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LightWatchman 12/4/2012 | 7:50:42 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy 77thlightguy
"I am very distrubed by two things that have happened on this site. One poster, who does not like the conservative point of view, suggested removing a link to the Fox channel."

I wrote

It scares me to see there reporters interviewing people that are terribly important to our future via sattalite links to Saudia Arabia.

and later wrote

I wish Steve could remove Fox from the Foreign Interview "Satalite Link List"

I thought you could put the two together, my apologies, I was not reffering to a web link, I was reffering to their ability to set up satalite links, full Video Broadcast Interviews, with forien diplomats and embarass and or in my opinion potentilly endanger our country with
Shock journalism, I didnt say conservatism.

By the way, I am actually intertained at times by their journalism of our national issues. I think there out of there legue here thou.

ZAPPED 12/4/2012 | 7:50:41 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy And to Gardner with that kind of logic it would be OK to go into the street with an M16 and shoot everyone in site. Then dig a fox hole to hide in. Then have the police say that 2 wrongs don't make a right, let the guy go??? But we'll take the gun.
WOW! In case you haven't noticed and I know that some posters maybe on another continents. Read your material, make sure you know what you are saying.
Make no mistake about it, this is not Korea, this is not Vietnam, this is not the gulf war! And read up on Japan in the mid 40's, these people (animals) have no idea what they have started and the world should be angry with them
gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:50:40 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy And to Gardner with that kind of logic it would be OK to go into the street with an M16 and shoot everyone in site.

How in heaven's name did you get that out of my post? To understand the grievances that motivate the more unstable members of a society to do evil is not to condone anything. Please try to keep that in mind. If you do not understand the causes of terrorism you will never, regardless of your military strength, defeat it.

(animals) have no idea what they have started and the world should be angry with them

Oh, I'm afraid that the leaders of the terrorist cells know exactly what they have started and they are depending on the inchoate rage that you exhibit for the next step in their plan to work. Stopping terrorism is a lot like stopping malaria. It isn't enough to kill a few mosquitos, you have to drain the swamp. The swamp that must be drained here is the swamp of human misery that breeds fanaticism. Happy well adjusted people do not crash planes into buildings. We in the west must weigh our actions and decide whether they will make terrorism better or worse. Indiscriminate bombing and killing of civilians is itself terrorism. Until people realize that the thing that distinguishes terrorism from legitimate military action is not the actor (regular military vs. irregular 'terrorist') but the target (civilian vs. military) we will keep having terrorism as an international problem.
Milano 12/4/2012 | 7:50:39 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy Bombing Afghanistan to the Stone Age may calm temporarily a portion of the American public opinion, however many in the Bush administration knows better.

Afghanistan is a destroyed country. Killing poor Afghan farmers would just bring us down to the same barbarian level as those who just struck us. Carpet bombing that country would serve no strategic purpose. Of all things, it would probably just galvanize public opinion against the US in many Muslim countries. Worse, itGs unlikely to provide what will be the ultimate objective of it all: bring Osama bin Laden Gǣin an iron cageGǥ.

US retaliation policy has moded away from massive retaliation to focussed attacks. For instance, recent attacks on Irak have made relatively few casualties, keeping public opinion quiet in the Persian Gulf.

Expect a focussed operation. And keep in mind: Afghanistan has much more to do with Vietnam than Irak. This will be an agonizing decision.

Twistall 12/4/2012 | 7:50:39 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy I think the last week's events have polarized many people. There seems to be the "kill 'em all" camp and the "turn the other cheek" camp.

I agree that "killing them all" doesn't serve justice, but I'd like to point out that in order to be able to "turn the other cheek" one still has to be alive. In other words, there's "a time for everything" as they say.

A nation has a right to defend itself.

It's clear that these acts were not intended to be the last we'd hear from these terrorists. To the contrary, it's only the latest in a string of violent acts, marked by a change in target from military to civilian.

If some nation refuses to prevent individuals within its borders from harming other nations, those other nations are justified in coming in and taking care of business, if they can. That's war.

I think the current regime in Afghanistan is clearly in the wrong. They went from "we weep for the American children" to "we won't hand someone over to his enemies without proof that he's committed a crime" to "stop, or we'll SCUD Pakistan" in the blink of an eye.

This is a desperate situation. It's hostage-taking on a national level. Just because you run a country doesn't mean you shouldn't be thrown in the clink for doing such things.

It is too bad that it's come to this. And though no one's going to admit it, it has hurt the US. We in the optical industry know all about the shaky ground we were on. Now, we're looking down at the abyss like Wile E. Coyote. Witness the stock market today. How'd you like to work for an airline today? Or maybe an advertising agency? Will it be a good year for Jello?

Something should have been done long ago. Maybe there wasn't the politcal will. Maybe losing a couple hundred US servicemen and women was just the cost of doing business. Not any more. The price of freedom and security just went way up.
Twistall 12/4/2012 | 7:50:38 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy Of course there are more than two sides. I was merely pointing out that people seem to have been polarized by these events. So I guess I agree with you there.

Your statement that "Binary thinking is not at all helpful although it is certainly a favorite refuge of those who let their anger do their thinking" could be extended to those who let their compassion do their thinking. So, if you agree with that extension, I agree with you there, too.

I point out that the FBI, ATF, FAA, and INS have no authority to act outside US borders, presumably where the problems originate. That leaves you with the Department of State, the CIA, and the A-R-M-Y.

My understanding is that even though the evidence gathering has just begun on the WTC and Pentagon attacks, there's plenty of evidence regarding the USS Cole, barracks bombings, etc. that still needs to be answered to.

Afghanistan most definitely is in no position to attack anyone. As someone said, "The only problem with bombing Afghanistan into the stone age is that it would take only four bombs." Yet they threaten their neighbor Pakistan with what little offense they have.

The world can't tolerate governments that hold their citizens, and the citizens of other nations, hostage. We need these oppressed citizens to contribute to our civilization.

It's going to go hard on those who believe everything their governments tell them. I only hope that we can protect those that think there could be a better way.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:50:38 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy And keep in mind: Afghanistan has much more to do with Vietnam than Irak.

Just ask the Soviets. It could be argued that Afghanistan is one of the most important factors in what ultimately what brought the USSR down. And it probably bears mentioning who trained the Taliban in guerilla warfare. I hope this experience will teach us the stupidity inherent in the old dictum: "My enemy's enemy is my friend".
rtfm 12/4/2012 | 7:50:38 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy I'm posting an email forwarded to me by a friend. This is worth reading (IMHO), but I make no claims for its author being who he says he is. That's one of the facts of the internet. But, regardless of who wrote this, I think I agree with portions of what he is saying.


Food for thought for the Militarists
Written by an Afghani in the U.S.

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ron Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done." And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who deeply hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. My hatred comes from first hand experience. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters. But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden,think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age". Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that. New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide.

Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs would not really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time.

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the West would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Unfortunately, Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

In Peace,

Tamim Ansary
gardner 12/4/2012 | 7:50:38 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy I think the last week's events have polarized many people. There seems to be the "kill 'em all" camp and the "turn the other cheek" camp.

Do you really only see only two sides here? This kind of "black and white" thinking is dangerous. I haven't seen a single soul say "turn the other cheek" although that is certainly what the founder of the most prevalent religion in the west would have said. Binary thinking is not at all helpful although it is certainly a favorite refuge of those who let their anger do their thinking. I think it only fair to point out that Bin Laden uses the same thought process. Do you really see any difference between "Kill 'em all and let Allah sort them out." or "Kill 'em all and let God sort them out."? Read Bin Laden's fatwah. He essentially says this very thing: not to worry about killing innocents because if they are good they will go to paradise and if they are bad they are going to hell anyway.

A nation has a right to defend itself.

Of course it does, and that is precisely what is being done by the FBI, ATF, FAA, and INS. The nation is protecting itself against further attacks and trying to figure out precisely who is responsible for this. Until we know with certainty we have to be very careful how we respond.

I think the current regime in Afghanistan is clearly in the wrong. They went from "we weep for the American children" to "we won't hand someone over to his enemies without proof that he's comitted a crime"to "stop, or we'll SCUD Pakistan" in the blink of an eye.

It would be helpful if more Americans knew Afghanistan better. They are in no position to attack anyone, least of all a nuclear state such as Pakistan. All the bravado in the world won't make Afghanistan capable of firing a single scud it does not have.
opto 12/4/2012 | 7:50:38 PM
re: Wall Street Aghast at Tragedy What should we do next? I believe that neither religion nor hate addresses the issue at it's fundamental core. We have people throughout the World who will do anything for power, and we have, in large part, provided them with tools to obtain that power.

This is really about one thing - power. Some men will do anything to get it, as they are on the one hand blessed with the ability to influence others, yet on the other hand they have severe ego problems that drive them to bizarre lengths to attain power.

These people do not care about money, religion, the deaths of those that follow them, the misery of their family and countrymen, etc. Indeed, they use each of these as tools to further their own personal goals. In the history of mankind, this is absolutely nothing new. In dealing with such people it is indeed very difficult not to become one of them. That is the dilemma. Yet deal we must. Our immediate predicament is not something we can "love" our way out of. But the long-term problems that generated this tragedy will take a much more enlightened solution than force. We must take away the tools of oppression that result in peoples' motivation to follow Megalomaniacs.

Phase 1: Accountability. Use the military to Get bin Laden, but don't kill him. Don't make him a Martyr. This won't be too hard, as his goal in life is to get others to die for him, not the other way around. He has no intentions of dying for this "cause". He is a spoiled little rich kid, that could never get any attention from his father (one of 20 kids). He knows nothing of the life of the commoner. He will do anything to stay alive. And get his top 25 lieutenants. They can be killed if necessary. The full organization will still need to be rooted out, but at least it's ability to coordinate a large-scale attack against any country will be mostly curtailed. Then continue with a highly international non-military legal/police effort to find and try terrorists, then jail them.

Phase 2: Eliminate Safe Harbors. Make the cost of sponsoring terrorism too high.

States that sponsor terrorism must lose their country, or at least have a very real fear they could. Set an example with Afghanistan. Afghanistan's ruling Taliban must be absolutely and completely eradicated. This probably will not actually be that difficult, and may not involve very much bloodshed. They are not liked. They fight a war against insurgents already. And the common man does not care about military and politics - they are just struggling to make a living in a very economically depressed country. The Taliban has successfully brought money into Afghanistan through building a heroin economy that benefits few. All neighboring Arabs do not like this, as heroin is becoming a greater problem as a result, and this is clearly against their religious beliefs. We have allies, as long as our "War" is against the Taliban, not the Afghani commoner.

Once the Taliban is eliminated, every other state ruler that sponsors terrorism will see that they could also pay the only price that is too high for them - loss of their ruling power. This is the only price they are not willing to pay. They will watch heartlessly as their people starve and die. But they cannot fathom losing power. Show them they could pay that price, and they will yield to international pressure to offer up any known or suspected terrorist for international (not US) legal action.

Phase 3: Remove the tools of oppression.

A. All will admit, in the US and elswhere, that completely unrestrained capitalism results in some unsavory societal problems. We have anti-trust laws, the EPA, and much of corporate law addressing known deficiencies in capitalism. Now we have another - profit motivated actions of corporations throughout the world must be regulated to insure that the common people of a country are not abused. We already work hard for that - for example the Chinese prison labor that people are combating. But we need to do much, much more. We need to look at what all of the oil money in the Middle East has done for the commoner. In most cases, it has gone towards the buildup of an elite ruling class that can afford to buy arms from China, Russia, Germany, France, the US, and many other countries, to militarily suppress the internal problems that result from stark contrasts between the rich and the poor. The solution here is not clear or easy, but let's at least acknowledge the problem, and join in an effort to address it.

B. Israel must hand over the West Bank to Palestinians, and do it now. They must remove all settlements there. Not because they are caving to terrorists, but because it is the right thing to do. The US must supervise it if necessary. Israel has seldom failed to cave when the US threatens loss of aid. Our policy of supporting Israel regardless of the stance their rulers take has come at a great cost to us, (AND to Israel as well). It is very clear that our support of Israel in the oppression of the Palestinians led, in large part, to this recent tragedy. The Palestinians are generally poor, uneducated people who do a lot of the manual labor in Israel and surrounding states. They do not have the resources nor the sophistication to garner influence on the world political stage, but their plight is valid. Give them their homeland. Then, the world will support Israel dramatically more in addressing any further terrorism. And they will have a clear location from whence any further Palestinian aggression eminates.

C. The US MUST pull out of Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. We must stop the embargo now. There is simply no justification for our current policy. It is a failure by any measure. We either go in and get Hussein, or leave with this message - "do anything outside your borders and we come in and eliminate you". Our policy with Iraq is hurting millions of people there, not Hussein. And it is generating immense anger from the common Arab. They think the only thing we care about is their oil, and our profits. We have to show them we respect their culture and their people through our actions.

With the above actions, we will substantially improve the chances that we not see another tragedy like this.
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