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Juneriver

2002 - International Year of the Mountains

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:
3 words for fairweather and matt

anglo christian attitude

I think Secretary-General Kofi Amman better articulates my "anglo christian attitude." Wait a second . . .

‘We Can Love What We Are, Without Hating What – And Who – We Are Not’

http://www.nobel.no/eng_lect_2001b.html

[ 02-04-2002: Message edited by: Matt ]

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You mean they're going to bomb people just because the're poor? Shoot, just when I get the trailer back on its blocks too.

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Matt,

No problem here with the Secretary Generals vision. As long as it never interferes or tries to supercede "Life, Liberty, and the persuit of Happiness" right here in the ole USA.

Brian

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Geez, me and Pope were rappin' about all of Wilt Chamberlain's bastard children, and next thing I know this thread is trying to break the Muir Hut fiasco's record for most posts. [Wazzup]

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I wish Lomborg would reunite with ABBA. "Dancing queen, young and lean, only 17.. oooh la la!"

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quote:

Originally posted by JayB:

Follow up the earlier article on Lomborg and the SA piece, for anyone interested.

I haven't read the SA article, but I did check out the above link. While the article does defend Lomborg, the article also points out that he is flying solo when it comes to his ideas.

For his theory to become something worth listening to a few other independent reasearchers need to come to his same conclusion. And they shouldn't get their paychecks from; Texaco, Exxon, Shell, ect...

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I agree that bin Laden and associates has to be caught (killed). I am not a pacifist. However, killing innocent people is not something a technologically advanced and supposedly moral society has to, or should, do.

Yes, I have a bleeding heart, better than none. And to find out the truth I have to find uncensored news. You can't get that in the "land of the free". US reporters are not allowed in combat zones by this government. Not since reporting from battle zones in Vietnam changed the tide of public opinion have we had freedom of the press in war time.

"Listen to the language of the Pentagon: "We cannot confirm thereport...civilian casualties are inevitable...we don't know if theywere our weapons...it was an accident...incorrect coordinates had beenentered...they are deliberately putting civilians in our bombingtargets...the village was a legitimate military target...it justdidn't happen...we regret any loss of civilian life."

Listening to the repeated excuses given by Bush, Rumsfeld and others,one recalls Colin Powell's reply at the end of the Gulf War, whenquestioned about Iraqi casualties: "That is really not a matter I amterribly interested in." If, indeed, a strict definition of the word"deliberate" does not apply to the bombs dropped on the civilians ofAfghanistan, then we can offer, thinking back toPowell's statement, an alternate characterization: "a recklessdisregard for human life."

The denials of the Pentagon are uttered confidently half a world awayin Washington. But there are on-the-spot press reports from thevillages, from hospitals where the wounded lie and from the Pakistanborder, where refugees have fled the bombs. A professor of economics at the University of NewHampshire, Marc Herold, has done a far more thorough survey of thepress than I have. He lists location, type of weapon used and sourcesof information. He finds the civilian death toll in Afghanistan up toDecember 10 exceeding 3,500 (he has since raised the figure to 4,000),a sad and startling parallel to the number of victims in the twintowers.

[My freedom, as defined by this culture (Pepsi or Coke, Democrat or Republican, etc) is not worth the price being paid by others of my species. Think about]...the hopesand dreams of those who died, especially the children, for whom fortyor fifty years of mornings, love, friendship, sunsets and the sheerexhilaration of being alive were extinguished by monstrous machinessent over their land by men far away.

My intention is not at all to diminish our compassion for the victimsof the terrorism of September 11, but to enlarge that compassion toinclude the victims of all terrorism, in any place, at any time,whether perpetrated by Middle East fanatics or American politicians.

In that spirit, I present the following news items (only a fraction ofthose in my files), hoping that there is the patience to go throughthem, like the patience required to read the portraits of theSeptember 11 dead, like the patience required to read the 58,000 nameson the Vietnam Memorial:

>From a hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, reported in the BostonGlobe by John Donnelly on December 5:

"In one bed lay Noor Mohammad, 10, who was a bundle of bandages. Helost his eyes and hands to the bomb that hit his house after Sundaydinner. Hospital director Guloja Shimwari shook his head at the boy'swounds. 'The United States must be thinking he is Osama,' Shimwarisaid. 'If he is not Osama, then whywould they do this?'"

The report continued:

"The hospital's morgue received 17 bodies last weekend, and officialshere estimate at least 89 civilians were killed in several villages.In the hospital yesterday, a bomb's damage could be chronicled in thelife of one family. A bomb had killed the father, Faisal Karim. In onebed was his wife, Mustafa Jama, who had severe head injuries....Around her, six of her children were in bandages.... One of them,Zahidullah, 8, lay in a coma."

In the New York Times, Barry Bearak, reporting December 15 from thevillage of Madoo, Afghanistan, tells of the destruction of fifteenhouses and their occupants. "'In the night, as we slept, they droppedthe bombs on us,' said Paira Gul, a young man whose eyes were aflamewith bitterness. His sisters and their families had perished, hesaid.... The houses were small, the bombing precise. No structureescaped the thundering havoc. Fifteen houses, 15 ruins.... 'Most ofthe dead are children,' Tor Tul said."

Another Times reporter, C.J. Chivers, writing from the village ofCharykari on December 12, reported "a terrifying and rolling barragethat the villagers believe was the payload of an American B-52.... Thevillagers say 30 people died.... One man, Muhibullah, 40, led the waythrough his yard and showed three unexploded cluster bombs he isafraid to touch. A fourth was not a dud. It landed near his porch. 'Myson was sitting there...the metal went inside him.' The boy, Zumarai,5, is in a hospital in Kunduz, with wounds to leg and abdomen. Hissister, Sharpari, 10, was killed. 'The United States killed mydaughter and injured my son,' Mr. Muhibullah said. 'Six of my cowswere destroyed and all of my wheat and rice was burned. I am veryangry. I miss my daughter.'"

>From the Washington Post, October 24, from Peshawar, Pakistan, byPamela Constable: "Sardar, a taxi driver and father of 12, said hisfamily had spent night after night listening to the bombing in theircommunity south of Kabul. One night during the first week, he said, abomb aimed at a nearby radio station struck a house, killing all fivemembers of the family living there. 'There was no sign of a homeleft,' he said. 'We just collected the pieces of bodies and buriedthem.'"

Reporter Catherine Philp of the Times of London, reporting October 25from Quetta, Pakistan: "It was not long after 7 pm on Sunday when thebombs began to fall over the outskirts of Torai village.... Rushingoutside, Mauroof saw amassive fireball. Morning brought an end to the bombing and...aneighbor arrived to tell him that some 20 villagers had been killed inthe blasts, among them ten of his relatives. 'I saw the body of one ofmy brothers-in-law being pulled from the debris,' Mauroof said. 'Thelower part of his body had been blown away. Some of the other bodieswere unrecognizable. There were heads missing and arms blown off....'The roll call of the dead read like an invitation list to a familywedding: his mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law,and four of his sister's five young children, two girls and two boys,all under the age of eight."

Human Rights Watch report, October 26: "Twenty-five-year-oldSamiullah...rushed home to rescue his family.... he found the bodiesof his twenty-year-old wife and three of his children: Mohibullah,aged six; Harifullah, aged three; and Bibi Aysha, aged one.... Alsokilled were his two brothers, Nasiullah, aged eight, and Ghaziullah,aged six, as well as two of his sisters, aged fourteen and eleven."

>From Reuters, October 28, Sayed Salahuddin reporting from Kabul: "AU.S. bomb flattened a flimsy mud-brick home in Kabul Sunday, blowingapart seven children as they ate breakfast with their father.... Sobsracked the body of a middle-aged man as he cradled the head of hisbaby, its dust-covered body dressed only in a blue diaper, lyingbeside the bodies of three other children, their colorful clotheslayered with debris from their shattered homes."

Washington Post Foreign Service, November 2, from Quetta, Pakistan, byRajiv Chandrasekaran: "The thunder of the first explosions joltedNasir Ahmed awake.... he grabbed his 14-year-old niece and scurriedinto a communal courtyard. From there, he said, they watched ascivilians who survived the bombing run, including his niece and awoman holding her 5-year-old son, were gunned down by a slow-moving,propeller-driven aircraft circling overheard. When the gunshipdeparted an hour later, at least 25 people in the village--allcivilians--were dead, according to accounts of the incident providedtoday by Ahmed, two other witnesses, and several relatives of peoplein the village.

"The Pentagon confirmed that the village was hit...but officials saidthey believe the aircraft struck a legitimate military target....Asked about civilian casualties, the official said, 'We don't know.We're not on the ground.'

"Shaida, 14.... 'Americans are not good.... They killed my mother.They killed my father. I don't understand why.'"

A Newsday report on November 24 from Kabul, by James Rupert: "In thesprawling, mud-brick slum of Qala-ye-Khatir, most men were kneeling inthe mosques at morning prayer on November 6 when a quarter-ton ofsteel and high explosives hurtled from the sky into the home of GulAhmed, a carpet weaver. The American bomb detonated, killing Ahmed,his five daughters, one of his wives, and a son. Next door, itdemolished the home of Sahib Dad and killed two of his children....

"Ross Chamberlain, the coordinator for U.N. mine-clearing operationsin much of Afghanistan.... 'There's really no such thing as aprecision bombing.... We are finding more cases of errant targetingthan accurate targeting, more misses than hits.'"

The New York Times, November 22, from Ghaleh Shafer, Afghanistan:"10-year-old Mohebolah Seraj went out to collect wood for his family,and thought he had happened upon a food packet. He picked it up andlost three fingers in an explosion. Doctors say he will probably losehis whole hand.... his mother, Sardar Seraj...said that she cried andtold the doctors not to cut off her son's whole hand...

"The hospital where her son is being cared for is a grim place,lacking power and basic sanitation. In one room lay Muhammad Ayoub, a20-year-old who was in the house when the cluster bomb initiallylanded. He lost a leg and his eyesight, and his face was severelydisfigured. He moaned in agony.... Hospital officials said that a16-year-old had been decapitated."

A New York Times report on December 3 from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, byTim Weiner: "The commanders, who are pro-American...say that fournearby villages were struck this weekend, leaving 80 or more peopledead and others wounded.... The villages are near Tora Bora, themountain camp where Mr. bin Laden is presumed to be hiding. A Pentagonspokesman said Saturday that the bombing of civilians near Tora Bora'never happened.'

"Eight men guarding the building [a district office building]...werekilled, [mujahedeen commander] Hajji Zaman said. He gave the names ofthe dead as Zia ul-Hassan, 16; Wilayat Khan, 17; Abdul Wadi, 20; Jany,22; Abdul Wahid, 30; Hajji Wazir, 35; Hajji Nasser, also 35; and AwliaGul, 37.... Ali Shah, 26, of Landa Khel, said, 'There is no one inthis village who is part of Al Qaeda.'

"Witnesses said that at least 50 and as many as 200 villagers had beenkilled.

"'We are poor people,' [Muhammad] Tahir said. 'Our trees are our onlyshelter from the cold and wind. The trees have been bombed. Ourwaterfall, our only source of water--they bombed it. Where is thehumanity?'"

The Independent, December 4: "The village where nothing happened....The cemetery on the hill contains 40 freshly dug graves, unmarked andidentical. And the village of Kama Ado has ceased to exist.... And allthis is very strange because, on Saturday morning--when American B-52sunloaded dozens of bombs that killed 115 men, women andchildren--nothing happened.... We know this because the U.S.Department of Defence told us so.... 'It just didn't happen.'"

The New York Times, December 12, David Rohde, writing from Ghazni,Afghanistan: "Each ward of the Ghazni Hospital features a newcalamity. In the first, two 14-year-old boys had lost parts of theirhands when they picked up land mines. 'I was playing with a toy and itexploded' said one of them, Muhammad Allah.... a woman named Rose layon a bed in the corner of the room, grunting with each breath. Herwaiflike children slept nearby, whimpering periodically. Early onSunday morning, shrapnel from an American bomb tore through thewoman's abdomen, broke her 4-year-old son's leg and ripped into her6-year-old daughter's head, doctors here said. A second 6-year-oldgirl in the room was paralyzed from the waist down. X-rays showed howa tiny shard of metal had neatly severed her spinal cord."

Reported in the Chicago Tribune, December 28, by Paul Salopek, fromMadoo, Afghanistan: "'American soldiers came after the bombing andasked if any Al Qaeda had lived here,' said villager Paira Gul. 'Isthat an Al Qaeda?' Gul asked, pointing to a child's severed foot hehad excavated minutes earlier from a smashed house. 'Tell me' he said,his voice choking with fury, 'is that what an Al Qaeda looks like?'"

Reuters, December 31, from Qalaye Niazi, Afghanistan: "Janat Gul said24 members of his family were killed in the pre-dawn U.S. bombing raidon Qalaye Niazi, and described himself as the sole survivor.... In theU.S. Major Pete Mitchell--a spokesman for U.S. Central Command--said:'We are aware of the incident and we are currently investigating.'"

Yes, these reports appeared, but scattered through the months ofbombing and on the inside pages, or buried in larger stories andaccompanied by solemn government denials. With no access toalternative information, it is not surprising that a majority ofAmericans have approved of what they have been led to think is a "waron terrorism."

Recall that Americans at first supported the war in Vietnam. But oncethe statistics of the dead became visible human beings--once they sawnot only the body bags of young GIs piling up by the tens of thousandsbut also the images of the napalmed children, the burning huts, themassacred families at My Lai--shock and indignation fueled a nationalmovement to end the war.

I do believe that if people could see the consequences of the bombingcampaign as vividly as we were all confronted with the horrifyingphotos in the wake of September 11, if they saw on television nightafter night the blinded and maimed children, the weeping parents ofAfghanistan, they might ask: Is this the way to combat terrorism?"-Howard Zinn in "The Nation"

If this is what America stands for, don't call me one.

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Thank you Z. You point out a side of the "war against terrorism" that most of us would rather ignore. I agree with you that the American press cannot be trusted/is not allowed to give us the truth, and I also believe that our "victory" over Afghanistan doesn't appear as clean or as laudable, as some would argue. But just what the hell were we supposed to do?

Politically, our government had to do something dramatic, both so that they could tell the voters that they had some control over the situation and so that we could say to the world that you can't just destroy the trade towers without some consequences. Even if you think that there has been little showing that Afghanistan had anything to do with September 11 and if you feel that wreaking havoc upon a suffering primitive country is itself a crime against humanity, we DID erase documented training camps for terrorists, the killing has at least for now stopped, and so far it hasn't sparked a broader war.

Like you, I don't believe our government has handled this matter very well and I cringe when I hear Bush talk about the "Axis of Evil." But what were we supposed to do? You might argue that Vietnam was none of our business, but I don't think the same could have been said about Afghanistan.

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A lot of people argue that a combination of intelligence and infiltration by the Special Forces could have more or less accomplished the same objectives we have thus far attained, in displacing the Taliban and breaking apart the al-Qaida stronghold and camps in Afghanistan. And that such tactics would have avoided most of the many civilian casualities. Hard to say for sure. But it seems to me that our actions here are incomplete and reactive rather than whole.

Unfortunately, the US gov't wanted as Matt says to satisfy the foaming bloodlust of the masses and do something dramatic to make people feel secure.

There obviously still exists little in the way of security, however, for people around the country are talking fearfully and irrationally.

Many will argue that civilian casualties are "an unfortunate necessity" of war. In that statement there is obviously no regard for anyone at all. The person making such a statement would not likely or willingly sacrifice their friends and family for this, so what it boils down to is that other people, even fellow countrymen, are looked upon in their minds as either: useful for my purposes, or expendable for my purposes. The mind is in survival mode and has no real concern for anyone at all. Either way, it is all about ME and getting what I want.

Both sides, in any and every war in history, inevitably find a way to categorize their actions as "defending ourselves" and that the action is "the only choice". No one, on either side, ever acknowledges or wants to talk about killing, much less has questioned the whole process to the very end, before acting. Killing is a choice made without regard for anyone but the self. This dying and killing for a "cause" or a "country" or "God" or "for the good of others" is nonsense. It's for "me" and "mine" only. When there is clarity, there is no choice, and when the self is not, there is regard for all living things.

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W- aRE YOU SAYING THAT ALL THE DEAD GIs IF WW2 WERE THINKING OF "ME" FIRST? wERE THE NURENBURG TRIALS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF JUSTIFING THE WORLD WIDE RESPONCE TO THE NAZI EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWS? DID NOT THE PROTESTS OF THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES BRING A SWIFTER END TO THE VIET NAM "CONFLICT"?

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Roger,

My intent is not to judge or condemn, although I understand that might be the way it appears- at first glance. Can we look beyond circumstances for a moment and just look directly at the problem?

In terms of past conflicts, yes- people have done what they felt they had to do and what was apparently needed. The response to the Nazis was the only available one given direct aggression by them. I am not suggesting that people who are being violent be allowed to continue to do so. Likewise, I support, not as an American, but as a person with concern for all people, action to bring an end to al-qaida and terrorism.

But if we are really concerned about the problem of war and violence that have had no end in human history, doesn't it seem necessary to look directly at what is really going- starting with our own actions? If we merely consult history on how to deal with a current situation- which is what we almost always do- we are doomed to live in the past and perpetuate our problems. Pointing to past "successes" has no significance if the "success" was short lived. WW2 was a relative success- the Nazis were eliminated (or were they, some still carry their cause...?), but people were certain that it was going to be the last war. Over 100 million people died in wars the last century, many of those after WW2.

So, what I am saying here has no value if one is simply content to live with war as a fact of life and say "that's the way it is". Let me be clear- I am not suggesting that we pursue ideals of some utopian peace or some non-reality. I am pointing out that if we are serious about "living in peace"- which everyone seems to talk about, wish for- then true "seriousness" will manifest itself in looking at our individual problems right NOW, today, in terms of what IS, without the prejudices and egocentric motives that always say "MY CAUSE IS JUST!". Looking at the approach another way- we need to look at ourselves as we actually ARE, and not as we wish or imagine ourselves to be. Judgement- condemnation or affirmation- has no place in this looking.

The current conflict, for most, I would suggest is not a unified war and a total action- it is actually a collection of millions of private, personal wars made public. If one were to go have conversations with Arab fighters, and question their actions, it would be the same responses in different clothes. It can and will solve the immediate problem, but it is already breeding animosity in other circles and so will rise again another day, in another arena. So, what is "beyond good and evil?" If we refuse to consider the problem outside of this scope, then our response to the problem will do nothing more than keep the wheel spinning. Almost everyone misconstrues this message as advocating a judgemental self-inquistion and as a suggestion that we condemn and attack our own country and values. Not at all! We are trained to judge everything first, then evaluate- to start from a conclusion. Understanding and going beyond the problem cannot involve judgement. Looking with fresh eyes to absorb all that is, is to be free of all judging and is to enable a far higher level of energy to observe and to act. To understand something is to be infinitely capable of dealing with it rightly and with finality.

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Zenolith

re: Vietnam and the role of the press....If the press back then had reported on communist atrocities like Hue, with the same zeal that they reported American caused atrocities, an ignorant American public may have been able to make a more informed decision about that war. I'm not saying that the "mini-revolution" we saw here at home during the late 60's and early 70's wasn't justified. Many rightfully "woke up" and questioned our government in a way not seen since the Civil War. The Vietnam War did serve to show the Soviets we would not sit idly by while they spread their ideas via armed revolution throughout the world. It is up to history and those who lived then and fought there to decide if it was justified. It is not a question with a simple yes/no answer.

However, the fact that the press now seems intent on portraying our side as purposeful butchers of innocent children leads me to the conclusion that the government is correct in limiting their access to war zones. Additionally, I would naturally question tha source of the "stories" you put forth. (Al Jazzera??)

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Aw man -

Fairwhiner spouts off republican rhetoric again. Yeah, let's limit free speech based on the content, that's real good for America. Isn't there like a Rush Humbug board you can post this stuff on? What happened to the less offensive topic of blaming environmentalists for the world's evils?

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winter,

now you are the same as fairwether with your comments. so repub vs demo is allworhtless anyways......just like most media....i wonder what ted turner thinks???....hmmmm lets turn on the the tv and find out......the media is as crooked as the most crooked politician.....what can i get for myself???

i think all people have had a valid opinion with this subject, but this is also a subject that has many different correct opinions. you just have to wade through the bullshit and pick up the facts that you believe are important and either hold true to your original opinion or maybe even form a new one.

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Fairweather,

I don't think there is any "rightful" reason for the government to limit where the press can go or what they can report on in a free society, at least not one that is fighting for "freedoms" like freedom of the press. You are right, the story told in the press will always be crafted into a "product" that the public will buy. That is my point.

The source for each of the examples in my post is listed above each example. Many of those examples (and others that I did not post) come from Western news sources including the NY Times, Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, The Gaurdian, etc. I realize you think these organizations are too liberal to believe but I can only say that calling them inaccurate b/c you think they are liberal (I don't think they are) is more than a little paranoid. NONE of those reports come from al-Jezeera (although, there again, you would have to show why (evidence) you think al-Jezeera is not trustworthy in order to make a respectable case for such an accusation).

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FW,

Good post.

We should be questioning not only the media, but our government and all authority, regardless of what their political alignment might be. Even in a seemingly urgent situation as this, now more than ever is the time to question our own actions, and that of the government. Not "oppose"...question.

Question, for example, Bush when he cries out that "ANWR is VITAL to our national security!" ANWR might be vital for a lot of things, but that to me is nothing more than a very clever and opportunistic use of fear, in a time of great public anxiety, to ram through a controversial agenda that has raised a contentious debate. People on the margin will vote for it out of fear rather than voting from what they feel is right.

Ruthlessness at its worst.

We have got to be sharp!

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:
winter,

now you are the same as fairwether with your comments. so repub vs demo is allworhtless anyways......just like most media....i wonder what ted turner thinks???....hmmmm lets turn on the the tv and find out......the media is as crooked as the most crooked politician.....what can i get for myself???

i think all people have had a valid opinion with this subject, but this is also a subject that has many different correct opinions. you just have to wade through the bullshit and pick up the facts that you believe are important and either hold true to your original opinion or maybe even form a new one.

Ok. Granted those comments weren't all that useful ... fun though. smile.gif" border="0 Try this: even though the press may be owned by corporate America (or in FW's eyes the evil liberals), freedom of the press and free speech is WAY more important than controlling the information in an effort to make sure the American public gets "accurate" info.

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Mattp,You asked, "But just what the hell were we supposed to do?"

Get Osama and his group (What is Saddam doing today?). My opinion rests on one thing; It is immoral to kill a lot of innocents in response to the killing of innocents. It is even worse to lie about it ("It never happened"). The killing of innocents MAY happen with any effective solution, but if so those deaths should be acknowledged as unintentional and appropriate remorse should be shown.

"Politically, our government had to do something dramatic, both so that they could tell the voters that they had some control over the situation and so that we could say to the world that you can't just destroy the trade towers without some consequences".

I don't think a government should act on rage or bloodlust. Such a reaction is as indicative of a "fundamentalist" worldview as the destruction of the towers.

"[T]he killing has at least for now stopped".

No, it hasn't. They may not be Americans dying, but they are humans.

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W You stated "To understand something is to be infinitely capable of dealing with it rightly and with finality"Isn't that the crux of the climb? To Understand...Anything and everything is open to interpretation. It is hard enoug to get two people to agree on some things let alone two nations or two religions or two economic classes.

I find it very educational to rad newspapers from other parts of the world to get new prespectives on the USA and our place in the world. Even the BBC gives a new angle to our world posture. DW tv out of Berlin has another slant. How to know and undestand?

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Zenolith-I think I agree with just about everything you stated in this most recent post. (1) it is immoral to kill innocents, (2) it is worse to lie about it, (3) I don't think a government should act on rage or bloodlust, and (4) such a reaction is as indicative of a "fundamentalist" worldview as the destruction of the towers.

But what is the basis for your statement that (5) No, it [the killing] hasn't –they may not be Americans dying, but they are humans? Are you referring to the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld pledge to keep on with the fight, and what you expect to be our future actions overseas? Or perhaps you are referring to our destruction of the infrastructure of Afghanistan and how that is almost certainly a direct or indirect factor in the starving of Afghani citizens this winter? Or maybe you are just referring to "things in general?"

Like you, I don't trust Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld (I gather that you don't like them). But what I am saying is that while I don't approve of how they handled it, we should appreciate the fact that they could have done worse over the past few months (obviously, we don't really know yet how it "turned out"). And I do think that, to a great extent, they had their backs against the wall. - Matt

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