September 12, 2001
6:40 PM   Subscribe

Iraq rejoices. No real surprise, but let me guess: starting tomorrow, we'll see itemized lists in newspapers of every single country's reaction and where they stood. Pundits will go on television and describe just which countries you should hate the most. Is it just me or is the media really getting out of control on this?
posted by ed (27 comments total)
It's just you. Americans want to know who their allies are. Helps us decide who gets foreign aid and who doesn't. Also helps us know who to keep our eyes on so we don't get stabbed in the back.
posted by darren at 6:48 PM on September 12, 2001

I'm starting to think all this is happening like a Sports Event.

With Slo Mo replay, a scoreboard, and commentary.

I'm starting to feel sick from this media coverage.

I guess death is still the biggest piece of merchandise in America today.
posted by trioperative at 6:53 PM on September 12, 2001

question: is iraq still officially at war with the us?
posted by Foaf at 6:57 PM on September 12, 2001

I'm just waiting for Peter Jennings to collapse, really.

But really, were people expecting Iraq to break out the mourning cloak and weep? I'm sure there are other governments who aren't all that sorry to see this happen; at least Iraq - correction, the Iraqi government - has the luxury of being honest in its feelings.
posted by solistrato at 7:01 PM on September 12, 2001

I'm no Iraq apologist, but the toll our policy has taken on the Iraqi people is unreal. Does anyone know of a case where a people were so punished by a foreign government, that didn't like the leaders of the peoples country, that they overthrew their own government, just to get relief from the sanctions? Is this our plan for the Afghanis?
posted by housepox at 7:08 PM on September 12, 2001

No, the media is not out of control, for once. Clearly, they are asking stupid questions from time to time, but that's bound to happen when you are on the air for 36 hours straight.

And clearly there are nations and peoples which support this sort of horrendous atrocity. And those nations and people should begin to count the days they have left to breathe. This is the end of the bullshit complaints about sanctions and handling organizations like the Taliban with kid gloves. If the Afghanis think they've had a rough time of it for the past 20 years, they're about to witness a whole new world of pain and suffering.

If you had stood in the street and saw those thousands and thousands of people die there would be no question in your mind about what needs to be done. The world had better snap to it when we ask for their assistance. Now is the time for the United States to come into its own and drop the pretense of cooperating and negotiating with other nations. We are in charge of this planet and everyone else will do what they're told until we hunt down the very last one of these bastards and send bullets straight through their skulls.
posted by lenticular at 7:09 PM on September 12, 2001

solistrado: jennings is a legend. No metter what time of day I watch tv (in NZ) he's on. Has he stopped in the last 36 hours? More importantly, has he showered?
posted by Foaf at 7:17 PM on September 12, 2001

Where to start, lenticular?

The Taleban are an unpopular and oppressive regime, and do not represent Afghans at all.

Hussein ought to be loathed and hated by his people, but deprivation has enabled him to turn that hatred away.

It may not even have been Osama Bin Laden.

Agruably the US "pretense of cooperating and negotiating with other nations", and the belief that you "are in charge of this planet and everyone else will do what they're told" are responsible for the creation of people willing to commit such atrocities. Certainly you'll get short shrift in my house with that kind of attitude, no matter how many marines you have with you.

The fact that you stood in the street and saw has had a powerful effect on you, and I'm really, really sorry for you all in New York. I have friends there too. But don't let your anger get the better of you. The tribal belief that any member of a group can answer for any other one with their blood is what's behind all this.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:20 PM on September 12, 2001

Well, some would say people in Iraq are justified in celebrating. The death toll from various bombings around the world, performed by the USA over the last decade, far exceed the death toll from what happened yesterday, I'm sure.

Also, let's not forget in the quest for revenge -- the people who did this are dead. They were on the planes.
posted by Potsy at 7:21 PM on September 12, 2001

i think a good article to read to try and maintain perspective is at -- for those of you tracking such things, sure, there's definitely an agenda (it's called, but points are valid.
posted by fishfucker at 7:32 PM on September 12, 2001

If Americans end up killing little children, again, in retaliaion, then we are terrorists, hooligans. And I want nothing to do with that.

You can attempt to kill as many people as deemed necessary to retaliate. The US will always be a target and terrorism will always be around.

It took eight years for the terrorists to return to the WTC, they had patience, and came back with bold, well developed plans. Retaliate all you want, it will happen again.
posted by malmec at 7:34 PM on September 12, 2001

Look at this:
posted by semmi at 7:49 PM on September 12, 2001
posted by semmi at 7:51 PM on September 12, 2001

What have the media presented which isn't news? I'm quite impressed by how well the major news media have handled things. Sure, they've put people on that have made irrationable, even unconscionable statements, but that's the way some people feel, and it's news as much as anything else. The internet, outside of the major news sites, has been full of rumor and the worst of unedited, untrained reactionary commentating and reporting. The people on television have shown themselves, in the best cases, to be professionals, who, in the face of unthinkable pain and stress, have maintained some semblance of balance, composure, and coherence. I'll take Jennings to the "reporting" of places like metafilter any day. Metafilter has been highly valuable to me through all of this, as have the comments of all of you. But it has not come close to replacing the major news media.
posted by jeb at 8:24 PM on September 12, 2001

We have to punsih those responsible, dismantle their organizations, and rethink some of our policies so that we stand up for justice for Americans and all people who are the victims of terrorists, whether those terrorist be leaders like Hussein or shadowy figures on the fringe.

We need to be smart AND strong.
posted by chaz at 8:35 PM on September 12, 2001

I sit here reading some of these comments and I'm Shocked. I read that people are saying to "not let our anger get the best of us?" Are you for real? Fact of the matter is this: THESE PEOPLE WANT US DEAD! These people have one mission: Destroy the United States! Plain and simple. For them to die, while fighting us, is an honor. Wake the hell up people! This is not an "anger" issue. This is a survival issue. Yeah fine, it took 8 years for them to strike again. OK, What's wrong with that statement? The same guy struck back! Hey, if we would have killed him back in 93, how many people would still be alive? Think about that. Now, think of this one guy and compair him to the 30 THOUSAND who died yesterday. 1 guy . . . 30 THOUSAND . . . hmmmm, lets just cool down and wait. Bite me! Kill them before they explode a Nuke in the middle Chicago! Plain and simple.
posted by tizimarc at 8:46 PM on September 12, 2001

My gosh. I'm reading everybody's points and finding myself agreeing with all of them. lenticular's comment, for example, got my blood going and reminded me of something Dr. Kurt Campbell (a senior Pentagon official during Clinton era) said at a recent speech here in Tokyo, albeit in an entirely different context:

"Now, our Asian friends are going to learn about the flip-side of indifference...the only thing more challenging than being ignored by the United States is being engaged by the United States."

Then joe spleen's comeback that the blood-for-blood tribal belief is what perpetuates this sort of thing made an awful lot of sense to me. It made me think about a pastor from Tennessee that I heard on NPR yesterday. He was talking about his fear that in our quest for retribution (a word I have come to find very distasteful -- it seems like a watered-down, PC word for revenge, and if that's what we are after, then we ought to call it that, methinks) we might end up putting the same sort of hurt on arab civilians who are just as human and just as disgusted by violence as we.

malmec's also right -- it will happen again. And one day, they'll have nukes, if they don't already. It's very fatalistic, but not so far-fetched. I am not so sure of myself as to make professions about what America should or shouldn't do, but it seems like "do nothing" and "kill 'em all" are equally stupid.

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened. "
Douglas Adams -- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
posted by Bixby23 at 8:47 PM on September 12, 2001

tizimarc, the point I was making is that pin-pointing "these people" is hard.

Bothering to make the distinction between the guilty and people who just look like them is what sets the civilised apart from the primitives.

Also, you say "one guy". lenticular didn't. He was talking about Afghans in general (a further irony, bin Laden's a Saudi-born Yemeni).

When "these people" have been reliably identified, by all means string them up by the nuts.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:07 PM on September 12, 2001

Punishing the people responsible and preventing this from EVER happening again are our goals. In some ways they overlap but they also oppose each other. I hope we can remember the last time something similar happened, millions of people lost their lives and the world was shaken to its foundations and rebuilt. I hope we learn from history before we turn the Bill of Rights into toilet paper and destroy all that so many Americans have given their lives to defend over the past 225 years. To do otherwise is to be manipulated by evil and become the very thing they accuse us of being, soulless, arrogant and immoral.
posted by euphorb at 11:32 PM on September 12, 2001

I'd like to think that it will never happen again. It would be the height of innocence to believe it though, I reckon.

The people who did this don't value their lives. Lets think about that for a moment.

The maximum punishment anyone can extract from another is to kill them, to render them dead. If you welcome death, well....anything at all is possible.

Losing their lives means nothing to them in relation to their hatred of the West, or their belief in their God, or whatever motivated this. You can kill as many of them as you like, but these are not reasonable beings who will stop when they see that the consequence of their actions is ultimately their own end. They're not even animals.

So what to do? Kill people who are quite happy to die? I suppose so. It's better to have fewer hollow souless creatures wandering around causing this sort of grief. But it's hard to beat a foe who would openly welcome the chance to give his worthless life to take your own very valuable one.

If nothing else, killing the perpetrators would probably be theraputic for some of us. I just think it's wrong to think that it'll stop as a result, that's all.

I think that's why I'm feeling so bloody nauseous at the moment - I feel a bit useless.

There is no one so dangerous as a man who has nothing to lose.
posted by oddity at 5:33 AM on September 13, 2001

Welcome to the modern world america.
Since the second world war you have done nothing to increase the peace in the long term, despite your claims to be a 'world leader'.
This is where it has got you.
In response to Foaf - america is still at war with iraq, bombing it everyday. By their own admission, the 'A list' of targets was 'successfully' completed in the first week of the 'Desert Storm' operation. Why is the country still under attack 10 years later?This effects all UN members financially, and affects the whole world.
posted by asok at 6:00 AM on September 13, 2001

Pardon me if I seemed to single out Afghanistan for particular revenge. ANY person or nation which thinks, talks, or even slightly acts in a threatening manner to the United States should be dealt with swiftly, forcefully and mercilessly. All of you "deep thinkers" spouting bullshit about not lowering ourselves to the terrorists level are fooling yourselves.

And I AM talking about more than revenge, I am talking about prevention. This is about saving lives and ensuring that something so horrendous NEVER happens again. Clearly these types have no interest in peace, so achieiving peace with them is impossible. Only extermination is possible. My only regret about Iraq is that we let up on them when we did. Our mickey mouse sanctions have only served to prolong the conflict with radical Islam and other rougue individuals. Americans (and their allies) must now steel themselves for a long and bloody battle with the evil elements of the world, one which may last for perpetuity.

Your talk of peace now is self-delusionary. If you don't have stomach for what needs to be done, get out of here.
posted by lenticular at 6:55 AM on September 13, 2001

"Since the second world war you have done nothing to increase the peace in the long term, despite your claims to be a 'world leader'.
This is where it has got you."

asok, are you criminally devious or just the world's biggest moron?

Let's rattle off a few:
- Berlin Airlift
- Marshall Plan
- Peacekeeping roles in Yugoslavia, Sudan, etc.
- Humanitarian aid via CARE, federal foreign aid programs and other agencies in the billions of dollars
- Nuclear non-proliferation treaty
- Cold War effort to curb Soviet takeover of Western Europe.

asok, there were spontanious demonstrations in the streets of Berlin yesterday in support of the U.S. I usually eschew good-vs-evil, right-vs-wrong, black-and-white thinking, but in the battle against terrorism against innocents, you're either for it or against it. Yes, innocents died in the Gulf War. BUT WE WEREN'T AIMING FOR THEM, YOU IDIOT!

Time to pick sides, buddy. I suspect I know where you come down.
posted by darren at 7:48 AM on September 13, 2001

Thank you, Darren. That any civilians die during armed conflict is a tragic, unintended but inevitable consequence. They don't deserve that death, but when war is brought to your neighbourhood, to your home, the possible results are limited and one is collateral casualties.

That civilians are dying in Iraq due to sanctions is a shining indicator that Saddam Hussein does not care one whit about his people. He will allow them to suffer and die -- he did so in his quest to conquer Kuwait for his own financial and political gain, he allows them to do so now in order to maintain his power and his position of rebellion against the world community. The requirements for lifting the sanctions could be easily met, and in short order, but he would rather allow his people to die. He is vicious, selfish, arrogant and indifferent to the plight of his own. Whose fault is that?

We will determine who carried out this attack. Several people have said that the people who did this are dead. This is not true. The front line soldiers are dead. The generals and the masterminds are out there, they are sitting back laughing at us, they are sitting back plotting their next strike. They will be found out. They will be dealt with. Will civilians and innocent bystanders be caught in the fray? Most likely. That's what happens when people want to start playing games with bombs and attacks and terror, whether they are a government or a state-sponsored movement or a band of rogue fiends who have been shielded by a government. This isn't a matter of fault, it is a matter of fact. We must learn to get beyond the pointing of fingers and weighing cost vs. gain.
posted by Dreama at 9:10 AM on September 13, 2001

Darren: thank you. Iraq is as good a litmus test as any for what side people are on. People who blame the US for suffering in Iraq are either ignorant; or dellusional, self-hating A-holes.

Additional thought:For example, in weighing the equities for military action, it has to be remembered that to an extent, unintended casualties of war don't represent additional casualties but alternative casualties: Without the Persian Gulf War, SHussein would have murdered countless more Kurds and Iraquis. That war may have actually saved a net number of lives.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:09 AM on September 13, 2001

So Asok, us Americans haven't done anything since the second war? You really need to study your history.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries.

You get people like Asok who do not understand how much the US helps the world. I believe that we, the United States, should no longer help out the world. Just sit back and watch what happens. If you think we do nothing now, wait until that time actually comes around. Then I'll laugh my ass off when you come crying back to me. OK Asok?
posted by tizimarc at 4:29 PM on September 13, 2001

Don't forget to credit Gordon Sinclair, tizimarc...
posted by fooljay at 7:04 PM on September 13, 2001

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