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21 September 2001 @ 05:22 pm
War on Terrorism  
I just read most of the transcript of Bush's speach, and I'm a little disturbed by "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

Seems just a _bit_ extreme to me. I certainly don't approve of any country that actively supports the terrorists, but I hope that there will be some moderation. Just because some country isn't willing to devote all possible effort to help us hunt down some terrorists doesn't mean that they are "with the terrorists."

I don't know what we should be doing about Afghanistan.

If we were to invade, I would like to see the Taliban taken out of power. They've done a lot of evil things?

Isn't that a bit ethnocentric though?

Well actually, the US is responsible for training and supplying the Taliban during their fight with the Soviet Union, that would make us in some part responsible for the overthrow of the original Afghan government.

Does that mean that we have a responsibility to kick the Taliban out and restore the Northern Alliance to power? Would we be justified in doing so, even if it wasn't a responsibility?

If it would be just, why did we wait until we wanted bin Laden to threaten military action?

If we weren't willing to act just out of our beliefs of right and wrong, why does the fact that they're harboring bin Laden suddenly make such threats ok? We could do surgical strikes without involving all of Afghanistan or the Taliban.

If I thought the Northern Alliance was an evil dictatorship and the Taliban were the good guys, how would that change what I thought our responsibilities were and what was just?

Is it hypocritical for me to think thatusing force to remove the Taliban might be justified when I've never voluntered for the army and don't ever intend to? As long as I don't agree with any fighting we get into that is a defensible position.

On the other hand, my disagreeing with the idea of war in general doesn't stop the US from getting into all kinds of fights with both US citizens and other people getting killed. Even though I don't intend to be fighting, should I do my best to make sure that at least what fights we get into are good ones?

Muslims all over the mideast and asia are protesting that we are against the Islamic world.

I don't think we are, at least not overtly. Bush claims that we're not.

We certainly have ulterior political motives to the decisions that we make involving the middle east, but we seem just as willing to ally with Islamic countries as work against them, as long as their interests align with out own.

We don't like the Taliban true, I don't at least. However I thought that there were a lot of Afghans who didn't either. Certainly the Northern Alliance doesn't, and they are Muslim I believe, but are they a minority?

I'm sure a lot of women in Afghanistan would prefer the Northern Alliance to be in charge again, but do they know that they would prefer that situation? If they don't know that, do we have the right to make the change for them on the assumption that they will like it better?

If we were to kick out the Taliban, restore the Northen Alliance, and then give Afghanistan money and supplies and assistance to help them rebuild their economy and infrastructure, I think it would be a good thing. I would like to think that if we _honestly_ helped them, that they would appreciate it after the fact. Our relationship with Japan is overall very cordial, despite the fact that we defeated them in WWII and occupied the country afterwards. Unless I'm just being totally culturally blind, despite tensions caused by the soldiers in military bases there and despite the economic tension that sometimes springs up, they like the type of government they have now, and they like the economy and industry that we've helped them to build.

If we did the same for Afghanistan, would the appreciate it? Or would they not see it as help and hate us even more?

If the Afghans did apprecaite help, would other Muslims think better of us? Or would they still think that we're against all Islamic countries and see Afghanistan as a traitor, even as they're now protesting agaisnt the government in Pakistan which said they would let us use their airspace if it does come to a fight against Afghanistan?

The protestors think we want to attack Afghanistan as a whole because we hate Muslims. How do we convince them that we just want to attack the terrorists or that we just want to attack the Taliban?

How do we make it so that to the best of our ability that that is all we attack if it does come down to a fight?

I'm afraid that we'll end up going into Afghanistan and just blow a lot of stuff up. We might kill a lot of terrorists. We might remove the Taliban from power, whether purposefully or not. We might hurt some or a lot of civilians too. We might destory what little way of life they have left. And I'm afraid that having done that, we'll jsut leave again, and let the Afghans try to pick up the pieces again without any help from us.

If so, all the people in the mideast and asia will still think that we're against the Islamic world. They'll still be wrong I hope, but we won't have done anything to show that they're not right.

A big part of me wishes that the Taliban would just hand bin Laden over so we could just avoid the whole mess. Is hoping that it will all go away a reasonable response? It depends on what the answers to all the other questions are. If we are responsible, then we should do something about the Taliban whether they give us bin Laden or not. If we aren't responsible, then we should leave them alone whether they do or not, and restrict ourselves to surgical strikes againt the terrorists if the Taliban doesn't cooperate.

It would be comforting if the problem would just go away though, even though I don't know if that would be good or not.
 
 
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Dalton Grahamdaltong on September 21st, 2001 06:27 pm (UTC)
duality
will have to peruse the bulk of the post later when i have a bit more time, but i wanted to respond briefly to the "you're either with us or you're against us" comment regarding Bush's speech. that bothered me, too. anything that leaves no middle ground is scary to me.

Robin says that it means "ok, big 'n little nations, either you agree with us that terrorism sucks and you're willing to give up any terrorists you might find, or else you're with the terrorists," which doesn't sound so bad. but to me, it sounds more like an ultimatum that is dangerous in its simplicity: "ok, big 'n little nations, either you help us in this war by giving us supplies and soldiers and information and allow us to use your country should we have to, or else you're with the terrorists and we're gonna bomb the hell out of you even if you don't happen to be harboring any yourselves." and i think a lot of countries, especially China, might respond angrily to being forced to participate in this war. (especially since no one really knows what the hell this war is going to be.)

i'm working to root dualistic thinking out of my own life; tweaks me when i hear it being used in this context. (but of course i'm not surprised.)

i didn't see the speech, but i suppose this aggressive phrase was greatly ameliorated by Bush's work to make it clear that he realizes that the majority of Muslims are not pro-terrorism.