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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Connecting the Dots...

John Sechrest wrote:
>  C) The cause of terrorism has little to do with Iraq.
>     So for me Iraq is just a symptom of a larger more
>     complex pattern. Pruning the branch of one tree
>     does not alter a forest.
>     The roots of this problem are far bigger than one
>     despot in one country
Ah. Yes. The roots are much larger, and the society we
have collectively engineered plays a role in that. 
(Brings up thoughts of A Beautiful Mind, and the notion    (01)

>  Instead of cleaning up Iraq, my bet is that the end result
>  is to create a more sophisticated terrorist network which
>  goes underground for a long time, to re-emerge with worse
>  results.
An important possibility that needs to be weighed carefully.    (02)

>  Given that in a recent international poll, the
>  most dangerous country in the world had the following
>  results:
>         US - 84%
>         korea - 7%
>         Iraq - 8%
Fascinating. Who was polled, I wonder?
(Just kidding...)    (03)

>  Your short analysis leaves many things unsaid (since it is short).
>  To nail down every piece of context would make it dramatically
>  longer. And far too complex in some sense. Because it would
>  make the understanding difficult.
>  So.... the IBIS will have to have ways to establish context.
>  and will have to have ways to abstract detailed arguments into
>  smaller statments, but leaving the details available for deeper
>  understanding.
Yes. Summary capability, retaining a connection to details,
is vital.    (04)

>  So, your argument by the choice of words, pulls a context with it,
I'll try to improve my choice of words. Sometimes its hard
to know in advance which ones are going to set people off.    (05)

<generalizations ommitted>    (06)

> Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of
> World War II, compiled by historian William Blum:
> China 1945-46
> China 1950-53
> Guatemala 1954
> Indonesia 1958
> Cuba 1959-60
> Guatemala 1960
> Congo 1964
> Peru 1965
> Laos 1964-73
> Vietnam 1961-73
> Cambodia 1969-70
> Guatemala 1967-69
> Grenada 1983
> Libya 1986
> El Salvador 1980s
> Nicaragua 1980s
> Panama 1989
> Iraq 1991-99
> Sudan 1998
> Afghanistan 1998
> And then
> Now for the question: In how many of these instances did a democratic
> government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result of the
> bombing?
> None.
Thanks for compiling that list. It has to count as a serious
counter argument, at least in my mind. (Maybe a historian could
prune it, but I certainly can't!)    (07)

<generalizations ommitted>    (08)

> There are many alternatives to War available.
> (Financial changes, food system changes, alliances with other countries, etc)
> all candidates for an "alternatives" discussion    (09)

>  No, it should not be sanctioned now:
>  a) You do not have support of the rest of the UN
>  b) You have alternatives that could get the same result
>     if applied with persistance and patience
>  c) with good diplomatic work, it would be possible to get
>     better results than if you do things by force
>  d) It would be cheaper to just pay the Iraqi people to do it
>     (although that would be another philosophical debate about
>     how appropriate that is) 
>  e) It is not just to inflict hundreds of thousands of casualties
>     on a population because you don't like thier government.
Wow. "you", rather than "we". 
That's probably not a good indicator wrt the discussion.    (010)

>  We can not afford to let our instincts be our guide for
>  how we solve problems, when the use of the tools that we have
>  can be fatal to everything on the planet.
Ah. A return to "we".    (011)

>  In the worst case, he dies of old age. How old is he now? 55?
>  What 20 more years of saddam and then it is done anyway?
Could be an important point, if we can manage an adequate
quarantine in the meantime.    (012)

>  b) I believe that active altering of our relationsips with the islamic
>     world can arrange for them to take more responsibility for the
>     actions of Iraq.
Interesting option.    (013)

>  c) I believe that constructive engagement, like we have done
>  the last 20 years in China is far safer than
>  an isolationist, confrontational approach.
Hmmm. Again, though, it is the weapons/terrorist combination
that must be considered, not a single geographical entity.    (014)

>  d) Let the inspections continue, they are making progress
With cooperation, they would even be sufficient. Without it,
it's a game in which we hope we're better than they are.    (015)

>  I saw this on another list, so I am assuming that it is common
>  knowlege being discussed elsewhere.
Great. Thanks.    (016)

>  % >            How many people died in Bpol because of a gas leak?
>  % Not sure what you're alluding to here.
>  The Union Carbide chemical plant in Bpol India had something like 7000
>  people die because of a chemical leak from a tank.
Ah, yes. Not to mention Exxon.    (017)

> Why are people willing to die for this terrorist idea in 
> the first place?
Anger, youthful idealism, no hope for a personal future, and the
chance to become a hero to the cause and turn your family into
millionaires.    (018)

>  Address that root cause and terrorism goes away.
Good idea.    (019)

>  It was a plea for perspective. Terrorism as expressed so far is far
>  less dangerous than many of the things we do everyday.
Ah. Ok. I see that now.    (020)

>  Some Effective alternatives would be:
>  a) Convince the Egyptians, Syrians, Turks and Afgahni that
>  this is thier problem.
>  b) Work to change the distribution of resources, so that
>     people do not feel a need to fight against the US.
>  c) Change US foriegn policy to be focused on long term stability
>     for the planet.
>  d) Engage in an energy policy that removes the middle east
>     from being part of our resource stream. (Hydrogen is viable)
>  e) Engage in a world population plan that reduces demand on resouces
>     so that less of the world is impoverished.
>  These things attack the problem, not the symptom.
Cool. Alternatives!    (021)

:_)    (022)