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View Full Version : I think I might get flamed for this but here goes.


09-11-2001, 08:34 PM
Let me start off by saying that I am as personally disgusted by this attack as most of the other posters here, and, I am sure, most of the people of the world. This was a barbaric, cowardly act perpetrated against innocent civilians. I hold the people who are responsible for it in the lowest regard. The images I saw of New York today will stay in my mind for the rest of my life.


However, just as disturbing as the images I saw today in New York were the images I saw of people celebrating the attack. (And if you think all the people celebrating the attack are outside of the US, you are mistaken.)


Why? Why this hatred of the US? Well (and I fully expect to get slammed here), part of it is due to the haphazard and inconsistent way US foreign policy is applied. Why is respect for borders such a huge issue when it comes to Iraq but not when it comes to the occupied territories of Northern Cyprus and Israel? Why are human rights abuses in Iraq a big deal, but largely ignored when they occur in East Timor, Africa or Asia Minor. Why has the US allied with despotic regimes if we are supposed to be the representatives of democracy? Remember that the US had no problem given aid to Saddam or Bin Laden as long as they acted in our "interests."


I think a lot of people abroad are much more critical of the often contradictory nature of US foreign policy than we Americans think. I'm not just talking about the citizens of Iraq and Iran. The recent riots at the G7 summit and discord at the UN racism conference show that there are plenty of people in the 3rd world who are opposed to US policy.


More than going after the terrorists (which at this point is inevitable IMO), I believe that the US should take a good look at how it uses its international power. What kind of nations and regimes we are giving support and weapons to? Are we working to eliminate human rights abuses only in those countries which we consider out of favor? Do we try our very best to see that the principles of UN charter are upheld in all situations, not only those where it is favorable to us our allies?


All comments appreciated, but try to keep the "lefty", "pinko", "socialist, and "commie" cracks to a minimum. /images/smile.gif

09-11-2001, 09:25 PM
I don't believe we should structure our foreign policy to please every third-world fourth-rate nation or appease left-wing protesters. However, we do have an obligation to act in a moral way. In the Cold War we had both an overriding concern and an easy out when it came to some of our actions. Certainly not all of our actions were justified or supportable. We now display inconsistency or hypocricy in our dealings with certain places, most notably China. Why do we trade with China and not Cuba? No real reason I suppose, except it is worse to make China mad I guess. I am on the right wing in general, but recognize that many who tend to agree with me on various issues don't advance a consistent or moral philosophy. I think the same is true on the left. If we start doing what most of us can agree is right, that might be a start.

09-11-2001, 09:40 PM
High Desert Poker man wrote:

"I don't believe we should structure our foreign policy to please every third-world fourth-rate nation or appease left-wing protesters."


Not to criticize you but this is exactly the kind of attitude many people dislike Americans for. For the most part many of us do consider other countries "fourth-rate" and treat them as such. What happened today was uncalled for though but we need to reevaluate the role we have in the world.

09-11-2001, 10:23 PM
"just as disturbing as the images I saw today in New York were the images I saw of people celebrating the attack... Why this hatred of the US? Well (and I fully expect to get slammed here), part of it is due to the haphazard and inconsistent way US foreign policy is applied."


I agree, with an emphasis on the word "PART of it..." I think much of the hatred is attributable to irrational scapegoating supported by religious leadership and dogma.

09-11-2001, 11:37 PM
From "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson:


"The term 'blowback,' which officials of the Central Intelligence Agency first invented for their own internal use, is starting to circulate among students of international relations. It refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people. What the daily press reports as the malign acts of 'terrorists' or 'drug lords' or 'rogue states' or 'illegal arms merchants' often turn out to be blowback from earlier American operations.


Even an empire cannot control the long-term effects of its policies. This is the essence of blowback. Take the civil war in Afghanistan in the 1980s in which Soviet forces directly intervened on the government side and the CIA armed and supported any and all groups willing to face the Soviet armies. Over the yeras the fighting turned Kabul, once a major center of Islamic culture, into a facsimile of Hiroshima after the bomb. American policies helped ensure that the Soviet Union would suffer the same kind of debilitating defeat in Afghanistan as the United States had in Vietnam. In fact, the defeat so destabilized the Soviet regime that at the end of the 1980s it collapsed. But in Afghanistan the United States also helped bring to power the Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic movement whose policiese toward women, education, justice, and economic well-being resemble not so much those of Ayatollah Khomeinis Iran as those of Pol Pot's Cambodia. A group of these mujahideen, who only a few years earlier the United had armed with ground-to-air Stinger missiles, grew bitter over American acts and policies in the Gulf War and vis-a-vis Israel. In 1993, they bombed the World Trade Center in New York and assassinated several CIA employees as they waited at a traffic light in Langley, Virginia. Four years later, on November 12, 1997, after the Virginia killer had been convicted by an American court, unknown assailants shot and killed four American accountants, unrelated in any way to the CIA, in their car in Karacyi, Pakistan, in retaliation.


'Blowback' is a shorthand for sayng that a nation reaps what it sows, even if it does not fully know or understand what is has sown. Given its wealth and power, the United States will be a prime recipient in the forseeable future of all the more expectable forms of blowback, particularly terrorist attacks against Americans in and out of the armed forces anywhere on earth, including within the United States."

09-12-2001, 01:11 AM
Andy,


Although you and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, I believe your analysis here is right on. The policies of the Taliban in Afganistan are very close to pure evil. Yet it was an unintended and unforseen consequence of policies of a long ago era.


If I don't make any sense it is because this was a two martini night for me.


Regards.


Rick

09-12-2001, 03:35 AM
You want blowback? This is from the CBS News website:


...Bin Laden's group met earlier this year with the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian al-Gamma al-Islamiya "to put in place a common strategy against the United States," Middle East expert Antoine Sfeir noted Tuesday, citing European intelligence sources.


But if he is involved, bin Laden and his followers probably acted alone Tuesday, Sfeir said in Paris.


"Bin Laden is the one with the financial means and the human needs and the logistic means," Sfeir said.


Bin Laden came to prominence fighting alongside the U.S.-backed Afghan mujahedeen holy warriors in their war against Soviet troops in the 1980s.


But former friends and followers say he turned against the United States during the Gulf War, and began campaigning against America from Saudi Arabia.


Disowned by his family, bin Laden believed to be in his 40s is said to have moved in early 1996 with a band of followers to Afghanistan, where is allegedly operates several training camps.


....


Read that 4th paragraph again.

09-12-2001, 04:00 AM
Ho Chi Minh was another former ally of the United States who became bitter with the U.S. That didn't turn out well either.


It appears our track record is pretty bad in dealing with rebel factions of lesser developed nations.


Of course, lessening the blame for whoever did it because they may have had legitimate gripes would be like blaming your childhood for being a violent rapist. Too bad. You still get the chair.


natedogg

09-12-2001, 04:09 AM
""Lessening the blame for whoever did it because they may have had legitimate gripes would be like blaming your childhood for being a violent Rapist.""


No, no, no, this is not about legitimate gripes. No gripe is legitimate enough for that kind of barbarism. Even if the United States itself has been guilty of a barbaric act (it has, many times over), responding with barbaric acts like yesterday's bombings gets no excuse WHATSOEVER!


This is not about gripes. It is about NURTURING and NURSING and FEEDING the Rapist, because he keeps out the burglars. And then, when the burglars are gone, this is about being surprised and OUTRAGED that he turns around and rapes YOU.

09-13-2001, 10:59 AM
I haven't read the other responses.


People, individual people, seem to be able to live their lives immune to the effects of their own immorality. For them, karma has been suspended and what has gone around needn't come back around. Stalin was at least the second most heinous bastard of the past century (and arguably in first place), yet he lived his life to the fullest length and died in bed.


But large groups of people, like countries, do not seem to be able to escape the fate they form with their behavior. For this reason it was not only gratifying, but probably inevitable that the Axis lost the Second World War.


I think that morality, not expeditiousness and short-term advantage, should guide our decisions in the international arena. Sometimes the steps required by this philosophy are scary, even if they are right. Imagine the moral courage required if England and France had decided to follow their declaration of war upon Germany when that country invaded Poland from the West, with an identical declaration of war upon the USSR when that country invaded Poland from the East.


It would have been for moral reason that we should have thrown our support to Mao in the 1930s, not Chang, who was clearly no more than the principle warlord who'd placed himself in position as supreme exploiter. How different would the situation have been in China if Mao held fealty to the West instead of the Soviets at the conclusion of the great revolution.


Had we followed our pledge given to Ho Chi Min in 1944 by the OSS (predecessor of our CIA) to exclude France from post-war reoccupation of Indo China in exchange for Viet Minh attacks upon Japanese occupation forces, the people of Vietnam would have enjoyed popular self-government beginning in 1945. The cost would have been the alienation of the French who began separate negotiations with the Soviets and dropped out of NATO anyway. Benefits are obvious.


We clearly should not support regional leaders of dubious nature. Local potentates who are clearly despicable should be actively opposed. If we do anything else, history will come back to bite us in the ass.