Re: fw: the week from British eyes

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 09:09:37 MDT

>From: "Bill Douglass" <>

>I share with you here a letter I got from a friend, a Scottish
>fellow in his early thirties, with many years experience in the
>trenches of international aid, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
>I had asked him for his candid opinion of 9.11 and its aftermath.
>I'm posting what he wrote back on 9.15. I don't agree with
>everything he says, but I think the letter is good enough to be
>worth reading and considering.

My comments on your friend's letter follows.

>George W is not regarded highly at all. The fear, is that a man
>with such minuscule worldly experience (to put it mildly), will
>precipitate something even worse.

The president is surrounded by some of the finest advisers in the
world. His big advantage is that he is smart enough to listen to

>There is no suggestion that such horrific crimes could ever go
>unpunished, but concern that the punishment will be along the
>lines of 'Hoo'ah, lets kick some ass'; To declare "war" on
>terrorism will only encourage recruits for terrorism - it makes it
>almost legal. George W is seen as too ready to take the law into
>his own hands, to do his bit for the people, but unwittingly start

Let's not rush to judgement. It's been a week now since war was
declared on the United States, we could have struck out in minutes,
we are still formulating a response.

This is war, normal legal channels do not apply.

>America is not necessarily seen worldwide as a beacon of liberty
>but as a beacon of greed and a military bully that undermines
>other cultures.

Care for an evaluation on British history?

>In the long term an adjustment of foreign policy (like blind
>support of Israel, regardless of the hypocritical actions it
>carries out against the Palestinians) to try and diffuse this
>hatred would be a good long term investment.

The U.S. does not support Israel "blindly", Israel hears about it
loud and in no-nonsense terms everytime they do something we don't
approve of.

When was the last time Palestinian supporters said boo about
Palestinian terrorism.

>(It has even been mentioned that maybe now America will
>understand British anger at continued american support for the
>IRA....more people have been killed by the IRA - proportionate to
>population -than the Manhattan and Pentagon atrocities, but
>Britain did not declare war on Ireland, the IRA or even America
>for often harboring the terrorists). If it is not this view of
>the 'Imperialist west', then what has the West and America in
>particular done to incur such hatred?

And what about the Unionists?

This is the single biggest crock I've ever heard. Britain most
certainly did declare war on Ireland, by deed if not by
proclamation. It continues this war to this day.

Who are the biggest supporters of Ireland in America? The millions
of descendants of those who were forced to flee. Although even
those like myself who have Welsh/British/Scottish/Irish ancestors
see Britain as totally wrong when it comes to Ireland.

Want to end the "troubles"? I can do it for you.

1) U.N. Declaration: "The territory known as Northern Ireland is
hearby recognized as part of Ireland, subject to its laws, and no
other nation."

2) Remove British troops occupying Northern Ireland, replace with
U.N. peacekeepers. Make it clear to both sides that terrorism is
outlawed and will be treated/prosecuted equally.

3) British subjects who wish to remain in Northern Ireland are
granted dual citizenship and permanent residency status.

There done, but I'll bet you don't approve of the result.

>But time and time again in articles and letters, is the repeated
>need to observe the international rule of law and use it to
>deliver a "proportionate, discriminate, but lethal blow to those
>held responsible". Is it fair that Afghans or Iraqis feel the need
>to prepare their country for war, or flee their country en masse?
>Is an eye for an eye the correct response?

This was an act of war, and International standards of war apply.
You may wish to inform the other combatants that they are already
in gross violation of such standards.

>You may remember I have some personal experience of terrorism
>first hand. Personally, on a one to one basis, I would have been
>happy to be locked in a room with the person responsible, and
>either understand him and/or beat him to a pulp. But I would have
>run a mile, rather than agree that the correct response would have
>been anything other than a mighty blow against his (proven)
>terrorist organization and its leader.

I have no first-hand knowledge of what you are speaking of here,
and so respectfully refrain from comment.

>Tuesday's acts were not an act of war but criminal acts on a
>horrifying scale. A 'warlike' response is not justified. To Joe
>Bloggs here, $20 billion is a huge amount to start a campaign,
>unless starting a 'war footing. But wars involve campaigns to gain
>control of territories and populations with clearly identifiable
>protagonists....two wrongs do not make a right.

But three lefts do....

Contrary to your opinion, the U.S. recognizes what happened as an
act of War. The standards of war apply.

>"Nobody doubts America's power to visit unimaginable violence on
>others. But to what end? The people are rightly angry, but surely
>not stupid. They can distinguish determination from vengeance,
>caution from appeasement, acts of will from acts of lunacy". Heart
>must not rule head in an issue that could unleash carnage on a
>scale that would drive America back behind barriers and borders
>for a generation or more.

I agree, which is why our yet to be determined act should be to
destroy those responsible while doing everything possible to
prevent civilian casualties. This could be followed by
international efforts to root out terrorism and restore order.

>The statesman's job is not to rant but to think - the reason Brits
>are a little uneasy with the US leadership. Reasoned action is one
>thing, but weakness is the thing that jerks the knee and drops The
>Bomb. After all, suicidal madmen and lunatics are not 'deterred'.
>A great assault on any Muslim state from the air will be an answer
>to a prayer for Bin Laden and his like. The Manhattan slaughter
>would almost be legitimized in some people's eyes. Furthermore,
>the British empire 'met its Waterloo' in Afghanistan, as did the
>Russians....are the Americans about to follow?

We don't have an "empire" and our "Waterloo" was probably Vietnam.

I suggest we wait to actually see U.S. military response before
commenting further.

>Enough political observation my friend(s). This is the mood over
>here. A little nervous, especially as politically and militarily
>we stand side by side with you guys; especially difficult as in
>effect we are bystanders to the decisions the US leadership will
>take, but thereafter will be involved.

If you choose to be, which is where I give you guys/gals immense
credit. Having served with SAS personnal I know we make a good

>The Britons have been attacked by (and have attacked) pretty well
>every historical marauder that lived. But we are still here. We
>thank everything we believe in that we have our life and health
>today, that we have not been direct witness to the appalling and
>needless destruction of this week and continue to hold you in our
>thoughts. As many people have said, if this is the world we live
>in, may God have mercy on us. It cannot and must not continue, but
>likewise, the west cannot declare war on anyone other than those
>directly and proven responsible. May this week be something
>never to be seen again in our lifetime. May the response when it
>comes,be something applauded worldwide as the right thing to do,
>not the trigger to the destruction of the world that we know.

We agree here and we appreciate the support. If the world chooses
to act together after this we can solve the problem.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

Disclosure notice: currently "plonked"
"Joe Dees" <>
"Party of Citizens"<>

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