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WhoÕs BeingÊNa•ve?

October 27, 2001 10:36 PM   Subscribe

WhoÕs BeingÊNa•ve?
So to be realistic means to believe that bombing one of the poorest nations on Earth will not only reduce terrorism, but also fail to ignite a new round of anti-American fanaticism. To be na•ve, on the other hand, is to pay attention to modern history, which tells us in no uncertain terms that bombing people is rather likely to fuel their anger, resentment, and desire for revenge.

And it gets better...
posted by mapalm (73 comments total)

 
Mr. Wise is aptly named.
posted by Optamystic at 10:52 PM on October 27, 2001


"You can call your ass a turkey,
but that doesn’t make it Thanksgiving."


Poetic, yet to the point.
posted by signal at 11:01 PM on October 27, 2001


Turkey? Did someone say turkey?

Mmmmmmmmm.....turkey.....mmmmmmmm.......gravy........mmmmmmmm....cranberry sauce....mmmmmmm

Oh...sorry. Didn't realize it was yet another "let's keep talking about war" thread. Fact is, I'd rather eat turkey right now.
posted by davidmsc at 11:33 PM on October 27, 2001


Oh...sorry. Didn't realize it was yet another "let's keep talking about war" thread.

yeah, those interesting and valid viewpoints are a real pain in the ass.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:24 AM on October 28, 2001


yeah, those interesting and valid viewpoints are a real pain in the ass

funny then, how no-one points that out in the pro-death threads
posted by walrus at 12:46 AM on October 28, 2001


Ahhh. The seditiousness of thinking on one's own. Opposing the war for any cockamamie reason is the pinnacle of draining one's faculties by leftist propaganda. You're a fool for letting it happen to you.

On the other hand. . .blithely supporting the war, regardless of the lack of uniformity with legendary American "ideals" is heroic. Nevermind of course, that America apparently has a long and fabled history of dissent.

Not to be confused by the facts or anything.
posted by crasspastor at 1:47 AM on October 28, 2001


What does "WhoOs BeingEna(bullet)ve" mean, anyway?

(Mind them character sets, boys...)
posted by kindall at 1:51 AM on October 28, 2001


I'd rather eat turkey right now

I'm having pancakes for breakfast this morning, with real maple syrup, turkey sausages, and grape juice...Mmm.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:27 AM on October 28, 2001


Bombing people fuels anger, resentment, and revenge?

Hmmm...what revenge have the Germans (100,000+ killed in Dresden firebombing), the Japanese (100,000+ killed in atomic bombing), or the Vietnamese (million+ killed in bombing campaigns) exacted upon us for said bombing?

I'm not supporting bombing per se, but this is a questionable thesis to justify opposition to bombing Afghanistan. There's better ones.
posted by quercus at 7:26 AM on October 28, 2001


This writer is severly lacking in logic:

So to be realistic means to believe that bombing one of the poorest nations on Earth will not only reduce terrorism

And the relevance of the wealth of Afghanistan is what again? Whether those who harbor (war)criminals are affluent or not might just be the worst excuse yet I've heard for not bombing.

but also fail to ignite a new round of anti-American fanaticism

And so we should let the current crop of anti-American behavior (read: intentionally killing thousands of our civilians) go unpunished. Thats about as intelligent as saying "Don't arrest that drug dealer because you'll just create a new one in his place".
posted by schlyer at 7:46 AM on October 28, 2001


Bombing people fuels anger, resentment, and revenge?
Yes, and so does hijacking airliners and crashing them into buildings.
posted by StOne at 7:48 AM on October 28, 2001


Who's Not Using Preview?

Anyway: To be naïve, on the other hand, is to pay attention to modern history, which tells us in no uncertain terms that bombing people is rather likely to fuel their anger, resentment, and desire for revenge.

Except the Japanese, who we firebombed and nuked, occupied, and modernised, and who are pretty damned pleasant about it. Ooh, and the Germans. Even the Laotians, who are still trying clean up the millions of cluster bombs we left there thirty years ago, are pretty friendly to the West (for a bunch of Communists).

So, yes, to claim that modern history proves that bombing is futile is naïve — or dishonest.
posted by nicwolff at 8:22 AM on October 28, 2001


Whoops — quercus beat me to it. (D'oh — who's not using Preview now?!)
posted by nicwolff at 8:23 AM on October 28, 2001


funny then, how no-one points that out in the pro-death threads

er...I think this actually the first time it's been said on any of these war-with-afghanistan threads.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:25 AM on October 28, 2001


Blood and Iron.

Thinking on history and, admittedly, still feeling a bit revenge-minded, I wonder how a campaign of unimaginable cruelty would work.

Historically these things usually work quite well. Carthage never troubled anyone again after being burnt and the ground sewn with salt. The Jewish terrorists who troubled the Roman empire didnt seem to be very effective after 70 AD when they were massacred and dispersed.

Or to take examples closer to home: Germany and Japan haven't been too active after an unmerciful bombing campaign and unrelentless ground war. The South hasn't rebelled much lately with the memories of Sherman and Sheridan still fresh in mind. Native American resistance was completely broken by extraordinarily cruel campaigns.

As long as you have the will to keep it up without relenting and without submitting to political pressures, a harsh campaign is usually the best way to end a war and to end a dispute. In a sense, war is about terrorism and isn't about maintaining the moral high ground at all. You have to absolutely terrify the enemy by showing them they have no safe ground and the only long term pacification will be accomplished because the potential enemy realizes whatever small action he takes will result in death for all of those around him.

After all, even suicide bombers have something to live for. And if their family dies, their home is destroyed, their host country is going to be obliterated, then their actions will be ultimately futile and their motivation will wither.
posted by pandaharma at 8:30 AM on October 28, 2001


And the relevance of the wealth of Afghanistan is what again?

when something is bombed, tradition would dictate tha the resulting rubble be cleaned up and that maybe the structure that was once there be rebuilt. this, of course, is not very cheap. also, if someone were to lose their home in the bombing, they would need another one soon lest they become homeless. I'm sure anyone will tell you that getting a home is not cheap.

it's not like we are bombing some well-off suburbanites that can just relocate at the drop of a hat (no pun intended). these are people that live by standards far below what we could call "poverty." the wealth of these people is at the very core of this issue.

And so we should let the current crop of anti-American behavior (read: intentionally killing thousands of our civilians) go unpunished.

first of all, anti-american sentiment does not automatically equate to acts of terrorism. second of all, mr. wise never said the terrorists should go unpunished. third of all, how on earth is it ok to punish other countries solely for being "anti-american?" it's bad enough that it goes on inside our borders, much less the rest of the planet.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:39 AM on October 28, 2001


Apologies on the unrecognized characters...shoulda known that what looks good on IE doesn't necessarily mean anything...

As for the content of the piece, I am less inclined to argue points than to share perceptive essays, and be patient as I wait for the tide to shift away from war and towards something more sane.

As my brother out in Montana related to me, there are actually quite a few people in the US who at first glance totally accept the party line on the war, namely: vengeance, justice, figting terrorism, etc. But when pressed, he finds (as do I, though infrequently), that these same people also see the hypocrisy and the brutality. The two Americans who died were from Wyoming and Montana, and the attitude of the government was, hey, that's a consequence of war. This old farmer in Montana has 3 young sons of draft age - and when pressed, he realized that his boys could be sent to the front...and for what? Even this guy didn't buy the bullshit about "protecting freedom and fighting terrorism."

Americans are not stupid. One day (maybe not soon), this war will be opposed by many more than a few lone voices on MeFi. Mark my words. Till then, I am patient.
posted by mapalm at 9:22 AM on October 28, 2001


mapalm: You may be right, but do yourself no favor in saying you don't want to argue points - even after including one of those points in your post! What is up with that? That point was one that anyone with a sixth grade-level education in American history alone, much less in world history, could have knocked down in less than a paragraph. Which people here proceeded to do. You're a true believer, sounds like, given that every link gets better, or is beautiful, or tells the truth, etc. OK, but earnest, starry-eyed idealism doesn't bring those who don't agree with you over to your side.
posted by raysmj at 9:38 AM on October 28, 2001


Germany and Japan haven't been too active after an unmerciful bombing campaign and unrelentless ground war.

Too true. But what part of Afghanistan is not Al-Qaida don't you understand?
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:25 AM on October 28, 2001


I understand the people of Afghanistan don't necessarily support Al-Qaida. But, in a sense, that doesn't matter if you want to win this. The Taliban did and does support Al-Qaida. The Taliban is currently the government of Afghanistan. Therefore Afghanistan supports Al-Qaida and must be dealt with as harshly as possible, not only to stop Al-Qaida in the short term but also as a deterrent in the future.

If other countries risk destruction of an apocalyptic nature if they support terroristic groups which attack the US, then they'll probably be less likely to do so.
posted by pandaharma at 11:29 AM on October 28, 2001


Afghanistan is not Al Qaeda, but you'll not find a greater concentration of Al Queda's members, facilities, or leaders anywhere else. Nor is there any nation whose regime is so tightly intertwined with Al Queda. It's the logical place to focus our efforts.

(btw, I doubt anyone was saying "North Africa is not the Nazi Party" in 1942.)
posted by brantstrand at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2001


sapphireblue: according to my readings, binladen aka al-quaida owns the taliban ie. afghanistan.
posted by semmi at 11:40 AM on October 28, 2001


Simplistic explanations on either side are just that. Afghanistan is a divided nation. Most of the area under the control of the Taliban is Pashtun, and there they probably have fairly wide popular support, since the Taliban are largely from Pashtun religious schools in Pashtun regions of Pakistan.

I desperately wanted to agree with Mr. Wise, but I found his repeated use of straw men to be rather unconvincing. Juxtaposing "peace" as a solution vs. the non-peace we've allegedly tried fails address the issue of law enforcement at hand. Of course we're not bombing the 63 other nations where al-Qaeda cells may be found ... because those 63 nations can be trusted to arrest and eventually turn over the bad guys for trial. The Taliban, on the other hand, have spent most of the last two years snickering at US indictments and UN sanctions asking for bin Laden and associates. So, yes, we have tried international law, using a specific term rather than the rather broad one Mr. Wise employed. International law has failed.

And as much as he wants it to be so, bombing targets in Afghanistan is not the same thing as bombing Afghanistan. If we wanted to bomb the Afghan people we could easily be doing so to devastating effect.

In other words, I didn't find that this essay actually engaged the justifications being made for the war, only the justifications imagined by the pacifist left. In a phrase, straw men.
posted by dhartung at 12:00 PM on October 28, 2001


mapalm I wait for the tide to shift away from war and towards something more sane.

You're not the only one, bro.
posted by signal at 12:14 PM on October 28, 2001


Mr.'wise' actually does seem very naive,or at least hooked on a dufus style of ironic writing...The problem I have with his little essay is that it CRITICIZES our past,present, and future actions WITHOUT offering alternatives. Maybe Mr. 'wise' is part of this group?
posted by Mack Twain at 1:40 PM on October 28, 2001


it would be nice if Mr. Wise would do a little reading on military realism before he attempted to launch a diatribe against it. I'm assuming he hasn't or he would at least understand the tactical logic behind bombing Afghanistan and that it has nothing to do with aggression against a weaker state for its own sake, which is what he seems to be implying.
posted by lizs at 2:37 PM on October 28, 2001


Raysmj:

mapalm: You may be right, but do yourself no favor in saying you don't want to argue points

I hear you. My point was that I am not going to bang my head against the wall trying to argue points that have been re-hashed many times over during the past month. Rather, I post these intriguing essays, and let people ruminate over them, and hopefully come to their own realizations about how screwed up this war is.

As for those committed, die-hard hawks, they're not changing their minds anyway, so why bother?

And signal: thanks. Solidarity is so important in times like this. Keep on keepin' on!
posted by mapalm at 2:42 PM on October 28, 2001


Mack - The fact that there is no easy alternative to provide to them in no way invalidates criticism of incorrect ideas and improper actions. The fact that the world is complicated and magic bullets rare only highlights how dangerous these idiotic schemes of ours have been, are, and may be.
posted by Hildago at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2001


mapalm: If you don't think people who agree with the war are going to listen to you, you're getting in their faces by calling all articles posted beautiful, gets better, etc., and can expect a hugely negative response. If you're posting for a select anti-war audience or audience of nuetrals, please make it obvious. Otherwise, you sound like one seriously smug, snotty little poster, at least to me.
posted by raysmj at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2001


If you believe in God, then hell will be crowded with many Americans who somehow thought revenge killing is just. Think about it.
posted by skinsuit at 3:37 PM on October 28, 2001


raysmj, also don't forget to note the most *blatantly* passive-aggressive comment I've ever seen:
One day (maybe not soon), this war will be opposed by many more than a few lone voices on MeFi. Mark my words. Till then, I am patient.
What are we waiting for? The pacifists will rise up and... do what, exactly? Hold sit-ins? Vote Chomsky? Send Al-Qaeda a box of chocolates and a note?
posted by darukaru at 4:28 PM on October 28, 2001


The jury is still out on whether passive-aggressive comments are worse than smug sarcasm, Darukaru.
posted by Hildago at 4:48 PM on October 28, 2001


Mack The problem I have with his little essay is that it CRITICIZES our past,present, and future actions WITHOUT offering alternatives. (original emphasis)

Just because somebody criticizes a simplistic, manicheistic "solution" doesn't mean he has to propose another equally simplistic "alternative". He's simply saying "Look!, the emperor has no clothes on". Anybody wanna buy some magic thread?
posted by signal at 9:07 PM on October 28, 2001


However, you can stand and point and shout at a naked emperor, but until you offer him your coat or find a blanket to throw over him, all you're doing is making a lot of pointless noise, embarassing the emperor while doing nothing to call attention to those who put him in that situation, and nothelping the situation in the least. (Note: this post is in no way meant as an endorsement of the idea of a naked emperor vis á vis the current US situation.)
posted by Dreama at 9:27 PM on October 28, 2001


Dreama all you're doing is making a lot of pointless noise, embarassing the emperor

Dreama: So you're saying Wise shouldn't point out what he sees as hypocritical and ineffectual, because it might embarrass those in power?

If you read Wise's article, or at least his first paragraph, his point is that "those of us who doubt the likely efficacy of such a campaign, and who question its fundamental morality" are not naive, as many are saying, and that those who "insist that sometimes massive force is necessary and that in the case of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, little else could possibly serve to diminish the threat of terrorist attack" are neither pragamatic nor right.

You can agree with his arguments or not, but insisting he pull out of his top hat a solution to the complex, multi-layered and pervasive problem of world terrorism isn't a very cogent rebuttal.
posted by signal at 9:42 PM on October 28, 2001


raysmj: Otherwise, you sound like one seriously smug, snotty little poster, at least to me.

Ouch, that hurts.

Now, back to the news.
posted by mapalm at 9:56 PM on October 28, 2001


Personally, I'm more alarmed by those who think there is a simple solution to this problem than by those who say there is no solution.
posted by Hildago at 10:01 PM on October 28, 2001


"don't complain unless you have an answer" is a pretty weak indictment. it's not like anyone's potential suggestions will ever be a legitimate policy change, but thats not really the point of discussing something here.

anyhow, what do you expect us to do, sit on our grievances until we have a solution, no matter how late along it comes? if thats the only critique you can come up with against an opposing point, then it's fairly safe to say that you lost the argument.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:13 PM on October 28, 2001


If you're posting for a select anti-war audience or audience of nuetrals, please make it obvious. Otherwise, you sound like one seriously smug, snotty little poster, at least to me.

It's pretty damn obvious which way mapalm leans raysmj. He's posting a link from Zmag for christ's sake. If you don't agree, address the issue please. If you, like dhartung, are under the impression that the "pacifist left" is happily destroying strawmen while you gotz the goodz then you're unfortunately mistaken. And insofar that we're on the subject of strawmen what exactly is it that assures pro-retribution conservatives that America's historically deleterious policy in the Muslim middle east had nothing to do with popular sentiments a billion minds strong? If one declares another's argument a "strawman" thus unworthy of any real consideration, is that not also a strawman in and of itself? Why don't you just come out and say you disagree rather than disqualify the heated emotions all of us have? I'm reminded of a post I made some days after the attack (funny how nobody in the confusion of that time had a problem with it then).

As far as mapalm's assertion that the peace movement will grow. He's right. It undoubtedly will begin to accrue more sympathizers as this wears on.
posted by crasspastor at 10:20 PM on October 28, 2001


I can't beleive I have to explain this:

it's not like we are bombing some well-off suburbanites that can just relocate at the drop of a hat (no pun intended). these are people that live by standards far below what we could call "poverty." the wealth of these people is at the very core of this issue.

It still does not matter. Surely you aren't saying that if Afghanistan were as "wealty" as the US, the bombing would be just fine? If we are going to let the wealth of a nation determine our military strategy, then we have lost all sense.

first of all, anti-american sentiment does not automatically equate to acts of terrorism.

I never equated the two - I simply used Mr. Wise's term "anti-americanism" and applied it to the current situation. You would, I hope, agree that the folks who downed the WTC were anti-american?

second of all, mr. wise never said the terrorists should go unpunished.

Funny thing, he never mentioned punishing them either.

third of all, how on earth is it ok to punish other countries solely for being "anti-american?" it's bad enough that it goes on inside our borders, much less the rest of the planet.

I never said that. I was referring to the terrorist acts. See, unlike Mr. Wise, I'm not nearly as concerned about inciting anti-americanism in other countries as I am about letting killers (Al Qaeda) and the governments who hide them go free.
posted by schlyer at 10:27 PM on October 28, 2001


I can't beleive I have to explain this:

me neither.

It still does not matter. Surely you aren't saying that if Afghanistan were as "wealty" as the US, the bombing would be just fine? If we are going to let the wealth of a nation determine our military strategy, then we have lost all sense.

no, I wasn't suggesting that. I was just pointing out what a poor idea the bombing is.

I never equated the two - I simply used Mr. Wise's term "anti-americanism" and applied it to the current situation. You would, I hope, agree that the folks who downed the WTC were anti-american?

uh, yeah.

Funny thing, he never mentioned punishing them either.

he also didn't mention dipping them in honey mustard. whats your point?

I never said that. I was referring to the terrorist acts. See, unlike Mr. Wise, I'm not nearly as concerned about inciting anti-americanism in other countries as I am about letting killers (Al Qaeda) and the governments who hide them go free.

well, I'm with you there. but I think mr. wise is more concerned with innocent people dying than inciting anti-americanism.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:36 PM on October 28, 2001


crass: mapalm doesn't want to rationally discuss the issues, has no intention of doing so. He's on a personal crusade (apologies for use of an apt word that's received a hard time thanks to Dubya), is sure he's right. Which would be OK, maybe even great, were he not baiting the opposition while doing so. Maybe this is a statement more suited to Metatalk, but . . . you gotta be kidding me.
posted by raysmj at 10:37 PM on October 28, 2001


Except the Japanese, who we firebombed and nuked, occupied, and modernised, and who are pretty damned pleasant about it. Ooh, and the Germans. Even the Laotians, who are still trying clean up the millions of cluster bombs we left there thirty years ago, are pretty friendly to the West (for a bunch of Communists).

I think these countries' agreeability is more of a financial decision as opposed to one made out of principal.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:42 PM on October 28, 2001


MCSWEETIE:" if that's the only critique you can come up with against an opposing point, then it's fairly safe to say that you lost the argument." You are right:he doesn't need alternatives to validate his essay, and it wasn't a lack of alternatives which made me disagree. Some of what he said is true, some lies, and all has an anti-American bias. I actually agree with some of the points, but his overall tone is so condemning that I have to dismiss the man and his piece of work. I would listen to alternative ideas a lot longer than I'll listen to "I'm for it".."I'm against it".
posted by Mack Twain at 1:43 AM on October 29, 2001


Well imagine this scenario:
Muslim terrorists attack downtown Beijing killing thousands. Chinese intelligence incontrovertibly demonstrates that the terror originated from, say, Afghanistan. China then issues an ultimatum to Afghanistan, give up Bin Laden or else we bomb. Taliban say "no way". So China starts bombing terrorist installations in Afghanistan. Soon, pictures of dismembered children start appearing in the press, as do reports of bombed red cross supply centers. At the same time the Chinese air-drop food as a PR gesture, a step that is unanimously condemned by all major relief agencies as both ineffective and counterproductive, as well as endangering the lives of people due to the ubiquity of land mines in the country. The Chinese express their "regrets" for the collateral damage, but vow to continue bombing until Bin Laden is captured, at the same time stating that whoever isn't with them, is effectively with the terrorists and runs the risk of being bombed.
Questions:
- What do you think the US governments reaction to this would be?
- What do you think your reaction to this would be?
- Do you think that 5000 dead from a terrorist attack in China would cause the cancellation, say, of a single Football or Baseball game in the West?
- Would an "international war against terror" be even taken seriously by western media and commentators?
- How many of those decrying the mere mention of past US crimes in the area in the current context, do you think would immediately start explaining to us all that this was muslim anger, sadly misdirected but nevertheless valid, against the brutal persecution of the Turkic minority in NW China?
posted by talos at 5:08 AM on October 29, 2001


but his overall tone is so condemning that I have to dismiss the man and his piece of work. I would listen to alternative ideas a lot longer than I'll listen to "I'm for it".."I'm against it".

what strange logic! would you have looked at the article in a more favorable light if it were only half as long? and put it down again if the other half was released later? what if the article had argued for both sides (pacificism vs. whatever-you-would-call-this)? I never knew an argument could be too subjective.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:46 AM on October 29, 2001


raysmj:

I am not baiting anyone. And I am happy to debate real issues. I just can't, however, bring myself to argue certain points that have either been gone over ad nauseum already, or are undeserving of a response.

Moreover, my posts usually serve as my arguments themselves. If you don't like the posts, go elsewhere.

Finally - you are goddamned right that I am on a personal crusade. So, too, is everyone else (on both sides) who feel strongly about what is happening in and to our world. If you don't have the stomach for it, again, go elsewhere. I care too much to sit idly by and watch the cabal in Washington do its dirty work.
posted by mapalm at 7:36 AM on October 29, 2001


talos, we don't really need to imagine that scenario.

- In 1999 and 2000, several apartment blocks were blown up in Moscow, ultimately killing nearly 300 persons, most of them killed in their beds in the middle of the night.
- From the very earliest point, despite showing little evidence, President Putin blamed Chechen rebels. Putin had gained the presidency largely on the reputation of having overseen the Chechen war and tamped down most of the violence.
- Putin's reaction was seen as self-serving and peps self-delusional. Western observers almost universally suspected instead a Russian Mafia turf war or even Russia's own security services. (See for yourself.)
- Russia nevertheless stepped up its efforts to put down the rebellion in Chechnya, using even more brutal tactics than the previous campaign.
- Despite waging this war entirely on its own soil against avowed separatists, Russia has received withering criticism from the west.
- At his first meeting with Bush, Putin's highest priority agenda item was enlisting his support for a war on terror; higher even than the stalwart debt relief item, higher than the recent NATO expansion item. Bush went in and came away with only one agenda item on his mind: National Missile Defense, and non-negotiable abrogation of the ABM treaty. Russia's concerns did not matter. Putin did not view the meetings as productive.

Essentially, Russia has already gone through this same course as you propose for China. The only difference is that we're now able to talk about all this stuff like a Chechen link to al-Qaeda (now we even know there are Chechens fighting alongside the Taliban!). The apartment bombings certainly bear the audacity that is one of the al-Qaeda trademarks. Chechen Muslim murders of Red Cross workers for, well, the cross thing also figure into the virulent Islamist agenda. Did the rest of the world take note, then? Did we care? Mostly no. I dare say a lot of us still don't believe them.
posted by dhartung at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2001


Go elsewhere? I wasn't aware that you owned the site, mapalm.
posted by raysmj at 1:17 PM on October 29, 2001


Hey, ray...Let it go, guy. You're beginning to sound "smug and snotty."

Oh wait, I'm the "smug and snotty one." Sorry. Forgot.
posted by mapalm at 1:36 PM on October 29, 2001


Hey, guys, take it to MetaTalk, (wink).
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:40 PM on October 29, 2001


butt
posted by mcsweetie at 4:11 PM on October 29, 2001


Hey, guys, take it to e-mail, (nudge). ;-)
posted by davidmsc at 4:48 PM on October 29, 2001


Hiroshima didn't create or increase terrorism, nor did the US bombing of Libya; nor did Israel's bombing of Iraq, and so on. Moreover, airplanes aren't crashing in to Israel, and none of Israel's thug neighbors have attacked it, despite periodic Israeli defensive bombings of terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon and Syria. This writer is a pacifist fool. Oh. That's redundant. A pacifist.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:03 PM on October 29, 2001


Paris

'defensive bombings" :) good one! LOL

Ooh, I've got one: "Friendly Punch"

I didn't know this was an oxymoron thread.
posted by signal at 5:24 PM on October 29, 2001


drop the oxy and you've got it ;)
posted by cell divide at 5:41 PM on October 29, 2001


Pacifist assholes (not to be confused with Silly Rabbit), Afghanistan is being bombed because its government is that force which bombed us; or is supporting said force; or because there is no government in Afghanistan which can control/eliminate said force. Whichever the reality, the United States has a right to go after said force in Afghanistan and elsewhere, even at the cost of killing innocents in Afghanistan.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:10 PM on October 29, 2001


"Pacifist assholes?"

That's mature, Paris.

Afghanistan is being bombed because Donny and Dickie say they are the "evil ones."

Oh, and I *still* have yet to see any evidence that the Taliban is behind 9/11, or even that Bin laden is. Seems the whole country has decided to take The Shrub's word on this one (oh, and the sycophant Tony's).
posted by mapalm at 6:18 PM on October 29, 2001


Paris: You, sir, are a cad.
posted by signal at 7:12 PM on October 29, 2001


"but his overall tone is so condemning that I have to dismiss the man and his piece of work. I would listen to alternative ideas a lot longer than I'll listen to "I'm for it".."I'm against it".

OKAY,sorry for the confusion: his overall tone is so condemning that I have to dismiss the man and his piece of work.I am willing to spend more of my time listening to alternative ideas rather than listening to people state that they are for war or against war. If wise had valid reasons for non-action, they were lost to me in his anti-American rhetoric...So, 'longer' referred to MY TIME,not the length of the essay.
posted by Mack Twain at 7:37 PM on October 29, 2001


mapalm, that's still and continuously a dodge of the worst sort. There is plenty of evidence, despite your well refuted link that the govt. of Afghanistan has promoted, supported, and will continue to support violence against the American people. Now here we get the part you don't seem to comprehend. Lets say that Wise is correct, and we are making more terrorists by our evil bombings and horrid abuse of the innocents in the Middle East. And lets say that your ultimate wet-dream comes true, and the American people stand up to the "cabal" (your conspiracy fearful term) and we stop aggressions now. This fact remains - every link you've posted still acknowledges that there are those out there who are ready and waiting to kill Americans at will and at random. In the interests of peace, you would have innocents die, so that EVENTUALLY these people would no longer want to kill us, seeing our good hearts and all. Those who have died and those who will, would be martyrs to the peaceful cause you promote, and don't we all feel good now. Even if this fantasy were to come about, you still miss the obvious and personal. I am not willing to be martyred for your cause of peace and yet you continually offer me as such. Screw that. I pay taxes (somewhat unwillingly) so that I may have the mightiest military in the world so that I DON'T HAVE TO BE A MARTYR for your pet cause. Do you get it yet? Let me sharpen it even further. Your whimpering support of those whose ideas you refer to as enlightened and inspirational is nothing but offering me as a sacrifice to your sense of peace and warm fuzziness of goodness.
Though you have not once bothered yourself to really debate or argue with those who disagree with you, you are now hiding behind the idea that we all must admit that our leaders have an evil agenda that only you are given the righteous knowledge of. Wrongo bucko. If you want me to provide your own words to support anything I've said here, it will mean a little work, but I happily will (you see, I've recognized the evil of your agenda from the very beginning). Now feel free to claim that I've attacked you ad hominem even though all I've dealt with are your stances and not your person. It will still ring as hollow in the morning.

By the way, you still haven't provided any evidence that I have ever threatened you, and you still haven't bothered to ask me or accertain what I really support. You've just assumed, as you keep on assuming, that its you against the rest. That's arrogant. I've actually read many good posts and thoughts concerning the war on this list. Yours are not among them, precisely because of what I've indicated before.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:46 PM on October 29, 2001


Too true. But what part of Afghanistan is not Al-Qaida don't you understand?

The part where it's supposedly true.

The Taleban and Al-Qaida are inextricably intertwined. Smash one, critically wound the other.
posted by mikewas at 8:19 PM on October 29, 2001


I was wondering when the slavering dogs would once again rear their frothing muzzles. I missed ya, Wulfy!
posted by mapalm at 8:27 PM on October 29, 2001


false dilemma:

either you're

a) for the war, rah rah, bomb the bastards, make the world safe for democracy, woo hoo

or

b) oh, no, don't do anything, it's not their fault, just meditate and they'll see the error of their ways

the truth is much fuzzier than that. I personally DO think terrorism is a problem DO think something should be done about it by the whole world DON"T think the current bombing of Afghanistan will make the world a safer place and DON'T think terrorism started being a problem 9-11-01. Ask the spanish, the french, the colombians, the peruvians, the irish and the british, the israelis and the palestians.
This has been going on for a long, long time. It's a serious issue, which deserves a serious answer.

I think the bombing in itself is a bad thing in that people are dieing whose death advances no purpose, just as people died in WTC who needed not die. You can't discount this fact, it's what the whole issue comes down to: people dieing. Americans, british, afghanis, you name it, people.

I am not a pacifist. I think the bombing of the WTC was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen. I do not support the bombing of Afghanistan. I do not think international law should be thrown out the window. Historically, terrorism has been defeated by police investigation, courts of law, loss of popular support and political means. I don't see how bombing afghanis advances this cause.

I'll gladly debate any of these points in a civil manner.
posted by signal at 8:27 PM on October 29, 2001


I was wondering when the slavering dogs would once again rear their frothing muzzles. I missed ya, Wulfy!

Still assuming. Didn't deal with a single point, did you? You could learn something from signal.

You can't discount this fact, it's what the whole issue comes down to: people dieing. Americans, british, afghanis, you name it, people.

Precisely. I don't want to die. Niether do (presumably) Afghan peasant farmers, or the Taliban, or Osama. Atta did, and now, many of us are being asked to die so that people like him won't want to kill us in the future. I'm not sure I support the bombing of Afghanistan. But I won't support the pacifist agenda of "peace is cool and right, even if others don't believe that and kill us anyway". Because, quite simply, I don't want to die. Oh yeah, wanting to live makes me a slavering dog, doesn't it, Mr. ad hominem boy?
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:54 PM on October 29, 2001


signal, great apologies if you thought I was reffering to you. I wasn't.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:56 PM on October 29, 2001


wulfgar: thanks for the apology, but I wasn't offended. I do think you are still posting the (in my opinion) false dilemma of Pacifist/Hawk. What those on "my" side of the issue don't agree with is that this current round of killing people will help avoid further deaths. Most of "your" side disagree and feel that it will.

As an analogy, I propose the other War, the one On Drugs. Millions of dollars spent. Many thousands dead, many more thousands in jail for meaningless "crimes" of possesion. Massive corruption. The drug problem is real and scary and people die from it. Turning Colombia into a warzone or destroying bolivian's farmers' millenial way of life hasn't solved it. For what? So CNN can show really cool shots of helicopters in the jungle? So colombia can be the third largest recipient of US aid and still be a complete shambles? Not worth it.

My fear, and I'd wager many others' on this thread as well, is that the New War will result as ineffectual as the old one. Also, that it will be siezed upon by countries like China, Russia, Israel and Pakistan to justify their hegemonical impulses as "fighting terrorists". This has already started.

I for one am not just worried about americans and afghanis, but also chechyens (sp.?), indians, pakistanis, palestinians, timor(eans?) etc, etc, ad nauseam, and finally all of us. These are fey times, my friend.
posted by signal at 9:08 PM on October 29, 2001


wulfgar: thanks for the apology, but I wasn't offended. I do think you are still posting the (in my opinion) false dilemma of Pacifist/Hawk.

With tears I would like to clarify that I am trying so very hard not to promote that dilemma. I am rather trying to fight the insidious efforts of some to promote it as an illogical and untennable disagreement in which those who support a military or agressive effort are violent fools, deserving of the death that awaits them. None of us deserve the terrorists touch, pacifist or "hawk". These are fey times, and non-violence is one option, not the only one. You are right, that national interests have taken control. Does this mean any should offer their own lives as the first olive branch of peace? Find someone else, 'cause it won't be me.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:23 PM on October 29, 2001


Wulfgar: I appreciate your survival instinct, and share it, but my fear is not that the bombing will prove inmoral, but ineffective, and not address the very real, very present threat.

"So what would you do?" right? First, what I am doing, going on with my life. I am not a statesman or a soldier nor do I wish to be. Second, the bombing is not the only effort being taken against terrorism. As I said before, terrorism didn't start on 9-11. Neither did the struggle against it. Countries and communities of countries are fighting terrorism thorugh police-work, rule of law, public opinion (very important in my opinion) and political means. If all the terrorists in the world got together on an island or hilltop I'd be the first to say "Bomb the Suckers". They don't, so I won't.

Many pro-war people say "it might not be perfect, but it's the only option we have". I disagree. There are other options. When was the last time ETA blew something up? As far as I know, there were no bombing runs over the basque country.

To recap, I am not saying "don't do anything" or "sacrifice yourself for peace".

I am saying "bombing won't stop terrorism, many people will needlessly die, and it might even make things worse." There are other options, and many of them are being put into effect as we speak. That's why it's a false dilemma. You can be against the bombing and terrorism at the same time.
posted by signal at 9:43 PM on October 29, 2001


Well argued, signal. You echoed many of my own sentiments. Thanks.
posted by mapalm at 8:34 AM on October 30, 2001


Well argued, signal. Some less able will now echo your sentiments. Thanks.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:35 AM on October 30, 2001


Try as you might, Mack - I will take the high ground. Ya dang newbie!
posted by mapalm at 11:07 AM on October 30, 2001


signal, the ETA are a false analogy. The Basque country is under the legal control of Spain, and Spanish police have been effective at tracking and arresting ETA terrorists, especially when they cooperate with France. Since a judicial approach is working and available, there is no need to bomb the Basque people. The judical approach against bin Laden, however, has been attempted for two years now -- based on the 1998 embassy bombings -- with not one positive result. The Taliban have defied pressure from Muslim allies, and have flouted United Nations sanctions. Economic sanctions are pretty useless against a land so devoid of a working economy. Tell me, what other tools do we have? What have we left to try? We need ideas and solutions, not objections.
posted by dhartung at 4:58 PM on October 30, 2001


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