Screw Justice

I would just like to state, for the record, that I sincerely do not give a tinker’s damn whether or not “justice” is done in this matter. I could not possibly be less invested, whether it goes by the name justice, retribution, retaliation, vengeance, or anything resembling any of those words or ideas.

It would be nice to get * real * justice, but real justice is impossible. The closest we could get to real justice would be for the guilty, and ONLY the guilty, to be found unequivocally so in an American or World court, and appropriate punishment meted out. (The definition of which is debatable. The majority would, it’s virtually guaranteed, come down on the side of death. How unsatisfying… but that’s a different subject) Additionally, real justice would demand that every nickel in the possession of the guilty would be seized and split according to need among the living victims and the survivors of the deceased victims

This will never, ever happen.

The most pressing and important consideration at this point should be prevention. Security. Making sure, as much as we can, however we can, that this doesn’t happen again.

In so far as the government’s military actions are directed specifically to that end, I’m for it. Anything and everything else, don’t be doing it my name. Particularly if seeking justice * in any way * runs counter to the more important goal of seeking security, or if, in the process of seeking justice, we are committing injustices of our own (which we have almost certainly already done). It kinda cancels it out, ya know?

Just had to get that off my chest.

stoid

I don’t suppose you have any evidence for your parenthetical there, do you?

Well, the Taliban are claiming the deaths of women and children, which is to be expected. But it is hardly logical to believe that we can be dropping bombs for hours and hours in the capital city and not have harmed an innocent, or won’t soon enough.

My point, though, in case you might have missed it, was that the injustices we might (will) end up committing will be, IMHO, “forgivable”, for want of a better term, if they are in pursuit of self-defense. We have a right to defend ourselves. We shouldn’t abuse that right and lightly undertake the killing of innocents, but we can’t hamstring ourselves to avoid it, either.

However, this same behavior, when it is undertaken in the name of “justice”, is not acceptable. Two wrongs and all that.

stoid

I think that is part of the reason that “infinite justice” got canned.

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With
them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our
God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with
the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their
wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring
the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their
little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports
of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee
for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their
lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the
white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source
of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble
and contrite hearts. Amen.

-excerpt from “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain

Agreed. If we want to accomplish that, we must do the following:

  1. Incapacitate Bin Laden’s organization. It’s not enough just to get Bin Laden himself - it’s almost certain that there’s someone ready and willing to take his place.

  2. Remove the Taliban from power. They have bees harboring and supporting Bin Laden and his friends for quite some time, and they have openly condoned attacks against the US. They are almost as much our enemy as the terrorists themselves. As long as terrorists have safe haven in Afghanistan, we will never be safe.

So, because the cowardly Taleban hide themselves among women and children, we are being unjust in the extermination of this threat to all humanity.

Your reasoning does not stand up. The only injustice is that our fighting men and women have to bear such an insult as yours.

Come on, Zenster, are you going to try and argue that

a) All the members of the Taliban are walking down the street with a phalanx of burka’d mothers and barefoot babies, just to make sure that same are killed along with them? Are they supposed to be gathering together in some field on top of a big target so we can kill them cleanly, and if they fail to do that they are cowards?

b) That is is JUST to kill innocents? It is * never * just to kill innocents. Sometimes it happens in pursuit of self-defense or defense of others, that does not make it just or fair or righteous, and such deaths should be scrupulously avoided as much as we are able.

I haven’t insulted anyone, least of all “our fighting men and women” . I realize your sensitivity meter goes to 11, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn it up that high. It doesn’t really help.

And Boris, my love… I am familiar. I am fundamentally pacificistic. But I know that others are not, and it is difficult to protect oneself against others’ violent and agressive acts without indulging in a little violence of our own.

Should I take your quote to mean that you do not in any way, for any reason, support military action in Afghanistan? Do you not believe that the Taliban are deliberately and knowingly harboring and helping Osama and Co.? Do you not believe that Osama & Co. are responsible?

Really, Boris, I need to know where you stand!

Your Natasha

Hey Stoid what is the color of the sky in your world?

Laura Schlessinger pisses you off more than OBL. Talk about misplaced priorities. At least she didn’t kill thousands of people, and promise more to come.

As to trials: Nuremberg, etc. took place AFTER the war. Not before. Why do ask that OBL be found unequivocally guilty? That’s not even a standard of guilt in our own justice system.

Your position mystifies me. But as you say, you got if off your chest.

I didn’t say he didn’t piss me off, although I will say that anger is not what I’ve been feeling. Grief, horror, fear, sorrow, despair, etc. Not anger. I just don’t respond to situations like this with anger, I’m too busy crying.

As to priorities, I think mine are just fine. My priority is making sure that as few innocent people, starting with American people, suffer and die as possible, now and in the future. My point again… I think it is misplaced priorities to set aside all concerns about whether we are being fair or just in our response in our desire to get “justice” for what has been done to us. To my mind, that attitude destroys the very notion of justice for anyone.

And OBL is one man. He is not the whole shebang. By any stretch. But outside of him, we don’t know who is guilty.

stoid

Here’s a hypothetical proposition for you, Stoid.

Saddam Hussein has built an atomic bomb. It sits in its cradle waiting for the truck to take it to the airport in the next few hours. If it leaves this site we may lose track of it and never know its location again (until it is detonated). The laboratory for this purpose is intentionally located in the basement of a hospital or orphanage (your pick).

Do your moral compunctions prevent you from advocating that we immediately reduce this site to rubble with all of the innocent victims that Hussein slew as surely as if by his own hand?

Your answer please.

(These are the icky, nasty, horrible sorts of decisions that our military leaders have to make in the prosecution of a war. Do you think that they enjoy it? Do you think that they rub their hands in glee at the thought? Why don’t you try thinking it over as you read the list of evidence in the link below.)
By the way, we happen to know quite a lot about ObL and his cohorts. Please read this article.

Zenster, are you actually reading my posts? Because if you were, starting with the first, you wouldn’t be asking that.

stoid

Now I agree with you. How could I not? I would add that I think that the U.S. is taking great pains to avoid civilian casualties. However, the complete 100% avoidance of civilian casualties is just not possible. We even took great pains to avoid civilian casualties in the Gulf War, but of course they happened anyway. My point is that we are not setting aside all concerns of the fairness and justness of our response. This is a long-term commitment we have undertaken. We have to win the “hearts & minds” of the ordinary citizens as well as destroy terrorist organizations of their ability to wage war against us. This is going to be a very delicate, difficult job. I really don’t envy the the soldiers, the politicians, the diplomats and the officials who have to iron out all these problems and make the hard decisions.

Stoid:

A voice, crying in the wilderness.

I am not quite a pacifist. I believe that violence is acceptable when defending yourself or defending another. Indeed, if violence is neccesary to protect the defenseless, violence becomes a moral necessity. These circumstances in real life are exceedingly rare.

Violence is the most personal action possible, it makes an absolute statement. In fact, I believe (or perhaps feel is closer to the truth) that violence is more personal than sex. I abhor impersonal sex, I believe it corrodes the spirit, and degrading the Spirit is the only possible definition of sin. Impersonal violence is far worse.

I believe that the unthinkable is the truth: our vast military power is useless, under these circumstances. We cannot strike back without committing the very crime we seek to redress. I would rather we suffer an atrocity than send our children to commit one.

Security? Alas, Natasha, it is not to be. But it never was, was it? What I fear most of all is that the men who want a wider war, to finally “settle things” once and for all, will prevail. Pray for Colin Powell.

If I believed, or could even convice myself, that military power would grant us security, I would support it without compunction. I do not believe that. Hatred is the fire that threatens our home, all we have is gasoline. And the cry is “We have to do something!”

There is this bit of hope: if we were truly surrounded by enemies, we would already be used to this. It isn’t much, I know. But we are in a very real danger of throwing even this away, to achieve justice and security, and we will gain neither.

PS: nip over to the Democratic Underground site, for a conspiracy about covering up the Gore victory in Fla, in the name of “national security”

Memories of a happier time.

I’m not hip to the Democratic Underground, can you give me a link?

I can’t tell you how it warmed my heart to see Gore for even a few moments a week or so ago. And I miss Bill so much I can taste it.

I fear that you may be right about what you say, which was part ofmy point. The OP was addressing motive, not the actions themselves. I completely disagree with any motive that smacks of “delivering justice”.

By the way, did you hear that we’ve informed the UN security council that gee, we might end up having to bomb a few other countries, too. Just giving them a head’s up.

Sigh…

Terrorists, by and large, do not like observers, since it rather limits the whole ‘terror’ aspect if you know when an attack is coming and in what form it will be. As such, it is a pretty fair conclusion that the camps are not located in the middle of cities, nor are they located deep in caves. They are hidden, in plain sight, in the expanse of the desert. Once located, military power is the best, and indeed, the only way of annihilating them. It is not likely, considering the attitudes of these extremists types towards women, that they are going to have entire families present. The likelihood of civilian casualties when striking these locales is minimal, if it exists at all (and if it does exist, it is probably due to the fact of the civilians being used as human shields). It is a generalization at best to imply that military action is tantamount to civilian casualties.

**

If that is what you’d rather have happen, I am certain terrorists would be more than happy to accommodate you.

The sad truth is that civilians have not had any semblance of safety during wartime since the Second World War. “Total war” is an ugly concept, but the reality is, that’s how wars are fought now. Certain governments (e.g., the U.S.) do make a valiant attempt to limit civilian casualties, but the nature of war being what it is, it is impossible to be 100% certain that the bullets (or bombs) only hit the “bad guys”. Just as we U.S. citizens are not safe during this war, neither, unfortunately, are the Afghani civilians. The major difference, of course, is that our military is not activley targetting them.

Pacifism may well work to change internal policy, but it does not work in the international arena, especially when there are elements who do not place the same value on life that we like to think we do.

And, as a nod toward the OP, it is my opinion that this war is not about justice; it is about national defense.

But it won’t defend us. Terrorists don’t even need training camps. When did the Sept. 11th terrorists ever fire a gun? Or jump a fence? Or army-crawl?

All the planning that went into this coud have just as easily been performed in a dark room. In the US, even.

I agree that it’s important to catch Osama. I agree that it’s important to get rid of the Taliban. But not important enough to bomb them.

Excellent. I don’t think anyone disagrees with that.

Errm… this is the only way to catch OBL. He won’t come if we just call his name.

There seems to be a confusion here, and one that a lot of people are making. It is not true that “it won’t defend us”; I think you mean that “it won’t defend us against jets slamming into towers”.

Fine, so getting rid of the training camps may not have stopped the hijackings, but the fact is that it will stop crazed fanatics being indoctrinated against Western values whilst being trained in warfare to help the fight against us. Stopping the means of training hostile armies sounds like pretty solid defence to me.

Besides, I don’t think the aim of the war is to ruin the training camps and then come home again. The aim is to capture or kill OBL and his followers, so that he cannot strike again.

I think that Stoid is saying that defence is necessary, but that doing justice is acceptable as long as it really is justice and not revenge. She also seems to say that whilst she doesn’t want war, she can see that here it may be necessary.

Can’t argue with that. (Sorry if I am putting words into your mouth, Stoid.)

I don’t know if that’s true. There may be many willing, but few able to lead as he does. And there are very few indivduals, let alone terrorists, that have the kind of resources he has.

Oh, Christ on a pogo stick . . . did it ever occur to you that if the Clinton administration had taken actions in the first place which were even remotely effective against terrorism generally and Bin Laden specifically, we probably wouldn’t be in this position now? You may have noticed that, on Clinton’s watch, Bin Laden managed to be responsible for the first WTC bombing, the attack on the Cole, and the destruction of two of our embassies. Yeah, that’s what we need is more of the same. :rolleyes: