More than a few people are speaking out against the “rush to war” as a response to the WTC/Pentagon attacks. I have heard a lot of Christians especially saying that we had to expect this as a result of our foreign policy, and that we should respond non-violently, and so on.
Can I ask some pacifists or anyone who says that we should not be making a military response to the attacks to describe in detail what the response ought to be?
Please be as specific as you can. It seems that Osama bin Laden is reacting to what we did in the Gulf War instead of our policy towards Israel, which is the only thing I have ever heard people say we should change instead of invade Afghanistan.
What exactly would you say we should do, and what effect will it have? Again, please be as detailed and specific as possible. By this I mean “we should cut off all foreign aid to Israel until the PLO tells us they are behaving” rather than “we need to seek the higher path of transcending violence”.
I will do that as soon as one of the people that advocates a violent reaction will describe in detail what our response ought to be.
What exactly would you say we should do, and what effect will it have? Again, please be as detailed and specific as possible. By this I mean “we should invade Kabul on the night of the fifteenth with thirteen units and a brigade of Navy SEALs, set up bases in this part of Pakistan, send thirteen missiles into these specific targets in Afghanistan and fly military surveillence over Iraq” rather than “we need to eliminate terrorism and seek retribution for what has been done”.
The hawks are just as clueless as the doves regarding what should actually be done about this one. Considering that we don’t even have access to solid proof about who did it, neither group really has nothing to cling to beyond ideologies. It is ridiculous to critisize one group for not having all the answers when the other group is just as guilty.
I think some of these people simply don’t want there to be a large scale, multi-country WAR that will make more problems than it solves and put everything else good in the world on hold. I have no problem with going in, grabbing all those responsible, and putting them through some good old mid-evil torture and execution drills. It is not a good idea to invade/conquor/and reform every country that a terrorist has set foot in. Ask anyone who has lived through a real long term, full-scale war what it accomplishes, and you’ll see why they want to avoid it. The few people who think we should execute anyone and everyone who comes from the middle-east are just as far out in left field as those few who think we should sit down in a circle, hold hands, and hope the problem just goes away without lifting a finger.
I prefer to think of such extremeists (on both sides) the way I think of physcic hotlines: “Responses from either side are for entertainment puroses only!!” My advice is to not let the opinions of those who are obviously a few cans short of a six-pack ruin your day :).
Not to be contentious, but I would say that Bush is taking specific actions - preparing for military strikes against the Taliban, demanding that they hand Osama bin Ladin over for trial, building an anti-terrorism coalition, rebuilding NYC and the Pentagon, upgrading airport security, working to assist the airlines thru this particular difficult period when public confidence is in the crapper.
So the hawks are being detailed and specific in their plans to combat terrorism.
If even sven wants a detailed military schedule, I think that is a little silly to request. If anyone can provide a plan not involving military action that has a comparable level of detail to what I am reading in the newspapers, I would be grateful.
What I am looking for is some reasonable alternative to what is being proposed - one that is more specific than “we need to find a third path”. Fine - what exactly is on the third path, and where is it headed?
As I said, I am trying to be fair minded about this. Some of the opposition to Bush’s plans seems to be coming from people who don’t like anything he does because he is a Republican, and who are prepared to condemn anything and everything the US does. I am discounting this kind of knee-jerk reaction in the same way I am discounting those who say “nuke the ragheads”. I would be very interested, however, in any thoughtful plans with clear goals and concrete actions, that can be seen and evaluated. That is what I am looking for, if any such exists.
Any takers? Or is it really all “let’s hold hands and send positive energy towards the whole world instead of all this negativity” stuff?
I’ll bet you’re not holding your breath waiting for THAT answer.
I posit that there is no “third path” – any possible U.S. response, followed to full resolution, has to mix military action with peace inititatives.
Militarily-executed extractions and manhunts are the beginning of solving the immediate terrorist problem. After all, the threats that currenty exist will continuously attempt to derail any immediate peaceful overtures.
After the coast is thus forcefully cleared, peaceful mop-up measures like nation-building and Marshall-Plan-type assistance can be instituted.
As the OP stated, any ‘doves’ feel free to jump in with a solution any time now…
In the meantime:
If you’re in a marriage, and your spouse has decided that they’re through, that they have no interest in talking to you, and that the only way that they will be happy is if you’re gone, then there is little to be gained by trying to communicate with them. I would love to hear where the Taliban or any group that has heavy terrorist involvement has every attempted to talk things out diplomatically. To attempt diplomacy indicates a desire on BOTH parties to reach an agreement, which itself implies that while both parties have an interest, they are willing to concede in other places. The actions of terrorists do not, IMO, indicate a willingness to talk.
I do not mean to imply that this is easy, but please consider what would have happened during the 60’s if people seeking equal rights had turned fully to terrorism. Though this is WAY out of my area of expertise, IIRC the Black Panthers were a militant group that was not above violence to force the establishment to recognize their demands. How successful were they really? MLK, Jr. and his movement of non-violence are given the lion’s share of the credit for the ground won for Civil Rights - They were able to achieve what they did because they never gave the Government a reason to use violence, and any aggression that the government (or other groups) showed merely strengthed the moral high-ground of MLK’s movement. However, encarcerating members of the Black Panthers, whatever the political motivation, also had a pragmatic rationale as well: the Government has a responsibility to ALL of its citizens to keep the streets safe, to discourage vandalism and physical assault.
The extremist elements have not indicated a desire for peaceful solution. They have indicated a willingness to cause death and destruction, to assault us. Whatever the root reasons, we have no obligation to ‘turn the other cheek’, and in fact, such action will not bring a solution. And in fact, we have an obligation to ourselves to prevent further attacks. If they wished a peaceful solution, then there were alternatives to the WTC attacks. Their actions give the lie to any desire on their part for peaceful agreement.