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[P]
A Suggestion For Speeding The Terrorism Discussion

By tudlio in Op-Ed
Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 03:00:06 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

To save time, I recommend that everyone who wishes to discuss the September 11 attacks identify their predilections and biases up front. I suggest the following shorthand terms:


The Crusader

The crusader believes the attack was literally "an act of war." He sees it as no different in substance than that ever popular symbol of atrocity, Pearl Harbor. At one (extreme) end of the crusader spectrum is the Ann Coulter bomb-'em-to-hell-and-convert-the-survivors-to-Christianity contingent. Less hysterical but no less devoted to a military solution are Dubya and his speech writers, who view the coming confrontation as a "monumental battle of good vs. evil" in which good (the U.S. Army) will vanquish evil (anyone Dubya decides is a terrorist) by force of arms.

What crusaders hold in common is a belief in the efficacy and morality of bombs and bullets as a means of halting terrorism.

The Apologist

The apologist always begins a rant by emphasizing how appalled he is by the attacks, and how thoroughly he condemns the taking of innocent life. And then he goes on to say, "the U.S. deserved it." The apologist's logic is this: that because the United States government supports Israel, because it involves itself in the affairs of other nations without a by-your-leave, often to the detriment of the local populace, because it projects a self-satisfied arrogance in all its international affairs, the attack was its come-uppance. The apologist believes that to solve the problem the United States needs to stop supporting Israel, forgive third world debt, abolish the CIA and free Mumia. And if by chance we can try Osama Bin Laden (or whoever's behind the plot) in an international court, well then that's OK too.

The Peacenik

It's easy to confuse a Peacenik with an Apologist, but there's one key difference: a committed Peacenik has no comment when it comes to choosing future action. A committed Peacenik knows simply that War Is Bad and Peace Is Good, and that we should all just get along.

The Card Carrying Libertarian

Sometimes the Card Carrying Libertarian sounds like an Apologist, but it's only a cover for his real agenda. For a Card Carrying Libertarian, the most important message is that the government wants to watch you downloading porn. If you let the government watch you downloading porn, you'll take the first step on a steep slippery slope that ends with you in a pod somewhere with wires in your brain, feeding the machine.

For a Card Carrying Libertarian, a response to the attack is besides the point. Yes, there probably ought to be a response, but whatever it is shouldn't involve the government, because if it does (mark his words), next thing you know the government will be looking at your porn.

The Pragmatist

The Pragmatist is easy to identify: he's the one looking worried. The Pragmatist is convinced there's some middle road between war and peace, between totalitarianism and anarchy, but damned if he can find it. On the one hand the Pragmatist agrees with you, but on the other hand he disagrees. The Pragmatist is essentially confused, and deserves your pity.

The Ritalin Addict

The Ritalin Addict is bored of the whole topic, and would like to move on to more interesting discussions. The Ritalin Addict can tell you at great length why its pointless to continue to discuss the topic, and can we please go back to bashing Microsoft?

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Signed,

The Pragmatist

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Poll
Which are you?
o The Crusader 9%
o The Apologist 21%
o The Peacenik 6%
o The Libertarian 10%
o The Pragmatist 34%
o The Ritalin Addict 6%
o Other 12%

Votes: 266
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Pearl Harbor
o Ann Coulter
o Dubya and his speech writers
o "the U.S. deserved it."
o forgive third world debt,
o CIA
o free Mumia.
o a committed Peacenik
o we should all just get along
o Card Carrying Libertarian
o the government wants to watch you downloading porn
o you in a pod somewhere
o looking worried
o Ritalin Addict
o bashing Microsoft
o Also by tudlio


Display: Sort:
A Suggestion For Speeding The Terrorism Discussion | 150 comments (139 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Your forgot (at least) two (3.27 / 11) (#6)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 03:14:27 PM EST

Both are shades of the Apologist:

The Non-Apologist

This person does everything the apologist does except without being apalled by the actual events (committed against Americans, anyway).

The Anti-Crusader

The Anti-Crusader is identical to the Non-Apologist but additionally calls for *more* terrorist activity.

And if you think these people don't exist, you have been reading the diaries.

Play 囲碁
Well.... (1.88 / 9) (#7)
by Rocky on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 03:22:46 PM EST

>The Non-Apologist

> This person does everything the apologist does except without being apalled by the actual events (committed against Americans, anyway).



This would appear to pertain to most of the people on this site.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
*sigh* (4.37 / 8) (#12)
by spiralx on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:37:47 PM EST

This would appear to pertain to most of the people on this site.

Only if you're reading in a particularly reactionary frame of mind.

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

And... (1.14 / 7) (#15)
by Rocky on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:02:48 PM EST

I disagree.

But then again, I'm not British, so what do I know...

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
Eh? (4.00 / 3) (#31)
by spiralx on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:05:43 AM EST

But then again, I'm not British, so what do I know...

So? Do you somehow think I speak for every British person on this site? Do you think that everyone from Britain has the same set of opinions on this matter? Hell, do you even know where half the people on this site are from?

Yes there have been a few offensive comments made in the last week. No, they weren't the majority by far, but a lot of people took anything even vaguely critical of the US and turned it into an attack on them and "gloating". Tactless, yes. Gloating? No.

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

My thoughts exactly (none / 0) (#121)
by trane on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 02:23:41 PM EST

The Anti-Crusader might also call for more flag-burning.

[ Parent ]
In what sense is the confused guy a pragmatist? (2.60 / 5) (#8)
by TheophileEscargot on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 03:48:26 PM EST

The Pragmatist is convinced there's some middle road between war and peace, between totalitarianism and anarchy, but damned if he can find it... The Pragmatist is essentially confused, and deserves your pity.

The definition of a pragmatist is "a person who takes a practical approach to problems".

The word comes from pragmatism, "A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems. "

Your definition is the opposite of a pragmatist! He's the only one there who doesn't have a practical approach to the problem!

Why not call him the "ditherer" or just the "confused"? There's nothing pragmatic about him!
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

The Pragmatist (4.20 / 10) (#9)
by rusty on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 03:57:11 PM EST

As (more or less) a pragmatist, I think I can answer this. The Pragmatist is confused because there, as yet, seems to be no good solution to this. Every option has seemingly irreconcilable pitfalls and hazards. That is, the Pragmatist can't find a practical solution, which leaves him or her hopelessly bereft.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
But... (4.75 / 8) (#20)
by TheophileEscargot on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:17:19 PM EST

...the article refers to attitudes to the W.T.C. specifically.

It could be that there is no pragmatic approach yet. It could be that there is no solution, in which case the pragmatic attitude is to forget about it and go back to bashing Microsoft.

But at the end of the day, this article is same as almost every other article in this queue: the author wants to prove that his opinion on the bombing is the correct one, and that all the other opinions are wrong. So, he calls his personal opinion "pragmatism".

All the other opinions would also define themselves as the "pragmatic" solution. Nuking all Arabs could be considered a pragmatic solution. Stopping support for Israel could be considered a pragmatic solution. Fighting for encryption could be considered a pragmatic action, if not a solution. No-one would admit that their opinion is not pragmatic, because that would mean their opinion is wrong..

Everyone thinks their pet course of action is the "pragmatic" action. The difference is, the other "pragmatic" courses of action at least have solutions of some sort.

Being confused is a perfectly valid response. It may be the only sane response. But without a practical approach to the problem, it cannot be described as a pragmatic response.

Which is why I voted -1 on the thing. Its just another guy promoting his own opinion, this time under the guise of satire.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

What you're missing is ... (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by Kellnerin on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:53:44 PM EST

that the point of satire is generally to promote your own opinion. The irony of the "indecisive pragmatist" is yet another jab at the people in that camp, though if the poll is to be believed, a substantial number of us can't help but feel the same way. If you ask me, it's because "pragmatism" has ceased to have much meaning as far as guiding our actions goes, no matter how desperately we wish it would.

--
it's under my skin but out of my hands
I tear it apart but I won't understand
I will not accept the greatness of Man
--tears for fears

[ Parent ]
Bingo (4.55 / 9) (#21)
by John Milton on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:20:36 PM EST

On one hand:

Feel that U.S. foreign policy, especially the CIA's support of terrorist like Bin Laden, got us into this. Willing to forget that since I can't do much about it.

Hand two:

Don't think that we deserved this. Not happy that the final backlash had to come against innocent citizens who had nothing to do with it. Pretty unhappy that the people who caused this are strutting around and greasing up their war toys. They should have been the ones to suffer for this. Instead innocent civilians died for their sins, and they get to increase their paychecks along with their egos.

Hand three:

Milks already spilt. Realise that we'll have to take aggressive action against Bin Laden and Afghanistan. Have to trust the same people who caused monsters like Bin Laden to fix it. Not exactly confident in our leadership.

Hand four:

I would like to see a expedient action against Afghanistan so we can get back to normal. Also, I don't trust our government with the unlimited power that comes from an emergency. I want them to have it for as short as possible.

Hand five:

If afghanistan doesn't turn him over peacefully, we'll have to resort to military action. As much as I'd like an expedient solution, I don't want to see the innocent people in afghanistan bombed from the air. They're not responsible for their governments actions. They don't deserve that any more than the WTC victims did. Also, we couldn't be sure of getting Bin Laden. Ground warfare would be necessary.

Hand six:

Ground war with the Taliban wouldn't be the fun shindig the rednecks think. It wouldn't be like those lovely Civil War battles were the gentlemen all lined up and shot at each other. It would be more like Vietnam without the good times. Anyone remember that the Vietnamese and Koreans strapped bombs to children and made them run towards soldiers. I don't think the Taliban would be better. They're no great respecters of persons. Psychologically and militarily, this war wouldn't just be a CNN video war. Everyone would be affected in some way.

Unfortunately, I don't have six hands. I have two, and this is a very thorny issue.


"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 ]
Always good to see some noxious myths surviving (3.50 / 2) (#22)
by itsbruce on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 06:38:17 PM EST

Anyone remember that the Vietnamese and Koreans strapped bombs to children and made them run towards soldiers?

Cite. Given the enemy-as-monster hysteria all over, really, cite.


--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]
Well... (2.50 / 2) (#26)
by John Milton on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 09:03:14 PM EST

My mother has told me many times that my grandfather killed children in Korea. According to her, he said they would send the children up to them with grenades. If its a myth, could you point me to a place that debunks it. I'm not challenging you. I've just never seen any reason to doubt it.

If it hasn't been done, I wouldn't put it past the Taliban to be pioneers.

"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 ]
re: wartime myths (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by Ami Ganguli on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 06:11:11 AM EST

I don't have any references for you, but my understanding is that this was one of many myths that caused U.S. servicemen to kill innocent people. The troops sent to Vietnam were generally inexperienced and easily spooked. They shot kids, pregnant women, and refugees because they beleived rumours that these people carried bombs. (And who knows, there may have been the odd incident, but it certainly wasn't the norm.)

Please don't take this as a direct critisism of the individuals involved. I don't know that I'd react any differently if you put me in the middle of a jungle in a strange country with people shooting at me. War is horrible and the soldiers end up being victims as well.

I find it rather interesting that the American leadership was never put on trial for war crimes, although their behaviour in Vietnam was certainly worse than Sadaam Hussein's in Kuwait. Until the same rules apply to everybody you're not going to get anything resembling "peace". Even if the U.S. manages a brilliant surgical strike against terrorists in Afghanistan, the perception that the United States enforces its idea of justice on the rest of the world, while being immune from the law itself will create resentment. The more you allow that to build the more you have to worry about angry people who turn to terrorism.



[ Parent ]
War Crimes (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by wiredog on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 09:03:10 AM EST

I'm not sure that the US Leaders committed war crimes. Except possibly for President Kennedy, who sent in the troops. Johnson and Nixon inherited the war. The Phoenix Project was legal, in the context of a war. So were the Christmas bombings. The invasion of Cambodia is a gray area. On the one hand, you have enemy troops using it as a staging area, on the other hand Cambodia was a neutral country. Tough call.

The verifiable war crimes were committed by soldiers on the ground. My Lai being the most well known example. There were changes in how the soldiers were trained as a result. Before the war soldiers were required to follow all orders. Now they are required to follow all lawful orders. When I was in the Army, 85-88, we recieved more training on war crimes than on bayonets.

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

Actually (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by PhillipW on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:39:46 PM EST

Kennedy DID send in troops originally, but it was Johnson who escalated it. I think his people should have been prosecuted for fabricating the event that they used to justify it: The Gulf of Tonkin.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Good Point (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by wiredog on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 09:13:46 AM EST

The Gulf of Tonkin resolution had an effect on the current situation. The Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force limits it to those who launched or assisted in the attacks on Sept 11. Pretty wide open, yes. But it's not completely unlimited.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
I stand corrected, but... (none / 0) (#59)
by John Milton on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:59:56 PM EST

Either way children were killed. I'm not sure if that isn't worse. It makes it all the more senseless. I'm sure it could happen in this war too.


"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 ]
citation . . . (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by mcwee on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:45:16 AM EST

Such techniques are documented by Lt. Col. David Grossman in his study of modern warfare, "On Killing." I don't have my copy at hand, so I can't give a specific page ref. SOrry. -McWee

The PMjA; it's a whole new kind of Truth.
[ Parent ]

Would this be the same Lt. Col. Grossman... (none / 0) (#64)
by John Miles on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:21:28 PM EST

... who believes that Doom was responsible for Columbine?

If so, his credibility index is right up there with the Brothers Grimm.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

now, please . . . (none / 0) (#82)
by mcwee on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 08:37:03 AM EST

. . . if you actually read "On Killing" you'll find that 1) all of his factual data is highly credible and 2) the vast majority of his conclusions are reasonable and supported by documented evidence. It's really only in the final section (Section VIII, ironically), that he goes wizzing of the deep end (that's the last 50 pages of the book.)

I've written long, tiresome screeds railing against Grossman's conclusions viz the affects of video games; his facts are solid, it's his interpretation that is so off kilter in this case. The rest of G's work is invaluable, unprecedented, in understanding humanity and warfare.

Thowing out all of Grossman's work because he wrote 50 pages of whack-job blame-shifting is like throwing out all of Wagner's work because, in addition to writing powerful opera, he also penned viscious anti-Semitic screeds (man, I love that word today)-- we should use what is useful to us and ignore what is insane, especially when the brand of insanity has little barring on that which we can use.

The PMjA; it's a whole new kind of Truth.
[ Parent ]

OK... (none / 0) (#93)
by John Miles on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 02:28:22 PM EST

<i>we should use what is useful to us and ignore what is insane, especially when the brand of insanity has little barring on that which we can use.</i>
<P>
Fair enough; not having read any of his other stuff, I'll take your word for it.
<br>
For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
now, please . . . (none / 0) (#83)
by mcwee on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 08:39:49 AM EST

. . . if you actually read "On Killing" you'll find that 1) all of his factual data is highly credible and 2) the vast majority of his conclusions are reasonable and supported by documented evidence. It's really only in the final section (Section VIII, ironically), that he goes wizzing of the deep end (that's the last 50 pages of the book.)

I've written long, tiresome screeds railing against Grossman's conclusions viz the affects of video games; his facts are solid, it's his interpretation that is so off kilter in this case. The rest of G's work is invaluable, unprecedented, in understanding humanity and warfare.

Thowing out all of Grossman's work because he wrote 50 pages of whack-job blame-shifting is like throwing out all of Wagner's work because, in addition to writing powerful opera, he also penned viscious anti-Semitic screeds (man, I love that word today)-- we should use what is useful to us and ignore what is insane, especially when the brand of insanity has little barring on that which we can use.

The PMjA; it's a whole new kind of Truth.
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#129)
by mami on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 09:34:27 PM EST

The enemy-as-monster hysteria doesn't work usually, at least not for long in our society. Most people don't believe that those monstrous things actually happen.

Until they see them as an eye witness, then you don't say anything anymore. I hope you don't run in a person, who survived some "enemy-as-monster hysterical torture". Kind of embarrassing, I would say.


[ Parent ]
My question (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by dasunt on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:11:13 PM EST

What's on the gripping hand?

*grin*

Seriously though, I don't like the tone of this article. Sure, it seems to be written in jest, but there is a danger of classifying people in groups. The human mind is capable of thinking with symbols. Symbols have a lot of advantages, and without them, I doubt human civilization would exist, but at the same time, symbols are only vague generalizations, which is only a short hop away from stereotypes. As soon as we end up generalizing/stereotyping, we stop our indepth thinking. Preconcieved notions will lead to errors in judgment, and most of the time, no matter what evidence is shown to us, we will continue with our preconcieved notions, since the human mind has the tendency to only notice things that supports its preconcieved notions. If we consider the person who says "Lets bomb the Taliban" as a war hawk, then we will consider his solution flawed, because we believe (even though it may not be true) that the person tends to advocate military solutions to any problem where its a possible solution. If we call the person who says "War isn't the answer" a pacifist, then (we assume, without evidence) that the person's advocated solution is because of his or her's peaceful paradigm, and he or she isn't considering the "evidence". Note, even if the person is a true warhawk or peacenik, doesn't mean the solution they present is invalid. If I state that a creationist's evidence that God created woman from Adam's rib is wrong, I'm not in error just because I believe in the theory of evolution.

The way I prefer to think out a problem is to advocate all possible solutions. Usually people have a reason to believe what they believe, that is, you aren't right and everyone else is wrong because you are bright enough to see the light and everyone else is dumb. ;)

So, think it out. Look at the consequences of every possible action (including no action).

Just my $.02

[ Parent ]

No good solution (4.50 / 4) (#14)
by Neuromancer on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:52:08 PM EST

Do you attack the Taliban government, because they indirectly help bin Laden?

Well, they'll probably attack you if you attack him, so they're in anyway, but do you say that up front?

If you don't, is it ethical to plan military action for when they do?

Will this end you up in an international court somewhere at a puppet trial?

Do you do nothing, and wait for them to car bomb you?

If you kill them, won't they car bomb you with that as an excuse?

Do you turn the entire US into a police state, monitoring EVERY transmission on ANY phone line, illegalizing any attempts at privacy that don't have obvious weaknesses that a 2 year old with a script from l0pht could exploit?

Do you renounce the US, declare yourself a sympathizer, and wait for bin Laden to come kill your infidelic ass anyway?
None of them sound like good ideas, do they... but they are more sensible than grabbing a bag of fertilizer and some diesel fuel and levelling the cultural centers of innocent citizens, or carpet bombing a people who have nothing to do with the regime that claims to be their government.

[ Parent ]
Nicely done! (3.88 / 17) (#10)
by DranoK 420 on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:20:20 PM EST

I will pat you on the back later...

I guess I'm a Card Carrying Libertarian, but I would rather you add a new group. This group would be: The Paranoid Agnostic.

The Paranoid Agnostic is a group that many K5ers fall into, whether they realize it or not. I, myself, fall into this group. We might start off posts as an Apologist, but our own paranoia is far too strong to feel sorrow for long. We, like the Pragmatists, are confused people, and have no clue how the US should respond. However the US responds, however, we feel that it will be bad. The Paranoid Agnostics have yet to come up with a scenario that isn't worse than the bombing itself.

However, like the Libertarian, we are most concerned about our daily dose of porn, and would be highly disconcerted if the government started laughing like Beavis and handing this fore-mentioned porn to our boyfriends/parents/employers/etc. The Paranoid Agnostic above all realizes that civil liberties are of utmost importance 'cause life would be pretty worthless without them.

Like all the classes, Paranoid Agnostics simply smoke another bowl when the lack of efficacy overwhelms them.

DranoK


Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence.


Paranoid Atheist (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by speek on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 05:07:36 PM EST

As part Apologist, part pragmatist, the Paranoid Atheist is certain nothing but worseness can come of any actions taken. This is what makes the pragmatist part confused, and it is what makes the Apologist part irrelevant and insulting.

Of course, given 10 bad choices, the true pragmatist simply picks the cheapest one to implement, which is why the pragmatist and the apologist positions seem to merge, in the end....

The Paranoid Atheist

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Ok then here's one more: (2.55 / 9) (#13)
by spacejack on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 04:43:53 PM EST

The anti-intellectual. Why did you not, as you yourself recommend, announce your own bias up-front?

Look at the foot of the story (none / 0) (#58)
by svampa on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:48:17 PM EST

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Signed,

The Pragmatist



[ Parent ]
Oxymoron (3.50 / 4) (#24)
by anewc2 on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 07:31:46 PM EST

To the true libertarian, cards are instruments of the devil.


Someone did once tell me to get a life, but due to a typo, I got a file instead.

Another group to include... (3.84 / 13) (#25)
by chipuni on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 07:32:49 PM EST

The Stark Raving Loonie

The Stark Raving Loonie is someone whose thought process is utterly beyond the narrow confines of the war. She[*] advocates a response beyond retaliation against the Taliban or criminal action against Osama Bin Laden. One example are the Political Stark Raving Loonies, with the idea that the evidence against Bin Laden isn't that good, and that other possibilities -- including Iraq -- may also prove fruitful.

All Stark Raving Loonies are extremely dangerous. If their ideas were to become common, they may upset the delicate balance of the war effort. Luarge doses of propaganda on television and radio will shout down most Stark Raving Loonies.

Notable Stark Raving Loonies include at least One Carpenter who President Bush Jr. often quotes.

[*] Throughout this article, I use the non-gendered 'she' and 'her' to represent 'he or she' and 'him or her'.
--
Perfection is not reached when nothing more can be added, but only when nothing more can be taken away.
Wisdom for short attention spans.

She and Her (1.60 / 10) (#44)
by Fredro on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 10:51:45 AM EST

[*] Throughout this article, I use the non-gendered 'she' and 'her' to represent 'he or she' and 'him or her'.

Just keep doing that, so rational people know to avoid your posts.

[ Parent ]

Non Gendered she (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by shadarr on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 06:16:56 PM EST

"Non-gendered she" is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go fight for peace and buy some new-and-improved detergent.

[ Parent ]
As an Apologist (3.60 / 10) (#28)
by stuartf on Tue Sep 18, 2001 at 10:57:07 PM EST

You got me almost right. I don't start every rant with how appalled I am, mainly because that doesn't need to be said. However, I don't believe the US deserved it - nobody deserves that. I do believe the US may have provoked it.

Other than that, you've got me pegged. Guilty as charged.

Or perhaps... an Objectivist? (3.50 / 4) (#34)
by swezwho on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:39:56 AM EST

Same here. The Apologist describes me on every point except the idea that anyone deserved to die just because we allow our nation to screw with others in vile ways.

It was horrible. It was inevitable. America needs to stop f***ing up other countries in visible and largely invisible ways. But no, no-one deserved it.

[ Parent ]

If provoked? Deserve it? (2.33 / 3) (#36)
by darekana on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:22:46 AM EST

So you are saying... if you provoke someone, you DON'T deserve what you get? Provoke the sleeping tiger et al. :) :)

Gotta love linguistic games...

[ Parent ]
or... (3.80 / 5) (#38)
by pallex on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:49:13 AM EST

I`m against the death penalty. If you get convicted of killing someone in the States, you can get killed yourself. The person being executed doesnt deserve to get killed (IMO), but it *was* a result of their own doing that they are in a position where they will be killed.

(Although this analogy breaks down because this would only really apply to members of the governments responsible for bad foreign policy decisions, not citizens. Only a muppet goes after civilians, not perpetrators.)


[ Parent ]
In general ... (4.50 / 6) (#40)
by anewc2 on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:55:14 AM EST

... the people who provoked it weren't the people who got it.

Someone did once tell me to get a life, but due to a typo, I got a file instead.
[ Parent ]
Doesn't it logically it follow that... (3.00 / 1) (#41)
by garbanzo on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:59:33 AM EST

...terrorists who attack the US get what they deserve because they provoked the US with terrorist acts?

The tiger-ride analogy is one I've been hearing a lot (e.g. "the _____ is riding a tiger"). So who is tiger, who rider? Or, using your analogy, who is the sleeping tiger? West or East? Who gets to be the chicken and who the egg?

And will both be fried in the end?



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

[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by PhillipW on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:25:57 PM EST

But that does not include the people who live in that country, as they are not the terrorists.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
But... (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by CokeFiend on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 06:25:05 PM EST

The people working in and around the WTC weren't out enforcing US foreign policies.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by PhillipW on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:47:27 PM EST

They weren't, which is why this is such a huge tragedy. Innocent lives were taken.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Democracy (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by Ubiq on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 07:42:50 AM EST

In a democracy, the people are responsible for the actions of their government

[ Parent ]

USA != Democracy (none / 0) (#96)
by anagram on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:08:48 PM EST

Contrary to public opinion, the US isn't a democracy. It's a Democratic Republic.

US Citizens don't vote for the president, the electoral college does. US Citizens don't vote on laws, Senators and Representatives do. US Citizens have no say in foreign policy, people appointed by the president do.

Furthermore, once a representative is in office, they are more beholden to corporate lobbies than the public opinion, so all this talk about US citizens getting what they deserve is frankly sickening.

US citizens have next to no control over what the government does.

[ Parent ]
Modern democracies (none / 0) (#116)
by Ami Ganguli on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 08:50:05 AM EST

Are there any countries that meet your definition of democracy?

In any case, I agree that U.S. democracy, and to a greater or lesser extend all modern democracies are inneffective. They require an informed and interested populace in order to function properly. For whatever reason that doesn't seem to be realistic.

Most countries develop their government systems shortly after a major political upheaval, a time where people are unusually interested in politics. It was probably hard for the authers of the American constitution to imagine that some day most of the populace would be ignorant of world events and generally disinterested.



[ Parent ]
it seems we are in agreement (none / 0) (#118)
by anagram on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 12:50:36 PM EST

Are there any countries that meet your definition of democracy?
Maybe not, but I think that only strengthens my point. The people working in the WTC are no more responsible for the acts of the American government than the people of Afghanistan are responsible for the acts of the Taliban. Attacking innocent civilians in either country is inexcusable.

I understand why people say that America "had it coming," but to punish office workers and airline passengers for the acts of government is simple cowardice.

[ Parent ]

no entirely (none / 0) (#119)
by Ami Ganguli on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 01:32:27 PM EST

I don't think anybody (well, aside from a few nuts) thinks America "had it coming". On the other hand I don't think Americans should be let off the hook so easily for their government's policies.

If somebody shoplifts from a store they are are responsible. You can come up with a lot of entirely valid and insightful reasons _why_ they shoplifted, but that doesn't really change the fact that they're responsible.

Similarly, if Americans elect bad governments, it's their own fault. Even if they were coerced by the media/lobbiests/whatever ultimately they could have taken an interest and made a more informed decision.

Of course that goes for terrorists too. They killed a lot of innocent people and ultimately they're responsible.

This all goes back to an earlier comment about responsibility vs. explanation. If you study a shoplifter/murderer/rapist you can probably find circumstances that lead them to commit crime. That doesn't excuse the crime - after all these people still had free will - but it can help to understand what's happening and perhaps reduce the overall crime rate.

The same goes for bad government and terrorists. Trying to understand the circumstances that lead to terrorism (the Apologist's position according to the article) is useful. There's no excuse for killing people, but understanding the causes helps in trying to figure out how to prevent more killing.

Getting back to your comment, when somebody tries to explain why the terrorists might have acted, don't assume that they think America "had it coming". I personally do believe that Americans elected bad governments, the governments pursued bad foreign policy, and that foreign policy contributed to the rise of terrorism. American foreign policy doesn't excuse the terrorists, and a flawed democracy doesn't excuse the American people, but wouldn't it be nice if the American people realised what'd happening and elected a better government. Or maybe the government would see that their foreign policy isn't really in America's best interests after all. Yeah, I know, it'll never happen.



[ Parent ]
hah! (4.66 / 6) (#50)
by chopper on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 01:29:13 PM EST

So you are saying... if you provoke someone, you DON'T deserve what you get?

well, if i provoke someone by calling him a 'cockgobbler', i definitely do not deserve to, say, get stabbed forty-nine times.

you see, provocation is one thing, and yes, if you provoke someone, you can expect something in return, but the measure of that action determines its appropriateness.

that's the thing us apologists get blamed for; i.e. 'you think what they did was justified?!' HELL NO. we just understand why they're pissed off. anybody with a single working brain cell can see that.

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

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

Aw, hang it all. (3.57 / 7) (#29)
by Dlugar on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 12:28:30 AM EST

I am, of course, a card-carrying Libertarian (who, as someone pointed out above, absolutely believes that all such cards are evil) ... and yet I seem to fall more in line with the Apologist, or very perhaps the Peacenik.

Hm. Maybe I'm an Apologist with pacifist tendencies who uses Libertarianism to cover up my hidden agenda?

Dlugar

Literally? (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by Neuromancer on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:25:34 PM EST

I can pull my card out of my wallet. Do you mean card carrying in that sense?

[ Parent ]
Of course not. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by Dlugar on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 12:48:30 AM EST

Card-carrying Libertarian as in I vote straight party ticket. I already said that actually carrying identification cards is evil. Weren't you paying attention?

Dlugar

[ Parent ]
Libertarian? (4.00 / 6) (#30)
by PresJPolk on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:56:46 AM EST

Libertarian == Apologist? Where'd that one come from?

I thought the classic Libertarian line is that the government is good for two things - national defense and contract enforcement.

Even if a libertarian might have been opposed to actions in the past which has allegedly incited this terrorism, those actions can't be changed. All we can decide is where to go from here, and it seems to me that your average libertarian will say defending the US from foreign attackers is, in fact, a job of the US government according to the Constitution and the principles that formed it.

Libertarian? (none / 0) (#74)
by IriseLenoir on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 02:49:04 AM EST

"I thought the classic Libertarian line is that the government is good for two things - national defense and contract enforcement."

No, that is the classic capitalist/liberal line. But it would be more 'property defense and contract enforcement'. I tried my best for a long time, but I still have no clue as to why someone who values liberty would want of a warfare state. Personally, I do not want any state, but this is the last kind I would want.
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]

Property (none / 0) (#78)
by PresJPolk on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:45:09 AM EST

And wouldn't the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City count as property?

How about the airlines who are being jeopardized because people are stealing their planes?

The sports and other events being cancelled, because of security issues?

If the country isn't defended, the property rights of those within certainly aren't protected.

Seems to me the argument is easy to make.



[ Parent ]
Of course. (none / 0) (#108)
by IriseLenoir on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 01:20:25 AM EST

"And wouldn't the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City count as property?"

That's what I said. I replaced 'national security' with 'property', because the later is a more general term. In other words, the only government intitutions would be the army and the police.
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]

national defense (none / 0) (#113)
by PresJPolk on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 07:19:23 AM EST

I didn't write those two unbearably loaded words "national security." I said defense, an alternate spelling of Defence, which is used in the enumeration of powers in Article 1 of the Constitution.

Also, national defense instead of proprety defense is more appropriate, because it includes the protection of life and liberty, not just property.

[ Parent ]
Yea. (none / 0) (#131)
by IriseLenoir on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 10:12:40 PM EST

Sorry, I didn't re read the comment when I replied to this. I guess I just hear this way too often. Property defence includes from both local and foreign threats, national defence only the later. Life and liberty has got nothing to do with anything. What is important is property. Hadn't they showed it enough?
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]
The Loon (3.83 / 12) (#32)
by Odysseus on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:19:03 AM EST

Believes the whole thing has been predicted by Nostradamus, that the devil is visible in the smoke of the collapsing towers, and that Nena's 99 Red Balloons is the modern-day equivalent of the Book of Revalations.

Another Type (4.28 / 7) (#33)
by ryancooley on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:30:27 AM EST

Let's not forget people like myself. I'm not sure what name applies, I'll leave that to the rest of you. Perhaps the "Nobodies"

I'm one of the 'nobody' that you keep hearing about. You know, that paranoid weirdo that foresaw hijacked airplanes being used as weapons and being cashed into the Empire State building (The multiple simultaneous attacks and the attack on the WTC & Pentagon were news to everyone). The same 'nobody's that haven't been changed by this one bit.

I should ammend that last statement... It has showed me/(I assume: we) that I/we are not paranoid, and that the rest of the world is simply naieve. A story line perhaps best illustrated in some Twilight Zone episode.



The Uncommon Loon (2.66 / 3) (#37)
by WonkoTheSane on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:35:17 AM EST

Similar to the Loon, but free-associates. Thinks that image in the smoke is of the OWL, but remains hopeful that the truth will be known before the masses let fear or hate dictate their actions.
What if war was declared but nobody turned up ?
The Fickle (2.50 / 4) (#43)
by JonesBoy on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 10:14:31 AM EST

The Fickle

The fickle tours Europe telling everyone he meets that he is from a soveigrn nation, that will not interfere in others matters. This offends and angers everyone around him. The first time someone hurts him, he asks the world to help him resolve his problem.

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
So... (none / 0) (#104)
by beergut on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 09:00:32 PM EST

Is that a Europeon you're talking about? I don't get it.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Editorial corrections (rationalist, not apologist) (3.78 / 14) (#45)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 10:54:43 AM EST

Although I understand your comment is in modus jocanti (i.e. cheek in tongue, or is it not?) I think you got it perfectly correct, so using as foundation your description of an "apologist" I will describe my position (original words are between {}:


The Rationalist {Apologist}

The rationalist {apologist} always begins a sincere comment {rant} by emphasizing how appalled he is by the attacks, and how thoroughly he condemns the taking of innocent life. And then he goes on to say, "the US contributed to it" {"the U.S. deserved it."}. The rationalist's {apologist's} logic is this: that because the United States government supports unconditionaly {} Israel, because it involves itself in the affairs of other nations without a by-your-leave, often to the detriment of the local populace, because it projects {a self-satisfied} arrogance in all its international affairs, the attack was a great danger {its come-uppance}.

The rationalist {apologist} believes that to solve the problem the United States needs to moderate {stop} supporting Israel, renegotiate {forgive} third world debt, scrutinize {abolish} the CIA and free Mumia. And we must {if by chance we can} try Osama Bin Laden (or whoever's behind the plot) in an international court, {well then that's OK too.}


What a difference a few words make I think...

I have to emphasize that to explain is not to justify. My explanation could be wrong, but it is important that all the angles of the problem are heard and pondered because most probably the truth lies somewhere in between...

Great article, excellent example of what satire is all about...


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
Explanation and justification (4.33 / 3) (#48)
by akp on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 12:29:59 PM EST

I have to emphasize that to explain is not to justify.

This is a very important distinction, especially in the context of the WTC/reaction discussion. I haven't been able to follow all the threads on this subject as closely as I'd have liked, but I have to say that this is the first time that I've seen anyone point out this difference. Kudos to you.

The problem that I've seen is that, if you're just looking to assign blame ("Who should be punished for this act?"), then you're likely to see an attempt to explain cause and effect as an attempt to shift moral responsibility. Thus "Look at how various U.S. foreign policies helped to create these terrorists." ends up being interpreted as "Since the U.S. helped create this bad situation, the U.S. is partially/equally/fully morally responsible for the act, and therefore the actual perpetrators are not the (only) ones to blame." The first statement is simply an explanation, and a very arguable one at that. The second statement is a justification which I doubt that very many people would agree with.

...Oh, and I'd probably remove the "free Mumia" part and change "in an international court" to "in a fair court" (or something similar in order to make it read better :), but otherwise would gladly claim the "Rationalist" viewpoint myself.

-allen



[ Parent ]
Missing the point? (1.80 / 5) (#65)
by Neuromancer on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:23:05 PM EST

The apologist wants to self flagellate and criticize his own government to an irrational degree, not rationalize the motivations behind the attacks. There's a big difference between "this is why" and "please sir, may I have another."

[ Parent ]
I'm going to say something (1.00 / 3) (#76)
by fluxrad on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:33:33 AM EST

and this is going to sound a little extreme, but the parallels are still there.

the "apologist" argument seems to me to sound a bit like saying that, since a woman went out on a date with a man who expected sex and did not give him sex, that her depriving him of sex was a partial cause in his date raping her.

now, you can argue that the two are different. but are they? bin Ladin (for argument's sake, we'll say he was behind the attacks) and the rapist both expect something from another party (the U.S., the woman). Both are deprived of what they want (absolute non-interference with middle eastern affiars, sex). Both commit horrible acts in "retaliation" (Bombing, Rape). So, in all honesty, if you are a rational individual, you can see how a woman's abstinance on a date contributes to rape.

You can argue that the U.S. shouldn't be involved in the middle east, or that we should change our standpoint. But alot of people are pretty fucking happy that we're over there. And I haven't heard Afghanistan bitch about the $178 million we gave them in humanitarian aid last year. I'd argue that both sides (for and against) basically cancel eachother out on that one.

One last question: what should happen to the guy that lets his rapist friend crash at his place after he's been told the cops are out looking for him?

or maybe this just puts me into one other category on all this: the metaphorical extremist.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Not quite the right analogy. (5.00 / 4) (#79)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 04:34:24 AM EST

The raped woman analogy has been floating around and I think is not quite a correct one.

Lets say the woman goes, kicks the hell out of a guy, and then the guy somehow overpowers her and rapes her.

In this context, did the woman invite retaliation? I think yes.

Did the woman deserved to be raped? Absolutely not, the guy should go to jail.

A perhaps better example would be that a person who the woman trusts blindly, goes and kicks the hell out of the would be rapist who takes revenge in the unaware woman.

Context is important in any situation. Most people, specially in the US, are putting out of context the attack (due to undesrtandable grief and frustration I think) and that will not help to solve the problem in the long run.


Finaly, about the guy sheltering a rapist, he should bear some legal responsibility (but not as much as the rapist) and most probably any family of the friend of the rapist certainly will not be harmed (unless they willingly and knowingly helped the rapist as well) and any police force would have as a priority not to hurt others will trying to grab the rapist.

But we do know all these alegorics don't apply here, by declaring war (against the Republic of Terrorism) any "collateral damage" (double speak: civilians killed) is acceptable...


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
The Paranoid Kook (ME!!) (4.54 / 24) (#46)
by Tunguska on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:13:21 AM EST

Conspiracies'R'Us:

This was a large an complex and coordinated action on a scale barely within the
capabilities of a single person or a small militant fraction. It is more likely
the work some foreign government or a coalition of extremist organizations.

IMHO the possible perpetrators can be placed in three groups:

1) The usual suspects: Iraq, Libya, Iran, Afghanistan, Osma Bin Laden. Motivated
by Islamic Holy War delusions and first and foremost as a reaction against US
middle east policy in the last 50 years.

2) The unlikely :

Russia. Motivated by the need for help against the islamic pressure on its
southern borders. If the attack is perceived as an islamic attack it will create
a common enemy for Russia and the west. Putin (former KGB stationed in West
Germany) was elected (as a strong man) without campaigning during a supposed
Checnian terrorist bombing campaign in Moscow suburbs, a campaign rumored to be
KGB orchestrated.

3)
The Conspiracy:
I you were to compile a list over parties benefitting from the attacks it would
be very short and would probably not contain any islamic states and/or organizations.

a) Israel or Jewish extremists: A variation of Russia aimed at turning the world
opinion against the islamic world including the struggle of the Palaestinians
against Israel.

b) NSC/CIA and/or the US-arms industry staged the attack for pure
profit and to turn the US into the complete police state with a ridiculous
defense budget.

Could easily be Bush family initiated to boost Bush as *The Great Leader*".
High approval rating in no time and a silencing of the Bush critics
yelling for some kind of investigation into the theft of the precidency.

Points to ponder:

Remember that the Barbara Bush owned air transport operation made billions during the Gulf War trucking stuff back and forth between the US and the Gulf.

Brown&Root (Haliburton) has taken over most of US-quartermaster operations. Cheney was CEO of Haliburton between the Bush administrations and this job was the source of his 50 million dollar income in 2000.

TRW and Haliburton subsidaries include DynCorp, MPRI, Vinnel. Look into these companies and their operations.

Consider:

The BBC reports of plans of invading/punishing the Taleban allready in motion before the attack.

Bush's very first law proposal after his inauguration was the Terrorist Elimination Act

Bush took a tour of Israel in 1996 where his tour guide was no other than Ariel Sharon.

This conspiracy includes a variation where the Bush administration ignored gathered
intelligence hinting at the eminent attack. 5000 lives would be considered cheap for a
turnaround in public opion in the US and across the atlantic.

America is already the victim of massive media-manipulation targeted at fueling patriotism and future acceptance of US casualties. The best example is the UA flight 93
PA-crash.

Cheney said F-16s were scrambled to intercept and shoot down hijacked planes immediately after the WTC-crashes (9.03 AM).

He stated that the one F-16 scrambled for the Pentagon got there only minutes
too late (9.43 AM).

Now consider this:
a) The PA went down at 10.10 AM (Thats atleast another 20 minutes to track, find and intercept)

b) The Boston Globe reported a F-16 tailing UA flight 93.

c) I remember a local news report stating that a man called from the toilet of UA 93 and reported the hijacking.
*During* the call an explosion was heard/reported by this man, aka it was not the explosion from ground impact.

c) Debris from UA 93 was found *9 MILES* from the main crashsite.

Unless the terrorist were actually carrying a bomb and not just mockups, I would say this smells like a Sidewinder shootdown.
But the heroic tale of resistance of the passengers sell more tickets to the patriotic cause.

Another possible manipulation is the hijacker passport found a block away from the WTC -crashsite ... HELLO!!!! A passport surviving the impact and fire from jetfuel burning at almost 1000deg C.


Be Critical !! You are being manipulated. Remember that nobody from the families of the US rightwing political
elite will join Joe SixPack in the lines to the slaughterhouse ......


Sincerely

Tunguska, Denmark



"There is so much to be said in favor of modern journalism.
By giving us the opinions of the uneducated it keeps us in
touch with ignorance of the community." Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)


You can't forget the Reichstag fire comparison (4.60 / 5) (#49)
by akp on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 01:21:24 PM EST

Unelected leader seeks an excuse to unite the country under his rule. Manufactures a fake attack. Calls for massive retaliation against enemies. Signs law curtailing civil rights in the name of fighting the attackers. Propaganda machine fuels public support..... It's all there, you have to admit.

Not that I buy it, mind you. But it's interesting enough to serve as a warning. Might not be a bad idea to write it up and spread it around, not as an accusation, but as a reminder that we should be skeptical of what our leaders re saying.

-allen



[ Parent ]
Who are you talking about? (none / 0) (#69)
by Sax Maniac on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:23:10 PM EST

Unelected leader seeks an excuse to unite the country under his rule. Manufactures a fake attack. Calls for massive retaliation against enemies. Signs law curtailing civil rights in the name of fighting the attackers. Propaganda machine fuels public support. Are you talking about W or bin Laden here? I can't tell.
Stop screwing around with printf and gdb and get a debugger that doesn't suck.
[ Parent ]
Or... (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by M0dUluS on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:54:28 PM EST

...even Saddam Hussein? (if your serious I suspect it was Hitler:Dubya::ReichstagFire:WTC except that where it breaks down is that Hitler used it as a means of consolidating power. The same conspiracy argument was made in the Oklahoma bombing.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Consolidating power... (5.00 / 3) (#117)
by akp on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 11:53:11 AM EST

if your serious I suspect it was Hitler:Dubya::ReichstagFire:WTC

That was the comparison I was going for, yes--though I'll get to the 'serious' part later.

except that where it breaks down is that Hitler used it as a means of consolidating power.

You're joking here, right? Dubya has done an excellent job of consolidating power since the bombings. His approval ratings, which had dropped to barely 50%, are now up around 80-90%. Democratic party opposition has practially vanished. Legislators who do criticize Bush (such as Marty Meehan) are met with accusations of treason (from citizens and some press, not from anyone official). "Anti-terrorism" legislation is being pushed through Congress which expands police power and curtails civil liberties. There's even a new Cabinet position dedicated to "homeland security". Sounds like consolidation of power to me.

As for the being serious part.... Only on the metaphorical level. While Bush and his team have certainly demonstrated that they don't have much respect for the democratic process (Whatever you do, don't count those votes! I mean, Gore and his team were bad then, but Bush took it to even greater depths.), there's really no evidence that they're willing to murder 5,000 people on America's soil. However, I do think that it's important to remind people of the dangers of getting caught up in nationalism, and of sacrificing civil liberties, and of silencing dissenting voices. Terrible things have happened before when such actions were taken. Even if the probibility of such things now is incredibly small, we should remember that the risks are too great to to allow even the slightest opportunity of them happening again.

-allen



[ Parent ]
you are... (none / 0) (#146)
by M0dUluS on Tue Sep 25, 2001 at 01:15:22 PM EST

..totally correct. I don't know what I was writing about dubya's power consolidation!

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#126)
by Rk on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 06:19:34 PM EST

He's talking about Hitler, who had his henchmen set the German imperial parliament hause (Reichstag) (note - the Reichstag was restored, but it isn't used by the goverment anymore IMHO) on fire, who then blamed it on communists. The was a huge campaign against the commies and lots were arrested. Then there was Kristallnacht, triggered by the shooting of a worker in the Germany embassy in France by an expatriot German Jew.

[ Parent ]
You forgot the OIL connection. (4.00 / 5) (#56)
by thePositron on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:54:09 PM EST

Oil may be a very important part of this situation as well.

The Peace Pilgrim walked over 25,000 miles for peace



[ Parent ]
God, I love it! (3.50 / 2) (#70)
by M0dUluS on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:36:25 PM EST

I'm afraid that I find it all too plausible. You could even construct a meta-conspiracy.
Capitalism profits from both the good and the bad times, but during the bad times it needs an obvious outward target for the populace to displace its anger onto.
I'm afraid that one of my reactions after it became clear what had happened was "damn, now the recession and the mishandling are going to be ignored".
Let's just say that it was extraordinarily good luck for the Dubya administration that this happened. A real crisis where we all get to pull together and be patriotic and we get new laws passed which ordinarily would evoke outrage. $40 billion from the slumping economy just after it had been revealed that all the budget surplus estimates were a complete lie.
No one's talking about that now.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (none / 0) (#86)
by hardburn on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 10:56:18 AM EST

"damn, now the recession and the mishandling are going to be ignored".

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition:

34. War is good for business.
35. Peace is good for business.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
have they really said there was such passport? (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by svampa on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:22:55 PM EST

A passport surviving the impact and fire from jetfuel burning at almost 1000deg C.

Did they dared to say so? !!! haven't you misunderstood anything?

the heroic tale of resistance...well... a touch of patriotism... it is not so bad if you are at war. But the story of passport shows clear that they are fucking liars

If they said that such indestructible passport exists, the less bad you may think is they need an scapegoat , they have no evidence so they made it. They have set up a war because... they don't know what to do.

The other option is... well, too terrorific.



[ Parent ]
LOL (2.33 / 3) (#107)
by ceramicnuts on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 12:27:39 AM EST

you make a good point on #1, then waste time on silly conspiracies.

America is already the victim of massive media-manipulation targeted at fueling patriotism and future acceptance of US casualties. The best example is the UA flight 93 PA-crash.
so the CIA captured the doomed passengers at the airport, then at gunpoint forced them to call their loved ones, 911, and the airline enmergency numbers? or are they CIA operatives too? maybe it just happened on a soundstage!

I could address the rest of your ridiculous and unsupported fantasies but what is the point? we might as well be in the Matrix. is Denmark that boring?

[ Parent ]

Great stuff, you should be writing for X-files! (none / 0) (#114)
by guppie on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 07:55:23 AM EST

I only stopped by k5 for a minute, I think the site has gone completely overboard with this, but your theories really made my day.

What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
-Zack de la Rocha
[ Parent ]
Apologist? There are *NO* innocents (4.05 / 18) (#47)
by redelm on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:21:13 AM EST

OK, I'll bite: I'm probably closest to an apologist by your description. Whatever.

I have a radical idea for you to reject: "There are no innocents". No great power has ever consistantly respected any distinction between military and civilian targets, although all noisily make such distinction when their own assets are hit. In fact, nobody I can ever think of ever said "yes, that was a fair attack" if it was successful even if it was against a pure military target. This applies especially for the US which IMHO has been worse than most.

War has always involved atrocities, however most have been done on the individual or small-unit level [line]. Rarely has an atrocity been perpetrated as an act of policy [staff] but it seem to be more often recently.

AFAIK in the alleged modern-era, the first deliberate targetting of civilians [minimal military targets] was during the Spanish Civil War bombing of Guernica(sp?). Although maybe Sherman's burning of Atlanta qualifies.

During WW2, the British hit Dresden and the Germans retaliated at Coventry. The US sent Doolittle to hit Tokyo after Pearl Harbor [which wasn't targetted at civilians]. The US also indiscriminately firebombed Tokyo, Osaka and a number of other Japanese cities. Not to forget the fission-nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Following this bloodbath, at least the US and probably the USSR adopted a doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" wherein civilian populations were threatened by large numbers of extremely powerful thermonuclear weapons allegedly targetted at nearby military assets.

To go further, a case can be made that American civilians are a more justifiable target than [say] Afghanis:

  • Americans pay alot of taxes which supports the military
  • Many Americans work at jobs that support the US government and military. Cantor Fitzgerald in WTC1 handles 25% of the trading in US govt bonds.
  • The US calls itself a democracy. This implies that a majority of it's people are behind everything the government does. They have to take responsibility.

    In the unlikely event you've read this far without becoming insensibly enraged, you might want to know what I think of the attacks. First, I note the attacks were much more damaging than could be expected. The towers collapse was a surprise.

    Second, the attacks were expensive to mount -- the airline tickets alone cost >20k$, plus living , training and recruiting expenses and any compensation paid to families. Probably several million $US.

    So who hates the US enough to spend that kind of money for what was probably ~1000 planned US casualties? The usual suspects come immediately to mind: drug lords, Iraq, Iran, Palestinians, Serbs, Cuba, N.Korea, with N.Vietnam and Saudi Arabia less likely. bin Laden doesn't figure on this list because I don't know if his hatred is strong enough. Furthermore, he has denied it which deprives him of honor if he's lying. That doesn't mean that parts of his or some other organization weren't used by someone else who could be very different from the hijackers.



  • Bin Laden seems like a prime suspect to me (3.00 / 4) (#52)
    by dogwalker on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 03:44:32 PM EST

    (but maybe I just read the newspaper too much)

    Second, the attacks were expensive to mount -- the airline tickets alone cost >20k$, plus living , training and recruiting expenses and any compensation paid to families. Probably several million $US.

    So who hates the US enough to spend that kind of money for what was probably ~1000 planned US casualties?

    From what I've heard, Bin Laden is:
    a. A multi-millionaire with easily enough cash to fund the whole thing himself if he had to.
    b. Someone who's *already* tried to blow up the WTC towers once. The towers were chosen not because they're expensive or hold a lot of people, but because of their symbolic value.
    c. Someone who hates the US enough to kill small numbers of civilians. If you hate a country enough to kill ten of their citizens at random, why not a thousand?
    d. Someone who has been a terrorist for the last, what, twenty years of his life? I don't even know if hatred has to enter into it any more.


    --
    share and enjoy

    [ Parent ]

    Dresden (2.00 / 2) (#60)
    by camadas on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 06:22:21 PM EST

    Thanks for refering it.

    [ Parent ]
    Loosely used logic leads to apologia for atrocity (2.62 / 8) (#67)
    by mpa000 on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 10:15:31 PM EST

    : OK, I'll bite: I'm probably closest to an apologist by your description. : Whatever.

    : I have a radical idea for you to reject: "There are no innocents". No great

    My two year child is not innocent?

    : power has ever consistantly respected any distinction between military and : civilian targets,

    The fact that they haven't. in your opinion, respected the distinction does not
    invalidate the notion of innocence. If it doesn't exist then we would have the word for it. The majority of the world agrees that there are innocents, therefore there are innocents.

    : although all noisily make such distinction when their own assets are hit. In

    By assets, I guess you mean the firefighters who were killed trying to save lives. (I won't bring police into it since I'm sure that in your mind all Police are corrupt arms of a corrupt great power.)

    : fact, nobody I can ever think of ever said "yes, that was a fair attack" if

    You don't have to say it. At it's best, "war is hell". We all know that, and I guarantee you that anyone who's ever fought in a pitched battle against an honorable (however misguided) foe will tell you in no uncertain terms about their respect for their enemy.

    : it was successful even if it was against a pure military target. This applies
    : especially for the US which IMHO has been worse than most.

    Worse than East Timor, Serbs killing Bosnians, Saddam Hussein against various ethnic and politial groups, Burma, Rwanda, Nigeria?

    Please provide some citation for this inflammatory remark. The US has been a superpower since c. 1917 and we have made our mistakes but we've also:

    Spanned a continent less than 100 years after our becoming a free country.

    Ended slavery here and have made incredible leaps in Civil and Human rights

    Survived a violent and vicious civil war to create an even stronger union

    Provided aid all over the world when asked and often without being asked.

    Took up the Industrial Revolution started in Western Europe and ran with it, creating more wealth and prosperity (for ourselves and the rest of the world) than any State before or since....

    The good that the US has done far outways our missteps along the way, and our potential good is infinitely better than what would come out of a world regime headed by zealots (in this case Heroin smuggling zealots hiding behind a selective reading of the Qu'ran).

    : War has always involved atrocities, however most have been done on the
    : individual or small-unit level [line].

    Where do you get this idea or is it "just a feeling" that you have?

    : Rarely has an atrocity been perpetrated as an act of policy [staff] but it
    : seem to be more often recently.

    Please provide some citation (or any backing) for this additional inflammatory comment. Are you equating civilian death with atrocity? How ridiculous. How insulting to victims of actual atrocities.

    : AFAIK in the alleged modern-era, the first deliberate targetting of civilians
    : [minimal military targets] was during the Spanish Civil War bombing of
    : Guernica(sp?). Although maybe Sherman's burning of Atlanta qualifies.

    : The US sent Doolittle to hit Tokyo after Pearl Harbor [which wasn't targetted
    : at civilians].

    Thus making it OK?

    : The US also indiscriminately firebombed Tokyo, Osaka and a number of
    : other Japanese cities.

    Indiscriminately?

    : Not to forget the fission-nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    They were warned first. And how many lives, both Japanese and American were saved by ending the war so quickly and decisively?

    : Following this bloodbath, at least the US and probably the USSR adopted a
    : doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" wherein civilian populations were
    : threatened by large numbers of extremely powerful thermonuclear
    : weapons allegedly targetted at nearby military assets.

    : To go further, a case can be made that American civilians are a more
    : justifiable target than [say] Afghanis:

    You are insane.

    : Americans pay alot of taxes which supports the military

    This is only because Americans have created a society in which there is money to be made. If the Afghanis had incomes they'd be paying taxes to keep up a defense presence also.

    As it stands, the regime there doesn't need tax money as it get's it through it's heroin business. 2 Million Iranian Junkies can buy alot of First Class plane tickets and nails for bombs.

    : Many Americans work at jobs that support the US government and military.

    So government work alone disqualifies one from the right to live? Does that extend to theatres which accept grants from the NEA?

    : Cantor Fitzgerald in WTC1 handles 25% of the trading in US govt bonds.

    Once again, how does this make these non-combatants

    : The US calls itself a democracy. This implies that a majority of it's people
    Actually, it calls itself a Democratic Republic. A very different thing.

    : are behind everything the government does. They have to take
    : responsibility.

    By behind, do you mean they instigate it or merely support it?

    Once again, what has the US Government done to make it okay to attack it's civilians?

    : In the unlikely event you've read this far without becoming insensibly
    : enraged, you might want to know what I think of the attacks. First, I note the : attacks were much more damaging than could be expected.

    Not really. Bin Laden was trained as a building engineer. The relative instability of the WTC buildings and difficulty in fighting fires there was well publicised during and after their construction.

    : The towers collapse was a surprise.

    Actually, I'll bet they were hoping for more of a fall than a drop straight down. Far more damage to surrounding area.

    : Second, the attacks were expensive to mount -- the airline tickets alone
    : cost >20k$, plus living , training and recruiting expenses and any
    : compensation paid to families. Probably several million $US.

    Several million $US is not that much given that his supporters in Afghanistan alone once again hold over 75% of the world's heroin trade. On top of that, Bin Laden surely gets support from other States.

    : So who hates the US enough to spend that kind of money for what was
    : probably ~1000 planned US casualties?

    They planned for alot more than that, and more than they got.

    Quick count:

    266 in the planes

    Several hundred at the Pentagon

    The double-nature of the attack on the WTC ensuring fresh victims when rescue workers arrived.

    One of the hijacked planes was, of course, kept from killing any more people by the actions of a group of passengers

    On top of this, there were reports of other possible aborted attempts after and on the cusp of the lockdown by the FAA.

    Based on just these numbers, your projection of their intended kills is already way off.

    : The usual suspects come immediately to mind: drug lords

    Like the Taliban? How many drug lords (of our usual South American on American types) are Arabic and have ties to Bin Laden and Iraq?

    : Iraq, Iran,

    Iraq very well had something to do with it. But it was Bin Laden's operatives who accomplished it. Iran is headed toward moderation and are occupied with their own internal problems.

    : Palestinians

    Don't have the resources.

    : Serbs

    Don't have the resources, wouldn't be using Arabs, not clever enough.

    : Cuba,

    Give me a break.

    : N.Korea, with N.Vietnam and Saudi Arabia less likely. bin Laden doesn't
    : figure on this list because I don't know if his hatred is strong enough.

    Then you are truly are just speaking from *feelings* instead of facts, aren't you?.

    All you have to do is read his own words to know how he feels about the US. He is the loser child of a billionaire who found a home among pseudo-Muslims and found someone to blame for his own failings (US and Israel). He's still fighting against the Crusades but neglects to remember that the Crusades were Christendom's reaction to Islamic expansionism.

    : Furthermore, he has denied it which deprives him of honor if he's lying.

    He's not interested in honor the way you think of it. Beyond that, the people in his circle know very well whether he did it or not, without even taking credit for it. Also, according to the experts, the whole operation has his methodology all over it.

    : That doesn't mean that parts of his or some other organization weren't used
    : by someone else who could be very different from the hijackers.

    You know, sometimes the obvious answer *is* correct. Let's split your statement up. 1) If parts of his organisation was used then he's still responsible 2) A number of the hijackers have already been tied to him.
    Questions of other organisations are moot until some *evidence* (have you heard of that) of their involvement is discovered.


    Why, I wonder, do you spend so much time trying to justify these terrorist's actions instead of trying to do what any decent human being does which is to absolutely decry this attack and hope, work and pray for this never to happen again?


    .mpa






    [ Parent ]
    Please, join us in the real world (3.75 / 4) (#81)
    by wtfai on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 08:29:18 AM EST

    : power has ever consistantly respected any distinction between military and : civilian targets,

    The fact that they haven't. in your opinion, respected the distinction does not
    invalidate the notion of innocence. If it doesn't exist then we would have the word for it. The majority of the world agrees that there are innocents, therefore there are innocents.

    True, but irrelevant

    : although all noisily make such distinction when their own assets are hit. In

    By assets, I guess you mean the firefighters who were killed trying to save lives. (I won't bring police into it since I'm sure that in your mind all Police are corrupt arms of a corrupt great power.)

    No, thats obviously not what was meant. Read before replying.

    : it was successful even if it was against a pure military target. This applies
    : especially for the US which IMHO has been worse than most.

    Worse than East Timor, Serbs killing Bosnians, Saddam Hussein against various ethnic and politial groups, Burma, Rwanda, Nigeria?

    All by SEPARATE countries US is ONE country.

    Please provide some citation for this inflammatory remark. The US has been a superpower since c. 1917 and we have made our mistakes but we've also:

    Spanned a continent less than 100 years after our becoming a free country.

    Ended slavery here and have made incredible leaps in Civil and Human rights

    Survived a violent and vicious civil war to create an even stronger union

    Provided aid all over the world when asked and often without being asked.

    Took up the Industrial Revolution started in Western Europe and ran with it, creating more wealth and prosperity (for ourselves and the rest of the world) than any State before or since....

    The good that the US has done far outways our missteps along the way, and our potential good is infinitely better than what would come out of a world regime headed by zealots (in this case Heroin smuggling zealots hiding behind a selective reading of the Qu'ran).

    Provide some proof of the good that the US has done outweighing the bad. And that the only alternative to US domination is "a world regime headed by zealots"

    : War has always involved atrocities, however most have been done on the
    : individual or small-unit level [line].

    Where do you get this idea or is it "just a feeling" that you have?

    Just perhaps he's been reading history books?

    : Rarely has an atrocity been perpetrated as an act of policy [staff] but it
    : seem to be more often recently.

    Please provide some citation (or any backing) for this additional inflammatory comment. Are you equating civilian death with atrocity? How ridiculous. How insulting to victims of actual atrocities.

    Deliberately killing civilians in wartime is an atrocity. For examples read some history.

    : AFAIK in the alleged modern-era, the first deliberate targetting of civilians
    : [minimal military targets] was during the Spanish Civil War bombing of
    : Guernica(sp?). Although maybe Sherman's burning of Atlanta qualifies.

    : The US sent Doolittle to hit Tokyo after Pearl Harbor [which wasn't targetted
    : at civilians].

    Thus making it OK?

    : The US also indiscriminately firebombed Tokyo, Osaka and a number of
    : other Japanese cities.

    Indiscriminately?

    Yes, firebombing a city is pretty indisciminate.

    : Not to forget the fission-nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    They were warned first. And how many lives, both Japanese and American were saved by ending the war so quickly and decisively?

    200,000+ civilians killed. Thats 40 WTC and you think thats OK?

    : Following this bloodbath, at least the US and probably the USSR adopted a
    : doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" wherein civilian populations were
    : threatened by large numbers of extremely powerful thermonuclear
    : weapons allegedly targetted at nearby military assets.

    : To go further, a case can be made that American civilians are a more
    : justifiable target than [say] Afghanis:

    You are insane.

    : Americans pay alot of taxes which supports the military

    This is only because Americans have created a society in which there is money to be made. If the Afghanis had incomes they'd be paying taxes to keep up a defense presence also.

    As it stands, the regime there doesn't need tax money as it get's it through it's heroin business. 2 Million Iranian Junkies can buy alot of First Class plane tickets and nails for bombs.

    : Many Americans work at jobs that support the US government and military.

    So government work alone disqualifies one from the right to live? Does that extend to theatres which accept grants from the NEA?

    : Cantor Fitzgerald in WTC1 handles 25% of the trading in US govt bonds.

    Once again, how does this make these non-combatants

    : The US calls itself a democracy. This implies that a majority of it's people
    Actually, it calls itself a Democratic Republic. A very different thing.

    : are behind everything the government does. They have to take
    : responsibility.

    By behind, do you mean they instigate it or merely support it?

    Once again, what has the US Government done to make it okay to attack it's civilians?

    First try to understand the arguments, then reply.


    : The usual suspects come immediately to mind: drug lords

    Like the Taliban? How many drug lords (of our usual South American on American types) are Arabic and have ties to Bin Laden and Iraq?

    : Iraq, Iran,

    Iraq very well had something to do with it. But it was Bin Laden's operatives who accomplished it. Iran is headed toward moderation and are occupied with their own internal problems.

    : Palestinians

    Don't have the resources.

    : Serbs

    Don't have the resources, wouldn't be using Arabs, not clever enough.

    : Cuba,

    Give me a break.

    : N.Korea, with N.Vietnam and Saudi Arabia less likely. bin Laden doesn't
    : figure on this list because I don't know if his hatred is strong enough.

    Then you are truly are just speaking from *feelings* instead of facts, aren't you?.

    All you have to do is read his own words to know how he feels about the US. He is the loser child of a billionaire who found a home among pseudo-Muslims and found someone to blame for his own failings (US and Israel). He's still fighting against the Crusades but neglects to remember that the Crusades were Christendom's reaction to Islamic expansionism.

    Please give some evidence

    : Furthermore, he has denied it which deprives him of honor if he's lying.

    He's not interested in honor the way you think of it. Beyond that, the people in his circle know very well whether he did it or not, without even taking credit for it. Also, according to the experts, the whole operation has his methodology all over it.

    You have an amazing ability to read the mind of others. Have you considered joining the circus?

    Why, I wonder, do you spend so much time trying to justify these terrorist's actions instead of trying to do what any decent human being does which is to absolutely decry this attack and hope, work and pray for this never to happen again?


    Read the post properly. The way to stop such attacks is through understanding why they happen. Hope and prayer don't hack it.

    [ Parent ]
    Why don't you take your own advice? (none / 0) (#145)
    by Shadow Knight on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 10:12:44 PM EST

    absolutely decry this attack and hope, work and pray for this never to happen again? [emphasis mine]

    [Reply:]
    Read the post properly. The way to stop such attacks is through understanding why they happen. Hope and prayer don't hack it.

    You didn't read the post properly. He said hope, work, and prayer. That most certainly does "hack it." No amount of understanding will help a damn bit if we don't do something with that knowledge. That requires work. Also, I refer you to the writings of Roger Zelazny on the value of understanding. A paraphrase of the relevant portion: "Even if you understand a son of bitch, even if you completely understand what makes him tick, it doesn't change the fact that he's a son of a bitch." Understanding terrorism will not stop terrorism. Only eliminating the terrorists will stop terrorism. It's up to you to figure out how to go about doing that. Here's a hint: appeasment never works, historically speaking.

    later,
    Shadow Knight


    Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
    [ Parent ]
    Puhleez! (3.50 / 2) (#92)
    by sqwudgy on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 02:09:57 PM EST

    Please read a broader range of history than the anti-American tripe you've been immersing yourself in.

    ``War has always involved atrocities, however most have been done on the individual or small-unit level [line]. Rarely has an atrocity been perpetrated as an act of policy [staff] but it seem to be more often recently.''

    Ask the survivors of the Pol Pot regime if the millions that were killed were the result of an isolated unit. I'd bet there are some people in the former Yugoslavia that would disagree with you as well. And Uganda.



    [ Parent ]

    Do we know the full story? (4.66 / 3) (#98)
    by wnight on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 04:10:53 PM EST

    Re: Innocents

    With the possible exception of children, and maybe the odd foreign-aid worker caught in the attacks, you're right. Most people were adult american citizens, who by nature of their relationship with the government are partly responsible.

    Do they deserve to die? IMHO, no. But who really does?

    Re: Terrorism vs civilians

    Is there really anything more horrid about flying an airliner into 5000 middle or upper-class Americans, then killing 5000 low-class Iraqi conscipts in a war?

    I don't really think so.

    If you're poor (relative to your enemy) what choice do you have, when matters can't be settled by talking? Stand and be killed, or run and have your possessions/land taken? There's no way you can fight back against well-armed soldiers, but what's wrong with fighting back against the people who fund (and implicitly support) the government attacking you?

    Terrorists don't really have a choice, if they want to stand up for themselves. It's awful convenient for the rich country in the war to say what's a valid target and what isn't.

    For the most part, these attacks did aim at those responsible, the capitalist corporations, and the war department. Sure, they used planes full of lower-class people, or children, but that's just collateral damage, like when we bomb them and miss, right?

    Re: Expense

    Was it really that expensive?

    I've heard experts on the radio say that these people needed to be fully-trained pilots, and other saying that if you can drive a car, you can steer a plane, once it's in the air. If they left the pilots alive until they got to the city both targets (towers and pentagon) were easy to see from the air. (The pilots likely would have flown them to the destination city, thinking they'd land and bargain, like most terrorists do.)

    There were no fancy weapons, or bombs, used, so likely their equipment costs were very low.

    Further, I'd assume that they put one skilled person on each flight (talk to pilots, do a bit of flying, etc) and three or four grunts to help with the fighting.

    Re: Well executed

    I've heard a lot about how they hit right where they had to, to do the most damage... Bull.

    The first plane hit the N. tower in the range of floor 90, and hit the corner of the building. This was the least damaging hit. (Building survived 1h 56m). The second plane hit the S. tower in the range of floor 70, and hit straight on, just off to the right side.

    If both hits were close together (on respective buildings) then I might buy it taking precission, as it is it looks like they simply hit it as best they could without requiring a second pass.


    Really, I think it could have been done by a bunch of unskilled people, who took directions from a few more skilled people, who at most, trained under an expert pilot and were pointed to the target by an engineer.

    This talk of how they had to be so skilled to pull it off is crazy.


    [ Parent ]
    Too much drugs? (4.00 / 1) (#139)
    by DavidTC on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 08:43:02 PM EST

    Re: Innocents

    With the possible exception of children, and maybe the odd foreign-aid worker caught in the attacks, you're right. Most people were adult american citizens, who by nature of their relationship with the government are partly responsible.

    Do they deserve to die? IMHO, no. But who really does?

    Did you miss the name of the World Trade Center? You know, the place that's full of people from all over the World? The one with the Port Authority?

    And I love how you have invented some 'crime' the US has commited against Afghanistan.

    Re: Terrorism vs civilians

    Is there really anything more horrid about flying an airliner into 5000 middle or upper-class Americans, then killing 5000 low-class Iraqi conscipts in a war?

    a) Iraq attacked, not the US. The US came to the aid of a country that requested it.
    b) Iraq != Afghanistan

    If you're poor (relative to your enemy) what choice do you have, when matters can't be settled by talking? Stand and be killed, or run and have your possessions/land taken? There's no way you can fight back against well-armed soldiers, but what's wrong with fighting back against the people who fund (and implicitly support) the government attacking you?

    Dude, are you on drugs? When did we support the Taliban? I'm aware we overthrew the previous government, and basically screwed up big time, but the Taliban are supporting the people who bombed us!

    I think you're completely confused about the sides in this war. This isn't some freedom fighter attacking the funding country. It was someone, with at least the consent of the government, or at least not to much protest, attacking a country that doesn't fund anyone over there. The closest thing we help that they could have an issue with is Israel.

    Terrorists don't really have a choice, if they want to stand up for themselves. It's awful convenient for the rich country in the war to say what's a valid target and what isn't.

    Bin Laden is probably richer than 99% of all the people he killed.

    For the most part, these attacks did aim at those responsible, the capitalist corporations, and the war department. Sure, they used planes full of lower-class people, or children, but that's just collateral damage, like when we bomb them and miss, right?

    I dare you to name the last time the US bombed Afghanistan before Bin Laden based his attacks from there.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    Look at it from anyone else's viewpoint. (4.00 / 1) (#148)
    by wnight on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 02:57:55 PM EST

    Did you miss the name of the World Trade Center? You know, the place that's full of people from all over the World? The one with the Port Authority?

    What country was it in? Whose symbol was it? What nationality were 90% of the victims?

    While the attack may have hurt people around the world, it was clearly aimed at the United States.

    And I love how you have invented some 'crime' the US has commited against Afghanistan.

    Well, aside from allowing the Taliban to come into power, after removing the last government...

    But that's irrelevant. Osama (if he did it) isn't Afghani, and he claims to represent the muslim/islamic people as a whole. The USA is guilty of many crimes towards these people - they support Israel. Now, regardless of the guilt/innocence of Israel, many Palestinians who die are killed with US-made weapons, sold to a country has historically used weapons to kill Palestinians. By selling these weapons, the US got involved. If this isn't enough, there are many other examples of the USA meddling in the middle-east for economic reasons.

    Iraq attacked, not the US. The US came to the aid of a country that requested it.

    Who put Sadam in power? Who supplied him with weapons? It was the US fighting a US-puppet.

    Iraq != Afghanistan

    Really? Wow.

    Osama isn't Afghani, he's concerned with perceived crimes by the US towards the whole middle-east, not any specific country.

    >but what's wrong with fighting back against the people who fund >(and implicitly support) the government attacking you?

    Dude, are you on drugs? When did we support the Taliban? I'm aware we overthrew the previous government, and basically screwed up big time, but the Taliban are supporting the people who bombed us!

    You mis-read that. I'm saying that "they" are fighting back towards the people (us, westerners) who support the government (USA) who attacks them (the middle east).

    You pay taxes which fund the US war machine, are you not somewhat responsible for its use? If Osama can't strike at Bush, or the leaders, why can't he strike at the fund-raisers?

    I've seen many people calling for the arrest (as terrorists) of anyone who funds a suspected terrorist group. (Like that Irish charity that fronts for the IRA.) By that reasoning, you as a taxpayer are supporting a terrorist organization (the US government).

    You may object to your government being called terrorist, but that's a fact, indisputable. Bush's speech was geared to strike terror at those who opposed him, via implied death threats.

    I think you're completely confused about the sides in this war. This isn't some freedom fighter [...]

    Says who? He was a freedom fighter when we trained him and funded him against Russia. Why isn't he a freedom fighter when he strikes against the other super-power?

    Bin Laden is probably richer than 99% of all the people he killed.

    It was someone, with at least the consent of the government, or at least not to much protest, [...]

    You just finished saying Osama was rich, and I showed the attack could have been done on the cheap. What makes it obvious that a government supported him? The simple fact that they're unwilling to surrender him when there's no proof he's guilty?

    His resources, even if he was completely backed by Afghanistan, are miniscule compared to the USA. If he wants to fight back, how do you suggest he does it? Takes a tiny armed force and challenge the US to a knock-down battle? If this is what you insist he does, then you're implying that might makes right, that the US has the right to be free from attack or criticism because it's got the biggest army.

    I dare you to name the last time the US bombed Afghanistan before Bin Laden based his attacks from there.

    The US has frequently caused, or aided, the deaths of middle-eastern people. From supplying arms to one side in a war, to destroying the Iraqi army, etc.

    How is it right for the US to kill hundreds of thousands of conscript soldiers, men who are only there because of threats to their lives and the lives of their families, over an economic issue? Why did the US purposefully avoid killing Sadam during the war, concentrating instead on people who were being forced to fight?



    [ Parent ]

    Guernica (4.00 / 1) (#106)
    by triticale on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 11:50:33 PM EST

    Guernica was in fact a military target. Altho the Picasso painting suggests a farming town, it was an industrial city. The immediate objective was a firearms factory.

    [ Parent ]
    Guernica and innocence (4.00 / 1) (#109)
    by redelm on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 01:25:51 AM EST

    It's very difficult to tell. Please see: this reference . Apparently, von Richthoven's Condor Legion managed to miss bombing the bridge, railway station and small-arms factory which were the alleged targets during a 3 hour raid.

    Still, your point is a good one. On a scale of innocence running from [say] newborn-babe to enemy-soldier-in-bayonet-charge, Guernica was somewhere in the middle. Where you draw your personal line of innocence demarkation is a reflection of your values and beliefs. Many would say Guernica was on their "innocent" side. Franco's Nationalists, and perhaps the Condor Legion, obviously thought otherwise.

    And there are people who would draw their innocence line to the left of newborn-babes by arguing that they'd grow up to be terrorists or their parents killed their own children, so they are entitled to revenge. I personally find this barbaric, but I can see some might hold this idea.

    Still others would draw their innocence line beyond enemy-soldier-in-bayonet-charge by arguing you should preserve all life if at all possible. A certain amount of respect for enemy life does seem to reduce casualties and civilian damage. [Eastern vs Western Fronts WW2 Europe]

    What smacks to me of hypocracy is when the demarkation drawn for friendly innocence is vastly different from enemy innocence. PearlHarbor/Doolittle is one case: active duty seamen on warships & airmen on station [admittedly unwarned] are somehow innocent, while the Japanese children sure to be killed by Doolittle's bombs are "not innocent"?

    [ Parent ]

    I have never... (4.00 / 1) (#138)
    by DavidTC on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 08:26:38 PM EST

    ...heard anyone call the bombing Pearl Harbor anything but a military assault. It was bombing the US's fleet, plain and simply.

    Now, it was a surprise attack, by a country we weren't technically at war with (Though we had been helping fight their allies.), so it seems a little underhanded...but it wasn't against any rule of war I know of, and no one is claiming they were acting outside the proper scope of war.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    FDR's "Day of Infamy" (4.00 / 1) (#140)
    by redelm on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:34:46 PM EST

    Hey, I agree with you! But it appears that the US Congress (&populace?) of December 1941 seems to have considered the attack on Pearl Harbor to have been an extremely underhanded, dastardly deed. As if the warships, sailors, planes and airmen were somehow "innocent". Read FDR's speech.

    [ Parent ]
    Maybe. (4.00 / 1) (#141)
    by DavidTC on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:40:17 PM EST

    His exact words are apparently: '...the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan...'

    Now, obviously, unprovoked is true, it was completely pre-emptive.

    A 'dastard' is apparently a 'malicious coward'. Malicious, yes, cowardly...I'll have to think about it.

    In war, pretty much everything you do is 'cowardly', in the sense you don't walk into fire. The Japanese attacked, delibately flying under radar so they wouldn't be spotted, and flew off before they could be engaged. In a technical sense, that might be cowardly, but it's what everyone does in a war. If you can hurt the enemy without them hurting you, you leap at the chance. You don't call pretty much every action in a war 'dastardly'.

    But, anyway, the point was we don't believe it now, not whatever was said in the heat of the moment, before the shock of being bombed wore off.

    Pretty much everyone nowadays consides that bombing your new enemy's ships and supply yards was a legitimate way to start a war. If anyone thinks it wasn't, I invite them to leap into the conversation.

    -David T. C.
    Yes, my email address is real.
    [ Parent ]

    Your list of suspects is rather incorrect (4.50 / 2) (#110)
    by Pac on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 01:26:59 AM EST

    First, let us withdraw the obvious.

    North Vietnan is not a country. The US lost the war there, Vietnan was unified under the Vietcong rule, and is one of the poorest countries in world today. And they have no reason to do it, specially after Clinton lifted the long-standing commercial embargo on them.

    Saudi Arabia is an US ally. They have no reason whatsoever, as a country, to make such an attack.

    The Drug Lords, evil as DEA want you to believe them to be, are businessmen. War on this scale is pretty bad for business.

    Those were real mistakes. Now, from the rest of your list, I would also object to the inclusion of Cuba, Iran, the Palestinians and North Korea.

    Cuba has no reason to engage in a war with US nowadays. Actually, they never really had a reason. Also, they had plenty of opportunity in the past to start a guerrila war in american soil (since the Cuban-American community is rather large). The fact that they never had done so during the years when it would be strategically important is enough to take them out of the list.

    Iran is (surprise!) a democratic country today, with an elected government. The religious leaders still have a huge influence, but they are more concerned in helping the Palestinians than in hurting the US directly. Also, the present iranian government is trying to rebuild its relations with the Western democracies.

    I fail to see how such act would help the Palestinian cause, and I can see many ways in which it would and will hurt them. The Palestinians are fighting a war of their own against Israel, and all their resources tend to be employed there. The fact that Israel is clearly winning the war makes it clear that they have no resources to spare in transcontinental adventures.

    As for North Korea, irregardless of Bush administration painting them as a "rogue state" in their justification for the missile shield, they are well on the way to reunify Korea. I really don't think they would be interested.

    This leaves Iraq and the Serbs. I think it is not above the former to help organize this operation, but they are certanly unable to do it directly. As for the latter, the Serbs are rather beated this days, but one never knows.

    I also think you grossly overestimated the cost of this operation. I guess it have costed one order of magnitude less than you think, something around hundreds of thounsand dollars. These hijackers were not uneducated peasants taken from starving villages in the third world. Some of them had college degrees. Some of them were trainned pilots. Some of them probably have had regular jobs in the US and in Europe during the planning and preparation of the attack.

    In the same tune, you underestimate the resources available to the transnational terrorist groups that could be behind this. Many governments support these groups, but they have another important source of money, the many rich and religious businessman in muslin countries that also happen to be against US presence in Saudi Arabia, US support for Israel, US bombing of Iraq etc. Originally, bin Laden was exactly one of those.

    As for the "evil personified" himself, all sources that had any kind of access to him during the last ten years tell that he considers himself and his organization at war against the United States. He has the resources, the motivation and it seems that he had the opportunity. So, I wouldn't absolutely rule out he being behing this operation.

    (You also left out some important suspects with motivation and resources: the Islamic Jihad, rogue elements US own intelligence agencies and rogue elements inside Mossad. But I talked about them elsewhere already).

    I won't ellaborate on your (implied) strange definition of innocence. For me, the civilians in Dresden, in Hiroshima, in Iraq and in the WTC are still innocent victims, no matter what their governments did or failed to do to cause their fate.

    Evolution doesn't take prisoners


    [ Parent ]
    Huh? (4.00 / 1) (#122)
    by AndyL on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 03:46:37 PM EST

    "First, I note the attacks were much more damaging than could be expected. The towers collapse was a surprise."

    To who? If you crash a jet-liner into a building, (even one theoretically designed to withstand a 707 impact) and then you set it on fire, how surprised will you really be if it falls over?

    You might not know it was going to fall collapse, But I have a hard time imagining anybody being too surprised about it.



    [ Parent ]
    Pragmatic Crusader? (3.60 / 5) (#57)
    by br284 on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:18:17 PM EST

    I guess I would fall into half of those two camps. On one hand, I want to see someone's ass whipped severely so that it gives pause to those who would contemplate such action in the future, or harboring those that would contemplate such actions, but I also cannot see how an invasion of Afghanistan would do any good at this point given that the people are so worn down as to not execrise self-determination and that the geographic realities of the place make it such that we might never get those who we really want. *shrug*

    I think that an additional category might be added -- the Marshall Planner. The Marshall Planner would advocate sending in a first wave of military to clear out the undersirables, then following them, massive aid to bring the Afghan people up to a state where they would not tolerate such rulers again. Of course, the Marshall Planner would upset every leftist type out there as the tools to be used would be American cultural and commercial might. I think I might also be one of these a bit.

    -Chris

    Black and White thinking (2.50 / 2) (#75)
    by crealf on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:16:27 AM EST

    I think that an additional category might be added -- the Marshall Planner. The Marshall Planner would advocate sending in a first wave of military to clear out the undersirables, then following them, massive aid to bring the Afghan people up to a state where they would not tolerate such rulers again.

    Let's add a new category: "the black & white thinker, with simplistic reasonning". His solution ? Just kill the evil guys, and help the good guys.

    [ Parent ]

    :-P (4.66 / 3) (#88)
    by br284 on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 12:39:04 PM EST

    I'll add another category for that matter -- the Intellectual Coward. The IC is one who hides behind simple insults, while acting that he has know everything, yet does not provide any backup or reason for the insult or why that particular chosen in response to a particular comment.

    The Intellectual Coward hides behinds shades of grey as he refuses to take a firm position. He uses this grey area to say that since there is no 100% right or wrong choice to make, all must be equally wrong.

    -Pragmatic Crusader

    PS. Please explain why my previous post was simplistic and "black and white thinking" and I'd be more inclined to take you seriously.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: the Intellectual Coward. (4.00 / 1) (#91)
    by sqwudgy on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 01:31:57 PM EST

    ``The Intellectual Coward hides behinds shades of grey as he refuses to take a firm position. He uses this grey area to say that since there is no 100% right or wrong choice to make, all must be equally wrong.''

    And since none of the solutions are 100% right, it's easy to merely do nothing. You see a lot of these people. Every day.

    [ Parent ]

    Obvious. (4.50 / 2) (#125)
    by crealf on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 06:16:08 PM EST

    Please explain why my previous post was simplistic and "black and white thinking" and I'd be more inclined to take you seriously.

    You said: I think that an additional category might be added -- the Marshall Planner. The Marshall Planner would advocate sending in a first wave of military to clear out the undersirables, then following them, massive aid to bring the Afghan people up to a state where they would not tolerate such rulers again.

    I quoted above and said:

    Let's add a new category: "the black & white thinker, with simplistic reasonning". His solution ? Just kill the evil guys, and help the good guys.

    It's obvious then:

    • The Marshall Planner would advocate sending in a first wave of military to clear out the undersirables -- Just kill the evil guys
    • then following them, massive aid to bring the Afghan people up to a state where they would not tolerate such rulers again -- and help the good guys.

    Nearly any of your expressions is simplistic. Assuming guilty people are in Afghanistan:

    • "sending a first wave of military": US are not entitled to violate the integrity of any countries (although they occasionaly do carelessly). No more than the Ireland is allowed to send military to US, because some funders of IRA terrorists are in the US. The US has to ask UN. Justice is just that: just. justice must NEVER decided by one of the sides. Never.
    • "clear out the undersirables": can only mean kill. Kill kill kill. Unfortunatly 1) it is almost impossible for the US to get them 2) there are several levels of responsabilities. Considering 2), in fact there is a whole range of responsabilities which range to very slight (just expressing sympathy for people saying "we're gonna do a big anti-US act, can you offer us a glass of water? - Yes."), to very heavy (planning everything). In the Nuremberg trial (Nazis trial), the sentences ranged from 10 years (or acquittement) to death penalty. Killing undiscriminatly terrorists and people, will simply be stupid. Anyway 1) is the showstopper: it is essentially impossible to get most of the guilty terrorists in the depths of Afghanistan mountains... even if you were able to find them, there are slight details like mines everywhere in this country (which had better in war for decades), and many others.
    • "massive aid": 1) you don't know if a decent help is affordable ; Afghanistan, 2) while Afghanistan was cited as the worst country to live in for several years, there are other miserable countries, for which you could at least drop part of their debt, 3) why didn't you help Afghans years ago, do you want to spread the message that "terrorism pays"? 4) money is not the only problem for terrorism, American support for Israel (which is violating UN resolutions), bombing of Irak, American inference in many countries (for instance, American influence, pressures, and hold on former Pakistani leaders, which was TREMENDOUSLY resented by the local population - few people in the world like their governement to be told "Now DO THAT" by a foreign country, and have their governement obey), and many other facts of international politics scene.
    • etc...


    [ Parent ]
    But... (4.00 / 1) (#128)
    by br284 on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 08:55:34 PM EST

    Thank you for your time to post a reply. I honestly didn't expect one, and I'm pleasantly surprised that it was not just a baseless insult.

    However, I would like to respond to a few of your points.

    In your first point, you suggest that the United States must go to the UN and ask permission to send the military into Pakistan. This couldn't be any more wrong. The most obvious mistake you have made is to assume that the United Nations holds any jurisdiction over matters such as these. The United Nations may disagree and pass resolutions all day to the effect that they do not agree with the United States' military incursion into Afghanistan (or any other country for that matter), but they do not hold any sort of power over the United States. The United States (and other countries for that matter) are not subordinate states of the United Nations. The UN can show as much disagreement as they want, but they ultimately lack the required power and authority to prevent the United States from doing anything.

    Regarding "clearing out undesirables": I recognize the difficulty with a ground based invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Does what I'm saying require killing. Probably. Does that prevent us from bringing people to trial, as you seem to desire? Nope. I would think that a successful propaganda campaign combined with strong humanitarian and military presence would make evident those who are against us and those who would appreciate our help. To be honest, I'd rather be rid of those who would plot against us rather than allow them to scheme and plot more attacks against Americans. I'll grant you that it would probably be impossible to get all the terrorists out of the country, but the job becomes much easier when we get the local people working with us. I never meant to imply that it would be quick nor easy, in fact I think that it would be very difficult. If you have a solution that is better than this and has a chance of actually working to get rid of the terrorists, by all means, let me know. I'm not 100% satisfied with the one presented above, but I have yet to see anything else presented that would work better.

    Massive aid: I would concur that a rebuilding of Afghanistan could be potentially very expensive. However, there are some things that can be done for the population that would do more to elevate their status than just giving them money (which I think is a bad idea). First of all, we have a lot of know-how in the area of agriculutre that could be very helpful to address the problem of scarce food supplies in Afghanistan. Secondly, a little education would go a long way. As long as these people remain as uneducated as they are, they will always be taken advantage of those such as the Taliban or other oppressive regimes. A people that cannot think for themselves is far more easy to exploit and control than one that is educated.

    Regarding American interference: I guess that there are one of two choices -- we either get involved in these things, or we do not. For the US, it seems like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If the Americans get involved in a regional dispute, it's American interference. If we let it run its course, we're ignoring what's going on. So which is it? Case in point -- the US draws lots of flack over the fact that there is severe shit going on in Africa, and we've not gotten involved (much) to stop it. However, we try to serve as broker in the Israel / Palestine peace process, and then we're meddling and interfering. I guess we could stop all interference with these nations, but then again, I don't want the conflicts that we are involved in to turn out like the ones in Africa. Once more, if you have a more reasonable and intelligent solution, let me know.

    I hope you see more of my reasoning and though process now. You may disagree with it, but what I've outlined in the previous paragraphs are far from simplistic reasoning. It's also hardly a case of black and white. There are many shades of grey, and I'm just choosing what I think are to be the better shades. Once more, any reply would be appreciated.

    -Chris

    [ Parent ]

    Re: many shades of grays. (4.00 / 1) (#135)
    by crealf on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:44:16 AM EST

    Thank you for your time to post a reply. I honestly didn't expect one, and I'm pleasantly surprised that it was not just a baseless insult.

    Thank you for answering nicely, even though I tend to flame, and issue unnegociable truths :-)

    The United Nations may disagree and pass resolutions all day to the effect that they do not agree with the United States' military incursion into Afghanistan (or any other country for that matter), but they do not hold any sort of power over the United States.

    The problem that the UN is the only moral and legitimate way to handle such an international dispute ; it would be 3 phases: 1) ask the Afghanistan to arrest and extrade all the terrorist 2) if the demand isn't met, ask the UN for military action 3) once the terrorists are arrested judge them on the UN International Tribunal. For Milosevic 2) was skipped, but at least 1) (asking him to cease) and 3) were met.

    The Council of the UN has the necessary power:
    Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Council's decisions.
    [...]
    The Council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use "all necessary means," including collective military action, to see that its decisions are carried out.

    I would think that a successful propaganda campaign combined with strong humanitarian and military presence would make evident those who are against us and those who would appreciate our help.

    Bin laden has been searched for years. It's hard to find someone in 650000 sq km, especially since Afghanistan is mostly mountains and deserts (altitude ranges from 200 meters to 7000 meters... try to send an army at 7000 m...), and as no access to sea.

    As for propaganda, no one is going to listen to American propaganda, and the islamic extremists are doing a better job anyway. The American-centric treatement ("this is not a war only America but also against the world" etc...) of the attack in American media is certainly discrediting them tremendously in Muslim countries. Especially considering many American past actions have been quite ugly... I mean, yes there could have been an uniform international sympathy not only for the victims as now, but also for the country if the country have been Switzerland. But the current loop nearly 24/24 on American attack, the american flag-waving, is probably starting to be sickening for other countries, considering the far worse events that happened in the world, and mostly unnoticed in American media ; especially TV, which is the worst : for instance on CNN only one expert mentioned US former support for bin laden, and didn't even admit CIA was involved.

    This sentiment was extremely well summed up in this article two years ago.

    For the record, the counter-focus in some arabic media, is contrasting the US media coverage of the US attack ; and of the Sabra and Shatila massacres (of 800 to 3000 civilians) in 1982 (see BBC recent reports, anarabic media report, and the official Israeli report)

    First of all, we have a lot of know-how in the area of agriculutre that could be very helpful to address the problem of scarce food supplies in Afghanistan.

    I don't think know-how in agriculture is the problem ; Afghanistan has never been a good area, and can't afford machines, pesticides, patented species to grow.

    Secondly, a little education would go a long way. As long as these people remain as uneducated as they are, they will always be taken advantage of those such as the Taliban or other oppressive regimes. A people that cannot think for themselves is far more easy to exploit and control than one that is educated.

    This is an excellent point and the crux. However, education is a "welfare goodie", something which US doesn't tolerate as such: under US pressure, the international organisation (IMF, World Bank), impose the drastic "consensus of Washingtown" on countries they are supposed to help: the result is something known as "privatise everything". This is something which suits very much the US, but is a major subject of contestation from the EU for instance (the European countries won't match most of the demands made on Third World countries). I saw a recent report in the New Economist about South America perception of "privatisation of public services" forced on those South American countries: in most countries, more than 50% people thought that it had been detrimental (or very detrimental), and in the last 5 years, this rate has increased. One example was that in some country, 80% of the teachers didn't have even a Bachelor degree anymore.
    Helping funding public schools is not currently US politics ; "privatisation and then free market will lead to optimimality" is the motto.

    Also note on the other hand, the rich Saudi Arabia is funding many "koranic", "fundementalist" etc... schools everywhere in the world ; Saudi Arabia being one of the only countries, US can't say much against, for they have 25% of the oil reserves in the world.

    Regarding American interference: I guess that there are one of two choices -- we either get involved in these things, or we do not. For the US, it seems like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If the Americans get involved in a regional dispute, it's American interference. If we let it run its course, we're ignoring what's going on. So which is it? Case in point -- the US draws lots of flack over the fact that there is severe shit going on in Africa,

    US (CIA) knew that a genocide was about to happen in Rwanda and did nothing (nor did warn anyone, as far as I knew). It's a bit like if the Taliban were warned of the date and nature of the terrorist attacks on the US and did nothing.

    However, we try to serve as broker in the Israel / Palestine peace process, and then we're meddling and interfering.

    This is a general problem. The US isn't a neutral broker between Israel and Palestine. It sides usually with Israel. Although the situation is very messy in Middle East (have a look to the general timeline), the Israel has done many condemnable actions, which US implicitely or explicitely supported them. Note that the Defense Israel minister when Sabra&Shatila massacres (which the UN agreed to call genocide) occured, was Sharon, which happens to be the prime minister today: you can imagine how pissed some Palestinian can be, and how arabic media can focus on these. Also note that Israel is violating some UN resolutions, and US speaking silence is to be somewhat contrasted to EU position and actions. But it's probably US differential treatement of Israel (don't push for implementing UN resolutions) and Iraq (bombing, comtempt of UN, and an embargo that now lasted too long, killing to many civilians, without any result) ; which is the cause of some disgust.

    I guess we could stop all interference with these nations, but then again, I don't want the conflicts that we are involved in to turn out like the ones in Africa. Once more, if you have a more reasonable and intelligent solution, let me know.

    UN are the intelligent solution. If they don't work, fix them. But don't bypass them.

    [ Parent ]

    Well... (4.00 / 1) (#90)
    by PhillipW on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 01:21:59 PM EST

    Nice and insulting we are here. Tell me, what would YOU suggest? What is so black and white in that idea? Also, why is his idea simplistic? Is the idea of nurturing a feeling of goodwill, and actually HELPING people really a dumb idea?

    -Phil
    [ Parent ]
    Something wrong with The Card Carrying Libertarian (3.75 / 4) (#62)
    by Pyrrhonian on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 07:17:52 PM EST

    I can't help but notice that "The Card Carrying Libertarian" section doesn't mention ownership of firearms anywhere, surely you should add a line like

    "And taking your freedom to own a lot of guns."

    to the end.

    The Jesus (2.50 / 4) (#68)
    by wytcld on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:05:59 PM EST

    Hello Mr. bin Laden and the Saudi prices who have financed your cause:

    "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another...."

    - Jesus (Luke 19:41-44)

    Hard to say. (4.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Mr. Piccolo on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:48:04 PM EST

    I'm probably some combination of Ritalin Addict and Pragmatist.

    However, here's what I think:

    We should find whoever is responsible, be it Usama Bin Laden or some ultra-secret branch of the CIA, and bring them to justice while shedding as little innocent blood as possible.

    Military action should be a last resort. The only problem is, if it is BinBoy and the Taliban were to refuse to hand him over, what other avenues would we have? Economic sanctions only hurt the innocent. Perhaps we could sue Taliban leaders in the World Court...?

    As far as things back home go, the proposals before Congress are a poor solution to the problem, and as usual, would only harm the innocent.

    To be fair, there are a few proposals I've heard that make sense. One of them is putting armed guards on flights. Another is reinforcing the cockpit doors so would-be hijackers would have a very difficult time getting in. I've flown exactly once, so I'm not sure how many changes there are at the airport, but they seem OK with the possible exception of random searches of baggage.

    I've also heard that we should go back to using spies and relying less on electronic survelliance when we gather intelligence. This I agree with, for the simple fact that if you don't use spies, how are you going to catch an enemy that doesn't use electricity for communication?

    Finally, allow me to send this message that the terrorists will probably never read:

    You can't be serious. Do you really think that this violence you have inflicted on us Americans will have any effect on any of our policies? Your foolish actions have only served to make America angry. And to make things worse, you didn't even leave us an inkling of what it is you actually want.

    I personally guarantee you that whatever you want from us, we will not give it to you while you behave in such an uncivilized manner. In fact, expect our actions from now on to send a clear message to you and the rest of the world that we WILL NOT LIVE IN FEAR OF YOU. That's one of your goals, right? To make us fear you? After all, that's why you're called "terrorists". Well, make no mistake: You can forget about terrorizing us. No matter how many airplanes you hijack, no matter how many buildings you destroy, you will NEVER get us to bow to your demands.

    There is one thing you can do, however, that may encourage us to listen to you. It's called acting like civilized human beings. What you need to do is send a letter to our President and Congress in which you lay out your specifc grievances with the United States of America. This should be quite easy for you, as you must have quite a list to be resorting to the tactics you used on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

    Once you start acting in a civilized manner, we will think about accomodating you. But if you continue to perform terrorist acts, in the words of the New Yorkers, "Fuhgeddabowdit!"

    So, what category do I fit in?

    The BBC would like to apologise for the following comment.


    What could be done (4.00 / 1) (#89)
    by sqwudgy on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 01:11:43 PM EST

    ``To be fair, there are a few proposals I've heard that make sense. One of them is putting armed guards on flights. Another is reinforcing the cockpit doors so would-be hijackers would have a very difficult time getting in. I've flown exactly once, so I'm not sure how many changes there are at the airport, but they seem OK with the possible exception of random searches of baggage.''

    I ran across an editorial that contained a suggestion that I thought was interesting: See http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20010919-6357240.htm for a description.

    ``Once you start acting in a civilized manner, we will think about accomodating you. But if you continue to perform terrorist acts, in the words of the New Yorkers, "Fuhgeddabowdit!"''

    Try the theory in this opinion piece on for size. sounded good to me anyway.

    oo

    [ Parent ]

    New Category (2.09 / 11) (#77)
    by limekiller on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:42:31 AM EST

    How about The Asshole?

    Normally modded up on Slashdot for being "insightful," this individual doesn't actually supply any information. Instead, he or she shovels off what can be thought of as the "Mad Lib" approach -- insert any topic, it works just as well. This person generally has a high opinion of themselves, pauses from their diatribe only long enough to obtain oxygen so they don't pass out and can be found laughing at their own tedious wit.

    The Asshole often doesn't know when a situation is beyond levity and will resort to claiming a person is without a sense of humor when confronted. This person can generally be found eating your chips and your beer and will be the last to leave the party. Assholes generally will display a liking for Rush Limbaugh and virux hoax forwards.

    Regards,
    Jason

    PS - Just in case it isn't painfully obvious, tudlio, I think you're an asshole.

    Good Point (1.00 / 2) (#94)
    by tudlio on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 02:58:11 PM EST

    Jason, thank you for your thoughtful, considerate and timely contribution to the discussion. Before reading your comments, I hadn't thought to apply the sobriquet of Asshole to anyone on Kuro5hin. You've definitely shown me the error of my ways.




    insert self-deprecatory humor here
    [ Parent ]
    Weak (4.00 / 3) (#99)
    by limekiller on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 04:26:57 PM EST

    I spent this afternoon at Kresge Hall, MIT. Watched a string of people talk about a colleague, a boss, an army brother and a son. Most of them cried at some point. Three were so agitated they openly spoke of revenge, and not the need to avoid it.

    I could go on for at least as long as they did with his accomplishments. They're numerous, and they're significant. He was a member of Israel's Special Forces. For an Israeli, it's a tremendous accomplishment. For a non-Israeli, it's pretty much unheard of. By 31, he had founded one of the few currently still standing dot-coms, Akamai. I think his biggest contribution was that he could raise everyone's level of 'play' simply by being in the room. He was the type of person you tried to emulate.

    Danny was vaporized last week in Flight 11. I'm not about to pretend that I knew him any more than in passing, but I don't find any humor in what occured or your stale frat-level, snickering commentary on the serious discussion that is taking place in America.

    Fuck you.

    [ Parent ]
    You're Right Again (3.00 / 3) (#105)
    by tudlio on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 10:11:37 PM EST

    It was a weakness to respond in kind. So for the record, it is not my intention to suggest in any way that the events of September 11 are something to laugh about. Nor was it my intention to suggest that we should not hold a serious discussion about what to do now. It was my intent to suggest that we would better do an incredibly serious topic justice if we were to take ourselves and our opinions less seriously.

    I'm sorry I called you an asshole, and I'm sorry the story offended you. My apologies likewise extend to anyone else offended by the story.




    insert self-deprecatory humor here
    [ Parent ]
    We might as well (continue to) miss the point (3.57 / 7) (#85)
    by mirleid on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 09:58:28 AM EST

    Yeah, its fun to discuss this (although the events spurring the discussion are not fun at all)!
    The problem is that the point is consistently missed everywhere and by everyone (including myself, you could argue).
    The point (IMHO) is that we are talking about a terrorist attack that killed thousands of people. The plan to respond to that seems to be to do some killing of our own.
    What is being missed is that terrorism is epidemic in nature: you do not get rid of it by simply doing away with one focus of infection. You do away with it by eliminating the environmental circumstances that allow it to exist.
    Yeah, bin Laden can be killed. Maybe he is even the responsible party (although the lack of proof in that respect speaks volumes).
    The problem is that another bin Laden will rise. And next time, he might go straight to the jugular: how about slamming a couple of planes into nuclear power stations?
    What we should all be doing should be (as the good Dr. Lecter said) : "When examining an action or event, the first question that we should ask ourselves is 'What is its nature'".
    The problem is that answering the question above will be a very unpleasant exercise to a lot of people in the so-called civilised world...

    Chickens don't give milk
    True pragmatism (4.25 / 4) (#102)
    by shadarr on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 07:11:20 PM EST

    This sounds like true pragmatism to me. Identify the problem, identify the cause, and take steps to solve it. Pragmatists don't care about political implications, or high-minded ideals, just getting the job done in the best way possible. I don't know where the author got the idea that pragmatists are confused, except maybe that their proposed solutions are not as unified as other types. I consider myself to be a true pragmatist, and I'm not confused at all. Bombing will not help. Putting back-doors in commercial cryptography will not help. Giving the FBI more power will not help.

    As you said, the way to fight terrorism is to fix the causes, which are poverty, ignorance, and yes, American foreign policy. It's not easy, it doesn't make anyone feel better in the short term, it doesn't satisfy anyone's need for vengeance (masquerading as justice). But it's the real solution.

    [ Parent ]

    Deep pragmatism (4.00 / 1) (#115)
    by nichughes on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 08:38:02 AM EST

    Realising that there are causes of the widespread dislike of the US in the Arab world is one thing. Realising that there are extremists who would hate the US regardless of what it does simply because of what it stands for is another.

    You can sway moderate Arab opinion with quite moderate changes is US policy. Swaying radical opinion would require changes in the US so radical that it would undermine everything it stands for. It would also require switches in policy and attitude that would simply make a different set of enemies. A deeper level of pragmatism reveals that some people simply do not want to live alongside anyone who holds different beliefs to themselves. There is no good solution to this conundrum, no policy that will not cause them to hate you because they hate you for what you are rather than what you do. Once you realise this you will realise why deep pragmatists are slightly confused and deeply depressed!

    --
    Nic

    [ Parent ]

    Maybe (4.00 / 2) (#123)
    by shadarr on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 04:01:30 PM EST

    While I agree that there are people who will continue to hate the US, I don't see that as some sort of insurmountable obstacle. The key is to control them without pissing off the moderates and turning them into extremists. Bush's "if you don't support us you're supporting the terrorists" rhetoric may be self-fulfilling, and turn a bunch of otherwise neutral countries against the US. And if not whole countries, certainly citizens of those countries who currently aren't part of a terrorist organization but may join if US missiles kill their father.

    The whole idea of a 'war' on terrorism is stupid. It's like declaring war on crime. Who are you fighting, and when will you be able to declare vitory? The key to both is not declaring war, but constant vigilance. We need to improve the secret service so we aren't relying on other countries for intelligence. Airport security is a joke, and the current wave of racial profiling isn't the answer.

    There may always be people who hate the US and will attempt to injure it. Some of those people are American citizens by birth. But then again maybe not. Not to be a dick about it, but there's a reason Canada has not been the target of terrorist attacks, and it's related to the reason American travellers abroad claim to be Canadian.

    [ Parent ]

    War on Terrorism vs. War on Crime (4.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Macrobat on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:06:59 PM EST

    Bush's "if you don't support us you're supporting the terrorists" rhetoric may be self-fulfilling, and turn a bunch of otherwise neutral countries against the US.
    Well, currently the "if you don't support us we'll dive-bomb your skyscrapers" rhetoric is swaying otherwise neutral countries to our side.

    The whole idea of a 'war' on terrorism is stupid. It's like declaring war on crime. Who are you fighting, and when will you be able to declare vitory?
    Not quite. The difficulty with waging a so-called 'war' on crime is that crime is more decentralized than even the loosest of terrorist networks. A drug dealer in Detroit doesn't care about a serial killer in Skokie, for instance, and the motivations of criminals are varied and unconnected. If we incarcerated, rehabilitated, or eliminated every criminal in the U.S. today, tomorrow someone else would still have a motivation to commit a new crime.

    With a terrorist network, however, we're talking about a confederation of individuals and organizations who share resources and have a common hatred of the U.S. That connects them to each other, even though the connections may be loose. If we inflict sufficient damage on their network, and kill or capture significant numbers of them, the rest will degenerate into relatively powerless thugs.

    Besides, nobody is saying this will be a quick or easy task.

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

    I disagree. (4.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Dlugar on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 04:28:58 PM EST

    It is my opinion that, even if we incarcerated, rehabilitated, or eliminated every person who had committed a terrorist attack, tomorrow there would be many more of them with motivations to commit new terrorist acts.

    Which is not to say we shouldn't do the above. We obviously should try to incarcerate, rehabilitate, or eliminate those people--just as we do with people who have committed criminal acts. However, we should be doing that all the time, and not go around calling it a "war"--which tends to lead to a loss of freedoms.

    Dlugar

    [ Parent ]
    Terrorists, criminals, Nazis, war, freedom (4.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Macrobat on Thu Sep 27, 2001 at 08:12:31 PM EST

    It is my opinion that, even if we incarcerated, rehabilitated, or eliminated every person who had committed a terrorist attack, tomorrow there would be many more of them with motivations to commit new terrorist acts.

    Yes, but their ability to destroy skyscrapers and kill thousands of civilians would be, to put it mildly, greatly reduced.

    Think of it this way. We still have Nazis. Not just disaffected skinheads, but actual soldiers from the second world war and their indoctrinees. And they commit crimes. But since we wiped out the infrastructure of the Third Reich, they're relegated to the status of criminals and other lowlife losers, and not a national (or international) threat.

    Yes, the infrastucture of a terrorist organization is different from that of Hitler's Germany, which will make this a different kind of war. Like I said, nobody is saying it's easy.

    We obviously should try to incarcerate, rehabilitate, or eliminate those people--just as we do with people who have committed criminal acts. However, we should be doing that all the time, and not go around calling it a "war"--which tends to lead to a loss of freedoms.

    Are you saying that an effort to incarcerate or eliminate "those people" "all the time" won't lead to a loss of freedoms? Because I would disagree. And I don't think that refraining from calling it a war will make any difference on that point.

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

    Understanding Arab Anger (3.33 / 3) (#87)
    by davidmb on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 11:01:10 AM EST

    Any Americans who are wondering why other countries could possibly be angry with them would do well to read this report from the BBC. It might help put things in perspective.
    ־‮־
    Fallwell's Comment . . . (4.00 / 1) (#95)
    by lkue on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 03:05:57 PM EST

    For those that read the story (mentioned above in "The Apologist") containing Jerry's Fallwell's comments on this whole incident, he has actually apologized here.

    Backpedaling != Apology (4.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Macrobat on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 04:20:42 AM EST

    Face it, Falwell and Robertson got caught with their bigotry showing and backpedaled to avoid the backlash. They're the types who would have blamed the Depression on the Jews if they had been born a generation earlier, because back then the Jews were okay to hate. They evidently thought they could make the same extravagant claims about homosexuals and other so-called 'deviants' without losing what litte credibility they had.

    My suspicion is, a bunch of folks called the 700 Club hotline and said "take me off your donation mailing list" after this, otherwise they'd still be spewing their bile.

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

    A link, and nothing more. (3.63 / 11) (#100)
    by trhurler on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 05:45:06 PM EST

    This is why this story's author needs to be boiled in oil.

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

    I highly recommend (4.25 / 4) (#103)
    by core10k on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 08:44:10 PM EST

    clicking on that link, if only to see how great the extent of trhurler's built in aggression is. The man is a nutcase.

    [ Parent ]
    Who benefits from the attacks on WTC and Pentagon? (2.50 / 2) (#112)
    by furitsu on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 05:45:23 AM EST

    Invitation to discuss (English): Who benefits from the attack on WTC and Pentagon? http://ikookeen.blogspot.com"

    my God (4.00 / 1) (#134)
    by emmons on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:54:00 AM EST

    You are a sick, sick person.

    ---
    In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
    -Douglas Adams

    [ Parent ]
    The realist (4.60 / 5) (#120)
    by iserlohn on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 01:43:34 PM EST

    The realist is the most elusive. A realist could be identified wrongly as a pragmatist or a crusader or a apologist or a peacenik. However, the realist operates on a totally different plane. The realist is cool-headed and calculated. She not only knows, but has actually learnt, the lessions of history. She understands the difficulty of communication between different peoples, and she believes that is caused by misunderstanding, bigotry and greed. She knows that the enemy are not demons and we are no angels.

    The realist believes that everything happening in the open at the moment is foolish and naive. She believes that the real work has to be done in intelligence agencies that identify and infiltrate these organizations. She knows that the current performance put on by our officials and government is only a political sideshow to please the public. She believes in phycial security and understands that violent unaccountable organizations around the world needs to be eliminated (which is the reason why rep. democracy exists, to provide accountability to the government and its militia).

    But above all she also understands one thing - Swaying governments is one thing, but swaying the opinion of people is another. We can build a coalition of states, but we can we unite the opinion of their people with us and not against us?

    The realist calls for a halt of the media blitz, the patience of the people, and a level-headed assessment of the current situation. The realist would like to see a change in US foriegn policy to improve international relations with the people, an increase in human (not electronic, we have enough) intelligence, and real action in bringing down terrorists. Not like the bunch of sensationized threats shuttled to and fro afghanistan which would only aggravate tensions in the middle east and central asia.

    But as the realist, she only expects the worse. She has seen disaster in the eye so many times before.

    Unfortunately she only exists in hindsight.

    :: Ultimate Control Dedicated/VM Servers 20+ OS selections
    Dutch intellectuals more or less agree with this (4.00 / 1) (#147)
    by B'voYpenburg on Wed Sep 26, 2001 at 11:47:20 AM EST

    There was a national TV show with intellectuals with all sorts of different backgrounds. Allthough they were not unbiased nor unanymous most of 'm could agree that:
    -The Palestinian 'problem' is pretty close to 'human rights violations'. The fact that the US supports Israel does not make the US popular.
    -Secularisation (separate religion/state) hasn't taken place in a lot of countries. This includes Israel and most Arabic countries.
    -The US aided anti Russian 'freedom-fighters'. Those groups have problems to give up this way of life.
    I personally think that the US has to break the circle of 'not-caring' they started by acting as the worlds leader. Not paying UN contributions, quitting the Kyoto treaty, boycotting Cuba, weird laws (DMCA etc), no social systems, extremely large prison populations (>= 2e6 people). All those things make people see how much the US loves the world and its own citizens.



    [ Parent ]
    These catagories are sticking? (4.75 / 4) (#124)
    by anansi on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 04:03:01 PM EST

    Unbelievable.

    If this event has taught me anything, it's that people come to resolution in their own time and in their own way.

    Predictably, a lot of people are saying that theirs is the only appropriate response to this mess, and everyone else's is somehow immature.

    The whole premise of "speeding the terrorism thread along to its conclusion" is flawed, especially as the head frat-boy in charge is warning america to expect months and years of war as a result of this attack. Do you want us to get all of our feelings about war off our chests now, so we won't have to when the first casualties start rolling in?

    Talking about this is going to be a minefield of political assumptions, for a long time to come. Get used to it.

    Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"

    In a nutshell! (4.50 / 2) (#133)
    by itsbruce on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 03:06:47 PM EST

    Talking about this is going to be a minefield of political assumptions, for a long time to come. Get used to it.

    Damn right! Where does this idea come from that we should all stop talking about it now? This is important, for God's sake. People won't stop talking about it until they find some kind of resolution.

    Most of the people shouting "Stop talking about it" seem to have made up their minds and simply don't want to hear things they don't like.


    --I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
    [ Parent ]
    The Idea Hamster Has a Proposal For Peace... (4.00 / 1) (#127)
    by cburley on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 07:07:19 PM EST

    ...through justice, by waging a nonviolent "war", or police action, to bring the accused to justice.



    The Trolling Terrorist (3.50 / 2) (#130)
    by mami on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 09:51:01 PM EST

    Why don't you add that one ? Stolen identies, changing (nick) names, shooting from holes, hiding, networking, manipulating, analysing "social response" to their attacks, building strategies using a web of new arguments to counterattack the innocent reader, blending in, silently harboring hateful thoughts, always enjoying the new intelligence about human reactions which can be drawn from the heinous experiment. - May be I have a bad day today.

    Ah, I almost forgot, I guess there is the weeping mother/wife category too.



    Another one: (4.00 / 2) (#132)
    by The Great Satan on Sat Sep 22, 2001 at 12:51:25 PM EST

    The "Duck and Cover-ist," for everyone who feels like they are about to get squashed by the consequences of governmental policies (not necessarily the policies of their own govn.) they had nothing to do with.

    Keep Afghanistani citizens from getting caught in the crossfire. If you are American, sign this petition.


    Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
    The Reasoned Intellectual (4.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Komodo321 on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 02:01:17 PM EST

    Wants to know what's really going on. May have some of the flaws of the other perspectives, but tries to overcome them. Tends to use too many words.

    Exemplified by sites like Middle East Analysis.

    Right. (4.80 / 5) (#142)
    by quartz on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 02:45:34 PM EST

    You're right, this would significantly speed up discussion about terrorism. However, in order to put some sense into the discussion and to put the whole thing into perspective, I also propose the following set of rules regarfing expressions of patriotism (I'd give credit, but I have no idea where this originally came from):

    TEN PROPOSED NEW LAWS FOR EXPRESSIONS OF PATRIOTISM:

    1. To buy an American flag, you must present proof you have voted at least once in the last three elections (yes, local and state elections count).
    2. To display an American flag in any form, you must present proof of voter registration.
    3. To wave an American flag in public, you must be able to name at least one of the following:
      • Your Senator
      • Your Representative
      • Your President ("George Bush" does not count; ambiguous)
    4. To sell any product with an American flag on it, you must answer the following question:
      The Bill of Rights is part of:
      • the Constitution
      • the Magna Carta
      • the Declaration of Independence.
    5. Those heard singing patriotic songs in public may be asked to show their voter registration cards.
    6. To be permitted to scream "Nuke Afghanistan," you must be able to correctly locate Afghanistan on a map or globe.
    7. To be permitted to scream "Arabs go home," you must list and correctly locate ten Arab homelands.
    8. Those who wish to express opinions about Arabs and Arab-Americans must pass the following test:
      A. Those who follow the religion of Islam are called:
      • Moslems
      • Muslins
      • Fanatics
      B. The holy book of Islam is called:
      • The Quran
      • The Co-rayunn
      • The Bible
      In Arabic, God is called:
      • Ali
      • Allah
      • Jehovah
    9. Priority for purchase of American flags will be given to those whose ancestors lived on American soil the longest. When all American Indians who wish to display the red, white and blue are satisfied, other applicants will be accepted.
    10. A call for war on any radio talk-show will be construed as a public declaration of willingness to enlist in the US Army; callers will have 24 hours to complete the paperwork.


    --
    Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
    Abuse of such rules ... (4.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Ranma on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 04:20:48 PM EST

    I seem to recall there being problems with such tests at the polls in the south shortly after the civil war? Given mankind's history of abusing the letter or the law I'm guessing this just wouldn't work out.

    [ Parent ]
    I cant help thinking its just a joke but... (4.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Tyke on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:59:04 PM EST

    It assumes that those who propound a given view acctually hold that view. Meaning that in my opinion G.W.Bush an T.Blair are casting this in the light of a battle of good vs evil or justce vs terrorism,, but in reality they are probably sitting back thinking "my God look at how ive risen in the polls". Its all just too damn convenient. Anyone fancy closing the gate,, after all the horse has bolted now.
    Beware of looking too deeply into the abyss, lest the abyss look deeply into you F.Nietzche
    A Suggestion For Speeding The Terrorism Discussion | 150 comments (139 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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