Re: TERRORISM: The Grim Prospects

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 14:04:54 MST

Brian D Williams wrote:
> >From: Samantha Atkins <>
> >That is contrary to what Bush is claiming about this war. We
> >are out to end terrorism from what I have heard him say. We are
> >not out only against the particular ones who carried out the
> >9/11 attacks but all terrorists.
> You are referring to the difference between the short term and long
> term goals.

I am actually referring to the difference between what you
believe we are about and what our officials say we are about.
They do not mesh.

> I personally think the long term goal will fail as it degenerates
> into the usual political bickering.

I think the long term goal will fail also but not because of
political bickering, although that will be what it looks like is
occurring. It will fail because it is ill-defined, nebulous,
never-ending and hideously expensive in life, dollars and
well-being of "us" and "them" and counter to our best visions
for the world we wish to build.
> >If we are not looking for a solution then this is just about
> >vengeance. It is not even about protecting ourselves from
> >further terrorism or, to the extent possible, making terrorism
> >less likely in the world. Why should we have an unlimited and
> >unbounded committment to only that?
> I was wondering when you were going to raise the vengeance issue
> again. Yes, it's partly vengeance, which I know you have a problem
> with, But the families of the victims and millions of my fellow
> Americans do not.

Will they be satisfied when/if 4.5 million Afghanis die of
starvation this winter? Cycles of terror are maintained by
incident/vengeance/counter-vengeance. At some point the causes
of the entire pattern must be addressed outside of vengeance if
it is to have an end. Vengeance is understandable but not
always productive.

> By the way, if you destroy all the terrorists and their supporters,
> there would be no more terrorism.

Yes, and if we had anti-gravity and teleportation we could
really accomplish the miraculous! Seriously, there is no way to
by force destroy terrorism and what it grows from. It is a very
dangerous fallacy to belief this can be done.

> >> The reasons they hate us are many, largely it seems because they
> >> are taught lies in Pakistani maddrasas, and are broadcast bigger
> >> lies via Al-Jazeera television.
> >This is utterly simplistic. To say that all who are angry with
> >us are dupes and liars is surely obviously biased and unlikely
> >to be accurate. For one thing it denies real events that have
> >angered many in that part of the world.
> I don't find it particularly simplistic at all, I've watched a lot
> of material on this, and as usual, when questioned those who oppose
> us have very simplistic answers they can't particularly defend.

Perhaps you have been spoonfed material that supports this
notion or makes it easy to come too. But it ignores that the
region has been massively manipulated by the US and other
countries in ways that have been detrimental to the people and
against our own principles in many cases. It ignores that many
in the area have good reason to be angry at US. In that way
respect it is certainly simplistic. But when I or others
attempt to bring out those reasons we are considered
anti-patriotic or not behind the "righteous" "war" sufficiently,
leftist and so on.
> I've already said I don't care if they hate us, I intend on making
> it clear that if they attack us they will be destroyed.

Do you care if we have acted and are acting like international
bullies and destroying homes/lifes/countries for reasons that
will greatly anger and disgust you? Do you care whether we live
our ideals outside the US as well as inside? Do you care
whether we become an armed camp in order to avoid terrorist

> >The Al-Jazeera is one of the few relatively independent voices
> >in the area. I thought we are supposed to be for a free press.
> >Or does that only apply in America and other rules apply
> >anywhere else if they say unpleasant things about us? I thought
> >we believe in free speech. Only here?
> Al Jazeera is an Islamic media tabloid. They feed the population
> exactly what they want to hear.

I see. And our media does not uh?

> They are part of the problem, I don't care if they exist or not.

Of course not. You only care, judging from the above, about
vengeance and proving it will cost a lot to ever poke the US
again. Doesn't that seem like a tad provincial attitude?
> > We are out to end this sort of thing on a permanent basis. We are
> > sending a clear message: "being a terrorist will get you hunted
> > down and killed, find another way to express your frustrations."
> >This is not the way to end terrorism. It will not work and
> >never has worked throughout history.
> No terrorist who has been destroyed has ever committed another act
> of terrorism.

How many have risen up in his place?
> >> Find me one piece of evidence that indicates the Israelis are
> >> responsible for Sept 11, and I will retract my opinion about the
> >> ridiculous Islamic tabloid known as Al-Jazeera.
> >Your opinion based on one set of editorials is irrelevant.
> >Whether there is evidence of Israeli involvement or not is not
> >the issue. You are advocating blaming a particular publication
> >and shutting it down although it is not remotely any of our
> >business to do any such thing and such attitudes and acting on
> >them are part of what pisses many off toward the US.
> They broadcast numerous lies concerning the Israelis and the World
> Trade Center. They are an Islamic tabloid, nothing else.
> You refuse to consider the fact that those who spread outright
> falsehoods or half-truths are part of the problem.

I don't refuse to consider it. I simply point out it is not all
of the problem or as much of the problem as you seem to want to
make it out to be and that attempting to forcefully end that
"source of the problem" will not work. Do you belief we don't
spread our own falsehoods and half-truths btw? The idea that
the lies they tell about us plus religious fanaticism is
sufficient to explain their hatred and terrorist actions IS such
a falsehood and half-truth.
> I don't care if they exist or not, I just know better than to
> consider them anything other than a source of propaganda.

So. Does your enlightenment extend to western media?
> >> You may not have seen anything that convinces you, but I was
> >> convinced long ago.
> >Then present your evidence if you would.
> I've already explained I'm not interested in making a legal case,
> I'm interested in finishing these people off.

I see. Regardless of actual guilt in the one incident you say
you are about addressing, you have picked parties to destroy in
order to satisfy vengeance, provide a lasting image of our power
and believe you (plural) have actually addressed and finished
with the issue. Got it.
> If your interested in pursuing a legal angle you might want to
> start with those who tried the first time destroying the World
> Trade Center. They we're scheduled to be sentenced the day after
> the attack occurred.
> They are known Bin Laden associates. Enough for me.

Really? Guilt by association is sufficient? Associates
involved in one attack on X are suficient to believe all attacks
on X are the work of bin Laden? Whatever.
> >> If I was to become a terrorist you would never find sufficient
> >> evidence to convict me in any court.
> >But that is hardly an argument that you did or did not commit
> >any act is it?
> Of course not, But I could stand there and say "prove it" and you
> never would be able to.

So then you just decide I am guilty anyway and blow me and any
who would gainsay you away? Much better than terrorism isn't
> Sound familiar?
> >>>To what end? What are your objectives?
> >> Destroy Bin Laden/Al-Quaeda, destroy their Taliban
> >> supporters/allies, re-establish a viable government (democratic)
> >> for the people of Afghanistan, get out and go home.
> >OK. That is at least much more modest than what Bush and co.
> >are proposing. Getting bin Laden and changing the Afghani
> >government are only the beginning for them. On what basis will
> >you destroy the Taliban rather than simply deposing their
> >government? I don't see any righteous basis for us fully
> >destroying them.
> The Taliban allowed Bin Laden to have his terrorist bases there,
> they are in complicity with Al-Quaeda, and will now share their
> fate.

Interesting. What of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, and so on who
at one time or another thought the Al-Quaeda network was a
reasonable think to partially support?
> Surrendering is their only hope.
> >>>Why is crushing Kandahar a big objective?
> >> Taliban stronghold, see above.
> >OK. But I don't understand your above goal.
> The Taliban are in cahoots with Al-Quaeda, they are equally guilty
> in our eyes for the attack on New York.

Really? I find this sort of reasoning quite empty even granting
the assumption fundamental assumption.

> >Destroying the Taliban utterly would cause a lot of innocent
> >suffering also. As the Al-Qaeda is supposed to span multiple
> >countries destroying it would not end at Afghanistan either. So
> >where else would you see us march in for a military action?
> You'll have to explain to me how destroying the Taliban would cause
> innocent suffering.

They are very well entrenched and have a fair amount of popular
support within Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in the
area even now. The civilian populations that are within and
their supporters will die in large numbers if you been by
"destroying the Taliban" destroying all who consider themselves
Taliban. If you mean only removing them from power many will
still die but not as many. So which do you mean?
> We will pursue Al-Qaeda wherever they exist, countries that have
> terrorist bases (Sudan) may face military action. But I think the
> current plan is to use agents in other places.

I see. So much for yuur early seeming claim we were only
involved in Afghanistan and then would go home. Will you then
go after Hammas and other groups? Do you think you can end or
eviscerate so much anger by militarily finding the most actively
angry and killing them and inflicting whatever "collateral
damage" it takes? To me this is a very very dangerous and
twisted fallacy that can do nothing but much more seriously
inflame the world and endanger all of us (all of humanity not
just us) and what we hold most dear.
- samantha

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