Re: Attack on Civilized World

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2001 - 01:46:28 MDT

('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) >Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 08:25:59 -0700
> Re: Attack on Civilized WorldReply-To:
>Eugene writes:
>> Excellent. We're talking about ground troops, then. Because the sigint is
>> yet incapable of tracking small bands of people from high above, and tell
>> it apart from innocents, and you can't send in robotic fighters to
>> slaughter them. So, uniformed people have to do it.
>> So, we're talking about more body bags. How many more body bags do you
>> think the U.S. will tolerate, especially after what has happened?
>This is a good question and one I am sure that the war planners are asking
>themselves. But I believe the American public is absolutely ready to accept
>very significant numbers of war deaths IF it is seen as part of a campaign
>that could realistically address the terrorist threat.
>America lost 400,000 soldiers during World War II. By all accounts the
>national mood today is much the same. I believe that people are ready
>to accept thousands or even tens of thousands of our young people dying;
>I don't know about hundreds of thousands though. Some 58,000 died in
>Vietnam and that was too many, but it was seen as a war where we had no
>real national interests.
     There are significant differences. In WW II, aside from the Pearl harbor attack, the war was fought oceans away on either side. neither your rank and file stateside citizen nor your stateside militasry and political leaders felt particularly threatened; the overwhelming proportion of the danger was to our troops overseas.
     However, here, 6000 civinian citizens have been massacred in the center of world commerce in the heart of our largest city, the symbolic heart of our military has been attacked (killing a 3 star general in the process), and another plane was bound for a sudden meeting with the White House before the uprising of heroic passengers caused it to crash short of its goal.
     We thus have a confluence of ordinary citizens, the military, business leaders and politicians feeling justifiably in danger of losing their lives to hostile attack on our own home soil. Pearl Harbor does not even BEGIN to compare.
     Due to these facts and circumstances, I sincerely believe that we as a nation are willing to bear a very heavy burden of personal loss, and even go it alone if we have to, in order to both inflict terminal injury upon the attackers and forestall the possibility of repetition of such an attack by means of the elimination of not just Al Quaeda, but also all other major fundamentalist Islamic terror groups of which we are aware.
>We may also face tactics of brutality never seen before in warfare.
>Iran kept America hostage and helpless for over a year by holding and
>torturing 52 civilians. In Somalia, dead American bodies were dragged
>through the streets by cheering crowds, and the US ran. These successful
>precedents are an obvious thing for the enemy to try, and we must be
>prepared to face such atrocities.
>> I don't
>> have to ask to know that Germany as a member of NATO will get very cold
>> feet when we're talking about 10 dead young men.
>This demonstrates a vast difference in the psychology of our two
>countries today.
>> For obvious reasons purely technological warfare against a small group of
>> extremists hiding in what is one of the poorest, most abused nations in
>> the world (starting with the British involvement, as Charlie so helpfully
>> pointed out) is atrocious.
>I simply think it would be ineffective. Afghanistan is a sparsely
>populated country with extremely rugged terrain. The US has only so
>many cruise missiles. We don't have the resources or materiel to bomb
>every square inch of the country even if we thought that would accomplish
>> You will get your war. There's no need asking for it extra, the people on
>> the street are clamoring for it loud enough. At this point every sane and
>> rational person should not only stop amplifying hate but try to spread
>> information and moderation amongst those who are willing to listen.
>I just hope that Americans are going into this with their eyes open.
>Afghanistan is not southern Iraq. It's not going to be a repeat of
>the Gulf War. The Afghans successfully fought off the Soviet army for
>many years. The mountain terrain makes it hard to use the tank columns
>that were so successful in Iraq. It promotes hit and run, guerilla
>style attacks. In ten minutes the attackers can be gone and you'll
>never find them. It looks to me like a ground battle in Afghanistan
>would have a lot more in common with Vietnam than Iraq.
>> Retaliation always overshoots, and this time it looks it will overshoot
>> very badly. Try to limit the damage.
>It is encouraging that even Pakistan is agreeing to go along with the
>coalition. Hopefully the need to retain international consensus will
>keep the attacks focused and prevent it from turning into a massacre
>of civilians.

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