Re: Pies in the face

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Fri Feb 09 2001 - 15:54:56 MST

On Fri, Feb 09, 2001 at 12:09:43PM -0600, Chris Russo wrote:
> At 16:01 +0000 2/9/01, Charlie Stross wrote:
> >I notice that Americans seem to be fanatical about defending their
> >property -- to the use of lethal force. My take on it is that *no*
> >property is worth risking your life -- or anyone else's life, for
> >that matter. Lost or stolen property can be replaced: lives can't.
> >Another cultural marker ...
> 1. Wasn't the Gulf War about property rights?


It was about enforcement of a UN Resolution brought by the Security
Council against a UN member and treaty signatory which had violated
an international treaty which it had signed. (Said violation consisted
of waging aggressive war against it's neighbour state.)

At least, that's the official fiction. To the extent that the Gulf
War was about property rights it was *not* about British property rights
other than in the very tenuous sense of protecting investments of British
corporations overseas.

Cynically, the war was fought to keep the price of gas down at pumps
across the US heartland in the run-up to an election.

> 2. Weren't the British active participants in the Gulf War - using
> lethal force to protect those property rights?

The British were active participants but their official reason for
being there was nothing to do with property rights. Period.

> 3. Why is it okay to wipe out thousands of soldiers and more than a
> few innocents to protect property rights on a country scale, but it's
> not okay to protect property with lethal force on an individual scale?

It's not okay to do *either*. Period.

Please do not mistake me for the British government.

-- Charlie

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