Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Connecting the Dots...
John Sechrest wrote:
> C) The cause of terrorism has little to do with Iraq.
> So for me Iraq is just a symptom of a larger more
> complex pattern. Pruning the branch of one tree
> does not alter a forest.
> The roots of this problem are far bigger than one
> despot in one country
Ah. Yes. The roots are much larger, and the society we
have collectively engineered plays a role in that.
(Brings up thoughts of A Beautiful Mind, and the notion (01)
> Instead of cleaning up Iraq, my bet is that the end result
> is to create a more sophisticated terrorist network which
> goes underground for a long time, to re-emerge with worse
An important possibility that needs to be weighed carefully. (02)
> Given that in a recent international poll, the
> most dangerous country in the world had the following
> US - 84%
> korea - 7%
> Iraq - 8%
Fascinating. Who was polled, I wonder?
(Just kidding...) (03)
> Your short analysis leaves many things unsaid (since it is short).
> To nail down every piece of context would make it dramatically
> longer. And far too complex in some sense. Because it would
> make the understanding difficult.
> So.... the IBIS will have to have ways to establish context.
> and will have to have ways to abstract detailed arguments into
> smaller statments, but leaving the details available for deeper
Yes. Summary capability, retaining a connection to details,
is vital. (04)
> So, your argument by the choice of words, pulls a context with it,
I'll try to improve my choice of words. Sometimes its hard
to know in advance which ones are going to set people off. (05)
<generalizations ommitted> (06)
> Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of
> World War II, compiled by historian William Blum:
> China 1945-46
> China 1950-53
> Guatemala 1954
> Indonesia 1958
> Cuba 1959-60
> Guatemala 1960
> Congo 1964
> Peru 1965
> Laos 1964-73
> Vietnam 1961-73
> Cambodia 1969-70
> Guatemala 1967-69
> Grenada 1983
> Libya 1986
> El Salvador 1980s
> Nicaragua 1980s
> Panama 1989
> Iraq 1991-99
> Sudan 1998
> Afghanistan 1998
> And then
> Now for the question: In how many of these instances did a democratic
> government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result of the
Thanks for compiling that list. It has to count as a serious
counter argument, at least in my mind. (Maybe a historian could
prune it, but I certainly can't!) (07)
<generalizations ommitted> (08)
> There are many alternatives to War available.
> (Financial changes, food system changes, alliances with other countries, etc)
> all candidates for an "alternatives" discussion (09)
> No, it should not be sanctioned now:
> a) You do not have support of the rest of the UN
> b) You have alternatives that could get the same result
> if applied with persistance and patience
> c) with good diplomatic work, it would be possible to get
> better results than if you do things by force
> d) It would be cheaper to just pay the Iraqi people to do it
> (although that would be another philosophical debate about
> how appropriate that is)
> e) It is not just to inflict hundreds of thousands of casualties
> on a population because you don't like thier government.
Wow. "you", rather than "we".
That's probably not a good indicator wrt the discussion. (010)
> We can not afford to let our instincts be our guide for
> how we solve problems, when the use of the tools that we have
> can be fatal to everything on the planet.
Ah. A return to "we". (011)
> In the worst case, he dies of old age. How old is he now? 55?
> What 20 more years of saddam and then it is done anyway?
Could be an important point, if we can manage an adequate
quarantine in the meantime. (012)
> b) I believe that active altering of our relationsips with the islamic
> world can arrange for them to take more responsibility for the
> actions of Iraq.
Interesting option. (013)
> c) I believe that constructive engagement, like we have done
> the last 20 years in China is far safer than
> an isolationist, confrontational approach.
Hmmm. Again, though, it is the weapons/terrorist combination
that must be considered, not a single geographical entity. (014)
> d) Let the inspections continue, they are making progress
With cooperation, they would even be sufficient. Without it,
it's a game in which we hope we're better than they are. (015)
> I saw this on another list, so I am assuming that it is common
> knowlege being discussed elsewhere.
Great. Thanks. (016)
> % > How many people died in Bpol because of a gas leak?
> % Not sure what you're alluding to here.
> The Union Carbide chemical plant in Bpol India had something like 7000
> people die because of a chemical leak from a tank.
Ah, yes. Not to mention Exxon. (017)
> Why are people willing to die for this terrorist idea in
> the first place?
Anger, youthful idealism, no hope for a personal future, and the
chance to become a hero to the cause and turn your family into
> Address that root cause and terrorism goes away.
Good idea. (019)
> It was a plea for perspective. Terrorism as expressed so far is far
> less dangerous than many of the things we do everyday.
Ah. Ok. I see that now. (020)
> Some Effective alternatives would be:
> a) Convince the Egyptians, Syrians, Turks and Afgahni that
> this is thier problem.
> b) Work to change the distribution of resources, so that
> people do not feel a need to fight against the US.
> c) Change US foriegn policy to be focused on long term stability
> for the planet.
> d) Engage in an energy policy that removes the middle east
> from being part of our resource stream. (Hydrogen is viable)
> e) Engage in a world population plan that reduces demand on resouces
> so that less of the world is impoverished.
> These things attack the problem, not the symptom.
Cool. Alternatives! (021)