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#41541 - 09/17/01 11:03 AM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
Bush declares this to be war... a resolution passes Congress which reads like Tonkin Gulf... an ultimatum is now in place to the Taliban...

(fill in the blank)


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#41542 - 09/17/01 12:15 PM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
I suppose at this point my own feeling is we should recognize the act as an act of war; action it as a crime; try it at The Hague; improve security, espionage, etc. Mourn, rebuild, move on.

And that we should consider reconsidering and not consider learning from all this to be handing a victory to the enemy. I suppose we, as a nation, have a tremendous lot of soul searching to do.

Please, please. No more devastation. Please.


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#41543 - 09/17/01 01:16 PM These discussions
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
I just wanted to convey my appreciation of what I've been reading in this and related threads here, even though I've nothing useful to contribute. It is a kind of refuge to come here and read so many thoughtful insights. I'm still most often stuck in that dark place between mute numbness and overwhelming sadness, for the world in general and for those I knew and worked with who are still missing and presumably dead.


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#41544 - 09/17/01 01:33 PM Re: These discussions
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
mmm, glad to hear that - apologies to all that I have shot my mouth of so much, though, but I have really appreciated the opportunity to trade different perspectives with you-all.

and BTW, confirming the impression of one or two perhaps, I notice this visit to the thread carries my number hehhehheh


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#41545 - 09/17/01 03:40 PM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
Capital Kiwi Offline
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Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
The difficulty I have is with the term "war" - and apologies if this has already been discussed and I've missed it. This is actually word-related. Hmmm.

As I understand it (and the lawyers among us may well correct me if I'm wrong), "war" can only exist between equals. Usually that's between nations. War, of course, has different levels and different words to describe those levels, depending on the context and intensity of the fighting. The American Heritage Dictionary, perhaps not the most authoritative of sources, says:

war (wr)
n.

A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.
The period of such conflict.
The techniques and procedures of war; military science.


I offer this as a source for my statement in the previous paragraph.

Anyway, I can well understand the Americans, and in particular, the politicians, characteristing the attacks as "war". Certainly, the scale of the attack was such that it didn't appear to be too much of an exaggeration on Tuesday, and I didn't give it's use a moment's thought. Like everyone else, I was too bound up in the acts and their aftermath to consider the implications of what was being said, particularly with regard to the semantics. And even now, I feel that America's leaders were entitled to use whatever terms they liked at that time.

But I think that we now have to step back a little. Unless a nation state was the proximate cause of the attacks - or substantively knew that they were being planned and failed to act to stop them - America really can't "go to war" with the perpetrator. Seeking to bring bin Laden to justice - whether through the transnational judicial system as represented by the World Court or through the somewhat less problematic, in this instance, US courts, is not an act of war. It is merely enforcing justice, using the word loosely. If the CIA is used to get bin Laden "with extreme prejudice" then the word "war" really can't be used in that context either. That is merely state-sponsored terrorism. I'm reminded of stones and glasshouses.

It may be that the US will choose to declare war on Afghanistan, although (a) I don't think that's very clever, and (b) Colin Powell seems to agree with me (he must read my emails).

I think it's about time that the mixed signals being sent through the misuse of emotive words like "war" should be sorted out. A "war against terrorism" is fine, but for America to be talking about entering into a war in the formal sense is ... what, overstating the case, somewhat?

As usual, for what it's worth, or not.

_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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#41546 - 09/17/01 04:00 PM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
Hyla Offline
addict

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 544
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I completely agree with CapK's difficulty in using the term "war" to describe the situation we find ourselves in, as I too feel it conveys a sense of equals, or at least entities of the same category, in conflict. I desperately want to continue believing that the US is categorically different from a terrorist organization, and that we will not begin carpet-bombing Afghanistan in retaliation for the attacks here.

I keep seeing in my mind's eye the image of Bush and a bunch of US troops leaping into the saddle, charging off to war, and then casting about to find which way they need to ride to find the enemy, as the traditional field of battle appears to be empty. I have no easy answers, but I definitely feel that we need to tread very carefully here, as we're defining a new kind of conflict, and I don't want that definition to include tacit acceptance of the idea that it's okay to shoot from the hip because we're pissed off.

I never expected to be so pleased to have a military man in the role of Sec'ty of State, but it gives me hope to think that Powell, in addition to reading CapK's e-mails, can draw on his own experience and see that waging war on Afghanistan (or Iraq, or others on the list of possibles CapK described earlier) is not the answer here.

As a final thought in this hylarchic jumble, I'd like to commend mav, BobY and TEd for a civil argument over very contentious points, and for keeping this forum a haven of peace in a world where it may become scarce for a time.


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#41547 - 09/17/01 09:23 PM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Amen, Hyla-chic--to ALL points you made.


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#41548 - 09/17/01 11:39 PM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
G.W. is so inspirational; first he likened the situation to a crusade, and now he's compared it to an old TV western: Wanted - Dead or Alive.


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#41549 - 09/17/01 11:39 PM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
<<A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.>>

If I might add a little pepper to the wurst. I believe, Cap (and perhaps just for the sake of being contentious) you have been seduced by the apparent meaning of the definition. The hint is in the "or," which is not exclusive and the answer is that the United States and Osama might each be party to a single conflict. According to the AHD, this need only be prolonged--whatever that means--et voila!


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#41550 - 09/18/01 01:15 AM Re: Remedy/response, terrorist attack Sep 11.
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
I still think that the use of "war" in this context is actually attributing a status to bin Laden - that of some kind of equal to the US capable of maintaining his side in a sustained conflict - which raises him somewhat above his real capabilities. Let's call it the Insel-Peter Principle.

The man may well be able to organise another attack of some kind, but I think that unless he can obtain BNC-type weapons it is unlikely to be as spectacular as the one last Tuesday. In that respect, at least, I think he's shot his bolt. To organise something like Tuesday's atrocity (and I have no difficulty with that word here) requires peace and quiet, and above all, US complacency. He'll be struggling to get that, won't he? You can't kick over a hornet's nest and expect the hornets to say "Oh, well, never mind".

_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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