From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 08:58:16 MDT

Technotranscendence wrote:
> On Friday, May 26, 2000 6:09 AM Michael S. Lorrey
> wrote:
> > > No time to comment on everything this morning, but the above point of
> view
> > > clearly means Lorrey means anything and everything can be redefined as a
> > > military target. In other words, any war is always total war and any
> nation
> > > engaging in war that thinks it has right on its side -- and what nation
> > > going to war claims it doesn't -- can bomb and kill indiscriminately.
> >
> > No, that is NOT what I mean. You cannot specifically target civilians,
> private
> > buildings that don't contribute to the war effort (and propaganda is a
> > contribution to the war effort, so a TV station IS a legitimate target),
> I disagree in regards to TV stations. I think, in particular, the TV
> stations were bombed to prevent non-NATO media from operating. (Not that
> Milosevic supported or defended free media. In fact, during and after the
> bombing, he basically did everything in his power to stop all but
> pro-Milosevic media from functioning.)

Any communications capability not under allied control is to be
considered an asset of the enemy. Sure one station was 'opposition'
controlled, but they were loyal opposition, not armed resistance. There
is a difference

> > hospitals, schools, prisons, etc. However, there is a difference between
> > targeting a non-combatant, and accidentally killing a non-combatant
> through
> > collateral damage while in the course of attacking a legitimate target.
> I agree about the difference between targeting and accidentally hitting
> someone or something. Even so, there is a such thing as accidents and
> willful negligence in targeting. For instance, if one bombs a target in a
> population center, I think any civilian deaths and destrcution of
> nonmilitary propert might be regarded as willful neglegence -- and not a
> mere accident.

You don't know much about warfare. IMHO, any civilian dumb enough to
remain in the vicinity of a military installation during a war is merely
aiding evolution when he gets whacked.

> See _The Globe and Mail_ article at:
> wherein Canadian commanders admit to probably hitting civilians despite
> extreme precautions. (For the record, this does NOT look like the Yugoslav
> forces put their bases there because NATO air strikes were in the offing,
> but rather because they'd always been there. The last time Yugoslavia was
> bombed was during WW2.) I also wonder, given the description of the target
> selection process -- if indeed this was the process used by all NATO
> missions -- why was the Chinese embassy bombed, from three separate
> directions no less?
> In this case -- bombing Yugoslavia -- the innocent shields of threats
> argument can't really be used. Yugoslavia was not an aggressor by
> international standards. The fact that it did not consent to the
> Rambouillet terms is not grounds for warfare, especially if one looks at the
> terms, which basically included provisions for NATO to occupy all of
> Yugoslavia. Has Lorrey read the terms?

No I have not, and I'd like to read them on a non-Serbian or non-serbian
sympathizer website.

> > Any
> > civilian with brains will stay as far away from any military target as
> possible.
> > Bridges are and always have been considered primary military targets.
> See below. I don't necessarily disagree on bridges, though the argument
> about staying away from targets kinds of goes against Lorrey's argument
> later on about bombing Dresden. Since Dresden was an arts Mecca, one would
> suspect that it would not be a primary or even secondary target. (Again:
> the real reason for bombing Dresden had to do with satisfying the Soviets --
> not with helping the war effort. That is, unless one considers do any of
> one's allies whims helping the war effort.)

I'm sure the Soviets did not want a city full of uppity elitists around
when they decided to impose their socialist state on east Germany. The
story goes, though, that the Soviets asked the Americans to target the
rail yards specifically because it was a crucial junction (thus it was
not a non-important target, rail yards are a legitimate target) in the
German rail network, and could be used to reinforce german forces
fighting against the Soviet onslaught. Bomber Harris got wind of the
raid and had to beat them to it with his own carpet bombing methods, and
he targeted the city, not the rail yards.
> > > I recall the bombing of the train bridge. The pilot saw the train after
> > > dropping his first load and went back and bombed again. The NATO
> spokesman
> > > claimed, "He bombed in good faith." What, pray tell, would bombing in
> "bad
> > > faith" be?
> >
> > Bombing in bad faith is specifically bombing a target that you are aware
> has a
> > large number of non-combatants in the target zone. This is called an
> atrocity.
> > If you drop a bomb, knowing the target is clear, and while the bomb is
> dropping
> > a non-combatant runs into the target area, that is not an atrocity, that
> is
> > stupidity on the part of the non-combatant.
> Recall, in the case I mentioned, he bombed, the train entered the target
> area then he rebombed. So, by Lorrey's standard, the first drop was "good
> faith," the second "bad faith." (If he thinks the commuter train moved into
> the target area because its engineer saw the bridge being demolished, this
> is something he'll have to prove. The specifics of the case _seem_ to be
> that the train was moving and its engineer unaware of the bombing.)

Except that the site was NOT rebombed, according to Pentagon data, that
is just a made up story to make the US look bad.

> > > > Now, are you saying the Germans were housing POWs in the city, as
> human
> > > > shields? That, in itself, is a war crime.
> > >
> > > The Germans, to my knowledge, did not know Dresden was going to be
> bombed.
> > > Up until February of 1945, to my knowledge, Dresden had never been
> heavily
> > > bombed AND it was not a military center -- being mainly an "arts" Mecca.
> >
> > They didn't know when any place was going to be bombed. That is not an
> excuse.
> But according to Lorrey's other material on this, he gives one the idea that
> civilians can expect to know where not to be not to get bombed. I don't
> want to keep going back and forth on this. Suffice to say, we disagree here
> and it does not appear agreement will be forthcoming, perhaps not until both
> of us cogitates on this for a bit.

Civilians should know from history that infrastructure, like bridges,
are top priority targets, because they allow the easy transportation of
large amounts of military personnel and hardware. Civilians who persist
in using such infrastructure during a war are willfully putting
themselves at risk.

As for Germany, the british had already firebombed Hamburg and a dozen
other industrial cities. Are the people who died in those conflagrations
any less important? I suppose to an elitist, the 'artists' who lived in
Dresden are more important than the industrial workers in Hamburg.

> > Note: We frequently bombed military industrial facilities where Jewish
> slave
> > laborers worked. Should we be blamed for their deaths?
> When one evaluates the effect of such bombing on the war, I think one could
> at best say it was a wasted effort. It would have been much better to
> concentrate all bombing during the war on a) bombing specifically military
> targets (e.g., sub bases, barracks, tactical military targets such as tanks)
> and anything related to oil refining and storage.

You obviously don't know anything at all about warfare if you make this
statement. Bombing the military industrial complex was the most
important goal of the war. If we had not done that it would have gone on
for decades. Bombing ball bearing, ammunition, rocket, aircraft, and
shipbuilding facilities were all crucial targets.

> > > [big snip I'll to get to later...]
> > > > We don't kill the kids.
> > >
> > > Who is this "we"? Is Lorrey calling the shots down at the Pentagon?
> >
> > You are blaming America in general, and I am an American, so it is 'we'. I
> note
> > that you avoid replying to the rest of my comments here.
> Then let me restate. I do NOT blame the US in general. I blame its
> government at the time, specifically those in charge and those who carried
> out their missions without question.
> Even if I did mean blaming the US as a whole -- which I did NOT -- then the
> response should never be to defend US as a whole. (In fact, I've looked
> over my passed emails. I've mostly used "US government." I've been pretty
> restrained on using "America" and "Americans." The context should have been
> apparent that when I did so I was not blaming every last American. Also, I
> accept no guilt for the actions of others, so I hardly include myself in
> such collectivizations.)
> Let me also state that I don't have time to comment on every single comment
> here. If Lorrey would use his eyes to read, he would have noted that I
> stated in my last post on this thread with "No time to comment on everything
> this morning..." Some of us have jobs and don't live for this list, okay?
> > > [another big snip I'll to get to later...]
> > > Yes, I recall some 45 people were killed before the bombings began.
> And, of
> > > course, the claims of the KLA Are to be beleived while any Serb sources
> are
> > > total liars. Genocide on a scale to match... Waco not Hitler. I
> suppose
> > > that justifies bombing all of Yugoslavia AND killing thousands of
> civilians
> > > in the process.
> >
> > There were far more than 45 people killed.
> I agree. I've made a mistake here. The NY Times claimed in 1999 that
> approximately 2000 people were killed in all of 1998 in Kosovo. Hardly
> genocide considering that that figure might actually be an overestimate and
> includes Kosovar Serb deaths. I.e., it combines KLA killings as well as
> those caused by Yugoslav forces. (The Serb page I cite below claims the
> death toll was 1200 and about 140 of those were Serbian. Now, theyare
> probably biased, but 1200 is really not such a great underexaggeration of
> 2000. I mean, if one is going to lie, why not say 500 people were killed
> and 400 of them were Serbs?)

They are still digging up bodies, so the numbers are not all yet in, and
I personally don't consider the NY Times to be a very good newspaper.
They are one of the worst of the biased media outlets, and they pick and
choose what stories and facts they want to report.

> My mistake was in regards to an alleged massacre January 15, 1999 in the
> village of Racak in Kosmet which was reported widely before and during the
> bombings to be in the thousands and the actual number was in the dozens or
> maybe 15. If my memory's correct, this "massacre" was a proximate trigger
> for the bombings.
> (I should add too, we must be very careful here since the Pentagon controls
> media access in such campaigns. Funny how little the Media and (Lorrey and
> too many Americans) has (have) complained about this control.)

Given the state of the media today, there is no treatment that is too
good for them. When they decide to become a little less biased, I'll

> >Where are you getting your
> > information? By the time we started bombing, there were hundreds of
> thousands as
> > refugees and thousands of people killed, raped, and being used as human
> shields.
> I've noticed Lorrey cites no sources.
> Cato's testimony about the issue is at:
> It does not cite numbers of deaths in Kosovo,

So you pose a useless citation.

> On the number of nonAlbanians fleeing Kosovo since NATO made it safe for the
> KLA, see "UN: 210,000 non-Albanian refugees from Kosovo" at:

Merely criminals fleeing the scene of a crime. Much like Germans running
for Argentina after the war...

> > > Also, the bombing against Yugoslavia seems to not have stopped the
> killings
> > > in the region, but escalated them. Was this the goal? I don't think
> so.
> > > One should, after all, go to war with the notion to making things
> better.
> > > In other words, one fights because one thinks that the peace afterwards
> will
> > > be better than the peace before the fight. This should make war the
> means
> > > to a higher end and actual military actions can then be measured against
> > > whether they work toward this end or detract from it.
> >
> > If the Serbs did not want what is happening to them now, they should not
> have
> > given free reign to those who perpetrated the slaughter and rape of
> thousands of
> > ethnic albanians. What comes around goes around.
> Excellent analysis! Of course, Lorrey seems to assume that no Albanians
> every did anything wrong here and that the Serbs as a whole deserve
> punishment. In other words, if a Black man kills a White man up in Lorrey's
> neck of the woods, watch out! He might just show up in Comptom or Harlem
> and kill a few Blacks. After all, "What comes around goes around."

The Serbs, in general, are far more culpable for the large majority of
crimes in the region. The World Court has made this asessment, and all
human rights organzations agree.

As for me, if someone comes up and kills a friend or member of my
family, and the justice system says, "we don't want to enrage our black
constitutency by actually prosecuting this person, why can't we all just
get along peacefully..." Then I will feel quite free to hunt down and
wax that individual.

> > received a good number of Croats that were evicted from other areas.
> Tudjman
> > wais not a saint, he was a thug as well. Most Americans, and I'm sure our
> > government as well, does not consider any of the leaders in the former
> > Yugoslavic states to be nice people. They are all thugs and bullies.
> I agree, that, for the most part, all the leaders in the region, including
> KLA leaders are thugs and bullies. If Lorrey really believes this, then
> this is a great reason NOT to get involved -- as I've maintained all along.

Law enforcement is required to enforce the law (in this case human
rights) even in cases where criminals are commiting crimes on other
criminals. They may not like it, but there are always innocents caught
in the crossfire between such criminals, and those people deserve help.

> >All we can
> > do (and what the Europeans should have been doing but were to lazy and
> self
> > involved to pull their heads out of their asses) is try to keep the peace
> in a
> > very volatile situation, or else we might as will blockade the whole area
> and
> > give them all the guns they want so they can shoot it out until they've
> settled
> > their differences. These are the only two real options.
> Not so. The truth is, the best thing to do, for the US and NATO would be to
> just leave it alone and allow those who want to emigrate leave the region.
> Truth be told, the peace has not been kept. Kosovar Serbs are now being
> killed. The KLA, with its dream of a Greater Albania, might destabilize the
> region even more, especially since it's laying claims to lands in Macedonia
> and Greece.

Any serbs being killed deserve what they get after participating in the
atrocities against albanians.

> If NATO and the US had stayed out of it, chances are Yugoslavia would
> eventually disintegrated over the years as internal opposition mounted to
> Milosevic, but in the meantime the KLA would not be a loose canon rolling
> across the deck of the Balkan ship.

And meanwhile hundreds of thousands of ethnica albanians would have been
massacred by Milosevic and company. Bullshit.

> Again, I reiterate. US involvement generally makes bad situations worse.
> Look at the outcome of Iran (helped to keep the Shah in power insuring that
> those yearning to be free from his tyranny would hate the US and the West),

I, and I don't think any rational person, would regard the Ayatollah as
valuing 'freedom', unless 'freedom' involved them being free to impose
their views on everyone else. Such people are legitimately the enemies
of the US and liberty, and deserve to get stomped.

> Libya (US CIA helped put Qadafy in power),

Uh, no they did not.

> Vietnam (overthrew elected
> government in the South and eventually helped to destabilize Cambodia, Laos
> as well as lose the war), Colombia (currently working on this one), Somalia,
> and so on. This is not a track record of success with a few minor,
> excusable failures. Instead it is a track record of major failures with a
> few minor, unexpected successes. (I'll leave it to Lorrey to show the
> successes, if he can find any.) If people would look at results rather than
> intentions, they might be very wary of any foreign involvement.

It sounds to me like you are living under the Chomskyite version of
history. If so, you and I don't have much to talk about.

> > Once again, Europe is asking us to pull their nuts out of the fire, and if
> we
> > don't do it just the way they want us to, they try to blame us for the
> whole
> > thing. Sometimes I think we should tell them all to piss off.
> I think, for the most part, the US should remain out of it. Europe has no
> current looming threats to its security. Even a rampant KLA probably will
> only effect the Balkans and nowhere else.

Actually, the KLA has an offshoot now trying to start something in the
Serbian province of Presovo. NATO has been trying to shut them down to
mixed results. There are also Albanian 'refugees' taking ships over to
Italy and causing mayhem there. The Italian coast guard had a running
battle with one such ship trying to prevent it from landing.

> > > > while in Chechnya, the
> > > > Chechens started killing Russians first. While Serbia is small enough
> > > > that we can do something about it, there is little we can do about
> > > > Russia except diplomatic protests.
> > >
> > > My point was that Russia could make the same claims about Chechnya that
> > > Lorrey could make about Yugoslavia. In fact, the Russian policy with
> the
> > > Near Abroad and breakaway republics like Chechnya and Ingushtia has been
> to
> > > claim that ethnic Russians are being persecuted -- a claim not
> completely
> > > without merit -- and use this as a pretext for intervention.
> >
> > Of course. And given the level to which fundamentalist Muslim terrorists
> are
> > percolating and penetrating in the 'Stans' these days, I'd be very worried
> and
> > willing to take action too if I were in the Kremlin.
> This not only doesn't rebutt my claim above, Lorrey ignores what he said
> earlier. First, he told us that "Chechens started killing Russians first."
> Now he's telling us this is all based on justified paranoia.
> Is there anyone else on this list aside from Lorrey who thinks that the most
> recent Russian campaign against Chechnya was anything more than a ploy to
> take the pressure off the Kremlin for the sad state of Russia's economy and
> the rife corruption there. It's funny how the whole campaign was timed
> right when Yeltsin's inner circle was starting to collapse and that it
> catapulted Putin, the architect of the campaign, into the Presidency. It
> was nothing more than a massive and bloody PR campaign written with Chechan
> and Russian blood.

Well, I personally think the only reason they haven't been fighting all
along was they couldn't afford it. Hitting the chechens does serve a
legitimate law enforcement objective because Chechnya has served as a
safe haven for the chornye smorodiny gangsters that have been such a
problem throughout the former soviet states, and muslim fundamentalists
operating out of Chechnya are responsible for several large building
bombings in and around Moscow, backed by bin laden, and much like the US
Embassy bombings in africa a couple years ago.

The fact is that Chechnya is NOT an independent country, only the
Taliban of Afghanistan have recognised them as such (and who are the
Taliban to judge), despite what you hear in the media.
> > > > > It's a shame that the American people will have to pay for these
> > > mistakes --
> > > > > and not the politicians who make them. But that's the nature of the
> > > beast.
> > > >
> > > > How are we going to pay for them?
> > >
> > > Americans will pay through blood and treasure, of course. With the
> former,
> > > there is terrorism and war which will claim American lives. I'm not
> saying
> > > this is a justification for this, but merely human nature. The orphaned
> > > Iraqi or Serbian kid who turns to terrorism is not going to think about
> > > morality the same way Lorrey (I hope!) and I do. He or she is mostly
> going
> > > to be motivated by revenge against the US. That urge would not be there
> if
> > > the US had either a) stayed the f*ck out it or b) been a little more
> > > restrained and civilized in flexing its muscles.
> >
> > Funny, until we started bombing, bleeding hearts like you were crying that
> we
> > were not doing enough to stop Milosevik. When are you ever going to be
> > satisfied?
> Lorrey is definitely wrong here. I have been against US involvement in
> almost all foreign wars for the past decade or so. I've especially been
> against US involvement in the Balkans. I've never called for any
> involvement. In fact, the Objectivist position on this, which I adhere to,
> is that no side in the conflict will provide a government which protects
> individual rights, so there is little point in supporting any of them.
> Also, since none of them, as yet, has made attacks on the US, there is no
> proximate justification for involvement. (For the record, I don't think any
> leader in the region will ten years from now be landing troops in Vermont.:)

Thats not quite true. There is a rational Objectivist justification for
getting involved if Milosevic's bahavior impacts markets that the
economy of Vermont depends upon. There is also a rational Objectivist
justification for fighting against tyranny when an oppressed people have
asked for help in the sense that you personally cannot live with
yourself telling them 'tough'.

> In fact, I'm generally against intervention. I've been pretty much an
> isolationist since I've been old enough to vote. (Of course, being
> sympathetic to libertarian anarchism, I've generally been against
> governemnt. Sans government, it would be very hard to intervene. Surely,
> people like Lorrey could join the foreign legion or send money to the KLA,
> but that would leave the 99 and 44/100ths of everyone else out of it.:)

Very true, in a libertarian world, those would be rational things to
expect, and making others pay for the demands upon my sense of justice
is not right, though asking them to pay is another ball of wax entirely.
I do know that a large number of Albanian Americans did join and/or fund
the KLA. However, how far can such work get when Serbia is getting
billions of dollars worth of weaponry sent to it by the Russian military
industry (the real reason for the Balkan conflict, employment for
russian weapons makers).

> What I wonder is whether Lorrey will be a big enough man to apologize for
> his mistake here.

While I was not aware of your claims of consistent isolationism, and I
did make an assumption that if you were promoting the propaganda of a
Milosevic apologist (which is what that original post was) you were
either one of the typical I-hate-America-for-any-reason europeans that
get their entertainment from complaining about the supposed crimes of
the US while never lifting a finger to do anything positive, or you were
a bleeding heart that whines about human rights abuses but bitches when
we go and fix it, or else you were acting as a Milosevic stooge. For
that I apologize.

> > > The treasure part includes property lost to terrorism and war as well as
> > > taxes paid to fund the current policy of military adventurism of the US.
> > > But also, the price will be paid in many other ways -- a less stable
> world,
> > > for one.
> >
> > As long as there are people who hate their neighbors just because they go
> to a
> > different church or have a different accent, and are willing to kill them
> for
> > these differences, then the world will be less stable. Its did not start
> with
> > us, and cannot be blamed on us.
> The thing to do is not to add wood to the fire. Add wood to the fire and
> then one must accept some blame for the mess.

Its kinda like containing forest fires. One useful technique is to start
other fires in a controllable fashion that are in the path of the main
fire that will cut off the fuel supply and exhaust the fire. People who
complain about these sort of things are the sort of people who sit back
and don't contribute, but feel quite free to criticize the results.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:46 MDT