general arrogance, and blinkered vision.
From many conversations with friends about America and Americans, the general view the population at large gets is of quite loud, basically friendly if a touch brash at times people who really don't look too far outside their own country most of the time.
After a good many social trips there myself, my own view is that you're just people. Same as anywhere else, with views as disparate as anywhere else.
You're people, just like me. You feel like me, you breathe as I do.
At the end of the day, that's what matters. Not some march, or political history of a country.
Which brings me to the act itself. Terrorism. The taking of lives in this fashion..
I feel it's pure cowardice.
The people who took this action are afraid to take responsibility for their own actions.
Those that piloted the planes and hijacked them would rationalise that it wasn't really their fault. They were told to do it. Whether the orders came from a superior, or from God, or whatever..
Those that organised it are the same. Their arguments "America aided our foes!" or "God told me to do it!" or some such that they'll try and rationalise it away with, is just pure cowardice.
I honestly believe they cannot face the honest fact that whoever told them to commit this act, be it another human, or whether God told them to do it, they had a choice. Each and every one of them is responsible, personally, for the snuffing out of thousands of consciousnesses. For the death of hundreds of thousands more dreams of futures.
Which is why, I don't believe the solution to this lies in guns and death for those perpetrators.
That way are Martyrs born, and then, more will take up the call, and the cycle continues.
They must, however be make to truly understand, at a personal level, their responsibility. And they must understand it stripped of the comfortable interpretations of their religions, or their faith in being just in retribution against a country.
And the world at large also needs to understand that most personal responsibility. Each and every one of us is responsible ultimately for each of our own actions.

As for the suggestion that you "need to understand what could drive men to perform these acts", again, this is a sign of the arrogance and closed mindedness of the poster.
All too often in this world these days, we witness atrocities, and we're asked to "understand the reasons".
It's like the school that responded to a serious case of bullying of a pupil by saying to the parents of the injured child "The aggressor has a hard time at home. You should get to know him better, invite him home, learn to understand him.".
Sadly, that's not a hypothetical anecdote, it was what my parents were told when my brother came home seriously bruised and bleeding, and they took it up with the school.
Hidden within the crass stupidity is a gem of truth though. The need for understanding. However, this is not world needing to understand what provoked this violence. It's the requirement of the aggressor to understand the suffering caused.
And if they truly understood, and had the courage to try and comprehend, they would never act in this fashion.
Whatever message they intended, is a message from a coward that hides behind excuses and lies, for anyone who is able to commit such atrocity must be very capable of lying to themselves. And it's always easier to lie to others.
Thus, their message counts for nothing.
This they need to understand too.

Well, my apologies for rambling so much. It's a subject that I feel rather more about than my words will ever convey, and although I understand more of the feelings of those left behind than I would wish, I know I don't understand the smallest part of the grief felt.

I'd also like to apologise for the arrogance of those who would try to find reason in the unreasonable and try to rationalise the irrational, and maybe try to delude themselves that there is sense in the senseless.
Perhaps, the title of the posting "A foreigner writes" is more apt than was intended, although, not in the sense intended.
Dash2 does indeed portray that he's a foreigner; I'm a citizen of the UK, and he's foreign to me.
I just think the many of thewords he wrote are foreign to anyone that can actually feel sparks of humanity, and understanding of the true horror.
After all, near every country in the world is condemning this. It was not an attack on America. It was an attack on thousands of office workers, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, lovers and people.
You cannot write on this as a foreigner. We're all life.

No wish to talk? (3.00 / 1) (#350)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:50:37 PM EST

This is why I have no wish to either talk,

What are you doing here then?

Oh, I see, you do have a wish to talk, but you have no wish to listen to unpalatable truths and opinions. That's what you really mean, isn't it?

In truth, I think the claim that the Americans are the bad guys, or the 'Evil Empire' is a complete lie. He perceives it this way, so therefore it must be true, yet again displaying a more general arrogance, and blinkered vision.

Actually this view is often based on actual evidence. It may reduce your cognitive dissonance to think that all lefties are somehow irrational and ignorant, and do not bother to look at the evidence, but the truth is a little more complicated than that.

Each and every one of us is responsible ultimately for each of our own actions.

Personal responsibility starts at home. If you support the murder and torture of innocent animals for food, as most Americans do, how can you sincerely talk about personal responsibility?


"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 ]

Ugh (3.00 / 1) (#366)
by killalldash9 on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:09:53 PM EST

"If you support the murder and torture of innocent animals for food..." That right there just wrote you off as an idiot. If you truly understood nature you would know a little bit about something called the "Food Chain". Also you would know that humans are biologicaly intended to eat other animals. Our bodies are designed for hunting, and our teeth are designed to rip flesh from the bone. Granted, some animals intended for consumption are raised in sub-standard conditions, but to say that it's wrong to eat animals is just wrong.
Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
good excuse to be blind; +no cowardice (3.00 / 1) (#380)
by dimaq on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:22:12 AM EST

well all that about life and all I mean it's beautiful sad whatever and it's a very good excuse to be blind and ignorant of what the world really is.

as far as cowardice is concerned the particular individuals (hey they're life too) who hijacked and then flue the planes into thair targets had actually to be rather brave and commited.

In addition to that U.S. has often made a point of being the biggest bully on the block (kyoto anyone?) and it's the only thing you can do to them (if you really want to) - stab them from beghind, certainly an honourous attack is doomed to fail.

[ Parent ]
Commentary from New Zealand (3.69 / 13) (#232)
by stuartf on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:03:35 PM EST

This was just emailed through to me - it's a local commentators view of things. It might serve to explain a few things:

HARD NEWS is first broadcast in Auckland on 95bFM around 9.30am on Fridays and replayed around 5.15pm Friday and 10am Sunday on The Culture Bunker. You can listen to 95bFM live on the Internet. Point your web browser to http://www.95bfm.co.nz. You will need an MP3 player. Currently New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT.

HARD NEWS is also available in MP3 form from http://www.mp3.net.nz and in text form at http://www.scoop.co.nz. You can subscribe to the 95bFM Hard News mailing list at http://www.95bfm.com/hardnews.php

GOOD DAY MEDIAPHILES ... It was as strange as if we had dreamed it. And, in a very modern sense, we have. We have seen Armageddon, Deep Impact and Independence Day. We have seen New York laid waste in the movies.
As that great cloud of smoke, paper, masonry dust and human remains teemed down the from Trade Centre towers, then stormed towards the cameras, it followed a visual syntax familiar to us all. But this time it was real and that was what was so hard to grasp. This time, it wasn't Godzilla.
Yet even as we feel for America, we are fretting about America's response. The President's speeches reassure his people - and unnerve the rest of us. What exactly is going on here?
As it happens, two of America's finest essayists, Lewis Lapham writing in last month's Harper's, and Gore Vidal, in this month's Vanity Fair, have given us instructive and insightful works with which to untangle the horror.
The Lapham essay might have been written as a study guide to the utterances of George W. Bush on the day of the attack. Bush's first words to his nation were: "Freedom itself was attacked this morning." America not only loves freedom - it *owns* freedom. His big speech on the evening of the attack was littered with words like "justice", "peace" and "freedom" - not once but repeatedly.
It served to support the dangerous fantasy that America has worn a white hat for the past five decades. The Americans now calling for their country to get dirty have missed the fact that their country has played dirty for a very long time.
Television pictures of a few hundred celebrating Palestinians have already enraged Americans. But if I had spent 20 or 30 years rotting in a refugee camp in Lebanon, I think I, too, would celebrate a strike against the country that had, year after year, used its veto to thwart the will of the United Nations over Palestine.
In 1988, a US missile cruiser shot down an Iranian airliner en route to Dubai, under the impression that it was a warplane. 290 civilians died, their relatives later told to get lost by the US Supreme Court. America paid $2.9 million in compensation - but only to the families of non-Iranian passengers.
When it happened, the father of the current American president was then campaigning for office. His statement was this: "I will never apologise for the United States. I don't care what the facts are." Today's terrorists might be equally callous, but surely not more so.
America has also, when it has suited, ignored acts of terrorism by foreign governments on its own soil. Take, say, the 1976 murder by car bomb of a Chilean opposition leader and his American assistant. It happened in downtown Washington DC and the American government knew precisely who was responsible: the Pinochet regime it had helped install in Chile.
America didn't punish Pinochet: instead, it offered him FBI help in tracking down other dissidents, presumably so they too could be assassinated in the Land of the Free.
Pinochet has been allowed to survive into the refuge of his dotage. Henry Kissinger, directly complicit in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, will die comfortably in old age, no doubt accorded a state funeral.
It is rarely heads of state who pay the ultimate price for their actions, but ordinary people. And this week, thousands of ordinary American people have been horribly snatched away. The awfulness here is almost impossible to grasp. Children with no one to pick them up from school. Three hundred and fifty firefighters taken as they tried themselves to save lives. About 5000 lives lost in all. And people in planes and buildings making cellphone calls to say goodbye, forever.
Even this far away, most of us have been shaken. I had to talk to my kids about it, especially my 10-year-old, who just could not understand why someone would do this - he is a very moral boy. I eventually realised that the non-stop TV coverage was really upsetting him. I turned the TV off,and he asked if he could be alone for a while. A 10 year old.
But this doesn't make it any better that thousands more people may soon die in a probably fruitless, low-risk attack on the trappings of Osama Bin Laden - who was once himself helped and cultivated by the CIA, when it suited.
Or that Ariel Sharon, who oversaw the massacre of more than a thousand Palestinian civilians in a few days in 1982, is now the Prime Minister of Israel, which receives billions of dollars from US taxpayers every year. Or that, by the estimate of the United Nations, 600,000 Iraqi children have either starved to death or been poisoned in the years since the Gulf War.
It is not a just world, and blind American anger will not make it so.
Bin Laden himself is a murderous, Islamist pig; a rich racist with an endless supply of cannon fodder. But he does not inflict mindless, motiveless violence. He acts in a deeply political context. Which is where Gore Vidal can help us. He writes about the last great slaughter of American innocents; the Oklahoma bombing.
Timothy McVeigh acted with a cold reason that he was able to explain in detail to anyone who asked; after Waco he felt himself to be at war with a hostile government - his own. Yet, in public, writes Vidal: "There was to be only one story: one man of incredible, innate evil wanted to destroy innocent lives for no reason other than a spontaneous joy in evildoing."
The story was the same this week. In his evening address to the nation, Bush punctuated his words so that the phrase "America was attacked by evil," stood on its own. Good was attacked by evil. It was that simple.
Yet, as Lapham relates, he visited France this year, shortly after an opinion poll in which people were asked about images that came to mind when they thought of America. From a short list of words, two-thirds chose "violence" and "power". Half chose "inequality" and "racism". Only 20 per cent chose "freedom", the image in which Bush chose to dress America. And this in a Nato member country.
"Gradually it occurred to me," writes Lapham. "That the French didn't fully appreciate the doctrine of America innocence."
This tragedy has also drawn out the best in the American people. The deeply symbolic rush to give blood; the way little people went to help, or turned over their websites to personal coverage of what was going on. These are positive and poignant responses to trauma. But the American people's profound ignorance of their own government's foreign policy bodes ill.
A massive military response is being assembled even now. The cold fact that American military might isn't much use against the kind of opponent America is fighting will be ignored. Bush will use this week as an excuse to spend billions of dollars on missile defence - even though missile defence is now more absurd than ever.
The US intelligence agencies - outsmarted yet again - are already demanding that civil rights be rolled back in the hope of catching the next group of criminals. There will be pressure as never before on privacy. John Perry Barlow has depicted the attack as the burning of the Reichstag - the calamity that unleashed the Nazis. We can only hope he's wrong.
And already, it seems, American anger has been turned inwards on Arab Americans - or even anyone who looks like they might be Arab.

We'll go forward from this moment (3.44 / 9) (#239)
by CoolArrow on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:18:37 PM EST

This editorial, by columnist Leonard Pitts, appeared Wed., Sept. 12, in the Miami Herald.

We'll go forward from this moment


It's my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.


IN PAIN

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.


THE STEEL IN US

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.


---
"A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bagavad Gita. Vishnu, trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on multi-armed form, and says 'Now, I am become death. The destroyer of worlds.' "I suppose we all felt that, one way or another."
    J. Robert Oppenheimer (rememberances of testing the Atomic bomb @ White Sands, N.M)

National Pride (4.25 / 8) (#245)
by budcub on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:43:46 PM EST

In my opinion, you need to stop acting as if your culture and country was superior to all the others. You need to stop restricting the freedom of people in the rest of the world in the name of your country.

Its perfectly natural for us Americans (yeah I said Americans, lets drop that USian political correct bullshit now) to feel that we're superior to everyone else. Don't you think that the French feel their culture is superior? They have a right to, its their culture after all. That also goes for the German, Italians, Greek, and Spanish too.

These tell a much better story... (3.83 / 6) (#259)
by dittrich on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 11:09:36 PM EST

The author of this article seems to think that we (as Americans) are to blame for this tragedy. That it's our fault this happened. BULL! I can't imagine anything we've done that deserves the coldly calculated events of Tuesday morning. The people who did this didn't do it out of rage, but with premeditated disregard for human life. It was murder not revenge.

Tell me, how would all of you feel about the whole situation if the targets had been in the UK or any other place than the United States? You're first reaction would probably have been the same as ours...shock, disbelief, & rage. Luckily, I don't believe for a minute that your view is the prevailing one.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Here's a couple of links that tell me what the world really thinks of this tragedy.

Ars Technicas Forum

News Geek

No one deserves what happened on Tuesday. It's an inexcusable act that deserves punishment. What that punishment should be, I don't know. But, we (and I mean the World here) can't just let this kind of thing happen. A message has to be sent that says "If you kill innocents, you WILL pay for it"
Sorry, the world is full of humour-impaired fuckwits. That's just the way it is. - FlightTest

Brits (3.00 / 1) (#283)
by kpeerless on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:17:15 AM EST

Interesting you should query how the Brits would feel... and ironic that two flights took off from Boston and terminated in the WTC in New York. The American Irish in both those cities are notorious for collecting funds and sending explosives to the IRA to bomb England. Not to mention harboring IRA fugitives

[ Parent ]
idiot (1.00 / 2) (#287)
by Cenic on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:51:22 AM EST

no americans are sending bombs to the irish. Why do you insist on twisting the propaganda that is feed to you? NorAid is a Richmond, VA, fund that was setup to support Irish Republican political prisoners in Northern Ireland. NorAid is not supported by the US government in *ANY* way. In fact I don't think the group *even* exists any longer.

Too many socialist UKer's follow the inane propaganda that is feed to them. You don't think on your own, you merely repeat the " ... injustices ... " the US government has caused by attempting to moderate wars between countries that insist on !!genocide!!. Are so cynical to believe our actions are a selfish attempt to advance our "evil empire"?

[ Parent ]
Richmond, VA? (4.50 / 2) (#292)
by amanset on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:19:38 AM EST

The fund may be set up in Richmond, VA, but where is the money collected from? *That* is the point that the poster was trying to make.

As to whether they still exist or not, their website seems to think they do.

Finally, if you think no Americans are supplying (or have supplied) arms to the IRA, I suggets you research a gun-runner known as "George Harrison" who was the head of an arms smuggling organisation from the 1950s until the 1980s. Here is a link from PBS's website explaining where a lot of the IRA's weapons come from. Included is a list of seized weapons, including where they came from. Note how often the US is mentioned.

[ Parent ]

Ain't it funny? (5.00 / 1) (#364)
by killalldash9 on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:31:02 PM EST

Isn't it funny how the US gets bashed for supporting Israel who took land from the Palastines, and at the same time we get bashed for supporting the IRA who is trying to get land back that the Brittish took from them? Damned if you do...


Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
Terrorism (1.00 / 1) (#399)
by amanset on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 08:49:11 AM EST

Actually I was bashing you for supporting terrorism, the exact thing the US is complaining about at the minute.

Anyway, discussing the ins and outs of the Ireland-Britain situation is, IMHO, entirely pointless with someone who cannot even spell "British". Somehow it leads me to believe you may not be all that knowledgable in the subject.

[ Parent ]

Are we so cynical? (2.00 / 1) (#345)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:09:30 PM EST

Yes. Just look at the evidence.


"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 ]

Zmag (3.50 / 2) (#363)
by killalldash9 on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:27:37 PM EST

Got anything from another source. Only being able to quote from one source doesn't back up your argument too much. This isn't a flame -- I am actually interested in what you can come up with.


Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry Rusty... you have failed (3.10 / 10) (#272)
by unstable on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:24:10 AM EST

you wanted to make a community united by common interests... but instead it full of racists and bigots...

im tired of the America vs. everyone else crap.
nobody listen they just spout the same old crap out ever and over.

goodbye rusty, inoshiro, DJbonghit, and teh rest of the people that acually have a clue. I may see you on #kuro5hin some time but not soon... I have to help out my fellow HUMANS that were hurt.

I'll leave you with this pack of animals





Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Just because people respectfully disagree (2.50 / 2) (#321)
by iserlohn on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:51:38 PM EST

Does not make them a bigot. Complaining about it in the worst taste possible by invoking the people who were involved awful tragedy makes you much more of fascist though.

:: Ultimate Control Dedicated/VM Servers 20+ OS selections
[ Parent ]
They are bigoted, and K5 is going downhill, fast. (4.25 / 4) (#349)
by decoy on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:34:10 PM EST

The problem is that they don't respectfully disagree, they're right, the other guy's wrong, end of story. They state their disagreement in the crudest uncomprimising terms, and it's quite obvious that the other guy has his head up his ass if he isn't agreeing.

This event has ignited K5 into into a collection of flames, trolls, extreme American patriotism, and extreme Anti-American "I told 'ya so"s and "you deserved it"s. Many people who don't fall into one of this camps are just giving up and leaving.

Heck, Rusty can't even stand to read this crap, and it's his site.

[ Parent ]

It is sad that you are so right. (4.33 / 3) (#392)
by theR on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:44:49 PM EST

Sadly, as I read all the comments here, I am growing to agree. I don't mean I am in partial agreement, either. The more I read, the more it makes me feel ill. It is unfortunate that it takes an event like this for people to show their true colors.

So perhaps I will leave those here to continue to use an event like this to try and promote the same political clauses they were complaining about the day before terrorists killed thousands and put the world on notice. Yes, the world. Anybody who thinks one of the purposes of this act did not include making a statement to Europe and the world is sadly mistaken. They chose as large a target as possible, but be warned, no country with Western values or relative freedom is safe. In fact, it's possible that only countries that actively support terrorists will remain relatively safe from them.

I truly thought that reaction to an event like this would bring us all together, and was even pondering a submission entitled "The World United" a day or two after the attacks. But I see now that I shouldn't waste my time, and I think that I, as unstable, may leave kuro5hin to it's own devices. The only disagreement a may have with unstable's succinct comment is that it is not rusty who has failed, but all of us.



[ Parent ]
Following your logic... (2.33 / 9) (#275)
by coward anonymous on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:51:36 AM EST

I dislike your repugnant views and ideas. Your psuedo-intellectual ramblings makes me ill. Therefore, I will blow you away. Of course, I expect you to understand my "frustrations" and grievances with your writing policy so that we may live more harmoniously in the next world.

"Nobody can fully understand the terrible complexities of world politics and the Middle Eastern situation - I am certainly a complete ignoramus about them. But I can offer a couple of pointers."

If you admit being an ignoramous, then why do you rant about things you know nothing about?

Your are European and this is the primary source of you somewhat naive ideas. Europeans are traditionally fiercely nationalistic. It's a bit quaint but usually entertaining. I found it an endearing quality in my travels through Europe. Each and every European is convinced that their country is the best in the world... Except they can't explain to themselves why, if they live in the best country on earth, the U.S. is vastly more successful. Every single European I met had a love/hate relationship with the U.S. Everyone loved American things and everyone loved to hate America and Americans.

It's all about envy. Now, though, when I hear your carping I'm just saddened. It is amazing how far some people will twist reality because they can't reconcile their nationalism with American success.



Union Flag (3.00 / 1) (#289)
by amanset on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:03:10 AM EST

Well, I know for certain that I come from a Britain where private citizens flying the Union Flag in almost non-existent, mainly due to the connections to colonialism and right-wing politics. I remember being shocked in the US that people hung the US flag outside their homes - I had never seen anything like it before.

Put it this way. I can say in absolute certainty that no member of my extended family owns a British flag. That doesn't sound like "fierce nationalism" to me.

[ Parent ]

Re: Union Flag (4.00 / 2) (#314)
by coward anonymous on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:03:15 PM EST

From my experience, in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and France, there were flags everywhere.
I don't think it necessarily manifests itself with a flag. None of your family owns a flag but I'm willing to wager most look down on the French because their.... well, French. That's nationalism.
I find that singing the anthem before soccer games (do they do that in Britain?) is also an expression of nationalism.
I experienced nationalism in Europe as a usually pleasent rivalry between neighboring countries. Everyone was sporting about it but at the same time very serious.

[ Parent ]
Football games (none / 0) (#398)
by amanset on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 08:44:58 AM EST

National anthems are sung only at international matches, which is entirely appropriate seeing as they are the official songs of the teams taking part. In England, at the most important part of the footballing calendar, the FA Cup Final, they traditionally sing the hymn "Abide With Me". In fact, along with the flying of the Union Flag, the singing of the national anthem is somethign you very rarely hear in modern day Britain.

Everything else you say is just down to personal opinion. I disagree with you, but I have nothing that I can say to change your mind. It is just, well, opinion.

If you know anything of the situation on Britain regarding the discussion about illegal immigrants and asylum seekers you will know that the concepts of Patriotism, Nationalism and Racism are very much moot in Britain.



[ Parent ]

US responsibility (2.72 / 11) (#277)
by kpeerless on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:11:24 AM EST

During a discussion I was having with an USian friend today, he said that "Americans just don't understand what their governmnet has been up to." In the interests of enlightenment may I list in no particular order... Iran (CIA coup to install the Shah) Guatemala (CIA coup to install military dictatorship) Indonesia (CIA supported coup to install Suharto with 500,000 executions from lists supplied by CIA) Chile (CIA coup to install Pinochet after murder of Allende. CIA supplied Pinochet with list of dissidents after the murder of a dissident and his American aide in Washington DC) Cuba (Bay of Pigs and subsequent blockade. Support of right wing dictator Batista not to mention the US Mafia casinos.) Vietnam (deserted their allies.after defoliating much of the country and killing a whack of folks. CIA assassination of president Diem sp? Phoenix program.) Grenada (Maybe as big as Manhattan) Panama (Two thousand civilian casualties to kidnap a dope dealer) Iraq (Armed Saddam against Iran then turned on him resulting in a half million child deaths by starvation) Laos Cambodia (Both carpet bombed with resulting two million civilian casualties) Philippines (In Samar at the turn of the last century, the American General ordered all males over the age of ten to be shot. Said "I want Samar turned into a howling wilderness." Number of deaths not recorded.) Nicaragua (Supported right wing dictator Samoza and his death squads and loosed the Contras when he was forced to flee.) El Salvador (CIA support of right wing death squads.) North America (Not many North American Indians left) These are just some of the ones in which the US military or CIA were/are involved. A few others might include... Hawaii Colombia American Samoa Saudi Arabia (suppoort for King Saud and continued occupation) Somalia Sudan Afghanistan Korea I'm sure I missed a few but the list is depressing enough as it is. I don't remind USians of this with any unkind intent. I think ordinary folks there are truly surprised when they are not liked but lets get real here... You folks have turned the likes of Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush loose on the world along with their cohorts Kissinger, McNamarra, Hague and the present crew of psycopaths to protect "American Interests" which most often are not compatible with those of the folks who live where your interests are being protected. It's called Empire Building and Empire Builders suffer terrorist attacks. Britain in Malaya, Burma, India, the US, and still in Ireland.and Home France in Africa. Belgium in Africa. Dutch in Indonesia Spain everywhere It would seem that the New Empire is economic in shape, and the sooner you give it up the happier you and all the rest of us will be. I'm a Canadian but I have to say that you folks are hard neighbours. Let me close by saying that I am in no way supportive of 'Terrorist' actions, keeping in mind that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Also I would hope that the US administration would take this recent tragedy as a wake up call and realize that it could have been worse... there could have been ten pounds of plutonium oxide in the baggage of any or all of those planes... in which case the death toll would have been in the tens of millions and the North American Atlantic seaboard would have been uninhabitable for the next two hundred and fifty thousand years or so. Now is not the time to be threatening these scary people. There is after all a shitload of nuclear, chemical and biological poisons floating around out there. It would be stupic to assume that the terrorists don't have some in their hands. Think about it.. it may already be sitting in a rented house in Dallas or Huston or Chicago waiting for your reaction to OUR present dillema. The whole world is at risk now and we have to depend on you folks to control your politicians and military. We are all, I repeat ALL, looking into the maw of Armaggedon. Tread softly.

and the most henious of all american crimes... (2.00 / 1) (#331)
by Shren on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:12:18 PM EST

the lack of paragraphs!

[ Parent ]
yeah (2.00 / 1) (#370)
by kpeerless on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:39:09 PM EST

I can't ever seem to get the forematting right on these damned things

kp

[ Parent ]
an american who partially agrees... (4.00 / 8) (#278)
by Spiral Man on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:17:08 AM EST

i have to say that, while i dont agree completely, i do think that americans can be an ignorant, misguided people. anybody who thinks america is an angel when it comes to foriegn affairs needs to wake up. the very reasons for this attack are because of our misguided attempts at controlling the middle east for our own profit. certainly, a reason is not an excuse. i, personally, do not value anything more than human life (not religion, not politics, not anything else). unfortunately, many people do not realise that other people do not feel the same way they do. we have to understand that when we do get involved (and i say when, because it appears to be inevitable), there may be reprecussions, and they may be against us, or our allies, and they may be as bad, or worse, than what happened a few days ago.

simply charging in is never a good idea, we should be carefull that when we do try to get justice, and to stop terroism, we may be putting ourselves in more danger. much of what the politicians are talking about doing is exactly why there are terrorist groups who hate america so much to do this to so many people...

No Offense (1.00 / 1) (#360)
by killalldash9 on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:15:20 PM EST

No offense, dude, but that shift key is on your keyboard for a reason.


Only stupid people read this signature.
[ Parent ]
The myth of the evil America (3.00 / 5) (#279)
by dogeye on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:12:57 AM EST

I don't have the energy to comment on your article statement by statement, but I would like to make a few simple points.

The government of England has commited many atrocities over the years. Don't act all high and mighty. As members of the UN, your government has openly supported most of our foreign policy. I for one, would not celebrate if Buckingham Palace imploded because your government burned down the White House.

America has done many good things over the past decades. We liberated Kuwait, stopped ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, and have given billions in foreign aid to countries all over the world. When we are so involved in foreign affairs, we are bound to look bad at times, but we usually have good intentions.

"Liberation" of Kuwait (3.00 / 1) (#302)
by hardburn on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:23:02 AM EST

Iraq kicked out one dictator in Kuwait, then replaced it with another that wasn't so willing to go along with US policy. Then the US kicked out that dictatorship and replaced it with the original one, who is much more agreeable with US policy in the Middle East.

The only "liberating" going on there was maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East, which also happens to be agreeable to US policy.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Because there is no people in Kuwait. (3.00 / 1) (#310)
by SeaCrazy on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:46:08 AM EST

The only "liberating" going on there was maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East, which also happens to be agreeable to US policy.

Yeah, because there is no people in Kuwait and if there were they wouldn't care anyways. Just another dictator, who cares right?

[ Parent ]
You did see what I saw (4.00 / 2) (#383)
by akma on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:01:13 AM EST

I guess you must have missed going into some of the buildings in Kuwait city that had the remains of tortured and executed civilians in them that I had to go in. I guess you missed being invited into a Kuwaiti citizen's home for tea, that had nothing of value left in it. They had stuff a few weeks earlier though, as they had pictures to prove it. And if it was so bad under the restored government, why was I offered everything from cash to watches by people out of gratitude for helping kick out the mob of looting and murdering Iraqi "soldiers" when they pretty much seemed to have little left in their homes? And I can't help but wonder what the comments would have been here if we'd have put anyone else in power there other than the previous rulers .....well, actually, yes, I can.

__
Those in the world shouting "Yankee go home" should bear in mind that the people of the South have been saying the same thing for over 100 years now, but the damned bastards won't leave.
[ Parent ]
Sick of the pointless bickering (4.14 / 7) (#280)
by montjoy on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:36:28 AM EST

"We should try to understand them"

Of course we should, but I wish posters like this would try to understand viewpoints that aren't very close to their own. It's hard work.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that both sides probably have good intentions, and that both sides probably are somewhat misguided. When you don't understand someone else's viewpoint, please consider putting some research into it instead of just annoucing it as wrong. Also, seriously consider why someone might think that you are wrong (this is what I find the most difficult).

Otherwise the mindless "I'm right so I'm better than you!" bickering will make K5 unreadible.

Article writer responds (4.55 / 20) (#281)
by dash2 on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:54:10 AM EST

Thank you to everyone who has responded to my article. There are too many to reply to individually, so I will try and deal with the main points people have raised.

A lot of people believe that I am trying to blame America for what happened. This charge does not fit. I specifically describe the attacks as a "wicked, inexcusable atrocity", and as "unimaginably wicked". The people to blame for the atrocity are those who committed it, and their abbettors. I ask America to "think deeply about what drove men to create these acts": that is, to think deeply about the causes of the attack. Cause is not the same as moral responsibility. If I accidentally push against someone in a bus, who then becomes enraged and stabs me, I have contributed to the cause of my stabbing (amongst many other more important factors). I am not to blame for it! America is not to blame for this attack.

Others claim that more generally, the article is chauvinistically anti-American. This charge I also consider unfair. I describe the fact that "often... the US are the bad guys" to the European Left. This is a statement of fact about what many on the Left think. Evidently, it does not endorse their view - I go on to say that sometimes this is "out of ill-considered nationalism". To clarify: I am anti-American (anti the American government and its foreign policy) on a number of issues, just as on other issues I am "pro" American policy. I am not anti-American (anti Americans as a whole) at all, for any reason. I dislike the thoughtless anti-American racism of many Europeans. On the whole, I like Americans. (My brothers live in Los Angeles - I've been there a lot.)

Others point out that the British Empire was also responsible for many wicked things. I agree. This article was not about blame.

I should also attack many people who think they are supporting me. This is not the time for generalised rants about US involvement in Cuba, South America, the Philippines etc. These places are irrelevant. I am saddened that part of this discussion turned into a generic "US-ian versus non-US-ian debate", as one poster put it. That is missing the point, and, as the poster said, tasteless.

Moving to some more substantive points: many people have condemned me for calling for Americans to understand the terrorists - to "think deeply about what drove men to create these acts". They see this as like blaming the victim of a rape for dressing provocatively, or asking a school victim to "understand" his bully.

That is not what I meant. I am not asking anyone to try and sympathize with the evil people who did this act. As one poster said "understanding does not automatically imply agreement". Americans need to understand the terrorists' motives in the same way as a detective needs to "get inside the mind" of a murderer. There is, however, one difference. You can stop the murderer murdering by finding and arresting him. Tracking down the planners of this atrocity is necessary to stop similar ones happening in future - but it is not sufficient. That will require an attempt at removing the causes which drove them to plan it. Once again: I am not saying this atrocity was justified: the previous statement is true whether you think the terrorists are oppressed, or spoilt children.

Others suggest that my line is equivalent to 1930s appeasement. Again, I disagree. I do not see how acting "swiftly and fiercely to achieve justice" can be seen as appeasement. I also support the use or threat of force against states which harbour terrorists. Again, that is not appeasement.

My fundamental point, which got a bit lost among the deluge of "I-hate-America-imperialist-pigs" and "you-ungrateful-European-skunks" comments, was that America should not see themselves as at war. This is despite two facts:

1. The terrorists believe that they are at war with America

2. If the attacks had been launched by a state, they would have been acts of war

These are undeniable. Nevertheless, America should not see themselves as "at war with terrorism" - no matter how compelling an image that is in these terrible circumstances. First, this is a matter of legal definitions. You cannot declare war on a person, only on another state. There is also a deeper reason. We in the UK have for 30 years had to deal with a group - the IRA - who explicity believed that they were fighting a war with us, and who launched acts of war and terrorism against the UK. However, with some shameful exceptions, the UK state refused to see the Troubles in these terms. Instead, they saw the IRA as criminals and attempted to bring them to justice. At least in theory, they respected the law during this fight.

Had the UK taken the line that they were fighting a war with the terrorists, then they would have fought much dirtier, the hatred on both sides would have been more intense, and I believe that the peace process would have been far harder to begin.

Nevertheless, acts of war may be appropriate in this context. Go to war with Afghanistan if you wish. But do not believe that you are "at war" with terrorism. Terrorists are criminals. The civilised world must bring them to justice.

I would say more, but I have to go and put stickers up. Many of you disagree with me. That's fine - I don't believe in preaching to the converted. My deepest sympathies remain with the American people in the aftermath of this evil atrocity.
------------------------
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

I disagree - Not just the USA is at WAR here (3.33 / 3) (#316)
by orichter on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:58:41 PM EST

I disagree, there is a war, it was started a long time ago by terrorists in the name of almost anything they can get someone to support them with. Yes, Leftists and religious zealots have played into this a lot, and often openly or inadvertantly supported it.

The War is now out in the open and it is a world-wide war. No single nation harbors terrorists, just as no single nation can combat terrorism of this magnitude. These terrorists were using the world-at-large to set up, hide, for support (inadvertantly and others openly), and move their resources around to make this coordinated, planned, strategic, and tactical military attack.

Terrorists are not going to stop just because you wish to talk to them, you wish to understand their point of view, or their motivations. Their motivation is hidden behind propaganda that allows them to rationalize killing anyone at any time that may be in their way. These are fanatics, not normal people. Again, the Left assumes that terrorists will act as rational people if given the chance.

The terrorist propaganda about Osama ibn Laden being religious is just such a fiction. He has a political and military agenda (was it not Mao who said "Political power arises out of the end of the barrel of a gun.", Page 61, Mao's Little Red Book)? Osama is willing to kill Muslims if they get in his way of taking political power, as he did in the African embassy bombings and in the Saudi Arabia bombing.

Osama has a faction in Afghanistan (he has 2,000 plus guerillas there). He is just waiting to strike against his host country - Afghanistan. He apparently was trained, supported, and financed by the CIA during the Russian War in Afghanistan. Take a look at what this implies about his loyalties to one side or the other, and whether his religious claims are real.

I believe his agenda is: when appropriate attack Afghanistan to take it over, set up a dictatorship, and slaughter the innocents (the other factions and their people and families.) In the meanwhile, he gets support from wherever (including propagandised Leftists and Muslims) that believe he is interested in bringing down the USA and all it represents. As someone else has already mentioned this is taking advantage of the cultural differences between the USA (the west in general) and Islamic culture. He takes advantage of all of those who see their control of the people and their minds in backwards countries such as Afghanistan slipping away.

Does this sound like a person you want to get to know? He is using you to get his support.

Terrorism is now a world-wide occurence and can reach you anywhere in the world, thus making it necessary to prosecute a world-wide war against terrorists. Terrorists are not going to stop until rooted out by a Marine or Army grunt (I do not care of what nationality) with a bad attitude and a gun. To say that we need to understand the terrorists' viewpoint is most naive. He will shoot you first if it will get him on TV. You said yourself "If this had been done by a state this would have been an act of war." I say this IS an act of war and any terrorist anywhere in the world should feel singled out as the enemy.

As an example from American history (and Middle Eastern, and European), one of the first actions by US Marines when the US was young, was against the Barbary Pirates in North Africa. WHY? They were carrying out terrorist actions against every ship in the Mediterranean that they could reach to attack. Did we attack a country? NO! We attacked and anihilated people - terrorists/pirates wherever we found them, in whatever country we found them. Not only that, but I believe it was in conjunction with British, French, Germans, Italians, and others in a concerted attack to root out the terrorists/pirates.

So there is even historical precedent for this as a type of war.

I always thought the definition of war was: An attack by someone on a nation. There is no reason to require that the attacker BE another nation. It could be an individual or small group. Plus, that would make civil or revolutionary wars impossible to define as war if one requires a foreign nation to attack. A silly way of looking at things (another one of those Leftist weird propaganda justifications).


[ Parent ]
False dichotomy! (4.00 / 3) (#347)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:16:54 PM EST

Again, the Left assumes that terrorists will act as rational people if given the chance.

You have a good point. However, like with many things, the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes - a general principle which often seems to get lost in heated web discussions (people tend to lapse into irrational absolutism and false dichotomies, you included). No, stopping the atrocities against the Iraqis etc. would not prevent terrorism entirely. But it would reduce the breeding ground for terrorism. It would give people less of a rational motivation for being angry with America.

There is still irrational motivation. But you cannot deny that the US - not Sweden or Italy or France or Australia - is a #1 target. Ask yourself why this is.


"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 ]

Not to mention (none / 0) (#395)
by rusty on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 02:19:38 AM EST

...the frequency of civil war, where a nation fights an internal group which wants to be a nation, but isn't at the time.

This situation (that we have now, not civil war) is rare, but far from unprecedented, historically.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Why your article ticked me off (4.33 / 3) (#388)
by JetJaguar on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:29:23 PM EST

You know, I've been watching this thread play out for the last couple of days, and I admit my initial knee jerk response was just as angry as many of the other Americans here, but I refrained from responding because I wanted to be sure I understood exactly what it was about your article that made me so angry. I think, I've now figured it out.

The reason you've ticked me off is not because you think US foreign policy is to be blamed for it. As far as I'm concerned you are entitled to your opinion, and in fact you may even be, at least, partially correct.

What pissed me off was your arrogance. You claim that we should stop and "try to understand" the circumstances that brought this about (with the implication that your European education has made you more knowledgeable about international history). Perhaps you're right, not having grown up in Europe, and I can't comment on that. However, it is abundantly clear that you, in fact, do not understand why this attack occured, and in fact, we in the USA actually do have a pretty good understanding of the situation.

You claim that US foreign policy is what caused this. However, historically, has the foreign policy of any country ever resulted in them being called a "Great Satan" or an "Evil Empire?" Not really, such accusations, are always based on some ideology, not on foreign policy. During the Cold War, the US and Soviet Union lobbed all kinds of labels at one another and competed with one another for dominance, not because of differences in foreign policy, but because the way of life in each country was threat to the other. The free and open society in the US is a threat to the bin Laden's of the world, not our foreign policy. And the free and open society that you live in, that allowed you to share your thoughts is just as big a threat to these fanatics as the US, you are just a much smaller blip on the radar. Our foreign policy is a small contributing factor at best. I suggest you read up on what these terrorist leaders actually believe before you start claiming that you understand the real reasons for the views of radicals in the middle east. Most of them are far more conservative and restrictive (including bin Laden) than the local governments they live under (and criticize), without even considering US involvement. The terrorist groups are the middle eastern equivalents of the ultraconservative "militias" that spring up around the US from time to time, and hate the US not because of what it does, but because of what it is or what it is becoming and what it stands for(which is what threatens them), not any particular foreign policy decision.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the comment - here's my response (none / 0) (#412)
by dash2 on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 04:25:38 AM EST

OK, first my arrogance. I do not believe that I am speaking out of vastly superior knowledge to Americans. My knowledge of the Middle East is, I suppose, that of an educated, politically aware person who regularly reads the UK broadsheets and also has some superficial knowledge of history. I am sure there are many people on kuro5hin who know much more about the Middle East than me. I hope they give their opinions! My view is

1. that we all have a crying need to understand more about the political world around us, and

2. that nobody, not even the most learned scholar, can fully understand that world

This certainly applies to the latest attack. I would be very suspicious of anybody, US or not, who claimed to understand the entire causal history of these events. It is large, long, tragic and complex. There are a vast number of simple answers to this question, and all of them are likely wrong.

As for the reason these guys hate the US, again, I doubt if it is as entirely simple as you think. Certainly they subscribe to an ultraconservative religious agenda. I didn't think they were socialist freedom fighters! Nevertheless, one factor pushing the support for these ideologies may be hatred for the US as a result of its foreign policies. Here's an analogy: studies of suicide bombers in Israel (mentioned in a lot of recent comment) have shown that they tend to believe that martyrdom will lead them to heaven. So that is the conservative ideology. But also many of them have lost family members as a result of Israeli military action. So the behaviour of a particular state can drive the adoption of ideological positions.

Best wishes
------------------------
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
[ Parent ]

Kind of wondering... (3.16 / 6) (#286)
by mirleid on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:38:36 AM EST

...whether everybody is talking about the same issue here. In my mind, there are two separate discussions here: - One about the (brutal and inexcusable) killing of thousands of people - Another about whether America (not Americans, mind you) had it coming Regarding the first one, I think that we are all humans here, and we all feel very strongly against any action that leads to the death of human beings (be that 1 death or 1 thousand deaths). Regarding the second one, I think that it needs to be clearly acknowledged that US Foreign Policy in the past (and present), where it concerns the so-called US strategic interests, has been a long sucession of "evil" deeds that resulted in what is euphemistically called (a lot of ) "collateral damage". Substantiating by comment, just have a look at this link http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Kissinger/East_Timor_TOHK.html It touches the subject of what happened in East Timor, and since I am Portuguese, it is kind of close to the bone to me. So, please do not get on your high horses and talk about your contribution to the UN (the link above provides some interesting information regarding the use Kissinger did of that organization), or Marshall plans (which were little more than a strategic response to the Soviet presence in Europe), or other eventual contributions to world peace (??): it kind of smells of what was once called "pax romanica"... Oh, one other comment that I see posted around quite often: "we, as persons, had nothing to do with the policies our country pursued". Total bullshit: democracy is about collective participation in decision processes, which implies collective responsibility for its results as well...

Chickens don't give milk
Their foreign policy has been bad also (3.50 / 2) (#355)
by orichter on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:31:27 PM EST

You miss the point we have not as many errors in our book as those of some other countries. When did we last invade another country in order to take it over? (Colonize imperially) When did we last impose our military as a government? I think you will find that the Leftist propaganda you have been reading and hearing (you won't hear it on BBC) is coloring your opinion.

The US for all its faults is still the largest contributor to other countries via aid, loans, etc. and this not just to our "Allies".

We are still the biggest trading partners with most countries of the world, this has the effect of building their economies up you know. We are still one of the few countries that comes to aid militarily almost any country in the world. Except those who do not want us or would would not ask for help.

We are the only country that pays its past enemies to build up their economic power.

I could go on but you want to see the US as the bad guy. We normally have not been. There are others that have been far worse. We have been insulated from this in the past, but just ask Europeans about terrorist attacks in the past.

[ Parent ]
Amazing (4.23 / 13) (#295)
by RangerBob on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:02:45 AM EST

Ok, this is a rant, I'll admit. But I'm tired, I've had friends vanish. I'd had to console my family over what's happened. I'm tired that we're expected to just take crap like these attacks and not do anything. I'm tired of the fact that people think we have to just let it happen, and that we're evil if we want to retaliate.

As an American, I'm always amazed at how fickle foreign people are when it comes to their attitudes towards us. Sure, when everything is ok, we're the big "evil empire". We bring things on ourselves.

But, what happens when a foreign land suffers some kind of natural disaster? Who do they come running to with their hands out demanding money. Yep, my country. Who do they come to for materials to rebuild? My country. Where do they want the burden of relief organizations to come from? My country. Who do they want to expend millions of dollars without so much as a thank you. My country.

We're called the evil police state. We're told that we should mind our own business. Who do people run to for help when some bully invades them? My country. Which country do people want, no expect, to shoulder the burden of rescuing some foreign power. My country. Which country do people want to send the most troops and then have the greatest number die defending a foreign shore. My country.

Where do people go when they need money to jumpstart their failing economy? My country. Who do they expect to then forgive these debts? My country. Who is supposed to give away technology and train workers for free? My country.

You say we should become isolated, to just leave everyone alone. But you know, the instant we did this, we'd again be called the evil empire. We'd be called arrogant because we don't care about the rest of the world. You'd say that all we're concerned with is keeping our wealth and power to ourselves. Yes, America is damned if we do and damned if we don't.

So now I'll explain something to you. Do you want to know why we're so arrogant? Do you want to know why we ignore people like you? It's because we know that either way, people like you will bash us. You'll be begging for a handout and then punch us in the stomach once we give it to you. So, we really don't care. We'll do what we feel is right, because we know that it's impossible to please people like yourself. And in the end, say what you want, there are a hell of a lot of people in this world who are better off because my country "interferes" and "spreads its evil." Yes, we do walk around holding our heads high. We've had to bail others out more times than we can count, and we've damned well earned the right to have that pride.

ahmen brother (3.00 / 1) (#306)
by A5triX on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:06:22 AM EST

And i'd really like to see the author of this article give a valid, unquestionable example of our 'evil empire' committing the 'evil empire' crimes he seem's to convinced that we commit.

Brendon M. Maragia
[ Parent ]
Examples (3.66 / 3) (#344)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 07:05:49 PM EST

Right you asked for it: Just a few of the hundreds of examples. For more read for example Manufacturing Consent by Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky, or any other political book by Chomsky, or any book by John Pilger or Howard Zinn, or see www.zmag.org or dmoz.org/Society/Issues/

Govt:

Huge crimes of the US

Mass slaughter in the Gulf War

Corporate:

Coke bottler hires death squads

IMF/World Bank:

IMF's Four Steps to Damnation - also covered on kuro5hin recently.


"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 ]

An Apology (3.50 / 6) (#308)
by Wildgoose on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:23:11 AM EST

I'm English, and I want to apologise on behalf of the vast majority of my fellow Britons for the article we are discussing here. The writer describes himself as being from the "European Left". I am an inhabitant of an Atlantic Island originally colonised by Europeans. That does not make me any more European than any citizen of the U.S. and I do not want to be associated with his highly offensive comments.

There have also been plenty of offensive comments posted here about the British, but consider those forgiven as having been provoked by the original poster.

In the meanwhile, can I urge people to visit the following site for a more balanced and rational approach to this terrible tragedy:

http://www.theadvocates.org/terrorism.html

Osama then ? (2.00 / 2) (#311)
by crazynuts on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:59:38 AM EST

America might get bin Laden. Then what? This problem is not going to end with him. There is a whole system supporting this kind of fundamentalism, the breeding grounds of which cannot be destroyed by a simple act of war. The schools of Islamic fundamentalism are in every other street in these countries. And they breed on poverty, ignorance and hatred. Religion is just the fuel to flame up the passions. This war is going to take long and cost much both emotionally and in human terms. The backbone has to be destroyed and it must be made clear once and for all that terrorism in any form is just not worth it. Too long have we delayed action, hoping that things will get better. It is indeed a time to decide. And whether or not America does anything, we (India) have been fighting it and we will continue at it until it is eliminated completely.

Right (3.00 / 1) (#354)
by orichter on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:23:49 PM EST

That's why we need to weed out the terrorists.

To stop the cycle once and for all, so that the people of these countries can go on about their lives building, and teaching, and becoming economic and technological sucesses.

They are held back by the ignorance, the ignorance wants to make sure that it can continue to breed ignorance. So in order to do so it must eradicate the West. It must make sure that the old ways of poverty and ignorance and despair and blood feuds continue.

In this way the old guard can continue to control the young generations to come.

[ Parent ]
The Pentagon attack and cheering (4.25 / 4) (#322)
by briandunbar on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:00:48 PM EST

. However, when the Pentagon attack was announced, I am very ashamed to say that there were sporadic cheers. The details of the attacks, in particular that the planes were hijacked commercial airliners full of passengers, and the death count, were unknown to us. That's no excuse for cheering; but this example shows how deep roots of anti-Americanism on the Left.

It actually shows that left wing nuts are as objective, despite their oh-so PC claims, as right wing nuts. The Pentagon, to them, was an icon of Evil Amerika, not as it is in truth, a funny shapped office building, staffed with a horde of civilian workers.

You do get points for admitting there were 'sporadic' cheers thought. You don't lack courage.


Feed the poor, eat the rich!

This is a war (2.85 / 7) (#334)
by ennui on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:29:50 PM EST

Mr. Leftist, if I commit a terrorist act where you live, and I'm your government's "prime suspect," is your government going to come get me from over here in bad America? No, I didn't think so. Now, if your government asks bad America to extradite me, and the American government thinks I am a bad guy, shouldn't they hand me over? Haven't we done that in the past for middle eastern countries, not just allies like Israel? Perhaps even based just on circumstantial evidence? Hm, I'll be damned.

So now, we have a situation where we have evidence against binladin, have for quite a while, had his admissions of terrorist acts, and Afganistan says "we won't extradite him." Over and over. Well, you're right, that's not strictly an act of war, but we have their collusion with binladin before, during and after the fact on several occasions, and in this case it's extreme provocation.


"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
evidence is right. (none / 0) (#411)
by martman on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 03:45:27 AM EST

I'd like to see what evidence they do produce regarding his terrorist actions. Besides, that is, anything to do with the fact that he was trained and equipped by the U.S. government 20 years ago to fight the Russians.

The Taliban have previously stated in the past that they would hand him over when they are given evidence proving him of wrong-doing. Now, while i seriously doubt the validity of their promise, no attempt at evidence gathering was seen. Did they call someone's bluff?

Also, has anyone seen him lately? If it comes out that he's not in Afghanistan, but rather nowhere to be found, whatever shall be done? This is likely to be the case for a few reasons. He has run operations out of Africa and the Phillipines in the pase. Also, his tremendous wealth opens doors to him. E.g. He personally bankrolled 1,000km of highway in Sudan, along with an airport. He has serious resources, and if anyone thinks he's going to turn himself in for something he claims not to have done they're kidding themselves.

Before you say "Well of course he's not going to admit it!" that's not entirely accurate. The purpose of terrorist attacks is to prove a point (albeit in the most insanely terrible way possible). He's not proving anything by saying he didn't do it.

As an aside: does anyone believe that Usama Bin Laden will be given a fair trial if and when he is aprehended? It will certainly be a test of the restraint and even-handedness of the courts that i fear they will not pass.



"Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."
--P. J. O'Rourke

[ Parent ]
Nukes against the US (4.00 / 5) (#336)
by T Ov on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:33:36 PM EST

You know: Making nukes are not that difficult. If terrorists as resourceful as Bin Laden is claimed to be, wants to make nukes, they will successfully build nukes.

So, if you make a big military and headless retaliation, against any target, the hatred will be so immense against the US, it is only a question of time before terrorists use nukes against the US.

I would hate to see Manhattan going up in a big mushroom. Then, it would too late to ask yourself "what does security mean?" You should ask yourself that question now, and I believe the author has presented you with a good starting point.

And there is nothing, nothing you can do to prevent nukes from being used. If you think it is possible to prevent that by intelligence or military force, then you have not learnt anything from the last week.

And so will your favorite city. . . (5.00 / 2) (#353)
by orichter on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:17:04 PM EST

You also will have the opportunity to feel the nukes if these terrorists have their way. They will use it on everyone in the world who does not agree to their agenda, whatever it may be. At some point you yourself will not agree and then they will have to get rid of you. Who's next? It is not revenge against the US. It is destroy all.

[ Parent ]
I sincerely hope you are trolling (3.33 / 9) (#340)
by krlynch on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:27:18 PM EST

I sincerely hope that you are trolling, in an attempt to get your jollies. Because your entire article contains so many errors of fact and logic that I don't know where to even begin correcting you. Let me focus on just one, and let's assume for the sake of argument that this attack was in fact perpetrated by Osama bin Ladin, as the evidence seems to indicate:

This IS a war. It was NOT started by the United States. It is NOT directed against the United States alone. I am a target, and you are a target. Personally and directly a target of these people.

Why? I hold American citizenship, and we have interests in the Middle East, and we are not "radical islamists" (although I hasten to point out that these radicals are NOT Islamic in anything but their own minds; their religious convictions and beliefs are perversions of the Islam preached in the Koran). And these terrorists have declared a jihad aimed at the downfall of America and the death of each and every American.

And guess what, Mr. European Leftist, you are a target too. Personally and directly a target. Why? Because you are a European, Europe has interests in the Middle East, and you are not a "radical islamist". And these terrorists have declared a jihad aimed at the downfall of the "Western European Imperialists" and the death of each and every European. And that includes even the French and Russian who continue to directly sell these people their hardware.

Make no mistake, Mr. Leftist. This attack was perpetrated directly against the United States, but it was aimed at all nations that do not embrace their form of radical, perverted Islam. If they have their way, you will not have yours.

Think about it, and think about what you'll do when they park the car bomb in front of your house, or crash a hijacked plane into your place of business, or poison your water supply with chemical agents, or infect your city with biological agents, or destroy your capital with a nuclear weapon. Because, unless you drop the blinders from your eyes, it WILL happen. And all because you are a self-proclaimed Leftist European, nearly the antithesis of a radical Islamist.

These attacks were not launched for anything but personal gain, with promises to followers that they have no intention of ever delivering on. Fifty years ago the enemy was imperial Europe, twenty years ago the Soviet Union, today "Western Imperialism". The people who launched them are not interested in the health, welfare and safety of the Palestinians, and they are not interested in peace and prosperity, and they are not interested in living and letting live, and they are not interested in allowing you to promulgate your differing opinions. They are interested, BY THEIR OWN PUBLIC ADMISSION, in destroying that which is different from themselves.

And that includes you and me....

Well said (2.50 / 2) (#352)
by orichter on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 08:13:57 PM EST

Thank you. . .

[ Parent ]