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RE: OT: Food for Thoughts 5 (Long)

> Glenn, Kevin not to criticise you, but your opinion is reactionary and
> unwarranted clearly you have no grasp of international politics or social
> studies. Tho it's understandable due to the situation.

Daniel, I graduated with honors from Louisiana State University with a 
in Political Science and dual concentrations in both U.S. (domestic)
Politics and International Relations. At what point would you consider my
opinion schooled enough to be of some value?

> I should suggest to talk to any arab or afghan, pakistani
> neighbour and find
> abit more about their point of views. Also take a course in Arab studies.
> Only will understanding and it's quest will prevail over ignorance and
> violence.

Too bad you couldn't drop that last sentence in an email to Osama a few
weeks ago, huh? Might have saved a few thousand innocent lives.

The issue that I have with most of these posts that argue, essentially, 
there's two sides that need to be heard, and the other side hasn't been
heard, and so therefore they had to resort to this kind of action and the
U.S., in some weird sort of way, deserves this because they didn't listen
earlier when they had the chance, is as follows:

Terrorists are extremists and the people who support them and their causes
represent a *very small* minority of people on the planet. In the case of
Osama bin Laden, he has declared a holy war on the United States and all of
its people. He wishes to - and I am NOT overstating this - *exterminate* 
American people. Really! Is there ANYONE on this list that supports this
agenda? Is this what you would have us "understand"? I would suggest that
terrorists do not represent the concerns of the mainstream populace 
on the planet - and even in Islamic countries since the Koran itself 
the kind of activities that terrorists engage in. Terrorists are the
disenfranchised, *because* they cannot mobilize significant support for
their extreme causes even within their own countries.

But, at some point, we have to ask ourselves: Where do we draw the line
between who is heard on the global stage and who is not? If we are to 
to the agenda of one group, shouldn't we also listen to the agendas of
groups of similar size and type of need? That would be fair, but surely you
can see that there could be millions of such possible groups, if the groups
were small enough. And all of them would be putting their self-serving - 
frequently conflicting - agendas forward anyway.

What will determine whose grievances get acted on? Do we listen only to
those groups who are willing to kill people to put forward their 
If only the latter gets our attention, then aren't we, by listening to them
and acting on their concerns, only encouraging other groups to conduct the
same kind of activity, since this is the precise kind of activity that
appears to generate results? Honestly, is there anyone on this list who
cannot see the anarchy that would result if, in a world of two billion plus
people, all it took to effect global political/societal/economic change was
the willingness and ability of a small group of perhaps 10-15,000 people to
put forth their agenda in particularly violent ways?

Fortunately, there is an answer to this potential nightmare. Going back to
the beginnings of civilization, we can see that man soon learned that, if 
a species we were to prosper and grow, we needed to organize ourselves
together under the rule of law. It is this rule of law that has provided 
underpinnings of society down through history to today. It is the 
on which the civilized world rests and the fact that we have such advanced
civilizations testifies to the viability of the rule of law. I am sure I
don't have to provide further support for why a world ruled by laws is
preferable to a world ruled by anarchy.

I am not saying that America has never mistyped in it's relations with 
countries or never done anything that it shouldn't have. I acknowledge, and
I think most Americans would acknowledge, that mistakes have been made and
sometimes these mistakes have harmed others in other countries. OTOH,
however, there are many good things America has done too, and surely I 
have to provide examples of all the different kinds of aid and support
America has provided to foreign countries in times of need - and sometimes
even when these same countries were former enemies. On the whole, I think
we're accountable for saving more lives than we are responsible for taking.
And I would even agree that, where the issues raised by organizations 
the planet leave room for negotiation and represent the wishes of some
significant portion of countries or peoples, or even a single country, we
need to find better ways of hearing and acting on these concerns so that
folks don't feel the need for such extreme action.

We live in an increasingly global community. There's no adequate way to
really address the needs of small groups of people in a global way if those
wishes do not represent the desires of a very large number of people. 
a fact, but this is both logical and prudent too, right? Nations who live 
this world we live in - where the plans to create an atom bomb are freely
available in nearly any library, for example - have an obligation to the
rest of the world community to, *as much as they reasonably can*, be a
responsible member of that community. The costs of not doing so, in today's
world, are simply too great. I realize there are a lot of different ways
that the line can be drawn while attempting to preserve liberty. But 
to say that providing a home and various kinds of support for known
terrorists crosses the line in being a responsible member of that 
In the final analysis, being *responsible as a nation* (since they have the
ability to control policies within their borders) is the only rational
activity that offers any hope of enabling us to live in a safe world. No 
claims that it is possible to end all violence, but large scale violence 
in many cases be curbed.

Osama's agenda of extermination, and the inflammatory way he grabbed our
attention, doesn't leave much room for negotiation. Frankly, I am shocked,
and saddened, that ANY of you COULD condone his behavior to ANY degree. He,
and his kind, represent a threat to the entire civilized world and the
governmental institutions which allow our global community to exist and
function under the rule of law. He is a threat to your life and mine. To
allow him to perpetuate these kinds of activities only ensures that more
innocents will die. Of this we can be certain.

I also must acknowledge that some innocents elsewhere in the world will
likely die as a result of the forthcoming hostilities, but you all should
remember that these hostilities are only now being contemplated in 
to* Osama's actions. In this way, these deaths, try as we might to prevent
them, really result from Osama's actions, not American actions. 
I would suggest that, to the extent that these deaths result from 
unfortunately held by some of you, that encourage, or at least tolerate 
kind of terrorist behavior under the guise of giving an airing to such
extremist views, you will have blood on your hands too.

I deeply regret that more innocent people will die, as I know most do. But
clearly Osama himself, and the people who work with him and support him,
have not shown themselves fit to sit at the table of the global community.
There is simply no rationale under which that privilege can be granted. His
ideas and actions are so abhorrent that no world leader will openly
articulate or support them. So something must be done.

Make no mistake, good folks, Osama is no Gandhi. His actions speak for
themselves, and his day of atonement is coming. And when it does, it will 
a day of celebration not only in America, but in all nations and among all
peoples who value life, liberty and the rule of law.