09-26-01, 04:05 PM #81
It's not that I'm avoiding the discussion
But I thought I'd go back to the topic post:Well I've figured out what this war will be called, against Afghanistan anyways. The other two wars were called the Anglo-Afghan and Soviet-Afghan wars.
Yeah, I know ... but I thought I'd throw it in anyway.
09-27-01, 02:24 AM #82
Do you really think it will go that far? I think not. Watch. We will be playing covert ops and use it as a playground for our troops. Everyone will be getting their CIB's soon.
09-27-01, 07:53 AM #83
Originally posted by kmguru
Remember a few weeks ago, I posted in this forum, about world economy and how a drop in oil prices will help a lot? I did send a letter to our president about that and to a think tank that does advices to business and government too. Anyway, that is part of a plan to improve economy worldwide....
Are you posting from an undersea bunker, stroking a persian cat with a finger lingering over a button to dispatch any poor fools who enter your lair to the icy depths of a shark infested tank below?
Well, I guess we'll see if it's the chicken or the egg. I personally think this fall could not have happened now unless WTC (it is the spanner in the works for OPEC). Still, we'll see if it helps regardless of why.
As for the Afghani Bush War, I think it began about a week ago...
No fireworks display before the first pitch this time.
09-27-01, 10:04 AM #84
Bowser--Do you really think it will go that far?
In a full-blown war, we could expect a slow toppling of Islamic states as American forces are increasingly perceived to be out of hand. Sure, that latter is an assumption upon which the former assumption is built, but I think that condition will be inevitable, and the power of such a sentiment to catch among peoples is striking. It's a risk we would run if we took the aggressive route--remember that "surgical bombing" was only 33% accurate during the Gulf War (admittedly, a CNN and AP number). High collateral damage will erode the latitude we would have with the Islamic world, and if it truly is a long war, that could spell a longer, broader, and more violent war.
In the covert war, we run the risk of the entire world's wrath. While such things form a large part of the fundamentalist-Islamic complaint against the west (the list is long), we must also remember that other parts of the world have just about had it with us on this count, too. One of my favorite Doonesbury strips is from Poppy Bush's Panamanian Experience, when a Central American executive reminds the prez of a long (partial) list of US interventions in Central America and the Caribbean. (Okay, so the guy knows his history, is the punchline, a telling accusation of American attitudes in itself.) Part of the motivation for the recent decline of US candidacies for UN commission seats stems from fatigue toward our meddling foreign policy.
And at home, Dubya will face an increasingly impatient public. While I am well in favor of winning the world's support with evidence of bin Laden's guilt, and while I am well in favor of waiting on this little military idea for the moment, Bush has promised all sorts of vengeance against people that he will have to deliver on. Will mere rocket attacks against the Taliban be enough to satisfy his threats against those who harbor terrorists if, by some means, we actually get bin Laden without a war?
No matter what happens, we're about to sacrifice something in exchange for something else. Whether dignity or prestige or technology, the world will do some catching up after a long, large war. The more covert the method, the more we stand to irritate other nations; this may seem inconsequential until we consider--again--the declining of US candidacies for UN commission seats; these will have a broad impact on the world, and possibly create more situations that will, in one way or another, conflict with American interests and thereby endanger the world.
But no matter how I look at it, it's going to be bad: people are going to die, politics makes ridiculous bedfellows, and even though we, the people of the US have been wronged, we're still the ones with the most to lose in this.
I will not go so far as to say that Dubya will press forth with a war to save his political hide, because that's just not fair; but we must necessarily keep in mind that the people have been promised certain and swift vengeance. If he can bring us the truly guilty without a war, he will go down in history as brilliant; anything short of that, and we're going to see a lot more blood spilled over this at some point.
09-27-01, 01:02 PM #85
Hi Captain Canada:
Me and my friends enjoyed your post. Here is another item, you need to remember when talking to your friends on the subject:
Everytime, a lot of senators and other so-called experts come on in a tele program, be they CNN, CBS or NBC - they all have same opinion that we are downing with information, we have too many government agencies that do not share information, we do not really know who the enemy is and we are swimming in the fog, shooting randomly to hit something.
It is one thing to tell the law enforcement agencies to go after the criminal and another to prevent future crime. We are in a "go after the criminal" mode. After we punish the parties involved, the law enforcement agency part will be over. Then they will wait for another crime to happen.
The part to get to the root cause and prevent future crime is difficult to solve and hence may not be done. We do not have an official group with high authority for prevention of such crimes.
It is similar to fighting drug war. We have declared war against illegal drug use. We poured billions of dollars to uphold the law, choke off the supply, but have spent very little to eliminate the demand. We are using the same model here. How good it will work? Your guess is as good as mine.
The drug lords are not stupid and so are the terrorists.
09-27-01, 01:24 PM #86
<i>"Me and my friends enjoyed your post."</i>
Yeah, I enjoyed it too. Thanx for the laugh, CC.
In short, I think that, yes, Bush will be remembered for what comes of this. My thoughts are mixed, but I feel that need for retribution.
09-27-01, 03:10 PM #87
Yeah, that's the really tough oneMy thoughts are mixed, but I feel that need for retribution.
I think about our anticommunist work in Korea and Vietnam, and wonder how we got to a Cold War: the United States government cannot deny its efforts to unseat the Bolsheviks, and cannot demonstrate a philosophical understanding of Bolshevik Communism. The point here is that Americans helped provoke that whole mess, and ended up getting involved at one point in a French colonial issue that became the most controversial non-war in American history.
On the one hand, it's not quite proper to say that Bush's use of the word crusade indicates his utter lack of understanding regarding our declared foe. To the other, nobody ever claimed that Dubya understands fundamentalist revolutionary Islam. In fairness to both the president and the situation, though, I would suggest that our Executive take a long, hard look at America's recent involvement with terrorists (Reagan years is a good start for that chapter) and the growing international voice of complaint regarding US poicy. It isn't that we owe bin Laden anything, much less concessions. But as long as we continue the "No negotiation with terrorists" bent, we'll sound like the post-Littleton crowd saying, "Why, why?" when the villains are telling us their reasons.
To this notion, I do not mean to imply that the villains are telling us their reasons coherently ... reminding Americans that we're the Great Satan is like telling a supermodel you think she's pretty. (Hear it all the time ... who the hell are you to be talking to me?)
The actual problem with "no negotiation with terrorists" is not that we should negotiate. No quid-pro-quo will help solve the larger problem. But even among Americans, when a manifesto or other declaration of purpose is put before the public and its institutions, such ideas are met with derision. Yes, we know the Unabomber's manifesto was nutty, but inside it is his justification for murder--is there not some value to be had in its contribution to understanding the motives of lethal human division? After Littleton, I heard many psychs and pundits commenting on the reasons why, and the few occasions the gunners' own declarations came up, those declarations were dismissed as secondary, as "excuses", or otherwise useless. Whether or not we accept the reasons given, however, reasons were given. In other words, the idea of not negotiating with terrorists has created a climate in which we do not pay attention to anything other than the label "terrorist", and thus fail to understand that there exists a perception of imbalance that has become so extreme that someone is willing to kill and die for it. That imbalance is critical.
One of the brightest people I know is frothing at the mouth for blood; as much as he sympathizes with my sentiments against war, he justifies the current call to arms with, "We're good, they're evil." So ...
Based on what?
Freedom, equality ... &c.
So based on our own perception of right and wrong?
But that's what they think about us. Exactly.
But they're wrong. We're good, they're evil.
But based solely on our own standards that we prefer to keep as ideals, and not practices.
You're either with us, or against us ....
The most frightening dimension of the warfare response is that one cannot, apparently, wish for a better solution without being perceived as betraying America. I hereby refer, once again, to Emma Goldman's writings on Patriotism: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/...atriotism.htmlIndeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.
The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like manner, of course, with the result that, from early infancy, the mind of the child is poisoned with blood-curdling stories about the Germans, the French, the Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached manhood, he is thoroughly saturated with the belief that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend his country against the attack or invasion of any foreigner . . . .The members of all communities, including nations and whole civilizations, are infused with the prevailing ideologies of those communities. These, in turn, create attitudes of mind which include certain capacities and equally positively exclude others.
The ideologies may be so ancient, so deep-seated or so subtle that they are not identified as such by the people at large. In this case they are often discerned only through a method of challenging them, asking questions about them or by comparing them with other communities.
Such challenge, description or questioning, often the questioning of assumptions, is what frequently enables a culture or a number of people from that culture to think in ways that have been closed to most of their followers.
Because in the end, certain political solutions will, in fact, reduce the violence (there is, of course, bin Laden's comments regarding the destruction of all Americans, but I'm trying to maintain the broader perspective here ....). Unfortunately, those solutions are ones we find unacceptable for certain reasons, many of which are, at their root, mere cultural prejudices so inherent that we do not readily see them as such: hence, good and evil, instead of a poor meeting of ideas.
In the relative moral scheme I advocate, yes, we are the good guys; but one must always be prepared to be wrong about such broad points from time to time, especially with such legitimate complaints about US foreign policy as we see around the world. For those who say such terrorism was inevitable (and I am among that flock), this is largely the reason: we assume ourselves to be superior to our declared foes, and forfeit our capacity to comprehend what they're saying. Without comprehension, it is unwise and perhaps even immoral to dismiss someone's claims out of hand merely because they are terrorists. Certes, there is a difference 'twixt bin Laden and, say, the IRA's "revolution", but I seem to recall that the powers that be generally ignored Irish Republican complaints--because they were "terrorists"--until nobody could ignore it any longer. We must deal with the current threat to our country, but we have a moral obligation to ourselves as Americans and to our international neighbors to not ignore the complaining voices "over there", nor dismiss them because they perceive mortal necessity before we do.
I'll stop now because I could literally filibuster the war like this if such were possible. I also feel the need to advise, Bowser, that this rambling post is more brought about by your considerations than presented in opposition or direct response to.
Anyway, thanx for the minutes ....
09-27-01, 03:49 PM #88
"no negotiation with terrorists"
What part of NO dont you understand?
We are willing to lose $1.5 trillion dollars in stock value - after all it is just money...
We are willing to lose $500 billion in damages - after all it is just money
We are willing to lose people - after all their sacrifice will be an impetus to revenge (oops...justice)
We are willing to lose our freedom - we must.
09-27-01, 04:12 PM #89
... And now we've come to - what I think - is the main reason for the anti-American attitude in the Middle-East and other countries. Solve that problem and you solve most of the threat.
09-27-01, 04:34 PM #90
I know that, you know that...but we are the little guys...even if we have the solution, who is going to listen? The "Pride" will get in their way...
The "Pride" is the first "Sin" in The Book. The end of the world comes after we go through the rest of the sins.
09-27-01, 05:52 PM #91
Indeed: it is just money. Indeed, it is just money. And indeed, it is merely revenge. I have to agree with you on all counts there. Maybe if I thought a war would accomplish anything: I'm willing to sacrifice to evil to stop a larger evil, but when I look at what bombing out Afghanistan (or any other nation) in pursuit of bin Laden will accomplish, what I see is a slow building of reactionary sentiment that could infect the more educated Muslims of the world; at some point, they will recoil from the excess. (There will be inflammatory photos of dead children and crying mothers and the like.) But I can see us losing Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, and a few other countries and suddenly we'll have a grand conflict on our hands. While I'm not so cynical to declare it as definitive, I cannot ignore the possibilty that this could spiral into something larger than the Big One.
You've hit the nail ... unfortunately, this is where the aforementioned "unacceptable" solutions come into play. Even if we pretend for an academic moment that the WTC attack didn't happen--in effect, removing the razor-sharp hawk sentiment--and look at the situation, what is the likelihood that we in the West will collectively accept and thus empower our institutions toward a foreign policy more respectful of various Islamic concerns? Now, if we reinsert reality--thouands dead and much destroyed--how much lesser is that already-anemic likelihood?
It's like saying, "I'm going to fix the car." (What does it need?) "Fixing." (How are you going to fix that?) "Repair." (I see ....)
Or, to borrow a concept from elsewhere at Sciforums: "Timmy, we're going to put your arm in a cast so it can heal." How's it gonna heal, Doctor Friendly? "Dunno. It'll ... just happen."
(I'll get off my soapbox now.)
Last edited by Tiassa; 09-27-01 at 06:15 PM.
09-27-01, 07:48 PM #92
followed the link on this page??
09-27-01, 08:59 PM #93
Something to ponder:
The tragic events in the USA have managed to rally the entire western (free) world together and fight a common terrible enemy. That I believe is a good thing, and maybe going into terrorist friendly countries and kicking some butt is warranted...HOWEVER consider this, the USA has bombed a fair few countries in recent times, many hundreds and indeed thousands of people were killed due to those bombings and attacks...all of these were justified and I suspect a result of economic considerations (behind a humanitarian veil)....the western world was able to ignore these events (mostly, certainly by the general public)...now a devestating attack on the USA has made us all sit up and take notice....do you all think that perhaps the reason why we are taking notice now is because it has happened to people we can identify with rather then some faceless, nameless impovrished foriegner in a land we've no desire to see or even contimplate??? or if you like people we extend ourselves the luxury of ignoring.
Last edited by Rambler; 09-28-01 at 02:24 AM.
09-28-01, 05:03 AM #94
"I know that, you know that...but we are the little guys...even if we have the solution, who is going to listen? The "Pride" will get in their way..."
Yes, I experienced that here during the first days after the attack . Fortunately rational seems to haven taken the place of the "patriotic" (= pride) sentiments.
"Unfortunately, this is where the aforementioned "unacceptable" solutions come into play. Even if we pretend for an academic moment that the WTC attack didn't happen--in effect, removing the razor-sharp hawk sentiment--and look at the situation, what is the likelihood that we in the West will collectively accept and thus empower our institutions toward a foreign policy more respectful of various Islamic concerns?"
Nonexistant, but then again, I haven't ever liked the West's foreign policy in Africa and the Middle-East . And, as you IMHO correctly pointed out in your reply to Kmguru, it's just all about the money. "Hey, we've found diamants the size of a fist in Middle-Africa, let's build a factory there, wipe some villages off the map and use the local population as cheap labor". In the Middle-East, ít's all about the oil. I simply cannot believe that ANY nation (US or European) is going to "help the poor people of Afghanistan in their battle for terror" and spend billions in doing so. Just firing ONE missile costs millions of dollars alone, there simply has to be a reason behind it all... I think it's oil (which is just another manifestation of money).
But I don't want to pretend the country I live in is innocent either, Belgium has a cruel history in the republic of Congo. It just seems to be a movement that the entire West has taken somewhere in the colonial times. And all for some worthless notes of paper - incredible (Crisp shaking his head in disbelief).
I think you just summarized the entire foreign policy of the West: "Do we gain something ? No, then let them go to hell. Yes? Okay, what does it take in military actions to get the most out of it. Oh and by the way, try to limit the "colateral damage"".
The reason why now all of the sudden the entire West is on its horse is entirely to blame to the media I think (or the "forces" behind it): 5000 people die of hunger every day, and yet there's 20% more food on the world than we need to survive, it just gets thrown away here. So just every now and then (mostly around November, I think it's Thanksgiving then ?) we see some fragments of children starving to death, we donate some money and can sleep with peace of mind again. That's the attitude of the West, we simply swallow what we get served in the greatest entertainment spectacle of all times: the commercial media .
(Crisp getting irritated about the attitude of the West)
Ever wondered why we hardly see requests for aid in the summer or in spring ? The people are outside, barbequeing, having fun and the commercial media doesn't want to spoil our mood by images that show the other side of the world. But once it is winter, we are inside, nice and cosy with the heating turned all the way up, we suddenly see those images and then we feel sorry. It's this kind of ignorant attitude that is the root of many problems in non-Western nations. Add to that the pride and stuborness of most of the West and you get what we saw 2 weeks ago.
09-28-01, 08:23 AM #95
It's a culture clash, gentlemen. We have over there a primitive mindset which desires to cause us harm. Also, it is not just the West which involves money in other regions. This is a global economy. Who shares in our wealth?
09-28-01, 10:31 AM #96The tragic events in the USA have managed to rally the entire western (free) world together and fight a common terrible enemy.
Remember, the support comes from one billion moslems out there. WHY?
After this Osama is gone, how can we stop future Osamas?
09-28-01, 11:57 AM #97
All one-billion?Remember, the support comes from one billion moslems out there.
How does one justify the "guilt" of the WTC dead? (One need not agree with such justifications, but merely recognize their foundations.) Our US foreign policy is centered around economy and finance more than anything else. Our pursuit of economic advantage has led the US to implement some bad policies in various corners of the world on a fairly regular basis. To hold Islam in general responsible for the WTC bombing is to justify the terrorists' holding the average Westerner responsible for the governments we choose. Do we hold all Chrisitans responsible for the murder of abortion-performing doctors? There's a tenuous but valid argument by which we can, but that would also call for the elimination of all Catholics in retribution for the Inquisitions, all leftists, in retribution for Stalinist atrocities, and all conservatives for the general abuse socio-economic conservatism wreaks on just about anyone. All men for our penchant to rape; all women for original sin ... at this point, we have effectively hamstrung the species mortally.
Look at any one of our Christian posters: how would we react if a disturbed, disgruntled revolutionary shot one of our posters to death in retribution for the murder of a doctor, or for even more subtle "crimes"? Is it fair to blame all Christians for the doctor's murder, and thus exact revenge? I'll blame "Christians" for a lot in the world by their apathy (my perception thereof), but something so extreme as murder? Doesn't pan out.
If all of Islam lines up against us after the fighting starts openly, it will be because we forfeit their support with our excesses.
Last edited by Tiassa; 09-28-01 at 05:40 PM.
09-28-01, 12:47 PM #98Are there really a billion bloodlusting fundie Muslims out there? See, if we hold the larger body of Muslims responsible for the violent factions, we justify what has been done to the United States.
Same stuff happens in Christianity. Money is collected to preach Christianity in China, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. While the thought is noble, Moslems do not take that kindly. Some money ends up with bombing abortion clinics, hate crimes (gay bashing etc). While even the militant Christians do not actively go out and bomb middle eastern countries, they do influence the relationship between nations.
In the end, our actions cause reactions, to which we react...the cycle continues just like the fight between Israel and Palestine with no solution in sight....
It is easy to blame the other party from where one stands. I am worried that if we could not solve the Israel-Palestine issue, what makes us think that we can solve this specific Osama issue anytime soon?
09-28-01, 05:40 PM #99
Judging by the tone of my prior post, it seems I've taken your post wrong. I think we'll find we agree on much, and if I seemed pressing over the billion-Muslim point, let me now amend that to say that I think you've expressed the point well.
09-29-01, 08:37 AM #100
Now, this is getting interesting.
<i>"Who is the enemy?"</i>
It would seem that our enemy are those religious extremist who would kill in the name of god.
<i>"Remember, the support comes from one billion moslems out there. WHY?"</i>
I'm not certain so many of Islamic faith support Osama.
<i>"After this Osama is gone, how can we stop future Osamas?"</i>