Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Dwayne (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 06:02:15 MST

Mike Lorrey wrote:
> Dwayne wrote:
> >
> > Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > >
> > > Charlie Stross wrote:
> > > >
> > > > I mean, would *you* want to visit a European state where the
> > > > government had passed regulations saying that basically you
> > > > relinquished all rights to due process of law by entering their
> > > > borders, and if they felt like it they could have you arrested,
> > > > tried by a military tribunal, and executed on the spot with no
> > > > appeal?
> > >
> > > If I were attempting to overthrow that government or even merely trying
> > > to engage in a propaganda war to destroy the hypothetical high trust
> > > society of that hypothetical european country, I would expect such
> > > measures as a matter of course.
> >
> > Erm, "propaganda war" ???
> >
> > You'd *execute people* because of what they said? Aren't you a fan of
> > free speech?
> Don't you even see the referents in the statement? In the scenario
> above, *I* am not the government, I am the revolutionary attemting to
> subvert the government. Under revolutionary doctrine, it is in my
> interest to promote the repression of free speech *by the government*,
> so as to bring more support to my side.

That is in no way implied in the above quote.

> Yes, they do find them disturbing. The only scenario where the
> terrorists win is if those who find them disturbing join the terrorists
> in fighting against the government over this issue. It is a proven fact
> that standard revolutionary insurgency doctrine does not work if a
> sufficient majority of the population trusts the government enough to
> allow it to engage in temporary, targeted, forms of repression that are
> specifically focused on the sources of insurgency.

Now, just sit back and read what you are saying.
"temporary, targeted, forms of repression that are specifically focused"

This is all well and good in a perfect society.

But no such thing exists. So, are you going to trust *your* government
to carry out such acts?
In secret? I certainly wouldn't.

> We see this occuring in the wake of 911 where you get 80%+ support from
> the african-american community for the profiling of arab/muslim
> individuals by law enforcement. So long as this sort of repression is
> not broad based: i.e. profiling african americans as well, the
> population will support the government actions.

What is that Quote from Pastor Niemoller (I am writing this offline so I
can't do a search) about "first they came for the communists, but I
wasn't worried, I'm not a communist, then they came for the

This is a really slippery slope which I don't think any government
should even consider entering into. The only time such actions would be
justified would be during an actual war, or an actual insurgency, which
the United States certainly does not have at the moment. As it is, this
sort of repression would almost certainly breed the sort of resentment
which *creates* insurgencies.

> In insurgency doctrine, the point of triggering massive government
> repression with atrocities is to get the government to oppress enough of
> the population to feed a large growth in participation in
> anti-government activities, which leads to more atrocities by terrorists
> and more repression by government.

But at this point in time there is, as far as I am aware *no* active
insurgency underway in the US, and so this totally over-the-top
situation you are describing is irrelevant.

> The problem in this calculus of force is in predicting the balance
> between the public perceptions about the atrocities committed by
> terrorists and the proportionality or weightedness of the response by
> government. If the government's repression following the atrocity is
> seen as less severe than the atrocity itself, public support remains
> with the government. A revolutionary needs the government to overreact,
> and for media sources to widely sensationalize any overreaction.

Sure. But if the government is going around oppressing an entire class
of people, eventually you will alienate those people, as a group, and
then your insurgency will begin. It just breeds itself.

> For this reason, I look at the anthrax attacks with a suspicious view.

Well, not to mention the possibility of it being other people than those
who did the September 11 attack.

> By targeting members of the media, especially those who have records of
> sensationalism and/or sentiment toward left wing anti-government
> opinions, the media has specifically been turned into a tool of
> sensationalism against government into one of its biggest supporters,
> and thus they tend to downplay any repression the government does engage
> in, since in their own biased editorial view, it is at least partially
> justified, if not fully justified.

Well, I guess it is hard to be objective when your life is at stake.
Did they target members of the media who have such a background? Not
being an American, I know very little about US media, other than the
fact that CNN seems to be awash in Australian presenters, unless they
employ regional presenters. I've been highly amused by various US
conspiracy nuts sounding off at all of the "British" accents on CNN,
smelling a plot. (We're after your ski fields. Ours suck).


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