TURN OFF THE TV

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: TURN OFF THE TV
By Luger on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 01:04 am: Edit

>"Horseriding in Ireland particularly in the rural >West lacks the snobbery associated with >horseriding in England (and I
>gather also the USA)" "

Unfortunately it is a lot snobbery among Swedish horseriders. These I avoid,,,,,

>it is mostly done by the rich and
>usually for competitions.

My original comment was actually about me being glad that horses are still used as *working* horses. (I'm not talking about pulling a cart in a coalmine now. )

"Western saddle riding is very different though. "

I have a friend that invited an american to go for a nice and easy ride on his farm with a horse.
The american said ""NAhhh, that's not my game"
My friend thought the american was somewhat afraid, so he kept persuading him, and promised the chosen orse was very old and calm.
So the american jumped on and the horse started to jump and doing a real show. It turned out that the american had been a competitor in Rodeo.
My friend is still not sure wheter he or the horse was most shocked about the experience,,,


" When I die I want my ashes
scattered into the water's edge at sunset along the West coast of either Kerry or Donegall."

I'll better wash my feet before I trot there then :-)

Luger

By Zack on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 06:45 pm: Edit

"Horseriding in Ireland particularly in the rural West lacks the snobbery associated with horseriding in England (and I gather also the USA)"

English style riding here in the States does involve quite a bit of snobbery, as it is mostly done by the rich and usually for competitions.

Western saddle riding is very different though. While a lot of people do it just for fun or sport, (horses are still used for some ranch work) it is not looked upon as any kind of status symbol...at least not in rural areas.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 11:16 am: Edit

Luger,

Horseriding in Ireland particularly in the rural West lacks the snobbery associated with horseriding in England (and I gather also the USA) (but then Ireland, except for Dublin, has to a large extent escaped the working class/ middle class social divisions, a binman and a lawyer will happily mix socially on equal terms and without hangups). For horseriding try those remote long sandy beeches on the West coast of Ireland, they go on for miles and generally have very few people. Far too cold for sunbathers or poseurs and only the hardy will swim in the cold water. Race along on a horse just at the edge of the water with the cold Atlantic wind blowing. Sunset is best as you'll be the only person there and sunsets along the West of Ireland are really something else. When I die I want my ashes scattered into the water's edge at sunset along the West coast of either Kerry or Donegall.

Hobgoblin

By Luger on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 01:04 pm: Edit

"It's not just in the countryside where horses are kept in Ireland. In the tough deprived housing estates of
inner-city Dublin horses are kept in flats"

As you suggested it is probably not the kind of environment horses like, but I find it very charming that they still are kept as workinghorses somewhere in the world. In my country it is just a luxury.
The kind of riding I like cannot be done in cities though. I like to ride as fast as possible through the forest, on small stony paths, and one should not stop until both the horse and the rider is drenched with sweat. I swear the horse gives me the eye of approval when I lie down on my back on the ground afterwards, trying to catch my breath :-)


Luger

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, September 24, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Luger,

"All the Irish I have met in person have been wonderful fellows. Sad. I used to ride horses in my younger days, and Ireland seems to have horses just about everywhere (on the countryside). I have to go there someday."

It's not just in the countryside where horses are kept in Ireland. In the tough deprived housing estates of inner-city Dublin horses are kept in flats (apartments to Americans) in tower blocks. The horses are ridden by youngsters around the streets and on any open land or waste ground available. Not a great life for the horses but then for the people living in these areas life isn't exactly a bed of roses either.

Hobgoblin

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:50 pm: Edit

By popular demand I have now edited my profile,,,

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:14 pm: Edit

Kallisti, I may have been a leggy brunette in a former incarnation, but that's as far as I will admit.

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 09:32 pm: Edit

Luger on his workcomputer:

"it would take (and has taken) volumes."

I saw such volumes last time I was in London.
About the same size as the "official British history of the great war". No I didn't bought that either :-)

Since I won't go to bed boiling with hate at some little fraction of IRA anyway, and what they do, I only wanted that simplified explanation. Good enough for me, and my neutral viewpoint.

"Same tactic they had in mind when they sent the exiled Ulianov to Russia at start of WWI -- that one got out of hand, of course. Where's Heiko, so we
can pound on him? It's all his fault. (Just kidding, Heiko).

And the damn Swedes also allowed him passage :-)
Most Swedish left-wing wannabee politicians are so drenched with wine that they probably don't know this,,,


"Blackjack, don't forget the 1/8 German."

Interesting mix. Have your family not tried to add some Finn blood also? It would be a masterpiece.
There is no such thing as an angry Finn,,,,,,


"With the current IRA ceasefire and the IRA's political wing (Sinn Fein) declaring that "The War is over" following the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland, part of the
IRA refused to lay down it's arms and continues with it's armed campaign."

Sad. All the Irish I have met in person have been wonderful fellows. Sad. I used to ride horses in my younger days, and Ireland seems to have horses just about everywhere (on the countryside).
I have to go there someday.

Luger

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 07:50 pm: Edit

Lord H, indeed, it would take (and has taken) volumes. The Irish Volunteers, the Republican Brotherhood, the Fenians, etc etc ad nauseuam, plus all the wreckage from the earlier risings, centuries of arms caches (mostly German in origin -- it was a perennial German tactic to foment trouble in Ireland to complicate things for the English. Same tactic they had in mind when they sent the exiled Ulianov to Russia at start of WWI -- that one got out of hand, of course. Where's Heiko, so we can pound on him? It's all his fault. (Just kidding, Heiko).

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Blackjack, don't forget the 1/8 German.

By Verawench on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 01:22 pm: Edit

Ohhhhh ewwwww.

By Admin on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 12:38 pm: Edit

So, who says Don was not a leggy brunette in his heyday?

By _Blackjack on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:56 am: Edit

Ah! Don, that explains a lot. Irish/Sicilain-hybrids have gotten me into a LOT of trouble in my time. It's a dangerous mix. Among other things, they tend to have the ability to nullify my better judgement.

Come to think of it, one of them was a Walsh. She was a leggy brunette, tho.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:53 am: Edit

Luger,

Oh and just to add the latest chapter in the history of the IRA.

With the current IRA ceasefire and the IRA's political wing (Sinn Fein) declaring that "The War is over" following the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland, part of the IRA refused to lay down it's arms and continues with it's armed campaign. This group calls itself the 'Real' IRA. Like all the IRA's before them they say they are continuing the struggle until the original aims of the IRA are met. This looks like just another case of history repeating.

And Don, yes my explanation is over-simplified but this is unavoidable as I just wanted to give a potted overview in a post to the forum. A proper explanation would require the writing of several volumes, and even then many would not agree with it. You choose to live in Bangkok and that doesn't make you any less American. I moved to England in search of employment (a commodity that was lacking in Ireland when I left it). Far more Irishmen have emmigrated to England than to any other country on the globe. Anyway Don, I appreciate the sentiments behind your post and my hatchet is now buried.

Hobgoblin

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:37 am: Edit

Don, Luger, The Nephilim, and Petermac,

I agree.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:30 am: Edit

And yes the IRA via NORAID gets altogether too much money from sentimental Yanks who ought to know better, but I'm not one of that number. Never gave a dime to NORAID. I used to be fond of listening to Seamus Kennedy sing a good fight at Ireland's Own in Old Town Alexandria VA, as is Blackjack. In Bangkok there are 2-3 Plastic paddy bars, I have only been in one, and that, once. In 14 years.

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:29 am: Edit

Friends!

I love you all!

Thanks for the overwhelming posts, but thanks to some equipment my employer have bought from Canada, and was sent by plane via NYC I have to work tomorrow allthough it is Saturday. The parts arrived today, with no explanation for the delay :-)

This means I have to go to sleep now :-(

Seriously: Since English is not my native language it sometimes might happen that I write things that I don't intend to write, please forgive me when that happens.


Cheers: Luger

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:24 am: Edit

I am glad to hear that Lord HH does not support the IRA (presumably neither the officials nor the provos). The summary of the history is a little oversimplified, as the Irish Republican Army was one of several groups, who sometimes opposed it and sometimes were under its umbrella, how little has changed since 1916.

However, I will defer to Lord HH to tell his nation's history, and I will avod nitpicking if I can. It is after all his nation and not mine. I am after all just a Plastic Paddy and then there is that embarrasing matter of 12.5% German blood and 50% Sicilian blood, which makes me minority Plastic Paddy even within my own body.

This probably explains why I really don't much care for Guiness, while I much prefer Strega; why I prefer revenge to mere homocide; and various other details of my psyche and anatomy that it would be odious to report.

And while I am moderately sentimental about my heritages, I have not bothered to actually visit either Ireland or Sicily. There are reasons for that.

I note that Lord HH chooses to reside in England, but, hey, I've kicked him enough for now, so why make an issue?

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:17 am: Edit

"Not at all Luger. The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was the organisation that"

"Sorry to be long-winded but you did ask."

The subject needed to just that long, and that was exactly the info I needed!!!
Now I'll dig into my hide and dream up further questions :-)


Thanx!!!!!!!

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:12 am: Edit

>Translation: That was a joke.

Relax!
I understood that, and answered ( I hope! )
accordingly!

Ok, you deserve a bit of info.

My favorite brand is Hills. It is made by the oldest distiller in business. His forefather started distilling Absinth during the Napoleonic wars, as can be seen on the label. It has a wonderful green color that is more intense than the other fakes that is not nearly as flourescent green.
Don't forget that it is made according to old french recipes, instead of the other Paellas!
I recommend that you buy several bottles while trying it, because they won't last long!


(NOT!)


Luger

By Don_Walsh on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:10 am: Edit

Tavarua, I have nothing at all against you, but let me just admonish you that you are indeed barking up the wrong tree, as Luger is an honorable man, a benevolent entity, although it is true that people and mooses that have crossed him have ended up, literally or figuratively, dressed out dead and strapped to his Volvo.

Ted, Artemis, The Nephilim, and many others, Dengar among them I am sure, as well as myself, will happily, gleefully attest to the beneficence of this wonderful fellow, who is not at all a thorny prick such as myself.

My advice is, backpedal at high velocity!! For friends of Luger defend their own.

We love you too, pls take my advice.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:09 am: Edit

Luger,

"Minor nitpick here, but isn't IRA the same as Eires army, and (p)IRA the wellknown group in the occupied territories?"

Not at all Luger. The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was the organisation that, back in the 1920's the past secured the freedom of Ireland (well most of it) from British Rule (previously the IRA rebelled unsuccesfully against the British in 1916). After the signing of the treaty that partitioned Ireland, the IRA split with those who were pro-treaty becoming the army of the Irish Free State. There then followed a short but nasty civil war (as all civil wars are) between the army of the Irish Free State and the IRA (which was made up of the anti-treaty IRA, including my Grandfather). Men who were comrades in arms a few months before were now killing each other. The pro-treaty side won, while the IRA (who have never accepted the legitimacy of what they even today call the Irish Free State) continued what they see as the struggle for a united Ireland. This has included, in the past, attacks in Eire but in recent times they have concentrated on attacks within what they see as occupied territory. The IRA then split again back in the late 60's (or was it early 70's) when the 'Official' IRA laid down it's arms while taking a internationalist quasi-Communist political stance. Those who refused to lay down there arms formed the 'Provisional' IRA with whom we are familiar today.

The government of Eire has as much to fear from the IRA (and always has) as the British do. The IRA don't simply want to unify the 2 parts of Ireland they don't recognise the government in Eire and would want to overthrow it and set up a left-wing republic. A simple united Ireland will not mean the end of the IRA in Ireland.

I always found it odd that so much of the funding for the IRA has come from private donations from the USA. Their money is going to a bunch of very dangerous radical lefties (who incidently I don't support).

Sorry to be long-winded but you did ask.

Hobgoblin

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:08 am: Edit

Luger,

Fair enough. For now.

Tav.

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 11:04 am: Edit

Appendum to article H, (previous Luger posting), on the to issue of the possibility of Project “Humor”, reference Chapter 5, Verse fourteen, Subsection D, of universal Steamroller Act, which states:

Any statement made, regardless of nature, with the apparent intention of accusing an acquaintance, personal, business, or other, of being the spawn of a superior race of higher intelligence will be interpreted as humor, not actual information.

Translation: That was a joke.


The monkeys with ninja suits however, are very real. But that’s a story for another day

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:56 am: Edit

This thrills me! :-)


"Luger, I checked your profile. You have no e-mail, city of dwelling, favorite brand, favorite quote, etc., etc. etc."

I started as "Luger" with my C64 several years ago, when discussing in a local Forum even before the internet was invented. You simply phoned a servermachine and wrote/read messages.
Since then I am "Luger" in the computerworld. Just for historical reasons, but yes I actually like listening to what people have to say, and judge those words as they are. I don't care if someone is ugly or sexy in this place. I don't care if someone lives in a garbage heap, or in a mansion.
Here, on this forum I don't have to be affected by those things. That's nice IMHO. Makes friends you could never have made in real life. Besides, if I were to judge people by their profiles, I might get even more confused, because we have skeletons, and several strange characters :-)

Anyway I do have a real life. The days are simply not long enough for this real life. I´d like to spend more time with the computer, but other things demand my attention.


>and taunts others
>with your silly antics.

Sorry bout that then, I´ll have to get the answer to the question from someone else.

> This frightens me, as does all artificial >intelligence, and you must be stamped out. As you >are
>a mere collection of signals and electrodes

You need not be frightened of me, not at all, but from what I am told, everyones brains are just a collection of signals :-)

>I guess this our fault, we have given to much >priority and alloted to much power to technology >and it has come
>back to slap us in the face.

Actually this computernerd just came in from an hours work with the axe,,,chopping wood. No I do not have a hydraulic woodchopper, I want to use my muscles as a workout, so yes I do agree with your feelings about thecnology,,,

>I now know your plan. Brothers and sisters of the >forum, it is
>time we unite and nip this in the bud, before we >are turned into whistling jello. Who’s with me?

Then you have the advantage, because I don't know your plan :-) Maybe I should study the enemy? But I don't even consider you a enemy!!!!!
I have to think about it over some Jellos,,,,

>If I am overreacting and you are an actual person >who just prefers to remain anonymous, I >apologize.

No reason for you to apologize for anything!

Cheers: The real ultimate authentic historical Georg Luger

P.S. Nice to see you back Nephilim!
D.S.

By Petermarc on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:52 am: Edit

luger IS capable of reducing human beings into quivering piles of jello...and we like it!

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:49 am: Edit

Nephilim

You damn A.I. lover. I’m on to you too brother.

By The_Nephilim on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:04 am: Edit

tavarua,

just because you do not know Luger doesn't mean he doesn't exist. many of us here have know luger for more than 2 years now. artemis, don, and myself all consider him to be a good friend and not a good phantom friend.

his favorite brand is really nobody's business (though I do know what it is) and really means nothing anyway.

have some fiber and grab a magazine. let it go, man.

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 09:17 am: Edit

Luger, I checked your profile. You have no e-mail, city of dwelling, favorite brand, favorite quote, etc., etc. etc. In other words, you are a phantom, you do not exist, and I can only gather that you are an entity of life living only in computers and networks. Possibly, you are some half computer, half virus that haunts systems and taunts others with your silly antics. This frightens me, as does all artificial intelligence, and you must be stamped out. As you are a mere collection of signals and electrodes, you could not have seen “The Matrix”. But if you have, you would have known that your kind will be stopped by any and all means necessary.

I guess this our fault, we have given to much priority and alloted to much power to technology and it has come back to slap us in the face. Will you not be happy until you reduce all of us humans into quivering piles of jello that can only whistle to communicate. That’s it isn’t it. I now know your plan. Brothers and sisters of the forum, it is time we unite and nip this in the bud, before we are turned into whistling jello. Who’s with me?

If I am overreacting and you are an actual person who just prefers to remain anonymous, I apologize.

Gotto go, a black van full of monkeys in ninja suits just pulled up and they look menacing.

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 08:57 am: Edit

“My purpose was not to enter the debate”

That’s it bully, put em up.

By Luger on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 08:35 am: Edit

“Not trying to start a fight”

"Sounds like fighting words. "

Hehe, I just mean that I really ain't sure if I'm right or not, I just want to know.

My purpose was not to enter the debate, I just wondered, and when you ask about something you are not qualified to comment, and the persons you expect to give you an answer are very passionate about it, it could easily get you into trouble :-)

By Tavarua on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 06:28 am: Edit

“Not trying to start a fight”

Sounds like fighting words.

By Luger on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 09:24 pm: Edit

"who call
themselves the IRA."

Minor nitpick here, but isn't IRA the same as Eires army, and (p)IRA the wellknown group in the occupied territories?
Not trying to start a fight, just wondering???

Luger

By Perruche_Verte on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 05:55 pm: Edit

Give war a chance... :(

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 05:50 pm: Edit

Well, if it isn't Lord Haw Haw having a wee rant.

Yes I am familiar with the political bent of the martyred leaders of the Easter Rebellion. Ho hum. Devalera survived because the Brits didn't want to machine gun a US citizen (he was botn in US.) He was a treacherous little git. I am not very sentimental about that lot, though I prefer them to the current mob of drug dealing gangsters who call themselves the IRA. And I prefer the 22 SAS to them both.

PS How are your knees doing?

By Luvlite68 on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 05:47 pm: Edit

Lord H-

While I share some of your distaste for Don's expletives and abrasive demeanor, you must realize that poking an angry dog will only result in more bites. Enough blood has been shed by terrorists and sharp tongues. Why shed more?

Head-

That's right . . . it's ET calling home again. ;-)

By Admin on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 05:26 pm: Edit

Roosevelt only conjures up "Arsenic and Old Lace" for me and the enigmatic "Uncle Teddy" ...


"CHAAAAAAAARGE!!!"

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 04:46 pm: Edit

"Here's to you, Lilly, the Rights of Man, and International Revolution!"

By Verawench on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 03:23 pm: Edit

You fools ever gonna run out of things to argue about? There's only so many insults to hurl from the basket, you know. Sheesh. Seriously, go get drunk and stare at the moon or something.

By Petermarc on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 03:08 pm: Edit

'president roosevelt and old europe' 1903

teddy

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 12:36 pm: Edit

Don,

I personally couldn't give damn whether you apologise or not. You're a worthless wannabe Irishman with a foul mouth, a bullying manner and about as much entitlement to Irish citizenship as Osama Bin Laden.

You seem to be under the impression that the requirements of Irishness includes support of US foreign policy and a non-leftist political leaning. The 1916 rebels were a bunch of lefties. What do you think James Connolly would have made of current US foreign policy? You seem to idolise Michael Collins. Michael Collins' side in the Irish civil war wanted to take over the Dublin factories and turn them into Workers Co-operatives. They flew the Red Flag in Dublin before DeValera's side turned on them and drove them away.

All Irish freedom fighter/terrorist groups (depending on your view) this century were left of centre. Ireland was neutral in the Cold War, is not and never has been a member of NATO.

You can take your Plastic-Paddy Irish-American romance and shove it. Go back to whatever pseudo-Irish theme bar you frequent in Bangkok, drink your third rate Guinness and pine about "The Old Country" with other wannabe Irishmen.

Hobgoblin

By Tlautrec on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 10:31 am: Edit

One of Teddy Roosevelt's more bizarre habits was the "straight walk" when he would walk literally in a straight line, through whatever obstacles might be in the way. If this meant wading through the pond in the middle of the Ellipse south of the White House, so be it, he'd walk straight through the pond. Bully bully, Teddy!!!

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 10:05 am: Edit

Whereas the Kennedy's were Irish immigrants in Boston that the Roosevelt's wouldn't have normally allowed in the front door, or the back without a reason.

Joe Kennedy was a bootlegger, for which I must say I admire him. A sucesful rival of Arnold Rothstein (the guy who fixed the world series -- archetype of 'Nickie Arnstein' in FUNNY GIRL) Joe bought up distilleries in Scotland and smuggled real Scotch to the US via Canada during Prohibition. Rothstein on the other hand was allied with Meyer Lansky, Benjamin (Bugs) Siegel and their Sicilian friends Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano and Frank Costello. (aka Murder Inc.) Rothstein was killed by Mad Dog Coll. His proteges went on the found modern American OCR as we know/knew it, run by La Commissione, financially controlled by Lansky (who never spent a day in jail in his life) and initially headed by Luciano aka Salvatore Lucania. Tom Dewey, a Roosevelt rival, targeted Luciano, and (falsely) convicted him on prostitution charges, as part of his bid for the White House. (Remind you, say, of Rudi Guliani?) Bugsy Siegel went on to found las Vegas and was subsequently killed by Lansky and friends for skimmimg $2 million off the Famingo Hotel's construction, money probably kept by his mistress (inherited from Joe Adonis) Virginia Hill. Lansky created Havana's gambling nightlife, then saw it fall to Castro (who he helped fund) and moved a lot of his ops to the Bahamas. Toward the end of his life, Israel refused him right of return, a deadly slap in the balls for a Jew.

Costello announced in '58 he was retiring, a hitman put a bullet through his ear, perhaps a warning, perhaps a botched murder attempt. La Santa Momma has always had a shitty retirement policy.

Luciano, jailed by Dewey, assisted the ONI against Nazi saboteurs on the NY docks (he controlled the unions) and the OSS when it was time to invade Sicily. He was turned loose and deported to Naples in '46 where he lived for another dozen years before dying of a heart atack in a cafe. He is credited with organizing the overall structure of the postwar heroin trade. Vito Genovese (founder of what is known now as the Columbo Family) was one of his lieutenants. (Bad news: super-rat Joe Valachi was a member of this famiglia.)

These were Joe Kennedy's business rivals so Bobby Kennedy set out to destroy...The Enemy Within.

Sigh.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 09:40 am: Edit

One must see the Roosevelts (Teddy and Franklin, who were close cousins) and the Kennedys (who the Roosevelts had no great love for, being anglophile elitists, although FDR did make Joe Kennedy Ambassdaor to the Court of St James -- only to remove him when his pro-Nazi sympathies became too much to bear for either country) in perspective.

The Roosevelts were New York, hard core eastern establishment politicos, well entrenched in the permanent Federal Government particularly the Navy Department where both Theodore and Franklin served as Assistant Secretaries. Theodore precipitated the Spanish American War (while his boss was out of the country) with the help of W.R. Hearst, Frederick Remington, and presumably the Spanish (for mining the USS Maine while in the Havana harbor). Roosevelt's creation of the adjunct Rough Riders and his adventures against the Spanish Army are deeply involved in his two Presidential terms. Teddy is well remembered as a great President although he was perhaps crazier than a shithouse rat.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 09:27 am: Edit

Hence the packing of the Supreme Court by FDR (during his 14.5 yrs in the WH) which resulted in the extension of FDR's contempt for the Constitution for a decade and a half after his death. Franklin was an ultr-elitist whose utter contempt for the 'common people' was thinly disguised by the fireside chats that projected him as national Daddy.

Domestically, he was responsible for transforming a minimalist federal government of the 20s to the archetype of today's (as of 1947) national security state. For that may he burn in Hell.

On the international side, his personal relationship with Churchill, that of the pseudo-aristo Roosevelt anglophile with the aristo half-American Winston, served British and ultimately American interests well, before and suring WWII. (They knew each other from WWI when they occupied approximately opposite positions in the Navy Departments of their respective governments.)

Churchill's less well known accomplishments include the supervising of the rushing of the Easter Rebellion in Ireland, hand picking of the MI5/MI6 team that was shotly thereafter wiped out by Michael Collins, founding of British Petroleum to exploit information stolen from the Russiand in Baku by the pseudonymous British agent Sidney Reilly, actually a Russian Jew; an amazing record for a chronic depressive.

Roosevelt's family were known to have made their money in shipping, but like a lot of 19th century American shipping magnates that meant the CHina trade (opium) as much as whaling. FDR has been accused of being overly sympathetic to the Kuomintang (Sun Yat Sen, and horribly later Chiang Kai Shek, allied with the Kung and Sung families by marriage) becasue ofs entimental feelings of gult about the family opium trade. (Sterling Seagrave, "Lords of the Rim").

By _Blackjack on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 09:13 am: Edit

Flagrantly ignoring the Constittion is hardly the sole domain of either party. They just tend to ignore different parts, and the parts have shifted over time.

As far as giving the government an inch, I think the most telling example in recent years is that bias crime laws (just like mandatory drug sentences, three-strikes laws, and the death penalty) have been used disproportionately against black offenders. Rather misses the point, I think.

(Not intended as a discussion of the merit of said laws--I don't like 'em--but to show that powers given to the government can be misused to the opposite of the intended effect.)

And I'm no fan of RICO laws, either. I am something of a liberal heretic, in that I don't deify the martyred Kennedys nor believe them infallible.

By Bob_Chong on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 08:46 am: Edit

The dems have a long history of flagrantly ignoring the Constitution. "I hope your committee will not permit doubts as to constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation." Speaker? FDR to Congress. If you have a reasonable doubt that the legislation is unconstitutional, pass it anyway? Nice.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 05:34 am: Edit

Etienne is right. Give any govt an inch, they take a mile. The RICO statutes are good examples, created to allow the effective suspension of the Bill of Rights for traditional (like, Sicilian American) gangsters (hey is that illegal racial profiling??) it is and always has been mostly applied to everyone but the intended target. Like, mostly it is used against drug dealers whether they are part of any 'organized crime' or not. Hell, why not just tear up the Bill or Rights for everyone? Thank you Robert Blakely, a law professor who drafted these while at the Justice Dept and an old protege of Bobby the Kennedy.

By Etienne on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 09:38 pm: Edit

No matter what power you give the "authorities", they will abuse it. That's something you can absolutely count on.

By Mr_Rabbit on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 08:48 pm: Edit

One thing that is bugging me about this whole thing are the almost-certain security measures that are coming.

Backscatter xrays (they let people see through things like your clothes, the side of your car...)

Facial recognition software, voiceprinting.

Will the temptation to misuse these things be too great for the authorities who have access to them?

Your goddmaned right it will.

By Geoffk on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 06:42 pm: Edit

I have to believe that the Cooksey quote is out of context. I mean, Bush has publicly come out saying that prejudice and violence against Arab-Americans is absolutely wrong and won't be tolerated. Now, if he's saying that many or most Americans are somewhat suspicious now about Arabs, especially young male Arabs, I think he's probably right. And to be honest, I'd really like to have airlines checking passenger lists against lists of known terrorist and hijackers. That's just good law enforcement.

The whole notion of racial profiling is mostly another example of PC gone amok. This web page is a good discussion:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/11_2_the_myth.html

-- Geoff K.

By Morriganlefey on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 04:04 pm: Edit

Here's a TRULY sad little perspective from a recent interview with U.S. Rep John Cooksey (R-Louisiana):

"Terrorists come in a lot of forms, and Timothy McVeigh was a young, white American male. If all terrorists looked like McVeigh, all young white American males would be interrogated. In the terrorism of last week the terrorist had a different look, a different face, and people fitting that profile should be interrogated. If I see someone (who) comes in that's got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over," Cooksey said.

It's called racial profiling, dear Cooksey, and it's ILLEGAL. Not to mention scummy, and a large part of what's wrong with this world.

- M

By Admin on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 12:52 pm: Edit

I love you all desperately. Bickering or no.

Thank you.

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 11:33 am: Edit

I'm trying to find an emoticon for "laughing, then looking ashamed at one's complicity" but there doesn't seem to be one.

That reads like Beckett, BJ. You should give it a full-length treatment.

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 08:15 am: Edit

Afghan 1: Wow, I sure am hungry.
Afghan 2: Yeah, me too, but we've got to get out of the city.
Afghan 1: I know, but before that, let's take a minute to hope that some weird fat computer geek in Arlington, Virginia dies a horrible death...
Afghan 2: And that his eyeballs are eaten by vultures!
Afghan 1: Good one!
Afghan 2: Dimshallah.

By Etienne on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 07:06 am: Edit

Geoff, you're absolutely right. We've all had more than enough chance to air our feelings. We all know what each other think. None of it matters. The events about to happen will take place, no matter what.
I've become more concerned about the well being of the forum. The Nation will deal with all this as best we can, but I can't see people I have come to regard as friends start to hate each other over something we can't possibly effect. Let's wait and see.

By Geoffk on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 06:50 am: Edit

At the risk of resuscitating a thread that's almost dead anyway, I guess my current feeling on the subject is this:

In a matter of days, prehaps hours, the US, NATO and other nations will start to take the (military) action that they've been planning for a week. Some people will be pleased at this and support them. Some people will be disappointed or even appalled and wish they would stop. But neither attitude will make the tiniest bit of difference for quite some time. To be sure, if this turns into a Vietnam/Soviet Afghanistan type conflict, more people may start to oppose it, and the political trends may change. But that is a long way off. For the moment, all of the momentum is with the military forces, just as it was after Pearl Harbor.

If we want this to be a meaningful thread, we'd reopen it in six months or (if still going) a year, and see how we feel then. Maybe the people who support the military will change their minds. On the other hand, if we have a smashing victory and are home in six months, then maybe the opponants will start to feel that it was a good idea after all.

Right now, the die is cast, and arguing about it just inflames controversy.

-- Geoff K.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 12:21 am: Edit

An Afghani will offer you the peace of the dead. And let the vultures eat your eyes.

Aleikum Salaam.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:38 pm: Edit

Salaam alekum.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Now there's a trite phrase.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:06 pm: Edit

OK, let's give peace a chance.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:01 pm: Edit

Sorry. There was honestly no hostility intended in my last post. More sadness than anything else. Not only is the world screwed up, but I'm seeing the forum in turmoil. This can't be fun for anyone anymore.

By Head_Prosthesis on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:49 pm: Edit

Please.

By Mr_Rabbit on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Regarding the hostility rampant around here:

No one is making us do this.

It isn't good to do this.

That would seem to present a simple solution.

We could all, y'know, just stop with the 'at each others throats' thing.

Just. Don't. Do it.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:32 pm: Edit

Blackjack;
Sorry, friend, but you have to do better. I have no problem with criticizing the government, it's my favorite hobby. I simply prefer to keep my concern closer to home. I prefer to worry about Americans that are suffering than people half way around the world that may be harboring those responsible for their deaths.
Are innocent people going to suffer in this? Sure they will, they always do. You think we're going to change that? Don't bet on it. One way or another, this will turn into a military operation, and I can't think of one I've ever heard of where people don't get in the way. You think that I could take some kind of pleasure in that? Give me a break. I just try to deal with reality, not idealism.
The Russian thing is a little thin too. One of my best friends married a Russian woman. They don't worry about commies anymore, so I won't either.
Wish I could change what happened a week ago. Guess what? Won't happen. If I could then maybe people I've grown to like and admire wouldn't be at each others throats over something that is completely and totally out of our control.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:28 pm: Edit

Bob, the late King of Jordan wasn't so bad. True, he called it wrong in '91, but he was dying, and Saddam was right next door and Desert Storm was 6 months away. Many times prior to that he showed himself to be a good friend to the US, and no friend to terrorists. He kicked out the PLO.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:20 pm: Edit

Didn't the Little King (his father) side against us in Desert Storm and then have the audacity to fly over here to get some treatment for his cancer? WTF?

So "the kind of ally we need right now" is one who will allow Iraqi jets to fly over his airspace to attack American soldiers, just like dear ol' dad? Fuck that noise.

BC

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:18 pm: Edit

Mourn the dead. Fight like hell for the living. That includes the innocents in both New York and Kabul.

Blackjack, what's the link? I didn't see one in your post.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:08 pm: Edit

(Third time I've tried to post this...I blame the worm)

I'm glad to hear King Abdullah's opinion. If he's his father's son, he's just the kind of ally we need right now, and we should pay heed to his counsel.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 07:51 pm: Edit

Alright, guys, we might as well give in. Thi jig is up. They've figured out that we're just orphan moles left over from the demise of the Soviet Union, bent on bringing down America by spreading dout and disention where it will reach the most people and do the most damage: an on-line discussion group about absinthe!

The consevaive think-tank has exposed our hatred of all Americans that we so cleverly hid under the disguise of uncertainty in confusing times. We may as well admit that we love Osama bin Laden and danced with glee at the death of innocent thousands, because they aren't buying our attempts to show concern for other innocent lives. They know we'e a bunch of weak-kneed nancy-boys afraid to do what's right, because we couldn't possible be not be sure we'll be fighting the right people. Because, as we all know, anybody who criticizes US policy is a no good coward at best, and a pinko traitor at worst.

Here's my passport. I'm turning it in and going home to Leningrad. What, it's not called Leningrad anymore?

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 07:27 pm: Edit

Perruche,
If you want to see atrocities then look at New York. Real ones, not something you're afraid might happen. You worry about innocent people, so do I. Look at the pictures, the innocents are lying dead in the street. Man, your priorities are confused.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 06:53 pm: Edit

Someone is going to knock you off your soapbox and use its pieces to take rectal smears, one of these days, you green thing you. But it probably won't be me. You aren't worth my attention.

They haven't pulled all the bodies of our fellow Americans and many others from the rubble in Manhattan, and you are tearfully anticipating imaginary US 'atrocities' which haven't happened, against the Afghanis

And you really can't figure out why this makes you a fughead, can you?

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 06:22 pm: Edit

United Airlines has announced it plans to lay off 20,000 employees, at the same time Congress is about to give the airlines a $15 billion bailout.

So your co-workers aren't alone, Kallisti.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 06:18 pm: Edit

Welcome back, Don. Glad you decided to rejoin the party.

Just for general information, a nephew of one of my co-workers (on active service) has been shipped out, destination unknown. He had just enough time to get a call off to his Mom to let her know he was leaving. Another of the guys received a call from the commander of his reserve unit advising him to tie off any loose ends and not make any new plans.

Looks like we won't have much longer to wait.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 06:11 pm: Edit

You had to destroy democracy in order to save it, is that right?

I am concerned about my safety and security as much as anyone. I don't see that my security is increased by a foreign policy that will limit my own freedom and increase the number of people who will regard me as their enemy.

I'm afraid also that those responsible for carrying out whatever policy Bush settles on may share Mr. Walsh's assessment of Afghan civilians as "hillmen" whose lives deserve no consideration.
U.S. media will be unable to report on whatever atrocities result, thanks to new restrictions on their coverage which are designed to avoid passing on information to terrorists.

The story was on CNN, but for some reason I can't find it now. Hmm.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 05:54 pm: Edit

P_V, you can await my apology in Hell. I apologize to no one for standing up for the United States of America, particularly in wartime -- which is what this is -- against all enemies foreign and domestic. I even seem to recall haven taken an oath to that end, once or twice. I have had more than enough of your trampling on the country, and that goes for Lord Haw Haw as well. You want repentence, look elsewhere. All I did was see red, where there was red and all you want to do is deal in herrings of that color and argue shades of pink.

(Blackjack and I have settled our differences amicably.)

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Vera:

Gilmore is a free speech dude who has waged war with Verio and others about his open mail relay. He will not give a flying fuck about complaints, no more than we can hold the phone company liable for a crank call.

Check out http://www.toad.com/gnu/verio-censorship.html to see some of what I'm talking about.

BC

By Tlautrec on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 05:43 pm: Edit

Finding myself to be somewhat impatient about what I perceive to be unnecessary antagonism among us over how to react/respond to the events of the last week, I could get all Rodney King-ish and ask why can't we all just get along (that would be really "goody goody liberal" of me, I know). I'd rather just point you all in the direction of an editorial by Thomas Friedman in today's New York Times. IMHO, Friedman is the most knowledgeable and balanced of mass-media commentators on the Middle East. And yes, Virginia, there is a sound, middle-ground position that reconciles the views of those who legitimately want to punish the bastards, and those who counsel caution.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/18/opinion/18FRIE.html?todaysheadlines

By Morriganlefey on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Wow Vera, you're a net-sleuth. From his zip code (if legit), Mr. Gilmore lives in my neighborhood. Good thing I have an attack-cat (har!).

By Mr_Rabbit on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 04:37 pm: Edit

"barbarians who only understand force"

Just thought I should point out, somewhere right now there is an extremist Muslim with a machinegun patiently explaining to someone else that this is exactly what Americans are.

This is what we say. This is what the other side says.

Tell me, are we all right, or are we all wrong?

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 04:31 pm: Edit

Another URL, this one to a speech Rashid made to a gathering of Pakistani journalists and human rights activists. Its content reveals a lot about Pakistani and Afghan politics.

The whole radioafghanistan.com site is quite interesting.

http://www.radioafghanistan.com/forum/articles/rashid.htm

By Verawench on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 04:15 pm: Edit

Domain name: toad.com
IP: 140.174.2.1
Website Host: verio.net

Registrant:
E
John Gilmore (gnu@enom.toad.com)
+1 415 221-6524
FAX: +1 415 221-7251
PO Box 170608-enom
San Francisco, CA 94117
US

Don should forward the message to Verio (NOT toad.com) at abuse@verio.net

Don, you can reference their Acceptable Use Policy in forwarding the message:

In violation of the AUP if using...
"Defamatory or Abusive Language -- Using Verio's network as a means to transmit or post defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening language. "

Vera

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 04:02 pm: Edit

Here is a link to an interview with Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist who has a book coming out on the Taliban and Afghan matters. This interview is a year old, but nonetheless informative.

http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/interviews/ba2000-08-09.htm

By Tlautrec on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:57 pm: Edit

Oh well...it's pretty awful being trolled...of course I wouldn't have sent such a scurrilous note to Don.

As Chonger correctly notes, I must admit that I wouldn't call anyone a "commie" as an insult, but to compliment someone, I'd more likely use the term, "social democrat" or "progressive," as in, "Oh, what a progrssive you are (you wonderful, enlightened person, you)".

Along those lines, the other night, while discussing the past week's events with my wife, who is a hawk but a social progessive, I characterized her politics using Mort Sahl's old term of (not quite) endearment, "right-wing social democrat." She responded, "That's right, honey, that's just what I am...a "Scoop" Jackson Democrat." Those of you who are closer to Don's and my age will remember old "Scoop" as being the leading Democrat in Congress who supported the war in Vietnam, as well as being a Hubert Humphrey liberal on socio-economic issues. If "Scoop" were alive today, he'd be leading the charge against the foul fiends who perpetrated last Tuesday's massacre.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:53 pm: Edit

Your personal insults, Don, were no game-playing, and I have yet to see you justify them or apologize for them, unless you simply want to shut up those who disagree with you.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:50 pm: Edit

That was a pretty sketchy piece of work, as I recall. I didn't recognize Don's address on the original message, so I thought it was a random peach fuzz anyway. When I replied, I got a 'mail undeliverable' message because he botched the path. It wasn't 'till Don replied to his that the fun began and ended. Not much of a cyber-terrorist. I doubt it was the guy that caused so much trouble here lately.

K.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:18 pm: Edit

The point, P_V, is to provide early warning to everyone on the forum that someone (otnay eryvray ightbray) is playing games.

I'm not too amazed that you get flak like this everyday. But I don't.

This has only happened once before. Someone sent Anatomist a hate email that was forged to look like it came from me, and sent me one purportedly from him, but this stupid tactic didn't work, and we mutually nipped it in the bud. And that was like, 18 months ago.

By Morriganlefey on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:11 pm: Edit

Having met personally and many times conversed quite genially with Tlautrec, I can unequivocally say that that message is not from him. Not even on PCP.

Now if the "HA HA" in the last line were subsituted with "I WIN", would that lend any clarity??

Just a thought.

- M

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:08 pm: Edit

How do we "unite against The Troll"?

OK, for the record, I think the use of anonymous email to pick on Don is wrong, wrong, wrong, and I authorize the CIA and the Pentagon to get right to the bottom of this.

He sends you anonymous email, delete it. I get stuff like that every day.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 03:01 pm: Edit

Even if we can't unite here against the real terrorists, at least I am sure we can unite against the Troll. He's the forum's wannabe terrorist.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 02:56 pm: Edit

Not to feed the troll, but it looks like toad.com runs an open mail server, which the troll is exploiting.

Besides, tlautrec would never use "commie" as an insult but only as a compliment.

j/k

BC

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 02:17 pm: Edit

Bottom line: Someone is forging emails again trying to set us (more) at each other's throats, and sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

And that someone writes like an idiot and can't possibly be mistaken for any of us. No, not tlautrec. tlautrec writes well. He's a lawyer, he writes arguments for a living.

Hello Mr Troll.

By Heiko on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 02:17 pm: Edit

It seems the return path of the mail is spoofed really good. That means the sender has spent some time and good knowledge in making this mail anonymous.
Why would he do so if he included his mail address then?
Logic says: it must be a fake

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 02:10 pm: Edit

My guess is it's a fake, from someone who wants to ignite a little flame.

Doesn't sound like tlautrec, at all. Not even tlautrec on PCP. Which I have no reason to believe he does.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 02:07 pm: Edit

I've gotten a lot of nice emails from friends on this forum.

This is first time I have gotten a piece of hate mail and from one of the goody goody liberals at that:
-------------
>From: tlautrec@altavista.com
>Subject: absinthe
>Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 08:42:32 +0000
>Received: from toad.com (toad.com [140.174.2.1]) with ESMTPś id CAA25292for ; Wed, 19 Sep 2001 02:46:45 GMT
>Received: from _ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____p! h14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P____ph14P__
>X-POP3-Rcpt: surayoke@ns1
>Return-Path:
>Message-Id:
>X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
>X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL23]
>
>Stay away you sick bastard, why do you call yourself an american? You do not even live there, you FUCKING COMMIE!!!
>American WANNABE
>I hope you die, you fucked up old Pedophile.
>HA HA
--------------

I had a very mild debate posted here with Monsieur Lautrec, one quite devoid of rancor, so I am wondering why he has gone off?

I also wonder what all that ph14P crap is in the header. Any techies around?

By Admin on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 01:35 pm: Edit

Thanks Bob! We're right there with ya!

As for work, rumour is that the layoffs might have been planned for last week, and were postponed. So no, it is just bad timing, and not opportunism or corporate panic. As pissed as I am, I'll give them that.

But it is always the people you work closely with that make a job, and in that, I have been very lucky. I work with a load of brilliant misfits & educated freaks. And love them all desperately. All but the bare minimum are now gone.

Tav, I've got the outfit, now just need to brush up the attitude. Heh.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 01:14 pm: Edit

Sorry to hear about the co-workers. Let's hope the timing of this was already planned and they are not hiding behind 9/11 as "cover."

As for the Falwell/Robertson shit that happened recently, I'd like to say that they no more represent Christians in this country than does Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, no more than Arafat and Bin Laden represent the Islamic world. As Goldwater once said, Falwell needs a kick in the ass. Falwell and the so-called Moral Majority/Religious Right (capital letters) are a detriment to the country, religion, and the right.

I bring up Goldwater again because I started looking up some pithy Goldwater quotes recently (after I had paraphrased him here), and damn, the guy was quite a wordsmith. Not that the "kick in the ass" statement was particularly creative...

The full quote: "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."

Well, I don't have my boots on, but I will gladly denounce him.

BC

By Tavarua on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 01:12 pm: Edit

And a dune buggy, some sort of leather / animal skin outfit, and of course primitive weapon, i.e., sord, battle ax, spear, etc. No post-apocalyptic action figure should be without them

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 01:02 pm: Edit

Oh yeah, barbarian and fascist.

And aside from such buzzwords and other examples of his collegial good humor, I don't see Don offering us much except a lot of credential-waving. The CIA said this, and Michael Dunn said that. None of them kept us out of this mess, did they?

Beware of credentials offered in place of argument. Be especially wary when it's the CIA. I wish I didn't have to point this out, but it's a matter of record that the CIA has lied, numerous times, about conditions in countries the U.S. was considering invading. This is especially true when a vote was coming up in Congress. And that is sad, because I don't think anyone, anywhere in the political spectrum would deny that a good, impartial intelligence service is an awfully handy thing to have.

The idea that one or another group of people are "barbarians" who "only understand force" is another argument that seems aimed at silencing one's critics rather than getting to the heart of the matter. I don't believe there's a group of people on Earth who are fairly described by that statement. Most people are motivated by concern for their physical wellbeing, but over and above that by their sense of right and wrong.

Osama bin Laden had a comfortable, spoiled existence as the son and heir of a Saudi construction magnate. He gave that up in his twenties to go to Afghanistan and fight the Soviets. That does not sound like someone whose main motivation in life is seizing oil wealth.

Even if that really is his main goal, it's not the goal of the thousands of young men who are lining up to become suicide bombers. And that's why it's important to understand the problems Muslims have with the West, rather than leaving that job to the "experts". There will always be someone ready to arm and train these young men, and send them on their way.

By Admin on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 12:55 pm: Edit

In true capitolist standing, the company I work for has used the one week anniversary of Sept. 11th to institute huge layoffs.

Fortunately (or not), I am not fired. But I am almost ashamed to be sitting here right now, as many of my nearest and dearest pack it up. I am one of 5 people still sitting on a floor that 6 months ago sat 80. This is apparently the last in a long series of layoffs, I just wish they could have waited another week.

Good News:

The SF Chronicle, in a tiny weentsy blurb on the back page, ran a snippet that Falwell apologized for blaming the ACLU, Feminists, Gays & Lesbians (etc.) for Tuesday's attack after the President told him his remarks (on national television, seen by millions) were "inappropriate". It's something, I guess.

This of course ran next to a full page spread on the threat of ANTHRAX, including a chart depicting how we are infected, symptoms, diagrams of bacteria, survival rate, etc. What the FUCK!?!?!

I am coming UNHINGED. Time to get a mohawk.

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 12:40 pm: Edit

Right on!

Jeez, take a day off from the Forum and look what I find on return.

Heiko's quote from Chomsky about the four-letter words is right on.

Here are some terms which are not necessarily to be avoided, but which we might wish to think a bit before using, as they are not conducive to intelligent discussion on this topic, or indeed on many other topics.

This assumes, of course, that we really want intelligent discussion, and not just to shut our opponents up.

Here's a few, and note that I've made some attempt at balance: asshole, bastard, cocksucker, communist, coward, leftist, liberal, McCarthyite, pinko, quisling, right-wing, son of a bitch, traitor, warmonger.

I'd welcome any suggestions. There don't seem to be as many terms of abuse for the political right as for the political left, so I'm coming up short in that category.

This isn't an attempt to impose some kind of PC restrictions on the forum, just to raise the tone of discussion a bit from the depths it's sunk to.

PV

By Morriganlefey on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 12:23 pm: Edit

Can ya feel the love??!? Run with it, boys...

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 11:42 am: Edit

Geoff and Bob,

Geoff,

I'm not shifting the blame from Bin Laden to the US intelligence, I'm just saying that the fact that the first they knew of the attack was when they saw TV footage doesn't exactly inspire one with confidence in their efficiency and effectiveness.

Bob,

Sure you have the Bill of Rights etc. but do you really think that this would prevent your intelligence services from at least gathering information and taking some form of preventative action? Surely they would have at least warned someone.

For the record whilst I disagree strongly with Geoff he does not respond by calling my mother a cock-sucker and other such personal insults. He is not in the same category as Don in this regard. Geoff (and anyone else) is free to attack my views as ferociously as he sees fit.

Bob Chong with whom I also disagree is a gentleman.

Also. Yes I did call Vera a facist. She posted some very extreme words, I presume words spoken in anger, and I responded with extreme words spoken in anger. I do not believe Vera is a facist and I apologize to her.

Hobgoblin
(Nobody is going to force me off this forum by vicious personal insults.)

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:45 am: Edit

et tu, Marc.

By Marc on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:41 am: Edit

I don't want to kick anybody off this board.

By Heiko on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:39 am: Edit

I just stumbled over some articles that I think fit into this discussion...

"If something comes along that you don't like, there are a few sort of four-letter words that you can use to push it out of the sphere of discussion. If you were in a bar downtown, they might have different words, but if you're an educated person what you use are complicated words like 'conspiracy theory' or 'Marxist'."

-Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, Massachussets, USA.


Quote:

"Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive."
-The New York Times Book Review

That line comes from a publisher's blurb. And you've always got to watch those things. Because if you go back to the original, the next sentence is: 'since that's the case, how can he write such terrible things about American foreign policy?' People never quote that part. But, in fact, if it wasn't for that second sentence, I would begin to think that I'm doing something wrong.
-Noam Chomsky


By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:38 am: Edit


Quote:

First off, I didn't accuse anybody of being a traitor.



Oh, sorry, you just called us cowards and accused us of seeing these murders as justified.

As for the questions of "barbarians" and "civilized persons," well, I am uncomfortable with making those kind of accusations until the US can say it always behaves in a civilized manner. I am all for dealing with the threat, but the threat does not justify the expressions of absolute moral superiority. We may be less barbaric, as a group, than those who planned this, but I can't find a lot to be proud of in being the least barbaric barbarians.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:37 am: Edit


Quote:

First off, I didn't accuse anybody of being a traitor.



No, sorry, you just called us cowards and accused us of seeing these murders as justified.

As for the questions of "barbarians" and "civilized persons," well, I am uncomfortable with making those kind of accusations until the US can say it always behaves in a civilized manner. I am all for dealing with the threat, but the threat does not justify the expressions of absolute moral superiority. We may be less barbaric, as a group, than those who planned this, but I can't find a lot to be proud of in being the least barbaric barbarians.

By Tavarua on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 10:35 am: Edit

Jack Handy had to come up sooner or later. Who can forget this timeless classic.

"I once put my son in the car and told him we were going to Disney World. Instead I drove to an old burnt down warehouse and told him, "Gee, I guess Disney World burnt down. He cried and cried, but on the inside I knew he thought it was funny. Then I almost drove to Disney World anyway, but it was getting late."

Does this have anything to do with this thread, Yes, I think it does.

By Bob_Chong on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:26 am: Edit

Religion...and operating systems are bad topics...

You're being redundant.

BC

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:24 am: Edit

First off, I didn't accuse anybody of being a traitor. I do think that they're wrong, however, and that their position can't be justified. I can certainly understand how some people could see them as traitors, but I haven't gone that far.

And yes, if Bin Laden gets handed over (which won't happen), I won't be happy at that. We need to really root this out and make sure that all of the cells and all of the leaders waiting in the wings are killed or captured before they reorganize.

I'd love a trial. But think back to Lockerbee. An airliner with hundreds of people was blown up and, 10 years later, 2 people were convicted. Is that justice? Is that a deterrent? I don't think so.

You are dealing with barbarians. No civilized person could have done what they did, and going about this in an excessively civilized manner is going to encourage more attacks, not stop them. Force is what they understand and force is what we have to use. That's unpleasant, but that's the way it is.

There an old "Deep Thought" by Jack Handy:

"I can imagine a world with no armies, with no war, no hatred and no violence. And I can imagine attacking that world, because they wouldn't be expecting it at all."

I think a lot of people here are living in Jack Handy's world. It's not reality.

-- Geoff K.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:08 am: Edit

The use of the term "brought to justice" implies, to me, that there would be a trial, the evidence would be made public, and the accused would be allowed to defend themselves. I haven't heard many people considering this, except maybe the Pakistanis, who are caught between fear of US reprisals and the anger of the extremists in their own country.

I don't think anybody is advocating simply letting this go. There are some who are suggesting that we tread carefully, because if we make the wrong move, things could get much, much worse.

If Afghanistan hands over bin Laden tomorrow (unlikely), and every other major leader responsible for this, would you still advocate use of force? Would you be satisfied if a few dozen people directly responsible were simply tried, convicted, and punished?

You see, the people you are accusing of being traitors are not even saying that the US is wrong, or that we deserved this. We are only questioning what the best course of action should be, and if immidate use of military force, against this specific target, is either going to produce justice or even deter further attacks.

And, I'm sorry if that offends you, but that is the essence of democracy, even in war-time.

By Heiko on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:05 am: Edit

"For example, some people think murderers should get life
imprisonment. Others think capitol punishment is in order.
But if somebody tells me murderers should just be tolerated,
I'll tell them that they're nuts."

It seems to me that we must add another option to make the example applicable:

- Some think we should kill the murderer, his whole family and additionally bomb his neighbourhood, just in case...

That would be, IMO, just as weird as not to punish the murderer at all.

I think it's important to get exactly those guys who are responsible for the NY attack and punish them accordingly (capital punishment would be all right in this case).
But then, we should try to change the situation for those who are the suicide bombers of tomorrow. If millions of young muslims are poor, feel suppressed and treated like shit, then it's easy for an islamic organization to get them. They only have to tell them "hey, you think you're not worth anything? That's not true, we do believe in you if you become a warrior for islam."

It's the same like in Germany in the 1920's and 30's: a lot of young people became members of Hitler's SA just because they were given some respect and a uniform.

By Tavarua on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 09:04 am: Edit

http://www.curlydavid.com/tripa.html

http://www.curlydavid.com/pback.html

Enough Said.

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 08:00 am: Edit

No question, the opinion that you quoted was a strong one and strongly worded. Frankly, I stand behind that opinion and I think it's correct. It wasn't, however, a flame per se, and it certainly wasn't directed personally at anyone.

Again, unlike Marc's post.

-- Geoff K.

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 07:56 am: Edit

Up to a point, I'm happy to entertain a range of opinions. For example, some people think murderers should get life imprisonment. Others think capitol punishment is in order. But if somebody tells me murderers should just be tolerated, I'll tell them that they're nuts.

And who exactly is advocating "gleeful killing" or running off half-cocked? It's been a week and we're still planning the scope and strategy of our military campaign. But there's a big difference between advocating a well-executed military operation and ruling out use of force.

Don't set up a strawman and then knock it down. I want to see the military operation done properly just as much as anyone.

Like Don, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Falwell or the religious right. I don't think that a desire to see the killers brought to justice makes me a demigouge though. Besides, read Marc's post again. Who wants to kick who off this board? If anybody is supressing opinions here, it's not me.

-- Geoff K.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 07:50 am: Edit

"I posted a perfectly sane, polite message pointing out that people who are opposed to taking action are definitely in the monority [sic]."

Like this one?

"The only people too cowardly, apologetic and self-hating to oppose the terrorists and support a reasonable response are the American pacifistic, ultra-liberal community. They can join a select club of Afghanis, Iraqis and "Palestinians" as those who feel the action was justified and needs no response."

If you want to pretend you're not playing at being a McCarthyite, you should post the denial higher enough up on the thread so that the evidence to the contrary isn't still on my screen when I read it.

K.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 07:44 am: Edit

Geoff,

Anyone who doesn't say precisely the same thing as you is in league with the enemy, and is trying to justify their actions? That's exactly the kind of demagoguery I was talking about. If enough people are convinced to think like you, America will be ruined, and it will only have taken one attack. Given who the terrorists are and are in league with, I'd say part of their goal is to ruin our freedom and sap us of our vitality - turn us into a bunch of dour and hateful assholes like them - trying to squash, cover up, and straightjacket any sign of expansive life they can. It's no wonder fundamentalists like Falwell joined them right away - the only Americans I know of who have actually said we deserved the attacks, i.e., they were justified. Sounds like you're willing to help too.

Going out and killing a bunch of people and getting more of ours killed seems like a course that should be pursued with a somber, careful disposition, not gleeful abandon.

I saw John McCain on TV a couple days ago, and he could barely restrain himself from wearing a broad, shit-eating grin through the entire interview. He LOVES this. He's giddy about resuming his old hobby of killing from a safe distance, drunk on a salacious political atmosphere that brooks no dissent - he sees glory, power, and wealth beyond cold war wet dreams ahead for himself and his buddies.

Fortunately, I saw Powell and Cheney interviews on Sunday, and they weren't talking about doing anything rash. They seemed to understand that the goal is to get the perpetrators, and prevent future incidents, not satisfy the bloodlusts of the frustrated herd.

K.

By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 07:06 am: Edit

That's a typical liberal attitude. Let's have Peace Love and Understanding for everybody. Unless somebody disagrees with us. In which case they should just shut the fuck up and go away. And we are the only people with compassion and understanding. Everybody else is obviously a warmongering bastard.

At the risk of pissing you off further, you are the one flaming ME. I posted a perfectly sane, polite message pointing out that people who are opposed to taking action are definitely in the monority. I guess as part of that minority, yuou might take it personally, but your name certainly wasn't on it. In response, I'm a "heartless shit". Hey, sorry!

And you're right, in a way. Frankly, I DON'T understand you. If I was as close to the scene as you are, I'd be even more upset, outraged and eager to see justice than I am right now. This has seemingly happened under your nose, traumatized your daughter and friends, and you STILL don't want to see the killers brought to justice. Maybe you can explain it to me better.

I don't claim to be a General. And I don't claim to be a policeman or district attorney either. But when a murder happens, I want to see the killers caught--quickly-- and I want them convicted and punished. I guess that makes me an "armchair judge" too.

I have plenty of compassion--for the victims of this tragedy, for the people tangentially affected like you and myself, for the people who may be called upon to find their killers and bring them to justice. But I feel like you're asking me to sympathize with the killers or with the position that doing nothing (essentially) is the right way to respond. And I can't take those positions or agree with people who do.

Finally, I'm not a troll or flamer. In fairness to Don, most of his posts have been far more agressive in terms of personal attacks than anything I've come close to saying. If posting anything advocating a military response (which, frankly, is what most people want) is construed here as trolling than prehaps you're right, I'm in the wrong company. My impression up to this point was that intelligent opinions are met with counter arguments, not merely personal attacks, and that a range of opinions was a good thing, not something to be quashed for violating the party line.

Religion, politics and operating systems are bad topics to bring into any discussion. You will never convince the other side of your opinion and you can start flame wars, among even the most friendly people, that just grow and grow.

-- Geoff K.

By Verawench on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 06:49 am: Edit

I raise my glass to the hateful. May they find peace and redemption in God, in Wine, in Absinthe, in Sex, in Sadness, in Country, in Love or in Beauty.

I raise my glass to the hated. May they find healing and salvation in God, in Wine, in Absinthe, in Sex, in Sadness, in Country, in Love or in Beauty.

By Marc on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 01:53 am: Edit

geoff,

go fuck yourself. I am sick of your and Don's bullying attempts to stifle free speech in this forum. Your responses to rational and heartfelt discourse and inguiry is to attack anybody who is not as rabid and reactionary as you are. So far, this country (USA) hasn't rushed into any rash or reckless action. We are taking our time to do this intelligently and efficiently. Your and Don's foaming-at-the-mouth approach is exactly the wrong mode of action in these difficult times.
I've been a longtime member of this forum and I'm accustomed to the passionate riffs and rants coming from Don, I'll tolerate it up to a point. I may have past that point with Don. From what I can gather, he could care less if we remain friends or not. As for you, you don't know me or the other members of the forum well enough to attack, belittle or judge us. I live 1 mile from the World Trade Center. My neighborhood is a war zone. I have friends who have endured horror stories you can't imagine. My daughter stood on the rooftop of her Lower East Side apartment and watched the second plane penetrate and destroy the second tower. The company I work for owns a restaurant at the foot of the Trade Center. Kathy, the manager of the restaurant, described to me what it was like to flee the restaurant while being pelted by body parts, running over dead bodies and watching people falling to their deaths in the Hudson River.
My daughter and friends' lives have been changed forever. I talk to them on the phone and their speech is the uninflected monotonal speech of people in shock. I am saddened beyond belief. I want justice! For my friends and my country. I don't want to be insulted by an asshole armchair
general like yourself who sits in some apartment in fucking Japan! Until you've smelled death in your nostrils and tasted it your mouth, keep your arrogant attacks on the thoughtful, hurting and grieving members of this forum in check. None of us are anything less than freaked out, frightened and angered by this horrorshow. Show some compassion, you heartless piece of shit.

By Geoffk on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:47 pm: Edit

Over 80% of the US public would like to see a military response to the WTC/Pentagon outrage. Nearly all feel it was terrible and beneath contempt.

All of our NATO allies as well as Japan, Egypt, Pakistan and even Yasir Arafat have condemned the terrorists and support a military response.

So this is not warmongering or drum beating. This is a nearly universal, worldwide outrage.

The only people too cowardly, apologetic and self-hating to oppose the terrorists and support a reasonable response are the American pacifistic, ultra-liberal community. They can join a select club of Afghanis, Iraqis and "Palestinians" as those who feel the action was justified and needs no response.

For some reason Don doesnt have much patience with these folks. I don't blame him.

-- Geoff K.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:33 pm: Edit

If Don's breed of rabid stridency is allowed to prevail, we won't need the help of any terrorists to ruin our country. No one should dare speak a question about the nature and motives of US policy for the entire duration of a multi-year international witch-hunt? Come on.

The idea that no one but official specialists and experts are qualified to make any decisions about the course of our government is exactly the canard that has convinced the public to go along with the interventions, spy-games, and bloodbaths that have put us where we are now. As long as national priorities are dictated by big money, whores, and war-mongers, we can expect more of the same. The kind of control these people seek to wield over the seething tumult of passions and peoples is a fantasy - anyone who has read and understood Herbert should know that. Suppression begets expression, to push downwards is to create upward pressure. The kind of group-think, media-zombie, war-drum beating I'm seeing around me will only lead to more terrorism, and a greater drain on all our collective resources.

The word trail of Don's descent into hysteria to be read here is its own indictment. Ridiculous. We can rout the perpetrators without giving everyone lobotomies, and without turning the entire country into some TV-mesmerized 'invasion or the body snatchers' scenario. If not, why bother?

K.

By Geoffk on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 06:35 pm: Edit

If US intelligence is as good as you say then what happened in the lead up to last Tuesday? Why were they caught with their pants down without a sniff of what was going on? Were they all on vacation while this event was being planned over the past months (at least)?
Hobgoblin
--------------------------------

Well, no question about it, they dropped the ball on that one. My personal view (which Don probably shares) is that cutbacks in intelligence and excessive handholding by Congress and the media have substantially limited the forward looking capabilities of US intelligence agencies. Moreover, given the culture and struture of Bin Laden's organization, infiltrating them is very difficult.

All that said, however, this is no longer an intelligence issue per se. It's now an investigation issue. And the FBI and others have certainly managed to track the (now known) hijackers back to their source organizations, which are, in turn, affiliated with Bin Laden.

In short, whether you think US intelligence is decent or not, trying to shift the blame for this off of Bin Laden is probably a pointless exercise.

-- Geoff K.

By Verawench on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 05:03 pm: Edit

"Kallisti, darling, what is the difference btween anything I said and, for instance, Lord Haw Haw calling little Verawench a 'fascist'?"

LOL... did he really? That's funny.

By Mr_Rabbit on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 04:49 pm: Edit

I think if someone punches you in the nose, yeah, defend yourself.

Failing to figure out why they punched you is asking for another.

Always question! To question is to preserve freedom. To follow blindly is to submit to slavery.

Slavery comes in many colors, and red white and blue are available to those who fail to uphold the responsibility that comes with that freedom. And that responsibility is to be worthy of it as best you can. If you don't want someone telling you what to think, feel, eat, believe, then you had goddamn well better have some ideas of your own.

America is what it is because of those who questioned. And that is what will keep it great. Not to question our policies, our actions- Stalin wanted no questions, Mao wanted none.

Fuck that.

By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 04:31 pm: Edit

...not to forget an "M" for "muslim" stamped on the passport and new middle names like "Ali" for men and "Fatima" for women...

By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 04:26 pm: Edit

"just read (albeit in USA Today) that 49% of those surveyed think forcing Arabs, even American citizens, to carry "special identificaton" is an acceptable security measure."

How 'bout yellow stars?

By Wolfgang on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 02:52 pm: Edit

Damn! no way to edit our post now... The proper link should be Mastermind !.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 02:44 pm: Edit

I just read (albeit in USA Today) that 49% of those surveyed think forcing Arabs, even American citizens, to carry "special identificaton" is an acceptable security measure.

Sigh.

Am I still a traitor if I'm just WORRIED that America might do something wrong?

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 02:24 pm: Edit

There's nothing like the sight of a shorn scrotum...

By Wolfgang on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 02:18 pm: Edit

OuuuKay! ...Now it`s time to divulge informations comming from my secrets sources... Visit that link to discover who`s guilty and who is the Ultimate Mastermind!behind all this!

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 01:53 pm: Edit

I don't owe 'respect and etiquette' to cowards, traitors, and self professed 'revolutionaries' who want to question the United States' policies in wartime.

What I owe them is the toe of my boot.

Kallisti, your bar has degenerated into a sewer for rats, and you can't see it yet. But I expect you will.

By Blygdon on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 01:37 pm: Edit

Waaaa-ahhh waaaaah. Is that the sound of a titty-baby here? The well presented arguments, factoids and insights, Don, were (are) enjoyable to read. The excessive name calling has the effect of a hemorrhoid-ridden baboon.

Oh yeah, please don't mass email me again, either.

(pointing to my jugular with one hand and waving bye-bye with the other)

By Admin on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 01:21 pm: Edit

You launch streams of invectives at people and then stomp out like you were driven.

That is hardly fair. My ONLY complaint really is the mass quantity of pointless expletives and epithets. Disagree ideologically all you want, even be a potty mouth, but verbally attacking others for their viewpoints, liberally punctuating everything with insults, is just tiresome to watch.

If you cannot deal with respecting those that have differing opinions with you, then there is nothing more for me to say. And I do NOT mean you have to agree with them. And let it be known that I am not asking you to leave. Far from it. But there is a modicum of respect and etiquette that should be followed by all.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 12:56 pm: Edit

Kallisti, I ALREADY left. I came back for a few hours at the specific request of a dozen forumites, and when I did, I got dusted by...well, you, darling.

I can only see this as confirmation that my original decision was absolutely right on.

So here I am, gone.

You don't see P_V and Lord H as anti American?

Time to see the oculist, K.

If this were a forum that has NOT been politicized (if we were chatting about absinthe as it this shoit had not happened, I don't see how we could but hey) thungs might be different. BUT they are not.

Frankly, I find I have NOTHING in common with so many of these people, and I am convinced I would not let many of them into my living room, that I have nothing to say to them. May they each go to hell in their own ways.

The people who are the exceptions, you know who you are, kindly stay in touch.

Adieu

By Admin on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 12:22 pm: Edit

Duuuude.

Chill, no one is asking you to leave. And I don't see these loads of "anti-US" posts.

PC crap aside (and I *do* believe some of it is crap) let's not blast eachother entirely out of the water for differing opinions.

I encourage discussion and argument, but I've been gone for three days and I come back to see you standing in the middle of the forum lobbing missiles at everyone, thats all. Perhaps *I'M* being reactionary, I dunno. I've read most of the old posts, maybe I'm missing something.

What should you care if someone doesn't think we should bomb the fuck outa afghanistan. Or that maybe we should seek the answers to why these terrorists want to bomb the fuck out of us. That is NOT un-american. I do not see anyone here saying "yay! they got us! woooo!" One person's opinion is another's sewage, I guess.

I would just hope that despite deeper political differences we are all still friends at the end of the day.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:53 am: Edit

Kallisti, darling, what is the difference btween anything I said and, for instance, Lord Haw Haw calling little Verawench a 'fascist'?

Perhaps my return to the forum will indeed be a brief one.

Personally, I don't care to politicize the forum, I'd rather talk about absinthe. However, I have had a triple bellyfull of anti-US BULLSHIT and felt/feel obliged to respond.

If the forum has p.c. standard that IU have violated then excuuuuuuze me.

In the meantime id various lingering relics of the Soviet era want to continue to spew total sewage on the forum, well, are you going to mop it up, or am I?

FYI I quit, three days ago, and I got more than a dozen emails cajoling me to return, to redress an imbalance.

Let to my own devices, I'd have not wasted my time.

It's your forum,Kallisti, you call it.

10,000 people dead, you want to tell me to make nicey nice to people who spit on their coffins in the interest of general polity?

Tell me so, Kallisti and I am GONE. This place has turned into a shithole, and I am FAR from the only one to think so.

BTW I Saw no reason to take this private. The forum isn't. Why should this be?

By Bob_Chong on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:39 am: Edit

Hob:

I'm just spitballing here, but did you notice how quickly we rounded up some suspects? In the US, we have these pesky little things like the Bill of Rights and due process, which we extend even to assholes, criminals, and terrorists alike. Sadly, this creates situations in which we cannot pre-empt violence but react to it, at least when it happens on our own soil.

But that's the price we pay for freedom. Nazis march in Skokie. It sucks, but thems the breaks.

BC

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:37 am: Edit

Okay, BJ, pls write me privately, I didn't know you and your got hurt, I am half a planet away and couldn't know. I am sensitized by these other two shits and wasn't really after you. I share a LOT of your concerns, I am just going to subordinate my doubts till this war is over, and then I probably (based on experience) will have fresh doubts to add. The difference between us, is that I will withhold my back seat driving till the war is won, and in meantime, if they want to call up 50 yr old fat guys with one eye down and the other failing, well, semper frigging fi.

Perhaps this is not such a huge difference.

After all you like Seamus Kennedy. You can't be all bad.

By Admin on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:32 am: Edit

Don, please try to remember that despite our often wildly divergent opinions and political viewpoints, we are all here part of our own wee community. I am extremely grateful for the diversity of our opinions here, it makes me proud to count amongst my friends many that don't necessarily hold the same ideals and opinions that I do (some even are polar opposite).

Bellow from the rooftops, we all need to, but don't call those that disagree or diverge your enemies, because we're not. Fundamentally, in this case, most everyone is saying that something radical and drastic needs to be done soon. Some of us are just more introspective about motives and outcomes.

Pardon my liberal hippy bullshit, heh ... all my parents and teachers were like Marc :) (emoticon intended).

I am profoundly grateful to be able to call everyone here my friend.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:29 am: Edit

Geoff,

If US intelligence is as good as you say then what happened in the lead up to last Tuesday? Why were they caught with their pants down without a sniff of what was going on? Were they all on vacation while this event was being planned over the past months (at least)?

Hobgoblin

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:27 am: Edit

I DO, most emphatically, blame the US for leaving Hussein in power 10 years ago, especially since it was done to maintain stability in the region, rather than out of any respect for the Iraqui people's well being. They made little effort to restore the infrastructure they destroyed, imposed sanctions which kept them from doing it themselves, and yet they STILL left the despot in power.

No, the choice to leave the job unfinished is prety much proof the war had nothing to do with protecting the world from evil.

You're barking up the wrong tree, here, Don. I'm not looking for ways to attack America. I'm looking for ways to improve it. You seem to think I am saying the USA can do no good. I am not saying that at all. It probably does more good than harm (I wish the math was that easy), but I will not pretend it does no harm at all.

To claim the US is all good is as delusional as to claim it is all bad.

Incidentally, Don, you do remember that I live a mile from the Pentagon, right? You do know I very nearly loft a dear friend, and did lose peple that I know? What you probably don't know how much I've been crying this week. I bleed plenty for New York and Arlington. I bleed for everybody who suffers. That's why my concern is trying to stop this kind of crap, everywhere.

You see, Don, I'm not angry at you, despite your washing your hands of me, and attempts to insult me, because I understand how you feel. You are not a bad or vicious man. Your concern is for human life, just like mine. Only our methods differ. And there is a place for both. If there wern't people like me, to question the wisdom of the status quo, we'd still be hunting water buffalo. But if there weren't people like you, to get things done, the people like me would have starved, for lack of water buffalo.

By Bob_Chong on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:26 am: Edit

Homer: All right, let's get our stories straight for Marge and Maude. We were out buying them fabulous gifts ...

Ned: What's the occasion?

Homer: Because we love them, jackass! Anyhoo, we came out of Wal-Mart when suddenly...fifty spaceships beamed us aboard. They gang-probed you, while I discovered an invention that blew their heads up and saved America.

Ned: Uh, do I have to be gang-probed?

Homer: Would you rather tell Maude the truth?

Ned: What did the aliens look like?

Homer: Well, I only saw them from the back 'cause they were so busy gang-probing you.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:20 am: Edit

The Taleban were set up by the Pakistanis. Fair enough but with a lot of help, encouragement and cash from the USA. Who are the USA's biggest allies in the Muslim world? Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Who helped set up the Taleban in Afghanistan? Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the CIA. The Pakistanis shouldn't carry the can alone for the Taleban's success in Afghanistan.

Hobgoblin

By Luger on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:17 am: Edit

"as in Quisling's case -- Luger, check my memory, this was Norway's collaborationist PM, was he
not? And his very name is now an epithet for a coward and traitor, for kissing the Nazi ass."

Just reading from my memory now:
Vidkun Quisling was the PM of Norway, and he was put there by the Germans, and not by any free elections. He did not however just do what the Germans forced him to do, he happily did all he could to make the Germans happy. He sent Norwegian Jews to Germany, not because anyone told him to, but because he thought his hero Hitler would be happy then.
In short: He may have been a Nazi ( as if that wasn´t enough! ), but his name has now become a synonym with "traitor". Someone that for his own gain does wrong to his own people, and supports the enemy in a time of war.

He was executed by Norwegian resistance fighters at the fortress of Akershus IIRC, by a squad 10 of resistance fighters.
Missed by very very few,,,,if any,,,

To call someone "Quisling" in Norway is the very worst insult you could ever give.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:07 am: Edit


Quote:

BJ if you are that introspective and inverted, if your response to a punch in the face is to wonder what motivated the fellow, if you watch your daughter be gangraped and wonder what made these guys so angry at women, then something is deeply wrong with you.



My internal reaction to a punch in the face IS to wonder what motivated him, and to feel sorry for him that he feels so much anger, and to hope that he doesn't force me to hurt him.

My external reaction is usually to laugh, since most people pose little threat to me, unarmed. That usually gets the message across. Gentleness is a luxury of the strong.

I will defend myself, if I am in actual danger, but a punch in the face isn't usually danger. And when I have had to defend myself, I have felt great sorrow for the pain I have had to inflict, but I have used the most effective means necessary to insure my safety. Read that carefully: not ANY means necessary, but the most EFFECTIVE means.

And I would certainly endevor to stop a gang-rape, but once the danger was passed, I would be concerned for trying to make the rapists learn to exist in society, both out of compassion and out of a desire to prevent them from raping again.

I have never advocated not defending oneself, not removing the danger, any more than I would advise not treating the symptoms of an illness. However, the symptoms will come back if you don't treat the underlying disease, don't try to understand the cause.

I don't think that makes something "deeply wrong with me." Om.

By Dengar on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:02 am: Edit

1887-1945, Norwegian fascist leader. An army officer, he served as military attaché in Petrograd (1918-19) and Helsinki (1919-21) and later assisted Fridtjof Nansen in relief work in Russia. He was Norwegian minister of defense from 1931 to 1933. He then left the Agrarian party to found the fascist Nasjonal Samling [national unity] party. In 1940 he helped Germany prepare the conquest of Norway. Remaining at the head of the sole party permitted by the Germans, he was made premier in 1942. Despite his unpopularity and difficulties with his German masters and within his own party, he remained in power until May, 1945, when, after the Germans in Norway surrendered, he was arrested. He was convicted of high treason and shot. From his name came the word quisling, meaning traitor.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:58 am: Edit

I think the quislings and chamberlains ('peace, in our time') are invariably recorded as fools, dupes, failures, if not downright traitors (as in Quisling's case -- Luger, check my memory, this was Norway's collaborationist PM, was he not? And his very name is now an epithet for a coward and traitor, for kissing the Nazi ass.

Prior to the 20th century history rarely makes much of his sort, but, sometimes things went otherwise. King Ramkhamhaeng the Great sent tribute to Ghenghis Khan (Mongol ruler of China) and Sukhothai, the old Thai kingdom of 12th Century, was not attacked, while Burma was invaded and put to the sword. (The Thais would say at this point: "Good. Fuck Burma!")

However, in general, this is a policy for consideration by a weaker state against a VASTLY superior force ("Give us what we want and we'll go away" a la Stephen King) and not a wise move for the reverse situation.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:47 am: Edit

I bow humbly in gratitude to my friend Luger, knowing full well that the blood of berserkers flows in his veins, as it surely does in mine. Good advice: don't get in our way.

By Luger on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:46 am: Edit

I hope someone can enlighten me:

Since I am very interested in history I can think of plenty of times when brute force was the proper answer. Some people understand no other language.
Guess why our dear Switzerland stayed out of both wars? Have you ever seen a map of Europe during these wars, it´s a tiny dot right in the middle representing Switzerland.

So: If turning the other cheek works so fine, when has it worked?
( Don´t give me Mahatma Gandhi, he just didn´t sit there, he moved into harms way and did his own action. )


My question is: What good examples are there where the "appeasement policy" has really worked?
No insults please, just examples.

By Luger on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:36 am: Edit

"if you watch your daughter be gangraped and wonder what made these guys so angry at women, then
something is deeply wrong with you."

That is the best thing written here in a long long time. The Nobel prize in literature goes to DW.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:33 am: Edit

If you care about the lives of innocent Iraquis then criticize Washington for leaving Saddam Hussein in power a decade ago, for he has and will continue to kill more of his own people than ANYONE else ever will.

I suspect you KNOW this and just don't CARE because you don't really give a fuck about the Iraquis, you just give a fuck about having something to knock the USA about.

So FUCK YOU. You are a selective, ill informed armchair asshole. You want to bleed for the Iraquis? leed for Manhattan, motherfucker, bleed for your own FIRST AND FOREMOST or don't talk to me at all, ever, the fuck again. You make me sick. Bleed for Arlington Virginia, cocksucker, or bleed for nobody! They murdered US military and civilian DOD workers in the very shadow of the Cemetary and Robert E Lee's mansion and YOU want to talk about Iraquis.

Turn in your fucking passport, coward, traitor, scumbag and whore. I'm washing my hands of YOU, you are not fit to waste Kallisti's free electrons on.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:25 am: Edit

BJ if you are that introspective and inverted, if your response to a punch in the face is to wonder what motivated the fellow, if you watch your daughter be gangraped and wonder what made these guys so angry at women, then something is deeply wrong with you.

Far from me to speculate what.

The proper response to a punch in the nose is a kick to the balls and ask questions later.

The proper response to the gangrape of your daughter is bloody mayhem by whatever means and if you can't or won't or are prevented from doing so then I have pity on your soul becasue you never will.

The proper response to the terrorist murder of 5000-1000 people on US soil is WAR against the terrorists and those who sponsor and support them, and man, if you can't see that, NOW THAT IT HAS HAPPENED, then I really really feel sorry for you, because I have been waiting and predicting and working to prevent just this from happening, or worse, for 25 years, snd contemplating the various possible future byond, and let me tell you, you are part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

Sp all I have to say to you is, get out of the way of those who do not share your handicap.

This is not a time for contemplating your navel.

This is a time for action.

We have prepared for this.

We are not heartless avengers. The anger of the American people and the very world will be focused but it will be remorseless and there will be no stopping it.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:14 am: Edit


Quote:

We will do our best to limit collateral damage.



We did, and are doing, a piss poor job of avoiding them in Iraq.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:12 am: Edit

Okay, Wiz. You are a genius hiding your light under a bushel. Cool. Fooled a lot of people here. Anyway, go ahead and subscribe, or use the free search engine for articles from back issues. I think if you type in bin laden you will learn a lot.

http://www.theestimate.com

Dr Michael Collins Dunn, editor and publisher.

Note that Mike is named for Michael (The Big Fella) Collins, intelligence chief of the IRA 1916-22, who fought the British Secret Service to a loss for the Brits, later to be assassinated during the Irish Civil War, some say by de Valera, some say by the Brits. Dr Mike Dunn on the other hand is a Kansan and Protestant and spends his time reading Arabic. Go figure. We worked togeter at The Perth Corporation in the 80s and I joined him in '90 when he split off with this newsletter. Know how few newsletters make it to 10 years old?? Damned few. Mike's made it becasue he is uncompromising about the truth. Intel analysis is what he offers not propaganda and not polemic. I save my polemicizing for this forum...

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:11 am: Edit

I care about innocent blood. I care about ALL of it, not just the stuff that's inside people with US passports. I am nit-picking because I am unsure what course of action is going to spill the least innocent blood, in the long run. I am unsure which one will spill the least innocent AMERICAN blood, for that matter. I'm not advocating letting those responsible for this off with a slap on the wrist and a stern talking-to. Hell, pull them up before a Sharia court and cut off their heads (this is the only time you'll ever hear me support the death penalty...) I am saying that we really need to consider to what extent US policy has exacerbated the hostilites which lead to this, and to what extent our next step may do the same.

No, they don't care about innocent blood, but we should. And there may already be some on our hands. I don't think it is un-American to suggest that we should check under our fingernails.

By Wolfgang on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:42 am: Edit

I've been working hard on another forum to make people understand that terrorism IS a weapon. In fact it's a sneaky weapon and for me, it's in the same category as bio-chemical or nuclear weapon.

Damn it I've lost count on how many "solve this in peace" petition emails I got! How many buildings shall explodes before they understand ?! It's beyond me.

It's a WEAPON, not just some pissed off guys !

By Wiz on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:27 am: Edit

laughing...
ok
Next summer I will.
I had clearence back in '79-86'.
suscription price is cheap.
I pay over $900 a year for Pollstars crap. 4x year

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:14 am: Edit

Wiz, relax and sell someone a $25 shot of absinthe. I doubt you have a clearance and need-to-know for the archives I have in mind. And the open stuff I write is by subscription. Check out www.theestimate.com

It's $400 a year for 52 issues.

You could of course, go sell 16 shots.

By Wiz on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 09:08 am: Edit

Don,
Point me in the direction of decent resources, please.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:58 am: Edit

Blackjack, those are reasonable positions, the problem is, if we stay our hand on grounds of the potential collateral damage to the civilian population, then the kills will just be using them as hostages.

We will do our best to limit collateral damage.

Whereas the people we are after just murdered 5 to 10 thousand civilians in NYC and 190 military and civilian DOD employees in the Pentagon.

Do you reckon they gave a shit about collateral damage?

This is a time to pull together to do what has to be done. You seem to want to count angels dancing on the end of pins.

Wake up and smell the coffee. There's blood in it. Innocent blood. You care nothing? You just want to nitpick?

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:51 am: Edit

Wiz, if the best you can do is read the newspapers, you are better off shutting up.

In a long career as a senior defense/security journalist (contributing editor 1983-90, Bureau Chief ASEAN 90-present) I find reading the newspapers just confuses me. I have primary sources. I use them. The newspapers you read subscribe to what we publish and regard us as a primary source. So who you gonna call?

In other words, when I say WHITE don't fucking tell me that the Village Voice and Rolling Stone say BLACK.

By Wiz on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:44 am: Edit

"Everyone who knows anything about the Central/South Asian region knows this."

Then help me understand!

What is the Central/South Asian conection or knowledge, because I surely don't live there in the Central/South Asian region, and only know what I read in the newsprint media, which is very unreliable.

I've tried to keep up on things over these last few years, and yes I'm the fucked up Talent Buyer/Evil Concert Promoter,(SFX) so people hate me more.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:43 am: Edit

I don't kiss the ass of the Taleban. They've been pissing me off for years, what with their human rights violations and all. I'm just not comfortable with a war againt them, since it is Afghani civilians who would suffer more than the guilty parties. I also think that a long, critical look at our mideast policy might make us less of a target for extremists looking for soemthing to hate.

The Saudi government? No worse than most in the area. Which isn't saying a lot.

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:43 am: Edit

I don't kiss the ass of the Taleban. They've been pissing me off for years, what with their human rights violations and all. I'm just not comfortable with a war againt them, since it is Afghani civilians who would suffer more than the guilty parties. I also think that a long, critical look at our mideast policy might make us less of a target for extremists looking for soemthing to hate.

The Saudi government? No worse than most in the area. Which isn't saying a lot.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:16 am: Edit

Wiz, don't worry your head with matters you are ill equipped to understand. The Taliban ARE the creation of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence. Everyone who knows anything about the Central/South Asian region knows this. It is not a secret. It doesn't come from the X-files.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:13 am: Edit

By the way I suppose I OUGHT to put up the following disclaimer:

"The views I express here are my personal opinions and are not necessarily the editorial policy of The International Estimate Inc. and The Estimate newsletter, my employers as ASEAN Bureau Chief for the period 1990-present."

In that capacity I am responsible for covering the approximately 250,000,000 Islamic persons in South East Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei (all majority Muslim) and the minority Muslim peoples of Burma, Thailand, the Phillipines, Singapore, and the other three ASEAN states (Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam).

And I can tell you, bin Laden has made no inroads into this quarter billion Muslim population.

bin Laden seeks to remake Saudi to his own liking and with him as head of state. He is after Mecca. He won't get it.

The Politburo Duo dismiss the Saudi monarchy as corrupt while kissing the ass of the Taliban. There's leftist logic for you.

Let's give these two the boot.

By Wiz on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 08:12 am: Edit

"The Taliban is the creation of the Pakistani government."

Where did this bull originate from.
The Taliban is a criminal orginization who lied to the US and took multi-millions of $'s from the Clinton Administration.
They stole that and used it, who knows how, maybe to help that usama bin laden fuck their hiding.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 07:52 am: Edit

Blackjack, while we do not exactly recognize the Taliban, several countries do, and even we have dealt with them, as the de facto authority in Afghanistan. They admit they are sheltering bin Laden. They spurn demands not only by us but by their own creators, sponsors and masters (who seem to have never read Mary Shelley) Pakistan, to turn bin Laden over.

Agreed, not a war against the Afghani people, nor a war against Islam. But a war against the Taliban, yes, and a war against bin Laden and his organization and anyone who aided and abetted him, YES. In or out of Afghanistan. OK, the pakis roll over and get a pass. With folks who have a few nukes, we can be tolerant. Or course, if they don't roll or change their minds: we know where they store their toys and we can reduce their WMD's to radioactive slag in short order.

There are lots of precedents for actions against banditry. Pershing vs Pancho Villa, MacArthur got his CMH there as I recall. His daddy Arthur had his from the War of Northern Aggression. The Marines against the Barbary Pirates.

The bin Laden organization is a terrorist group and as such is subnational/extranational. Sort of a criminal NGO. Thus, we not only strike them where we find them, we strike their sponsor states, and this amounts to l'encouragement pour des autres. One less state sponsor of terrorism, and a lot fewer wannabes. We make the price tag too high.

Leave it to the professionals at State to fill in the blanks, bj. As John Hay and Teddy Roosevent once exchanged (at least fictionally):

"Send in the Marines!" said Hay, Secretary of State (played to a T by John Huston who also directed)
"Is that legal" said President Teddy R played wonderfully by Brian Keith)
"Theodore, why ruin the beauty of a thing with legalities?"

-- The Wind and the Lion"

By _Blackjack on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 07:22 am: Edit

Don, since youre back (in usual style), give me your evaluations of the following ideas I've been kicking arouns (not endorsing, just considering).

1) The Taleban is not the legitimate government of the Afghani people; they are just the band of armed thugs who are terrorizing the largest portion of the country. They have no popular mandate, no legitimate chain-of-command, and no real accountability for the actions of any individual members. To hold the Afghani people reponsible for the actions of members (or simply associates) of the Taleban is rather like holding the people of South-Central LA responsible for the actions of the Crips.

2) The US missile attacks on Afghani (and Pakistani...oops!) targets in 1998 constituted an act of war on the part of the US against Afghanistan, especially since we had no support or sanction from the UN. It just took 3 years for a counter-attack to be mounted. (Careful here...you might miss a chance to blame this all on Clinton.)

(I realize 1 and 2 are somewhat contradictory...I'm just playing with ideas at this point...)

3) Bombing Afghanistan will accomplish nothing, since they are a people who have lived with bombs dropping on their heads for a generation. A few more wouldn't even be noticed. The most it would do is save a few orphans from starvation by giving them a quicker death. They have almost nothing to lose, and are going to be at war amongst themselves for another decade regardless of US action.

4) We should do what we did to Japan, but skip the nukes. We should just waltz in with food and industry, and rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure in a western model whether they like it or not. I supect we'd get a warmer reception if we showed up with food and irrigation than if we showed up with guns. The religious fanatics are far outnumbered by the people who just want to feed their children. If we are going to treat the Middle East like a colony, we should at least give it the benifits of that status. I mean, we are going to have to MacArtherize Afghanistan after this anyway, aren't we? If we leave it in chaos it's just going to fester. We'd save a lot of money on missles if we just got started now. I mean, how stupid is it to shoot a $200k missile at a fucking clay hut?

By Don_Walsh on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 06:42 am: Edit

You're not sure about much, and rightly so, twerp, becasue you don't KNOW and your sources don't KNOW.

And nobody gives a flying fuck about Cat fucking Stevens and Salmon Rushdie.

The Taliban are going to negotiate with a bunch on incoming Tomahawks, nothing less, and what's left of them will discuss terms with a whole bunch more high explosives. As the T-shirt says, "There are very few problems in human relations that can't be used by the proper use of high explosives." While I have always been more a a trigger puller type, I can see that lanyards and fuzes have their places. And hyroscopes and interial guidance and terrain mapping etc. etc.

THAT is karma, baby, make no misyake about it.

Give my regards to your fellow Poliburo members, you smarmy cowardly son of a bitch.

Don is BACK by popular demand. Thanks for all the emails.

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 11:27 pm: Edit

But I'm not sure that's entirely true, Rabbit. That's where I think something like a negotiated solution could be found, although it's probably not even possible to suggest this to anyone in the U.S. government right now.

Something like this came up during the furor over Salman Rushdie's _Satanic Verses_. Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, got in a lot of hot water for making remarks which were wrongly interpreted as supporting the fatwa.

What he actually said was that under Islamic law, blasphemers must die, but a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country is required by Islam to observe the laws of that country. The UK doesn't allow its citizens to murder each other for blasphemy. He encouraged Muslims to get involved in democracy and demand respect for Islam that way.

Similarly, I'm not sure Bin Laden cares what we allow in the decadent West. That's the business of Muslims here, not there. He does have at least one specific grievance, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. Apparently some Muslims regard this as a defilement of the holy sites in that country.

Saudi Arabia, of course, is about as far from a democracy as you can get, but its corrupt monarchy are reliable allies. The troops, which were sent in during the Gulf War, are probably there to prop up that regime as much as anything else.

It might be expedient just to pull those troops out, in exchange for Bin Laden's being turned over for prosecution. It would certainly take away some of his support. But of course, that would be "giving in to terrorism", "leaving the West's oil resources defenseless", etc., so chances are it won't happen, no matter how many lives it might save.

By Geoffk on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 11:05 pm: Edit

Unless you guys have access to better intelligence than the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA, I suspect that the US is going to target the right people. They know who the terrorists were on the planes, they know who their associates are and I'm sure that they can trace this back to Bin Laden. A conspiracy theory that suggests otherwise, without EXTREMELY compelling evidence, is probably a bunch of crap.

Money is always important, but power is really the key. Bin Laden is already rich by most standards, but that isn't enough for him. He wants every non-Muslim out of Saudi Arabia, and probably Isreal, Jordan and the rest of the Middle East too. In fact, he would probably sacrifice much of the Arab world's current income, if that was the price of getting the infidels out of his backyard.

Why attack the US? Because we have a big presence in the Mideast. We became particularly noticable during the Gulf War, which is when Bin Laden's opposition to the US really solidified.

You aren't going to be able to reason with this kind of attitude.

For a final point, I encourage you to read
http://www.salon.com/news/col/horo/2001/09/17/ayers/index.html

Ask yourself why it's important to consider the terrorists views. What difference does it make what they were thinking? What's important is that these bastards committed an unforgivable act of violence, and we need to respond to it in an unmistakable way.

-- Geoff K.

By Mr_Rabbit on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Americans want revenge. They want someone to bleed. They won't be satisified with 'several members of a decentralized, cell-based muslim extremist group have been captured, but none of them even know who their leader is.'

They need a Hitler to bring down. Bin Ladin has publicly said mean things about us, and he looks like Charles Manson with a tan (he got crazy eyes)so I expect he will do fine in his role as Target of the Day, whether was behind this or not.

The real hell of this is that I wasn't really kidding with the Great Satan thing. We are the bad guys to them.

They would be morally remiss if they allowed us to continue to corrupt their people.

From their frame of reference they are completely correct.

From my frame of reference, however, fuck em if they can't take a joke. It is a sad, terrible thing, but if they said 'live and let live' I would as well.

It seems they have decided on 'Die, for God commands it.' Which leaves us with only the wretched response: 'It's you or me, buddy, and it ain't gonna be me.'

By Frater_Carfax on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 09:51 pm: Edit

While Bin Laden deserves to be nailed anyway....I too wondered this when I heard that the hijackers on one of the planes were said to be wearing red headbands...

From what I have read (which may not be true...and I am happy to be corrected on this)this is a tradition among the Shi'a sect, who put on the red headband when they are about to sacrifice their lives for "the Faith"

However, the Taliban (and Osma bin Ladin) are Sunni.

I suspect this may be irrelevant however, I'm sure I saw something indicating Bin Laden has been known in the past to work co-operatively with Shi'ite groups who share a common goal.

By Bob_Chong on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 09:35 pm: Edit

follow the money

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 09:12 pm: Edit

I hope so, Rabbit.

Thanks, BTW, for your earlier posts -- the image of a "Richard Simmons in Afghanistan" special just won't leave my head now... being fond of liquor and fornication myself, if I have to be hated by fundamentalists for some reason it might as well be a cultural one...

OK, but there's one sticking point I just can't get past, which would have been flame bait a couple of days ago: what if bin Laden and the Taliban are telling the truth? What if they neither knew about, nor planned the attack?

Most of the stuff on al-Q'aida I've read stresses that they're highly decentralized and their cells undertake actions autonomously. That makes it a real bitch to pin responsibility for these acts on anyone who isn't dead already.

In the Taliban's last statement on the matter, they said bin Laden bowed and thanked God when he heard the news (*shudder*) but that neither he nor they planned it. In his recent statement, he said he thought "someone" did it for "personal reasons" (?!) but that the Taliban forbade him to plan attacks from their territory, and he obeyed their rules.

Now I hope I don't get any flack about how they're "obviously lying", because I don't know that, and neither do you, unless you're God. The point is, can we prove they did it?

If we can't, then we are basically going to be killing them because they hate us, we hate them and the rest of the world doesn't mind if we do it. Forgive me if I'm not quite comfortable with that. It's collective punishment, which is not part of our legal tradition here, though it is part of our colonial history.

By Mr_Rabbit on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 08:26 pm: Edit

They might also be thinking they have made a monster in their own backyard.

Even most fundamentalist Muslims seem to be shocked and disgusted by the WTC attack.

By Etienne on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 07:44 pm: Edit

The Taliban is the creation of the Pakistani government. The only reason Pakistan has any support for the U.S. is that they know better than to do anything else. They're in over their heads and they know it.

By Missthing on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 06:47 pm: Edit

From what I understand, the Taliban is not native to Afghanistan either, and most of the general populace are not exactly thrilled at their Islamic fundamentalist rule because quality of life has deteriorated so much there since the Taliban came to power. The real crux of the issue is whether or not the Taliban receives support from other less extreme Muslim groups. If, as bin Laden surely hopes, the US retaliation is extreme enough and indiscriminate enough, it may polarize all Muslims to their side - and if that happens, there really will be a War with a capital W. It's a positive sign that so far, even with the internal dissent within Pakistan, that at least the government is supporting the US. As long as the other nearby Islamic nations do not join the Taliban, then bin Laden will not get culmination to the the Jihad that he's been trying to provoke all these years.

By Etienne on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 06:14 pm: Edit

The last person to successfully conquer Afganistan was Alexander the Great, 2500 years ago. Learn from history.

By Chrysippvs on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 05:50 pm: Edit

We put ground troops in Afganistan and it will be a desert Vietnam. Remember what happened to Russia, and before that to England...this will get ugly...I mean pug ugly..

By Chrysippvs on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 04:59 pm: Edit

We put ground troops in Afganistan and it will be a desert Vietnam. Remember what happened to Russia, and before that to England...this will get ugly...I mean pug ugly..

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 02:55 pm: Edit

Couldn't our troops be in as much danger in Pakistan as in Afghanistan itself? There is a very strong Islamic fundamentalist element in Pakistan, which is agitating for Islamic law there. The Taliban have been able to move back and forth between the two countries with relative impunity. I'm sure there will be people ready to attack our forces, and people in the Pakistani military and police who will sympathize with them, perhaps to the point of acting as their eyes and ears.

Meanwhile moderate and secularist politics in that country will come under terrible attack by people opposed to the U.S. presence. This is going to put the Pakistani government under a lot of strain. It is already not known for its regard for human rights and will probably become even more repressive in order to maintain control.

By Mr_Rabbit on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 02:28 pm: Edit

The Taliban is promising to attack any country that allows the US to use thier air-space or move ground troops through.

Pakistan said they will be happy to let us do so.

I hope we back them up against the Taliban when this is over (if there is a Taliban then.)

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 01:46 pm: Edit

Blackjack --

Thanks for the heads-up. I tried to check more sources on the $43 million payoff story but haven't found a lot. If in fact there is no linkage between the two then it's a good thing the money went to those relief organizations, because they're the only ones providing services to certain groups of people in Afghanistan (e.g. widows and orphans).

Bad news - I think. Apparently Ahmed Shah Masood died over the weekend. Here's the link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1545000/1545981.stm

From reading the RAWA site, I gather they weren't too keen on Masood either. One article compares him to Jonas Savimbi of Angola, perpetual enemy of peace in that country. All the same, he and his movement are, or were, the main obstacle to the Taliban taking full control of Afghanistan.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 10:33 am: Edit

Luger,

Fair enough it probably does contribute in part to their hatred, if indeed it is not the root cause.

I misunderstood you and thought that you were saying that jealousy of wealth was the main reason for their hatred. Sorry about that.

Hobgoblin

By Luger on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 09:44 am: Edit

"o the twin towers were bombed because Muslims want to get their hands on the USA's money?"

No but it is one answer to why they *hate* Americans. The cheering people seen on TV are not all fanatics, they just think it is God´s justice that the rich Americans are having it.
They cannot of course lay their hands on US money this way, but they will always be happy when a disaster strikes these rich folks.
No foreign policy could change that feeling.

Just my thoughts


Luger

By Missthing on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 07:07 am: Edit

Hmmm... being on the other side of the world to most of you folks makes the terrorist attacks quite surreal (I've also had pneumonia so everything, frankly, has been rather surreal), but we've had serious media coverage and typical blustery reportage - front page on our local rag has for the last 5 days consisted of graphic images and notably 1/2 the page taken up with "It's WAR" on one edition. Most stuck in my mind is a terribly patriotic, emotionally manipulative image of a beautiful innocent child holding a flag on the shoulders of an adult (badly photo-montaged together to supposedly look like a genuine image: the child was not on the shoulders of the adult and probably not even holding a flag). Not that my disgust with this kind of media manipulation has stopped me from bursting into tears half the time when I watch the TV for more than 10 minutes, especially when they replayed the actual impact footage.

I am pleased to see many voices of reason on this forum not afraid to speak out and take a flaming for seeing more sides to the story than the one the media is so forcefully portraying.

I'm not normally particularly political but I had just seen the "Behind the Veil" documentary about Afghanistan the night before the attacks and it had really stuck in my mind, and I and my boyfriend had been discussing the documentary a mere hour or so before we saw the footage of the attacks come through. Thanks for the links to the RAWA site from the other thread, I had a bit of a look round their archives and found one particular article extremely relevant and well worth reading for some background info - an excerpt from Newsweek, October 13, 1997 entitled "Helping Hand - Where did the Taliban come from? How did they finance the drive to impose an Islamic state?"

http://mail.rawa.org/rawa/newsweek.htm

This article states that the CIA and bin Laden amongst other entities have at different times pumped good sized quantities of cash into the Taliban. If anything good could possibly come of the terrorist attacks, it would be the fall of the Taliban with as little destruction to the Afghani population as possible, who have suffered enough, more so women than men but all citizens of that country. They aren't even allowed to listen to or play MUSIC - now that's oppression.

Also, if you'd like to read some really enlightened opinions on the current situation, including a short piece from Noam Chomsky, go read some the stuff at:

http://www.counterpunch.org/

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 04:54 am: Edit

So the twin towers were bombed because Muslims want to get their hands on the USA's money? Nothing of course to do with the USA's foreign policy, particularly in the middle-east. It would have happened just the same whether the USA had any involvement in the middle-east or not. I suppose it had nothing to do with a clash of ideologies either. It's a hell of a strange way to go about getting your hands on someone elses money.

Hobgoblin

By Luger on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 12:46 am: Edit

"a lot of nations (particularly Muslim
nations) do in fact hate the USA. Is it not in the USA's self interests to ask why? "

USA have money, they don´t.
If you live in a garbage heap and watch the supposed ordinary American citizen on "Baywatch", it is not that hard to be envious?
So what will make them happy?
When will they be satisfied?
Money.
Who´s money?

By Wolfgang on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Thank`s for the laugh Rabbit ! LOL

(I think I will go damn my soul further and drink another glass...)

By _Blackjack on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 03:58 pm: Edit


Quote:

Back in May of THIS YEAR the U.S. government sent the Taliban $43 million USD.

This was a reward for their declaring the growing of opium poppies to be "against Islam".



The aid was totally unrelated to the Taliban's policy on opium. The aid did not go to the Taliban at all but to relief agencies in Afghanistan. The aid-for-banning-drugs story was a result of bad journalism.

By Mr_Rabbit on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 01:34 pm: Edit

Oh yeah- one other thing. (Asbestos underwear- check!)

Make no mistake, we here in America are NOT holy. We are NOT always right. We are just slobs like everybody else. We have good people and bad people.

America is a special and beautiful place. But so is Siam, so is Canada. Everyplace is.

Why do those who hate us hate us? Lessee...

1. We live in a country where one of our biggest problems is TOO MUCH FOOD. We bitch about that.
We have people crying on TV with Richard Fucking Simmons because they have a problem with eating too much.

I am sure there are many people in Afghanistan crying their eyes out in sympathy.

2. To a people who beleive in a straight, very narrow path, such as their brand of Islam, our culture is satanic. Eeeeevil. We have titties waving around on the TV. We have glib glorification of drinking, violence and drugs. We do not burn witches. We let them sell books and knick-knacks to aid one in witchery. We make movies like Fight Club and Harry Potter. We have cartoons with talking animals. Animals should not talk, for God did not make them that way. We preach tolerance. We eat a lot of pork. We have separation of church and state.

We are the children of Shaitan, fornicating, drinking, snorting things, injecting things, teaching our women to read and write. We are eating a pork barbeque sandwich in the express commuter lane to Hell, and we are trying to take them with us by broadcasting our evil all over the world, infecting the minds of their women, their sons and tempting they themselves to acts that will damn them for eternity.

Rock and Roll music. Sharif, he don't like it.

3. We are rich. Poor people usually hate rich people. It makes you feel better to do so.

4. Generally, we drop bombs on people. Saddam Hussein was doing what a leader does- acquiring territory and wealth for his nation. And we went and bombed the crap out of him for it. And we will bomb the crap out of anyone who pisses us off enough. We aren't shy about it either. We wear t-shirts with catchy slogans and pictures of arab leaders running in fear. 'Hi, I'm an American, and today I will be bombing the crap out of you, because you talk funny and write in squiggley thingies. I don't know why, but that pisses me off.'

5. We are friends with Russia now.

6. I can't think of a number six, but I didn't want 5 to feel lonely.

Perruche, Hobby, rock on. Thank you for encouraging rational thought and harsh self-examination.

Flame away, O flamey people! Burn me for my sins! Hell Fire, here I come- yeeee haw!

By Mr_Rabbit on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 01:11 pm: Edit

I have seen the terrorists called cowards here and many other places.

They were not cowards, whatever else they were. It is no easy thing, I am sure, to spend several years training for a suicide mission, and carry it out to it's fiery conclusion, and probably not so easy (filled with hate or no) to look the people you are about to kill in the eyes for an hour or two.

Were their methods? I don't think they were. Any body of people with the resources and size of the one responsible has no choice- it cannot go toe to toe with the US. To strike, it must be clandestine.

I do not approve of what they've done, and I would like very much to see whatever organization is responsible hunted to extinction (however unlikely it is.) But I don't think calling them names that don't fit will help.

If we are to prevent such things in the future, we will not do it with military power, because these fuckers are not going to come out in uniforms and straight lines, and there is no Legion of Doom headquarters to bomb.

To prevent it I think we need empathy. We must come to understand our foe at least as well as it understands itself. We need to know why they did this.

That is one reason I think our president is an ass. He said something along the lines of "they attacked us because we are the brightest light of freedom..."

Yep. I can see it now. Sitting around the Legion of Doom headquarters, and one guy says to the other "that fucking light of freedom! Boy that gets my britches in a bind. Lets blow them up!"

Stupid, stupid, stupid! We need truth, not propaganda! Mindless name calling is not going to stop this. It didn't work too well so far. At least let us be as smart as Wile E Coyote, and not try the rocket-powered-rollerskate trick a second time.

Our own hate will blind us, and we will be hit again and again. If we let it.

By Perruche_Verte on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 12:29 pm: Edit

Back in May of THIS YEAR the U.S. government sent the Taliban $43 million USD.

This was a reward for their declaring the growing of opium poppies to be "against Islam".

We already knew full well about their murders and their horrible treatment of women. I forget whether that was before or after they destroyed those old Buddhas.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 12:24 pm: Edit

What's the big deal about using first names. Does signing with your first name make you braver and give people any more of a clue to your identity as signing with some handle. Is it as if people will read your post and say "I know who it is, I've heard of him and as there's only one person on the planet with that first name it must be him".

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 12:16 pm: Edit

Heiko,

Your post makes a lot of sense and the USA will have to respond. But bear in mind that a great many nations don't consider the USA as their boss. What I don't go along (and I suspect neither do you) with is the attitude that the USA has a right to bomb the shit out of many thousands of ordinary Afghanis who are just as innocent as those who were murdered in the USA on Tuesday. A life is a life and ordinary Afghans have as much right to live as ordinary Americans, but then it seems that to hold this view means you are branded as a supporter of terrorism.

Out of self interest if you bomb the shit out of Afghanistan (or somewhere else) killing thousands of innocent civilians, you will have many more people filled with hatred of the USA resulting in many more people willing to be suicide bombers in the future. Would it not make sense to examine why the people concerned hate the USA? The worst of these same people (e.g. Bin Laden and Sadam Hussain) were backed and armed by the USA only a few years ago, have their characters really changed so dramatically since then?

Hobgoblin

By Thegreenimp on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 10:30 am: Edit

Perruche,
I've said nothing about exterminating anyone period.
And I could care less about who is president, and who says mean things about them.
You used the Nazi's burning the Reichstag, and this tragedy in a very pathetic attemp to couch your polital views and jump quickly that the US was attacking the Afgans.
You know why you used the Reichstag remark, and it was vile and evil for you to have made the comparision.

Jay (and quite a few people use their first name here)

By Perruche_Verte on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 10:03 am: Edit

Jay, who uses his real name (and why the fuck does
that matter?):

What possesses you to think I posted that message
about the explosions near Kabul, or ANYTHING I have
posted so far, in "glee"?

Do you imagine I'm a bit happy that any of this has
happened? Shame on you. You must think I'm some
kind of monster. I suppose it's easier to make people
you disagree with into monsters than to examine your
convictions. The climate encourages that right now.
"Exterminate the brutes" -- is that where you're
coming from?

My friends in DC and NYC all seem to have survived,
but I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, for
someone I've lost touch with to turn up dead. I
haven't heard from one guy in DC for a couple days,
though he did email me shortly after the Pentagon
was hit, so he's probably alive. Probably. I hate that
word right now.

The Reichstag remark was flip, and I'm sorry if it was
misinterpreted. The point wasn't who did it; the point
was that the Nazis used it to suspend civil liberties in
Germany, something that a lot of people, not just
leftist wackos, are worried will happen here as part of
the "war on terrorism".

As for the bombing near Kabul, it was a reasonable
suspicion that it came from the U.S. The
correspondents who reported it were wondering
themselves. It wouldn't have been the first time we
bombed another country before anyone was notified
or any democratic process took place (anyone
remember Cambodia?).

As for calling Bush an asshole, that is my prerogative
as an American citizen. I'm being no meaner to him
than a lot of us were to Clinton.

If you want to cry, go ahead and cry. I've been crying

every damned day. But get done crying before you
demand more killing. "Revenge is a dish best eaten
cold" -- I'm told that was actually an Arabic proverb
before it was appropriated for the Klingons in Star
Trek.

And make sure it's actually the guilty party who's
punished. Read what this Afghan guy - who's no friend of the Taliban - has to say about it:

http://twincities.indymedia.org:8081/front.php3?article_id=2801&group=webcast

PV

By Heiko on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 09:27 am: Edit

I have thought much about what would be the right reaction of the United States. First, I thought "kill'em all". Then, a little more relaxed, found that a berserk reaction will only amplify the hate of many arab muslims because whatever the US will do will kill a lot of people who weren't involved in the attack.
On the other hand - doing nothing would be wrong in my eyes as well. What has the world done when Hitler occupied Poland? They thought "well, let him have Poland, then we won't have to fight a war with him". What did he do? Say "thank you" and occupy more countries...

I guess there is no perfect way to solve this problem. When the US strikes back hard, there will probably happen more things like the WTC attack (I don't hope so, but my sense for realism tells me...). But IMO, showing no reaction isn't an option. The US just can't do that. You gotta do what you gotta do, so to speak.

Geoff,
an explanation for a terror bombing isn't the same as a justification. I don't think anyone here would want to justify this horrible act. But one can think about why people would do something like it (they don't do it because they're natural born killers).
Don't get me wrong - as much as I understand the pacifistic views, for me it just isn't an option here.

btw. America has the difficult position of the world's leading force, the boss, so to speak. Don't people always complain about their bosses? Everything the boss does will always instantly be criticized by a lot of people who know better.
Had America not freed Kuwait, the world would have complained about it.
I'm glad I'm not Mr. Bush, he has to do a nasty job right now...

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 08:48 am: Edit

Don,

"The world hates the USA?"

I did not not say that the whole world hates the USA but the fact is that a lot of nations (particularly Muslim nations) do in fact hate the USA. Is it not in the USA's self interests to ask why?


"How DARE you as beneficiary of our blood ever elect to compare our blood to that of some Afghani hillman whose sole ambition was and is to kill a British soldier who dared trespass on Afghani soil?"

Just tell me where I have ever said this, the fact is that I have not. But Don human life is human life, it makes no difference whether that life if American, Afghani or any other nationality.

"Shall I redact a century or two of British foreign policy for you?"

Indeed I do not defend British foreign policy either (which has also included the invasion and conquering of MY country). In the light of the dangers we now face the relationship between the West and other nations needs to be examined.

"when both times we spilled our blood to pull your sorry tommy asses out of the German fire"

So we should all be subservient to you forever more as a result.

"you criticize us in our time of trial,"

I do no such thing. My posts on this subject have said that action needs to be taken, and Bin Laden needs to be taken out, but I don't agree that any action (no matter how extreme) should be supported unconditionally.

"Your mother must have had an affair with some Russian pigdog, and you are the slavic bastard issue of her illegitimate rutting. In short fuck you and where you call your household. You don't like my country, best pray we never bother to step on YOU."

An intelligent well thought out remark I must say.

I have no dislike for your country or the citizens of the USA. I do however have concerns about your government's foreign policy. Your foreign policy is not synonomous with your people. Surely it is in the self interest of a country to examine itself now and then and ask what motivated these attrocities. If the motivations are lessened then there is less likelihood of a repeat, this is obvious.

I have never condoned any such attrocities or those who carried them out, such acts were acts of murderous barbarism. But they were not carred out by the ordinary Afghani people and I think they give the USA carte blanche to drop as many bombs as it sees fit in response. Families grieving for innocent lives lost will be just as painful regardless of their nationality or religion.

Hobgoblin

By Thegreenimp on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 08:46 am: Edit

Perruche,
Plenty of people find your posts to be noxious as well. Yes the World Trade Center burned, not the Rheichstag (Which the Nazi's burned by themselves)......I found your Reichstag remark to be both evil and repugnant, as well as your gleefull charge that we attacked Afganistan (which you were wrong about) right after the murder of our citizens.
Come down to Houston sometime, and I will be glad to take you the Holocost Museum, and introduce you to someone that was there when the Reichstag burned, and still has the tattoo from the camp they survived.

Your comparision was pathetic, as you are.
Jay (and I use my name unlike you)

By Perruche_Verte on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 08:08 am: Edit

Don,

Taking your toys and going home? That is not a flattering exit for someone of your years and experience. You are taking the path of Absintheur and Sir Winston, both of whom had a lot of interesting things to say but didn't care to stick around and say them.

I have appreciated the views and information you have provided as a veteran, a scientist and a member of the intelligence community. Obviously my political leaning is about as far from yours as Bangor is from Bangkok, but I have never desired to cut you off or shut you up, even if I found your views to be noxious or your occasional abuse to be tiresome.

Sorry to see you go.

By _Blackjack on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 08:03 am: Edit

I just find it interesting that, should we go after bin Laden, it will be the third time in 12 years that we have had to go to war with someone trained by our CIA...

Criticizing US choices in foriegn policy is not the equivalent of saying this was deserved, or justified. It is simply an attempt at rooting out the motivations in hope of chosing actions which are most likely to keep this sort of thing from happening again. Call me a bleeding-heart all you want, but I am of the opinion that it might make things a lot easier for everyone if less people in the world wanted to indescriminately kill Americans. There may be better ways of accomplishing this than just waving out big stick around.

By Geoffk on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 07:48 am: Edit

Don, if you leave, this place will be very much the poorer without you. You are a real authority on chemstry, arms and asian culture, just to name a few (oh, and absinthe...)

There's an old saying: "If you're a leftist at 18 you have no heart; If you're a leftist at 30 you have no brains." I haven't checked how old everyone is, but obviously some lessons haven't been learned yet.

I'll stay in touch no matter what.

-- Geoff K.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 07:19 am: Edit

I used to admire Lord H for his humanitarianism, if not for his political bent. But now I see that the one is a sop and the other is the be-all. So I find him contemptible.

With that I bid adieu (not au revoir) to this forum. I find too few voices of anything like reason, too many shrill singers of lies, and far too many sheep and lurkers in between.

Doubtless Ted will be here when he feels the utility of it if not the need.

Those of you that I count as friends can always find me at dwalsh@surayoke.co.th

Have no fear, the Jade will flow. I am just weary of bandying words with cowards, liars, and trolls.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 06:46 am: Edit

Rather than a re-examination of American foreign policy ab initio, what is needed is a hard look at Lord H's political agenda.

The world hates the USA? Bullshit. The world would like to move to the USA or failing that rebuild itself in the USA's image, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Ask a German or a Japanese and if you get an honest answer, losing a war to the USA was the best things that ever happened to their countried. For rather than turning them into slave states we turned them into business partners and NOT on poor terms. Germany and Japan are rich today because America helped rather than enslaved, because we would rather enrich than enslave. And that is the difference between our system and the one Lord H worships (in absentia, as it has dies of its own intertia).

What really irks me: when HIS cities were being bombed by the Germans, when the Nazis were so close to a conquest of the British Isles that Churchill was a chronic depressive, when all was about lost despite the noble defense of the Battle of Britain and the best efforts of the Royal navy, it was anglophone Roosevelt who manipulated the entirely reluctant American people into backing Britain. Shall I recite our American war dead in the European Theatre of Operations for your benefit Lord H? How DARE you as beneficiary of our blood ever elect to compare our blood to that of some Afghani hillman whose sole ambition was and is to kill a British soldier who dared trespass on Afghani soil? Then have his women go out and cut up the remains? INGRATE. Shall I redact a century or two of British foreign policy for you? Including the invasion of MY home town of New Orleans AFTER the War of 1812 was over? (You lost that one. We taught your boys a thing or to about rifled musket technology and swamp warfare under Andrew Jackson, on the field of Chalmette I have walked many times.)

As an American of Irish descent I have often wondered to myself whether this anglophilia has truly served American interests best, in WWI and WWII when both times we spilled our blood to pull your sorry tommy asses out of the German fire. My grandfather served in the American Expediticnary Force in France in the Washington Artillery. He was a postal worker, not an elitist.

But you, craven leftist, you criticize us in our time of trial, you carp and cajole, you spout your petty laments based on lies and half truths and hide behind your bullshit anti-globalization claptrap and never ONCE acknowledge the debts of blood and loyalty that bind Britain and the USA in the 20th century. Strong as any Commonwealth ties, they have been, yet all we get in recompense from the likes of you is contempt.

Well, this American Irishman has had enough of you, not because you are a fellow Irishman, as many Englishmen might stand, but because you are an asshole who does not deserve to be called an Irishman. Your mother must have had an affair with some Russian pigdog, and you are the slavic bastard issue of her illegitimate rutting. In short fuck you and where you call your household. You don't like my country, best pray we never bother to step on YOU.

By Geoffk on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 06:21 am: Edit

Amen to what Don said. The only thing I'll add is that before last Tuesday, the most shocked and angry that I'd been in a while was when the Palestinian suicide bomber hit the Pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, killing a dozen babies, pregnant women and small children.

In response, the Israilis occupied one empty building and destroyed another. Nobody died.

The Palestinians called the Israili response "a dangerous escalation of the conflict" and the Americans urged them to leave the building that they occupied.

Screw the Palestinians too. Another bunch of bastards.

-- Geoff K.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 06:00 am: Edit

Marc, I am also distressed. I am distressed that so many of my fellow forumites share so few of my values that now, in light of this, I really don't have any aprticular interest in discussing anything with them, be it politics, absinthe, or the price of dried cow dung in Kabul.

I suspect that Geoffk and Bob feel much the same way.

I suspect that they are as aghast as I that some among us want to ignore the stark reality and continue to pull their miniscule political puds carping about the world as it ought to be in their blinkered and predictible lefist views.

The stark reality is that our nation is under sttack and it is time to forget about rhetoric and pull together for the common good, the common defense.

I'm not interested in 30 yr old Canadian editorials. Or equally verbose and flatulent redacts of them by people who apparently read THE DAILY WORKER. FUCK THE COMMUNISTS. The ones that are left, and they are few and far between.

The world can do without these terrorists and will do without them and it will be a world effort that disposes of them wherever that may be, Afghanistan, Iraq, 'Palestine', wherever.

One or two days BEFORE the WTC and Pentagon were hit, there were two suicide bombings and a massacre, a machine gunning of a school bus full of children, perpetrated by those Palestinians that Lord H is so sympathetic toward. You know, I was sympathetic to the Palestinians too when their kids were throwing rocks and getting killed by IDF bullets in return. No rubber bullets. I was vehement in my criticism of Israel, esp under Sharon, who my publisher used to call (probably still does) a fat fascist fuck. BUT go back a couple decades and I was sympathetic to the Israelis vs the PLO, PFLP, Black September, Al Fatah, etc etc and the skyjackings, bombings, murders, and attacks on school buses.

So now the Palestinians resume attacking school buses and machine gunning children.

So where do you think my sympathies lie NOW?

Just why do you reckon those Palestinians were celebrating the attacks in NYC and Washington?

Arafat's birthday?

FUCK THEM And anyone who stands with them. And if the evidence shows that the Palestinians, the PLO, or any of its factions, had a hand in this with Iraq and Al-Quaed, bin Laden's organization, then even God will turn his back on them. I certainly will. Their little state can die before it was really through being born. Know what? The world will little note nor long remember.

Sam Cummings, the late arms dealer, used to say:

"The finest print cannot be read through a gold sovereign."

A nice way of stating the Golden Rule. If you have the gold you make the rules.

Go ahead and call me a fascist, phony Lord and fake Greenie. I am so sick of your marxist prattle, Lord H is so preachy and PV Can't make up his mind whether to shit or go blind. To Hell with you both, you are pitiful, pathetic drones, pining for the collapsed edifice of a system that NEVER worked. You can both kiss my royal Irish American ass.

By Geoffk on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 05:54 am: Edit

One other thing--when you read a highly patriotic (some would say jongoistic) piece like this, it's very tempting to take the urban sophisticate approach and go into heavy sarcasm mode. That's apparently what Marc has done. But lets face it--in NY people really are pulling together. There have been 2 hour lines to donate blood and big increases in military and civilian volunteers. Even in NYC--the cynic capitol of the universe--people have dropped the pretense and are really helping each other. There were no riots, no looting and a lot of cooperation.

So yes, this kind of thing is a little syrupy, but it seems to be mostly true. Denying the facts for the sake of "coolness" is a little stupid.

And "Thank you sir, may I have another?" is not a good basis for a terrorist response policy.

-- Geoff K.

By Geoffk on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 05:43 am: Edit

Hey look, I don't want to suggest that "my country right or wrong" is the standard. Also, there are some people who don't like the US for what, for them, are fairly legitimate reasons. For example, I don't have much sympathy for the Palestinians, who have screwed themselves numerous times. Still, when the US is forced to take sides, it's usually with Israel rather than them, so I guess I can understand why they wouldn't like us.

What I DON'T have much sympathy with is people who:
1. Try to justify terrorism, especially this time.
2. Try to equate terrorism with any kind of military action
3. Try to suggest that US people or corporations "had it coming".
4. Argue that retaliation isn't deserved or can't be justified.
5. Suggest that most Americans are not fundamentally decent, law-abiding and fair.
6. Suggest that American trade and corporate jobs are generally a bad thing, either for us or the rest of the world.
7. Suggest that American media are never to be trusted.

I would say that 95% of Americans and, for that matter, 90% of the rest of the world disagrees with those statements. I know that I do. I'm not sure if PV disagrees with ANY of them.

And, like I say, I take it a little personally, so I'm sorry if I insulted anybody. But it's not blind patriotism. It's legitimate anger for real people--friends who I've senselessly lost.

-- Geoff K.

By Marc on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 05:34 am: Edit

I was quite impressed with perruche verte's
thoughtful response to that shallow piece of jingoistic horseshit published in the Miami Herald. I am dismayed by the kneejerk reaction from geoff and Bob. Instead of arguing the points
perruche verte made, they simply insulted him.
I expect a more enlightened approach in an absinthe forum. But, apparently even narrowminded reactionaries like a bit of the green stuff.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 02:03 am: Edit

So PV doesn't want to wrap himself in the stars and stripes and unconditionally support any action whatsoever that the government of the USA might decide to take, regardless of the consequences to other innocent citizens of the Earth. So he isn't prepared to get down on his knees and pray to the Lord Jesus Son of God. Why don't we bring back the HUAC and do PV for being anti-American?

What a load of shit.

Are we now in a climate where anyone who questions the status quo and doesn't support any action whatsoever that is to be taken by the USA is a supporter of terrorism? Should everybody unquestionably accept that the USA is the greatest, most compassionate, most decent nation on Earth, that it always acts with the most noble of intentions, is always right, is the protector of freedom and liberty for all, never intentionally commits any wrong-doings, always knows best and anyone that disagrees with it's point of view is obviously very wrong.

If it is all of these things then why do so many on this Earth hold the USA as an object of hatred? There is always a reason for hatred. Hatred of the USA is what drove these people to commit such an attrocity and sanctimonious tub-thumping and swaggering will only increase hatred. It is not in any nation's interests to be hated especially when the possesion of lots of big guns will no longer protect that nation from those who hate it.

Hobgoblin

By Geoffk on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 12:24 am: Edit

Hey PV, I don't want to go through every piece of crap that you wrote. It's obvious that you hate the fact that you're an American and consequently sympathize totally with other people who feel the same way about Americans, no matter how twisted they are.

I just want to address one of your points. i.e. why you (or anybody) should care that the WTC, i.e. this horrible symbol of corporate dominince, was destroyed.

I used to work for Cantor Fitzgerald until about two months ago. In case you don't recognize the name, their headquarters, until yesterday, was on floors 101-105 of World Trade Center 1. Since they were located just above where the (first) plane crashed, they were completely unable to escape. 700 of my former coworkers, colleagues and friends died helplessly. Worse yet, their tower was the first to be hit, but the second to collapse. They got to see their inexorable fate played out in front of them, a half hour before it happened. These are not corporate fatcats. They are network and database technicians, software engineers and testers, bond trading staff, secretaries and managers. In other words normal people. They have friends and families, wives and children.

This is not an abstraction for me, and it certainly isn't about the quasi-marxist bullshit that you seem to be so fond of. Yes, the US has big banks and corporations. And guess what--they employ lots of ordinary people, pay them pretty well and make their lives better. If you want to go someplace without banks, money and corporate interests, try Afghanistan. I don't think they have any orgination there except terrorists and religious facists. You shouldn' have any problems. And you can all badmouth the US together, you asshole.

-- Geoff K.

By Zack on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:50 pm: Edit

"If you are afraid to buy tickets and attend public events the you let the bastards win.
.Concerts, sports and event organizers are all taking extra security precautions..."

I was thinking the whole cancellation of major crowd drawing events was safety oriented also...

Then they started encouraging large groups of people to stand outside with lit candles...Then they packed half the goddamn government in a church for a few hours and advertised it on TV.

By Wiz on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:40 pm: Edit

Whoever was behind Tuesday's terrorist attacks had a lot more on their agenda than simply bringing down the World Trade Center and damaging the Pentagon. Their true aim was to put fear in the hearts of every supporter of the Western way of life and the economies that support it. They want you to cowe in your home in fear of what they might do next. They want you to stop spending money. They wan you to sell off your stock holdings in a panic when the markets reopen on Monday and help push the Western world into an economic depression. But the terrorists have one really big problem.They can't achieve this main objective without your help. After an appropriate period of mourning, we must all try to resume some sense of normalcy.
If you are afraid to buy tickets and attend public events the you let the bastards win.
Concerts, sports and event organizers are all taking extra security precautions in the wake of the September 11 tragedy. But make no mistake about it, no one can completely guarantee your safety as you walk through the turnstiles. But then no one can guarantee it as you sit on the couch at home either.

By Zack on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:39 pm: Edit

The disclaimer is what made me want to read it...However, I got bored half way down and had to stop.

By Perruche_Verte on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:26 pm: Edit

*sigh* You just kept on reading, didn't you, Bob?

Put your feet up and pour a nice cold Segarra, and I'll toast the Bill of Rights with you.

By Bob_Chong on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:05 pm: Edit

I am grateful that I live in such a nation that even a whining bastard like Holden Caufield--er, I mean PV--can be so coddled and comfortable that he can complain about how tortured he is and how fucked up he thinks everything is.

The baby boomers are proud of you, PV.

BC

By Perruche_Verte on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:53 pm: Edit

Well, OK. Thanks for providing an example of the stuff Alphasoixante just suggested we might avoid if we wanted to make this a "teachable moment", as people say in the education profession.

A piece like that one comes from the viewpoint of someone who doesn't really pay a lot of attention to the world outside the U.S., and what people who don't share common American assumptions might be thinking about these events.

I'm going to address a few pieces of it. The journalist's remarks have carets (>); my remarks follow them. If reading this kind of critique really does piss you off to the point of irrationality, just do yourself a favor and stop reading.


>It's my job to have something to say. They
>pay me to provide words that help make sense
>of that which troubles the American soul.

It's your job as a journalist employed by a corporate-owned newspaper to write copy that won't offend government contacts and major advertisers. They pay you to write words that soothe the American soul by reinforcing assumptions that exist already, and by simplifying world events and their causes.

>What lesson did you hope to teach us by your >coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our >Pentagon, us?

Note that an attack on "our" World Trade Center (which is a symbol of global corporate dominance to many people) and on "our" Pentagon (which is a symbol of American military dominance to many people) is immediately assumed to be an attack on "us", i.e., the average American citizen.

I'm an American citizen. Like most people, I was horrified by the loss of life in those two buildings. Still, I don't own either of them, though my taxes go to support at least one of them, the Pentagon. Why are they supposed to be "mine"?

Oh, I get it. I'm supposed to think global corporate dominance and American military dominance are GOOD THINGS. What's good for the Pentagon must be good for me, right? Same for the World Trade Center.

Well, let's continue...

>What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it
>was, please know that you failed.

"We" (the obedient public), our basic assumptions reinforced, will resolutely refuse to learn from any tragic event that happens to us. We're not supposed to learn. Truth is on our side already.

>Did you want us to respect your cause?
>You just damned your cause.

Of course. They did a terrible thing. They are bad people. Therefore their cause must be wrong, because it's a cause that bad people believe in. This is argumentum ad hominem, a fallacy that often leads to guilt by association.

Example: "Oh, you're a vegetarian and you're concerned about animal rights? WELL, HITLER WAS TOO! What are you, a closet Nazi or something?"

Being able and willing to commit a terrible atrocity on behalf of a cause certainly does not make that cause right. But - and this is hard for a lot of us to accept - it doesn't necessarily make it wrong. Cologne and Dresden were destroyed by bombing as part of the war that defeated Hitler, killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians. Does that mean the Allied cause was wrong, and Hitler was right?

We're not supposed to think about whatever cause the hijackers might have believed in. Whatever it was, it must be wrong. Them bad, us good, end of story.

>Did you want to tear us apart? You just
>brought us together.

Let's see how this journalist attempts to "bring us together" by glossing over the differences of opinion that do exist among us:

>Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast
>and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial,
>social, political and class division, but a
>family nonetheless.

No, we're not. We're a country. A nation-state. A country governed by a constitution which establishes a system of government and defines certain inalienable rights. Reducing that to the level of a "family" sets the stage for all kinds of dysfunction which commonly occur in families: codependency, addiction, reliance on authority figures, blind acceptance of messages that come from above because "Father knows best".

I have seen families together at KKK rallies, waving Confederate flags, the littlest family member (a girl of about six years) carrying a sign saying "White supremacy or death!" Could that little girl have understood the implications of the sign her father told her to wave at the TV cameras? I share a nation-state with those people, but don't tell me I'm part of their "family". That's insulting.

>We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending
>tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural
>minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball
>team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're
>wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability
>of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because
>of that, we walk through life with a certain
>sense of blithe entitlement.

So far, so good. Many of those goods and trinkets are so readily available because of the low wages and standards of living in the countries where they are manufactured, standards which are kept
low by the governments of those countries, which are kept in power by guarantees of assistance from the Pentagon. But talking about that might threaten our "sense of blithe entitlement".


>We are fundamentally decent, though --
>peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to
>know the right thing and to do it.

So long as the goods and trinkets keep coming, and so long as we don't have to feel guilty about having them. We're happy to "know and do the right thing" as long as it doesn't take too much effort or make us change our lifestyles.

This leads to strange uses of language. We're "fundamentally decent, peace-loving and compassionate" mostly because we say we are. If we allow our government to bomb a small country's infrastructure or send mercenary soldiers to overthrow its government, somehow that's just "struggling to do the right thing", probably something that would benefit the people who really do own the World Trade Center.

>And we are, the overwhelming majority of us,
>people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Aw, don't atheists and agnostics get to be part of the "family"? Too bad. Then again, Rev. Jim Jones called his followers a "family", and look what happened to them. Don't drink the Flavor-Aid!

>Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that
>any or all of this makes us weak. You're >mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong
>in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

Most other countries don't think Americans' beliefs make us weak. They know very well that
our infallible belief in our own basic goodness -- and therefore the goodness of our government,
our military and our corporations -- is exactly what makes us so slow to examine ourselves, and so
very, very dangerous to everyone else in the world.


>Both in terms of the awful scope of
>their ambition and the probable
>final death toll, your attacks are likely to
>go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the >history of the United States and, probably, the
>history of the world.

That depends on the definition of "terrorism", which is a highly politicized word. Here is a definition from the American Heritage Dictionary: "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

However, "terrorism" is not merely a descriptive term. It has negative moral connotations attached to it. Terrorism is the use of force by people who aren't allowed to use force; it's "unlawful". Governments are allowed to use force, the reasoning goes, therefore any coercive acts of violence they commit aren't terrorism, merely warfare, which is every bit as violent but isn't considered to be as bad.

In the end, what is a government, if not an "organized group"?

If acts by the armed forces of a government can be considered terrorism, then the bombings of Iraq and Sudan by the United States in recent years are far worse acts of terrorism. The bombings specifically targeted the infrastructure of these countries, including sewage treatment plants and pharmaceutical factories. Thousands died in each raid, and many thousands more died from conditions created by the raids, including shortage of medical supplies and contaminated water. The civilian death toll in Iraq stands at over one million. But the ruins of Baghdad were never so widely televised as the destruction of the World Trade Center, and we know that history is written by the victors.

>But there's a gulf of difference between
>making us bloody and making us fall.
>This is the lesson Japan was taught to its
>bitter sorrow the last time anyone
>hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us >such abrupt and monumental pain.
>When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, >terrible in our force. When provoked
>by this level of barbarism, we will bear any >suffering, pay any cost, go to any length,
>in the pursuit of justice.

So long as the barbarism was aimed at us, and not performed by us or our allies.

>You see, the steel in us is not always readily
>apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom
>understood by people who don't know us well. On
>this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

Now that scares me. Does that mean "Dad" is going to "send me to my room" if I continue this line of questioning? Maybe those "basic freedoms" aren't so secure after all.

>So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us?

Whatever it was, we're not listening.

>It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to >know the depths of your hatred.
>If that's the case, consider the message >received. And take this
>message in exchange: You don't know my people.

They know us at least as well as we know them, probably a lot better. They watch our
television, surf our Internet, listen to our pop music, speak our language. How many
of us can speak theirs?


>You don't know what we're capable of. You don't >know what you just started.
>But you're about to learn.

And once again, we're about to skip school, maybe even shoot out the school's windows with an air rifle while we're at it.

I hope we can pass the basic skills test and graduate. I'm not that hopeful.

By Zman7 on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 04:08 pm: Edit

ARTICLE FROM MIAMI HERALD
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001

We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of
that which troubles the American soul. But in this
moment of airless shock when hot tears sting
disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say,
the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to
the unknown author of this suffering:

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's
attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us?
What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was,
please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned
your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our
resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us
together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and
quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social,
political and class division, but a family
nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of
expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural
minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's
misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too,
spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and
material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk
through life with a certain sense of blithe
entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though --
peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know
the right thing and to do it. And we are, the
overwhelming majority of us, people of faith,
believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all
of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not
weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be
measured by arsenals.

IN PAIN

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are
in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of
the awful thing you did, still working to make
ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect
from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot
development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of
the awful scope of their ambition and the probable
final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down
as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the
United States and, probably, the history of the world.
You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied
before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us
bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan
was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone
hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such
abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are
righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When
provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any
suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the
pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know
my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know
reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread
of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and
accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose
failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to
prevent it from happening again. There will be
heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic
freedoms.

We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened,
sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.

THE STEEL IN US

You see, the steel in us is not always readily
apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom
understood by people who don't know us well. On this
day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn,
and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that
we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It
occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the
depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider
the message received. And take this message in
exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know
what we're capable of. You don't know what you just
started.

But you're about to learn.

By Alphasoixante on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 12:19 pm: Edit

you'd obey if your television told you to do it.

for any lonely persons seeking a break from pavlovian pushbutton bloodlust and monolithic monopinion, try some of the following sites. there are a number of relatively cool-headed, reasonable, and thought-provoking commentaries on the recent events, and some even include careful criticism of the uber-media's coverage. contrary to the impression one gets from the networks, some institutional escapees have somehow managed to form (gasp) dissenting opinions. Try:

alternet.org, commondreams.org, mediachannel.org

press control-alt-delete in your brain and make a break for it when His Majesty the Telly isn't looking. to repeat burroughs again: "when you see that snarl you are looking at something that has no face of its own. a dog's rage is not his. it is dictated by his trainer. and lynch-mob rage is dictated by conditioning".

may the dogs stop drooling and start thinking.

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