Re: Impact on history

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2001 - 08:45:18 MDT

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John Clark wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> Wrote:
> > What I don't like is the assumption that Iraqi or Afghan civilian
> > casualties are acceptable - undesirable, perhaps, but acceptable - while
> > American civilian casualties are unimaginable horrors.
> It doesn't matter if you like it, it's the attitude American civilians would
> inevitably take, Afghan civilians believe the same thing with just one
> minor change. Three billion years of evolution has constructed us
> in such a way that your death is bad but my death is an unimaginable
> horror. Did you expect something else?

THis is the force initiation principle at work. We never hurt the afghan
people, in fact, we supported them in their fight against an oppressor
for ten years with hundreds of millions of dollars. They turn around and
allow a government like the Taliban to decide that we, their allies, are
the enemy. So, this is not a case of us just killing a people we have
never met, never had any beef with. We helped them, they turn around and
betray us and host a group on their soil that attacks us. In the muslim
world, if your house guest commits a crime against your neighbor, you
are responsible for that crime.

This is also a responsibility issue. Many, if not most, muslim nations
tend to hold, to a greater or lesser degree, to the idea that attacks on
muslim nations by infidels are attacks on all, that allowing infidel
armies into muslim lands, even in defense of a muslim nation, is an
affront to Islam (this is the whole basis for bin Laden's arguments that
have gained credence among the common people of the muslim world). If
this is so, then it is up to muslim nations to be responsible for the
defense of muslim nations, AND for the policing of their own. The
Taliban, and bin Laden, exist because muslim nations around the world
allow them to exist. If they truly believe that western armies should
stay out of muslim nations, they should take care of this problem

I hope that plenty of muslims realize what they, in their collective
responsibility, have done to the world. Unfortunately, I doubt it. From
all experience, it seems they are quite enamored of the classic sort of
criminal rationalization: killing a hostage, and blaming the negotiator
"see what you made me do?". This is a consistent excuse through Iran,
Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere. We don't give the muslim world what it
wants, so they go and destroy something or someone, and it's our fault.

The claims by many of 'moral eqivalence' are bogus. Thousands of Iraqis
and Palestinians die every year because they refuse to stop committing
violence and ask peacefully for help. The violence that occurs in muslim
countries is their very own making. They claim Islam is a religion of
peace, yet the peace that they promote must be on their terms.

The American people are not sadists. Anyone in the world who has ever
peacefully asked for help from the American people has always gotten it:
famines in africa, disasters in latin america, wars in europe and asia.
Sometimes it seems that if we are to be blamed for anything, it is to
care too much, sometimes, for ungrateful people. I don't believe this in
every case or even most cases, of course, and I think that our past
philanthropy is now coming back to help us in this time of need.
Britain, Japan, Germany, and dozens of other nations jumped immediately
to help us without being asked. Nations who have little to give are
still foursquare behind us.

Nor do I think that we will go as far in prosecuting this 'war' as the
present jingoism would have us believe. Given past history, I predict
that the Taliban will be quickly defeated in the field and will hand
over the live or dead bodies of al Qaeda. We will impose some rules on
them for the treatment of their people, which they will promptly ignore
when we disembark from that part of the world too soon, because we will
not want to look like we are oppressing other people too much. We may
get in a few more licks on Saddam, but he will stay around as well,
because when it comes down to it, there are too many Americans who
haven't got the guts to get the job done, and they continue to disguise
it as a dislike of 'killing innocencts', or of 'going too far'.

The world will look much like it does now when we are done, and Bush
will lose reelection as well due to dissatisfaction with the result, and
terrorism will rise up again to attack us with even greater violence,
with nukes, biologicals, or chemical weapons. Our nation will lose all
trust of the citizenry, and we will devolve into a fascist camp of ever
more limited liberties.

Is this the sort of future you really want? I don't, but I'm already
hearing the whining from many who don't want to do what it takes to
finish the job and eliminate terrorism once and for all.

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