What Happens Next? Six options beyond war and peace.
September 21, 2001 9:37 PM   Subscribe

What Happens Next? Six options beyond war and peace. Which is best?
posted by ericost (7 comments total)
A bit late? I think the war option is the most likely.
posted by phatboy at 9:46 PM on September 21, 2001

What about the Jackie Chan option?
posted by RoyalJack at 10:36 PM on September 21, 2001

Heh, Bugs Bunny with basic military philosophy. Well, at least we don't have Daffy Duck (or Wile E. Coyote for that matter) running the missle defense program.

Personally I think this article is overly simplistic. What we are ultimately dealing with is an incredibly unstable region of the world that the US military and whatever allies we have going in could get bogged down in like the Soviets 20 years ago. It requires more than war, it requires a whole hell of a lot of diplomacy too.

If the US is going into this region neck-deep, we need to deal with issues that are about as hairy as Osama bin Laden, such as India v. Pakistan, Israel v. the greater portion of the Arab world, Golan Heights/West Bank/Gaza Strip, and about a dozen other things. Somehow I think we won't do that and make things worse....possibly leading to option 6 I'm afraid.
posted by PeteyStock at 10:48 PM on September 21, 2001

Is there an option for all of the above? This is like that children's song "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly...." Everything that's happened is because something happened before because something happened before.... Tackling this will be like herding cats. The problem with the Kojak option is: what will happen if they are found guilty? Remember the guy in California who threw that dog into traffic? He got a longer sentence than most convicted rapists do! We see too many rapists and murderers WALK away on parole after hardly having time to break in their orange pajamas; many people I know think the judicial system is a sham. Many, many years back those convicted of war atrocities (a modern term) were executed by firing squad. How many around the world would be happy knowing that those responsible for the act of war that resulted in the mass murder of thousands were sitting in a comfy cell in a maximum security prison and watching HBO?
posted by jw161020 at 12:10 AM on September 22, 2001

This is a brilliant article which deserves further discussion and attention. Yes, it's overly simplistic - but that's the point. It makes clear the various options that US leaders will be discussing right now, in a way we can all understand. I hasten to add that the author isn't too worried about exposing his own biases, but on the whole it's a fairly comprehensive and fair-handed piece.

Have to disagree with one of the criticisms of the Gandhi option - we don't have to attack Afghanistan just because the American people want 'justice' or revenge. Does the dog wag its tail, or does the tail wag the dog?

Personally I favour Kojak or at the very worst Bugs/Bronson, my feeling being that we should bring the criminals to justice, but NOT (as George Bush promises) "bring justice to them".
posted by skylar at 3:37 AM on September 22, 2001

Great piece (it is no more overly simplistic than De Bono's Six Action Shoes). I'd vote for a Ghandi/Bugs hybrid (now, that one will not survive being taken out of context).

Ghandi's "The point of reexamining U.S. foreign policy in the wake of the attacks is not to find everything about it that you might want to change, from Star Wars to Kyoto. It is to find the parts that might be putting us in danger, even if you've supported them until now. " goes right to the heart of the paralysis afflicting many threads here in MeFi.

And Bronson because it has the flavour of sustained, enlightened containment that underscored the Cold War. Bugs just isn't rabbit enough for the long haul.

Here is a more conventional review of the shorter term options and issues from Newsweek.
posted by RichLyon at 6:31 AM on September 22, 2001

I LOVE Bugs (in general I mean).

I agree that the Gandhi option, as worded, may be overly simplistic, though the article is kinda wonderful, in my opinion.

I propose negotiating a Deepak Chopra amendment to the Gandhi option (though I have a feeling Gandhi would have come up with this himself).

Dr. Chopra, on the Diane Rehm show last week, talked about the society of the planet in terms of an ecosystem. (This next metaphor is mine, since I don't have a transcript of the show -- the audio file should be available in wamu.org's archive in a week or so). Weeding out a portion of the garden isn't enough, if the soil itself is corrupt. We have to bring the whole garden to health. Dr. Chopra talked about healing the whole ecosystem, and that evil is a disturbance in the whole collective.

Sound too new-agey for some? I think its an idea that can't be ruled out, though I realize that for the most part, it's unrealistic in the face of the country's desperate need for a "swift vengeance" following these violent acts, that precludes the patience required for such an undertaking.

It addresses the likelihood that eradicating the Taliban and the bid-Laden faction will probably result in others simply taking their place. In other words, its the way the people of the world (including Americans) are taught to treat each other that needs to be addressed -- its the root not the outgrowth that needs to be dealt with.

All that said, I'm nevertheless (still) for the James Bond option. Which I think is really the Bugs option without anvils falling on heads with loud crashes. A bit more covert and elegant.
posted by mirla at 3:46 PM on September 22, 2001

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