Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 13:45:14 MST

Brian D Williams wrote:
> >From: Samantha Atkins <>
> >It is "anti-Americanism" to point out that we have acted badly
> >in many instances and many countries?
> It is anti-Americanism when you only attack one side and
> deliberately and completely ignore the actions of others,
> especially when their actions were worse, and the context in which
> such actions were taken.

The other side is quite well represented and, imho, it is
represented as much whiter and morally clean than it in fact
is. I strive to show what is often being ignored. How does
that make me "anti-American"? To be non-anti-American do I need
to never speak of what we do that is simply wrong?

> You went on and on about the American bio-weapons program
> blissfully unaware that the American program was terminated in
> 1972. The Soviets after signing the same treaty increased their
> facilities a thousand fold. This is not conjecture, but documented
> fact.

If you believe that I believe you are in dreamland. Treaties on
bio-weapons we worked for we refuse to sign ourselves citing
possible industrial espionage if we allow inspections. We are
today working on a super-anthrax to "test our defenses". I am
not privy to the inside of the military world but I would be
very surprised if we had simply packed it all in and done
nothing at all with bio-war agents in 29 years. If nothing else
we would work with them to balance the efforts of other nations.
> There are a number of nations around the world developing bio-
> weapons, we would be justified in having our own program for that
> reason alone.

I see. That is the old MAD logic. But are you really, really
sure that our program is and will always be only defensive? Are
you sure that even if it is intended to be that the world is
actually safer with it in place. I'm not. Does that make me

> >It is a matter of public record that we have done so if you
> >trouble yourself to look. Or would you rather simply label me and
> >ignore any facts that might be unsettling to your current
> >position?
> I am well aware that we backed regimes that from a retrospective
> were bad for their peoples, I was in the Philipines during the
> reign of Ferdinand Marcos, and a good friend in high school after
> winning a science fair was a guest of the Shah of Iran, but you
> completely ignore why.

Why we have done things like we did in Chile where we practiced
assasination, industrial sabotage, rabble rousing, economic
sabotage and so on to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of
people we were not at war with and who had no intention of going
communist? Why did we help the Contras terrorize civilians and
hospitals far from Nicaraguan troops to better destabilize the
country at the cost of many thousands of lives? We could go on
along time on the legacy that some may thing we had "good
reason" for. But, in point of fact, we acted highly illegally
in most of these instances and in violation of principles we
hold other nations to. In short we acted like what we call
terrorists. A lot of our victims know this. If we do not start
by facing this ourselves then I don't see how our actions and
policies can be judged as honest and balanced.
> We were involved in a cold war with the former Soviets, Democracy
> vs Totalitarianism for the fate of the world. Since we could not be
> everywhere at the same time we had little choice but to back anyone
> who opposed the Soviets, in most countries they were the only
> choice. You also ignore the fact that we were not alone in this,
> all those who opposed the Soviets also backed these regimes.

Ah, I see. Do you know how many moderate governments, elected
freely, with no more left-leaning than our own welfare state
that we also toppled in this supposed war for "democracy"?
Enough that I can't really believe that we did what we did only
for democracy's sake against totalitarianism. We did operations
in countries that had nothing at all to do with the Soviets and
simply wanted to govern their country as they saw fit.

I never said that only we did despicable things. I said we must
admit and understand what we did and its consequences and
repurcussions if we are ever going to improve things in this

In the old days we excused everything with the "Cold War".
Today we excuse everything with the "War on Terrorism". But
much we have done and will do is not excusable and makes the
world worse off instead of better and much more dangerous for
you and I and all of our fondest dreams.
> We did not go around the world meddling for lack of better things
> to do.

No. We went around meddling to (a) contain communism and (b)
fatten what we perceived as our economic interests. Any account
that leaves out (b) is seriously short-sited. Also (a) is not
so simple when one starts unraveling all the things swept under
that rug.

> These things have to be considered in their historical context.
> >Why do I bother?
> You are trying to solve problems using reason which is commendable.
> I am merely trying to point out the holes in your reasoning.
> I am not out to label, nor tar-and-feather you. I find your
> opinions valuable.

Thanks. I needed to hear that just now. Thank you for the
exchange of thoughts.

- samantha

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:20 MDT