The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear CASI: A former member of the US armed forces asked me to forward to the list. I am willing to receive and forward one set of responses. Best wishes Eric I cannot imagine an act that could be more hurtful for the cause of peace than the attacks staged on 11 September, 2001. By attacking directly the American people, on American soil and causing deaths and injuries of thousands of innocents, whatever support these terrorists hoped to achieve has just disappeared like a wisp of smoke in a tornado. Did these terrorists really think that attacking the citizens of the United States would help their cause? Did these terrorists really think the American people and government will now be willing to even listen? These attackers have over 280 million Americans enraged and completely unwilling to listen to anyone. National survival is at the forefront, as we do not know if these terrorist will attack again. It isn't over-yet. It can be expected the United States will respond forcefully-and rightfully so, as no nation can suffer an attack of this nature and not be expected to respond. Retaliation is a component of Just War, and self-defense is morally permitted. The U. N. is not a sovereign power, and the United States will act in its own defense-regardless of U.N "approval." The U.N. is not the arbiter of what is and is not an attack on the peace and security of the United States, nor will the people of the United States look towards the UN as their protector. President Bush is not Clinton (thank God). Clinton could be expected to launch a cruise missile or two, attack an empty building, bite his lower lip, hold a press conference and say proudly the United States was defended. However, president Bush is a former fighter pilot (enough said for those that know what it takes to be one). Bush has warrior instincts--you can see that in his words and actions. It is a monumental error to underestimate his courage, intelligence, resolve and skills when it comes to acting in support of American interests. He has the guts to act, and he will act. He also has people in his administration that are equally as tough and equally as willing to defend America. For all the partisan bickering we have seen in the US government, it is ignorant for anyone to presume the American government and people would not rally and become one. The American people are, after all, "One nation, under God." This attack on American soil is the worst single attack and loss of American lives due to enemy action in the history of our great nation--that is not an overstatement. Pearl Harbor resulted in a little over 2,400 dead and was an attack against a military target on an island that was not a US State---yet. The cowardly terrorists on the 11th of September attacked innocent civilians. There is no honor in that act. Never before has the United States been attacked like this--the War of 1812 was the last time we had foreign invaders on US soil--and we did not lose nearly this many. Once the enormity of what happened on 11 September 2001 sinks in, the American people will release the "dogs of war." I do not know if those dogs will be surgical strikes or an invasion, or both, but I do know these dogs of war will be relentless and cause bloody havoc. And the blame rests squarely on the people that support terrorists. This support may be in the form of money or political protection, as well as support in the form of calls for "understanding." (I'll get to that point in a minute.) For the past several years I monitored CASI discussions regarding sanctions. I found some of the arguments to be interesting and thoughtful. I wanted to learn from all sides in the debate. So, after the terrorist attacks in the United States I visited the CASI discussion web site to try and get a measure of how the people who post to the CASI discussion group would respond to these acts of cowardly murder. I naively thought the caring peace-loving defenders of the innocent and the pacifist anti-war types of the CASI discussion group would in no way excuse the attacks. After all, they uniformly condemn the suffering of the innocent-no matter the provocation or aim, and especially if the aim is to inflict suffering upon the innocent. Therefore, I thought they would unite behind the rest of the civilized world. I was wrong. The posters all start with some sort of terribly insincere "this is awful" remark, and then launch into a US-had-it-coming tirade. This is not helping the CASI cause. I observed CASI writers posting hand-wringing laments about a few isolated attacks against Muslims living in the United States. Now, I don't condone attacks against Muslims in the U.S., but I understand the provocation. Stop. How does that sound. Insincere? Hollow? Doesn't ring true? Makes me sound like I really DO support such attacks because I am asking people to look beyond the act and achieve an understanding of the cause? Well, that is what all those CASI posters are sounding like--but on a much grander scale. "Understanding" the alleged provocation to attack thousands and thousands of innocents can never be accepted. Why? Because when these requests for understanding are taken in context they are nothing more than an endorsement of the attacks. Understanding gives weight and legitimacy to the attack because to "understand" is to accept they might have had what they considered a "reason" for the attack. By asking us to seek "understanding" the CASI posters are asking us to look for an excuse. By accepting ANY excuse for these terrorist attacks, members of the CASI discussion group have shown their true character and their commitment to defending the defenseless is impeached. Like I said, I monitor the CASI discussion group because I want to learn something, to become informed about all sides. Heck, sometimes I found compelling arguments. But now I find it was all a lie. The writers that post to CASI think themselves as defenders of the innocent. You see, according to CASI posters, no amount of reasoning is enough to justify the suffering sanctions inflict upon the innocent in Iraq. The reasons for the sanctions do not matter, the end result does. Therefore, if these CASI writers truly cared for the innocent they would never excuse, defend or try to "understand" the attacks. They would have condemned the attacks and let it go at that. After all, according to CASI posters, no amount of reasoning is sufficient to cause the innocent to suffer. But somehow we must understand the reason cowards murdered of thousands in the United States? In the case of the terrorist attack on the 11th of September we are to overlook the evil act and accept the provocation? This is lunacy. What is certain is that I have serious doubts that CASI writers are peace-loving or care about "the children.". What is certain is that it appears that CASI writers only care about attacking the United States, and civilians be damned (as long as the victims are American). Bottom line: There is no understanding regarding the attack on the United States. Just retaliation. ---------------------- Dr. Eric Herring Department of Politics University of Bristol 10 Priory Road Bristol BS8 1TU England, UK Tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582 Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133 http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Politics firstname.lastname@example.org -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.