What I hear you saying is that the civilians (children, women, and men)
killed "collateral damage" have no one to blame but themselves and should
just die in silence _AND_ that as a citizen of the U.S. their deaths are
also my fault since I ostensibly have the power to prevent them since I
supposedly control the actions of my government's current (and past) foreign
state modification projects.
I'm not buying your argument and the 40 civilians killed on Saturday and the
103 killed on Sunday aren't either.
For some reason I was under the impression that Extropianism was a form of
transhumanism that had a very positive philosophy on the dignity of
individuals as apposed to a state Social Darwinism agenda.
Steve - firstname.lastname@example.org
----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 3:21 AM Subject: re: Aid for Afghanistan
> > On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, Neil Blanch wrote: > > [The attribution of the following is a bit unclear to me... If I'm > incorrectly attributing it to Neil, please correct this...] > > > The USA is dropping bombs on these people for god's sake! > > The USA is dropping bombs on a country that has provided a regime > that has been tolerant to a large terrorist organization for almost > a decade. > > There are 20+ million people in Afghanistan. There were a few > tens of thousands in the Taliban and the military. If you > believe that a population cannot control the destiny of a > country then *PLEASE* explain the situation in Argentina > over the last several weeks. The Taliban arose in Afghanistan > because the population accepted it. > > The USA has made significant efforts to only target members > of Al Qa'ida and Taliban and I believe in most cases has > been successful in that effort. I believe that most people > would agree that although there have been some errors the > civilian casualties have been minimal. > > Civilian populations are ultimately responsible for the > actions of their governments. In the U.S. that lead > to civilians in the WTC being targets for terrorists. > In Afghanistan that results in civilians being brought > into the "line of fire" in eliminating the Taliban and > Al Qa'ida. > > > The USA is at least partly responsible for the rise of the Taliban to power. > > The USA helped create, train & directly funded, elements in Afghanistan > > that are at least partly responsible for the terrible years of war > > & bloodshed that the country has endured. > > I do not see an assertion here that the U.S. is responsible for the > decade of war the Afghani's were subjected to by the Soviet Union. > The Taliban rose to power in the vacuum that arose only after the > S.U. was defeated. Yes, the U.S. helped empower many of the > people responsible for dragging Afghanistan into an anarchy > but that was in response to acts of conquest by others. > I see no claims that life as a Soviet colonial state shoulda/ > woulda/coulda been better than that under Taliban rule. > > (I will not disagree in hindsight that the S.U. may have been > more extropic than the Taliban -- but one has to argue that > that the consequences of various actions could have been known > in advance.) > > > How many Afghanis have died as a direct result of American policies? > > How many Afghanis died as a direct result of Soviet policies? > How many Afghanis died as the result of economic havoc created > by the Soviets or the Taliban? How many Afghanis died because > citizens were simply too weak to stand up against the Soviets > or the Taliban? > > > they helped psychotic religious nuts become our government by giving > > them guns & missiles, > > Facts not in evidence. While the Intelligence Service of Pakistan > may have helped promote the Taliban I doubt a case can be made that > the U.S. gave them "guns & missiles". > > *What* possible agenda could the U.S. have where it would promote > the success of fundamentalist Islamic memes ?!? > > > Do you really expect twenty odd years of utter bastardry to be just > > forgotten, just because NOW you've decided to act with SOME decency? > > No. But some people may remember that the U.S. *did* help liberate > Afghanistan from the Soviets. Others may remember that the U.S. *did* > help liberate them from the Taliban (as people celbrating in the streets > seems to demonstrate). > > But people have short memories and they will ultimately be determined > by who puts food on their table tomorrow. > > > If you truly want the US to be safe then the US must act responsibly. > > It must stop its political & military support of terrorists (sorry, > > they're "freedom fighters" - at least they are until they start bombing YOU) > > I believe the estimates of the number of people who may have been > murdered by Stalin ranges from 7-30 million people. Unless you can > make a case that "responsible action" would have been ignoring the > threat of communist dictatorships then I would say your suggestion > that the U.S. did not act responsibly is "salt spray" being cast > by the wind up from an ocean (an interesting odor but little > substance). > > I'm going to state it quite clearly to Neil, Amara, Samantha > and others who may be placing a high value on "current" human > lives (vs. past or future human lives) -- Hitler and Stalin > *MURDERED* millions of people. Unless you can make *clear* > and *reasoned* cases for when one should or should not oppose > political power structures that give rise to Hitlers & Stalins > I think your positions are on swampy ground. How many times > should one watch Hitlers & Stalins repeat themselves before > one acts? > > Here is my challenge to you -- define precisely how many people > should be killed and what evidence of their deaths should be required > before one should set into motion political (& military) opposition > against the likes of Hitler, Stalin or bin Laden? > > (For example, I believe Amnesty International has well documented > hundreds or thousands of cases where people are being killed annually > by various governments, yet I hear not a *word* of equivalent > rhetoric against the governments of Russia, China, Burma, Rwanda, > Indonesia, etc.) > > > America must become responsible & decent. The empty rhetoric of "liberty & > > justice for all", the lie of "the protector of freedom" & the "champion of > > justice" must become true. > > The only way to impose "freedom" & "justice" on most nations that > currently exist in the world would be to conquer them and then redefine > their political system as the U.S. did with Japan. > > > America can lead the world, and not just militarily or commercially but > > ethically as well, if only the government & the people of America have > > the strength and courage. > > I would suggest that you have not been reading the discussions of the last > several months on the extropians list, nor the popular news such as the > NY Times. The "ethics" of people with "fundamentalist" perspectives are > drastically different from those of the America. Grossly simplified they > are "If you believe what we believe, then we will tolerate you -- otherwise > we want to destroy you" in contrast to something along the lines of "We will > try to understand you and accept you, even if your beliefs are quite different > from our own". > > > There can be no justification for the events of 9/11 just as there can be no > > justification for the many atrocities & crimes of convenience that have been > > committed in America's name. > > Claims without facts. I believe the body count of "innocent" people > in Afghanistan is still significantly below that of "innocent" people > in the 911 attacks. When that ceases to be true I will begin to > consider whether the U.S. is committing "atrocities & crimes". > > > The cycle of hatred has to stop somewhere or we > > will see the events of 9/11 happening again. And again. And again. > > It isn't a cycle of "hatred" -- it might be a cycle of "fear". > America may have a fear of individuals with "absolute" power > in any nation because the can command forces that represent > threats to both U.S. government officials as well as significant > numbers of U.S. citizens. If one accepts that the primary purpose > of a U.S. government is to protect its citizens -- not to impose > its own "framework" on the world -- then its actions have been > quite "restricted" over the years. > > > America can be more than just America the great, it could truly become > > America the good, America the just, America the free, if only the nation & > > it's people have the courage & the humility to change for the better, to > > give as well as receive, to heal instead of harm, to become a true leader of > > humanity. > > Noble. And I agree in principle. But this is the "carrot" argument > and I question whether it works with some individuals (or countries) > without the "stick". > > > can America the same selfless courage as a nation? > > It has demonstrated such in the past and I do not doubt that > the resolve is present to do so again. A significant question > is whether or not we have leaders capable of doing so. > > Robert
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