Re: Pies in the face

From: Chris Russo (
Date: Fri Feb 09 2001 - 20:25:47 MST

At 22:54 +0000 2/9/01, Charlie Stross wrote:
>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.)

... a war waged to ... you can say it... take their land and the oil
in their land! That's called property! Treaty shmeaty, the problem
was with the aggressive theft of property.

>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.

Worse, the British killed a bunch of Iraqis to protect someone
*else's* property. Seems that the British are rather nosy and
deadly, when it comes to property protection.

>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.

Great, so Britain fought the US's war for cheap gasoline. As usual,
it's all the nasty US's fault.

> > 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.

HA! The "official reason" is irrelevant. The entire thing was about
property rights: Kuwaiti land rights, Kuwaiti oil rights, and the
world's access to those oil rights.

> > 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.

Huh? You said that defending property with lethal force was a
"cultural marker" - something that distinguished US culture from
British culture. My point is that your culture does things contrary
to your expressed philosophy. One of us doesn't seem to understand
British culture very well.


Chris Russo

"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought 
or deed, I will gladly change.  I seek the truth, which never yet 
hurt anybody.  It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance 
which does harm."
              -- Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS, VI, 21

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