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Still More Thoughts
Posted By: MarkN, on host
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2001, at 18:25:28
In Reply To: Re: More Thoughts posted by Rob J D on Wednesday, September 26, 2001, at 14:03:23:

> I think you have misunderstood my intentions and maybe my comments shouldn't have been connected to Eric's. For that I apologize. Eric's paragraph seemed like a good reference to show how people on the other side of any conflict may view their situation.
> My comment about it scaring me obviously didn't properly fit my thoughts in the rest of the post but I can't take that back at this point. But the responses that talk about responding with force and accepting the deaths of innocent people scare me.
> Now for the point of my post. I was trying to show how that paragraph of thoughts, which I hear as an undercurrent in many news stories etc, can be applied to many other horrible situations in our world today (Iraq was used as an example but it could apply to people in Sierra Leone, East Timor, Israel and Palestine ...). The point is that horrendous acts are being committed all the time. Some of them happen over a longer time period than the events on Sept 11 but the end result is the same: Many innocent people die because of the beliefs and actions of some person or group. There is very little different in the innocence of the people in New York etc compared to those in many other places.
> We have to get over the fact that it is now happening closer to home, and start doing everything we can to stop atrocities from happening in the future. If we can't respond in a civilized manner why should we expect others to respond to us in a civilized manner?
> Rob J D

We have behaved in a civilized manner towards Afghanistan. Children there are taught to hate America and "western imperialism" not because of anything we've done to them. We gave them support in repelling the soviet invasion, and for all this time recognized the Taliban as legitimate.

If you want the supreme example of how pacifism has failed, try the events leading up to world war 2. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried a policy of radical pacifism. He said that Hitler merely saw things from a different perspective, that all their disagreements were reconcilable, and that war was never necessary. Students at Oxford signed letters vowing not to fight in any wars. Neville Chamberlain enjoyed tremendous public support, and his chief rival, Churchill, was disdained by the press and the public, particularly after Chamberlain successfully signed a treaty with the Germans.

Predictably, the treaty wasn't worth the paper it wasn't printed on. Poland was invaded, war declared on Britain, and Chamberlain resigned in disgrace.

Pacifism and diplomacy are fine and dandy when you're dealing with countries that are peaceful, democratic, and reasonable. The individuals responsible for the terrorist attacks did not care if they lost their lives to hurt America. We've tried to ignore the problem, act like it won't affect us, but we've been given a rude wake-up call.

You can always argue against any war in that it will cost lives, probably even innocent lives. As terrible as it sounds however, you have to consider which way more lives will be lost. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, after estimates that a full-scale invasion of Japan would cost far more lives. In the case of Vietnam, more people were killed during the first two years after the communist takeover, than had been killed on all sides in the last decade of the war. Quite often, there's no "right" answer-there will be unbearable costs either way.

In this situation, declaring war on terrorism is almost a belated response. They are determine to fight a war against America. We have no choice but to do the same.

Mark"Si vis pacem, para bellum"N

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