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Am I a Terrorist or a Member of Al-Qaeda or a Taliban Fighter or Not?
November 4, 2001 9:52 PM   Subscribe

Am I a Terrorist or a Member of Al-Qaeda or a Taliban Fighter or Not? If you became a Dack fan through his writings about the web like 'Flash is Evil' and 'The Web Economy Bullshit Generator' then maybe you will appreciate his take on the Current SituationTM.
Warning: This link may contain graphic images of humans hurt by the US bombings in Afghanistan.
posted by jasonshellen (34 comments total)

 
Am I inviting the hawks to string me up for being unamerican or not?
posted by jpoulos at 9:59 PM on November 4, 2001


He has a page saying "flash is evil" but then requres javascript for his present tour de force. This is unamerican.
posted by phatboy at 10:08 PM on November 4, 2001


I also did a political message posing as a game on 9/18.

This link is relevent, I swear.
posted by jragon at 10:13 PM on November 4, 2001


Well, they're images of war. As it were this one doesn't have quite all the "nintendo-ish" graphics that certain people have come to associate with warfare.
posted by clevershark at 10:17 PM on November 4, 2001


Ha ha, that's funny stuff, there! BTW, did we ever figure out why they hate us?
posted by hincandenza at 10:39 PM on November 4, 2001


It's interesting, because based on what I thought I knew about Dack's personality, I wouldn't have expected this kind of reaction.
posted by chaz at 10:48 PM on November 4, 2001


Perhaps it's time for "Am I an evil American globalist or not?" with pictures of victims at the WTC?
posted by dhartung at 10:54 PM on November 4, 2001


While he certainly gets his point across, Dack may have been able to use a less graphic way to address the issue. Or maybe war is war and its important to know what war really looks like.

Dack.com's warlog is a very interesting resource, either way.
posted by nyukid at 11:36 PM on November 4, 2001


The assumption is that the injuries shown in the pictures are caused by the US bombing of Afghanistan and not by the Taliban, right?
posted by jkottke at 1:15 AM on November 5, 2001


good point dhartung, thing is, i think that's what Dack is responding to. and javascript ain't flash phatboy.
posted by aLienated at 6:00 AM on November 5, 2001


Perhaps Dack can tell us all his idea for preventing future WTC type attacks?
posted by bondcliff at 6:23 AM on November 5, 2001


jkottke: Yes.
posted by dack at 6:33 AM on November 5, 2001


how many times have i opened up MetaFilter and read "Does anybody have any confirmation for this? How do we know this is real?" yadda yadda yadda?

i'm not questioning the reality of these particular pics, just wondering where that healthy MeFi skepticism is.
posted by danOstuporStar at 6:36 AM on November 5, 2001


Bondcliff, bombing Afghanistan isn't exactly the most obvious way of preventing future terrorist attack. No, that honour goes to George Bush' magic global missile defence system. Raise the shields!
posted by skylar at 6:36 AM on November 5, 2001


ok. i'm an idiot. just saw the yahoo source info at the bottom.
posted by danOstuporStar at 6:40 AM on November 5, 2001


Bombing Afghanistan and getting rid of the Taliban is a start.

I'm real sorry innocent kids are getting killed over there. But you know what? It's us or them. This is war and war sucks. 5000 innocent Americans have already been killed. How many more will it take before people stop whining about bombs hitting hospitals and non-citizens in the U.S. getting questioned.

I can no longer look at an airplane without wondering if it's going to explode in the sky.

I know those kids over there have nothing to do with all this. I know they're innocent. Well, so am I. So were all those people in the WTC. A lot of innocent people have had their lives changed forever.

It's nice to be a pacifist. It's nice to want peace. It's nice to think perhaps there's a better solution than killing people. Guess what? There isn't. This is one of those unfortunate situations, just like WWII, where there is no answer but to kill a lot of people until the right people are no longer alive to bother us.
posted by bondcliff at 6:47 AM on November 5, 2001


nyukid:

Resource? The photos are from Yahoo News. Dack has simply taken them and put his own spin on things.

Dack: When do we get to see the WTC version?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2001


5000 innocent Americans have already been killed.

Actually, no; a few thousand of the people who died at WTC and on those planes were not US citizens. Which begs the question, how many people (Americans, since apparently that's how you define "people") have to die before you consider something important, bondcliff? Did you even notice the embassy bombings?

where there is no answer but to kill a lot of people until the right people are no longer alive to bother us.

Except that's about as effective as the hardcore pacifism you dismiss -- exterminating those that "hate you" right now only ensures that many more people will feel the same way or stronger in the future. So why stop at Afghanistan, why not just bomb the world outside your borders?
posted by lia at 8:46 AM on November 5, 2001


So why stop at Afghanistan, why not just bomb the world outside your borders?

Then we'd have nobody to provide us with cheap labor.
posted by bondcliff at 8:55 AM on November 5, 2001


Then we'd have nobody to provide us with cheap labor.

Re-Inscribing the Statue of Liberty
posted by iceberg273 at 9:08 AM on November 5, 2001


bondcliff, do you have a real response to lia's questions or are you just going to be flip and allow us to think you really cannot respond?

Unless you seriously wouldn't have a problem with bombing the rest of the entire world. Just looking for some clarification here.
posted by daveadams at 9:15 AM on November 5, 2001


Is there a point in arguing with someone who claims war is not the answer yet doesn't provide a better answer?

No, we should not bomb the world. We have a pretty good idea where Al Queda (sp?) is hiding out though. We should bomb whatever country is harboring them.
posted by bondcliff at 9:24 AM on November 5, 2001


Is there a point in arguing with someone who claims war is not the answer yet doesn't provide a better answer?

The onus has never been on me to provide concrete alternatives, bondcliff; you made a suggestion and I pointed out why it won't work -- you've failed to present any proof otherwise.
posted by lia at 9:43 AM on November 5, 2001


So we should sit back and just do nothing?

If there was evidence that Big Bird was capable of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil I would be all for sending cruise missles towards Sesame Street. I would be saddened that little Elmo lost his leg and Grover's kidneys were hanging from the lamppost but I would understand sometimes these things need to be done.

Lots of people are against this war but I have yet to hear one of them offer a better solution.

I know we all grew up hearing how cool the 1960s were what with the drugs and the music and the anti-war protests but this time around it's going to take more than flashing a peace sign.
posted by bondcliff at 9:56 AM on November 5, 2001


So we should sit back and just do nothing?

No one has said that, bondcliff; you're the one who persists in thinking in binary opposition, i.e. "It's us or them."

Again, since it hasn't sunk in yet: it's. not. that. simple. Extermination is not effective -- you'll make as many if not more enemies than you manage to take out.

Lots of people are against this war but I have yet to hear one of them offer a better solution.

You made a suggestion and assert it's the only way to go, so it's your responsibility to prove it's the best one; my pointing out it isn't doesn't obligate me to provide a better one, nor does my choosing not to at this time validate your "argument."
posted by lia at 10:38 AM on November 5, 2001


Let's not pretend to ourselves that we're just bombing bin Laden or just bombing Al Qaeda. We're not even just bombing the Taliban; in practice we're at war with Afghanistan, not terrorism, despite what the Western politicos have been claiming. If we learned anything from September 11th, it's that terrorism doesn't respect geographical boundaries. So I really don't see how a war on Afghan soil will do anything more than massage American egos and waste a whole load of money.

Nothing will end terrorism; the only thing that is of any use would be the application of diplomacy (as is currently happening) and criminal justice under worldwide law. It's a long shot but it did the job at Nurenberg and it's doing the job with Milosevic. The advantage to this route, of course, is that we don't martyrise bin Laden and generate thousands more terrorists throughout the world (including some current American citizens) in the process.
posted by skylar at 12:48 PM on November 5, 2001


(Resource? The photos are from Yahoo News. Dack has simply taken them and put his own spin on things.

I think he meant the links on the main page...)
posted by ZippityBOP at 1:00 PM on November 5, 2001


"It's a long shot but it did the job at Nurenberg "

Actually, I'm pretty sure there was a small little war that helped out. Had we stuck with diplomacy we'd all (those of us not exterminated, of course) be speaking German right about now.
posted by bondcliff at 1:10 PM on November 5, 2001


Bondcliff: nice obvious answer but read the meaning behind my words.

The difference being of course that Germany had been invading countries and that an actual war had been legally declared, rather than a virtual war as we have against Afghanistan. I was saying that criminal procedures against foreign criminals and their accomplices have proven successful and should be applied against Al Qaeda, as opposed to the blanket bombing we have seen over the past few days.
posted by skylar at 1:32 PM on November 5, 2001


The Nazi party rose to power in Germany and invaded other countries. A good number of German civilians wanted nothing to do with them. Tons of innocent Germans died in that war, thanks to the Nazis.

The Taliban has risen to power in Afghanistan. They have invaded U.S. soil, or at least someone they support has invaded U.S. soil. Any innocent civilians who die should blame the Taliban. Our bombs wouldn't be falling on them otherwise.
posted by bondcliff at 1:38 PM on November 5, 2001


The Taliban have not invaded US soil, neither has Al Qaeda or bin Laden, unless you count the dozen or so terrorists (some of whom had American citizenship) who carried out the September 11th disaster. Bondcliff, you've taken my analogy and twisted it beyond all logic.

Of course not all Germans supported the Nazis, but Hitler was popular with voters and invaded other countries in the name of a German or Aryan super-state. If you believe that bin Laden wants to rule America in this way you are completely crazy. Similarly, even though London has been bombed dozens of times by the IRA, the IRA doesn't want to rule London. In fact quite the opposite - it wants the English out of Northern Ireland. No, America wasn't invaded - it suffered a terrorist attack. Accordingly, America is not officially at war. No war has been legally declared.
posted by skylar at 1:47 PM on November 5, 2001


the people in these pictures could not have possibly been hurt by American bombs.

Americans don't kill civilians, terrorists do; therefore we couldn't possibly be the guilty party because we are Americans and not terrorists.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:16 PM on November 5, 2001


For lia and skylar: You do realize that the Taliban have spent the last two years scoffing at "international law", including a fully proper and legal US indictment of Mr. bin Laden, and United Nations sanctions in support of their bringing him to justice? This was for the embassy bombings, which alone could easily be construed as acts of war. Prior to September 11, the Taliban had diplomatic relations with precisely three countries; now it's just one. They are not the recognized government of Afghanistan to any parties except themselves and (for dialog purposes, presumably) Pakistan. Since they have no industry and no middle class of which to speak, there is very little that economic sanctions could accomplish other than starving the Afghan people as much as now. The Taliban have demonstrated unwillingness to comply with this "international law" which you seem to think is so effective. When, precisely, should we agree that international law has failed?

I remind you that bin Laden has continued to threaten the West and moderate Muslim governments, and has vowed to obtain weapons of mass destruction. The events of September 11 show clearly that there is no act to which these people will not stoop. His continued freedom in Afghanistan was a direct threat to the safety of uncounted innocent persons. Why should we not consider this a matter of urgency which supersedes the patience of justice?
posted by dhartung at 11:37 PM on November 5, 2001


Dhartung, I don't disagree with the facts you present, but to me they still all point towards a conclusion that bombing is not the answer. International law and military action have both failed to bring the Israeli/Palestine troubles to an end, and yet America still funds Israel's military to the tune of millions, perhaps billions. And the terrorism continues despite everyone's efforts. Would you agree that this means the tools of war have failed?

The truth is that neither military action nor diplomacy alone will in the short term end terrorism. We're kidding ourselves if we think that anything (even increased security at home) will ever fully end terrorism. But bombing (especially the recent carpet bombing) is not somehow the moral solution, nor is it the 'best of a bad bunch'. Because in the blink of an eye it will be next year and we will have killed 3,000 people ourselves. That's just revenge, not justice.
posted by skylar at 1:25 AM on November 6, 2001


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