War Hysteria.

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I think that the following article speaks for itself, but I'd just like to add that additional hysteria has been seen regarding anthrax, smallpox, and even chickenpox. How we DO overreact!

War Hysteria

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 28, 2001


Anita thanks for posting this. I agree that we overreact to many things... or maybe that should read the media overreact. But I do have comments on the article:

"Journalists impeded by restricted access and blind patriotism have uncovered even less."

Yes I agree that the American public is ignorant of military matters and in particular this war. I believe that if you were never in the military you have no clue about the military. Journalists (for the most part) have never been in the military. Oh yeah, they went to the 'front lines' to report on action but they have never been through the 'mill', sort of speak. So, the American public will remain ignorant of military matters for two very valid reasons: one, they don't have a right to know about most events because of national security and two, the journalists reporting on events don't understand the nuances of the military and thus can't possibly know the 'truth'. The American public should not know the effects of our attacks to give an advantage to the enemy. The fact that the author puts proportionality in quotes indicates his own ignorance. Of course, he could espouse opinions but opinions are just that.

Further: What's wrong with patriotism? When did patriotism get such a bad name from the 'kooks'?

"Alas, the answer is clear."

This I like, narrow context. The author asks a thesis kind of question (meant for academia) and answers it. Crude enforcement of the worst impulse represents an old style American war. Well, gee, isn't that special, again opinion based on his own very lacking experiences and knowledge. So we shouldn't overreact (as he suggests) because others may retaliate. Couldn't the author possibly postulate that the military knows this? Of course not, the military represents (to him) the utmost stupidity and this belief is insulting to millions of people. Well, I'll state that the military in fact knows this very well and further knows HOW the enemy may retaliate. The author also stipulates that this fear of retaliation then justifies not going to war. Further, he doesn't know or understand the mission therefore the military couldn't possibly consider any other context such as he put forth. What nonsense!

Wrongly defined use of force: "It may be the only kind of force the behemoth Pentagon knows to exercise"

Now that's funny! Did the author know it used to be called the WAR Department? Guess why that is? Maybe because it's purpose in life is to win wars.

And now we have the reason these 'kooks' keep touting, "The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 could have been defined not as acts of war, but as crimes."

No, this wasn't a crime. And we (the military in any war) accept collateral damage.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), November 29, 2001.

Funny thing, Maria. I was never in the military. I am a liberal. But I also accept "collateral damage" as unavoidable in war. Go figure.

What I can't accept is the term "collateral damage". I think it should always be called by its real name: "dead and wounded civilians".

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), November 29, 2001.

LN, there are always exceptions to generalizations. Do you also believe that this is an unjust war?

I agree with your choice of words however collateral damage also refers to damage to nearby buildings and structures such as bridges (which we also need to move equipment and troops).

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com`), November 29, 2001.

"Do you also believe that this is an unjust war?"

No. Now that Osama bin Laden has more or less publically accepted responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the USA, there is no reason to quibble over whether we are blaming the wrong organization. The Taliban not only sheltered al-Qaeda, but their words and actions in the month following 9/11 leave no doubt in my mind that those acts of war against us were wholly consistant with Taliban government policy toward the USA, so there was no need for them to declare war on us. In real life, they are at war with us and have been ever since they refused to cooperate in apprehending bin Laden.

In the same sense, we are at war with them now, even without any official decalaration. That bothers me. I still wish the Congress would act, even in retrospect, to legitimize this war through a formal declaration. In my view, this war may not be "unjust", but it is unauthorized and (in light of the Constitution) illegal.

I know this sounds legalistic to some people, but supposedly we are a nation of laws, not autocrats. When our leaders openly flout the laws that should bind them, it is a Bad Thing in my view.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), November 29, 2001.

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