[extropy-chat] Tyranny in place

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Oct 31 05:34:48 UTC 2006

Samantha wrote (Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:58 AM)

>>> I don't believe Al Qaeda is or ever was a
>>> significant enough problem justify what has
>>> been and is being done in this idiotic war on a  
>>> form of asymmetric warfare.  Bush has repeadely
>>> even lowered the priority of finding bin Laden.
>> Why was the bombing of Pearl Harbor any different?
> Actual country with clear war like intentions.  Clear definition of  
> victory.  Formal declaration of war.  How was it all that similar?   
> How is the question relevant?

It's mainly relevant in that I was---and definitely am---interested in
answers to the particular questions I asked:

>> Why was the bombing of Pearl Harbor any different?  Fewer lives were
>> lost than on 9-11, and wouldn't the mature thing to do have been to 
>> just sit down with the Japanese and ask them what their problem was?
>> (They were upset about the oil sanctions.)  We could just have just
>> negotiated it out with them, do you think?

Could you please indulge me and answer exactly why such a 
"reasonable" approach would not have been wise?  I know 
some people thought that I was making a very reasonable
suggestion here, because one off-line correspondent wrote
to commend me for my suggestion.  I'd appreciate it very
much if you could carefully explain what's wrong with my
suggestion, thanks!

>> Am I to infer that you don't think Al Qaeda
>> attacks on the West will be endless?   You
>> suppose that they'll just fade away over time?
> Bush declared this is a never-ending war, not I.  I don't believe it  
> is or should be a "war" at all.

Specifically:  if the U.S. pulled out of Iraq and cut off any
aid to Israel, the Islamic Fundamentalist threat to the west
would dissolve?   If so, what about the bombs in Spain,
England, and Bali?   (I'm really not trying to make points
here; I really want to know your views and the views of
those like you.)

Consider that Islam tried to conquer the West and the whole 
world from 632 AD through about 1800 AD.  High points
were the conquest of Spain in 711, and nearly capturing
Vienna once in the 16th century IIRC and once in the
18th century.  They ceased to be a threat only from 1800 to
1990 because of their total military impotence.  But thanks
to C4 and its friends, they're back.  Also don't forget that
to them the loss of Spain, for example, was yesterday.
So their basic behavior has lasted for all but 2 of the last
14 centuries, and it matches their current rhetoric to a T.

> I think we will have a lot less  
> terrorist attacks if we refrain from some of our more asinine foreign  
> entanglements and get out of Iraq.  Whether people want to hear it or  
> not the US has been asking for major blowback in the Middle East for  
> decades now.  We will not and cannot eliminate terrorism by turning  
> the world into a complete police state.   Personally I would not want  
> to inhabit that kind of world even if such measures actually could  
> remotely be workable with deep enough total surveillance.

But the larger issue---of which this is only the first sign---is Brin's
Transparent Society.  Soon any disaffected group or individual
will be able to kill millions because his girlfriend dumped him.
Something along the lines of your "complete police state" has
always seemed to me to be an eventual necessity, though via
transparency of government too might not be totally insufferable.

>> But look on the bright side:  in terms of per capita deaths, this [war]
>> looks to be one of the gentlest in history.
> In terms of damage to fundamental rights and freedoms and the growth  
> of unchecked power it is very dangerous.  I don't see much bright side  
> to the near total perversion of US concerns by the terrorism trump card.

Of course it's dangerous.  There is danger from terrorists.  There is
danger that Bush will label certain political enemies "enemy combattants"
and the full reign of terror will be on. 

But on the whole, whether it's about the Islamic Nazis, or about
the tyrants in Washington and London who've taken over the
governments, or whether it's about global warming and ozone
holes, we do worry way too much.  We've become pathologically
risk averse.


P.S.  Sorry about the lack of spell-checking.  I've a new machine and need to
do something about that.

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