Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Thinking about morality and the war and us and them and came up with something that is still coalescing:

To the people who think that Arafat is a more legitimate and representative leader than Sharon (then again these people think the same of Castro). How is it that Israel's leaders have elections and approval ratings while Arafat has a pistol on his hip?

As for the morality and propriety of the American people. Had 19 Americans been directly responsible for the murder of 3,000+ Saudis or Egyptians: Would either of those governments have told their people to understand that the constant hatred and threats may have played a role in the attacks and that maybe they should reconsider their stances before condemning Americans? Would there have been open discussions on TV, Radio, in print and even within the government on how to respond? Would Americans still be free to come to and move about their countries? Would the Americans living there be free to come on TV to write articles or lecture in schools, in order to show the American side of the issues? Would Americans and their sympathizers be safe or would they have been shot, chained to trucks and their bodies dragged into squares where their corpses would be hung up and kicked by men women and children? Would thousands of Americans have gathered and burned Egyptian and Saudi flags, chanted "death to Saudi Arabia death to Egypt"? Would the most an American living in either of these countries had to fear from those governments been voluntary interviews and possible deportation if they were found to be here illegally? Would there have been a single paper in either of those countries that said on the front page that they should not rush to war and denunciation of America? Would there be Americans or natives from these places on TV or in print there saying that this act should not be cause to cast all Americans as evil and hateful?

When Europe tells us how to prosecute the War in Terror since they have been dealing with it for years. Should we hope that by listening we can achieve their status quo of the occasional car bomb, government official assassination or street violence? Should we take the example of how the Brits have dealt with IRA, the French with Algerians or the Spanish with the Basque separatists? The prison where IRA prisoners were kept was closed to any outside agencies or any kind of press until very recently. And look at Belfast. Now that our cities are a major target for terror, is that how our cities will have to look, because it would be improper to go to war? There is now talk of war crimes against the French generals in charge of suppressing Algeria. And the Basques in Spain have gotten no better.

Everyone who thinks that America's response is too much needs to remeber that we have to think first of what will ensure the continuation of our existence, not what will make the Middle East, Europe, Asia or Africa happy. They also need to accept that this is not a one dimensional war. There has been a great deal of other activity going on. Intelligence, financial and diplomatic.
"Beware the flawed premise". We, too often let people get away with it.

< email | 4/11/2002 03:17:00 PM | link

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