observations from a slightly mad german-american

Monday, October 29, 2001


Okay, I'm writing this in a rush, so forgive me if it's disjointed and none-too-elegant. That said...

Guardian - Bombs go astray, the casualties mount - and the doubts set in

Guardian - Chuch massacre leaves Pakistan in turmail

This war is an ugly business, and America will need to decide if it is going to conduct it or not. The middle ground it has been walking is useless: the civilian casualties bolster anti-American sentiment abroad (and at home), it does not militarily weaken the Taliban, nor does it politically weaken them -- if anything, their standing has been given a boost. It's like we're shooting a bear with a BB gun.

If the attacks of September 11th were grounds for war -- and we have gone to war with far less justification -- then we should officially declare it such against 'the enemies', and go about the business of vanquishing them...

...and in so doing accept this simple fact: much of the world already hates us. Maybe deservedly so. But there is almost nothing that we can do in the short term to fix that, without catering to all sort of extremist elements. We must accept the fact that we cannot gather the support of much of the Middle East and simultaneously take effective actions. Let's get on with the business of removing the largest threats to our national security -- whether they be private organzations or national governments -- with the same vigor that we fought fascism in the 1940's. And afterwards look at patching relations.

This is not to say we ought to avoid examining our policies and actions over the last 30 years and mend our ways. You do not build up that much animosity for absolutely no reason.

SO: We cannot let the attacks go unanswered. We cannot just continue our same vague and self-centered approach to the world.

Either would simply confirm that America is a rich, fat, lazy slob which can't be bothered with uncomfortable conflict, and will do anything to avoid it -- losing more of her values all the time.

(Sadly, I have little faith that she will prove the critics wrong.)

Have a happy Monday,



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