Re: TERRORISM: The Grim Prospects.

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 20:39:01 MST

Brian D Williams wrote:
r the world we wish to build.
> I think you raise some excellent ancillary points as to why it will
> fail. I think you underestimate the political aspect though.
> I think it's a good idea for people who want peace to act together,
> but this does not mean ignoring violent acts or those that cause
> them.

Certainly don't ignore them. But it would be good to also not
accept the first proposed action that comes along without due
considerations of its consequences, costs (in all measures),
whether it is is just response and whether it is likely to have
the desired effects.

> >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.
> I said there was a vengeance aspect to this, but it is not entirely
> about vengeance. The best hope for millions of Afghanis is if we
> eliminate the Taliban, preferably as quickly as possible.

These people were dependent on foreign aid for food before
9/11. What food they were getting has largely been disrupted.
We orderd the ending of the truck caravans from Pakistan that
brought in most of the food by 9/16. Most of rest is now
impossible to deliver while the bombardment continues. In a
week or two at most (and perhaps already for some areas) it will
be too late for many. Is this actually a goal that any of us
support or desire? Do we believe that continuing the
bombardment is worth this consequence. I don't. We can't speak
of the good of the people as justification for our actions at
this time if our actions are directly threatening the deaths of
millions of innocent civilians.

> > 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.
> I don't agree. What makes the current situation unique was not Bin
> Laden, but Bin Ladens MONEY.That and the fact the Taliban who share
> a common vision with him gave him sanctuary.
> It is our intebt to eliminate both of these factors from the
> future.

That will be utterly insufficient to eliminate terrorism.
> >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 don't agree that they have a case against us, but it is
> irrelevant. The issue is that we were attacked, and we will always
> respond.

Then you are not familiar with history.
> >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?
> The government has done some questionable things in the past, none
> of which justifies the attack against us.

I did not say it justifies it. I said that speaking as if it
was only lies and fundamentalism that give rise to the anger is
speaking falsely and simplistically. There is a big difference.
> >Do you care whether we live our ideals outside the US as well as
> >inside?
> "Our ideals" I think your talking 250 million or so different
> versions of this.

I don't parse that sentence. We say we stand for certain things
in the world and I propose that we actually act as if we do and
that we correct ourselves where we act as if we do not. If you
are counting people then their are over 6 billion reather than
250 million.
> >Do you care whether we become an armed camp in order to avoid
> >terrorist attacks?
> The best way to prevent this is to destroy those who've attacked us
> and make it clear any further attempts will have the same results.

That will be insufficient. Especially as we have already passed
significant measures greatly dangerous to our domestic freedom
and well-being.
> >> 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?
> I don't believe I was defending our media. Not likely to either.

Then why concentrate your contempt only on their media?
> >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?
> I don't see anything provincial about it, and I do care about a
> great deal more.
> But I do think destroying those responsible and making it clear we
> will do so again is the best policy.
> >How many have risen up in his place?
> As I said what made this situation unique was Bin Laden's money and
> the santuary the Taliban gave him.

You do not think that others will also gain money and have
sanctuary and support? There is a lot of wealth in the MidEast
and a lot of anger.
> We have learned, at great price, many valuable lessons. I hope we
> apply them.
> >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.
> They can believe whatever they like. I suggest they also pay close
> attention and "believe" there will be hell to pay for attacking the
> U.S.

Are you ignorning the point that you may be missing something?
Or that we are being told ourselves in part lies and
half-truths? How will you find out? Do you care to or are you
comfortable with the current assumption that the current means,
horrendous as they may be in consequences of famine in
Afghanistan, are sufficient and the "right thing"?

> >So. Does your enlightenment extend to western media?
> I don't waste my time with mass media.

> >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.
> No you don't. We know who these people are, we know where they've
> been, we know who their associates are, we know where the money
> came from.

No. We don't know precisely who did the attack. We do know who
bin Laden is and that he is a sworn enemy but that is not the
same thing as knowing he is guilty of this.

Do you know where the CIAs money had come from, btw, for many of
its black ops over the years? Largely from drugs. Follow the
source and flow of drugs and you will find the hands and
lifeblood of some of our own cladestine activities.
> They work for Bin Laden.
> >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.
> My fault, I made it too simplistic, see above.
> >> 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?
> Actually bringing these elements to task for their support is a
> good idea.
> >Really, I find this sort of reasoning quite empty even granting
> >the assumption fundamental assumption.
> Most civilized law codes agree with me.

Actually, no they don't when it comes to international law. But
perhaps you would say that isn't civilized.
> >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?
> They will not be entrenched for long. I am talking about
> Afghanistan only. For the moment.
> >> 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.
> Do you think you can placate these groups and they will all go
> away? And at what price?

I think if we do not address the causes of what righteous anger
toward us may be in the region that all the bombs and guns in
the world will not be enough to keep us safe. We should bring
international criminals to justice certainly. But I don't think
what we are doing now is a step toward justice. I think it is a
step toward further hatred and terror and millions of deaths.

I think we should have presented our evidence before world
courts and the Taliban and then demanded bin Laden be turned
over. I think we must stop the bombing now while there is a
ghost of a chance to save millions of Afghani lives this
winter. I think continuing the bombing through the holy month
of Ramadan would be a seen as extremely callous and will be a
political and cultural disaster. And most of all I think we
would be fools to extend this campaign into other countries in
the region.

- samantha

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