Re: Antiamericanism

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 14:16:17 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 13, 2001 at 04:10:45AM -0700, Samantha Atkins wrote:
> >
> > The way to get rid of terrorism against us is to make the
> > repurcussions of attacking us so very, very undesirable that no
> > remotely sane group would attempt such a thing and no remotely
> > sane government would harbor or aid those who attempt such a
> > thing.
> I would say the repercussions are already on that level. The problem is
> not the sane terrorists, it is the insane ones. No threat whatsoever can
> discourage them. Getting the marginally more sane governments to help
> stop them partially helps, but again the effects of strong threats is
> also the production of strong resistance, which will come back and haunt
> you later.

What repurcussions? We have been attacked abroad over and over
again with only token response. We have done nothing thus far
on this latest and far more escalated attack. The repurcussions
may not stop the insane but they will certainly give great pause
to those who arm, feed, shelter, supply and aim the suicidal at
us. Beyond that if they are truly beyond reason completely and
beyond constraint then they deserve to be hunted down like the
deranged and dangerous fiends that you are declaring that they

> It is worth thinking of game theory here: you need a strategy that
> promotes trust and cooperation, while discourages defection.

The game Tuesday was little but strike hard and fast and dare
the other side to respond at all. If they do not then strike
even harder next time. Gather all the glory for boldly
emasculating and harming the Great Satan in its lair. This
cannot be allowed to go unpunished and or underpunished. That
would be to forfeit.
> > There is no way a free, individual rights afffirming, secular
> > government could help but piss off those countries and inviduals
> > of very different mindset. Our very existence pisses them off.
> > There is no way to appease such. We can only make clear that
> > when they attack us we will respond as to an act of war.
> I have heard the term "act of war" bandied around so much the last days
> that I fully expect that it will now lose any meaning except outside
> legal circles.
> The old terminology of conflict needs new words to deal with "war"
> between nations, groups and individuals. It is not just for nations
> anymore.

There are real nations supporting and cheering such actions.
Nations that have made real threats to us and our citizens and
who have trained and cultivated terrorists and used them against
us. Iran and Afghanistan are two such nations.

It is not a figure of speech in the least. We have been
viciously attacked and will respond to this true act of war.

> > In short we are largely hate for our good before we are hated
> > for any actual evil we have, may have or will commit.
> In a way, yes. The US gets distrusted because of its power, and every
> single move that can be criticised or viewed as evil will be used to
> support the anti-american view. So before you rush off to decisively
> retailiate against an enemy, think of the long term effects.
> Discouraging future attacks should be the main goal, and this depends on
> 1) how discouraged people get by seeing what happens to attackers, and
> 2) how angry people get by seeing what the US does. There is a balance
> to strike here.

The long term effect of playing it diplomatic and making only
token response is screaming from all communication channels.
Such responses over decades led directly to the events of
Tuesday. I want to do more than "discourage" future attacks. I
want to remove the groups who are the threat and the governments
who support such threats. They can be angry but they will
respect us or else. We are not the aggressor. They are.

> The way to deal with the general problem is of course to deal with the
> root cause. We need to make people see the good aspects of the US - by
> promoting open societies, by allowing other countries to participate in
> trade, open borders and so on. To a large extent this is what has worked
> well for the US, but it is important to make people in general see this,
> and avoid closing down trade, borders and societies out of fear of
> terrorism.

When we do many of these things we are hated for our "cultural
imperialism". We are hated as a clear threat to those who would
rule by an Iron hand of fundamentalist law in a backwards
theocracy. We are hated by those who love the familiar, despite
its relative misery, more than progress and freedom.

I agree that we should not become a closed society. But we also
cannot be a soceity if we allow others to attack us and ours
with relative impunity.
> There will always be opponents, rational or not, but when whole
> societies embrace openness they will have a harder time getting help,
> hiding and gaining converts. No amount of military intervention can
> ever achieve that to the same extent. At least not without turning the
> US into exactly what people fear it might be.

Whole societies will not embrace openness just out of
enlightened self-interest. I wish it were so but it is not.
Some societies are in the way of their people's being able to
choose anything at all and attack directly other societies who
are open. When they attack us they will be brought low. This
is simple and deadly logic than even the most willfully blind
cannot escape seeing. If, that is, we do not pretend the world
and those behind Tuesdays events, are other than what they are.

The US has too long been interested in opinion polls more than
the defense and integrity of its own people. This needs to

- samantha

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