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A nation prepares for war, but no-one asks "Why?"

By karmak in Op-Ed
Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:05:57 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Anyone following the popular press has surely seen the sparkle of war in the eyes of America. We are ready to retaliate for the acts of evil committed against us. We aren't entirely sure who we're going to retaliate against yet, but that's a minor issue. The government, the media, and a large portion of the population are ready to lay waste to someone, and it looks very much like that someone might be Afghanistan. Fortunately our suspected enemy (bin Laden) isn't hiding out in China: When you're going to attack an entire country for the actions of a single man, it's probably best to pick one with a relatively small army.


Now here's a question for you: What do you know about the history, or even present-day affairs, of Israel and Palestine? Before this incident inspired some research, I personally knew nothing of what went on in that part of the world. I suspect the same can be said for most Americans. But a little education brings with it a great deal of enlightenment, and I suspect if more people were aware of why the grudges against America are held, we might have a little better idea of where to point the finger of blame.

An excellent online reference, The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict, is available, though those with little time or short attention spans might prefer 20 Basic facts about the Palestine Problem. In case either site goes down, the historical perspective condensed to a single sentence is this: During the 20th century, Britain and the U.S. confiscated Palestinian land and gave it to the Jews (forming Israel), and over the years supplied these people with the military means to defend their new territory. The "rationale" for stealing this land from the Palestinians was the Jews' centuries-old claim to the land, which Mahatma Ghadi addressed as follows (in 1938, back when it was the Brits doing the dirty work)

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French...What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct...If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs... As it is, they co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Since that time, the U.S. has taken over as the primary beneficiary of Israel, and we are at least superficially motivated by the same logic of returning people to their homeland. I say "superficially" because there is no consistency in this logic. Americans who are so generous in giving away someone else's land have been quite stingy when it comes to the claims that Native Americans lay on our own soil. I wonder what the U.S. reaction would be if China declared that we were to turn over 5% of our country to the people who owned it 500 years ago. It's such a ludicrous proposition that I doubt many of us can even realistically envision it, yet this is precisely the scenario that has played out in the Middle East. And we wonder why "terrorists" have an axe to grind.

MSNBC has put up an Osama bin Laden FAQ, and there is a notable absence of anyone asking why the guy is angry with us in the first place. This question wasn't missed by CNN however, where an entire article was run about Bin Laden, millionaire with a dangerous grudge. Reading the article is a bit of a disappointment, though: out of nearly 30 paragraphs only a single one has any mention of the source of bin Laden's angst, and it's mentioned almost in passing. The rest of the article goes on to enumerate all of the atrocities for which he is suspected of being indirectly responsible. Any reader hoping to gain a historical perspective is soon led down a path of emotional manipulation, and the question of "why" once again falls by the wayside.

Salon.com hardly does better with the following explanation:

In August 1996, bin Laden issued a fatwah, or religious decree, authorizing his followers to kill U.S. military personnel. Bin Laden said he issued the fatwah because of American support for Israel, which occupies territory claimed by the Palestinians, and in reaction to the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia.

The first time I asked someone why they thought these people did this, the paraphrased response was "because they're crazy fundamentalist terrorists who hate America because they've been fed propaganda by their government". Hopefully the irony isn't lost; out of 48 hours of media attention, perhaps five minutes has been spent on understanding the motives of the other side. In the eyes of America, the "other side" is not even human. They're not people avenging the deaths of their children or the loss of their property--they're just a bunch of crazy terrorists who need to be exterminated.

Ignorance and emotion are a dangerous combination. We have turned a blind eye to what our leaders have done to foreign countries for decades, content to let them do as they please as long as our own lives are not in danger. But now that we've felt the repercussions of our government's actions, what will we do? Will we look beyond our emotions or will we seek revenge? The choice of those we've elected is clear, and the instinct of the masses to retaliate is fueled by the media. But is revenge for revenge the answer? When does the cycle end?

In another article, a Salon writer had this to say:

Enraged voices in the United States are calling for immediate military action against ill-defined "enemies," but it will be scant satisfaction to destroy Kabul if 500 new suicide bombers arise from its ashes.

In the eyes of many Middle Eastern countries the United States is seen as the perpetrator of the original crime. And it's a crime they see us continue to commit to this day. Whether they are correct in their views is something that each of us has to decide for ourselves, but blindly following our leaders and our emotions makes us little better than terrorists ourselves.

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Related Links
o The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict
o 20 Basic facts about the Palestine Problem
o Osama bin Laden FAQ
o Bin Laden, millionaire with a dangerous grudge
o Salon.com
o Also by karmak


Display: Sort:
A nation prepares for war, but no-one asks "Why?" | 244 comments (234 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
America gets out of bed in the morning, but... (2.60 / 25) (#1)
by marlowe on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:23:58 AM EST

no one asks why. Apart from the occasional existentialist.

I've got nothing against studying history, but it's really not the most urgent concern right now. There are people, like, trying to kill us, man.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
Re: History (3.75 / 8) (#2)
by sigwinch on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 12:44:33 AM EST

I've got nothing against studying history, but it's really not the most urgent concern right now. There are people, like, trying to kill us, man.
And without studying history and current conditions, you will not know who their allies are and what it will take to stop them. Hint: a study of the past couple of years would tell you that a cruise missile attack would be a VERY BAD RESPONSE.

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

the past is of no concern.. ? (3.80 / 15) (#5)
by Greyshade on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:11:12 AM EST

legal advisor: So, why did you kill Mr. Jones?

defendant: Well... He hit me in the nuts.. HARD.

legal advisor: But is it not true that you were in the process of sodomizing and beating his wife?

defendant: Yeah... But that don't mean nothing. What happend in the past can't possibly have anything to do with why he struck me.



[ Parent ]

Unbelievable (1.33 / 3) (#48)
by ColeH on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:41:43 AM EST

This was an unprecedented attack upon INNOCENT civilians. Please name ONE US attack upon civilians. There are NONE. Not a single one. (For those uneducated, Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred during a WAR - do you not understand the difference?? Let me know and I will inform you of the difference.) Yet I see repeated comments of how the U.S. had this coming. To this I say that you have no idea what you have unleashed. There is hell to pay, and everyone associated will pay their due.

[ Parent ]
err, where do I begin ? (3.75 / 4) (#75)
by svampa on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:30:54 AM EST

USA support talibans against comunist govern, USA look to other side when talibans did massacres and kept on supporting them

USA supported coup d'stat, against democratic elected govern in Chile

USA supported coup d'stat, against democratic elected govern in Nicaragua

.... and so on in Latinoamerica, USA has supported pro-american cruel dictators against anti-american democratic elected presidents

When Embassy bombs, USA bombed a medicine factory and hospital, thinking they where manofacturing weapons. Later USA said " "er... you are right there weren't any weapons there, sorry, forget it", and stop any ONU investigation

If you don't believe the above, Believe this: Out of your frontiers, USA govern is known as a bully, robber and dictator supporter, and that half American people agree such acts, and the other half live in Oz



[ Parent ]
Oz (none / 0) (#203)
by amanset on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 07:35:32 AM EST

What are half the US population doing in Australia? Do they all have a Koala fetish?

[ Parent ]
No attack on Civies? (none / 0) (#79)
by EriKZ on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:47:15 AM EST

Huh? What about the previous WTC bombing?

What about the attack on tourists in Egypt?
http://www.emergency.com/egypattk.htm

Sheesh, the first search with Google brings up a ton of hits. Terrorists seem to love innocent civilians.

[ Parent ]
war (none / 0) (#184)
by beleriand on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 11:37:04 AM EST

Please name ONE US attack upon civilians. There are NONE. Not a single one. (For those uneducated, Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred during a WAR - do you not understand the difference?? Let me know and I will inform you of the difference.)

We have no way of knowing for sure if Bin Laden is behind this, but if he is, did you know, he declared war against US years ago?

Now if you say the nukes in WW2 where okay because you where at war, the terrorists could say the same couldn´t they?



[ Parent ]
Don't forget... (3.40 / 15) (#3)
by Stalyn on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:07:32 AM EST

that Bin Laden was trained by the CIA when the former Soviet Union was fighting in Afghanistan. The fickel of-the-moment self-interest policies of the US are partly to blame for the terrorism. The terrorists don't pick a name out of a hat when picking a target. They have their reasons.



No... (4.33 / 3) (#127)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:06:03 PM EST

... They didn't pick a name from a hat, these terrorist picked several thousand names from a hat. This was mass murder, not an appeal for us to listen to some well-reasoned point of view.



[ Parent ]

SO many historical misconceptions. (3.77 / 22) (#7)
by Apuleius on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 01:25:07 AM EST

During the 20th century, Britain and the U.S. confiscated Palestinian land and gave it to the Jews (forming Israel), Baloney. Neither the US nor Britain confiscated a single acre from anyone. Until 1948, not a single acre had been taken by force from any Arab, by anyone. On the other hand, Arab rioters had forced Jews out of their homes all over the region in 1929, 1931, 1936, and were trying once again in 1948. and over the years supplied these people with the military means to defend their new territory. Britian supplied the Arabs, not the Jews, with arms in 1948, and America didn't start sending arms to the Israelis until 1967. If you can't use the truth to defend the case for the Palestinians (and I do admit the case isn't feeble), don't use lies.

Secondly, guess where 50% if Israel's Jews come from. Answer: Arab countries. Guess why. That's right - they got massacred, robbed, beaten, oppressed, and snuck their way to Israel as a result. The picture in the Middle East is far more complex than your article shows, and frankly, it reeks of demagoguery, as shown all too well by the blatantly false fact assertions you are making.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Such as? (4.23 / 13) (#13)
by karmak on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:24:49 AM EST

Apuleius: Neither the US nor Britain confiscated a single acre from anyone.

Encyclopedia Britannica: The UN decision was a major Zionist victory. Not only did it affirm the Zionist right--the fundamental point at issue and bitterly opposed by the Arabs--to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, but it also gave the state a territory that, although smaller than that proposed by the Jewish Agency, was far out of proportion to the relative numbers of Jews to Arabs in Palestine. It comprised more than half the territory of Palestine , including the greater part of the valuable coastal area, leaving the narrow coastal strip of Gaza, half of Galilee, the Judaean and Samarian uplands, and a bit of the Negev to the Arab state. Shocked and angry, the Arab leaders refused to recognize the validity of the UN decision and declared their determination to oppose it by force. (See Arab-Israeli wars.)

This may not exactly fall under the definition of "confiscation", but it's something along those lines. There's more about this in the response to Hobbes2100 below.

-------------------

karmak: ...and over the years supplied these people with the military means to defend their new territory.

Apuleius: America didn't start sending arms to the Israelis until 1967. If you can't use the truth to defend the case for the Palestinians (and I do admit the case isn't feeble), don't use lies.

???

--------------------

Apuleius: The picture in the Middle East is far more complex than your article shows,

There's only so much you can fit in an article of this size. Those without Encyclopedia Britannica accounts might take a look at The Middle East Research and Information Project.

Apuleius: and frankly, it reeks of demagoguery, as shown all too well by the blatantly false fact assertions you are making.

Which fact assertions were the blatantly false ones?

[ Parent ]

Confiscation? (none / 0) (#228)
by kzin on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:39:17 PM EST

This may not exactly fall under the definition of "confiscation", but it's something along those lines. There's more about this in the response to Hobbes2100 below.

The UN plan couldn't possibly be confiscation by any definition of the word, since it never carried out to start with. And if it had been, then just as much land would have been "confiscated" from Jews living in areas intended for the Arab state as it would be "confiscated" from Arabs living in areas intended for Jews. If you call any suggestion of settlement a confiscation of land then what settlement do you propose?

[ Parent ]

Simple answers will be our downfall (4.36 / 11) (#8)
by Lode Runner on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:13:48 AM EST

In any homicide case, a good detective always asks himself what motivated the murderer. Right now we desperately need to be good detectives, but I'm not so sure karmak is leading us to a better answer than Dubya or CNN.

Blaming "US-backed imperial Zionism" for the terrorists' actions is as recklessly dangerous as the "Islam made them did it" chestnut.

That said, the terrorists were Muslim Arabs and a thorough examination of their motives is certainly warranted. To begin to understand what is happening there, one must familiarize oneself with the Arab and Zionist narratives and their respective flaws, vis-a-vis each other, and our own Western history.

This, of course, is very hard. I should know; I've lived and worked in both Israel and Jordan. Consequently, I'd like to take this opportunity to offer information that will help K5ers discuss this turmoil more intelligently and more constructively.

Here goes... Just before the WTC/Pentagon bombing, an excellent discussion about Israel and Afghanistan was developing in what was the lead front page article here on K5, Religious-Run Governments and Restriction of Freedom. I took isssue with much of what was ignorantly but loudly claimed about the Talibs, the Zionists, and the Palestinians and decided to write down my experiences in the region along with background information in this post.

My aim was to provide K5 with a means of ratcheting up the discourse a few notches but my timing was atrocious. I hit "post" on Tue Sep 11th, 2001 at 08:37:16 AM EST, a mere eight minutes before the first plane smashed into the WTC. Since then, we've all been righly distracted, but now as the conversation turns back to the Middle East, I wish the Israel/Afghanistan discussion had continued. Goodness knows those two places will be on the front page (above the fold) many times in the coming months and it is our duty to be informed.



I strongly disagree (3.50 / 6) (#90)
by yesterdays children on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:20:09 AM EST

That said, the terrorists were Muslim Arabs and a thorough examination of their motives is certainly warranted.

Any terrorist act will not make me examine their motives. If an organization cannot help me understand any injustices without killing innocents, I have no interest in any of their causes. But thanks for playing.

[ Parent ]

Right on. (3.40 / 5) (#126)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:02:17 PM EST

If they wanted us to listen, they should have tried a peaceful demonstration. Some sort of sit-in, or a media campain. Killing people is the way to stop constructive conversation, and they knew that going in. They chose to become murderers (on a mass scale) instead of peaceful demonstrators, and now international law requires a trial and punishment. If a country is behind them/protecting them, then it is an accomplice and also deserves punishment.



[ Parent ]

Not about right and wrong (none / 0) (#188)
by flimflam on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 03:03:05 PM EST

At this point I don't think that the terrorists' goal is to convince us of anything, it is to destroy us. The benefit of understanding them is to us, not to them. If we can do something to not be a target, I will feel safer, regardless of our "national honor" or something like that.


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
my answer (none / 0) (#193)
by yesterdays children on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 09:06:18 PM EST

Would be to make ourselves a harder target, harden security at airports and other targets. There is really no way to "not be hated" unless we ditched our infrastructure and learned how to live on $800 or so a year. No easy answers, but certainly no need in my opinion to listen to terrorists, I understand them very well now, as mentioned in my diary entry. They hate the universe, and want out in as big a blaze of glory as possible.

[ Parent ]
They don't hate us for our lifestyle... (none / 0) (#218)
by flimflam on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 07:13:08 AM EST

They hate us for what we've done in the Muslim world. We've done all sorts of cynical meddling there for years and years, it's really not surprising that there's finally some blowback.

For instance, we supported both sides in the Iran-Iraq war in order to increase the duration of the war. We support an oppressive regime in Israel. We imposed sanctions on Iraq that have killed hundreds of thousands of people, primarily women and children. We support a corrupt dictatorship in Saudi Arabia (this and the fact that we have troops stationed in the Muslim holy land apparantly are Osama bin Laden's primary beefs with the U.S.).

Personally, and I know that I speak for a lot of people in New York, I won't feel safe until we begin to improve our image in the Islamic world. There is no amount of security that can stop every conceivable terrorist attack: just look at Israel -- turning into a police state isn't enough.

-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
agree/disagre/my usual waffle :-) (none / 0) (#221)
by yesterdays children on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 11:50:21 AM EST

We have, our meddling has been cynical and calculated. We've supported some folks only to turn around and declare them the enemy. Unfortunately for this argument, I'm one of those who believe in Israels right to be a nation. I do however object to their every response to terrorism being military assaults, as many Palestinians have no power to stop suicidal loonies. Probably easy for me to say this, being out of harms way as I am. Additionally, I do not believe Israel has an "oppressive regime," as there are at least some signs of elections on occasion. I agree with you about the Saudis, but do not give a rats ass about any concerns of Bin Laden, he has made his choice to have all the political revelence of a murderous thug, whether he was behind this latest act or not. There is no doubt about the types of activities he advocates, plans, executes, or applauds. I have zero interest in any cause of his.

I do not agree with your Iraq sanctions argument either, as I believe Saddam could have easily stopped or prevented sanctions many times during his poorly run "administration."

I am however not optimistic that we are even able to make enough changes to satisfy those who would die in their assaults against us. But I agree with your point that the US plays political chess, with the pawns all too often being flesh and blood innocents, and could do much to enhance our image worldwide. This will never excuse terrorism tho.

[ Parent ]

Generally agree (none / 0) (#238)
by flimflam on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:37:20 PM EST

I agree with you mostly about Israel. I definitely agree in the necessity of the existance of Israel -- I am Jewish and like most Jews lost family members in the Holocaust. It was definitely necessary to have a place for Jews to go and be safe in response to this. However, whatever the historical facts may be, Israel is acting in an oppressive manner towards the people who lived there before the Jewish state existed. In addition to just generally wrong, I feel that it is a betrayal of the "Jewish Experience" (if such a thing can be said to exist in a concrete fashion) and misusing the lessons of the Holocaust to deny fundamental human rights to the Palestinians -- the Palestinians should have exactly the same rights as the Jews in Israel (including the right of return).

WRT Iraq -- yes Saddam Hussein could end the sanctions tomorrow if he wanted -- but so could we. Is it fair to punish the Iraqi people (most of whom are none too happy with their leadership) because they happen to be ruled by a megomaniacal madman?

WRT bin Laden: I don't particularly care about what he believes either -- but living as I do about 3 miles from ground zero and having witnessed the fall of the World Trade Center -- I care a bit more about my personal safety and that of my friends and family right now than about proving who is right or wrong in this conflict, or our national honor, or what have you. Perhaps this is selfish of me, but being the target of something like this definitely changes you perspective on things.

-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
A few points (4.00 / 9) (#10)
by Neuromancer on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:39:42 AM EST

1) We have just as much right to carry on our business as a state as any other. They war with each other all of the time.

2) Israel was held by great britain before it was made into an independent state. Prior to this, it wasn't own by a palestinian government. Even if they have lived there their whole lives, there was never a "Palestine" in recent enough memory for them to claim rights to the land. This nullifies your points about the Palestinians, but perhaps justifies groups of American indians flying planes into skyscrapers. Ironically, I would want to hunt down and kill whatever group did this no matter who they were. If it was Australia (and it isn't), I would want to go to war with them.

3) Saying "boy, we really pissed them off" is not a justification of what they have done. It is not a reason to not go to war. The Palestinians have been pissing on the Israelis just as long as the Israelis have been pissing on them. It's not pretty in any case, but it doesn't mean that we should just take whatever happened. I thought about drawing a comparison that would be in equally bad taste, but I will not. Lets just say that few people would say that these people deserved to be massacred in the same way, for similar offenses.

Who owns the land (4.00 / 3) (#14)
by Gerhard on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:19:09 AM EST

Thinking back to the previous weeks racism conference in South Africa (which Isreal and USA boycotted) your logic on point two seems flawed. Does this mean that Britain should have kicked all the Africans out of their African colonies and given it to other people. Just because you are no longer in control of your country does not mean it is no longer your country.

When you are standing on top it is easy to say I piss on them because they pissed on me.

[ Parent ]
Even prior (4.33 / 3) (#33)
by Neuromancer on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:38:50 PM EST

If my knowledge of history serves me correct, it was not palestinian HELD prior to that. There were just palestinians LIVING there, which technically didn't change.

I'm not saying that displacing a people is a good thing to do. I'm saying that the palestinians don't have any legal history with the land to speak of. It was NEVER their property. It would be like me claiming praxis over Virginia because I live here.

[ Parent ]
Re: Even prior (3.66 / 3) (#34)
by karmak on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:42:44 PM EST

If my knowledge of history serves me correct, it was not palestinian HELD prior to that. There were just palestinians LIVING there, which technically didn't change.

I'm not saying that displacing a people is a good thing to do. I'm saying that the palestinians don't have any legal history with the land to speak of. It was NEVER their property. It would be like me claiming praxis over Virginia because I live here.

The trouble with this argument is that the people who were originally living there likely had no idea that they even needed to make a legal claim in the European sense. Your analogy is slightly off the mark; a more accurate analogy is that of the displacement of Native Americans. Is it right to argue that American soil was never their property because there were no written records before the arrival of European settlers? Do you think if someone had let them know in advance that they needed to submit a claim to the British government to prevent their land from being taken that they wouldn't have done it.

In some cases ignorance of the law is not an excuse, but I don't think that should apply to people who have no prior contact with the government making the laws in the first place.

[ Parent ]

Prior to / After Isreal there was other people (none / 0) (#199)
by Gerhard on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 02:03:33 AM EST

You can not just dismiss the losses of Palestinians as if they are irrelevant. That is why there is a war in Israel.

What you seem to say is that you should declare a king of Virginia and establish a legal history? I am sure the Indians had a chief and tribe in that area. According to your reasoning that is a valid claim and they can kick out all these new comers (like you) living in Virginia.

The bushmen in South Africa never had any King and/or country. Does this mean the have no right to be here? Or does that mean that they should have no legal rights in South Africa just because they where here first but didn't start a kingdom?


[ Parent ]
I didnt' say drive them off (none / 0) (#208)
by Neuromancer on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 10:36:25 AM EST

The palenstinians are just another racial group in the area. Defending them as deserving the land for that reason is like defending neo-nazi's who want a country just for white people merely because there's a lot of white people. How about we all just peacefully coexist and accept that people are going to defend their national interests, and that might even mean that Israel can build a giant cheese sculpture of Elvis if they feel like it, and the US can do whatever they have the power to.

Bear in mind that I have palestinian friends. I would like nothing more than to see their people have a nice day. I wish that I could read out and give the whole lot of them a big hug, and just love in away all of the anguish in the world. Unfortunately, I think that I'll have to settle for bringing a few criminals to justice, and hope that everybody plays nice.

[ Parent ]
Justification for violence (4.33 / 6) (#15)
by karmak on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:32:33 AM EST

Note: My first reply didn't seem to make it through. Apologies if this ends up being a second response.

-----------

Saying "boy, we really pissed them off" is not a justification of what they have done.

No, it's not. There is no justification for such acts of violence and destruction. But that goes for us as well. We can't preach one-way morality. There is a good case for the U.S. having been the initial aggressor, and having been indirectly responsible for thousands of Palestinian deaths. From that point of view, how is it we can condemn them when they exact a horrible revenge against us, but then go and do the same thing in return?

Perhaps all this "going to war" talk will blow over and up being just talk, and something truly productive will be done instead. But if reactionary destruction of the same sort that has befallen us ends up being our solace, it is doomed to be short-lived.

[ Parent ]

Not only about Israel (4.11 / 9) (#11)
by Delirium on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:16:27 AM EST

Everyone is focusing on the Israeli aspect of this, but bin Laden indicates that the US support of Israel is not his sole problem, so even if the US were to completely withdraw support for Israel, he'd still wish for its destruction. In fact the original source of his discontent with the US was not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the 1991 Gulf War - he felt that US non-Muslim troops being in Saudi Arabia was a desecration of the Islamic holy land (Islam's two holiest sites - Mecca and Medina - are in Saudi Arabia).

False (4.00 / 6) (#17)
by decaf_dude on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:18:05 AM EST

Only the region around Mecca & Madinah are the Holy Land in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. US troops are located far away, or so I'm led to believe. There are many *invited* non-Muslim workers in the Kingdom (the whole of Gulf region is overflowing with expatriate workers from all over the world due to high wages and lack of taxes which make for a *very* high standard of living); it's only that small part which is inaccessible to the non-Muslims.

Many Saudis are unhappy about the US military presence just as much as many Japanese are. It's just that they seem to have more vocal spokespersons. OBL is also p-ed off about what he considers wanton destruction of Iraq and its people in the post-war era.

BTW, third holiest Muslim site is in Jerusalem, allegedly desacrated by a provocative visit by the present Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon last year, which actually sparked the latest round of violence in Palestine. This is the same guy who was in charge of Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, accused of organising massacres of Palestinian refugees in UN refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.

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


[ Parent ]
"standard of living" (2.00 / 4) (#19)
by streetlawyer on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:44:55 AM EST

(the whole of Gulf region is overflowing with expatriate workers from all over the world due to high wages and lack of taxes which make for a *very* high standard of living);

That would be "a high disposable income". The actual living of Gulf expats is pretty fucking horrible.

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

WTF? (4.20 / 5) (#20)
by decaf_dude on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 10:16:45 AM EST

Have you actually lived/worked there? Because I have and let me tell you: standard of living is *very* high, remarkably so for numerous western expats. Remuneration packages are quite amazing and you usually get luxurious furnished accommodation, interest-free personal loans, maintained car (and I'm not talking Ford Focus here), private school for kids, free annual vacation tickets, 42 days of annual leave...

Of course, labourers and domestic servants make around 100 quid a month so YMMV.

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


[ Parent ]
Again, you are speaking out of your a** (2.66 / 3) (#50)
by ColeH on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:54:54 AM EST

You have no idea of what you are talking about - yet you continue your anti-US tirades. Why is that ???

[ Parent ]
Bad History (4.15 / 13) (#12)
by Delirium on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:20:36 AM EST

Your links to "history" are very one-sided and inaccurate. The rebut all their inaccuracies would take me several pages, but please be aware that what you linked to is the distorted Palestinian view of the "history" of the region. This is not to say that the Israeli view is not equally distorted; neither is correct.

They (and you) seem to think that Arabs were the sole inhabitors of Palestine prior to the creation of Israel, which is not the case - the area had a very large, and discriminated-against Jewish minority. Under British protection (the area was a British protectorate from 1922 to 1948), the Jews got along reasonably safely with the Arab majority. However, as Britain after WW2 was preparing to withdraw from most of its colonies, it carved up Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish region, as it became clear that if the entire area were handed over to the Arabs, they would drive out the Jewish minority, as had already happened in most other Arab states in the region.

Bad history, good history (4.37 / 8) (#16)
by karmak on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:12:45 AM EST

Your links to "history" are very one-sided and inaccurate.

Such is the nature of history--after all, it's written by historians who are just as human as the rest of us. Put 10 historians in a room together and you'll get 11 versions of history.

They (and you) seem to think that Arabs were the sole inhabitors of Palestine prior to the creation of Israel, which is not the case

To be honest, I don't know what to think. I, like most Americans, knew nothing about Israel or Palestine before this incident. But I've made the effort to do some research, and I've come to the conclusion that the truth is a far murkier issue than the government or the media would have us believe, and that a hasty decision by an uninformed public could be disastrous.

[ Parent ]

Things always look murky at first (3.77 / 9) (#100)
by jeremiah2 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:46:44 PM EST

when you first start to try to stir up the truth. But it's not the truth that's murky. It's the nasty silt that covers it. And we've been seeing a lot of that muck being slung about here on K5.
Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
[ Parent ]
I absolutely agree (3.90 / 11) (#18)
by decaf_dude on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 05:41:50 AM EST

I'm afraid all this warmongering only plays in to the hands of the perpetrators of these attacks. Despite common media portraits, Islamic extremists have very little following among the Muslims throughout the world. Attacking an Islamic country without clear evidence in direct involvement is going to create a strong following and a bloc of 1.5bn people whose religion preaches what can basically be translated as "Don't harm anyone, but when attacked, obliterate your enemy and those of you who die in the process are guaranteed Paradise". Policy of appeasement doesn't work but I don't think we want to unite those people against us if we're not ready for all consequences.

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


I don't agree. (3.50 / 6) (#21)
by ignatiusst on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:26:07 AM EST

Don't harm anyone, but when attacked, obliterate your enemy...

It's called irony.

Americans may not be guaranteed Paradise in our efforts to obliterate the enemy who attacked us, but the grim statisfaction of revenge is a close second to a people whose hurt and anger is so close to the surface right now.

Perhaps bin Laden did not have a hand in this attack (though I don't believe this for a second), but he has sworn not just to kill our military personel, but any American from any walk of life - whether it be a child, woman, civilian, or soldier. In one of his denials, he went on to congratulate those who did conduct this attack.

This man is an enemy. He is being sheilded from justice by Afghanistan. There is nothing more most Americans need or want to know or understand. bin Laden has to be stopped, and Afghanistan must face a reprisal for protecting this man.

Please don't get me wrong. The thought of the American war machine destroying the lives of Afghanistanian civilians sickens me. But, the thought of not going after the man (and the country who protects him) who has sworn to destroy my country, my wife, my child, my family, and my friends... A man who has not just threatend but acted on those threats... A man who has expressed nothing but a willingness to attack again and again and again until my civilization is destroyed... Well, that sickens me more.

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 ]

Do you know something we don't? (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:38:42 PM EST

You seem to be implying he was behind that WTC attacks. We don't know that yet.


"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 ]

At what expense? (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by karmak on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 09:40:38 PM EST

This man is an enemy. He is being sheilded from justice by Afghanistan. There is nothing more most Americans need or want to know or understand. bin Laden has to be stopped, and Afghanistan must face a reprisal for protecting this man.

This article is worth considering before going to far down this path. The U.S. has not lost a significant number of soldiers in battle for decades, and suffered no attacks on it's own soil for over 50 years. But an attack on Afghanistan could spark a much greater battle than any of our recent "wars", those lopsided skirmishes that seem to have given us a sense of invulnerability.

The Europeans and South Africans are apparently being little more level-headed about all this. From the perceived safety of being half a world away from the battlefield, perhaps we're not giving due consideration to the consequences our actions might have.

[ Parent ]

Pratically none. (4.00 / 4) (#41)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:43:42 AM EST

From the first article you linked it's pretty clear that all we have to do is land some troops and engineers, start rebuilding their infrastructure, and protect it from taliban/bin laden, and we'll be welcomed. It's going to be hard to find recruits for suicide bombers if the americans are feeding them, rebuilding farms and houses, and keeping the "cult of ignorant psychotics" off their back. If all we ask in return is the head of a foreign criminal in return they'll be glad.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
yes.. but.. (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by Danse on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:48:48 AM EST

I haven't seen too many people advocating such a course of action. All I've seen on the news programs is that people want to demand that Bin Laden be turned over to us, or we go in bombing. I have to agree with the other poster too. We Americans have gotten too used to our wars taking place halfway around the world. I think this is just the first taste we're getting of what it's like to have a war on our own soil again.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Military Action (4.00 / 2) (#114)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:07:32 PM EST

We aren't going to get bin Laden (assuming the taliban don't give him up) with air strikes. We're going to have to get down on the ground and hunt for him. Which means we're going to need the popular support of either Afghanistan or a neighboring country from which to launch the invasion. It seems to me that starting in non-taliban Afghanistan would be the best bet, they'd be relativly easy to "buy off" and they already have something against the taliban. Then we'd only have to get fly-over rights from Pakistan, which shouldn't be too hard.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
From the press conferences... (4.00 / 2) (#125)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:49:39 PM EST

... I've seen, the US government is thinking about just such long term plans. About working with governments as much as possible, and using direct force only as a last resort to get cooperation. As for the terrorists themselves, I doubt they will cooperate at all, so eventually some surgical strikes will be needed. Building the ability to do those is what they are working at now.

I'm also in full support of spending some money in some other countries so as to convince their law-abiding citizens that we aren't after them, and we only wish to bring the guilty to trial.



[ Parent ]

Please, please do that! (none / 0) (#243)
by pavlos on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:07:22 PM EST

If the US were to remove the Taliban, rebuild Afghanistan, and arrange free elections, that would be beyond my wildest hopes. I suspect most Afghans would also be of this mind, and other arabs would grudgingly applaud.

However, the US has not declared any such noble intentions. So far, the official rhetoric is that the US will launch a war against Afghanistan if "it" shelters Bin Laden. As if the country were a single conscious entity.

Pavlos

[ Parent ]

NPR this morning... (3.75 / 4) (#22)
by physicsgod on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 11:48:40 AM EST

Reported the Pentagon is gearing up for a "prolonged campaign against terrorism." Which says to me we're not going to go after muslim nations that have terrorists in thier borders, we're going to go against the terrorists. If a nation doesn't let us in, well I don't know, maybe we'll force the issue.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
get bent (3.14 / 14) (#24)
by CoolArrow on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:27:22 PM EST

Look, beside the fact that I don't agree with you.

Your coming across as an absolute facist here, don't you - somewhere in the dark recesses of your person actually like to think of yourself as someone who can reason for themselves, and doesnt need an "editorial" for every single bit of information given to them?

By the way, lets be very clear on one issue that none of you posting this type of rubbish has bothered to mention, or perhaps comprehend:

The world is a dangerous place. If you live, if you breathe, if you get out of bed in the morning, if you "own" a bed to get out of in the morning, you are 100% guaranteed to piss someone off. It's life, welcome to it, get over it, move on.

---
"Don't believe the hype!"

Short translation (2.40 / 5) (#36)
by greenrd on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 06:34:25 PM EST

Here's what my Bullshit-to-English translator makes of this:

Your coming across as an absolute facist here, don't you - somewhere in the dark recesses of your person actually like to think of yourself as someone who can reason for themselves, and doesnt need an "editorial" for every single bit of information given to them?

Translation: "You are a fascist because you think that some information you have found is actually important and worth reading"

Woah, interesting definition of fascism you have there!!

The world is a dangerous place. If you live, if you breathe, if you get out of bed in the morning, if you "own" a bed to get out of in the morning, you are 100% guaranteed to piss someone off. It's life, welcome to it, get over it, move on.

Translation: "We are guaranteed to annoy people therefore there is no point in trying to change our foreign policy."

[that's my best guess as to what you're trying to imply, anyway - please be a little more explicit.]

Er, no. How about changing our foreign policy because it is immoral and outrageous?


"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 ]

sigh....greenrd? (1.20 / 5) (#80)
by CoolArrow on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:52:21 AM EST

Entre-nous?

We're busy here with a discussion that
really doesn't involve any meaningful
input from you.

Why don't you take the other kids
and go back to the clubhouse?

[ Parent ]
yes, but... (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by ShrimpX on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:24:37 AM EST

i totally agree with some of the things you say. for example, a good american christian is emotionally "hurting" christian people in romania, where the interpretation of the bible is so much stricter than the us's, and they think that all USians are doomed to the flames of hell, especially "christians." this is a good example of how americans--for example--hurt some people by just being american.

however, that is not the point here. the point is that our foreign policy is just not fair to the rest of the world! americans have the power to mold trade laws in their favor, place troops wherever they please, create and extinguish conflicts, etc., which is causing other nation to go down the crapper just because they cannot afford to battle the US on whatever level. our ignorance has gone too far. it needs to stop.

yea, shit happens in the world. but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't care about the ignorance that is amplifying that.

[ Parent ]
Point taken (4.00 / 3) (#78)
by CoolArrow on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:44:29 AM EST

However, my point is that I'm tired of reading about what bastards we all are in the states because we dare get pissed off that someone with enough juice would grab the nearest qualified fanatics and send them over here to kill a few thousand of us - I mean come on - what about this act was NOT despicable enough to warrant at least anger.

I get the feeling that most of the people posting these treatises on whats wrong with the U.S. taking any sort of action in this case, would be the sort who would be very sincere about your parents being "in a better place now", if they had been on board one of those aircraft.

So you tell me. When is enough enough? What's it going to take for you to stand up and say something unpopular, especially when you have people like this next flaming idiot in line, ready to pounce at any and everything you say, because well because your a US citizen - so it's his sworn duty to be a prick?

You tell me. What is enough 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000? How many is enough to get pissed off at - in this Faustian bargain were making to pay any and every claim verifiable or not, with American lives?



[ Parent ]
I can't believe you (none / 0) (#185)
by tzanger on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:24:46 PM EST

The world is a dangerous place. If you live, if you breathe, if you get out of bed in the morning, if you "own" a bed to get out of in the morning, you are 100% guaranteed to piss someone off. It's life, welcome to it, get over it, move on.

Do you believe for half a second that this was caused by pure jealousy?! That the United States government has never done anything that may piss off someone enough to want to lose their life to the cause of destroying the U.S.?!

"Don't believe the hype!"

Good idea -- try taking your sig to heart instead of believing the U.S. media and all their bullshit "End of the Innocence" bullshit.



[ Parent ]
Who said anything about jealousy? (none / 0) (#242)
by CoolArrow on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:01:36 AM EST

I didn't say anyone was jealous. Read what you quoted me as saying again and point out the word jealous please.

Yes, yes, we're all of that too. I live in the country that brought you the likes of Richard Nixon. So please spare me the theatrics and worn out drivel such as:

"try taking your .sig to heart instead of believing the U.S. media and all their bullshit "End of the Innocence" bullshit.

Aside, from that I don't see that the U.S. government pissing people off enough to want to destroy the U.S., is a particularly convincing argument for approving of their doing so.


---
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

[ Parent ]
cannot sit idle (2.63 / 11) (#25)
by Refrag on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:37:23 PM EST

I do not support our current position with Israel, in light of the attrocities they have been committing against the Palestines. However, I do know that we cannot sit idle while we are attacked by a foreign nation's militias. This is not a civil war. We are now at war with a foreign force within our own borders, and must act accordingly.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Ah, irony. (2.82 / 17) (#26)
by gblues on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 02:37:40 PM EST

Anyone else see the irony of a pseudo-intellectual who bemoans how people cannot understand topics without an editorial and yet cannot understand why in the world everyone in the Free World wants to kill the terrorists?

It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that SEVERAL THOUSAND CIVILLIANS DIED IN A TERRORIST ATTACK, could it? I don't give a crap about playing "who's land is it anyway?" Innocent people died, and those deaths must be accounted for.

Nathan
... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
I'm not sure that word means what you think (3.66 / 6) (#30)
by karmak on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 03:48:11 PM EST

Anyone else see the irony of a pseudo-intellectual who bemoans how people cannot understand topics without an editorial and yet cannot understand why in the world everyone in the Free World wants to kill the terrorists?

Kill the what? When we senselessly turn around and do the same thing that we call them "terrorists" for, what will we be?

And coming from a guy who writes expositions on how the Christian bible justifies his decision to be single, I think I'll wear that "pseudo-intellectual" badge with pride ;-)

Innocent people died, and those deaths must be accounted for.

The trouble here is that the people who attacked us were saying the same thing. Only they said it first.

[ Parent ]

No, sorry..... (3.60 / 5) (#39)
by greenshift on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:24:39 AM EST

Palestinians are not innocent people. They have fought with Israel over land since the Palestinians got greedy and wanted more land. They then lost land they already had, and now they want it back. This is not innocence.

The average American citizen is not, and many times cannot be, aware of the foreign policy of our U.S. officials. Many policy decisions are carried out in closed conference rooms and with shady deals for more "favorable" governments to take over a country, backed by the U.S. government.

Also, there is a difference between the terrorists and us. We are going to fight like men and engage in a full scale attack, not hijack planes and kill unsuspecting people. If and when we attack Afghanistan, there will be plenty of warning, and they better be prepared to fight. I for one have no problem with us killing every Taliban in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I know that there are many terrorists in our backyard ready and willing to kill many more innocent U.S. citizens as soon as we strike back.

[ Parent ]
So sorry. (4.00 / 6) (#53)
by Stalyn on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:11:29 AM EST

Also, there is a difference between the terrorists and us. We are going to fight like men and engage in a full scale attack, not hijack planes and kill unsuspecting people. If and when we attack Afghanistan, there will be plenty of warning, and they better be prepared to fight. I for one have no problem with us killing every Taliban in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I know that there are many terrorists in our backyard ready and willing to kill many more innocent U.S. citizens as soon as we strike back.

Yeah we might fight like men and engage in a full scale attack but the Afghani people will not. Anyone who is interested in reading about what the probable result of a full scale war in Afghanistan will be, check this out. Does not look like a walk in the park to me. Also when they start using weapons we bought for them, thats going to be icing on the cake.



[ Parent ]

hmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#195)
by Decaying on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 10:45:39 PM EST

Also, there is a difference between the terrorists and us. We are going to fight like men and engage in a full scale attack, not hijack planes and kill unsuspecting people

....because it is manly to drop laser guided bombs into windows from 20,000ft.



[ Parent ]
Let's bring them to justice... (3.40 / 5) (#32)
by ubernostrum on Fri Sep 14, 2001 at 04:10:46 PM EST

But keep in mind that justice!=killing.

Like (iirc) Gandhi said, "if the whole world fought an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we'd all be blind and toothless."


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

That's why (3.80 / 5) (#43)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:48:31 AM EST

You take a head for an eye. End of conflict. If that person has friends/family that can't understand who the agressor is and come after you, you kill them. Repeat until you or they can't keep it up anymore. The world has a word for this process, it's war.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Premature (3.75 / 16) (#40)
by davros on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:39:37 AM EST

As I write this, the United States has yet to fire a single shot in response to this terrorist act, and yet karmak has already decided that our response will be an emotional one that makes us "little better than terrorists ourselves." I doubt that karmak's opinion will change no matter what the US's response is.

And the alternative? (3.71 / 7) (#45)
by karmak on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:58:26 AM EST

As I write this, the United States has yet to fire a single shot in response to this terrorist act

So, you're suggesting we wait until a war starts before we concern ourselves with whether or not it is right?

[ Parent ]

When faced awith a rabid dog, you kill it (3.20 / 5) (#51)
by ColeH on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:03:22 AM EST

What do you not understand ?? When Innocent people are murdered, you take out the murderer. It really is as simple as that. Anyone who has no qualms with taking innocent life, we should take out. End Of Problem.

[ Parent ]
do your duty (4.00 / 3) (#60)
by core10k on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:13:52 AM EST

When Innocent people are murdered, you take out the murderer.

Well, according to that logic, everyone in America should have been waiting for their chance to put a lead bullet in Clinton's head. In Bush Senior's head. In Reagen's head. In ... etc etc. Murderers of innocents, all, and thus deserving of murder. Right?



[ Parent ]
flawed logic (3.66 / 3) (#67)
by ShrimpX on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:11:09 AM EST

what do you mean by that? do you mean "direct murder" or something? only kill the criminal when the criminal was known to have directly put a bullet in, or cut the throat of, or crash a plane into, an innocent person?

if that's not what you mean (and i hope so) then virtually all people with any remote amount of power should be killed. get a clue.

[ Parent ]
When faced with a rabid human being... (3.66 / 3) (#139)
by spcmanspiff on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:39:40 PM EST

you get them to a hospital.

Perhaps if you could understand this, you could understand that fully half the grief and fear I'm feeling comes not directly from the tragic events at the WTC and the pentagon, but from gems like this in the local newspaper:

1/3 of Coloradans support the use of tactical nuclear weapons against terrorists and nations that harbor them.

*shudder*.



[ Parent ]
You can find much better background material here (3.20 / 5) (#42)
by briandunbar on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:46:50 AM EST

You can do much better for background material than biased political groups and a left-wing web site. . .

I'd start with 'The Atlantic'. About as unbiased a magazine as you'll find, and good reading to boot. They've gathered a few articles from past issues together at

http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/jihad.htm

The best article had to be one published in 1990 'The Roots of Muslim Rage'

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/90sep/rage.htm

It's a must-read if you REALLY want to know what's going on. Spend an hour and absorb it, it won't be wasted time.


Feed the poor, eat the rich!

Nooooooooooo (none / 0) (#57)
by core10k on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:57:41 AM EST

For god sakes, don't click on either of those 'The Atlantic' links. If you do, you'll be entranced and bored for the next 45-60 minutes as you drudge through an epic of an article. (I didn't click; but if this is same The Atlantic I love to hate, then stay far, far away)

[ Parent ]
On the Mark Sir (none / 0) (#99)
by briandunbar on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:17:30 PM EST

It IS the same 'The Atlantic'. By God sir, a fellow traveler. Good to see you!

I really hate to spoil a good argument with the facts, however.


Feed the poor, eat the rich!
[ Parent ]

Online references (4.00 / 6) (#44)
by karmak on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:53:13 AM EST

A few people have commented that the sources above are written by pro-Palestinian authors, and requested less biased references. Unfortunately a rather detailed cut-and-paste job from Encyclopedia Britannica (http://www.eb.com) that was originally part of an early thread seems to have been lost. Encyclopedia Britannica requires a (free trial) registration, so we can't easily refer to material there, but there is The Middle East Research and Information Project, which contains very detailed (and presumably unbiased) information. As far as facts go, MERIP seems to be pretty much in accordance with Encyclopedia Britannica.

I'd like to propose that all comments involving historical facts or evidence point to some online reference where other readers may judge the truth or falsehood of conflicting claims for themselves.

Not lost. (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:47:02 AM EST

The quote from EB (excellent job BTW) is still there as an editorial comment. This should be a direct link, if it doesn't work you can just select "all" comments, it's close to the top.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
A couple of mentions here... (4.00 / 9) (#46)
by fluxrad on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:04:35 AM EST

First off, i believe if you want a pretty good history and evaluation of Osama bin Ladin then you need look no further than the pages of K5. Check out this article written (appropriately) a few months ago. It was a very good writeup on the reason behind his ire with the U.S.

secondly, and most importantly, i believe the U.S. needs to find the individuals who mastermind the attacks of tuesday and kill them. don't "bring them to justice" or "retaliate" - just kill them. i believe this will send a message to those who would perpetrate these acts that, if you do something like this, we will find you, and you won't be able to celebrate your "victory" for very long. This may or may not deter suicide bombers from perpetrating these crimes, but it will definitely make their "handlers" think twice before asking them to commit those acts.

finally, i have to say this. i've heard two very differing viewpoints coming from most of the people who i have spoken with or read in the past few days. on one hand, there are a signifigant number of individuals calling for the "paving" of Afghanistan and, in some cases, the rest of the middle east. on the other hand, i have heard and read something more along the lines of the above. that we should not "retaliate" and we should simply re-examine our stance in the middle east and attempt to make everyone happy and right the wrongs of the past.

Personally, i believe the answer (if there is one) lies somewher in between. we cannot continue to act as though nothing has happened to us. the United States cannot simply console itself, realign our position in the middle east, and continue to go about our business, even if we find the perpetrators of this crime. this will only serve to send a clear message to those who would disagree with U.S. foreign policy that they now have carte blanche to forcefully change our actions. it would become obvious to everyone from Osama bin Ladin to the I.R.A. that, so long as you do something horrible enough, the U.S. will knuckle under, and begrudgingly submit to whatever purpose your actions serve. That is, as far as i am concerned, the most dangerous act (or, in this case, non-action) that the U.S. could possibly execute. We cannot appease the desires and needs of every human being in the world. For every oppressor we oppose, they will see us as evil for our interference. For every group of victims we do not help, the will see us as evil for our lack of the same. In this world, where the U.S. is damned if we do and damned if we don't, bowing to the will of the men who masterminded this heinous crime will only serve to set a dangerous precedent.

along those lines, however, we must be careful that we do not over react in terms of military force. I agree with Orson Scott Card when he argued that the U.S. must turn the new found "war on terrorism" into a war that we can win. I agree that a show of force must take place in addition to finding the perpetrators of this action. If the WTC bombing was indeed the result of an order by Mr. Bin Ladin, then it is additionally obvious that the Taleban government has been hiding him and helping him, even if that help comes only in the form of providing him safe haven. And, in lieu of the events of tuesday, i would agree that, provided bin Ladin is in fact responsible for these attacks, the U.S. is perfectly justifiable in declaring war on Afghanistan. this is a logical step for one extremely simple reason. we will state to all with who would hear, if you harbor a terrorist, you are an accessory to terrorism and are just as responsible for their crimes as they are.

as i have stated repeatedly to my friends, my family, and to other forums: not everyone can be happy with the United States' policy in the middle east. In fact I myself have disagreements with the way the U.S. has acted and is currently acting in the middle east. Destroying the World Trade Center and deliberately killing thousands of civillians, however, is no fucking way to voice those disagreements.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
Dangerous. (4.25 / 4) (#69)
by crealf on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:32:30 AM EST

i believe the U.S. needs to find the individuals who mastermind the attacks of tuesday and kill them. don't "bring them to justice" or "retaliate" - just kill them. i believe this will send a message to those who would perpetrate these acts that, if you do something like this, we will find you, and you won't be able to celebrate your "victory" for very long.

If you don't use international justice, then you'll set up a very very dangerous precedent. One day, some terrorists group will "just kill" some American official in some country, because US masterminded some attack which killed some innocents. And then, since you aren't using international justice, it would be really a difference of point of view.

[ Parent ]

We need an international trial (3.66 / 3) (#115)
by roystgnr on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:07:49 PM EST

For two reasons:

The prosecution should take place fairly, publicly, under world scrutiny, so that no innocents are convicted and so the United States is not lowered to the terrorists' level.

American courts have annoying restrictions against 'cruel and unusual' punishment, which although a good idea in general aren't particularly appropriate against crimes for which capital punishment is insufficient. I'd go into more detail, but I think enough bloodlust has been stirred up already without my suggestions.

[ Parent ]

I would totally support this... (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:33:53 PM EST

... idea for an international trial. If other countries are worried that we in the US might fly off the handle in this case, then the course of action for them is to engage with us in the process of gathering, sifting, and understanding the evidence and conducting the necessary trial(s). If they care to, other countries are more than welcome to propose in the UN that any use of force against terrorists and those that support them needs to be approved by the UN, or some special counsel/court. From what I understand, the US government is building a coalition of governments from around the world; other governments are welcome to try and use that coalition as the infrastructure for such a trial. We would love to work with other countries on this (gives us warm fuzzies), but if they don't move swiftly to work with us, I'm sure we are going to work alone. That wouldn't mean we are working against you or international justice, we are just trying to move fast.

If no countries propose these sorts of things (sharing info. and international trials) for the coalition, then that isn't our fault.



[ Parent ]

The US won't, and probably shouldn't, allow an (none / 0) (#153)
by ZanThrax on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:41:54 PM EST

international court to try those responsible for this. It might put a great many minds at ease if the Hague were to try the conspirators, but the US would never stand for it. Doing so could be seen as weakness and lack of resolve (especially by the more militant US citizens), and international courts are more appropriate for war crimes and crimes against humanity commited by the leaders of nations (who therefore will not be punished in any other way). Giving the terrorists to the Hague for trial will elevate them beyond their deserved importance. What they did was unspeakably evil, but these were not war crimes (since they were not soldiers in a war), and they certainly weren't leaders commiting attrocities against their own people. I may doubt the US court system (and the US itself) in some ways, but I do trust it to be fair in dealing with the trial. As much as the rest of the world has been affected by this act, it is a US matter, and they should deal with the perpatrators themselves.

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 war, and we've already made them important (3.00 / 1) (#159)
by Lugh on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:58:03 PM EST

Given that we can't actually arrest, try or kill the people who committed the attacks, seeing as how they're already dead, and we'll be going after (among other people) the heads of the organizations responsible, I see no reason not to handle this as a war crimes trial. We're already describing this as a war, the attacks as a declaration of war, and like it or not- although it offends our sensibilites of what war is or is supposed to be, for a lot of the world, attacks like these are the norm for war. Weak foes don't go toe to toe with the 900 pound gorilla- they find other means of attacking that make use of the fact that they're small, mobile and secretive. As for elevating the terrorists beyond their deserved importance, well, what the hell do you think we're doing now- the major networks have been dripping with the coverage of this for five straight days, we're in the middle of the largest criminal investigation in world history, NATO has invoked Article V of its charter for the first time ever (getting the picture?)... Dealing with this internationally could do a lot for the fairness of how we resolve this horrible crisis.
Remove the obvious falsehood to e-mail me.
[ Parent ]
Newspapers prior to 1948 are a better source (3.77 / 18) (#47)
by erichuf on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:09:11 AM EST

When I was a teenager (in the mid 1970's) I often heard my fellow Americans insist that the Arabs were wrong to demand Palestine back because because the world (ie, the United Nations) divided Palestine between between the Isrealis and the Arabs, and the Arabs should be content with what they have.

I wondered what the United Nations planned to do with all the Palestians who were living on the land that they gave to Isreal. So I went to the public library to look thru old newspapers of 1948 to see what sort of discussions the United Nations was having.

To my surprise, there were no discussions. In fact, the United Nations never created Isreal, nor did they divide up the land.

Rather, by 1948 the fighting between the Arabs and the Zionists was so serious that the United Nations began discussing the issue, and one suggestion was to divide the land up. The Arabs did not agree to that suggestion, so nothing was done; it was just a suggestion.

However, the Isrealis took it upon themselves to announce they were a nation, and to made their nation appear more official they announed that they were using the United Nations boundaries, creating the illusion that the UN had created Isreal.

The USA was the first to accept them as a nation, and ever since then the USA has been pouring money, weapons, and CIA agents into the Mideast to control the Arabs.

If you really want to learn about Isreal, don't read a book or a web site. Instead, look in newspapers from around the world and watch the events happen. A book merely gives you somebody else's view. Newspaper accounts are simplistic and biased, but they are better than books, especially if you compare them to the articles in other nations. If you are too lazy to do your own research, you will only know what somebody tells you.

I have discovered that most Americans don't know anything about the world they live in, and they don't care. America is full of angry, lonely people who want entertainment, not an education. That is why there is so much emphasis on entertainment in America, and the education is superficial.

Many Americans also seem to be suffering from low self-esteem. They want to imagine they are a SuperPower; that they are important people. The bombing Iraq allowed millions of American imagine that they are heroes who saved the world from evil. Most of them didn't know what Iraq was, and they didn't care. They just wanted to be feel special.

Eric Hufschmid

Interesting method... (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:07:39 AM EST

Too bad it doesn't work. UN General Assembly Resolution 181 states:
Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem...shall come into existence in Palestine
I'd be interested in hearing what papers you were reading that forgot to mention one of the seminal acts of the UN.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
RESOLUTION 181 was "PLAN", not a policy (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by erichuf on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:45:42 AM EST

Did you read the UN document you referred me to?

At the very beginning of it is:

PLAN OF PARTITION WITH ECONOMIC UNION

The word "PLAN", which is repeated several times, should help you understand that it was a "plan", a "suggestion", an "idea".

Follow the course of events. What happened to the UN plan, for example? When was that plan implemented? And by who? You will find it never was implemented, and Britian refused to accept Isreal for about a year.

Go to the library and follow the events. You will find the Zionists were referred to as "terrorists" at times, and even some Israelis referred to themselves as "terrorists". If the USA had an anti-terrorist policy in 1940, the Zionists, not the Palestians, would be hunted and killed by the righteous Americans.

Read the newspaper accounts. I only scratched the surface of what you don't know.

Eric Hufschmid

[ Parent ]

Even further up the document... (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by rehan on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 06:01:43 AM EST

are the following words:

"It was approved on November 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favor, 13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent (see list at end of document)."
I suppose, then, that it was passed, for all the relevance that has. How arrogant to decide on the fate of a country without consulting the people who actually live there.


Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
However Israel came to be (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by yesterdays children on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:08:59 AM EST

Its pretty obvious now that Israel being a country is generally approved and the world is a better place for it. They seem to be a pretty successful country at that, compared to say, oh, Iraq or Afghanistan for instance, those two are some pretty pathetic excuses for countries right now. I'm personally glad that the US supports Israel and hope we continue to do so.

[ Parent ]
But (3.75 / 4) (#111)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:29:26 PM EST

This of course relies on your Western view of a successful country. Any country that does not conform to your standards, of course, should have their leadership removed, and replaced with US loving folks. Even if the majority of citizens in that country approve of their leadership.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
then what would be your standard? (none / 0) (#180)
by yesterdays children on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 10:57:42 AM EST

The alternate view of success is always appreciated.

[ Parent ]
In my view... (4.00 / 1) (#225)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:48:08 PM EST

A successful country is a country that embraces diversity, and welcomes the flow of all ideas, radical or not. But that's pretty broad.

The successful country would not allow an arab minority to live in oppression, and would not plow down their seaport projects, or send tanks into the towns which they live. Oops! Too specific!

-Phil
[ Parent ]
The UN (3.00 / 1) (#118)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:22:10 PM EST

Was (is?) committed to peace. It was obvious that if Britain just left there wouldn't be any peace, because the people living there didn't want it. It was hoped this plan would allow everyone there to live together peacefully, regardless of what they wanted. Unfortunatly it didn't work out that way.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Oh, OK. (2.33 / 3) (#117)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:19:39 PM EST

Then I'll just tell the guys building my house to do what they want, the blueprints, or as they call them, plans, are just a suggestion. The resolution outlined the course of action the UN would undertake for the "unmandating" of Palestine. Perhaps you'd care to consult an authority?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
sieg heil (2.71 / 7) (#55)
by ceramicnuts on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:05:31 AM EST

I have discovered that most Americans don't know anything about the world they live in, and they don't care. America is full of angry, lonely people who want entertainment, not an education. That is why there is so much emphasis on entertainment in America, and the education is superficial.
stunning analysis. your discovery must have taken years of research at McDonalds restaurants nationwide. or perhaps you just read newspaper reports about Americans?

Many Americans also seem to be suffering from low self-esteem. They want to imagine they are a SuperPower; that they are important people. The bombing Iraq allowed millions of American imagine that they are heroes who saved the world from evil. Most of them didn't know what Iraq was, and they didn't care. They just wanted to be feel special.
we feel special because your country (it really doesn't matter which one) is truly insignificant to anything going on within our borders. unless you provide us with PlayStations and Mercedes, maybe.

Eric, you should have used the phrases "soft playboys" and "international zionism". then you could sound just like Hitler!

[ Parent ]

Sorry, America *IS* THE Super Power (2.25 / 4) (#58)
by zzybaloobah on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:14:50 AM EST

1) America is #1 in Nuclear Megatonnage... I think that qualifies us as a SuperPower. ;-)
2) If we aren't a SuperPower, why do *so* many people hate us (i'd hardly call Iraq's foreign policy 'enlightened' --
where are the threads bashing them?) -- being #1 makes us an easy target.



[ Parent ]
Iraq (3.33 / 3) (#76)
by compsci guy 2000 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:34:36 AM EST

Heh, heh.
Up until 1990, Iraq's foreign (and for that matter a lot of it's internal) policy was overseen by the US.
Policies which included massive slaughter of the Kurds (using US provided weapons). Oppression of the Iraqi shiites. A prolonged and deadly war with Iran (and the US provided both sides with weapons...). And an attack on the USS Stark which killed nearly 50 american military personel.
This last event wasn't overseen by the US, but they knew about. The US knew and they did nothing. Why should they? At the time, america was still getting loads of oil from Iraq. Why should they care about a few american lives?

[ Parent ]
Sources? (3.00 / 1) (#92)
by John Milton on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:29:09 AM EST

Up until 1990, Iraq's foreign (and for that matter a lot of it's internal) policy was overseen by the US. Policies which included massive slaughter of the Kurds (using US provided weapons). Oppression of the Iraqi shiites. A prolonged and deadly war with Iran (and the US provided both sides with weapons...). And an attack on the USS Stark which killed nearly 50 american military personel.

Do you know of any books where I might read about this?


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
several ways (3.66 / 3) (#144)
by compsci guy 2000 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 06:32:45 PM EST

I read about it from several sources. There are definitely a lot of articles and writing on this by Chomsky and other people common in alternative media. (Check out www.zmag.org). You might also try books/articles by Edward Said, Edward Herman, Tanya Reinhart or Eduardo Cohen. Hope this helps. :)

[ Parent ]
Threats - Bully (3.50 / 2) (#137)
by Rande on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:26:36 PM EST

Certainly, having lots of huge amounts of firepower makes the USA a superpower...threatening to use it unless other people bow their heads and lick your grubby boots is what's known as bullying.

Think of it on a personal level - you have this great big guy who is always in your face, always wanting to be the big man, never leaving you alone....eventually, the little guy has had enough, knows he can't beat the big guy, and so does the dirty and kicks the big guy in the balls when he isn't looking.

Does this make the little guy a coward for doing this? absolutely. Doesn't make the bully any less a bully.

And while I'm ranting,

The USA has military bases and a military presence in every 1st world country, and a lot of the 2nd world ones as well. They see US fighters and bombers flying over them, they see US soldiers walking in their streets.
And guess what? _no_ country is allowed a reciprocal military presence in the USA.
Even NZ, who has stood up to the USA and removed the US's ships from it's ports, still has US spies not so secretly based there.
Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Perhaps it's to do with merkins insecurity.
ie. what is it with your rap singers that they have to check that their testicles are still there every 5 seconds??? Rand

[ Parent ]

Whatever. (none / 0) (#151)
by Anonymous 6522 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:23:30 PM EST

The USA has military bases and a military presence in every 1st world country, and a lot of the 2nd world ones as well. They see US fighters and bombers flying over them, they see US soldiers walking in their streets.

You didn't see them complaining during the Cold War, did you?

[ Parent ]

Asking (4.50 / 2) (#204)
by amanset on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 07:47:23 AM EST

You didn't see them complaining during the Cold War, did you?

You may be surprised to hear that the rest of the world isn't as petrified of the Russians and Communism as the US is/was. Just because the US had to desperately defeat the Russians doesn't mean that the rest of the world wanted it. We were more worried about you trying to destroy each other and being caught up in the crossfire.

[ Parent ]

religious terrorism (3.50 / 4) (#56)
by danny on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:55:09 AM EST

As an introduction to modern religious terrorism, I recommend Juegensmeyer's book Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence.

It looks at some of the motivations and background of religious terrorists (across the major religious traditions), and is reasonably up to date (published 2000).

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

The real enemy... (3.50 / 10) (#59)
by camalolo on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:22:50 AM EST

...is not who you believe. The real enemy is manipulation, either by religious, politicians or media.

A little illustration :

CNN USING 1991 FOOTAGE of celebrating Palistinians to manipulate you.

Some comments in this thread seem a little hasty, please read the complete story about origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that karmak linked before posting such replies.

What should especially be noted is that it was written by Jewish but in a clearly opposition with Israel.

Thank you karmak, you opened a lot of my eyes.

Now tell me how to cope with the headache !



Fake footage (3.00 / 3) (#73)
by Camelot on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:16:16 AM EST

Comments in a slashdot article that contains a link to the page referenced above suggests that there is no attempt to manipulate anyone (at least not in this way).

Some claim that some people were, for example, wearing shirts from 1998 Soccer World Cup and 1996 Summer Olympics.

While fake footage is possible, I would rather use Occam's razor in this case. A more reasonable explanation is that (some) people were celebrating, but tapes of the reporters picturing them were confiscated. CNN knew of the celebrations, but did not have actual footage of them - so they decide to use old pictures.

The manipulation that is going on is much more subtle.


[ Parent ]
Indymedia...feh. (3.00 / 4) (#97)
by BurntHombre on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:15:05 AM EST

Then this article must be false too. The Palestinian Authority didn't really threaten the lives of a cameraman who filmed additional celebration footage. The AP is lying. CNN is lying. It's all a big conspiracy. Thank goodness the unbiased indymedia is here to save us.

Or...perhaps the simpler explanation is that it's true.

I'm sorry, but this particular indymedia story is an unabashed load of shite. It's all based on the second-hand testimony of a school teacher from Brazil. Why do people feel it necessary to suspend their analytical thinking when it comes to information originating from those who claim to be "independent" and "progressive?" Do journalistic standards of integrity and multiple sources no longer apply?

[ Parent ]

Well (3.50 / 2) (#110)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:22:35 PM EST

They certainly don't apply to mainstream media. I have never seen people who bash indymedia question CNN's journalistic integrity. Hell, CNN has even been caught in a lie fairly recently.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Re: Well (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by BurntHombre on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:25:55 PM EST

No, those standards do apply to mainstream journalism, even though the standards are ocassionally broken. However, who's going to police second-hand accounts from "independent" organizations such as indymedia? The independents have just as much, if not more, tangible political motives than their mainstream counterparts. And, again just like their mainstream counterparts, they have a core audience willing to swallow anything they have to say, hook line and sinker.

[ Parent ]
So then (3.00 / 1) (#124)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:37:53 PM EST

Why do you not ever question the mainstream media? Have you thought to dispute any facts? When I read that indymedia article, I read the part where they mention that noone is allowed to record the Palestinians in some places, and I pretty much decided that that's probably why they used old footage. Though it is fairly misleading for them to do so, they should tell the viewing public that they are showing decade-old footage, rather than saying that they are showing what was going on just the other day.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Vindicated! (none / 0) (#241)
by BurntHombre on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 06:54:54 AM EST

http://uk.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=11546

And hats off to indymedia for correcting the error.

[ Parent ]

Maybe but... (3.50 / 2) (#116)
by camalolo on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:11:22 PM EST

...you can concede that CNN is not more "unbiased" than self-proclaimed independant media. For 3 days we are watching the same 5 minutes of images, looping and relooping, with laconic commentaries that don't say that much, with a big subtitle saying "America's new war" (!). Until now no war has yet been declared, right ?

I don't see that much contextual analysis of the situation on that channel. It's more purely emotional "news". Maybe CNN is not here for that. Maybe it's just here to relay the - understandable - "Let's nuke them" feeling apparently shared by most of Americans.

And frankly it's so easy to stay stuck to the TV, let them do the 3 seconds thinking for you, and be ready for pressing the button yourself. But personally I start to feel a little seasick and I find that Indymedia, at least, allows a little more self-thinking about the hell of a mess it is now that certainly cannot be summed up as "Justice is in retaliation".

By the way, CNN said "America is under attack" before any official statement, am I wrong ? Isn't this incredible ? Media should decide when it's war and when it's not ? Or maybe I don't exactly understand what they mean when they say "America is under attack" ? An accurate title would have be "WTC and Pentagon are under attack". But when 5 minutes after the first plane hit the WTC you delcare "America is under attack", you are basically biased.

To finish, about the Yahoo article you link, the fact Palestinians don't want to add gasoline to the fire just when the whole America expresses it will to attack anyone looks like they harbor the criminals who commited the attack - and by extension of the people's voice, Middle-East countries - is not that surprising. The fact they simply censor journalists is evidently criticizable but the intent is still understandable. If I could avoid the USA to launch their army against me, I think I would not cry too much on the temporary loss of freedom of speech of a journalist. Especially if I did not support the murderers.

And anyway, it's absolutely not related to CNN using a 1991 footage ! I don't think you really can bring this as an argument opposed to Indymedia...

I don't exclude that the story may be fake, of course. But admit that it just matches so well !

By the way... Tonight I am watching the sequel to "Patriot Games" with Harrison Ford. Very interesting ! But how the hell did they invent such a incredible story... Government taking secret actions much like terrorism in foreign countries... Gosh, what a great imagination. Like this could happen for real !

[ Parent ]
I doubt that (4.50 / 4) (#130)
by jacobito on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:41:18 PM EST

I think that footage is legit, since the story is corroborated by AP, Salon's mideast correspondent, and others. What is reprehensible, though, is the fact that the major news media are replaying that footage over and over, and refusing to report on those Palestinians who are just as shocked and outraged as the rest of the world.

You may have seen this catalog of mourners all over the world. Note the photo of Palestinians kneeling before flowers. Maybe this sort of thing can act as an antidote to the hatemongering that the media is stirring up.

[ Parent ]

"fake footage" not faked after all (none / 0) (#233)
by Robin Lionheart on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 01:13:02 AM EST

CNN has denied the allegations about the footage, which came from Reuters. The original IMC Israel poster, Márcio de Carvalho, could not confirm the story:

Last September 13, I've sent an email to this list in which I provided some information about the falsity of the images of Palestinian celebration for the terrorism in USA, information given to me by a teacher. I spent the last day looking for that teacher, and, unfortunately, when I found her, she DENIED having access to such images.

She said that she was sure she had seen the images back in 1991, but SHE CAN'T PROVE. She was not willing to provide further information, DENYING what she had said before to a full class of students.

I sincerely apologize for this uncertain information; unfortunately I can't prove the information contained in my last post; IT'S ONLY A CONJECTURE, THAT THOSE IMAGES OF PALESTINIANS CELEBRATING IS FALSE. I bought the idea myself, and reproduced it for you because of the importance of it, in the case it was to be confirmed.



[ Parent ]
Is this a war or not? (2.80 / 5) (#61)
by wtfai on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:20:31 AM EST

If you want to conider this a war between the US and bin Laden/Afganistan then it began sometime in the past. He'd previously tried to blow up the WTC, and the US had launched cruise missiles against him.

If it was a war then modern warfare (ie post Spanish civil war) has always considered it legitimate to terrorise the civilian population. E.g. Guernica, Coventry, Dresden, Vietnam.

So, either stop calling this a war, or admit that bin Ladens acts were a legitimate act of war. Before anyone starts flaming, of course, if this wasn't a war, then it was mass murder, and if it was a war then obviously the US has a perfect right to flatten bin Laden and his followers.

The Arab Fundamentalist's Motive, Not Osama's. (4.20 / 10) (#63)
by Chiron on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:53:22 AM EST

An interesting rationalization, and a very accurate one, if the origin was anyone /but/ Osama bin Laden. Osama's primary quibble with the U.S. really isn't the Palestinian issue, but stems from the strikes against Iraq. The ruling Fahd family of Saudi Arabia allowed its trading partner and allies, the U.S., in particular, to stage its military assets on their territory, prior to the attack on Iraq, in Operation Desert Shield.

As we all remember, Desert Shield migrated to the mediagenic three ring circus known as Desert Storm, or the CNN War. The outcome was a set of sanctions against Iraq that required a large amount of manpower to police. In order to enforce the restrictions placed upon Iraq, the U.S. needed to maintain a military presence. In fear of reprisal from other Arab nations for their collaboration with the U.S., the Saudis offered to house a semipermanent military presence.

Osama bin Laden has had a serious feud with the Fahd family, and was exiled from Saudi Arabia in result. His primary mission statement has not been the dissolution of Israel, but the removal of the U.S. troops from the soil of the holy land. (Remember, Saudi Arabia is home to Mecca, and many other places held sacred by Islam.)

In reference to the media's stunning efforts in not looking at why the U.S. was attacked, I must commend the media. Terrorism's espoused goal is to bring an issue forcefully to the attention of a populace ignorant of its government's actions, in hopes of stirring some sort of uprising or fear action. The national response has, ironically, been a nationalist fervor which has its peer in the months that followed the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Hence the media hyperbole about War, and Pearl Harbor.



did the terrorists therefore further their goals? (3.33 / 3) (#86)
by yesterdays children on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:52:46 AM EST

In reference to the media's stunning efforts in not looking at why the U.S. was attacked, I must commend the media. Terrorism's espoused goal is to bring an issue forcefully to the attention of a populace ignorant of its government's actions, in hopes of stirring some sort of uprising or fear action. The national response has, ironically, been a nationalist fervor which has its peer in the months that followed the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Hence the media hyperbole about War, and Pearl Harbor.

Assuming that this was indeed the terrorists goal, it shows even more how they're just evolutionary dead ends, because they themselves have acted to the detriment of what would otherwise be a laudable goal, ie., bringing attention to any injustices they would like to make right. As a result of this act, am I, the ordinary US citizen more sympathetic to the plight of the palestinians for instance? Not really, if anything, I have to restrain myself from hate because I watch their celebration of US death and destruction. Am I now critically examining US policy worldwide? No, I'm waving a flag and hoping that we strengthen our defenses against these acts of terrorism. So yes, these terrorists are not only evil individuals and organizations, they're unusually stupid evil individuals and organizations, because they are such evil morons they can't even advance their own goals.

[ Parent ]

I agree... (3.00 / 2) (#121)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:06:00 PM EST

...If their goal was to get us thinking about our policies, they could have done more to further that goal by putting up billboards across the country with pictures of relivant refugee camps. They could have used some guerrilla advertising campain, like hanging large murals from buildings without permission, or some good, old-fashion peacefull demonstrations and civil dissobedience. A peaceful sit-in of the WTC, with pictures like mentioned above and participants willing to have the arrest on their record would have been more brave and productive. Distruction gets more press, but "any press" is not "good press".



[ Parent ]

That's the ironic part.. (none / 0) (#198)
by Chiron on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 01:36:51 AM EST

..They really didn't manage to get more of a statement beyond 'We really don't like the U.S.'.

Seems like a waste of effort, to me.. That part was already rather obvious.

[ Parent ]
What it boils down to. (3.50 / 10) (#65)
by premier on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 06:55:05 AM EST

We can analyze the history books, read old newspaper clippings, and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the Jews or Arabs until our heads spin. Maybe the Arabs were treated unfairly. Maybe the Jews were. Every society or culture has been shit on at some point in their existence. Blacks were enslaved. The early colonists were unfairly taxed and regulated. The list can go on for days.

What this situation really boils down to, after all the rhetoric and tit-for-tat on here, is that militant citizens of a foreign country, which openly opposes the United States, came onto our soil and killed several thousand innocent citizens.

Was their rage justified? Maybe; who cares? If we allow innocent people to die because the people who kill them "have a right" to be angry, what the hell kind of precedent does that set? Should we now call a "truce" with the Middle-East? Is anyone here stupid enough to think that any form of logic in this situation would work? Do you think the fanatical terrorists who killed all of those people care about our logic? No matter what psuedo-aggreement we could offer their nations, they would still consider us the "Great White Satan" and dedicate their lives to killing as many of us as possible. So called Religious militarism does not know any logic.

There is no *good* answer to the dilemna we face now. However, the only action that we can take that will satisfy the people of America, - and for that matter the majority of the civilized world - is strong military reaction. The ONLY thing that the terrorists know is violence. If the US says "Ok, we treated you bad in the past, and you got us good this time. Let's try to be friends now.", they are going to double their efforts in attacking and killing US civilians.

You people spend a couple hours, or maybe even a few days, researching a battle between middle east cultures that has been raging for many years. If you think you can read-up on this and then somehow be "enlightended" as Karmak says, you are one naive fool. Don't think for a minute that any of those terrorists and Bin Laden supporters give a shit if you are enlightended. They would slit your throat at the request of their "leader", Bin Laden.

You better start realizing this isn't just about being politically correct anymore. When the car bomb goes off down the street from YOUR house, or YOUR family is killed senselessly, you'll understand why people demand we protect ourselves with military force.

-premier-

ignorance... (2.66 / 6) (#70)
by compsci guy 2000 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:32:51 AM EST

Maybe arabs were treated unfairly? Arabs are horribly oppressed to this very day. Whether its by foreign powers such as in palestine or iraq. Or by their own (US supported) governments.

You think it's only arab terrorists that are bloody-thirsty?
The US military and government is the most vile terrorist organization on the planet. And you don't have to take my word for it. There's oodles of stuff you can read about what they've done.
Of course, being an ignorant ass, you only get your info from flag toting news sources like CNN or NBC. In whose view america can do no wrong...
even when the military murders countless civilians in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Serbia or Vietnam.
Why don't you try reading news that isn't just for shoring up support for blood thirsty military action from slack-jawed know-nothings.

Z Mag
Common Dreams


[ Parent ]
Great Post! (2.00 / 4) (#72)
by Cenic on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:46:47 AM EST

not really.. in fact, you didn't support one single premise, you merely ramble on and on about the injustice american as caused the world. If you want people to agree with your argument, back it up.

I think the guy you replied to had it right. They are all illogical morons who do not base their life on rational fact. Nothing we say, nothing we do will help. You can not argue with a subjectivist, because they do not live by rational fact.

I suppose I am just a complacent, greedy American windbag, that is only hurting the rest of the world because, as everyone says, I have the "haves", and I am not helping those with whom have the "have nots"....

[ Parent ]
just pointing out a slight error (3.75 / 4) (#81)
by yesterdays children on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:35:23 AM EST

The US military and government is the most vile terrorist organization on the planet.

No it isn't. The fact that you feel confident posting this means that your just not ready to post thoughtfully. But thats ok, seems like you're in pretty good company this week :-)

The US military is just that, the military branch of the US government. These folks do not make policy, they simply implement. Say what you might, feel all the bitterness you like, but for you to call the military a 'terrorist' organization means that your just either not ready to post thoughtfully, or a troll.

The US government is simply that. A government. Given our form of government, that means they represent what the citizens want. By extension you then believe that the US is a terrorist country. Therefore, by extension, you lose, and lose badly. You should find the preview button on your browser and read what you intend to post and make sure your just not slinging inflamatory shit, unless of course that was your intent, then consider me sufficiently trolled.

If you'd like to come back and discuss right and wrong, please do so, once you have regained a sense of reality. We can then explore the wide range of rights and wrongs regarding US policies, reexamine history with the advantages of hindsight, and possibly make the world just a micron better by informed debate and mutual enrichment. Hope to see you then!

[ Parent ]

huh? (2.25 / 4) (#89)
by ooch on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:18:06 AM EST

You say that the US military is not 'terrorist' because it simply implements other people's terrorist plans? So those people who hijacked the planes are not actually terrorists? Those folks do not make policy, they simply implement? Could you elaborate your argument, because right now it seams plain redicolous.

Then, you make the assertion that when an organisation represent other people, it cannot be terrorist. Why can the US not be a terrorist country?

Terrorism is defined as (threats of) violent action for political purposes? Are you saying the US has never used violent action or the threat thereof?



[ Parent ]

I can't reply to you right now (1.60 / 5) (#93)
by yesterdays children on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:29:13 AM EST

Like I mentioned in my previous post, when folks are ready to discuss the rights and wrongs of US policy in a thoughtful manner, I'll gladly participate. But this of course means you and others have to quit drooling shit. Hope to chat soon!

[ Parent ]
Ok (2.50 / 2) (#109)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:16:57 PM EST

So what is a thoughtful manner? Not mentioning the wrongs at all? You want to go into a debate where the pretense is that you can not be argued against. Please define thoughtful manner, and I don't mean to just ignore US evils.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
fair enough (none / 0) (#179)
by yesterdays children on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 10:13:34 AM EST

For me, I request that the following phrase be used, paraphrasing is ok: "While nothing can justify the attack that occured on September 11..."

In my mind this is a simple enough request, but perhaps even this could be debated, as I certainly don't know everything, perhaps there is another phrase equally suited to the purpose of engaging thought and learning. Also, if you could approach me in a matter that gives me a feeling that I don't deserve to die based on the universe's choice of where I was born, or that just because my lot threw me into the US, I am not automatically of no worth, or incapable of reasoning and sensitivity to the plight of others, that would be helpful too.

Thanks for the encouraging post.

[ Parent ]

Well yeah (none / 0) (#226)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:50:30 PM EST

I don't think that anyone said that the attacks WERE justified, it kind of goes without saying. What they are saying, is that the anger that some people feel towards the US is justified.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Exactly (3.00 / 1) (#108)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:15:13 PM EST

He is saying exactly this. And the SS weren't Nazis, they were just following orders.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Rubbish (3.00 / 3) (#107)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:14:19 PM EST

The US government is simply that. A government. Given our form of government, that means they represent what the citizens want. By extension you then believe that the US is a terrorist country. Therefore, by extension, you lose, and lose badly. You should find the preview button on your browser and read what you intend to post and make sure your just not slinging inflamatory shit, unless of course that was your intent, then consider me sufficiently trolled.

Did the citizens of the US ask that our CIA train Osama Bin Laden? I honestly think that if people at the time knew that our CIA was training a religious radical such as Bin Laden, they would have been pissed.

On top of this, I don't think most US citizens are aware that our economic sanctions against Iraq have caused the deaths of well over a million children. Quite frankly, I think they'd be pissed about this as well.

I would also like to pose a question to you. Do you consider it a terrorist act to overthrow a democratically elected leader? The FBI contributed GREATLY to an effort to do this(primary supplier of arms and money) in Chile, and the Military tried, but failed, to do this in Vietnam.

Of course, why am I so sure that most Americans don't know this? Simple. Most Americans get all of their news from CNN. CNN does not make these connections. Not once have I seen CNN do a story about the economic sanctions in Iraq, and how they only hurt the civilians. And I probably never will.

So, I'll see you when you want to open your eyes to reality!

-Phil
[ Parent ]
On Iraq. (3.00 / 3) (#120)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 02:33:11 PM EST

I've heard this crap about sanctions several times now and I just have one question. Given the fact that the US and Britain have been blowing up anti-aircraft sites in the Iraq no-fly zones about once a month, where does the money come from? It's not like Saddam had a huge supply of SAMs and targeting radars after the war, and the only thing getting into the country legally is food and medicine. Obviously Saddam's getting these things on the black market, but where's he getting the cash? He can't sell oil, he doesn't have many other assets, the only thing I can think of is he's selling the humanitarian aid we're giving him and using the proceeds to buy war materiel. Which is what I think Saddam would do if we lifted sanctions tomorrow.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Well (3.00 / 2) (#122)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 03:33:43 PM EST

First off, he is probably getting money from some neighboring country. Second, It's not like he is using state of the art equipment. It could very well be excess from the 1980s.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
The fact remains... (2.25 / 4) (#136)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:21:11 PM EST

Saddam's getting money somewhere. Money he's spending on weapons, not on feeding his people. How the hell is the starving of iraqis our fault?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
You totally ignored what I said (3.00 / 1) (#166)
by PhillipW on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:14:22 AM EST



-Phil
[ Parent ]
Do the wise thing (1.00 / 1) (#183)
by yesterdays children on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 11:15:47 AM EST

Question why you're being ignored, works for me!

[ Parent ]
I know why I am being ignored (none / 0) (#224)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:35:55 PM EST

Because you have nothing legitimate to say that would refute my claims.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
or maybe... (1.66 / 3) (#145)
by compsci guy 2000 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 06:37:06 PM EST

or maybe the army boys haven't been blowing up anti-aircraft sites... Ever think that they weren't being completely honest? Certainly wouldn't be the first time...

[ Parent ]
So you're saying... (3.00 / 3) (#147)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:10:31 PM EST

That the loss of two UAV's, Saddam's repeated pledges to shoot down an american/british plane, the disappearance of several tons of ordinance, and all the associated radio chatter for fire authorization are all faked so the US can feel better about its embargo? Wake me when you return to reality.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
I didn't say... (3.00 / 3) (#155)
by compsci guy 2000 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:47:51 PM EST

I didn't say they weren't firing at stuff...
I said perhaps there's no anti-air weapons to fire at. I know they've been dropping artillery because all of iraq has been poisoned by DU. (for that matter, many US and UK soldiers have been to... like the US gives a damn about them).
But how many planes has Saddam shot down?
And even if saddam did have anti-air weapons. So what? He's got no weapons of mass-destruction left (as the past few UN observers have reported). And the civilian cost of life has been horrendous.
Most people don't know, but the military and government certainly do.
When asked whether punishing saddam was worth the lives of the 500,000 children (and over 1million others) that have been murdered, Madeline Albright replied "It's a tough choice but I think it's worth it..."
Even if the death toll from tuesdays massacre is a full 50,000. That attack would have to be repeated once a month for the next 3 years to come close to matching the civilian death toll in Iraq from bombings and sanctions.

[ Parent ]
Saddam's bagged two.. (3.66 / 3) (#160)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:32:03 PM EST

They were UAV (Unmanned Aireal Vehicles) so he's got something to take out aircraft. He's also issued rewards to anyone who brings down an American/British pilot. This could all be saber rattleing, but I find it extremely hard to believe that the US and Britian would drop over $300,000 into the desert for the hell of it.

You also seem to operate under the assumption that Saddam's going to use whatever money he gets for feeding his people. It's pretty obvious that Saddam's buying AA systems, not feeding his people. Given historic and current evidence I think Saddam's going to spend the first $n billion he gets in rebuilding his military, then he'll think about feeding his people.

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

Yes... (none / 0) (#227)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:00:36 PM EST

And we lost a vessel in the Gulf Of Tonkin, too.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
I get this from you, corrections welcome (none / 0) (#182)
by yesterdays children on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 11:14:18 AM EST

So you are saying that there is nothing Saddam could do to end the sanctions? Even his own retirement?

[ Parent ]
Iraq (none / 0) (#197)
by free779 on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 12:46:33 AM EST

The UN observers final report stated that Iraq had not given them the cooperation necessary to make a judgement about the the current state of Iraq's weapons program, and several of the observers (not just American), were suspicous of the obstructions Saddam blocked the investigation with.

DU, even in high concentrations, has a low radioactivity level, and the increase in background radiation level is negligible. However, DU dust is harmful, and does increase the risks of cancer. There are some indications that the heavy use of DU may have contributed the increase in child leukemia cases in certain areas of Iraq. However, those were also areas that were in the 'fallout' zone from the destroyed oil fields (and possible chemical weapons depots destroyed in air attacks).

Iraq is allowed to sell $5 billion worth of oil for the purchase of food and medical supplies. However, only limited funds are available for reinvestment into the oil infrastructure, so it seems as if Iraq doesn't have much production above this level anyways.

Saddam is rearming his armed forces. Primarily funded by smuggling (through Iran, Jordan, and Syria), and whatever funds he can skim off the Oil for Food program. It seems fairly obvious, though, that Saddam benefits more from mis-managing the monies that are available to him, and blaming it on the Americans, than actually feeding his people. When people are busy looking for their next meal, they generally aren't concerning themselves with the next revolution.

The blame falls primarily on Saddam for the destruction wrought on his people, but the sanctions aren't working at all. They merely strengthen his hold on power, give him the material for some great PR, and create some more fanatics for us to deal with in the future.

[ Parent ]

Dead Children - a question. (3.66 / 3) (#157)
by galazi on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:36:48 PM EST

People can argue the point, but my view is that US sanctions on Iraq are wrong. There is no doubt that they have led to deaths through lack of medicines, food, etc. But where does this number of well over a million come from? I'm not saying that it is wrong, just asking where it comes from.

On top of this, I don't think most US citizens are aware that our economic sanctions against Iraq have caused the deaths of well over a million children.

Yesterday I read somewhere that it was 600,000. Today I read it's 1,00,000+? The population of Iraq is estimated at c.23m, well over a million children would be 5% of the population, perhaps? This seems high especially when you add in the old and infirm who have probably also died.

In my view even the death of 1 child through sanction is a tragedy, but I am trying to get a better understanding of the facts we are dealing with here, not get involved with perpetuating what might be accelerating myths that will make understanding worse!

[ Parent ]

I'm always suspicious of this view (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by yesterdays children on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 11:09:26 AM EST

Had Saddam had the generousity to leave Kuwait be, his countries children would be in better shape. Had Saddam relinquished some personal luxury, he could have helped more kids despite his inadviseable move into Kuwait. If Saddam would accept some terms more compatible with civilization, things could be better. Maybe this explains why I just don't feel that guilty for their plight.

Saddam is tasked with leading his country in the context of modern civilization and all of its advantages and ills, as is the rest of the world's nation-states. Is he truly doing the best he can? Although the US has done its share of wrong, how do you believe we stack up alongside Saddam's government? Everybody seems to ask lately for us USians to look at ourselves, so I in my small mind now compare us against who would do us harm. Anybody else care to join in?

[ Parent ]

Clarification (none / 0) (#194)
by galazi on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 10:29:11 PM EST

Sanctions = Wrong does not mean Saddam Hussein = Right!

It does not mean Saddam is not responsible for the devastation he has brought on his country.

It does mean that I don't think that sanctions work very well. Off the top of my head I am struggling to think of situations where sanctions have toppled a dictator. You may have examples.

In addition the sanctions imposed on Saddam and the fact that he is surviving them have made him something of a hero in Muslim circles and that is certainly not increasing the likelihood that he will "retire" soon.

On the other hand, I can think of quite a few examples where sanctions have led to enormous hardship to the ordinary people of a country while a dictator carries on oblivious and even uses them to strengthen his position.

Finally, my feeling is that "in the context of modern civilization" the fact that America's opponents (when seen from a western viewpoint at least) are more "wrong" than America does not excuse America if it does "its share of wrong" too.



[ Parent ]
Two wrongs (none / 0) (#205)
by amanset on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 08:12:29 AM EST

Or more simply using a phrase we all know:

Two wrongs don't make a right.

[ Parent ]

Good point (none / 0) (#231)
by yesterdays children on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 08:44:19 PM EST

I'll have to consider this view. I wish I had an answer. I do believe that Iraq _could_ end sanctions, but you do bring to light possible reasons why Saddam may not want to take whatever actions needed to end them.

[ Parent ]
Re: I'm always suspicious of this view (none / 0) (#217)
by kcbrown on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 03:41:43 AM EST

Umm....yeah. And who, exactly, was it that empowered Hussein to begin with? Who was it that ensured he stayed in power? Oh, yeah, that's right: our own CIA. See this for more on what our CIA has been up to all these years.

If we want to be the "policemen of the world" then we'd better become friends with the world, and fast. A policeman in a community can't be effective if most of the community abhors him. The more crap our beloved CIA pulls the more enemies we make, and the less willing others will be to cooperate with us when we need it (like now!).

When, as a nation, we've installed and supported countless dictatorships, despots, and criminals, how can you not understand why there's so much hatred out there against the U.S.? Fortunately for us, most people in the world understand that there's a distinction between the people of the U.S. and the government of the U.S., which is why most people in the world mourn the victims of the WTC attack. Some may claim that our government is just giving the population what it wants: cheap oil and other goods. But I say that the citizens of the U.S. would not support the actions our government has taken if they knew what the costs (in lives, if nothing else) are. Furthermore, if you ask the average U.S. citizen what kind of government they want to see us install and/or support abroad, to a man they'll say "democracy". To a man they'll tell you that they want the same freedom for the people over there that they themselves enjoy. But has our government been doing what its people want? Obviously not!

We have the power to give the people in a large portion of the world the ability to govern themselves, and I doubt that we here in the U.S. want anything less than that for them. If our government is doing something else, it can only be because our government is not responsive to the needs or desires of the people: it's responsive to someone else. I'd argue that it's the desires of our large corporations that drive the actions of our government. Check out the many articles on Slashdot if you want some evidence (hint: explain the existence of the DMCA, if you don't believe me).

Until our government starts responding to its people, how can we expect to see anything but more of the same hate-directed action against us?

[ Parent ]

ok... (2.33 / 3) (#148)
by compsci guy 2000 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:12:20 PM EST

Then by your logic, the criminals that murdered thousands of innocent people on tuesday are not terrorists either.
They simply implement policy which is dictated by an organization that represents what people want. They may not be an organized group of people, but they're there. There were definitely people that were happy to see US civilians getting murdered rather than their own civilians.
Aside from the palestinians, I'm sure some serbians, or maybe the saddam husseins, or timothy mcveighs were happy to see such atrocious bloodshed.
Is this thoughtgful enough yet?
Just because you're acting on someone elses desires, doesn't mean it's not a crime.

[ Parent ]
you misunderstand the story (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by gagarin on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:43:35 AM EST

If we allow innocent people to die because the people who kill them "have a right" to be angry, what the hell kind of precedent does that set?
Nobody is advocating that the actual guilty terrorists be let off. The story talks against a bombing or an all out war, in which innocent civilians would be killed.

Many argue that it's not possible to get the terrorists without killing a few innocent civilians on the way. Do Afghan civilians have less of a right to life than U.S. civilians ?

[ Parent ]

What needs to transpire for the sake of all (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by adramelech on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:53:57 PM EST

Many argue that it's not possible to get the terrorists without killing a few innocent civilians on the way. Do Afghan civilians have less of a right to life than U.S. civilians ?

Of course not. In fact, by sending troops in to capture/thwart/extirpate the terrorists we not only place Afghan lives at stake but also, and to a greater extent, place the lives of Americans at stake. What really should be done, in the interest of both those of Afghanistan and all who are threatened by the terrorists harbored there, is the Taliban government should be overthrown to end the fanatic oppression, the decimation, the murder and tourture inflicted of these people by their "government". and the terrorists should be clawed out and crushed. Of course, the problem of the Palestinians and the Jews would then have to be addressed, and some effort by all nations concerned should be made to sate them all to at least some degree, if at all possible, in the hopes of staving off the terror and the murder and the horror and bloodshed. This of course would be the most difficult task, but let us not resort to labeling it as an "impossible" one, for peace, safety and, for many, life itself is at stake.



[ Parent ]
Rational response... (3.66 / 3) (#94)
by Best Ace on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:54:16 AM EST

'Maybe the Arabs were treated unfairly. Maybe the Jews were. Every society or culture has been shit on at some point in their existence.'

Yes, that's true, but for some more than others. We should not use this fact as justification for allowing other people be shat on. Especially not when the shit becomes a sustained shower of diarrhea, as in the case of the Palestinians. We should never be prevented from trying to improve the lot of all peoples, just because we think it is natural for some people to be treated more fairly than others.

What this situation really boils down to... is that militant citizens of a foreign country, which openly opposes the United States, came onto our soil and killed several thousand innocent citizens.

This is not in dispute. No rational person ascribes to the theory that those buried under the WTC are guilty, or that the actions of the terrorists are in any way justified. But meeting an irrational action with an irrational response is also not justified, and I fear we are about to see such a response from the US.

Was their rage justified? Maybe; who cares?

My heart sinks when I read those last two words. Everyone should care. Deeply. Not caring is the attitude that leads to such attacks in the first place.

'If we allow innocent people to die because the people who kill them "have a right" to be angry, what the hell kind of precedent does that set?'

The flip side of this is that the precedent has already been set - sort of. The US has allowed innocent people to die (and lots of them), not because the US is angry, but because they think they have a right to promote their self-interest over the rights of people to live in peace. That is the consequence of an attitude of not caring.

I agree when you say there is no good answer to the dilemma we face. But some responses are definitely more dangerous than other.

'the only action that we can take that will satisfy the people of America ... is strong military reaction'

That should NOT be our primary motivation right now. If military action is to be taken, it should not be borne out of some narcissistic thoughts of revenge, satisfaction and ego-massaging. An overblown response would only see a new generation of suicide bombers and bin Ladens coming forward to replace the originals.



[ Parent ]

Major oversite in your summarization and others... (3.66 / 6) (#66)
by Hasufin on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:02:30 AM EST

One very *major* oversight everyone is making - they are not looking into the history past 1948, because they do not think it's necessary.

I see numerous posts about how Great Britian started all of this. Anyone want to know why?

*ahem* - The Treaty of Versaille (sp?) at Paris. Don't know what that is? This is the treaties the *losing* side of WWI had to sign. The Turkish, Ottoman Empire controlled most of the middle east during this time.

Since Great Britian was on the winning side, by right of war, they had the "authority" to make a homeland for Jews.

Things like this happen when your great grand-fathers lose a major war. (Turks that is...)

For more information... (none / 0) (#82)
by brandonne on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:36:02 AM EST

...see the World War I section of this page:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/iltoc.html

[ Parent ]
This is not the jungle. (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by crealf on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 06:12:44 PM EST

*ahem* - The Treaty of Versaille (sp?) at Paris. Don't know what that is? This is the treaties the *losing* side of WWI had to sign. The Turkish, Ottoman Empire controlled most of the middle east during this time.
Since Great Britian was on the winning side, by right of war, they had the "authority" to make a homeland for Jews.
Things like this happen when your great grand-fathers lose a major war. (Turks that is...)

This was no longer valid after the WWI ; the idea since then was the right of the peoples for self-determination. This is why German was not made a province of France or England or whatever after losing twice wars (along with other countries losing wars). This is why the independance wars in the colonies were legitimate (and for instance, the numerous French installed in the then French colony Algeria, had to go back to France). In a sense, if Israel had territories in another place, the Palestine war might well be seen as an independance war.

[ Parent ]

Oversight (4.50 / 2) (#230)
by kzin on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 07:04:59 PM EST

Two factual corrections:

  • Britain was not responsible for establishing the Jewish settlement in Israel. Organized Jewish settlement had existed in Israel for quite some time before Britain conquered Israel from the Ottoman empire in 1917. In fact, from the Arab massacre of 1929 and onward Britain had actively sought to limit the Jewish settlement.

  • The Turks are most certainly not the grand-fathers of the Palestinians, like you describe. The Turks are not Arab and they speak Turkish, not Arabic. Jews, Arabs (the word "Palestinian" was not in wide use as an ethnical division at the time) and other ethnical groups in the pre-WWI Middle East were all equally foreign subjects of the Ottoman empire.

In short, describing the Ottoman and the British empires as protectorates of the Arab and Jewish populations, respectively, is a bit misled. Both empires ruled the Middle East in their times, and both used divide-and-conquer techniques among the rival ethnical groups in the area in order to maintain their rule. Most of those techniques, in particular those employed by the British, are still evident today in ethnical disputes, of which the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is but the best-known in the West. Consider, for example, the Christians and the Muslims in Lebanon, or the Hashemite Bedouines and Palestinians in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, to mention two.

[ Parent ]
speculations (3.00 / 8) (#71)
by ShrimpX on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:38:52 AM EST

what bothers me is that no one is even remotely considering other possibilities. what if the people who commited the attacks are part of some american suicide cult? what if all of the people who planned this were all of the people that died? we are looking to kill people that might already be dead.

what i'm trying to say, i think, is that instead of dealing with the situation created by the attacks, we are desperately trying to solve problems that were posed by the news media, with solutions that were given to us by the news media. the first occurance of bin laden's name i heard during this ordeal, was minutes after the first crash, on the news. now we're talking about war...

Reality check (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by TheCaptain on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:08:00 AM EST

An American Suicide cult of Islamic "fundamentalist"/zealots of Arabic descent? Interesting. We ruled out Bin Laden pretty quickly in Oklamhoma city actually, although he was one of the first people to cross alot of peoples minds. (Gee...I wonder why?) They ARE investigating objectively, as they knew it might not be him, but now it looks like they are pretty sure it was at least partially him...so yes...they are looking for him. They are also looking for anyone else involved. Sounds pretty like a pretty common sense approach to me. The evidence pointing to him is getting a little heavy to cast THAT much doubt on...and I am talking about the evidence seen and heard by the public...not the "government propaganda" I hear so much about on here. As for war? If Pearl Harbor was an act of war, then this sure as hell is...this will probably have a higher body count, and it was an attack directly on civilians, with the intent to kill as many innocent people as possible.

[ Parent ]
bin Laden in OK (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by BurntHombre on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:01:06 AM EST

I think very few, if any, people suspected bin Laden in the Oklahoma City bombing. He wasn't on most people's radar until '98 when the US embassies were bombed. I *do* think, however, that the idea that it was "someone Arab" was the first thought in most people's mind, since our experience tells us that most terrorists are either Arab or Gaelic.

[ Parent ]
Evidence? (3.00 / 1) (#104)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:02:42 PM EST

The only evidence you know of is that which you are told of. The US government has not released any evidence yet, so I find your claim that the evidence pointing to Bin Laden is a little heavy to be somewhat ridiculous. It may very well be that the only connection Bin Laden had with these people is funding, in which case we are just as guilty.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Yes Evidence... (none / 0) (#187)
by TheCaptain on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 02:40:29 PM EST

As seen by ALOT of people other than government officials. Cell phone calls made to civilians and 911 from the airplanes for example...which pointed to some people of arabic descent. (Guess that's not your usual "american death cult") Records of the travels of the illeged terrorists turned over to the government by private industry which consists of private citizens. They even had an interview from the Land Lord of some of the suicide pilots on one of the news channels. (Ok..illeged suicide pilots) They are people who can be linked to Bin Laden...if you don't believe me, the media, or the government, then go ahead and do your own research...if you can prove them wrong, I'll give you that point...but the fact of the matter is, is that no one internationally with their own intelligence communities is denying what we are saying either. Some of the known Bin Laden affiliates even traveled through other countries...guess they are all in on a grand conspiracy to pull the wool over K5. Many of them have a less aggressive stance on this than the US, but they aren't saying our findings are wrong...simple reason...they probably are pretty damn accurate.

Now I suppose your going to tell me that the FBI and CIA are part of some vast coverup to hide the real investigation and try to pin this on Bin Laden right? (At least thats how some people here are sounding...I am not pointing a finger directly at you so please don't take it that way.) Seriously...the chance that this has anything to do with an American suicide cult as the original poster suggested is so rediculous that I can't find any rational person outside of K5 who can even fathom it.

My point is that alot of evidence is actually coming from private citizens and private industry.

[ Parent ]
I don't know about a suicide cult... (none / 0) (#237)
by PhillipW on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:40:00 PM EST

But that really doesn't say much at all. I understand that the people are of Arabic descent, and that they can apparently are linked to Bin Laden, however I do not see how they can be linked, because I have not been shown the evidence.

Now we also have to move on to the point that if Osama had anything to do with this, why would he deny it? Terrorists claim responsibility for their actions, and there is reason for this. I just do not see why he would deny it if he was indeed involved.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
On the Bombings (3.77 / 9) (#74)
by picasso on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:18:46 AM EST

this is worth sharing:

On the Bombings
Noam Chomsky

The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the level of many others, for example, Clinton's bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it). Not to speak of much worse cases, which easily come to mind. But that this was a horrendous crime is not in doubt. The primary victims, as usual, were working people: janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to prove to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor and oppressed people. It is also likely to lead to harsh security controls, with many possible ramifications for undermining civil liberties and internal freedom.

The events reveal, dramatically, the foolishness of the project of "missile defense." As has been obvious all along, and pointed out repeatedly by strategic analysts, if anyone wants to cause immense damage in the US, including weapons of mass destruction, they are highly unlikely to launch a missile attack, thus guaranteeing their immediate destruction. There are innumerable easier ways that are basically unstoppable. But today's events will, very likely, be exploited to increase the pressure to develop these systems and put them into place. "Defense" is a thin cover for plans for militarization of space, and with good PR, even the flimsiest arguments will carry some weight among a frightened public.

In short, the crime is a gift to the hard jingoist right, those who hope to use force to control their domains. That is even putting aside the likely US actions, and what they will trigger -- possibly more attacks like this one, or worse. The prospects ahead are even more ominous than they appeared to be before the latest atrocities.

As to how to react, we have a choice. We can express justified horror; we can seek to understand what may have led to the crimes, which means making an effort to enter the minds of the likely perpetrators. If we choose the latter course, we can do no better, I think, than to listen to the words of Robert Fisk, whose direct knowledge and insight into affairs of the region is unmatched after many years of distinguished reporting. Describing "The wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated people," he writes that "this is not the war of democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming days. It is also about American missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996 and American shells crashing into a village called Qana and about a Lebanese militia ­ paid and uniformed by America's Israeli ally ­ hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee camps." And much more. Again, we have a choice: we may try to understand, or refuse to do so, contributing to the likelihood that much worse lies ahead.

Noam Chomsky

more: http://www.lbbs.org/ZNETTOPnoanimation.html

WHY? (3.50 / 6) (#77)
by picasso on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:39:16 AM EST

as for me i think this is a horrendous act and cannot be justified.

the best we can do is to try and understand.
to try and understand before we act.

i fear anything short of this will only lead to more of the same.

we are faced with a mainstream media unable to find its soul.
unable to ask the most pressing question: WHY?

we must all find the strength and motivation to educate ourselves.
lest we all be filled with hatred based on a media fed superficial understanding of the situation, of the world, of our role in it.

Not just Israel v. Palestine that is the issue (3.44 / 9) (#84)
by br284 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:45:30 AM EST

I'm surprised in all the comments and stories that I have seen about this, a central theme is that, "We brought this upon ourselves because we supported the Israelis."

Here's why it does not go over with me. If that were truly the rationale -- a hatred of Israel -- why did the terrorists attack the United States, and not Israel. Why were these attacks in New York and not Tel Aviv? Was it because there seems to always be attacks there anyways, and it is the United State's turn?

See, I do not think that the US's support of Israel was even a motive in this attack. The attack will probably be justified as that, should the cowards who committed this act step forward. I personally believe that this is the act of a madman, pure and simple. No amount of rationalizing will ever get to the core of actions that are fundamentally insane.

There is also a flip side to your thesis above about how these terrorists cannot operate without the cooperation and good will of at least some people. I agree with you 100%, though I don't think that your (or any other's) solution of trying to get everyone to like us will solve the problem. The United States (and Western world) is so far ahead of others in terms of quality of life, general security, and wealth that those from not-so-privliged backgrounds will always envy and resent us. And there will always be individuals that will flame that envy and resent in the people for personal gain.

So, we cannot please everyone and there will always be someone gunning for us. So, what do we do to prevent this from happening again? We send the strongest possible message that we know you may not like us and wish that we and our allies are wiped from the face of the Earth, but to do so is to invite a harsh and swift threat to also wipe yourself off of the face of this world. We don't fuck with you, and should you fuck with us or aid and abet someone who does, you are in for a world of hurt.

-Chris


Well... (4.00 / 2) (#91)
by TuRRIcaNEd on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:21:56 AM EST

Why were these attacks in New York and not Tel Aviv? Was it because there seems to always be attacks there anyways, and it is the United State's turn?

The first part of your answer is probably quite close to the mark, especially if it does turn out that that is the primary motive (Personally, I remain unconvinced). But saying something like it being the US's 'turn' is oversimplifying the issue to the point of severe occlusion. The truth is that it is much easier to shrug off images of death and destruction from half a world away than if they come from on your own doorstep. As terrible as the attack was, it certainly got the USian people's attention, if nothing else.

Over in the Middle East, scores are dying every day, and the Western nations continue to actively encourage the conflict by selling more and more weapons to the region. It's a shitty situation if you are a hardline Jew and Zionist, an Islamic fundamentalist, or even just the ordinary person on the street trying to make a living. The first two both want to see an end to the conflict with their side on top, but I'm pretty sure that the majority of the third group just want an end to the conflict.

I have to say that the whole 'envy of America' paragraph is a tad insulting, however. Not everyone loves ©The American Way™ as much as her own citizens.

Tc.

"We're all f**ked. You're f**ked. I'm f**ked. The whole department's f**ked. It's been the biggest cock-up ever and we're all completely f**ked. - Sir Richard Mottram expounds the limits of spin
[ Parent ]

Re: Definitely NOT Just Israel vs. Palestine (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by surfimp on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:56:33 PM EST

We don't fuck with you, and should you fuck with us or aid and abet someone who does, you are in for a world of hurt.

Unfortunately, the problem is that we DO fuck with "them"...be they in the Middle East (i.e. our financial and military support of Israel, our bombings/sanctions of Iraq, bombings of Sudan, bombings of Afghanistan, etc.), Central America (CIA training of Contras in Nicaragua, CIA training of right-wing death squads in Guatemala, etc.), South American (Chile and Peru come to mind), Africa (U.S. occupation of Somalia, support of UNITA as proxy in Angola, etc.), Asia (anyone remember Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos?). The U.S. government, since 1945, has been one of the leading backers of so-called "state-sponsored terrorism" throughout the world. Do some research on any of the above, and you'll find that what I'm saying is all too shockingly true.

There is no way that I'm trying to justify, explain, or rationalize the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. However, until the American people come to terms with the legacy of terror which our government has created throughout the world, we will not be able to truly understand why these groups might have such a serious greviance against the U.S. And if we, as a people, are simply willing to accept whatever we read or hear from CNN and other mainstream news sources as the whole spectrum of discussion on the topic, then we are bound through ignorance to be emotionally manipulated by what essentially amounts to a propaganda campaign.

We need to take these attacks as a call to set aside our cultural tendency towards ambivalence. Now that terror has literally struck home, we need to open our ears, eyes and hearts to alternative points of view. Until there is a rational and broad discussion of the issues, there will be no change.

[ Parent ]
By the same token... (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by jacobito on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:32:15 PM EST

What I don't understand is, if the U.S. really went to war with Vietnam, why did it bomb Cambodia and Laos, and not just Vietname?

[ Parent ]
Because... (3.50 / 2) (#149)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:22:10 PM EST

The North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong were using Laos and Cambodia for "safe havens", staging areas, and supply routes. International law does provide for bombing enemy assets in a neutral country.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Since You asked (2.30 / 10) (#85)
by n8f8 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:47:15 AM EST

Here is what I posted to several discussions and mailed out close fiends:

As far as what we should do now that we have been attacked the answer is simple. Terrorism exists because we allow it to exist. We tolerate it. When toleration of this extreme attitude become fruitless you are forced to replace tolerant attitude with bullets and bombs. In the end it is either their view or yours. When they refuse to reason or remain civilized there are no options left.

When you have nothing,
You have nothing to lose.
When you wholeheartedly subscribe to any belief system,
you set reason aside.

Put the two together and you have the very definition of somone willing to become a suicide attacker.

Reality check:
Most terrorist organizations are funded by drug money. So any moral superiority is bullshit. Quote :"Afghanistan, which today is one of the world's biggest centres of the illegal production and proliferation of drugs, accounts for more than 75% of the overall production of raw opium."

Most suicide bombers are losers who are not willing to work within societal rules to achive their desires. It is much easier to kick over a sandcastle that to build one.

Islamic Societies are nothing more than petty dictatorships covered with a glaze of religious justification. Nothing new here. Beat enough defenseless people over the head and they'll do anything you say. Thankfully though, some Islamic nations are more enlightened than others.

Enculturing people into believing any action they do for their group/religion/country is justified is the oldest trick in the book. At least in the United States we say freedom is King, Freedom to believe anything you wish as long as you don't encroach on your neighbor's freedom. Even though a lage part of this philisophy is based on the Bible, almost every religious tome used in every major religion boils down to the same simple edict: "Dont Steal".

Don't steal someone's property.
Don't steal someone's honor.
Don't steal someone's life.

The basic Darwinian rules to living in any orderly society.

Here is some basic background info:



Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Heh (3.66 / 3) (#103)
by PhillipW on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:58:54 PM EST

Don't steal someone's life.

This is precisely what a war in Afghanistan would do. It would steal the lives of people not involved.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Defense Exception (2.00 / 1) (#168)
by n8f8 on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:35:39 AM EST

You do not steal someones life then they intentionally harm you and you must defend yourself. Without a doubt "innocents" die during any war, but most civilized countries try to minimise civilian casualties. But is is also true that there aren't truely any real "innocents" in wartime because in war you either support one side or the other even if your support only amounts to doing nothing. The closest to truly innocent are the children, but in most socities the welfare of the children is entrusted to the parent/gaurdian and any harm to befall a child is the fault of that parent/gaurdian, so we're back to the previous assertion.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
I have heard that logic (3.00 / 1) (#169)
by PhillipW on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:42:41 AM EST

But I don't follow it very well. If America were ruled by fascists and I still lived here, I would not be in support of any nation coming in dropping bombs here.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Then your responsibilty (3.00 / 1) (#171)
by n8f8 on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:50:13 AM EST

Then your responsibility is to oppose your own government. Either change the government, directly oppose it or move elsewhere if that is an option. Unfortunatly you may be stuck dead either way since your own government would likely slap down any resistance, especially in a time of war. Like they say, freedom isn't free.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Rebellion (none / 0) (#222)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:15:19 PM EST

The people of Afghanistan have tried to. But it's extremely difficult when you are plagued with a drought, famine, and a deteorating infrastructure.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
What, exactly, are we tolerating? (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by Lugh on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 09:43:15 PM EST

Thinking that terrorism exists because we allow it to exist is a rather naive view on the subject. What does it mean when you say that we 'allow it to exist'? Well, let's start with terrorism- what is it? One definition (and there are many) could describe terrorism as the extension of politics by other, unconventional (attacks on civilian targets, attempts to incite mass terror/fear), means. This takes one common definition of war and expands on it, so as to include common terrorist tactics. Okay, so how do we stop tolerating/allowing this? Well, first you need to eliminate the tools of the terrorist, so weapons- guns, bombs, knives, baseball bats, golf clubs, martial arts classes, long pieces of string, many common pieces of hardware... Right. Next, anonimity and freedom of movement- terrorists like to hide, so we'll need to start tracking all financial transactions, all use of communications systems (don't forget to ban carrier pigeons), ban encryption, and put CCTV cameras everywhere. Finally, of course, we'll need to eliminate the motivation- dissent. So, we can just pitch the first amendment, forbid public gatherings and put government censors in control of all forms of entertainment and mass communication- kiss your inkjet and web server goodbye. The sad fact of the matter is that terrorism is the extremist, dark side take on most of our civil liberties. Saying that we 'tolerate' terrorism is much akin to saying we 'tolerated' the Washington Post's investigation into the Watergate scandal. Any regime which is able to successfully crack down on terrorism by violent, oppressive means would be a totalitarian nightmare. Am I saying that we should just accept what happened and move on? Hell no. I say we find out where those responsible are, send in a ranger team to extract them, try them in the courts, convict them and let them spend the rest of their life rotting in a SuperMax. Do I think that we should push to eliminate terrorism, no matter the cost? Well... I for one would rather live in a principled nation that stuck to its guns rather than turn itself into a police state in the name of self defense (*). Personally, I think that was the real goal of this attack anyway- getting us to change our policies and surrender our freedoms is giving in to terror.

As for the matter of funding and moral superiority, well, where to begin. Osama Bin Laden's fortune came from his cashing out of his inherited portion in the family construction business. Does Afghanistan produce the bulk of the world's opium? Yep. So what? Drug use as a moral question is something that I consider to be a matter of personal choice- I have no problems with individuals using drugs as long as they know what they're taking, what the effects will be and have made the decision of their own free will. People should be free to do what they like, as long as it dosen't encroach on the freedom of others... Where have I heard that before? It may be illegal, depending on where in the world you are, but I wouldn't make it a moral position. Hamas and Hezbollah make money selling calendars and holding legal fundraisers in the U.S.. The Tamil Tigers run freight shipping companies. These organizations get their money from lots of places, and personally, I think that they're despicable enough without bringing spurious arguments about their fundraising into the discussion.

* - If anyone out there knows of such a nation, please tell me how to get citizenship there.
Remove the obvious falsehood to e-mail me.
[ Parent ]

What I mean by Tolerating Terrorism (3.00 / 1) (#167)
by n8f8 on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:21:55 AM EST

Let me first give my definition of "Terrorism" or more properly "Terrorist Organization"

Terrorist Organization: Any pamamilitary organization existing outside a host nation's national defence organization that plans or conducts extraterratorial operations resulting in the harm of another nation's peoples.

National defence organizations are directly responsible to or controlled by the national government. Therefore we are ensured any actions carried out outside there borders are the result of decisions of the national government. Therefore the host nation can be held accountable.

Police organizations operate only within the state/territory and their decisions are directed by local or state leadership. Said organization exists to enforce state and local laws.

"What does it mean when you say that we 'allow it to exist'?

Terrorist organizations cannot exist without at least a minumum of infrastructure; training camps, meeting locations, weapons, training manuals, trainers, etc.

Terrorist organizations cannot grow without conducting public relations; leaflets, publication facilities, pullic speeches, televised events, etc.

So, what I mean by "allow to exist" is that in countries where terrorist organizations have identified infrastructure or visible terrorist public relations, the host nation should be held accountable for these if that terrorist group actually does somthing harmful to another nation's citizens or property. Simply put, the host nation is either responsible for not properly policing its people or; by not doing so, at least passivly supporting it. In either case the harmed nation should feel free to take appropriate action to stop the activity. Declare a police or war action. Destroy the facilities and apprehend or attempt to apprehend the terrorists. The host nation then must take responsibility for its complicity.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

So then (none / 0) (#223)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:26:26 PM EST

American soldiers station abroad, and do misdeeds, should cause the nation in which they are stationed to impose any penalties on the United States? This is the same thing. If our troops, and it has happened before, do something that is a crime in another country, our government screams and yells when that country wants to prosecute the soldier. I can only imagine what our government would say if that country decided that they were justified in punishing the United States government and it's citizens, since we were unable to keep our soldier from behaving properly.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Surrendering Freedoms (3.00 / 1) (#170)
by n8f8 on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 12:45:17 AM EST

As far as the assertion that holding nations accoutable for the actions of its citizens would result in a police state, think again. In the US you can start a Karate Studio or Gun club with realitive ease. If someone in your class or club were to harm someone with the training you provided you would not be held criminally responsible. But, if you taught in your class all Black people should be targeted and emiminated, or all Canadians should be targeted and elimiated and they actually go out and to what you say, then it is the responsibility of the state/government to hold you just as accountable as the person that did the killing.

No, we're not talking about abridging anyone's rights. Only about protecting and defending our own and holding the proper people/government accountable.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Afghan drug trade stopped (none / 0) (#189)
by delmoi on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 04:06:33 PM EST

We paid the taliban $45 to stop the trade of Opium, and the did quite effectively.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Afghan drug trade stopped (none / 0) (#190)
by delmoi on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 04:06:56 PM EST

We paid the taliban $45 million to stop the trade of Opium, and the did quite effectively.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
'nuff bickering, let's find a solution (3.75 / 4) (#96)
by calimehtar on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:09:49 AM EST

There is certainly no one good way of perceiving the cause of the WTC calamity. We (and particularly the US government) must give an ear to all of them and use the evidence to construct an effective solution.

The point being made in this article is that by destroying the perpetrators of this week's crime, we will not prevent this from happening again. Punishing can serve to make an example of them, but it may also whip like-minded people around the world into a frenzied rage. Waging war against terrorism makes for good speeches and good PR, but the only permanent solution will be found by realizing that terrorist do sometimes have motives, and suicidal terrorists very likely cannot be stopped by force. Diplomacy is important.


+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


Afgani-American take (4.80 / 25) (#98)
by ehintz on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:37:34 AM EST

I got this via email from a friend, it struck me as a great insight into the whole Afgan mess. Another good one is this Antlantic Monthly article published just 1 year ago. Anyway, here's the text of that mail:

Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

Tamim Ansary




Regards,
Ed Hintz
I was just watching CBC Newsworld (3.40 / 5) (#102)
by jfunk on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 12:57:21 PM EST

I just saw a former US ambassador to NATO talking about the likely response.

What I found really interesting is that he stated that (paraphrased) "The US will take special care in separating terrorists from governments and people so that this does not end up being a much worse situation."

I don't know how definite that is, but hearing it just after reading your post is somewhat comforting.

On right now is a Canadian Afghani expressing his worries about what will happen. He mentioned kids told to leave classes and people asked to leave stores. He then expressed his distaste for the Taliban.

He has actually been on for a while now and he's basically using the opportunity the best he can. I'm glad the CBC gave him a voice.
Jimmie Funk
[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.50 / 4) (#106)
by otis wildflower on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:10:05 PM EST

Hi,

I have to admit that having passed through stages of shock, rage, and grief (where I am and will probably be for some time) I am glad that the US has not acted hastily. Cooler heads must prevail.

Just to note that I was about 10-11 blocks away on South St when the planes struck, and I drove out of the city about 10 mins ahead of the lockdown. My sister's brother-in-law, father of 3, escaped one of the towers from the 101st floor. Thankfully, nobody I know personally has been lost as far as I know, though it may very well be possible that I know someone who died in the attack.

Fundamentally, I feel that at this time, Americans must put their differences aside and decide on the goals of any retaliation. I feel that there is only one true goal that is valid and will do justice to the lives lost: the total annihilation of terrorism and the politics of terror. This includes not only Islamic fundamentalist terror but all attacks outside the bounds of civilized behavior (including reflexive bombing and hand-waving military reactionism as practiced by the Clinton and Reagan administrations). We (being first and foremost among Western nations engaging in such activities) must make a commitment to peace ourselves and affirm the political process of resolving differences between nations.

Still, in the end, military action will be required to put an end to the world's terrorist scourge. This must be done in an organized, informed, and planned manner, and must involve both force and intelligence over an extended period of time. Furtive and reflexive bombing has been shown to be ineffectual, almost 'crying wolf'. This war will be won man to man, on the ground, one cell and one group at a time.

Bombing Afghanistan "into the stone age" is worse than useless. They're already pretty much IN the stone age, and that's why terrorist forces can reign with such impunity in the first place! Afghanistan is mountainous and rocky, and even atomic weapons would prove largely ineffective. Afghan fighters are hardened and well armed, trained against Soviet helicopter strategies and bombing campaigns. In Afghanistan alone I can foresee only Marines and Army on the ground, with flamethrowers and small-arms, in concert with tactical pinpoint bombing and napalming having any effect.

Similarly, we need to make it clear that any nation hosting or supporting terrorism will be subject to similar campaigns. Orson Scott Card has already written a thorough set of articles which pretty much mirror how I feel about this (and they're better written ;). Find those links and read them.

We need to be smart, wise, compassionate and deliberate, not just for civilized reasons, but because our civilization and reason in executing this war will help prevent the impetus that has swelled the ranks of fundamentalist factions. Remember, we as a free and open nation are particularly vulnerable to infiltration, in both long and short term.

I would also like to beg that we do not turn in upon ourselves and persecute those of Arabic or Asian descent, who are largely here in the US precisely BECAUSE they want to be free from the restrictions and evils of their original homelands. They deserve our support.

Similarly, Arab and Muslim Americans also need to be particularly aware of infiltrators and cooperative with our law enforcement community so that we can prevent future acts together. The last thing they (or we) want are more bad apples bringing unwarranted pain on the rest of the barrel.

Please, please let's keep our resolve to act with wisdom and thoroughness. This is our war, it needs to accomplish something and it needs to mean something more than simple revenge.

Oh, and I'm going back to work Monday morning. New York has a big heart and broad shoulders. We can take it.
[root@usmc.mil /]# chmod a+x /bin/laden
[ Parent ]
Pakistan (3.00 / 1) (#134)
by Nyarlathotep on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:13:37 PM EST

No, Pakistan will side with us for a variety of reasons (India, trade, etc.). the powerfukl Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt will help us. Plus, Russia would likely be willing to let us launch a ground invasion anyway. Finally, we do not need to invade since we can just give the Northern Aliance weapons and air support. The Taliban far more powerful then the N.A. but the N.A. is a very strong group of fighters, so air support would change the banace of power.

Anyway, the truth is every nation in the world had "terrorist" dissodents they would like to silence permenently.. and the Western nations havce just writen a PR "blank check" for wiping out terrorism "by any means necissary," i.e. you can kill em' in their beds without trial. The Taliban is in the unique possition of being able to choose between being "terrorists" or being the law abiding government which makes the N.A. into terrorists (i.e. we "buy" bin Laden and tehy use the money to wipe out the N.A.).

Jeff

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Pakistan has sided with us. (3.00 / 1) (#140)
by oztun on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:39:47 PM EST

Just wanted to confirm Pakistan has 100% agreed to all our request.

[ Parent ]
So what? (none / 0) (#214)
by ronin212 on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 01:09:06 PM EST

The government of Pakistan is certainly trying its hardest to be on the side of civilization here. However, the majority of the people likely disagree. American troops stationed in Pakistan will firstly have to worry about their own safety, and secondly and perhaps more importantly in the long run, their effect on the people in this country. Remember that one of Osama bin Laden's principal qualms with the U.S. is the stationing of American troops in Saudi Arabia -- and these were troops there to help that country against invasion!! What will the people of Pakistan think of troops who are there to attack their Muslim brothers? Curiously, Osama did not share this sentiment against his CIA buddies in Afghanistan, in both situations American troops seem to have been there for the same purpose.

I hope the leaders of Pakistan are effective ones and can appeal to their people. What if not?

If all else fails, we will have to fight jihad with jihad. There are more than a few of us left who are willing to die for their FREEDOM.

Is anyone else really, really afraid at this point?

- Ronin
New York, NY

--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
Is the NA any better than the Taliban itself? (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by ZanThrax on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:22:37 PM EST

Would empowering the NA lead to a free Afghanistan, or simply a change in oppresors? (I'm actually asking here - I know nothing of the NA beyond that they are trying to oust the Taliban)

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 ]

I don't know either, but... (5.00 / 3) (#163)
by rusty on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:48:56 PM EST

I don't know about the N.A. either (will research later) but it's that sort of dealing that's gotten us into this mess to begin with. Enough financing warlords. If we have to spend money there, lets spend it paying our own soldiers to do the job, and later spend it building schools and hospitals.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Thank you (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by ronin212 on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 12:59:11 PM EST

... for such a sober and insightful post.

The objective of these militant fanatics is clearly to cause as much mayhem as possible, World War III purposely included. The millions that would be dying on their side will be martyred in the process, which is lovely for them; the millions dying on our side will be blasphemous heathen being righteously slaughtered, which also is lovely for the planners of this attack.

One can't help but shudder at the apocalyptic thought: can the atheistic West survive a band of murderous fanatics who want to see the sword dripping with the blood of the non-believers? Osama reaches quite far back into the dark ages for such a reference. I hope that in spite of the oversimplyfing that goes on in the media, the real brass in the U.S. government really realizes the situation here because if not, we are dead off the bat.

As for those hijackers, they're with Allah now. Pfft.

Perhaps, after the ashes of this war, humanity will learn to live without prehistoric religion.

--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
Article recommendations (1.66 / 3) (#105)
by ikillyou on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:07:23 PM EST

I'd recommend these articles:

A collection of articles from Foreign Affairs - 'The Terrorist Attack on America: Background'

A collection of articles from The Atlantic Monthly - 'Coming to Grips with Jihad'

And this book:

Taliban : Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid



Let's be realistic. (3.00 / 7) (#112)
by mindstrm on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 01:42:04 PM EST

Whoever is responsible for this atrocity, and whoever is knowingly helping them, either in the past, or in the future, is at War with the United States.
I hate war; I'm not American, but I can see this fairly clearly.

If it's Bin-laden, and the Afghan government didn't know what he was actually doing, and they *hand him over* when asked to, then there is no real need to go to war with the Afghans.

On the other hand.. if they support him, and protect him, then how can the US have any other alternative?



let's be a little more realistic. (3.00 / 2) (#138)
by oztun on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:32:42 PM EST

I'm not being harsh its obvious you are missing info so I'm just filling you and others in.

If it's Bin-laden, and the Afghan government didn't know what he was actually doing, and they *hand him over* when asked to, then there is no real need to go to war with the Afghans.

At this point it seems 100% Bin Laden and the Taliban are involved. Most Americans experts think other countries are most likely involved as well.

What most Americans don't realize is the Taliban has done to Afghanistan what the Nazi's did to Germany. They are some of the most suffering people on the earth. More than half have left the country over the past few years for fear of the fundalmentilist.

The thing that scares me is who else could be involved. The governments of countries like Saudi are also filled with fundalmentilist. It has been said on CNN some of these countries have nukes. A good K5 paper would be on which countries have nukes and possible corruption.

I would like to see more debate on the bible aspect of this. Is this a self-fullfilling prophecy? Could it be true what I hear, that the British give back Israel because in the bible thats what must happen in revelations? We know the fundementalist Muslims want Jihad and feel this is the holy war. We need to know how serious this is.

To all those preaching how uninformed we Americans are start your research. Find facts and reference them. We all need to know what we might be getting into here.

I am not trying to spread propaganda in any way. I only seek to know the truth and find answers to that which I don't understand.

[ Parent ]
Israel (none / 0) (#191)
by Aztech on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 05:26:46 PM EST

"Could it be true what I hear, that the British give back Israel because in the bible thats what must happen in revelations?"
Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire, which fell, after WWI Palestine and that general area of the Middle East fell under British Mandate as per the League of Nations agreement, this continued until WWII ended, then Israel declared its independence and formation three hours before the British mandate ended. The British withdrew and there was the big 1948 war, ad nauseam.

But Britain certainly didn't have an impartial role, as the above may sound, during the mandate the Arabs were kept under control using various means. And of course there was the Balfour Declaration the latter link should answer some of your questions, it wasn't really due to biblical prophecies.

It wasn't entirely one-sided, other places after British mandate didn't turn out so bad, like Jordan for example. Jordan has very good relations with Britain, the King was educated at Oxford and Crown Prince Hamzah severed in the Royal Hussars, it goes on.

[ Parent ]
Not the US they are at war with (none / 0) (#210)
by orichter on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 11:00:02 AM EST

The terrorists are at war with the concept of the US. Freedom, the people in control, free trade. These concepts are world-wide now and part of most civilized thinking and civilized countries, including a majority of Moslem countries. It includes human rights. Something the terrorists desparately want suspended. Actually, they kill indiscriminately, the harbinger of lack of civil rights of any kind. The Koran does endorse civil rights, it has a strict moral code and a list of specific rights, and religious injunctions against doing what terrorists do. The terrorists do not. There is a basic contradiction.

We are at war with them because they attack any and all countries that do not agree with their agenda. Therefore, all countries in the world are under attack. This could have happened to any or all countries. The terrorists chose the US simply because it represents all that is good in the world, and they are envious and afraid of these ideals (since they want to be dictators and tyrants).

Another lesson that many terrorists try to pervert is that the US like ALL nations reacts to and see threats to itself as something that must be prevented. Thus our policies have been seen as detrimental by some and as damaging to some others. The US has characteristically been the least involved in other countries affairs. But we do support our allies. We thought Bin Laden was an ally and supported him during the Russian War in Afghanistan. Look at his loyalties today to see who has been disloyal to whom. What does this imply for anyone else that allies with him. As a Moslem I would fear him.

[ Parent ]
20 Questions (3.57 / 7) (#128)
by vinay on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:12:57 PM EST

The United States, as well as many other western governments has a policy of not giving in to terrorism. In light of this:

  • what are the chances that the U.S. will change its current foreign policy?
  • What are the chances that doing so will appear to be "giving in to terrorism," both at home and abroad?
  • What are the chances that this will solidify our current foreign policy, engendering more support for Israel, for instance?

I submit that the 1st is pretty unlikely. Furthermore, I submit that the 2nd (assuming the 1st took place) and the 3rd are very likely.

Yes, the attacks were horrible, and yes it looks like they were in part brought on by US foreign policy. Will there be a change? No. Should there be? I'm going to say "no," because what message does that send? If you don't like what a country does, attack its citizens? That seems likely, I think. Could it be otherwise? I don't know.


-\/


It would look cowardly (4.00 / 2) (#143)
by demi on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 06:17:31 PM EST

for us to change our policy now. We (the US) are more or less locked-in to being seen as a brutal hegemon until this thing either ends or gets massively out of hand. Let's just hope that Israel can keep itself under control for the time being because they could become a major liability in our attempts to maintain an international coalition.

The only thing going for us is that many of our international friends see this response as justified. And to a lesser extent, so do the Islamic nations in the middle east. We have to be cautious about making sure we are not too disproportionate (I believe our government is using this term) in our response. But once we cross the line, where we exceed our allowable threshhold of revenge, there is going to be a terrible backlash against us IMHO. I would submit that this was the plan of our attackers from the very beginning.


_____

[ Parent ]
well.. (none / 0) (#207)
by hjw on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 09:06:09 AM EST

>If you don't like what a country does, attack
> its citizens?
It didn't work for you in Vietnam either.
And I've been to that region of the world. I've been in Laos. The US illegilly bombed Laos for most of the vietnam war ( under Kissinger's advice ). Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world. It's also one of the poorest. And Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam are so economically ruined due to your holy war waged against communism in the name of 'democratic fundamentalism'.. jees.. I give up...

[ Parent ]
Deceptive (3.93 / 15) (#131)
by Nyarlathotep on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:47:15 PM EST

Your links to the history of the Palistinian Israeli conflict are incredibly missleading, but I think it should be pretty easy for K5 readers to see through this crap. Specifically, take note of how the "20 facts" are all presented in a highly anti-Israeli way. Also, take note how they seem to feal that Jewish immigration it's self is a problem.

The real history: Israel existed over 2000 years ago as a permenant settlement of Jews who had fled Egypt. Israel got the shit kicked out of it by the Plilastines, Romans, Ottomans, etc. No true country has existed there since ancient Israel. No one owned the land execpt the conquering empires. The land was called Palistine by the Ottomans since the Plilistines had been it's first conquerers (and they did not want to call it Israel for religious reasons). The Jews began buying land from their last conquerer the Ottoman empire over 100 years ago. The Ottoman empire (Turkey) sided with the Gemrmans in WWI and was forced to give the land to England. England gave the land to the only group of people who had been making any attempts to reconstitute a country there.. the Israelis. Finaly, the neighboring Arab nations all attacked Israel in the Israeli war for independance.

Allow me to repeat the importent part of that: There hever was a country called Palistine. There were jsut two groups of people wandering arround in the desert as empire after empire moved through. Finally, the group of people who had been their the longest started buying land from one of the empires.

A few other "facts:" Israel has never started a war (though tehy have attacked troups massing on their boarder before war was declared). Israel gave the Palistinians voting rights. Israel dose not want to give back the Goland Heights because they have a wonderful tactical advantage for attacking Israel. Israel has given back land to the countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia which really accepted peace.

Finally, you will find that Israeli reporting of the local news is much more acurate then any western reporting (which is normally slanted towards the Palistinians). I've heard this from *left* wing news sources, i.e. the ones who normally stand up for the Palistinians.

Jeff

BTW> Israel *current* leadership is a bunch of weapon happy right wing assholes.. just ask the Israelis. Why are they in power? Terrorism. Will they stay in power? No, but the World Trade Center attacks have significantly prolonged their hold over the government.

BTW2> The Arabs don't really hate us for Israel. They hate us for propping up dictators like the Shah of Iran and for keeping Iraq under embargo.. Israel is small potatoes compaired to these things. It's the CIA and not the aid to Israel that gets us into trouble.

BTW3> I'm pretty shure that it was Lebinan and Seria who first took the land the English left asside for the Palistinians. These countries have been widely accused of helping create refugies of their own Palistinians to turn these people against Israel.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
Some question... (2.50 / 2) (#146)
by mcguin on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:01:16 PM EST

Allow me to repeat the importent part of that: There hever was a country called Palistine I think 2000 years ago there were not any country, at least like we know now. So I would like to know how was Israel at that time (I thought it was ocupied by Rome).

[ Parent ]
Closer to 3000 years ago. (4.00 / 3) (#152)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:37:23 PM EST

There was a nation named Israel, supposidly founded by King David. A couple of generations after David the kingdom split into two parts, Israel and Judea. Israel was conqured by the Assyrians around 700 BCE and it's leadership was carted off, later assimilated into the culture (thus the "ten lost tribes of Israel"). Judea was conqured by the Babylonians around 590BCE and it's leadership deported, but due to the strong religious traditions(Judaism) they were able to retain their cultural identity and return after some 50 years. Later the region was conquered by the Romans, and after several revolts the Jews were ordered out.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
On the other hand .. (3.00 / 3) (#156)
by Highlander on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 08:29:36 PM EST

Well, although Israel has tried to follow a code of conduct, Israel has succumbed to pressure from fundamentalist immigrants, and tries to secure more territories for these immigrants.

Ok, so Jews bought the land before Israel came into existance. So, this means, when a jew buys land, he is allowed to choose his government and set up his own country. On the other hand, if I buy a parcel of land, then I should be allowed to declare this my land to be my own country.

BTW., also take a look at my other Suggestions (see "profile of Highlander/user comnments") about positive steps the U.S. could take, and why the U.S. would prefer to play strong man instead(well obviously, because looking strong looks better).

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

2000 years???? (2.00 / 1) (#202)
by RandomPeon on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 04:52:06 AM EST

You claim because the Hebrews (a semi-nomadic people who wouldn't understand our idea of "state") controlled this territory more than 2000 years ago they are entitled to kick out the people who happened to be there when they "returned" millenia later?

I guess Eastern Europe belongs to the Mongolians, since they held that terrirory for a rather substantial period of time. Russians, pack your bags, the descendants of Genghis Khan are moving in.... And I better give my house back to the Dakota tribes and head for wherever I came from (England? Germany? Maybe I'll get dual-citizenship).

This is one of my least favorite utterly ridiculous tripes - "The Jews were there first". Neither side can claim the moral high ground in this conflict - just look at their leaders. Israel has a unrepentant war criminal as a chief executive, and the Palestinians have an unrepentant terrorist.

[ Parent ]
an email that has been circulating (4.42 / 14) (#132)
by picasso on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 04:51:32 PM EST

Subject: I found this good

Dear friends,

I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work and live in New York City. My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to contact our daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the World Trade Center. I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out, leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live.

It was a sick, horrible, frightening day. On December 27, 1985 I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each city was timed to occur at the same moment.) I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live. a fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here, there but for the grace of god.

Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions. I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-on's through an x-ray machine, and I know all will be well.

Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:
* At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just go ahead and get on -- without a ticket!
* At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him it's just a sandwich. He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through neither security device.
* At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with my bag -- no one knowing what is in it.
* Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac, free to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to the terminal.
* I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.

Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my life is worth -- less than the cost of an oil change.

Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a year in annual pay.

That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands. Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year. There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he was eligible!

Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real? Yes, it is.

So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the FAA is taking. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing -- the bottom line and the profit margin.

Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security on the same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this heinous act? My only response is -- that's all?

Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the terrorist threat and today's scariest dude on planet earth -- Osama bin Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't add up.
Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path?

Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today? Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause -- but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.

What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!
Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.
We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me. Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers! We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit. We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government. From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that?

Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the object of our hatred doesn't look like us. Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more talk about more money for education or health care -- we should have only one priority: our self-defense.

Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?

In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all. The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of God Bless America. They're not a bad group of singers!

Yes, God, please do bless us. Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.

Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.

It doesn't have to be like this.

Yours,

Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com

What hit non republican voters. (3.66 / 3) (#133)
by oztun on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:13:19 PM EST

First I doubt the terrorist cared what Americans died or who they voted for. There was also Muslims in the building. On another note... I don't think Bush was in office long enough to piss of Bin Laden yet. According to the documentary on PBS it is Clinton who Bin Laden hates most. Clinton was in office when we tried to kill Bin Laden in 1998. At this time the CIA also basically said kill Bin Laden at all cost.

[ Parent ]
Don't attack me. (3.00 / 1) (#135)
by oztun on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:18:06 PM EST

I just read my post and realized some may think I'm a Bush supporter. Let me just say I voted for Harry Browne. I was not defending Bush and I would also like to say their was a republican congress in office when this happened. I blame both sides but Bin Laden blamed and tried to kill Clinton.

There was a man found with mercury. He claimed rather than making bombs it was going to be put into bullets. This was so if Clinton didn't die from the bullet wound the poision would kill him.

PS - the title was supposed to be - "Why Hit Non-Repulican Voters?"

[ Parent ]
Repeated Failure on the part of U.S. (none / 0) (#215)
by ronin212 on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 01:13:11 PM EST

You mention Clinton's executive order authorizing the CIA to take out Bin Laden by any means necessary.

The fact that this failed is really disheartening. An order like this seems rather drastic for a U.S. administration. You would think it would be given some extra attention and care.


--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
It will come down to us killing their children. (3.60 / 5) (#141)
by demi on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 05:53:56 PM EST

Just for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of bin Laden. You see Bush putting together a coalition of nations, especially NATO and whichever Islamic states will strongly condemn state harbored terrorism. These are the same nations that one week ago were willing to blame the US for pretty much every problem that plagues the world today. Did all of their objections just evaporate overnight? No. In some respects they actually agreed with the terrorist factions, when it comes to the US supporting what Israel is doing to defend itself.

We (the US) can't abandon Israel now because any moderation of our backing of Israel at this point would appear to be irresolute. So no matter what they (the arabs and the rest of the world) were saying *before* the attack, criticising the Israelis for their retaliatory excesses *now* makes us complete hypocrites. We are really in bed with them now, people, like it or not.

<A HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1545000/1545718.stm">Yet already the BBC is reporting more incursions and killing in Gaza today.</A> Keeping in mind that this was not a wholly unprovoked attack on the part of Israel, does it not appear that they are using this tragedy as an opportunity to suppress the Palestinians further? Shouldn't they cool it for now, lest international sentiment turn against them once again? Does anyone here think that Israel is going to rush to the peace table any time soon?

In Afghanistan there are terrorist training camps filled with pre-pubescent boys, skilled with an AK-47 and eager to die for God. What will our allies think, much less the Islamic world, when US troops are up against an army of 13-year olds determined to die?

Again, put yourself in bin Laden's shoes. To make this campaign a matter of complete extermination, killing children, shooting the retreating enemies, and giving up the precious humanity that the West holds above all, is to achieve victory beyond death.

The kind of committment we need to make in this 'war' is prepare ourselves for the loss of our humanity, and possibly the confidence of our allies, that we will surely face.

___


What else? (2.75 / 4) (#154)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 07:45:31 PM EST

I keep hearing people say "We shouldn't use violence" but I don't hear any alternatives. These people either do not understand reason or know that reason is against them, therefore the only option they have is violence. The only way we can deal with them is violence.

As other posters have mentioned we are a great big target. Regardless of what we do we're going to piss some people off, if we accomidate the demands of this week's terrorists what's going to stop the group we piss off?

So, we can't accomidate them, and we can't do nothing. What do we do to eliminate this threat?

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

What can we do? (4.00 / 3) (#161)
by broken77 on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:45:56 PM EST

So, we can't accomidate them, and we can't do nothing. What do we do to eliminate this threat?
Responding with force won't eliminate the threat. It will still be there lurking. And after the dust settles once we've bombed the hell out of them, an incident like this will happen again. And again, and again, and...

So then, what can we do to break the cycle? We change our foreign policy. AFAIK, that's what provoked this thing in the first place! That's what this article is about, and what several articles are about on this and other sites. This wasn't some silly random act of violence. It was provoked. So let's fix the wrongs we have inflicted all over the world for the past <n> years, and start conducting ourselves appropriately. Viola, no more terrorist attacks on us.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Bullshit. (4.00 / 2) (#164)
by physicsgod on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:08:17 PM EST

We can't change our foreign policy, because we'd still be pissing someone off, and they'd know that all they had to do to get us to change is kill a few thousand civillians.

Terroism isn't just a couple of people sick of life duct taping bombs to themselves, it's more complicated than that. The people willing to die usually aren't the ones who can get in country, or know how to build bombs, or have money to get past security. And those who do have those skills generally aren't willing to die. If we can make it so that a suicide bomber first has to build his bomb, then smuggle himself to the target we'll have won, since odds are he won't survive either step. This isn't about a man or a religion, it's about a organization.

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

Re: Bullshit. (4.00 / 1) (#229)
by kcbrown on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 06:08:11 PM EST

We can't change our foreign policy, because we'd still be pissing someone off, and they'd know that all they had to do to get us to change is kill a few thousand civillians.
Sure we can. And maybe we'll still be attacked for it. But I'll bet the attacks will drop off dramatically, because the problem right now isn't that we happen to piss off a few people, but that we piss off half the world. Even if we change our foreign policy, it'll take time for the world to forgive. But forgive it will, if we do the right thing.

The problem isn't that our foreign policy happens to piss off some people. You rightly point out that it will always piss off some people. The problem is that our foreign policy is wrong. It's wrong to support oppressive dictatorships, either through training, or money, or weapons. It's even more wrong to set up such things.

Yet that's exactly what we've been doing: installing puppet dictatorships, supporting despots, and training terrorists (bin Laden is CIA trained. Similarly, Hussein received CIA support, which probably included training, during the 8 year Iran-Iraq war). If I were the victim of such a dictatorship, you bet I'd be pissed off! Especially if a democracy is what that dictatorship replaced! If you ask the American people what they would want us to do in such places, to a man they'll tell you that they would want us to install democracy in those places. The American people want freedom for others, not just for themselves. But obviously our government hasn't been doing this. Quite the opposite.

As I mentioned in another article here, I can't do anything but conclude that our government is not responsive to the desires of its people. I'd say it's much more responsive to the desires of its large corporations, which want cheap labor, goods, and raw materials. Much easier to get those things from a puppet dictatorship than an independent democracy.

[ Parent ]

Non-bullshit... (none / 0) (#236)
by swezwho on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 10:49:09 AM EST

At least you appropriately titled your own post...

The point is... our foreign policy (which you might consider looking into) is the problem. As you aptly pointed out,

> terrorism isn't just a couple of people sick of
> life, duct taping bombs to themselves, it's more
> complicated than that."

Your subsequent generalization about who's willing to die, and what their skills are, may or may not be accurate. I suspect not. It sounds... kinda like... run-o-the-mill bigoted American stereotyping, but hey, what do I know? Probably just about anyone can take over the controls of a 767, I guess. However... no, this isn't about an organization, it's about how human beings respond to crisis. Our country inflicts crisis on countries around the world all day, every day, and then "we Americans" get all indignant about it when the occasional one snaps and tries to get back at us. Or when several of them get together and try to figure out what to do about us.

The point is that there are very many ways that our country does, in fact, constitute an on-going crisis for the citizens of other countries. Unfortunately, Americans _hate_ politics, though, so all this stuff goes on behind our backs, and we're oblivious to it... but... it all comes out of our wallets. ("Here, take my money... I don't care who you kill with it, just let me watch the damn game, ok?")

How many kids die each year in Iraq right now because of our sanctions? How is that not a form of terrorism? How would we react to some other nation trying to bully us into getting rid of Dubya by setting up conditions that caused people in our country to starve? Hell, in this particular case, he even seized power (essentially), so it's kinda like he and Saddam are Bro's, y'know? What would we do if some other country felt it was their place to try to screw with our elections by having death-squads terrorizing our neighborhoods? We train people to go do that in other countries.

If "we Americans" would pull our faces away from the TV (or football game, or whatever) occasionally, and actually pay attention to what we're doing around the world, we'd get indignant about _that_ and *poof* put a stop to the stuff that _causes_ some citizens of other nations to go over the edge. Instead, we always want to look at something like this by glancing at our watch and saying "Well, damn! Everything was fine five minutes ago... what the hell'd you do that for!?" ... as if nothing ever has a background that leads up to it.

Is there some part of this you don't get? I don't for an instant imagine that you lack the capacity to grasp it, and I understand that it disturbs a lot of unfortunately fairy-tale-like notions about the goodness of our country. But we have to come to grips with some reallities here... not the least of which is that nothing started out of the blue last week, except for the eyes of the American people getting popped open. Our job is to turn that eyes-open condition into an actual look around. I'm sorry... but it's time to wake up now. If we don't, we're gonna get us all killed.

What happened last week was a _crime_ , not a war, regardless of how our almost-elected President wants to paint it. So yeah... Get whatever individuals are responsible and prosecute those individuals. Then start fessing up to some of our atrocious behaviour, stop propping up right-wing dictatorships, and on and on ... change our foreign policy to have it reflect the values that we as individuals hold dear, but that we as a nation trample on. The values countless Americans have given their lives to protect, but that our leaders, military*, and corporations, have practically spat upon for decades... It's time we stopped letting them get away with that by just waving a flag in our faces and saying "Look at that evildoer... over there! Here's a gun! Go, boy, go!"

*And by military, I'm referring to those who help create the policies I mentioned, not the average recruit who thinks he or she is just trying to protect mom, home, and apple pie.

[ Parent ]

What can we do? (2.00 / 1) (#173)
by yahwey on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 01:56:16 AM EST

Rather than simply using violence, we need to get to the root of the problem. We need to look and see WHY they are so mad at America. Maybe we should stop sending Israel money to fight a war. Oh, that's right, then we would look weak for backing down. We shouldn't have put our selves in this position in the first place. We don't have to pick a side on every little fight around the world.

[ Parent ]
Great idea, tell Johnson. (none / 0) (#186)
by physicsgod on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 02:09:05 PM EST

Your ideas have merit, but they're 30 years too late. The sad truth is the US is the only thing keeping Israel from taking over the entire arab world. If it weren't for us there wouldn't be any palestine, or Syria, Jordan, etc. Anyway this attack has been planned for over a year, this has nothing to do with the recent problems in Israel.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
We have done this before. . . (none / 0) (#209)
by orichter on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 10:36:30 AM EST

Remember the history of the US?

When we were a young nation the first use of US Marines was to go into North Africa to eliminate a similar threat, the Barbary Pirates. These Barbary Pirates had for many centuries been attacking any and all shipping in the Mediterranean that it was possible for them to reach.

Read: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/barbary.htm

The US Marines went in to eliminate once and for all these Barbary Pirates. North African governments that did not agree with our Barbary Pirates campaign in North Africa were removed as well. The Mediterranean became a much more peaceful and safe place for shipping and economy for all peoples involved, including the North Africans.

That is what we must do to Bin Laden and any other terrorists in the Middle East, or anywhere else, now that they have begun terrorizing the entire world. The world as a whole will choose to eliminate these terrorists, not just for their attacks on the US, but for the threat they pose to all countries and peoples on Earth. The terrorists have nothing to make them enviable of. Instead, they are destabilizing, detrimental, and a destructive influence on the countries they reside in. No civilized country, that includes Moslem countries, will choose to participate in the terrorist agenda.

Countries that have harbored terrorists have been mostly destroyed internally by the factional wars these terrorists incite within them. Look at Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, etc. It is impossible for these countries to modernize, or even reconstruct facilities that were there before the wars that destroyed them. It is easy to blame the actions of ouside "EVIL", but it is these internal factions that have created the problems in 90% of the cases. The "EVIL" is the internal terrorist factions squabbling then fighting amongst themselves to ensure that no central government can be formed or become effective.

The people of these countries are sick and tired of this constant factional conflict and do not want it. The people (a concept that the US is built on, and that the terrorists are envious of and deadly afraid of, since terrorists want to be dictators and tyrants) want freedom, not permanent terrorist based factional conflict in their homelands. These countries have been kept in a perpetual state of disarray. Reconstruction has been impossible due to the actions of these factions. So we will have the support of the average people against the likes of Bin Laden. They also realize he is not religious since he is willing to kill any and all of them, Moslems included, in a non-religious, amoral way to meet his, and only his, agenda.

[ Parent ]
Response: A nation prepares for war.... (2.00 / 3) (#162)
by pontulla on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 10:48:42 PM EST

This is a loaded and emotional topic. I will not address the very real problems in the Middle East, nor those issues specifically between Israel and the Palistinians. Terrorism, no matter how "Righteous" the cause is unacceptable. It is not trained armies fighting and kiling each other. (Granted, civilians get killed in "traditional" wars, too.) These are acts that kill and maim innocent people, using fear as their ultimate weapon. This has to be stopped. I am disturbed when I here we're at war. I hope that they are referring to that very difficult job of rooting out the terrorists, not attacking countries as a whole.
I read something that appeared in the Arizona Republic newspaper this Friday. It was a copy of a broadcast made on June 5, 1973 by a Canadian Journalist named Gordon Sinclair. I hope many of you can read it. The jist of his words was a reminder of just how much the US has helped other nations, WW2 a good example. I believe it was only Finland that paid us back. The natural disasters world-wide that the US provided aid."The Marshall Plan...the Truman Policy...all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries." We're always the big bad guys until somebody needs help.I heard a comment made by some French people that they felt orphaned. They don't like us a whole lot, but count on us to come in and "fix" things. So who helps us? I think we are going to find out very soon.

only Finland paid us back?! (4.00 / 1) (#176)
by Quietti on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 07:02:25 AM EST

It might be a good idea for anyone claiming such bullshit to learn about East European history. Neither Finland nor any other East European country wholeheartedly joined forces with Hitler. However, when faced with Soviets who suddenly claim ownership of your land on one side and Western countries mysteriously forgetting about the pact of mutual assistance they signed with most East and Central European countries, Finland pretty much had no choice but to ask the Nazis for help. The same can be said about several East and Central European countries.

Were we right to do this? Hell yeah! While Finland got lucky enough to retain its independance (after handing over the better parts its land to the Soviets), the rest of East and Central Europe was not so lucky: they were handed to Stalin on a golden platter by Churchill. Think about that. Ukraine, the Baltic states and most of East Europe literally disappeared from the world map and were absorbed into Russia because the West did not care.

We Finns are perhaps too docile; we were attacked, the most economically important parts of our lands were taken away form us, then we were supposed to pay war compensations too?! PERKELE!



--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
response to Quietti (none / 0) (#212)
by pontulla on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 12:56:14 PM EST

The point I was trying to make is the USA is not always the bad guys. One of the most disgusting things that happened in our history was Yalta, when FDR and the boys carved up Eastern Europe and Germany. That sickens me. The USA also left Britain hanging in the wind, and it was Great Britains tenacity (as well as all the resistance fighters from all the occupied countries) and Hitler's stupidity ( to fight a 2 front war as Napoleon did), that the Nazi's didn't go beyond the Channel Islands. We should have been in that War long before we got off our asses.
So what will we do now. Pontulla

[ Parent ]
Ask latinoamerica (4.50 / 2) (#177)
by svampa on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 07:02:31 AM EST

Everybody in latinoamerica hates USA foreign policy, they can tell you terror stories about CIA and dictators supported by USA foreign policy

Ask all over the world what people think about USA and Kioto conference

USA supported talibans till they become terrorist agaist USA, no matter what kinds of crimes they where doing

USA is not only CIA, and Kioto and support to talibans, but it is not only plan marshall

I admit USA is not always a monster, you admit USA it is not always a lamb



[ Parent ]
Ask LatinoAmerica (none / 0) (#211)
by pontulla on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 12:42:40 PM EST

The USA is far from perfect. I agree we are not always a lamb, not always the good guys, nor are we always the bad guys. Pontulla

[ Parent ]
Marshall plan (none / 0) (#219)
by dabadab on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 10:49:12 AM EST

The Marshall plan was made in fear of communism (and possibly with the intent of creating a market for american goods) not out of goodheartedness.
I think you should know that politicians are not the kinghts of the round table.
--
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
from an Afghanistan living in America (4.62 / 8) (#165)
by picasso on Sat Sep 15, 2001 at 11:21:41 PM EST

Here is an insightful article floating on the web: http://www.zmag.org/ansarycalam.htm

The Belly to do what needs to be done
Tamim Ansary
September 15, 2001

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban,think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses?Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time.

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?



It ain't over yet. (none / 0) (#200)
by j zeet on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 02:12:31 AM EST

Took some good thinking and time to wrte in, not to mention some courage on these early days. I guess the best thing to tell you is a lot of us are aware of the situation and we are going to change it. When I hear the word american used in discussion i'm in the same situation you're in, those talking heads are not me or my neighbors. The same rigid minds screw up our lives too. Americans speak best as individuals. But It's always good to have company. As far as I'm concerned your a thoughtful man. If we were to meet I would pour you a cup of expresso and invite you to talk. For some reason i would bet that your family treats your guests well. So does mine. All this is such a waste of time, that short amount of time we're here. Well, i'm strong enough to give people a chance, willing to share with the rest of the planet, and determined to go down trying to put some of this right, thats the kind of american i am. Man this is a pain in the butt. I'd rather be flying model airplanes than reading till 6 in the morning and trying to run a business at 8. I'll keep this short. I don't hate you or yours. I'm glad you're here, we need diversity in reporting to get a handle on this and to see where the truth lies. If you got kids tell em theres a lot of people out here trying to protect them and that we really do care. You are not alone. best wishes JS

[ Parent ]
Insurance (4.33 / 6) (#172)
by ttfkam on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 01:51:24 AM EST

Note that there may be economic incentives behind declaring war. Those of us who have insurance policies, please review them now and note that there is most likely an exemption clause related to "acts of war."

Before I sound too much like a conspiracy nut, let me put this in perspective. The loss of life, loss to business, loss of effective commerce, etc. adds up when people go to file their insurance claims (and they would have en masse). I live in California and I remember when the insurance companies filed for chapter 11 after the Northridge quake of '93. There is little doubt that insurance companies around the country (not just in New York and D.C.) would go belly up soon enough due to direct and indirect damage done to business and personal finances.

Osama bin Laden be damned. If you were the president and you were faced with the choice of (a) having a cascading economic cluster fuck the likes of which make the current "slowdown" seem like vacation time or (b) declaring war and having the costs absorbed by the public through tax increases for the next several years, how many are going to choose (a)?

The only real question is how to sell it. As it turns out, it hasn't been too hard to sell at all. Now that we've bought it, I hope we get our money's worth because war is going to be still more expensive.

Food for thought.

If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
Think (4.14 / 7) (#174)
by yves on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 05:51:33 AM EST

has nobody ever thought that the situation is more like this now: The war that has been started in the near east BY the US several years ago, takes place IN the US for the first time now.

whic war is that? (none / 0) (#196)
by sonovel on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 12:05:57 AM EST

What war did the U.S. start in the Middle East? Seriously, I can't think of any. Am I just dense?

[ Parent ]
Yyes is a troll (none / 0) (#220)
by sonovel on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 10:55:53 AM EST

I guess since you won't respond to my question, that you are just a troll. How sad that your life is so poor that you think to "count coup" in a discussion of this situation.

[ Parent ]
Not what I started out with... (1.36 / 11) (#175)
by thejones on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 06:01:30 AM EST

It sort of crystalized as I was posting a high-order rant.

We have, each and every one of us living in the United States of America, been marked for death by the perpetrators of the Sep 11 atrocities. The proof of this lies under the rubble of the WTC.

It does not matter whether our participation in whatever acts led up to this was direct, indirect, or impossible. By virtue of being here, we are, collectively and individually, targets.

In case someone is having difficulty with this concept, this enemy would not hesitate to machine-gun a school bus full of children. If they're American, that's reason enough to kill them.

You ask "why?" We are fighting for our very survival.

Shouldn't that be enough?

Yeah.. but.. (none / 0) (#206)
by hjw on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 08:51:00 AM EST

Hitting back won't change that. It will make more people ready to join the enemy. I'm from Ireland. We've had to deal with the fact that our nation produces terrorists. It's hard to accept, but easy to understand. If you go and kill a generation of afghanistanies, you will create a whole generation of bereaved children some of who will grow up wanting to avenge their families murders. There are 1 billion people in the islamic world. When you add up the amount of terrorist activity coming out of there it's hard to really imagine a united islamic world 'out to get us' because we 'stand for freedom'. nonsense... all nonsense.. feckin' politicians...

[ Parent ]
Shouldn't that be enough...? (none / 0) (#235)
by swezwho on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 09:30:38 AM EST

Well... in a word... no. In fact it's all the more reason not to respond to this _response_ of theirs (to our behavior) with more of the same, only magnified. Do you think for a minute that the people taking over the cockpits of those planes felt anything different (i.e. than that they were doing that for the survival of their people)?

It's time for Americans to actually wake up and look around and see just what the hell our elected leaders have been doing around the world in our name (or more often because of some business interest)... and tell `em to knock it the hell off because we ___as a people___ are not like that.

Would you, personally, help train death squads in South America, for instance, to try to displace a legitimately elected government? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "I doubt it". Moving it back in time a bit farther, would you personally, decide to displace the Palestinians from their homeland and hand it over to however many Jewish settlers, so that they could have a place to call home?* Again, I'll go out on a limb and say... "I doubt it". Would you, personally, go over to one of the Third World countries and try to create a market for some dangerous product that had been banned in the U.S. for safety/health reasons? I would hope not. Would you, personally, sell weapons to each side of a pair of fighting nations? Again, I would hope not. How about engaging in secret talks with a known hostile nation, who'd kidnapped some Americans, and offering them some cool weapons if they'd just delay releasing their hostages so that it would help keep an opponent of yours from winning an election? Does that sound like your modus operandi? Maybe not? But we __as a country__ do that sh*t every single frickin day.

So yeah... Do we probably have good reason to be rather nervous? It would seem so. But we need to be looking at _fixing_ our relationship with the world, not just getting even _more_ militaristic and overbearing and globally irresponsible. We need to be racking our brains to figure out what it takes for all of us (on the planet) to get along with each other... but unfortunately a very real part of that (objectively) is for the U.S. to stop overtly and covertly screwing with other nations... regardless of whether it's for some strategic military reason, or in support of the needs of Giganto-Mega-Mondo Corporation, or any of the various other rationalizations we have for such illegal behavior.

Write or call your elected officials today. Tell them you want them to start making American influence abroad to actually reflect the American values that we-the-people tell our kids are good. Like not wantonly killing people, for instance. Much of what "we" do abroad, we wouldn't even let our young ones see in a movie. But write those letters soon... because in case you haven't noticed, they've been actively dismantling the government as fast as they can, because our government was one of the few control points on the planet for some of the small-country-sized corporations. NAFTA, the equal-opportunity people-oppressor. (But that's a separate rant.)

*Attention any Jewish readers, I'm in no-way inherently anti-Semitic. With what I (think) I understand about world history, it's hard not to interpret the creation of Israel as an occupation of an existing nation-state. I oppose oppression of anyone in any form. I'm anti-oppression. If there's some hard-to-understand aspect that I don't know, I'm open to being educated.

[ Parent ]

This is my first post on Kuro5hin... (4.33 / 3) (#178)
by rsidd on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 08:40:36 AM EST

but this is an incredibly important issue for the world and I'm glad there's some discussion on it. Now, if you want some insight into Afghanistan, the country which the Bushies want to flatten, I highly recommend this article by a leading Iranian filmmaker: http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2001/June/Afghan/index.html

This is the most feeling piece on that country which I've ever read. It makes you realise that the problems are deep and historical, and curing them will be time-consuming and needs care. Above all, it is clear that rash military action or sanctions will only hurt a few million people who've already suffered like nobody on this forum can imagine.

What's the difference ? (4.50 / 2) (#192)
by mvsgeek on Sun Sep 16, 2001 at 08:33:46 PM EST

I realize what I'm going to say is probably controversial, but before you knee-jerk respond, please try to read this in an emotionally detached manner.
I'm not going to get involved in pointless rhetoric about wether or not the US has commited atrocities, that seems to be a matter of opinion.
My basic question is what makes this form of "extension of politics by other means" (terrorism) any different than Clausewitz' first coining of that definition (war) ? Is it really necessary for a government to formally declare war for the killing of "innocent cilivians" (tm) to become "acceptable" ? Was Dresden any less of a terrorist act than this ? Why are we being fed a double standard ?
Killing, is killing, is killing right ? Or is there a context in which killing becomes acceptable ? Is revenge any more noble than an expression of wrath ?
Everyone who's been a soldier at some point knows that the objective of war is to WIN the war. To do that by chopping fingers off to hurt morale, running people over with tanks or clean strategic bombings, is the prerogative of he who is waging the war. I'm not justifying anything, nor offering a moral argument favorable to terrorism, just a possible explanation for the methods by which a terrorist at war (and in their minds, they ARE at war) tries to achieve his goals.
- mvsgeek
Killing; moral justification for war (4.00 / 1) (#216)
by netmouse on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 02:25:40 PM EST

"Is it really necessary for a government to formally declare war for the killing of "innocent cilivians" (tm) to become "acceptable" ? "

This may be tangential to what you're getting at, but in at least one approach to war, innocents aren't directly involved. One does not kill women and children, or some other definition of noncombatants. Weapons of mass destruction cannot ensure this, missiles cannot even be targetted so precisely (that is assuming the targets have been chosen accurately in the first place), and the messiness of vietnam (a woman places her baby in your arms -is she a combatant? The baby is wired to a bomb. What is she now?) have made it impossible for us to assume anything will be so "clean."

Classically speaking, innocents have always been at least partial victims of conflict. War takes workers out of families, destroys fields and buildings, messes up the economy, tears up the landscape. The starvation that follows inevitably kills.

As a society, we have become somewhat inured to the impacts of starvation in other countries. that's not to say it isn't a bad thing, just that I think it rarely sinks into the middle-class mind what it is, and what the cost of it is in human terms. And we have many other policies that also lead or contribute to this kind of killing.

I don't think is ever acceptable for "innocent civilians" to die violently.

Killing, is killing, is killing right ? Or is there a context in which killing becomes acceptable ?

Killing is acceptable when it is the minimum amount of force necessary to stop someone from killing you or your loved ones (or in the case of a soldier in social contract, your countrymen or allies).

Determining that issue is, to drastically oversimplify, not easy. It becomes easier when someone is standing in front of you threatening somone with a loaded weapon. It is especially dificult in cases of terrorism, where the threat comes from those who hide at a distance and plot to catch you in an unknown battleground at a time of their choosing.

As for revenge, the moral compass of society seems to swing back and forth on that one, but generally I think revenge is frowned upon, at least at the fatal level. At any level, it is considered an empty goal. The desire for vengeance, like any hatred, eats you inside and changes you from the person you once were.

Not sure that's a very coherent post, but those were my first thoughts in reaction to yours.

-netmouse

[ Parent ]

"Innocents"? (none / 0) (#232)
by joecool12321 on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 10:19:13 PM EST

I fail to understand why you call "women, children, or...noncombatants" as innocent. The female riveters here in America helped produce the planes that flew over our enemies in past wars. Children helped with victory gardens, helping produce extra food for the family, so that more "produced" food could be shipped to those on or near the front lines. It may even be the case that victory gardens alone (via the "StoneSouperComputer" method) contributed more food that the farmers alone. If they had not done this, then "our boy's" wouldn't have had the foodstuffs required to stay abroad, and the battle would have ended sooner. So are they innocent? I would argue that there are very few innocents in a war. You were so kind as to point out that even the babies are suspect, not innocent.

A second point, you seem to argue whether or not killing is acceptable using a "society says" form of relativism. I would argue that killing for revenge is always wrong, whether or not a given society accepts this fact.

--Joey

[ Parent ]

relativism and innocence (none / 0) (#239)
by netmouse on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 08:30:15 AM EST

Joey,

I fail to understand why you call "women, children, or...noncombatants" as innocent.

I wasn't so much calling them innocent as suggesting that when people enter into combat they usually have some definition of innocents or noncombatants that they don't really _intend_ to kill. Women and children were examples that have been used in the past. Other examples would be people in hospitals and children in schools, specifically.

Regarding your point about children raising food, I guess my response is that innocence is generally defined by a combination of intention and understanding (Merriam Webster: innocent: 1 a : free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil : BLAMELESS <an innocent child> b : harmless in effect or intention). I've heard you can see it in a child's eyes when they lose their innocence, but I don't know. Anyway, those children with their victory gardens were motivated by things like a desire to participate in their community activities, to please mommy and daddy, and to help daddy (and mommy, or maybe their older brothers) come home to them safe. These are all innocent intentions held by people who do not even comprehend death or war. I'm sure those babies who were blown up were innocent too, since they were not cognitively mature enough to understand what they were being made part of. You argue that the effects of their acts rob them of their innocence but I don't think I buy it completely.

If you see relativism in my post, I guess I was mostly writing from an historical point of view, as per my reference to the lessons of vietnam.

I would argue that killing for revenge is always wrong, whether or not a given society accepts this fact.

And stepping back into my own shoes, I agree with you. I have a viceral sense that I would probably kill someone who was immediately threatening people I love (if, as I said before, I was convinced that was the minimum amount of force necessary), but if nobody was in mortal danger, I would think it wrong to kill. I am a member of Amnesty International and oppose the death penalty.

War is a funny creature. Two or more societies who believe very deeply "thou shalt not kill" nonetheless take arms against one another with the will to do just that. Perhaps it is not believed very deeply after all. Or in many cases, "Thou shalt not kill" is abridged in peoples minds to refer only to humans like themselves. Linguists note that in most cases of war or genocide there is a renaming and dehumanization of the enemy. Or in people who support the death penalty there can be found the idea that someone who takes innocent life is somehow less than human, more like a dog or something. I guess that's society's way of reducing its own cognitive dissonance.

It's a sad thing. Human beings are human beings, the world around. And we should not kill each other.

At least that's the simplest answer. We don't have a good definition of what it means to be human. Mostly an "I'll know it when I see it" that gets obscured by the tunnel vision of anger and other bias.

--netmouse

[ Parent ]

Give them roads and schools instead of missiles (4.00 / 1) (#201)
by ErikJson on Mon Sep 17, 2001 at 02:42:15 AM EST

Hey, let's not pour missiles over these poor guys. Is that going to make the situation better? Face it... They hate USA. Killing all the people in Afghanistan isn't an option. The people left after a war there won't exactly love the USA. There WILL be another attack some time in the future on the USA.

Why not make friends with them instead? It's one of the poorest countries in the world. Let's build some roads and some schools there instead! Give the Talibans that alternative at least. This whole attack business makes the US look exactly as the cowards who flew the planes, if not worse. Let's show them we're better!

They don't hate us (none / 0) (#234)
by darkonc on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:44:54 AM EST

Most Afghanis are far too busy trying to eeke out a living to have the time and energy to hate us. If there's any foreigners that Afghanis hate, it's probably the Russians who were the last country who tried to "bomb them into the stone age".

The fact that the Soviets pretty much succeeded in leaving them in the stone age didn't help the Soviets much. Much of Afghanistan has probably stayed closer to the stone age than most of this planet, so they didn't need to go very far. It still didn't stop them from pushing the Soviets out of their country.

The other thing to remember is that Bin Ladin isn't even Afghani. He's there oon his own mission, unrelated to most Afghanis.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
[ Parent ]

Israel/Palenstine (2.00 / 1) (#240)
by Woundweavr on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 06:26:35 PM EST

Now let me say that I am fairly anti-Israel. I think they should get out of Lebanon and just give up the stupid Gaza Strip. Maybe the West Bank too.

However, get your facts straight. There hasn't been a Palestinan nation.....ever arguably and definitely not since 1517. Let's look at history.

Before Israel, the land was part of the British Empire. Starting during the late 1800s Jews started buying back land and starting settlements in the wasteland, making livable places out of nothing.

Before the Brits had em, the Ottoman Empire owned the area. They lost it when they sided with the Axis during WWI. Before that they had ruled the area almost uninterupted since 1517.

Before that the area was primarily ruled by Arabs, but never from Palestine. It was ruled from Cairo, from Baghdad, from Damascus, each many times.

Before that it was ruled by the Byzantine, and before that Roman Empires.

Before that, the area was ruled by the Jews.

Now what is now Israel was not what was originally given them. The area they were given was largely owned by Jews anyway, at least the livable areas.

However, the Arabs attacked. Multiple surprise wars in the years after Israel became a state. Israel won these wars and expanded its territory, at one time all the way to the Suez canal.

The Arab states were fanatical in their anti-Israel sentiment. In modern times they've become more reasonable. Israel is still paranoid about the whole thing which is why they still hold some of the land that is now part of Israel.

Secondly, if a man enters your house and brutally murders your family, it is unlikely you will care why he is mad at you, at least until you kill him in turn. Whether a bunch of ignorant(as they almost universally are), fanatical terrorists think our foreign policy is wrong.

A nation prepares for war, but no-one asks "Why?" | 244 comments (234 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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