Heavymetal: As the grandchild of a generation that did some fairly low brow asskicking in your neck of the woods, I can guarantee unequivocably that I've never called my grandfather to task for it.....
The difference is that nazi Germany in WWII perpetrated evil on a scale that defied any other response. It was a complete nation
being indivisibly committed to aggressive warfare and genocide!
In addition, in the post-war occupation phase, it was the individual americans (both civilian and military) above all who gave this country an essential positive impulse. (The government was a lot more interested in defeating the russians, but well...)
The situation is completely different
Even in Viet Nam, the preconditions were "easier" than today in the islamic world. (Which is really a lot of separate worlds.)
Heavymetal: I'd ask you to stop being apologists for evil. Stop inferring that someone who commits pure evil must have a rational and pointed reason that must at least be considered.
I´ve never even started
to do that.
My point is a different one (and it´s not that it´s just my own idea; there are a host of people who know a lot more about these things...):
- Absolutely nothing
can justify, excuse
or otherwise support the crimes that have been committed. I´m absolutely clear about this. It is still necessary to understand
how their specific kind of lunacy "works" and why people keep joining them.
- We´re not facing an easily identifiable target here. It may be true (or not) that Ussama Bin Laden has given the final order on these attacks. But that´s not certain. (It doesn´t need to be, by the way; He´s got enough to answer for, already.)
The problem with terrorism is that terrorists take cover within the general population. You´ve had that problem with the Oklahoma bomber(s?), we´ve had it long before that with the wave of terrorism in the 1970s and many other regions or countries know it too.
Don´t kid yourself: Even if Bin Laden should get caught by a commando unit, you would have to live with a wave of terrorist attacks as long as the original source
of these fanatics hasn´t dried up. And the assumption that you only had to hit them hard enough is just laughable. How exactly
do you deter
imbecile lunatics who would love to die
for their "cause"??
And I see the danger that if we´re not very, very cool and circumspect we can ruin all our high-flying moral ideals without even accomplishing what we set out to do! (I realize that the US administration will probably act without even listening to their allies, again. We can only hope that they have acquired some more expertise since the previous operations...
- The witchhunt that´s beginning right now in the US is extremely
over-simplifying. I´ve got the strong impression that almost nobody´s interested in getting the right
guy(s). Most people seem to be content to see somebody
swaying in the breeze...
"Terrorism" is not just an address where you storm in and haul out a few sinister-looking evildoers. It needs determination, yes, but brutality is quite pointless. They´ve got no bunkers. They´ve got speed and stealth. And we will need to be decisive and - above all - smart to let their plans fail.
And one important part of this will have to be that we need to understand the innocent people whose support the terrorists are seeking (largely without success, so far).
The standpoint "I don´t care to know about them, so I´ll kill them all
" is from their
Heavymetal: There is no two sides to evil. Evil is a side, the very base of treachery from where there is nowhere to go but in the polar opposite. Those who live in evil must be dealt with on their own terms.
isn´t a spectacular contradiction
, I don´t know what
I agree with your first statement: There is just one side to evil. And when you´re "dealing with them on their own terms" you´re contaminating everything
you believe in with that same evil. There is no such thing as murdering for life!
Sometimes, police can´t save a criminal´s life when they are trying to get them. That is deplorable. But they will have to try
! That much is necessary or justice will lose its meaning.
Please note that what you just said amounts to nothing less than committing yet another mass murder
against innocent victims
I think the most important statement the western world can make right now is to foil the terrorist´s plans, to hold the perpetrators responsible and to encourage
: force!) the islamic world to finally
leave the middle ages behind!