1) Doing nothing will not limit terrorist actions it will simply send the message that terrorists can do whatever they want and get away with it. Much like a disobedient child must be punished so must terrorists or they will simply walk all over you.
I agree with you to the extent that not reacting to an atrocity
as profound as September 11th would be an incorrect course
of action. However, you are attempting to grossly oversimplify a very large problem. You can punish the perpetrators and
their direct associates, but that doesn't make their sympathisers and those who are in solidarity with their
cause magically disappear.
2) Complying with terrorist demands is also incredibly stupid. You do not negotiate with terrorists. Period. End of statement. I can't believe I have to explain this. If a terrorist act brings you to an immediate change of policy then this will encourage further terrorist acts to make further policy change.
That's an interesting proposition.
I can't believe I have to explain this, but the failure to remedy
the cause of their grievances does not make this cause
invalid or make it cease to exist. In the case of September
11th, the cause was the fight against American imperialism.
It is true that it would've been absurd for the US to not respond
militarily in some way, but it is no less true that what it is doing
now virtually ensures further terrorism.
You're attempting to simplify it down to, "oh, these psychopathic murderers attacked us just because they want to kill us, there's no underlying motive, and so all we have to do
is punish what's left of them." This is not true. The real problem isn't that the US is supposedly punishing the terrorists
in question, but that it has seized this opportunity to expand
its hegemony to central Asia. Instead of addressing the
underlying cause, even symbolically, it has instead acted
again exclusively in its self-interest (under the justification of
"the war on terrorism") and has already conveniently
installed a pro-western government in Kabul that is subservient to its economic interests to some degree or
another. It has also placed itself in a number of former
Soviet central Asian republics, where it is more than likely
that it will not be leaving (i.e. the military bases). This is not
helping the problem that the terrorists were trying to address,
but aggravating it. The terrorists acted inhumanely and
atrociously, but that doesn't invalidate their problem - that
doesn't make it go away. Instead, further hatred is cultivated
in the silent sympathisers of this cause, virtually ensuring
more terrorism in the future. At any rate, certainly more
terrorism, I firmly believe, than if the problem were to be
actually remedied in some form or fashion.
3) One of the major problems with previous anti-terrorism initiatives is that they treated terrorism as if it were a matter of international law enforcement. This has been shown to be completely ineffective. Example: Bin Laden and the USS Cole.
If only it were that simple...
The one paradigm which has been proven sucessful in turning bitter enemies into friends is complete military victory. Unconditional Surrender. We have great relations with Germany and Japan and had them in less than a decade from the end of WWII.
You're committing a grave mistake by confusing the regime
currently holding the reigns of power in a given country with
the country itself. I realise that this doesn't translate into a
perfect analogy to describe fascist Germany, but still. For
example, civilian Afghans are not the terrorists of the country.
Yet they are being bombed accidentally, but with apparently
very little effort to surgically avoid them. This does not
communicate to them the impression that the US does not
hold them as an enemy, but only those among them that
are connected with terrorist groups. But more to the point -
the Taliban are not Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda are not
Afghanistan. September 11th was an act perpetrated by
al-Qaeda, not the people of Afghanistan or the government
of Afghanistan. These entities should not be confused.
Saudi Arabia is currently a "friend" of the US. The US is
propping up a US-friendly monarchy there. If the monarchy
came down and the regime were replaced with a virulently
anti-American one, as in Iran, Saudi Arabia would become
an "enemy". This does not represent a transformation of the
country itself, but only a change of leadership and political
 Hamid Karzai, the head of the current interim government
in Afghanistan, used to be a consultant for the American
oil company Unocal. This was the same Unocal that complained to Congress that the only plausable way to
reach oil deposits in the Caspian Sea were to lay an oil
pipeline through Afghanistan, oh, if only the regime there were
Actually, the regime was quite friendly up to 1998. Up until
then, the US sort of supported The Taliban
order when negotiations between them and Unocal were
going on. Then the bombings of the American embassies
in Kenya and Tanzania came along, and suddenly the
US was firing cruise missiles at training camps in Afghanistan.
Naturally, the negotiations quickly disappeared.
I do not base my conclusion that the government in Afghanistan is pro-western on Mr. Karzai's background. It's
more common sense - why would the US, or anybody else,
not install a 'friendly' (read: subservient) government whereever it could?
"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]