The discussion continues...
>From: "John J. Kineman" <email@example.com>
>Organization: NOAA National Environmental Satellite Data and Information
>I agree with the basic intent of your petition to prevent war, but I
>don't think this petition is focused correctly, nor would it be
>effective in this form. Let me explain my views for discussion.
>While we must be careful to avoid overreaction and the application of
>inappropriate military instruments, which I fear the Bush administration
>will be prone to, I basically believe they are correct in holding
>countries responsible for terrorism launched from within their
>jurisdiction. This responsibility does not translate into guilt or blame
>or military reprisal, but responsibility to cooperate in the effort to
>root it out. That places tremendous pressure on any government that
>secretely condones such acts but attempts to remain politically
>insulated from their consequences by denying them. If the Taliban
>government chooses not to cooperate in investigating Bin Laden's
>organization, they are making a choice that places them in his defense.
>This is, of course, expected because Bin Laden has pledged his
>allegience to the Taleban and Omar. If Omar does not renounce him and
>these acts (assuming we sufficient evidence that Bin Laden is directly
>responsible) then he is clearly supporting him, if not leading the
>effort as many suspect. We cannot conduct a campaign to root out the
>cause of the problem by allowing vague platitudes to stand on their own.
>There must now be substantive action behind the words. It is important
>to move against the purpetrators and that forces all involved to make a
>I think there is a greater problem with neighboring countries, like
>Pakistan, however. Forcing a choice there has collateral effects. Their
>government is already under threat from extremists within their own
>borders and assistance to the US could trigger a coup. Yet we need help
>to access Afghanestan's borders. By raising the stakes clearly and
>obviously, perhaps the Pakistan government will be excused by their more
>moderate populace for allowing passage under the circumstances.
>Pakistanis are capable of understanding that they are in a critical
>position because of this international problem, and temporary
>accommodation for an internationally sanctioned campaign might be
>possible without internal consequences. Dislike for the US culture and
>politics can be separated under these circumstances, from extremist acts
>that reasonable people will condemn. The agreement should include that
>we ourselves will not commit unreasonable or extreme acts of violence
>aside from what is necessary to apprehend and incapacitate the guilty.
>Perhaps we should make neutrality an option. Pakistan could choose to
>remain politically neutral, while allowing US access to the Afghan
>border. That might not be much help to them with respect to the Taleban,
>which has already declared war on any country that merely allows US
>passage (not just any country that materially assists); but it could
>help internally. I think the danger to be cognizant of and avoide might
>be that Pakistan will want a promise from the US to help keep their
>government in power if they assist us in any way. That gets us involved
>in their politics in order to gain passage, and that's a very dangerous
>step, as we should have learned many times in the past.
>So, I don't claim to have the answers. It is a very complex situation.
>But disconnecting the effort to root out the source of these attacks,
>from where it finds safe residence would weaken the effort too much to
>be at all effective. Somehow we have to balance the linkages in a
>creative and reasonable way, and that's going to take some real
>research, diplomacy, and creative thinking. I worry that we don't have
>creative thinkers in charge. What I think we should argue for with Bush
>is to clearly state good, sound principles and values that we, as
>Americans, will preserve during whatever campaign ensues. That might be
>achievable and it would serve to keep the effort honest. The real
>problem is when we abandon our own principles in the interest of
>expediency and are able to hide our own atrocities in the interest of
>For example, I don't agree with the newly approved policy supporting
>assasination. That IS terrorism, and it is unconscionable that we, as a
>free nation, would even contemplate it. We are condemning that sort of
>thing elsewhere and therefore cannot participate in it ourselves as a
>matter of principle. But going after a military or terrorist leader
>openly and with the objective of incapacitating him and his organization
>is legetimate. The goal itself should NEVER be to kill. Killing is the
>undesirable and unfortunate consequence of less than perfect methods for
>achieving the goal of preventing others from killing. I would support a
>very strong petition against any US policy supporting assasinations and
>unprincipled covert operations. What we do must be principled and
>visible, not evil and hidden.
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: FW: [issues] Petition for a Thoughtful U.S. Response
>Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 08:22:53 -0700
>From: "Arek Fressadi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Reply-To: "Arek Fressadi" <email@example.com>
> Petition for a Thoughtful U.S. Response.
> Please sign The Petition at
> which appeals to world leaders to be level-headed and, wherever
>possible, peaceful in their response to the recent attack against the
> United States.
> PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE, AS
>QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. The signatures logged by the website above will be
> forwarded to leaders around the world.
> It is imperative that we act quickly to prevent war!!!
> Thank you.
>David Kaiser firstname.lastname@example.org
>Program in Science, Technology, & Society
>and Lecturer, Department of Physics
>Massachusetts Institute of Technology
>77 Massachusetts Avenue
>Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
>Phone: 617 452-3173 Fax: 617 258-8118
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