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  Enginery of War
Social Justice Posted by Xnoubis on October 08, 2001 @ 10:37 PM
from the bomb-of-Gilead dept.

The dove in me is sad and concerned. There's also a voice inside me that I don't even recognize, saying things like, "Moral quandries aside, what a feat it would be to achieve a military victory in Afghanistan!" Huh? Where did you come from?

Before I go numb entirely, there's a brief article at Salon that says some of the common sense things that I think need saying.


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    Re: Enginery of War
    by Fra THA;M on Monday October 08, @11:47PM
    "The article states,

    "...The only argument against military action worth taking seriously (the knee-jerk anti-Americanism of some ossified thinkers on the Left is not worth refuting) is that the cure will be worse than the disease."

    Disgusting. I have another quote to compliment this one nicely,

    "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -HERMANN GOERING

    Perhaps not being a citizen of your country affords me a little more objectivity, perhaps not. We here are getting sucked into this as well, with a promise of military aid (what little we have).

    Fra THA;M

    • Re: Enginery of War
      by Xnoubis on Tuesday October 09, @07:00PM
      I wouldn't have put it that way myself, but I think there is a point there, in that many of the anti-war arguments made against American military actions of the past don't apply in the same way in the wake of an attack on American soil.


      • Re: Enginery of War
        by Zarathustra on Wednesday October 10, @02:20AM
        ". . . many of the anti-war arguments made against American military actions of the past don't apply in the same way in the wake of an attack on American soil."

        Do list some of these arguments. The only one I can think of is "They never attacked American soil."

        Plently of anti-war arguments remain. Such as:

        >innocents die

        >terrorism not extinguished

        >Islamic world pissed

        >root problems of region not addressed

        >unfair, in that other states that use terror or do other crimes against humanity are left alone

        >international mechanisms of conflict resolution ignored and thus undermined

        >larger risk of future terrorist attacks (I want a vaccination for anthrax, personally)

        >re "nation-building" in Afghanistan: really bad track record for US "humanitarian" interventions (Somalia, Kosovo, Haiti)

        Seriously want to discuss this. I want to solve the problems too, and be safe.


        • Re: Enginery of War
          by Xnoubis on Wednesday October 10, @01:12PM
          The difference for me, anyway, is that I can easily see insufficient force on our part as leading to greater harm. In terms of achieving world peace, I've always wanted the U.S. to do a complete turnaround in its policies towards the Middle East. But the 9/11 attacks, which were made possible by U.S. policy, change things.

          That the world now resembles a prison yard is due largely to our aggression. But here we are in the prison yard, and our gang has just been struck by another gang. We want to break out of the prison yard mentality, which is where I agree with the peace activists of the world. But I'm not convinced that the best route for us to achieve that at the present time is to immediately tell the other gang, "Oh, now we see why you're upset. Let's work together to make things better." That could easily be seen as an invitation for all the other gangs in the yard to come in and kill us. We should work together to make things better, but some amount of force may well be necessary at this point, too.

          There's a balance somewhere. As far as I can see, we don't really know where we are in relation to the proper balance, because we're not being told everything. The difference between an appropriate response and a caveman power play would lie in the details. Either one could be happening right now for all we know; it would all look the same on CNN.

          A good test will be where the U.S. government goes with the idea of continuing this battle in other countries. If we go into Iraq, say, and abandon the international coalition, then we're clearly in caveman country. On the other hand, it would be crafty of us to state that we want to enter Iraq as an initial position, and then "settle for" an Arab-led strike force destroying Iraqi terrorist bases (and continuing to police Iraqi terrorist activity) in exchange for sanctions being lifted against Iraq. Iraq is made a safe part of the international community, the Arab world is given the appearance of a diplomatic victory against the U.S., everybody wins.


          • Re: Enginery of War
            by Zarathustra on Thursday October 11, @06:17PM
            >>"But I'm not convinced that the best route for us to achieve that at the present time is to immediately tell the other gang, "Oh, now we see why you're upset. Let's work together to make things better." That could easily be seen as an invitation for all the other gangs in the yard to come in and kill us.

            What?? How? If you mean more terrorist attacks, please recall that the terrorists KILLED THEMSELVES in the process of attacking. I don’t think the terrorists themselves are afraid of reprisals. This probably goes for a lot of their support networks as well.

            Are you saying that peaceful moves by the US now would INCREASE terrorist attacks? So far, not even the State Department has made that argument. Everyone I read -- INCLUDING Don Rumsfeld -- says the opposite, that attacking Afghanistan will increase our risk of terrorism.

            If you mean actual warlike attacks on US territory by Islamic countries – wait, you can’t mean that, because it’s a laughable idea.

            I am mystified your comments. What you think would be the “negative repercussions” of foregoing the bombing of Kabul to allow an international criminal tribunal to go after the terrorists?

            I want to step back a moment, as you did, to note that history is perverse, and that the consequences of actions, especially military ones, are next to impossible to predict, and I am no better than anyone else. But this fact, to me, argues in favor of a very conservative policy when it comes to lashing out and killing people.


            • Re: Enginery of War
              by Xnoubis on Friday October 12, @05:32PM
              Are you saying that peaceful moves by the US now would INCREASE terrorist attacks?

              Looking over the next, oh, 75 years or so, I think that an increase in terrorist attacks is inevitable no matter what we do. If we hit, they hit back. If we step back, they step forward.

              We're dealing with a situation that is, on one level, an animal territorial conflict. I think that we have to engage it on all levels, animal included. We have to shore up international law. We have to work towards a leap in consciousness. We have to encourage compassion and universal brotherhood. We have to develop economic models that reward cooperation. We have to emphasize the common ground among the world's religions. Also (and here is where our opinions obviously diverge) we have to kick some of them in the goonies. It's how we monkeys do things.

              What you think would be the “negative repercussions” of foregoing the bombing of Kabul to allow an international criminal tribunal to go after the terrorists?

              It would encourage the emergence of a much more widely-based war against the modern world by fundamentalist peoples. If we can develop a multi-lateral security force to enforce international law, an international criminal tribunal could have some effect. Of course, we'll need to have some sort of mechanism in place to make such a security force accountable, too. In the absence of that, we have a U.S.-led security force that is accountable to no one. And that's going to have to change.


              • Re: Enginery of War
                by Zarathustra on Saturday October 13, @11:29AM
                >>It [an international tribunal] would encourage the emergence of a much more widely-based war against the modern world by fundamentalist peoples.

                Why? How?

                Hmm - "fundamentalist peoples." Interesting expression -- care to clarify?

                If you mean radicalism within Islam:

                Getting people to go on suicide missions means convincing them that they are up against an implacable evil. This requires a broad-based opinion in society that the enemy is evil.

                While it is easy to get muslims pissed off by US domination, it is not so easy to rile them with the UN. The UN has supported, for example, Palestinian rights for years.

                My argument is: Less anger, less terrorism.

                But somehow you think that this kind of de-escalation would lead to more terrorism? That people would fling their lives into the void to challenge that dark Satan, Kofi Annan?


                • Re: Enginery of War
                  by Xnoubis on Sunday October 14, @03:48PM
                  fundamentalist peoples

                  It seems to me that the attacks of 9/11 were the expression of a conflict between the fundamentalist and secular worldviews. Although the secular worldview has its shortcomings, it can adapt to tolerate voluntary communities of fundamentalism. Fundamentalists are going to need to learn the ability to tolerate an emergingly secular world. There is a growing militant strain within the fundamentalist world that believes that the secular world can be eliminated by force. That belief should be dispelled, in terms understandable to militant people, as effectively as possible.

                  The secular world has been needing to treat the fundamentalist world with greater sensitivity for some time. 9/11 complicated that problem, and now we have to work towards greater sensitivity while taking actions that will inevitably be seen as antagonizing. But a military campaign that resulted in a restored, autonomous Afghanistan might eventually improve our stock in the Middle East, if handled carefully.

                  But somehow you think that this kind of de-escalation would lead to more terrorism? That people would fling their lives into the void to challenge that dark Satan, Kofi Annan?

                  No, I'm saying that a soft response on our part will encourage further aggression.


                  • Re: Enginery of War
                    by Zarathustra on Sunday October 14, @08:36PM
                    >>It seems to me that the attacks of 9/11 were expression of a conflict between the fundamentalist and secular worldviews.

                    I think we have a basic disagreement here. I think 9-11 was inspired by general disaffection for the US due to concrete acts and policies of the US, not because of our "secular world view." If our policies had been benign, there would have been no problem with the secular West.

                    However, our "secularism" is now a convenient lightning rod for bin Laden and other extremists, who want exactly the kind of West v. Islam conflict that is brewing.


                    >>No, I'm saying that a soft response on our part will encourage further aggression.

                    Please be specific. Agression of what kind, and from whom, attacking what, precisely? What countries attack us? If you refer to terrorism, do you think terrorism would accelerate under a UN-governed response?

                    It is frustrating for me to discuss this with you. Could you please try to answer in non-general terms? Because talking about vague "threats from somewhere" is not really useful, IMHO.


                    • Re: Enginery of War
                      by Xnoubis on Monday October 15, @05:20PM
                      I think we have a basic disagreement here.

                      Yes, I think this gets to the meat of it. What I see as the problem is that Western culture is becoming the dominant world culture, but without a lot of consideration for the cultures that are being subsumed. Many of the other cultures have either already been wiped out, or are helpless and docile. A few, fundamentalist Islam especially, are not helpless.

                      The U.S. policies on Israel, Iraq, etc., are the worst examples of this inconsideration for other cultures, but they're not the whole problem.

                      Aggression of what kind

                      Murder, kidnapping, war, terrorism

                      from whom

                      Angry members of cultures around the world that feel oppressed by Western culture. Much of the Islamic world, much of Africa (whether Islamic or not), maybe others.

                      attacking what

                      Western people and interests.

                      What countries attack us?

                      Unlikely to be countries.

                      If you refer to terrorism, do you think terrorism would accelerate under a UN-governed response?

                      If the UN could operate as the US is doing now, no. If the response is limited to sending in peacekeeping troups with restrictive rules of engagement, yes, I think it could be seen as a green light.

                      By the way, I don't know if you've seen the R.U. Sirius article at disinfo -- eh, the site's down (how could that ever happen [grin]), but it was called something like, "A Declaration of Deep Neutrality," and it seemed quite on target to me. He says that, for all he knows, a military response of some kind might be appropriate, but he doesn't trust the Bushies, so he's staying neutral.

                      That's an important point. I don't trust the Bushies, either. Some amount of what's happening is going to turn out to have been crooked. But I don't think that a military response to this situation is wrong in principle.


                      • Re: Enginery of War
                        by J. A. on Tuesday October 16, @10:35AM
                        >I don't think that a military response to this situation is wrong in principle.

                        It's possible that you've underestimated the enemy. On principle, a military response like the one Bush is conducting, is creating further hatred around the globe. America will be hated forever. Is that what you'd like to see happen? Remember the American Revolution? The British called 'em terrorists then. They got the shock of the century. Now America is outnumbered, and the only way they can win this war would perhaps be by nuclear weapons. Yet if it comes to that, a nuclear war will destroy the world. Is that what you guys want?

                        "BARA: A big tribal Jirga on on Sunday declared that eight million tribesmen would wage Jihad against American forces on the 1,600 kilometres long border with Afghanistan if it tried to start ground attack against the Taliban."

                        http://jang.com.pk/thenews/oct2001-daily/15-10-2001/national/n7.htm

                        American Govenment is full of liars. They said they don't occupy foreign countries, yet they've been stationed in Saudi Arabi for years, and have bombed Iraq every month since the Gulf War. Maybe someone should send them a dictionary with the term 'occupy' highlighted. Islam merely returned the favor and occupied America. We must reserve respect for the other side, for as you know, the tide can easily be turned against you. The AMerican admin. doesn't respect anyone. They just assume that since they have the greatest military force (bullshit!) that they can take on the world. Most of their technology they stole from the Nazis after WWII, who as we recall thought the same superiority allowed them a world victory.

                        Is there any qualified person in the US government? I think not. Are they philosophers or are they bullies? Methinks the latter. Thus, the US only has half what the Nazis had, and that aint much! The bluff doesn't split the pot.


                        • Re: Enginery of War
                          by Xnoubis on Tuesday October 16, @11:25AM
                          I disagree, obviously, but I wanted to voice my appreciation for a lucidly written post. Usually, I have no idea what you're trying to say.


                    • Re: Enginery of War
                      by Xnoubis on Tuesday October 16, @11:21AM
                      I thought of another analogy to illustrate where I'm coming from on this. Any analogy has to be limited in scope, since there really isn't anything to compare to the U.S.'s position in the world. Still, this might serve to demonstrate the general principle.

                      China, like the U.S., can be seen as an oppressor. One deeply held hope that I have is for a Tibet freed from Chinese oppression. But suppose that a charismatic Tibetan militant developed a well-organized underground network dedicated to overthrowing Chinese dominance, organized in, say, Indonesia, with direct ties to the Indonesian government. Suppose that this network vaporizes Tiennamin Square, killing thousands.

                      What I'm saying is, liberating Tibet now has to wait. China needs to overcome the militant network for the safety of its people wherever they are implicated in territorial disputes. We would be telling the Indonesian government to hand the Tibetan militant and his network over to the Chinese government. If Indonesia refused, we wouldn't stand in the way of a Chinese-led international coalition invading; we would probably offer as much military assistance as they wanted.

                      In this scenario, I would expect the Dalai Lama's Tibetan government-in-exile to support China's right to security, and get very quiet about asserting Tibet's right to autonomy for a decade or two.

                      Similarly, the U.S. has to step down from its role as Oppressor. This, I think, is where Bin Laden, Chomsky, you, and I all agree. Before 9/11, I think we all would have said, the sooner the U.S. stands down, the better. Now, I think things are different. We have a struggle before us that we can't afford to walk away from. We need to prevail in that struggle, as difficult as it seems now. The safest way for us to step down now is to encourage international cooperation in the formation of a global security system, and then start a global campaign for human and civil rights to counter-balance the global security state once we're on the other side of the crisis.

                      This is not the way I would have wanted things to happen, but circumstances have taken a marked turn for the worse.


          • Re: Enginery of War
            by Zarathustra on Thursday October 11, @06:20PM
            >>"But here we are in the prison yard, and our gang has just been struck by another gang."

            Kind of a shocking metaphor you’re using. I don’t think the world is really quite that bad. There is a range of civilized and non-civilized behavior that at the bottom end resembles a prison yard. We can choose to act on different levels.

            But let’s run with your “prison yard” metaphor for a moment:

            Imagine that the yard has a 300-pound badass jujitsu expert, who has as many knives himself as the rest of the yard combined. Everyone wants to be his friend because they’re very scared of him.

            Now, the scrawniest, puniest guy, who is a little retarded, is covered in fleas (actually, there are fleas on lots of inmates). Some of the fleas get on the badass, and give him a nasty infection – he is sick for a day.

            Now, sure, the badass can go beat up the scrawny guy.

            However, having beaten him up: Is the badass any less likely to get fleas?


            • Re: Enginery of War
              by Xnoubis on Friday October 12, @05:31PM
              We can choose to act on different levels.

              But we can err by acting on a level that is too rarified to engage the current situation.

              But let’s run with your “prison yard” metaphor for a moment

              Understandably, you've subtly redefined the components of my metaphor to suit your purposes. So I'll have to disengage from it, or it's going to get too baroque.

              You're saying that the difference in strength between the two sides makes a show of force on the part of the stronger side unnecessary.

              The trouble is, it's not a conflict between states, but between people. The difference in strength between a Westerner in a car and an agry fundamentalist with a club is not all that great.

              You're also saying that the real problem is between entities at different levels. Not "prisoner-to-prisoner," but "flea-to-prisoner."
              Since I was equating prisoners to people, not states, I would frame that as "prisoner-to-gangleader." (Oh, did I say I was abandoning the metaphor? Never mind.) Our gangleader does stuff the other gang doesn't like, their gang hits our gang. Say our gangleader apologizes. Does this make the prison yard safer for our gang? I hear you saying that it does, but that's not my experience of monkeys and their turf.


              • Re: Enginery of War
                by Zarathustra on Saturday October 13, @11:55AM
                >>But we can err by acting on a level that is too rarified to engage the current situation.

                I would say that bombing one country to somehow weaken an international conspiracy is a little "rarified."

                I used the metaphor: "using a hammer to attack mosquitoes." A Russian general who had served in Afghanistan, and who considers our attack futile, made a similar comment: "using a cannon to scatter sparrows." [for real - wish I could find the link for you]


                >>The trouble is, it's not a conflict between states, but between people. . .

                Between people? Between individual people? Are the pilots of our planes attacking Afg. as individuals?


                >>Since I was equating prisoners to people, not states, I would frame that as "prisoner-to-gangleader."

                My "flea" modification of your metaphor was quite pointed. We are definitely talking about actors at different levels. States are quite different from individuals or terrorist cells, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that an individual can run.

                No state attacked us, yet we, as a state entity, attack a state. This is a serious and unnecessary escalation of the conflict, which should have been kept at the level of the individual -- that is, at the level of criminal law.


                >> . . . their gang hits our gang.

                See, this is how we are playing into Bin Laden's hands. If we treat 9-11 as an attack by ALL Islamic fundamentalists - most of whom were horrified by 9-11, even if they thought the US had something coming - and attack them generally, then we shove them into Bin Laden's extremely radical position. Then it really is "our gang versus theirs," which is not a necessary or fruitful interpretation of the criminal 9-11 attack.

                This is in fact exactly what is happening. The entire Islamic world from Morrocco to the Phillipines is up in arms against us.


                >>Say our gangleader apologizes. Does this make the prison yard safer for our gang?

                Apology? When did I advocate that? I don't believe any kind of apology is necessary - just a policy change, of exactly the kind you have advocated in your posts (minus bombings).


                • Re: Enginery of War
                  by Xnoubis on Sunday October 14, @03:50PM
                  this is how we are playing into Bin Laden's hands

                  Bin Laden had us coming or going. If we attack, we're oppressors, and if we don't, we're cowards. He's forced the issue into the Mars level, if you will. I agree that the real solutions reside in the other levels. I just think that the Mars level has to be attended to, and that at this time we need to demonstrate that we are willing to act with strength against those who would oppose us.

                  Apology? When did I advocate that?

                  Then make that, "capitulate to the other gang's demands."


                  • Re: Enginery of War
                    by Fra THA;M on Tuesday October 16, @02:02PM
                    Have you ever entertained the notion that he is as sure of his moral highground as you are of yours? What absolute audacity of ego to assert that you, or anyone, can discern who is ethically right or wrong.

                    -On September 11, airplanes under orders from persons unknown smashed into the twin tower resulting in thousands of civilian deaths.

                    -On October 7, warplanes under orders from the US government began bombing Afghanistan resulting in unknown numbers of civilian deaths.

                    Same story, different tag lines. Let there be no difference between any one thing and another.


                    • Re: Enginery of War
                      by Xnoubis on Tuesday October 16, @02:08PM
                      Have you ever entertained the notion that he is as sure of his moral highground as you are of yours?

                      Moral highground? I don't see a moral highground here. I do see pragmatic necessity, though.


                      • Re: Enginery of War
                        by Fra THA;M on Tuesday October 16, @02:38PM
                        Pragmatic? Interesting. Pragmatism is an American invention from the last century and has been abused by Americans to defend their tyrannies. I guess its still used in that manner. Pragmatic philosophy should be buried along with William James.


                        • Re: Enginery of War
                          by Xnoubis on Tuesday October 16, @02:57PM
                          What's your problem with William James?

                          My point is, the American tyranny should be dismantled, but the WTC attacks complicate the timetable for the dismantling.


          • Re: Enginery of War
            by Sun Man on Sunday October 14, @12:01PM
            Dear Brother Xnoubis and All,

            Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

            . . . . Oh, I don't know which part of this thread to respond to first, but something you said definitely caught my eye, so I'll start here.

            That the world now resembles a prison yard is due largely to our aggression.

            I disagree with the sentence as a whole -- but that first clause trips me up so badly I can hardly get up to dust myself off and take a look around to see the bigger picture.

            So please allow me to iterate: I have lived in a prison yard, and I have lived in the world, and I can assure you, "the world" that I can see, hear, and live and breathe and walk around in, right as we are speaking, resembles a prison yard not in the slightest degree.

            The day the American military (I only avoid the first person collective "our" out of deference to the Beastbay's International readers) -- yes, the day "We" first dropped our GPS-guided bombs onto the few "high-value targets" in Afghanistan -- that day, I happened to be visiting the Castro Street Fair in San Fransisco, with a friend of mine who runs a jewelry booth. This also happened to be the first day, ever, that I openly smoked pot in front of a law enforcement officer.

            Granted, I was sitting at an open-air "Medical Marijuana" booth at the time -- but the fact remains that I had never availled myself of this particular "public service" before.

            I looked around and saw men holding hands with men, men holding hands with women, and women holding hands with women. Needless to say, everybody was dressed exactly as they wanted to be. Whether one prefers leather, speedoes, drag, conservative, retro, dirt-o-billy, or possibly-confused-and-quite-clearly-insane-Rabbi-on-Acid-with-a-braided-beard, or whatever else strikes one's fancy, we are truly living in a time and place where "Man has the Right to Dress as He Will."

            When the boys in blue -- I should say, when two officers, male and female, of the San Fransisco Constabulary walked by, I had to suppress my knee-jerk habit of yelling to the other smokers, "five-oh in the house, watch your backs . . . " Oh! We're at this booth, see . . . and this is a Medical Marijuana city and State, see . . . and you mean, it's . . . ? (insert punctuation of your choice to represent mind being blown.)

            A girl yelled from a restaurant doorway, "Pizza and beer! Pizza and Beer! Hey, you wanna beer?" The female officer took the trouble to answer politely. "No, thank you . . . Well, actually, I want one . . . "

            That's a major difference I've noticed between SF beat police and prison guards: the local police do not seem to mind telling you how they actually feel. Whether they realize it or not, this has an incredibly disarming effect on me. I cannot continue to view someone as hostile, an aggressor, or "the Enemy" if they voluntarily make themselves vulnerable to me in this way.

            Who would go to an event like the Castro Street Fair when America is at war? Having never been there before, I can only guess that it was pretty much the same people who went last year and the year before. But I'll bet there was a different look in people's eyes this year -- call it a thoughtful look.

            There was certainly no militancy displayed on the part of the revellers. The day's activities might seem to some to be a senseless expression of frivolity in what are obviously the most serious times most of us have ever lived through.

            But can you imagine a huge group of people, milling around, drinking beer and being loud and . . . mob-like . . . with one part of their brains, so to speak -- and with the other part, staying completely, almost deafeningly sober, observing, and saying to themselves, "This is what I believe in, this is what I like to do, these are the poeple I like to dress up and get rowdy with, and these are the police who also believe that we should be allowed to have this kind of fun if we want to, and are willing to protect our right to do so . . ."?

            And am I going too far if I assert that there existed this collective thought as well: "This is what it means to be an American, YES, THIS IS EXACTLY THE FREEDOM WE ARE FIGHTING TO MAINTAIN."?

            And is this not what we mean when we say, (well, Xnoubis said it quite a while ago, and I meant to say that I agree) "There exists a particular valuing of FREEDOM in America which is consonant with the values we call THELEMIC"?

            (not his exact words, but I hope the point gets across.)

            In other words, this Thelemic, American, Castro Street, Situationist FREEDOM is NOT Catholic Day-Worker-style "freedom for everyone to have three hot square meals a day," (ie, we will knock the stuffing out of you, and then feed you enough that you will feel grateful but not strong) and it is NOT Marxist-Lenin-Maoist "freedom from the historically retrogressive and pernicious influence of religious superstition" (ie, we will take away your religious practices so that you can be free to believe what we tell you), nor is it National Socialist "freedom to be ethnically pure" (ie, freedom to not have to live near people who are different from you, so you will kill them if we tell you to.)

            No . . . need I go on? This THEL-AM-CAS-SIT FREEDOM is "The Freedom to be Our Potty Little Selves," the freedom to dress up like the character you imagine yourself to be . . . male, female, vice versa or verse vicea . . . Not too many people realize this but I am actually a cross-dresser. The effect is so subtle that most people don't notice. This is because I dress like a woman who is dressing like a man. You may laugh, but occasionally, I run into a lesbian or bisexual (and I recently heard the term "polysexual") woman who is dressed almost exactly like me . . . and I think, "ah, there she is . . . "

            Does this sound frivolous? Are we really talking about the freedom for men to hold hands in public, or the freedom to wear leather and dance to loud latin funk? Or the freedom to dress like some cartoon version of your idealized self? Remember, women are afforded this exact same freedom in Afghanistan -- as long as the character they imagine themselves to be is isomorphically identical to a huge burlap sack.

            Ah, but that's their culture, you understand, don't want to step on anyone's deeply-held religious beliefs . . . never mind that the Koran says nothing about burlap sacks . . . but don't you see? We're not telling anyone that they can't wear a burlap sack. We're simply telling them that they CAN'T GO AROUND STONING OTHER PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO WEAR BURLAP SACKS!

            Therefore let our battle-cry be: "DEATH TO ALL FANATICS!"

            Just kidding . . .

            Just a few more random notes: Referring to the Goering (or was it Goebbels?) quote, which I don't have in front of me right now: We are not "asserting that so-and-so is an enemy of our country." These people actually and physically took over a commercial airliner and flew it into a skyscraper, no, two skyscrapers and a military headquarters. They have also said: "This is only the beginning." This is not an imaginary opponent, but a real one. I agree that it is a little more difficult to say "who" these people are, but the American government is quite clearly taking steps to prevent its happening again. I would be pleased if the writer could clarify just where suicide bombers fit in to a Third Reich-Final Solution analogy, if such an analogy is being asserted.

            Okay, I'm done for now. I just want to say in closing that I'm grateful for the freedom to express myself, in my own unique and hopefully inimitable way, in the pages of The Beastbay.

            And, in the apocryphal last words of G. I. Gurdjieff,

            "God Bless the United States of America!"

            Love is the Law, Love Under Will,

            -the Artist Formerly Known as Bankjobman.

            <{: )}>


          • Re: Enginery of War
            by Sun Man on Sunday October 14, @12:07PM
            Dear Brother Xnoubis and All,

            Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

            . . . . Oh, I don't know which part of this thread to respond to first, but something you said definitely caught my eye, so I'll start here.

            That the world now resembles a prison yard is due largely to our aggression.

            I disagree with the sentence as a whole -- but that first clause trips me up so badly I can hardly get up to dust myself off and take a look around to see the bigger picture.

            So please allow me to iterate: I have lived in a prison yard, and I have lived in the world, and I can assure you, "the world" that I can see, hear, and live and breathe and walk around in, right as we are speaking, resembles a prison yard not in the slightest degree.

            The day the American military (I only avoid the first person collective "our" out of deference to the Beastbay's International readers) -- yes, the day "We" first dropped our GPS-guided bombs onto the few "high-value targets" in Afghanistan -- that day, I happened to be visiting the Castro Street Fair in San Fransisco, with a friend of mine who runs a jewelry booth. This also happened to be the first day, ever, that I openly smoked pot in front of a law enforcement officer.

            Granted, I was sitting at an open-air "Medical Marijuana" booth at the time -- but the fact remains that I had never availled myself of this particular "public service" before.

            I looked around and saw men holding hands with men, men holding hands with women, and women holding hands with women. Needless to say, everybody was dressed exactly as they wanted to be. Whether one prefers leather, speedoes, drag, conservative, retro, dirt-o-billy, or possibly-confused-and-quite-clearly-insane-Rabbi-on-Acid-with-a-braided-beard, or whatever else strikes one's fancy, we are truly living in a time and place where "Man has the Right to Dress as He Will."

            When the boys in blue -- I should say, when two officers, male and female, of the San Fransisco Constabulary walked by, I had to suppress my knee-jerk habit of yelling to the other smokers, "five-oh in the house, watch your backs . . . " Oh! We're at this booth, see . . . and this is a Medical Marijuana city and State, see . . . and you mean, it's . . . ? (insert punctuation of your choice to represent mind being blown.)

            A girl yelled from a restaurant doorway, "Pizza and beer! Pizza and Beer! Hey, you wanna beer?" The female officer took the trouble to answer politely. "No, thank you . . . Well, actually, I want one . . . "

            That's a major difference I've noticed between SF beat police and prison guards: the local police do not seem to mind telling you how they actually feel. Whether they realize it or not, this has an incredibly disarming effect on me. I cannot continue to view someone as hostile, an aggressor, or "the Enemy" if they voluntarily make themselves vulnerable to me in this way.

            Who would go to an event like the Castro Street Fair when America is at war? Having never been there before, I can only guess that it was pretty much the same people who went last year and the year before. But I'll bet there was a different look in people's eyes this year -- call it a thoughtful look.

            There was certainly no militancy displayed on the part of the revellers. The day's activities might seem to some to be a senseless expression of frivolity in what are obviously the most serious times most of us have ever lived through.

            But can you imagine a huge group of people, milling around, drinking beer and being loud and . . . mob-like . . . with one part of their brains, so to speak -- and with the other part, staying completely, almost deafeningly sober, observing, and saying to themselves, "This is what I believe in, this is what I like to do, these are the poeple I like to dress up and get rowdy with, and these are the police who also believe that we should be allowed to have this kind of fun if we want to, and are willing to protect our right to do so . . ."?

            And am I going too far if I assert that there existed this collective thought as well: "This is what it means to be an American, YES, THIS IS EXACTLY THE FREEDOM WE ARE FIGHTING TO MAINTAIN."?

            And is this not what we mean when we say, (well, Xnoubis said it quite a while ago, and I meant to say that I agree) "There exists a particular valuing of FREEDOM in America which is consonant with the values we call THELEMIC"?

            (not his exact words, but I hope the point gets across.)

            In other words, this Thelemic, American, Castro Street, Situationist FREEDOM is NOT Catholic Day-Worker-style "freedom for everyone to have three hot square meals a day," (ie, we will knock the stuffing out of you, and then feed you enough that you will feel grateful but not strong) and it is NOT Marxist-Lenin-Maoist "freedom from the historically retrogressive and pernicious influence of religious superstition" (ie, we will take away your religious practices so that you can be free to believe what we tell you), nor is it National Socialist "freedom to be ethnically pure" (ie, freedom to not have to live near people who are different from you, so you will kill them if we tell you to.)

            No . . . need I go on? This THEL-AM-CAS-SIT FREEDOM is "The Freedom to be Our Potty Little Selves," the freedom to dress up like the character you imagine yourself to be . . . male, female, vice versa or verse vicea . . . Not too many people realize this but I am actually a cross-dresser. The effect is so subtle that most people don't notice. This is because I dress like a woman who is dressing like a man. You may laugh, but occasionally, I run into a lesbian or bisexual (and I recently heard the term "polysexual") woman who is dressed almost exactly like me . . . and I think, "ah, there she is . . . "

            Does this sound frivolous? Are we really talking about the freedom for men to hold hands in public, or the freedom to wear leather and dance to loud latin funk? Or the freedom to dress like some cartoon version of your idealized self? Remember, women are afforded this exact same freedom in Afghanistan -- as long as the character they imagine themselves to be is isomorphically identical to a huge burlap sack.

            Ah, but that's their culture, you understand, don't want to step on anyone's deeply-held religious beliefs . . . never mind that the Koran says nothing about burlap sacks . . . but don't you see? We're not telling anyone that they can't wear a burlap sack. We're simply telling them that they CAN'T GO AROUND STONING OTHER PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO WEAR BURLAP SACKS!

            Therefore let our battle-cry be: "DEATH TO ALL FANATICS!"

            Just kidding . . .

            Just a few more random notes: Referring to the Goering (or was it Goebbels?) quote, which I don't have in front of me right now: We are not "asserting that so-and-so is an enemy of our country." These people actually and physically took over a commercial airliner and flew it into a skyscraper, no, two skyscrapers and a military headquarters. They have also said: "This is only the beginning." This is not an imaginary opponent, but a real one. I agree that it is a little more difficult to say "who" these people are, but the American government is quite clearly taking steps to prevent its happening again. I would be pleased if the writer could clarify just where suicide bombers fit in to a Third Reich-Final Solution analogy, if such an analogy is being asserted.

            Okay, I'm done for now. I just want to say in closing that I'm grateful for the freedom to express myself, in my own unique and hopefully inimitable way, in the pages of The Beastbay.

            And, in the apocryphal last words of G. I. Gurdjieff,

            "God Bless the United States of America!"

            Love is the Law, Love Under Will,

            -the Artist Formerly Known as Bankjobman.

            <{: )}>


    Re: Enginery of War
    by Zarathustra on Wednesday October 10, @02:08AM
    Hmmmm. a "common sense" article?

    My common sense tells me that it's not too smart to attack a cloud of mosquitoes with a hammer. You just break up the place, and the mosquitoes move out of your way.

    Common sense also tells me that Bush just wanted to whack someone to feel tough and get revenge -- and keep his poll numbers high.

    [Not to pretend that my common sense is all-knowing. WE all have a lot of learning to do.]

    Theoretically, we are trying to replace the Afghan leadership. Off to an awfully bad start, considering the whole Islamic world is now rioting in the streets. A whole lot of death and starvation will ensue -- to get what? An end to terrorism? Hardly. A better regime for the Afghans? Really unlikely, though we can hope.

    Might have been better to try international channels - this would have had considerably more credibility with the people we are trying to affect. Also, quite a bit more legally sound, considering the ambiguity of not having a nation-state responsible for the 9/11 attack.

    However, we are the U.S., and we don't LIKE international channels or agreements, because that would restrict our right to do whatever we like in the world -- our prerogative as World Bully. (Seriously, the Pentagon thinks this way.)

    I have some better articles to recommend:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=98659
    >>Robert Fisk on current Muslim opinion

    http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1009-04.htm
    >>By a law professor, pointing out the illegality of the current attack under international law.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0914-04.htm
    >>Good article for general background of Islamic discontent

    http://www.commondreams.org/news2001/1009-06.htm
    >> Green Party position

    http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm
    >>Chomsky's reaction to US air strikes

    • Re: Enginery of War
      by Xnoubis on Wednesday October 10, @01:10PM
      It isn't the article's assumption that American strikes are justified that caught my interest, but its description of the possible opportunity for international cooperation in the future.
      In the days, months and years ahead, America has the opportunity -- and the necessity -- to begin winning the hearts and minds not merely of the Islamic world, but the world as a whole. To do so, we must commit to a humanitarian policy that is not merely situational. We must undertake a fundamental reappraisal of our morally flawed and strategically disastrous Mideast policy. And, above all, we must reconsider our entire shortsighted, me-first approach to foreign affairs.

      A month ago, the latter proposal would have sounded utopian, if not laughable. Today no one is laughing, because cooperation and communication -- the "feminine" virtues, always derided by the male "realists" who have brought us world history -- is so evidently in our self-interest. The danger is that the moment will pass and the Hobbesian arrogance that has generally driven our policies hitherto (we join the rest of the world in this, but as the world's only superpower, our selfishness breeds more ire) will return.

      [...] The Islamic world, in particular the Arab world, alone is hanging back. But a powerful U.S.-led peace initiative in the Middle East, one that corrects our no longer strategically justifiable tilt toward Israel while protecting the Jewish state's existence, would address that problem -- as would a timely opening toward Iran.



      • Re: Enginery of War
        by J. A. on Wednesday October 10, @03:58PM
        "But a powerful U.S.-led peace initiative in the Middle East, one that corrects our no longer strategically justifiable tilt toward Israel while protecting the Jewish state's existence, would address that problem -- as would a timely opening toward Iran."

        Not so fast...I disagree. The current admin. in USA knows quite well that all countries of the world detest the American Rulership, even I will add, many of her own citizens think likewise. What is needed is a complete change of her psyche. I don't think she's capable, and the god of destruction G. Bush has made it clear that he wants to dominate the ideal of foreign governments including Russia, citing a quote that because the "west doesn't understand their attitude" --and they never will, but this is no excuse to force opinion on outside entities. Our only hope as Americans is to convince major industries to go on strike and thereby force the government to listen to our demands. All we want is the government given back to the hands of the people as in a republic should be so. All we want is fair treatment of nations and a reclaiming of national sovereignty. End of story.


      • At the root.
        by Alone In The Desert on Wednesday October 10, @04:45PM
        Let's be clear. This is a war of the rich against the poor. The first world vs. the third. Radical Islam is the only element of the third world which has really fought back, and in a way that slapped us at the heart of our imperial seat. As no hegemonic power can tolerate competion, or others using "Violence" to further their ends, we are pulling on every world resource we can in our Roman league to crush the competition.

        One of the key definitions of the state, after all, is those who are sanctioned to use violence by law. Who is the Terrorist? Ask the Iraqi children, asked the murdered families in Columbia, ask the shattered lives of those in the Bikini Atoll.

        The problem is not one of "measured response..." once again the language of instrumental reason. Thats the problem itself. Its the language of instrumental reason, the measured, left brained rational implementation of policy, economy, military by alienated egos over the course of centuries that has laid the grounds for this civilizational clash.

        Not that the faith/violence cocktail of the Taliban is any better. But the problem runs deeper then either side articulates. Mystics should know this!!!

        The very structures of modern civilization are rampant with decay. As seen in the ecological collapse we are furthering by our daily activities, we are a plague upon the face of this planet. Our civilization is a decadent scar.

        Was it not months ago we talked incessantly about our own schoolchildren "Terroists" murdering each other in the hallways? Was not this the "Fruit" of the America way, the boiling pustule which burst with raining automatic gunfire in our hallowed halls of education?

        We are fat. We sit in our comfortable homes consuming images and pornography, while we live off the sweat and blood of the world in our national gated community. I am not innoncent. I admit my complicity. But I see it. I feel it. I know this because I live it.

        But the answer is what? Maintain the status quo? Perpetuate the illusion? Retaliate to restore our sense of worth, justice, wellbeing? Can you cover shit with well scented perfume? Can you reinforce a broken frame, by smashing the cardboard house of your improverished neighbor?

        Oh, but we must do something. YES! Get RADICAL. Which means get to the root of the problem. Its us. We are overfed, egotistical, ignorant machines that live for comfort. THERE IS NOTHING OF SUPREME VALUE WITHOUT THE SACRIFICE OF THE LESSER FOR THE SAKE OF THE GREATER GOOD.

        We all have to die. Death is the gate to rebirth.
        We are fighting the psychic rebirth the cosmos is calling us to open to.

        Interestingly Islam means Surrender. Could it be that the Western Ego is fighting most that which it most needs: TO SURRENDER! to something greater than itself!!!

        The ability to surrender our comforts, our commodities, our status, our middle class ways for something deeper, more meaningful, more profound is a concept so Alien that we would rather destroy its traces then be reminded of the haunting sensation of its relevance.

        Our politicians use the God talk casually, but if they really knew what awakening meant, they would destroy the word itself. God is not comfort. God is not the American Way. Civilization is what it is because humans have ignored their relationship to divine for centuries.

        But we'll fight that tooth and nail. We'll destroy the world before we'll give up the American Way with its mislabled appropridation and monopoloy on the concepts of "Freedom and Liberty."

        But what kind of Freedom our we out to defend? Is it freedom to Ascend unto the stars, freedom to create beauty and share the radiance of the God's grace with our fellows?

        Never. Ours is a freedom to run like rats on a treadmill till we die with rusty machines and broken hearts. Ours is a freedom to medicate ourselves into our old age and be roundfilled when we are no longer socially productive.

        This all while our masters feed of our live force and fuck in the Bahamas at our expense. Of course the Lizard Kings in England Unite with the American war machine. Don't we know, its all about EMPIRE? THE EMPIRE NEVER DIED.

        Oh, but we've got it better than everyone else, right? Where else is it any better?

        THATS NOT GOOD ENOUGH! I will not accept this compromise of truth. I will not be satisifed with a middle class lie.

        USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!! What could we envision greater then all of our civilizational limits combined? Get creative.

        Burn your flag and get our your dream journal!

        Scope new possibilities. Transcend the limits of your brainwashing. Exercise the mind parasites the media has planted in your consciosness!

        I don't care about this or any other government. I don't give a damn about this or any other economy. I don't care a wit about this or any other civilization.

        NOW IS THE TIME FOR SPIRITUAL ANARCHY. Now is the time for the awakening to the radical root of truth that lies beneath the concrete veil of civilization itself. Its time to wake up and cast off the slumber of this fetid, well heeled bourgois amnesia, which is itself the modern form of our aeonic forgetfullness. WAKE UP and SEEK THE THIRD WAY!!!

        But the mass will never do this. So in the end. We have a war of civilizations that have each reached the end of history. There is no rational, planned or measured solution to the problem.

        Only he who jumps into the abyss knows the sweetness of surrender, and the creative ecstasy of the VOID.

        May the Universe balance severity with mercy in the education we are all about to receive...


        • Re: At the root.
          by Zarathustra on Thursday October 11, @04:14AM
          Agree with some of your sentiments, but . . . man, it's really twisted to be INTO Armaggedon. Perhaps the Spirit really does call for this destruction. But if you are in a position to really know that, then you are in a way, way enlightened place. Please dont be insulted, but I doubt that anyone can know this.

          Also, I really take issue with these comments:

          "I don't care about this or any other government. I don't give a damn about this or any other economy. I don't care a wit about this or any other civilization.

          NOW IS THE TIME FOR SPIRITUAL ANARCHY."

          Now is absolutely NOT the time for anarchy. We are looking at anarchy on our TV sets every night. Utter lawlessness. I can't wish that on anyone or their children.

          [--perhaps if you had said "spiritual anarchism" we could find more agreeement -- ?]

          What is needed IS government -- that is, international institutions that are empowered to be the unquestioned final arbiters of conflicts between nations.

          Conflicts like this need to be settled in the World Court or a similar body. Sure it's a slower process than war, but there would be considerably less bloodshed, starving refugees, inflamed Islamic world, huge miltary expenditures, etc. And the most importnt thing is that the process can be made to be fair and acceptable to all nations.


          • Re: At the root.
            by Xnoubis on Thursday October 11, @09:38AM
            Conflicts like this need to be settled in the World Court or a similar body.

            I agree. But there also needs to be a way for the world to respond quickly to an emergency. A World Court can be a place to resolve how much of the rose hedge belongs to me and how much to my neighbor. But what does my neighbor do if I set the rose hedge on fire? I don't think we've even begun to find a fair and reasonable way to go about this.


            • Re: At the root.
              by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @11:21AM
              Try this link http://www.copvcia.com/stories/oct_2001/krongard.html

              I'm more inclined to believe in a NWO conspiracy.
              And that means, contrary to fr. tham that Communists are the worlds death-plague. Communism = Marxism = one world dictatorship. (Yes, communist Russia *was* true Communism; globalization, with central world banks controlling all money and therefore all people, the IMF and Mafias destroying foreign economies, is the communism of today. Like it or not, there is however only one orange. Two groups are fighting for it, but only one may have it.)

              Therefore a world court is useless if the Rockefellers, Bush's and Carlyles etc, are not put on trial in them, along with the bin Ladens and Husseins. How's that for spiritual anarchy?


              • Re: At the root.
                by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 11, @11:43AM
                For once I've heard something profound issue from John. Put the Rockerfellers, Bushes, etc. on trial for the exploitations of millions. Redistribute their obscene stockpiles of money amongst those that need it. Sounds a little...communist?

                As usual, I've heard something categorically untrue come from him in the same breath. I re-iterate...the Soviet Union was not a true communist state. The dictatorship of the proletariat was never handed over to the people, and was used to further the agendas of the elite. It was a 'red' capitalism more akin to the Pax Americana prevalent in the world. In a communist state the workers own the means of production (not the Party, because that notion wouldn't exist in a communist state) and matters of policy are determined by the masses, not delivered from on high by a single leader. Have you even read the Communist Manifesto? I am no communist, I am an avowed anarchist, but I do sympathize. Individuals have perverted Marx's ideas to suite their own notions (Stalin, Mao, etc), but that doesn't mean the integrity of the ideas are intact. That's like saying we should understand the Bible by the example of Jim Jones or the neo-nazi Heritage Front, instead of the Qabalistic interpretation or Crowleys delicious allegorical veiwe.


                • Re: At the root.
                  by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @12:24PM
                  >For once I've heard something profound issue from John.

                  Why thank you!

                  >Redistribute their obscene stockpiles of money amongst those that need it. Sounds a little...communist?

                  No. Socialism is not entirely Communism.

                  Communism as well as complete Socialism, according to the Comm. Manifesto, is where the economy is owned by the state, not *private* ownership. It furthermore states that there is no private property whatsoever, and therefore, there are no private rights, or civil liberties. That is to say, that a Central Bank, Central Government controls everything. (Don't get caught up in Marx's lie that he was for humanitarianism; he was not: he's a fraud.)

                  Now, the complete aim of Communism, again from the Com. Manifesto states quite clearly that globalization will be the tool to evolve into a one world government, and thereby, dissolve all ethnicities, national borders, and feuding govs. However, it was quite clear that only one of the existing powers, or governments may rule over the rest of the world. That was historically chosen to be Russia. These are all facts.

                  Furthermore, there has never been a good form of Social economy. In all places where this was implemented, the entire economy went straight downward. Why? Because they are liars, or it simply doesn't work right. The country needs free markets along side specific and scientific regulations; that is called a "mixed" economy, because it merges capitalism and socialism, yet filters out the bad parts.

                  Any system that says "no private property" is a Communist Dictatorship.


                  • Re: At the root.
                    by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @12:28PM
                    Also, for what it's worth, Marxism (Marxism, Communism *is* the NWO) has started more wars than its false promise of justice and world peace since it was created in the 19th C. Judge for yourself its worth.


                  • Re: At the root.
                    by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 11, @01:04PM
                    "is where the economy is owned by the state, not *private* ownership. "

                    In a sense, true. But in a communist state, centralized government dissolves and the consesual mass of individuals becomes the state. There is no longer any need of complex beauracracy to determine policy, that comes from the people. When Marx was advocating the abolishion of private property, he was writing in an age where the bourgeiose had all the material possesions, and the proletariat had absolutely nothing. There were no TV's, cars, telephones. His definition of private property was Industry and the monetary fruits of Industry. You could still live in your own house, furnish it how you would, and accumulate material possesions; only everyone would have equal advantage to do so.

                    Again let me state I am not Communist. I am an anarchist. But I choose to defend the communist position because it is diametrically opposed to the existing capitalist order which is destroying the world. There is a NWO on the rise, but it is controlled by the advocates of Radical Laissez Faire economic policy, those greedy corporate giants who have the ability to control or toople governments.

                    Having read the Comm. Manifesto, you know Marx said that a dictatorship of the proletariot was needed initially in order to put the structure together after the revolution. The problem is that these dictatorships of the proletariot never relinquish their power to the people, like they are suppposed to. In that I will concede that a true communist state will never exist, human nature will prevail, and people will desire to hold onto the reigns of power. In theory though, communism is a just and noble system.

                    By the way, the phrases Globalization and One World Government are recently invented terms. It is your biase to use them in this instance. They don't appear in Marx's writings. So no, you are not communicating 'facts'.


                    • Re: At the root.
                      by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @02:10PM
                      [In the Shells]



                      • Re: At the root.
                        by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @03:36PM
                        The TRUTH hurts, doesn't it?


                      • Re: At the root.
                        by Fra THA;M on Friday October 12, @12:29PM
                        It seems perhaps that in your veiwe of the world you have become unable to differentiate between distinct ideologies and philosophies. Everyone risks getting trapped amid the illusions projected from their imagination, and trying to impose an order on their muddle of dispersions. I hope Thelema can be your machete enabling you to hack your way through this jungle of ideas in which you've become lost. All the best.


                    • Re: At the root.
                      by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @02:15PM
                      >But in a communist state, centralized government dissolves and the consesual mass of individuals becomes the state.

                      No. National Governments dissolve and a One world dictatorship takes over.


                      • Re: At the root.
                        by Fra THA;M on Friday October 12, @12:34PM
                        No. A dictatorship is a form of government. Your thinking is paradoxical. Policy is determined by the consesual mass of autonomous individuals, unbiased by politicians and advertisers who push their own greedy agendas. Capitalism as a cover for communism? Preposterous.


                    • Re: At the root.
                      by Martin Hettland on Thursday October 18, @09:32AM
                      You write: "The problem is that these dictatorships of the prolitariate never relinquish their power to the people, like they are supposed to."
                      This is not true, the Communist revolutionaries in Costa Rica did this, they also abolished the army.
                      Since that time there have been peace in Costa Rica.
                      One of the provinces in India is or has also been ruled by communists, but these communists came to power through democratic ellections.

                      Martin Hettland.


                      • Re: At the root.
                        by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 18, @01:48PM
                        I was unfamiliar with the revolution in Costa Rica. Thanl you for the information.


              • Re: At the root.
                by Xnoubis on Thursday October 11, @11:55AM
                I'm more inclined to believe in a NWO conspiracy.

                I don't think it's likely, but it has crossed my mind. The parallels between how Putin consolidated his power after the alleged terrorist attacks in Moscow and the current consolidation of Federal power are creepy. I started thinking about it again after I saw the angry face of Bert the Muppet in the Osama bin Laden posters.

                I don't know who would do it, but someone is trying to tell us that bin Laden is an angry-looking American puppet.


                • Re: At the root.
                  by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @12:39PM
                  >I don't think it's likely, but it has crossed my mind.

                  Then how do you explain that article about the CIA director and inside trading? Or the links which I have compiled on my journal http://uretoo.tripod.com/mediatrix.htm

                  I seriously doubt the rich gather round and talk about football and Janet Jackson. Damnit! Even a 10-year old child could have prevented the 9-11 attacks!!!


                  • Re: At the root.
                    by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 11, @01:09PM
                    Hitler was indignant and angry over the burning of the Reichstag and cried out for vengeance...but in hindsight we all know who did it.


                    • Re: At the root.
                      by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @02:20PM
                      [In the Shells]



                      • Re: At the root.
                        by Fra THA;M on Friday October 12, @12:38PM
                        Touchy, Touchy. Did I hit a nerve? Sorry...


                  • Re: At the root.
                    by Zarathustra on Saturday October 13, @11:17AM
                    Interesting theory, guys, and I am almost willing to give it credence. But most of the lefties and even way-lefties that I read are not, and these are sharp people who have no illusions of US niceness.

                    It is still possible, though. I heard a report that Israeli intelligence had at least an hour's warning on 9-11.

                    [Along with the Reichstag example, I would include Pearl Harbor. There is an interesting book out on that topic -- Robert Stinnett's "Day of Deceit" -- here is a publisher's blurb:

                    "Not only was the attack expected, it was deliberately provoked through an eight-step program devised by the Navy. . . . He proves that a Japanese spy on the island transmitted information - including a map of bombing targets - beginning on August 21, and that we knew all about it. . . . At the highest-levels - on FDR's desk - America had ample warning of the pending attack."

                    Scary to think about.


                • Re: At the root.
                  by J. A. on Friday October 12, @10:33AM
                  >I don't know who would do it

                  See http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2001/2839operation_northwds.html

                  and http://www.copvcia.com/stories/oct_2001/krongard.html

                  Now you know.


            • Re: At the root.
              by Zarathustra on Thursday October 11, @05:50PM
              I fail to see the current "emergency." Do you mean 'risk of terrorist attack'? That kind of threat is countered by security measures and criminal procedures - already being adopted around the globe.

              Your "burning rose bush" metaphor makes no sense. Risk of terrorism existed before 9/11, exists now, will exist later. There is no "emergency" requiring immediate action -- unless you mean the "emergency" of wounded US pride requiring vengeance.

              Factors entering into terrorist risk include: 1) motivation of attackers, and 2)security measures to intercept them. Bombing Kabul does not increase police security measures, and it certainly INCREASES motivation for terrorists (just look at the anti-US demonstrations in every Islamic nation).

              Gasoline on a fire. I certainly don't feel any safer. I want an anthrax vaccination.


              • Re: At the root.
                by Xnoubis on Friday October 12, @05:30PM
                I fail to see the current "emergency."

                I was speaking in general terms. Governance of a complex system involves coordinating sub-systems and, when necessary, quick response to emergencies, like withdrawing one's hand from a fire before thinking about it. In corporations, the chief executive is usually the one empowered to say, "Everybody out of the building now!" (He'll have to explain to the board later, but he can do it if it needs to be done.) World governance is going to need something like that, but I've never seen any plausible models put forth for how it might be done.

                Do you mean 'risk of terrorist attack'? That kind of threat is countered by security measures and criminal procedures - already being adopted around the globe.

                It seems to me that this is analogous to having a court system and a burglar alarm, but no cops.

                There is no "emergency" requiring immediate action

                I'm not so sure. It's one thing for an individual to turn the other cheek. But it's something else for the people of a nation to ask one another to patiently await further attacks while we persue lofty diplomatic means to gradually reduce tensions.


                • Re: At the root.
                  by Zarathustra on Saturday October 13, @12:35PM
                  >>World governance is going to need something like that, but I've never seen any plausible models put forth for how it might be done.

                  Here's a model, in fact the currently existing one: In a real emergency like an invasion, a Security Council meeting is called. The offending nation is ordered to desist. If it does not, the Security Council decides what course of action to take - including the option of invading the offending country. This can all be pretty fast - not quite as fast as the trigger-happy US deciding to bomb, but well within the parameters of military expedience.

                  Of course, nothing can prevent evil actions by states. But neither will US intervention, or the threat of it.


                  >>It seems to me that this is analogous to having a court system and a burglar alarm, but no cops.

                  There's cops. On the criminal level, there's Interpol, etc., along with the police and army of just about every nation on the planet, arresting and detaining suspects. This is happening right now.

                  But I agree that our safety is by no means assured by these measures -- again, a reason for de-escalation.

                  Also, on a state-to-state level: See my argument above re the UN Security Council. If that's not a "cop", I don't know what is. If the Sec. Council were to decide that Afg was to be attacked, this would be considerably better diplomatically. A much greater proportion of Islamic countries would back this.

                  Instead, the US is the self-appointed "cop." This is illegitimate, and the Islamic countries increasingly resent this.


                  >>But it's something else for the people of a nation to ask one another to patiently await further attacks while we pursue lofty diplomatic means to gradually reduce tensions.

                  I so wish you had made this argument earlier. If you think the "emergency" is American anger, I certainly agree with you. There are two levels here: what will actually work as a global policy, and what American anger will make politically possible.

                  I am painfully aware that it would be hard to sell the US public on an internationalist policy at this point. Though it would be difficult, I think a wise president could have done it.

                  But you have been arguing that the US attacking Afg. unilaterally will actually reduce world terrorism (as opposed to satisfying our need for vengeance). Again: How? Every Islamic militant now has 5 more angry young men wanting to train with him, all over the globe.

                  You have also been arguing that a "quick response" is necessary. Sure - increase airport and other security, etc. But a quick MILITARY response? On a nation that didn't attack us, and is not now attacking us? Why? Where's the military emergency?


                  • Re: At the root.
                    by Xnoubis on Sunday October 14, @03:52PM
                    Security Council

                    The problem with the Security Council, as far as I can see, is the veto power of the permanent members. This means that operations can't be undertaken that would offend any of the permanent members at any time. I don't think that's adequate for the preservation of security.

                    On the criminal level, there's Interpol, etc., along with the police and army of just about every nation on the planet, arresting
                    and detaining suspects.


                    Beef up Interpol substantially, including the ability to raid and overcome entrenched military installations, and let there be a uniform protocol for interaction between Interpol and local authorities across all nations, and we're getting somewhere. But then there's always the problem of checks-and-balances again...

                    Instead, the US is the self-appointed "cop." This is illegitimate, and the Islamic countries increasingly resent this.

                    Agreed. What I expect we'll see coming out of this is a multilateral anti-terrorism body that is nominally distinct from the U.S., but with much more power than anything that's ever come from the U.N. up to now. I keep wondering, who is it going to answer to? Is there a way to bring it under democratic control?

                    If you think the "emergency" is American anger, I certainly agree with you.

                    No, that's not what I meant at all. I mean there's a difference between letting yourself get beaten up and letting your family get beaten up.

                    But you have been arguing that the US attacking Afg. unilaterally will actually reduce world terrorism

                    No, but an international coalition committing to a long-term global effort against terrorism, with the attacks on Al Qaida and the Taliban as its start, could. This first operation needs to lead to a more prosperous and autonomous Afghanistan. The West also needs to move towards a more respectful relationship with Islam. But I don't think that can be achieved through a show of weakness on our part.

                    Where's the military emergency?

                    It would be a police emergency, if there were police capable of doing the job. An international crime has been committed. It has to be apparent that there are consequences. At first, this is going to be tested. If the tests are decisively met, the tests will eventually occur less often.


                    • Re: At the root.
                      by Fra THA;M on Tuesday October 16, @01:50PM
                      The US war on terrorism, and the subsequent push to topple the Taliban is in direct violation of the Charter of the United Nations:

                      -2.3 this shows the US war is illegal

                      -2.4 '' ''

                      -As well, America uses it's veto power for it's own ends. Look at the way they abandoned my countries peacekeepers in Rwanda. The security council wanted to step up their intervention to stop the violence, but the US used its veto power to extinguish this resolution. America was directly responsible for the genocide in Rwanda.

                      The United States violates international law, and makes a mockery of the UN, that symbol of everything America professes to beleive.

                      As well, the Rome Statute (for the institution of an International Criminal Court, ICC) is a good example of America's true stance. The Rome Statute (The ICC Treaty) is a multi-lateral treaty approved by 120 countries on July 17, 1998 and is the constituent statute for the ICC. The US vigourously opposes this, as its repressive and restricitive foreign policies would then be put on trial, like the War in Afghanistan.


        • Re: At the root.
          by Fra THA;M on Thursday October 11, @01:15PM
          Amen. So be it unto the Aeons;Hell.


          • Re: At the root.
            by an0nym0use on Thursday October 11, @04:22PM
            93.

            So have any of you admist all this arguing come up with some SOLutions??!

            93 93.93


            • Re: At the root.
              by J. A. on Thursday October 11, @06:19PM
              Are you blind?


              • Re: At the root.
                by an0nym0use on Friday October 12, @01:04AM
                if i was blind i couldnt type.

                DUMMY!

                hehehe


                • Re: At the root.
                  by Mordecai on Sunday October 14, @12:06PM
                  Actually, blind people have no trouble with keyboards, Braille keyboards enable one to learn how, and touch typists don't have to look at the keys.


            • Re: At the root.
              by Zarathustra on Sunday October 14, @01:39PM
              Solutions? Depends on the level you are talking about. It is going to be awfully difficult for even a very active peace movement to affect White House policy in the short term -- too much momentum toward agression. (Though, perhaps, domestic pressure could keep Bush out of Iraq.)

              So, on that level, no, I don't really see a solution. Of course, we can work towards peace - attending meetings and demonstrations, writing your congressman and the White House, etc.

              The solution I see (and have been advocating above) is a full empowerment of international institutions to resolve conflicts and prosecute criminals. This, however, involves the US giving up what the US sees as the "perks" of being the "world's only superpower," namely the ability to blwo off the opinion of the rest of the world and do what the US wants.

              Again, sorry, no short term solution, and a lot of work for people of good conscience.

              "If the problem you are working on can be solved in your lifetime, youi haven't picked a big enough problem." -- [wish I remember the author of that quip]


              • Re: At the root.
                by Nekial on Sunday October 14, @07:13PM
                [you have been duped by the one-world agents. reclaim your sovereignty at the exit.]


                • Re: At the root.
                  by Zarathustra on Monday October 15, @12:23AM
                  Dude, I'm not easily duped. I take it you prefer sovereign nation-states banging up against each other indefinitely, might makes right, war without end, amen?


                  • Re: At the root.
                    by Nekial on Wednesday October 17, @05:49PM
                    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

                    No; perhaps you haven't been duped...

                    But, are you sure that empowering international bureaucracies is a shift in the right direction? I used to; then I realized that the problem is this: sovereignty lays in you and me, not any external government. The further the world politic gets from this truth, the more discord there will be (and the less real freedom).

                    You and I are the sovereigns, and those in power ('aknowledged sovereigns') would rather humanity at large not realize this.

                    What you're proposing, I think, amounts to a centralized world-government, when what we need to do is move in the other direction: Step the 'power center' gradually down from National to state to local to individual. What would remain in their place is a sort of Regional Management Office, for necessary large-scale co-ordination of, f.i., travel, business, etc.

                    Some group(s), I think, has/have been manipulating things to encourage war and the re-actionary adoption of a more centralized control. (It's the usual thing - stir up a riot and the populace cries out for a police state.) And thelemites should know better. But for awhile there, they had me, too, crying for a bigger cop on my block. Woe is little me; Daddy! Daddy!

                    What must happen is not simple or easy; but it is inevitable.

                    Love is the law, love under will.

                    ~N


    • Re: Enginery of War
      by Azag on Saturday October 13, @04:28AM
      "My common sense tells me that it's not too smart to attack a cloud of mosquitoes with a hammer. You just break up the place, and the mosquitoes move out of your way."

      - ive shared this thought at points, and have come to my own realization that the current military situation is more metaphorically akin to: "attack(ing) a cloud of mosquitoes with a flame thrower."

      the Taliban (what’s the projected total compliment in Afghanistan/Pakistan 60,000 men TOTAL?) are on hosey, on foot - running as fast as they can, sometimes cars or trucks, well at lest for the next couple days...until the petrol dissappears..

      the level of precision and accuracy, the fucking totality of our military attacks are not unlike the fury of Gott. Woe unto the enemies of this nation. Our economy’s built for this and they satisfy a crucial element of economic dependency. America leaps at the chance to dominate more oil-producing land under the guise of "righteousness" wrapped in a fully justifiable circumstance. And rightly so..

      The murders were wrong, and there will be an eye for an eye - tenfold. The oil will flow. Herbert spins in his grave as the Fremen fight for the spice and the Prophets chant...


      • Re: Enginery of War
        by Zarathustra on Saturday October 13, @12:43PM
        >>the Taliban (what’s the projected total compliment in Afghanistan/Pakistan 60,000 men TOTAL?) are on hosey, on foot - running as fast as they can, sometimes cars or trucks, well at lest for the next couple days...until the petrol dissappears..

        Perhaps you misunderstand me. By "mosquitoes" I am not referring to the Taliban, but to international terrorists, most of whom are not in Afghanistan.

        Can we apply the "flame thrower" to the whole world?


        • Re: Enginery of War
          by Azag on Saturday October 13, @11:08PM
          "international terrorists"

          - do you mean America at large? Or the Rebels bent on slowing our mechanism?


          • Re: Enginery of War
            by Azag on Sunday October 14, @09:57AM
            "Can we apply the "flame thrower" to the whole world?"

            - we already do through Shell & Chevron. This didn’t start as a "land pillage" situation, but it will quickly dissolve into one. Never think that sacking the oil wasn’t in the projected outcome.

            We’ve had bases there for sixty years, ensuring our rights to their "holy land".
            Id probably be pissed too.

            Remember what the Irish did to the British? Terrorism...and it worked to an amazing degree at the time, under the circumstances.

            Burroughs writes something about America being Evil at its root, the land itself, before the settlers, before the Indians. Just Evil - and I’m starting to see...blood will flow just like oil...the two are seemingly inseparable.

            its a terrible beauty we participate in, no?


    Re: Enginery of War
    by frater tanrinin acheek gozenknee on Monday October 15, @05:58PM
    93 all,

    has anyone brought up the fact that this 'terrorist attack' could be a kon-spear-I-C??

    check out:
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/reflect.html

    and:
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/hoax.html

    "Are we being hoaxed again, by Israel, or by our own government, or by both? It's impossible to rule that out. Right now there are a lot of people who want war. Oil companies want Afghanistan's petroleum products. Our corporations want "friendlier" markets. The CIA wants all that opium. And all those war-mongers, with all their greed and agendas, will not hesitate in the least to pour your tax dollars and your children's blood all over Afghanistan, to get those "friendlier" markets, oil, and opium."

    93 93/93
    frater 222

    Re: Enginery of War
    by Azag on Monday October 15, @06:21PM
    makes perfect sence, especially being that were still in Rome anyway...huff...reminds me of R.A.W.'s "Everything is Under Control" too.

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