Another thoughtful article

September 14, 2001 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Another thoughtful article
Open the Washington Post to it's editorial pages, and war talk dominates:
Henry Kissinger: Destroy the Network.
Robert Kagan: We Must Fight This War.
Charles Krauthammer: To War, Not to Court.
William S. Cohen: American Holy War.
There is no column by Colman McCarthy talking peace.

posted by mapalm (19 comments total)
That link isn't working.
posted by D at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2001

When thoughts of war are on the brain of america they will naturally turn to the hawks (mostly right wingers) rather than the doves. This surprises you how?

When this has settled in we will have a better idea of the overall sentiment of the nation. I read somewhere that a poll was done and 80% of americans thought Bin Laden was behind the attacks. Why anyone cares who the average american thinks is behind the attacks is beyond me. How the hell do we know when our own government isn't sure yet?

Certainly this will sort itself out, and I doubt Bush is going to do anything until we know the facts of the matter. If he was going to, you would think he would have done it by now.
posted by revbrian at 10:26 AM on September 14, 2001

Link seems fine to me, D.

As for revbrian, um, you kinda missed the point of the article. Perhaps you didn't read it. Oh well.
posted by mapalm at 10:34 AM on September 14, 2001

I skimmed the article, mapalm. Now I've gone back and read it in it's entirety.

I don't agree that we are the most violent nation on earth. Certainly there are mistakes that were made in the past and innocents were harmed or killed. But we haven't set out to kill innocents have we? At least not when we weren't in a state of war.

I for one wish we would declare war before we go about bombing people.
posted by revbrian at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2001

Here's another link to the same article.
posted by muckster at 10:45 AM on September 14, 2001

thanks, mapalm. I've been trying to figure out, in my own mind, what a pacifist response is to a situation like this.

don't flame me...I have been a pacifist since a teenager, coming from a deeply felt moral position. I think it would be deeply hypocritical for me to give up that position just because of this. but I haven't been able to answer the question of what response would be appropriate - both in light of the facts, and in light of my own beliefs.

I still don't have an answer. but I have more to think about.
posted by epersonae at 10:49 AM on September 14, 2001

I'm afraid of Americans

I'm afraid of the world

I'm afraid I can't help it

I'm afraid I can't

I'm afraid of Americans

God is an American

posted by ao4047 at 10:52 AM on September 14, 2001

But we haven't set out to kill innocents have we?

Even if we haven't in the past (and I would argue that yes we have done precisely that in Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, Iraq, etc.), we are mere days from doing it now.

What's more, polls suggest that for Americans, that's OK.
posted by mapalm at 10:52 AM on September 14, 2001

As a human being, I would plead for American public to pursuade its government to stop the selective genocide in Iraq. 50,000 children die every year in Iraq because of sanctions on medicines and food.

A whole generation is being wiped out. Essentialy making sure that Iraq doesnt have a younger generation to wear its military uniform and take hold of the country's affairs.

Ignorance is only topped by Arrogance.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:54 AM on September 14, 2001

But we haven't set out to kill innocents have we? At least not when we weren't in a state of war.

That's cutting it a little fine for my tastes. Bin Laden has declared war on us already. So from his view, this is a state of war.
posted by boaz at 11:00 AM on September 14, 2001

But we haven't set out to kill innocents have we?

Yes, Clinton's bombings of the Iraq and Sudan has led to more than a few civilian deaths. You know people like janitors, firemen, people walking the street. After a bomb goes off someone has to put out the fire, have you forgotten Tuesday already? They have firemen in other counties too. I hate to sound condescending but if you truly think we don't almost habitually kill innocents then you're really out of the loop. War, of course, will make all these deaths look like a fond memory.

Unless you consider all Iraqis and Sudanese citizens children, women, and men guilty of something I guess the US hasn't killed any innocents.
posted by skallas at 11:10 AM on September 14, 2001

Clinton had an excellent response(about halfway down) to this argument that struck me as neither ignorant now arrogant. The basic point was that Iraq was selling more oil now than before the war, so if his people are starving it's Saddam's choice not ours. Our role has simply been to prevent him from using that money to rebuild his army; his choice has been to hoard it while his people starve.
posted by boaz at 11:13 AM on September 14, 2001

You know, it really very hard to restrain myself any longer. RevBrian, the US has absolutely sanctioned and funded killing of innocents all over central and south america, mostly under Nixon and Reagan, because they didn't agree with US ideology in the cold war.

Now, I know the US will retaliate for this and continue the cycle of violence and it is too hard to convince the rightists in the US that you cannot stop terrorism with a military solution, they have been trying it in Northern Ireland and Israel for a long time. You have to decide what you want, revenge or peace.

I feel the same shock and nausea that everyone else feels, believe me, I have friends who work downtown, but this is no time to stop thinking clearly. The question is how do we prove we are different.
posted by chrismc at 11:19 AM on September 14, 2001

...on a day when every television and newspaper hack around the country was proclaiming "a new era" in national defense needs, the Washington Post, the paper of record in the national capitol, solicited the wisdom of a pair of Nixon administration chicken hawks.

Frankly, I'd rather hear the opinion of Christopher Hitchens than Henry Kissinger, particularly since he's pretty good at shaking out the polarities of the debate and stamping them flat.
posted by holgate at 11:21 AM on September 14, 2001

I had been meaning to look for something from Colman McCarthy after I heard him on WAMU's Public Interest the other day. This is a beautiful bit of clarity, thanks mapalm.
posted by sudama at 11:23 AM on September 14, 2001

Documents released under the freedom of revealed that the air war in Destert Storm specifically targeted Iraqi water purification plants with the understanding that it could trigger epidemics of water-born diseases. (The Progressive via Alternet)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2001

[The question is how do we prove we are different.]

Hell if I know. What is an appropriate response?
posted by revbrian at 11:28 AM on September 14, 2001

Whoah... Nixon had chicken hawks on the pay roll?
posted by poseur at 11:44 AM on September 14, 2001

Link seems fine to me, D.

Aha, yes, pardon me. It just didn't like being thrown into another window.

I'm another lapsed pacifist. Not that I've been running around killing people lately, it's just that I'm not really sure what an effective pacifist response would be to something like this. It's frustrating to no end. When I think of passive resistance these days, I think of Tibet 'resisting' China's invasion. I can see the moral point, but what good is that when you lose your home and family?
posted by D at 12:24 PM on September 14, 2001

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