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.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Dear CASI: My former USAF contact has replied to some of the posts I forwarded. I won't be forwarding any more in either direction. Thanks Eric Eric has sent to me postings in response to my insightful and correct observations about certain CASI posters. I will respond only to one set of replies, as to engage in any further debate would be pointless and repetitive. Now to Abi Cox's response addressing Just War. Just War does indeed allow a forceful response in "retaliation" to an attack. It is considered an essential part of the inherent right of self-defense. Just War theory does not allow indiscriminant attacks on civilians. That would be an evil act-like what we just had in New York and Washington. Attacking civilians for no other purpose but to exact revenge is not allowed; it is an evil act, pure and simple, and the United States does not engage in evil acts of this nature. (Debate other supposed evils" of the United States some other time. The fact remains, we do not engage in evil acts by attacking civilians.) What the U.S. will do is something quite different. The U.S. will target the guilty, and that may include ALL terrorist organizations that have declared "war" on the U.S. Now, before retaliatory attacks are made the Just War questions of "proportionality" comes to fore and will be answered. (And to a lesser extent, the issue of "dual use.") Is the attack on the bad guys proportional to the attack suffered? Is the expected collateral damage proportional to the gain? If either of these questions are in the negative then the attack will not happen, and if it does it will be morally wrong. (Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer is an excellent read on this subject. Get it, read it, know it.) Therefore, your construct about attacking Afghan civilians does not apply, as the U.S. will seek retribution from the terrorists and the governments that support them---not from the civilians. To allege otherwise is wrongheaded. By the way, FYI, I am not former Army. I am a former (retired) fighter pilot, strategic campaign planner, Pentagon political-military advisor, Gulf War veteran on the ground in Iraq, Operation Southern Watch veteran, Operation Earnest Will veteran, and one heck of a nice guy. In reference to Ali Kaviani's observations. This is about the best approach I have seen from a CASI poster (Eric excluded, of course). However--you knew there would be one--you state: "We must analyse that hatred in order to eliminate it and its causes." You want to address the cause? Fine, do so in the much-exalted U.N. But do it later--we have to eradicate the evil first. In WWII we did not debate the "why" of nazi Germany to the detriment of the war effort. We fought the war effort first, with an examination afterward. Same thing. Fight the fight with words if you want. Action is what the murdering, simpering cowards understand. Any discussion of the "cause" at this time is a useless exercise that will only divert attention from the real issue-the attacking and murdering thousands and thousands of innocent people. Seeking the root cause is irrelevant when considering a response to this mass murder of the innocent. Much like a criminologist, we study the mind of a madman to find out what makes him a murdering psychopath. We don't try and "feel his pain," we try and figure out what makes him tick, what he will do next and we act to protect society. If that means killing the bastard, so be it. Eric said it much better than I when I tried to explain why "understanding" in the context of the CASI posters is out of place at this point in time. Indeed, it is clear that most pleading for understanding have been nothing more than a veiled attempt to mitigate the murder of thousands and thousands. (We are lead to believe the madmen were provoked, after all. That they have legitimate gripes. Right, like any gripe will justify attacks of this nature.) Instead of lamenting the "why," we should say justification is irrelevant to dealing NOW with the attack. Nothing more. Their aim was to kill the innocent and that is an evil act. Their intent was evil, their act was evil, and the result was evil. No question. Fact. The U.S. will kill them, protecting the innocent--and that is a moral act. Whatever "right to life" these madmen had beforehand is no more. They forfeited that right when they targeted civilians for destruction with the objective just to murder. "Causes" be damned. The U.S. will protect its citizens, as they have a right to do, and the U.S. has every moral right to hunt the cowards down and kill them. For Tim Buckley I offer the following: Tim writes: "Let us say that this attack was carried out as a form of resistance to US policies in the Middle East (which, it must be stressed, is not yet proven). If we now simply go after the people who did this and ignore (ie continue) the Western violence in the Middle East - for example, sanctions, bombings against Iraq, and repression of the Palestinians - ignore, in short, Western mass murder, then we will just reinforce the conditions which led to the attack in the first place." EXCELLENT example of what I have been saying all along!! Tim starts by saying he doesn't condone the murder but the U.S. had it coming anyway (the context of his remarks clearly attempt to mitigate the guilt of the murdering madmen). Couldn't have made my point plainer. Thanks, Tim. Tim says that it is yet to be "proven" who the responsible parties are. It is obvious to the most casual observer that radical madmen supported by Bin Laden are responsible. In addition, even Ray Charles can see Afghanistan aided in this mass murder. Tim finishes by saying we simply can't go after the pig swine that engaged in mass murder and ignore the "Western violence in the Middle East." Wanna bet? When you engage in self-defense while a murderer is attacking you in Hyde Park you don't give a rat-butt what "reasons" or motivation the murderer has. You protect your life--first an foremost. And right now, the U.S has a right of self-defense, and if the U.S. does not respond forcefully, this lack of action will embolden the pig swine to further murder. Hit back hard, hit back accurately. It's the right thing to do. For farbuthnot: Well. . .farbutnot says "Surely in all this horror, pain and disbelief the unasked word is 'why'" Wrong. People have been asking why since the very first moment they saw the impact from the first jet. The "Palestinians only have the suicide bomber option" is an attempt to justify the murder of thousands and thousands. Wrong again, farbutnot. You and Tim make my point that many posters to CSAI find justification for the attack. You just said so. "- Israel has cruise missiles labeled made in the USA." Of course they do. What would you do if all your neighbors wanted you dead and gone? Disarm? Go to the U.N. for protection? Please. "The world should build a peace garden in memory of every unimaginably terrified and tragic life which will haunt us all" Nice touchy feely approach, but completely wrong-headed. We will get on with our American way of life and no cowardly mass murderer will change our way of life. Rebuild. "put out a hand to the world" Stand by, it will be a clenched fist. One does not kill thousands and thousands and expect an olive branch in return. Get real. "already reduced to a pre-industrial age." We can certainly make then pre-historical if their government supports mass murder. Now, for Antony Nelson: Tony begins by saying "finally America has been made to feel the suffering they have for so long inflicted on others, I tried to justify for the first minutes that the pentagon was full of evil people whilst the world trade centre was full of evil global capitalist who I know first hand have caused death by economic policy. This is just not true through the vast majority of people who died are innocent office workers trying to get on with there lives oblivious to what they are doing. We all have to do a job to survive and most of what results from our actions is bad for someone else, most people ignore this since they are encouraged to believe that we have no choice. This was a kind of childish and infantile feeling of revenge, I'm pleased to say it soon passed." An honest reaction, and one that reflects what I said in my first posting: There is a very real anti-American bias at play here, and that bias attempts to justify the attack. Tony's deepest thought reveals his belief that the suffering of the innocent means nothing, as long as the innocent are American. As far as the Pentagon is concerned--attack them if you want. They are warriors and honorable men and women defending this great nation of unmatched freedoms and opportunity. But when you attack them do so in a way that is honorable, and not through the act of a simpering coward. Murdering by using a civilian airliner is just plain evil. Tony makes an interesting comment when he points out his second reaction "was to try to explain to my step son, who has often complained that I shouldn't say bad things about America because he is terrified that they have a big army..." Now. Where would some young tike learn to FEAR the United States like that? Especially when living within the boarders of America's closest ally? Perhaps Tony encourages this FEAR? Just who is engaging in propaganda and indoctrination here? Sorry, Tony, trying to "explain to people that the horrors of this act have resulted from the horrors of Anglo American foreign policy hidden away behind the headlines that talk of peace and yet finance and plan war" is further proof that you EXCUSE the murder of thousands and thousands at the hands of those pig swine. Tony, your denials to the contrary are unbelievable. Tony thinks the "motivation" of the pig swine murderers are legitimate, after all. By the way, "That the best outcome for this is a very fair and legal trial for all suspected of involvement" is laughable. What sort of trial did the victims get? The pig swine murderers forfeited their right to life when they engaged in an act of war upon the U.S., pure and simple. I, and the rest of America, do no want these organizers and supporters of such a treacherous act to be tried in The Hague, nor even the US. We want them dead. Why should the guilty remain alive? For what purpose? The supporters of the murderers are cowards of the highest order. The thought of being killed terrifies them. As General Stonewall Jackson said during the US Civil War, "Kill them, kill them all." Exactly. For Miss Katy Connell: "Does he really want us never to work out what caused the hatred that led to these deaths?" Of course not. What I do want is action now to stop these murdering cowards, first. Until then I do not care to hear the "why." Apparently most posters to the CASI want understanding first, and some even endorse no response at all!!?? "It is not only the fate of those who died that we have to think about." Indeed. The innocent are with the Lord, the murdering pig swine are in Hell. "It is also the fate of those who will die in future attacks." Of course. "Such attacks will inevitably come should the US decide that it too wants to kill innocent people, firefighters and ambulance crews to even up the score." Now that is an ignorant remark. That statement is downright dumb--not to be too blunt. We will not attack innocent civilians as the target. Nope. We will attack the people responsible--collateral damage is always a problem. But read what I said earlier regarding "proportionality." To think we would just drop bombs willy-nilly on people is just plain silly. Geesh. You do not know the American people or their government. You do not know how policy is made. You do not know how the military engages in targeting. Your anti-American bias is affecting your judgment. How else to explain your belief we would target innocent civilians as THE target. My God, you are so very wrong on that issue. "1) US bombs Islamic countries causing inevitable civilian deaths, leading to increased hatred of the US and further attacks both ways." Not hardly. We attack, and attack hard, hunting down and killing each and every terrorist cell we can find will result in FEWER deaths as support for these terrorists dries up and the "brave" dead terrorist is replaced less and less. Can't kill them all, but we can try. The end result will be reduced terrorist activity (Libya). Collateral damage is a concern, for certain and for sure. "2) The US comes to terms with the hatred that millions in the Middle East and elsewhere have towards its policies, works out what is wrong, and starts to change those policies to reduce hatred and attacks." Right. Like murdering all those poor people in New York and Washington will generate support for their cause and give pause to the American public to accept this act of war. Right. . .I have swampland I can sell you in Florida. . .interested? Again, this is an attempt to mitigate the attacks. "Does your friend think that the perpetrators considered that they had no reason for the attack?" Even madmen do things for whatever reason they have. . .and what they usually engage in is insane acts-like these murdering cowards. "I can only think they thought they did indeed have a reason." And I suppose Katy think it sufficient to engage in mass murder, denials to the contrary. Again, here in the United States we have had few attacks on Muslim's. However, I do want you to understand the provocation of the attackers. I don't endorse their action, but you need to know they are only responding in the only way they can." How's that. Same thing as what most other CASI posters are saying. I shouldn't give a rats-butt about the provocation of the attackers of innocent Muslim's in the United States. Neither should all those CASI posters give a rats-butt about the cowardly murder of thousands and thousands. Condemnation is required. "The only alternative is that they just did it out of boredom." Nope. They did it out of pure evil. They engaged in an evil act to achieve evil aims. No debate. End of question. Now, Miss Katy, thank you for one moment of clarity. You write: "But the lesson should not be that the US must kill innocent people to try to teach others that killing innocent people is wrong." Exactly. We must kill the guilty. Thanks for supporting my point. Final word: You cannot eradicate the evil that some people have in their soul. You can kill most, drive the others to ground and stop wholesale attacks like we just experienced. That is the aim. Hunt them down and kill them, like you would a cockroach. The American people will not let this attack go unanswered--and rightfully so. The brave passengers on the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania are proof that Americans are action orientated and will not sit idly by why attacked. We will defend ourselves. That is all, I will no longer entertain any more comments, and will no longer monitor the CASI, as the true anti-American character of most posters is revealed. Their hatred of the U.S is plain, and according to them any attack on America is to be explained and justified and put into context. --- End Forwarded Message --- ---------------------- 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 email@example.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.