An interesting special on ABC this evening: a session in an elementary classroom with kids talking about the events of September 11, terrorism, etc.

The kids were all very wise and compasionate and sensible. Far more wise and compasionate than their elders. And, almost to a head, they didn’t think we should go to war against, well, whoever.

I’m ashamed to live in a country, a world, where after thousands of years of “civilization” our gut recourse — and indeed our recourse after some time to think — is still to go and blow our aggressors off the face of the earth.

It might actually work, this “infinite justice” — although it could as easily fail, or drag on for years — but once all is said and done and thousands of “ours” and “theirs” are dead or maimed, what is better about the world?

It’s fine to grieve and get angry and fly the flag and sing the rah-rah songs and give money to a telethon — we all need things to distract us from the horrors of last week.

But if we give in to our base instincts, respond to evil with greater evil, then we are stupid, senseless people, guided by stupid, senseless leaders.


Alan McLeod's picture
Alan McLeod on September 21, 2001 - 11:38 Permalink

Is there such a thing as a just war? I think there is. While not compariing specific wickednesses, WWII was necessary and morally justified. The Nazi ethics was evil. Their acts were evil. The present impugned enemy of the USA, militant Middle Eastern terrorism, was described in last night’s speech by Dubyah as an divergence from Islam. I would agree. It is as divergent as McVie or the IRA/Loyalists are from the faith of Christianity. Islam celebrates and embraces the human as any great faith does. Like the the other terrorist groups, this form of organized terrorism dehumanizes as it places stranger’s lifes in their possession for political ends. My life and those of my friends and family are available pawns for their use in their ethic. Unlike the Nazis or the Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian wars of the early 1990’s, it is not an apparent effort to “cleanse” the world of humans of a certain sort but it is a way of pursuing a cause which will kill innocents for the political ends of the cause. The people whose political ends are supposedly served are not consulted and in the vast majority are not in agreement with the method used to support their cause. Is this a just war for the USA and its allies including Canada? I think it can be.

Kevin O's picture
Kevin O on September 21, 2001 - 14:42 Permalink

If Afghanistan landed beach craft on Manhattan island and proceeded to make their way up Broadway and destroyed the WTC we’d probably feel a lot better about the impending vaporization of Kabul; well, maybe a little better.

What’s needed right now is a sniper, not a fool with a shot gun. I’m all for pulling the restrictions, including the ban on assassination, off of the CIA and letting them — hell, mandate them to — find terrorist cells and eliminate them any way possible.

What’s the use of a B-52 or cruise missile when the aggressors are intermixed with everyone else?

Most of all, we (that’s all of us) have the obligation to learn why this happened. To say or believe it was the actions of a bunch of irrational lunatics is to completely missing the point.

I’m conflicted about this. I think a passive response will encourage them; I think an aggressive response will do the same thing. That tells me the response must be aggressive, surgical, and sadly, prolonged

Stan Kochanoff's picture
Stan Kochanoff on September 24, 2001 - 01:04 Permalink

Getting even or avenging what happened to over 6000 innocent people doesn’t necessarily mean the US is evil!

The fight for the freedom we in North America enjoy is a never-ending battle.Where would be today if the world was full of “bleeding hearts”?

This is not the time to turn the other cheek and give in to the terrorist vermin who supposedly acted in the name of Allah.