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Reply #239: Well, Ma'am [View All]

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #231
239. Well, Ma'am
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 08:54 PM by The Magistrate
It is in the main a pretty foolish piece. Its author is devoted to several untrue beliefs, but they mostly have no relevance to the thrust of discussion here, and so are not worth engaging. He does not have a very good grasp of the laws of war, in particular, or much understanding of what moves people to kill and die in war, but these things are common to people who blankly abhor the whole exercise. Devil's advocacy is best avoided by those who think themselves angels at heart, they cannot avoid striking false notes in that key.

The Pentagon was certainly a legitimate target; there is hardly any more legitimate a military target than the highest headquarters of a military force. The means of striking at the Pentagon, however, would probably be judged criminal, as it involved a large number civilians, and it was probably not necessary to do so. The Trade Center buildings were not a military target, and there is no possible construction that can be placed on that attack that would render it other than a criminal deed. It does not matter to the laws of war that some of the civilians at that premesis may have profitted from exploitation, even exploitation unto death, of some other people: wrecking that place, and killing those people, could have no direct military value, and that is the criterion.

To the degree that the author is in sympathy with the idea that the United States and its people deserve some punishment, he must unavoidably be seen as in sympathy to exactly that degree with the people who carried these actions, that he views as a species of collective punishment against the economic and military elite of the country. He can hardly be surprised by the storm of obloquey called down on his head by this piece, but likely intended to provoke it, and rather enjoys the storm and noteriety it brings. Nor can he sustain any pretense that his mind set is really much different than that of members of the economic and military elite he is so incensed with: he merely takes another side, but would prosecute its aims in precisely the same style as they work to achieve their's.

"Revolution, n.: An abrupt change in the form of mis-government."
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