I think he was mocking the left...
The men who flew the missions against the WTC and Pentagon were not "cowards." That distinction properly belongs to the "firm-jawed lads" who delighted in flying stealth aircraft through the undefended airspace of Baghdad, dropping payload after payload of bombs on anyone unfortunate enough to be below – including tens of thousands of genuinely innocent civilians – while themselves incurring all the risk one might expect during a visit to the local video arcade. Still more, the word describes all those "fighting men and women" who sat at computer consoles aboard ships in the Persian Gulf, enjoying air-conditioned comfort while launching cruise missiles into neighborhoods filled with random human beings. Whatever else can be said of them, the men who struck on September 11 manifested the courage of their convictions, willingly expending their own lives in attaining their objectives.
......but I agree. The fact the US regularly goes around the world killing innocent civilians in a effort to shape the world such that corporate capitalism can generate profits for the US elites is deeply troubling.
March 15th, 2007 1:26pm
"Pre-emptive war" IS an act of cowardice.
It says you're so afraid of what a pissant tiny country with MAYBE a nuclear weapon can do to the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, that you must attack that tiny nation and spend a trillion dollars to "guarantee" that attack won't happen.
It's the way of the demagogue, who can accuse that tiny country of having that weapon in order to justify that attack.
It's the beginning of that road that says America MUST control the rest of the world, because if the rest of the world decided to gang up on America we'd lose.
It's both paranoid and self-defeating. And an expression of cowardice.
Now, "hit us and we'll mess you up big time" is the way of deterrence. It says "Sure! I'm willing to take a punch. But you see the size of the stick I'm carrying. You willing to be hit with that?". That's why we invaded Afghanistan, because the Taliban there had attacked us at the Twin Towers.
It's tragic that this administration extended our 'retaliation' into 'pre-emptive war' against Iraq.
March 15th, 2007 1:39pm
The "cowardly terrorist" thing came to mind seeing the promos for 300. The myth is the 300 Spartans that faced such extraordinary odds that their death was a virtual certainty, and the achievements of their death marginal. Yet such a stand is considered the epitome of human adventure, but we so casually discard the same chances when someone doesn't do it in our interests.
March 15th, 2007 1:50pm
It would seem to be vastly cheaper to have developed a defensive capability.
It would also ensure that we didn't have to go invading everyone with an interest in yellow cake.
But then, that just goes as further proof that this war was never really about any damned WMDs.
March 15th, 2007 2:38pm
We discard it because calling our enemies brave is less than pallatable.
It defies the whole group think principle you need to inspire and propogate when you want to subjugate and oppress people.
March 15th, 2007 2:41pm
I don't think they were cowards. I'm not quite ready to call them brave, much as I'm reluctant to call anything done in a religious fervor "brave." (They were sacrificing living in caves for an eternal paradise served by 72 virgins...)
What makes me bristle is calling the attacks "brilliant." I don't think they were that brilliant. Canny or clever, maybe, but not really any huge intellectual feat. What makes them especially non-brilliant was to do the 9/11 thing and stop, rendering the "terror" bit absolutely invalid (and it resulted in removal of the Taliban and a gutting of the heart of Islam; I do not give them credit to foresee that Bush's idiocy would end up fumbling it away)
March 15th, 2007 3:17pm
I agree with most of your post. It did not rise to the level brillant and the courage involved was reinforced by religious beliefs.
However, I think you misunderstand the nature of radical islam and the particular facts of 9/11 when you claim they traded "life in caves." They traded very ordinary middle class lives for this death. Atta was a college educated architect doing graduate work in Germany before moving to Flordia to stage the attack.
I think breaking the back of the insanity that drives young men to do this stuff would be much easier if it was about an alternative that appeared attractive next to the misery of life in a cave. Rather the drive to suicide martyrdom is about a broken US relationship with the world and broken Arab societies. Hard problems to fix.
March 15th, 2007 3:36pm
Quite frankly, I think it's a particular splinter group of Moslem fundamentalist extremists who are indoctrinating their followers into suicidal acts.
In other words, it's a cult. Treating the goals or the suicidal terrorists as if they come from a 'sane', rational place is not going to work. Sure, the teachers are motivated by a desire to unite the Islamic world. Sure, the teachers are offended by American advertising and scanty clothes. But suicide bombings are not going to change those things.
However, the solution to this is NOT to bomb all Islam back to the stone age, or take control of every Islamic nation.
The solution to this is to find the Madras establishments that are teaching this virulent indoctrination in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, England, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine and shut them down. The ones in Saudi and England have already been shut down. The ones in Pakistan are going to take a little longer, since Musharraf can't come down hard on them without losing power.
And what these particular Madras are doing is not even Muslim -- it's their own particular interpretation of Islam that they're teaching -- and a relatively modern version at that.
March 15th, 2007 4:19pm
"And what these particular Madras are doing is not even Muslim -- it's their own particular interpretation of Islam that they're teaching -- and a relatively modern version at that."
Religion is by it's very nature open to interpretation, which is why all the various sects of Muslim, Christianity or whatever are convinced of their own "correctness".
The most "correct" Muslim sect must therefore be the most convinced of it's correctness, and this title surely belongs to the fanatics.
March 15th, 2007 5:15pm
>What makes them especially non-brilliant was to do the 9/11
>thing and stop, rendering the "terror" bit absolutely
>invalid (and it resulted in removal of the Taliban and a
>gutting of the heart of Islam; I do not give them credit to
>foresee that Bush's idiocy would end up fumbling it away)
If bin Laden was behind it (which I still very much doubt), then it worked according to plan. He said that he wanted to do to America what he did to the Soviet Union in the 80s - drag them into a long, drawn out war which they could never win.
Now, Bush's idiocy may have made it longer and more drawn out than it otherwise could have been, but I think essentially bin Laden's strategy (if it was indeed his) was right on the money.
March 15th, 2007 7:03pm
> (which I still very much doubt),
who is your prime suspect? you could work with wsv on this.....
March 15th, 2007 8:09pm
March 15th, 2007 8:48pm