Re: Ad hominem? I think not.

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 08:55:22 MST

>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>

>1) The US intervention in Afghanistan is doing more harm than

>From the Taliban perspective undoubtably.

The happy faces in the streets of Afghan cities suggest otherwise.

>2) A superior strategy for the US would have been to turn the
>other cheek, thus gaining moral superiority and showing the world
>that we don't always bomb people we don't like.

Unsupportable. In fact historical evidence suggests that these same
people would interpret such action as weakness.

We are not doing anything that was not done to us first, and we
will take any actions necessary to prevent another atrocity from
being committed.

>3) The number of dead Afghan civilians has vastly exceeded the
>number of dead American civilians, and this puts the US in the

War doesn't work this way. We have done everything possible to
avoid civilian casualties, no nation in the history of the world
has done more.

I believe a realistic determination of civilian casualties will be
quite small.

>4) What happened to the US was directly caused by the US carrying
>out an inconsistent and immoral strategy in foreign relations over
>the past fifty years.

What happened to the U.S. was pre-meditated murder committed by
religious fanatics.

>5) The US is currently in the grip of a fever of destructive
>hatred and this hatred is both morally wrong and strategically
>counterproductive, regardless of all other moral issues involved.

Our actions as a result of the atrocity have been the most
reasonable in all of history.

>6) Bin Laden may not have had just cause to blow up the World
>Trade Center, but a lot of Middle East citizens have reason to be
>pretty annoyed at the US - perhaps more reason to be annoyed at
>the US than the US has reason to be annoyed at Bin Laden.

The premeditated murder of thousands of American civilians has no
equal to anything the U.S. has engaged in.

>7) It would be wrong to impose US culture on Afghanistan as
>retaliation for the World Trade Center Attack. (I do *not*
>believe this; see below.)

We are not out to impose U.S. culture on Afghanistan. We may be
part of enforcing world standards.

>8) Technology, science, and the Internet are mere artifacts of
>Western culture which don't belong to the ancient Afghan
>traditions - rather than being the products of intelligence itself
>and therefore the universal heritage of every human on the planet,
>regardless of what the Taliban believes about the "Westernness" of
>technology, as the result of temporary differentials in
>technological advancement that happen to be correlated
>with different cultures. (I believe the latter.)

I agree with this and the rest of your points.


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

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