very good research Piper, I’ll have to concede
that cluster bombs, while immoral, are not
illegal. ( I got my information from a Houston anti-war
group. I realized once you retorted that other facts
I read from them felt a bit dubious. Which does not
change my position on the war one iota, I just should
be more selective on where I cite).
I still don’t see how you can consider this war self-defense, however. Yes, we were attacked. Killing civilians is reprehensible. And while the attacks were cunningly and patiently planned, and ultimately successful. But I highly doubt the US government ever thought that the Al Qaeda was/is equipped enough to disable the government. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be attacked, no doubt.
But don’t just heal the symptoms, heal the cause. We have been playing god with other countries for as long as we’ve been a nation. Check out our track history with countries like East Timor, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Iraq, and most recently Colombia and Afghanistan. There is a reason that other countries vehemently hate us.
I’m a pacifist, so I will instinctively look for alternatives to war. They are always there, but admittedly often times more difficult. I see a fault in logic when we begin a war because our civilians were attacked and ultimately do the same thing. The Al-Qaeda is not the Taliban. The people living in Afghanistan are not necessarily the Taliban. Just the same in Iraq (this was touched on lightly in the movie “Three Kings”), we try to get back at Saddam (definitely a ruthless dictator) but instead of doing anything effective to get him out of office, we end up killing people who want Saddam out of office as much as we do. Heinously, I might add.
Yes, if we had attacked on 9/12, we’d be called “cowboys” or whatever term was used. I agree. And I definitely never supported any action entailing military retribution on 9/12. But although we waited a few weeks to attack, I don’t think there was ever any serious alternative to the US government other than military retribution.
As to how it pertains to “self defense.” I realize the fault in my analogy now: say a man breaks into your house and hits you. before self defense (in murder) can be morally justified, I think there must be meditation on the full extent of the situation. In the case I mentioned, it is more or less instantaneous. You think either; ‘this guy has a gun or is really big or seems to have intentions to kill me.’ Your life must be threatened, in other words. Or you think, ‘while this guy was able to get into my house and hit me while I was off guard, he doesn’t seem to be a threat to my life. I simply need to detain him until authorities arrive.’
When talking about countries and the implicit complications with such large scale dealings, the instantaneous second it may take you in a one-on-one confrontation might take weeks in large scale events. With that sidenote to the analogy, I think the US purposefully never thought, “hey I can detain this guy.” Rather, “how will I kill this guy was the only question.” Especially when you consider that if you keep true to the analogy, the person whose home was invaded (US) had to be breaking into several other homes in the neighborhood and raping and killing; there seems to be a great deal of momentum leaning to the fact self-defense is not justified in the issue.
so yes, I admit that there was a huge sidenote to my analogy, and it is no surprise that it was picked apart as so. but, analogy aside, I don’t see how anyone with a good grasp of recent history (from a world perspective rather than simply an american perspective) can say that we aren’t terrorists of the world. In fact it is safe to say that we are bigger terrorists than any other country in the world (not organization, mind you- there are some screwjobs out there). our embargoes and our interventions are much worse than the WTC bombings…I’d put them on par with the Holocaust.
I was asked for citation on my statement that tens of thousands have died from indirect consequences of the bombings.
The WFP (World Food Program) raised its estimate of people starving in Afghanistan from 6 million to 7.5 million within two weeks of the bombing. Plus, the war danger coupled with the fact that the US demanded Pakistan seal its border with Afghanistan has led the WFP and other humanitarian aid organizations to suspend delivery of food to the country. The highly reported US food drops were a joke. The US dropped 37,000 individually wrapped packages of food from the sky. A charity active in Afghanistan told the Londan Independent that random food drops are perhaps the worst possible way of delivering food aid. “They cause more problems than they solve.” I’m sure you heard about food drops into mine fields…
While there is no accurate proof on how the US war on terrorism has impacted the starving in Afghanistan, even the most conservative of estimates put deaths into the thousands. The estimate that I heard putting it into the tens of thousands was presented by the ISO (International Socialist Organization) which has access to the world press and is under high enough scrutiny that they are deliberate with their dissemination of facts. Just like Iraq (again), embargoes and wars which cause de facto embargoes from charity organizations only hurt the poor civilians in a country. The independently wealthy (Al Qaeda and Saddam) are not effected to the point of starvation or other consequent death.
I really want to get into US intentions here, to further illustrate my point, but I think that is for another thread. So please, tune in for: “Oil and Afghanistan” …coming soon.