|September 30, 2001 9:25 p.m. -- As soon as it became
apparent that U.S. troops could be engaged in combat in Afghanistan, I
thought about Stinger missiles.
In the 1980's, the Afghan
mujahedeen were fighting to expel the Soviet Union from their country.
The mujahedeen were being decimated by Soviet helicopter gunships. But
the mujahedeen were able to turn the tide of battle against the Soviet
forces occupying their nation after the U.S. supplied the mujahedeen with
several hundred Stinger shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.
The rebels used the
Stingers effectively, bringing down scores of Soviet helicopter
introduction of Stingers into the conflict is widely regarded as a
turning point in the war.
[from the Associated
The experts seem divided on
whether Stinger missiles left over from that conflict will threaten U.S.
troops who enter Afghanistan.
Press reports that the Stinger missiles will not prove dangerous to
- any missiles still in
Afghanistan are at least a decade old and have not been properly
- U.S. aircraft and
helicopters have countermeasures and flares to fool the missiles
- Stingers are more
effective in daylight, when a gunner can see his target, and U.S.
helicopters carrying special forces will probably operate only at night
All in all, Vincent
Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, concludes in the
Associated Press piece that "The Stinger weapons are kind of obsolete
weapons at this point,'' even though "they have a mythological
On the other hand, sources as
ideologically diverse as the Washington
Times ("a deadly foe"), The
New York Times ("particularly worrisome") and the Center for Defense
Information ("reason to worry") have concluded that the
missiles could still pose a grave threat to U.S. aircraft and helicopters
operating in Afghanistan.
Lightweight enough to be
easily portable, Stingers can shoot down helicopters and low-flying
planes, including air-fueling tankers. [Center for Defense
According to The
Guardian, a British newspaper, the U.S. military apparently still
considers the Stinger missiles a threat:
The US is attempting to
trace up to 80 lost Stinger missiles which are believed to be in the
hands of Taliban forces and could pose a serious threat to any American
operation inside Afghanistan.
officials have asked their Pakistani counterparts if they had any
intelligence on where the Stinger missiles are being kept, reports
suggested last night.
According to reports, the
Americans believe the Taliban could own up to 80 of the US-made
Stingers, which have the deadliest record against low-flying aircraft of
any missile since the second world war.
The Washington Times
article also indicates that current U.S. special forces reconnaissance
missions inside Afghanistan are trying to ascertain whether the Taliban
possesses any of the Stinger missiles.
The only thing we know for
sure may be what the Boston
Globe reports: that no one knows for sure.
Hopefully U.S. forces will
not fall prey to the very weapons the U.S. provided to defeat the Soviet
September 29, 2001
10:25 p.m. --
When I read the New York Times headline "Number of Uninsured
Drops for 2nd Year" I was happy, since health care is a basic human
right -- especially in a country as fabulously wealthy as ours.
Then as I read the article,
which analyzed Census data for the year 2000, the following facts emerged:
- the percentage decline
was tiny: 1.4%
- the decline was only
one third as large as the year before, 1999
- economists and experts
predict that with the slowing economy, the number of uninsured will
actually increase this year and next
- the number of
uninsured is still huge, 38.7 million Americans, almost 1 in 7
Many people skim through a
newspaper, sometimes just glancing at the headlines. Reading the
headline of this article would give such a person a totally wrong
Wouldn't a more accurate
headline have been something like "Expansion of Health Care Coverage
Slows, Increase in Uninsured Soon Expected"?
Lack of affordable health
care for tens of millions of Americans is a continuing scandal, and the
headline of this article implies the problem is being solved, rather than
the truth: it will soon get worse.
My suggested headline would
put the emphasis where it belongs.
The New York Times
should be more careful.
September 28, 2001
10:25 p.m. --
Earlier this week there was major league irony on Bill Maher's Politically
The show took place at the
height of the controversy over Maher's comments that "we" were
"cowards" for fighting terrorists in the past by "lobbing
cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away." While at first seemingly
deliberately misinterpreted by some as an attack on the military by Maher,
what Maher meant, and what was later generally accepted as his meaning, was
that the politicians were cowards for not allowing the military to
"do its job" for fear of causalities that could hurt the
On the show, and introduced
with a great deal of respect and affection by Maher, was Tommy Smothers of
The Smothers Brothers comedy act. Smothers expressed empathy with what
Maher was going through.
The Smothers Brothers program
on CBS was canceled at the height of the Vietnam War because of their
outspoken opposition to the U.S. intervention in Indochina.
As noted elsewhere, Maher has stated over and
over again on his program his support of the Vietnam War.
So here we had one comedian
-- Tommy Smothers-- who was fired for opposing a U.S. war, speaking in
solidarity with another comedian --Bill Maher -- who not only is a vehement
supporter of the war Smothers opposed, but was facing the loss of his
program for making comments that were meant to call for more, not less, U.S.
I wonder if Tommy Smothers
knows of Maher's enthusiastic support for the Vietnam War. I thought
we might see some fireworks over that, but when Smothers mentioned how he
had felt it necessary to oppose the "sickness" back then, Maher
Maybe Maher remained silent
out of respect for the legendary Smothers, or maybe they've agreed to
disagree privately but not in public. Maybe from Smothers'
perspective, it's a case of regardless of the position being taken,
defending the right to speak out.
In any event, it must be said
that Maher does deserve credit for letting dissident voices be heard this
week who oppose any massive U.S. military strike on
Afghanistan, and advocate alternative means of protecting ourselves and
bringing bin Laden et al to justice.
September 27, 2001
-- Here's an update on the upcoming Nicaraguan presidential
elections: in the latest polls, Sandinista candidate Daniel Ortega has
pulled even with, or slightly ahead of, his main opponent, Liberal
Constitutionalist party candidate Enrique Bolaņos.
In a poll published in the
Prensa, Ortega is
ahead by two percentage points. Since the margin of error is 2.6%,
that's technically a dead heat.
The newspaper El
reports that in a poll commissioned by the U.S. Embassy in Managua,
Nicaragua, Ortega is also ahead by two percentage points, and here the
margin of error is only 1.5%.
The U.S. Embassy poll gives
Ortega a first round victory without requiring a runoff, 41% to 39%.
The La Prensa poll has
Ortega ahead 37% to 35%, which would require a run-off. However, if
undecided voters are factored in, then Ortega would also avoid a runoff
here, winning by 49% to 45%.
Other candidates garner the
rest of the votes.
I earlier detailed the many ways the
United States is interfering in the Nicaraguan election process in order to
prevent an Ortega win. It is this interference which has caused the
race to be so close, El Nuevo Diario reports, since prior to the U.S.
actions, Ortega was more comfortably ahead in the polls.
Indeed, the U.S. Embassy poll
has been criticized as a form of interference, since it was apparently
shared with the Liberal party, not the Sandinistas, and came to light only
from a Liberal party leak.
Let's hope there is no
October Surprise being planned by the U.S. to derail Ortega's apparently
good chances for victory in November.
[You can subscribe here to an
email hotline which reports the latest news from Nicaragua]
September 26, 2001
10:05 p.m. -- At
a time when many Americans are asking "Why do certain people in other
countries hate us so much?" The New York Times in a recent article
entitled "Sympathy From Relatives of the 'Disappeared' " seems
determined to hide some of the answers.
refers to 15,000-30,000 students, intellectuals and military activists in
Argentina who were seized between 1976 and 1983 by the Argentine military
government as alleged "leftists," and never heard from again.
The article notes that for
both the relatives of the disappeared and the relatives of those killed in
the September 11 terrorist attacks, the lack of remains is a "shared
Incredibly, the article fails
to mention that the Argentine military and intelligence agencies worked
closely with, and were assisted by, the U.S.
military and U.S. intelligence agencies during this time period. As a
supporter of the Argentine military regime and intelligence activities, the
U.S. helped facilitate the murder of these thousands of
"disappeared." Many suspect even deeper U.S. involvement.
It is such support for
torture and murder abroad that rightly earns the U.S. an international black
It is just this type of
immoral activity that the U.S. must completely cease in order to avoid
creating additional multitudes of people who hate us.
Nothing can justify the World
Trade Center terrorism of September 11. Much can be done to help
prevent further such occurrences by an honest examination and reappraisal of
U.S. actions abroad, such as suggested in my "Proposal for a Non-Partisan
Commission on U.S. Foreign Policy Since World War II."
September 25, 2001
-- This is how The Daily Diatribe began about seven weeks ago, describing
police brutality at the protests against globalization during the G8 summit
[I]n the early hours of
July 22, 92 young people were dragged from their beds by squads of Italian
anti-riot police officers who beat and jailed them.
students crouching as they were kicked, pummeled with clubs and thrown
down stairs, and emergency room doctors said a number of the injured would
have died without treatment. Television crews arriving on the scene later
filmed pools of blood and teeth knocked out during the raid.
At least two dozen
[students] were hospitalized.
New York Times, August 8, 2000]]
The right-wing Italian
government just issued a report absolving the police of any wrongdoing:
ITALY: POLICE ABSOLVED FOR
G-8 RIOTS Parliament approved a report on the Group of 8 summit meeting in
Genoa, absolving security forces of blame in the rioting... Opposition
center-left parties denounced the findings as a whitewash and said poor
law enforcement had been largely to blame for the violence in which one
[The New York Times,
Discussing the Parliament
report In a subsequent article about anti-globalization protests, a New
York Times correspondent noted:
The legislators acted even
though reports of brutality there have never been seriously
Despite a police raid in
the middle of the night on protesters at the July meeting in Genoa, and
the death of one protester, this week's government report defended the
police, saying that in Genoa the officers "did their utmost, paying a
high price in terms of risking injury."
[The New York Times,
This is an outrageous
cover-up, and would almost certainly have garnered more prominent coverage
absent the saturation reporting that is not unduly being accorded the World
Trade Center attack and its aftermath.
The powers that be may well
hope that other similarly objectionable actions will slip under the radar at
the present time, so progressives must be especially on guard.
September 24, 2001
10:15 p.m. --
The United States is apparently going to support the efforts of the
Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, which is fighting to oust the Taliban
The media is giving very
little attention to what type of groups and individuals comprise the
Northern Alliance, and if it is an organization we should even be helping.
The unstated assumption,
which seems to be accepted blindly, is that if the Northern Alliance is
anti-Taliban, that's all we need to know.
The United States supported
Osama bin Laden when he was fighting against the Soviet occupation of
Afghanistan. In order to avoid another similar mistake which can have
exceedingly negative ramifications in the future, our nation needs to
examine carefully the characteristics of this Northern Alliance before we
Here are some critical
questions which need to be answered:
The groups comprising the
Northern Alliance once fought against each other for control of Kabul, so if
the Northern Alliance takes power, what will prevent these groups from
starting another war among themselves?
Does the Northern Alliance
advocate a democratic Afghanistan, or an Afghanistan under some sort of
If the Northern Alliance
intends to establish some sort of Islamic theocracy in Afghanistan, to what
extent, if any, will it be less severe than that of the Taliban?
Will the Northern Alliance,
if it takes power, establish equal rights for women, oppress women like the
Taliban, or something in between?
Does the Northern Alliance
intend to establish a judicial system based on Islamic law, sharia?
If the Northern Alliance
intends to establish a judicial system based on sharia, will the
interpretation be a strict one, requiring, for example, the amputation of
the limbs of thieves?
Is it true that members of
the Northern Alliance routinely use torture in the areas they control to
extract information from prisoners and to break political opponents?
Does the Northern Alliance
receive assistance from Iran, a nation the United States has long accused of
Isn't the Northern Alliance
composed largely of Afghanistan's ethnic minorities -- Tajiks, Uzbeks and
Hazari -- so that the majority Pashtun population would never accept the
Northern Alliance as a governing force?
Before the United States
provides the wherewithal for the Northern Alliance to defeat the Taliban and
take over Afghanistan, we should extract a pledge from the Northern Alliance
that they will establish a democratic system which respects women's rights
and upholds all other generally accepted human rights standards.
If such a pledge is not
forthcoming, it would be better to forego support of the Northern
Alliance. If we need to oust the Taliban, we should do it ourselves
and then put Afghanistan under some sort of U.N. administration until
democratic-oriented groups within that nation are ready to govern.
We understandably want a
government in Afghanistan that does not harbor terrorists who attack our
nation. We must accomplish this goal, however, without creating yet
another instance of the U.S. supporting one dictatorial regime because we
prefer it to the previous dictatorial regime -- all without regard to the
well-being of the people of that nation.
9:35 p.m. --
"Pinkos" and "Commies." These are some of the
names that people without anything intelligent to say used to denigrate
protesters against the Vietnam War in the 60's and 70's.
So it is with some degree of
surprise that I find myself being called these very two names in the last
few days. Readers who have posted links to my site on various bulletin
boards have been similarly attacked.
What triggered the
name-calling was my argument that we should eliminate the threat of Osama bin Laden
without killing innocent civilians -- men, women, children and babies -- in
other countries. We
can accomplish this with special ops forces, attacks on military assets,
improved intelligence, and financial measures to cut off all of the
terrorists' sources of funding.
Where in such a line of
argument do these year-2001 name-callers find communist ideology?
During the Vietnam War we
were fighting against a communist nation, so at least back then there was a
sort of simpleton's "logic" to labeling anyone who opposed the war
as being a supporter of the other side, in other words, a "commie"
or a "pinko."
But the present day
terrorists are not communists. And the Cold War ended many years ago
with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
And above all, of course, I'm
not opposing a war on the terrorists, just debating the means.
Those now calling me, and my
link-posting readers, these names must be incredibly bereft of any reasoning
faculties and factual knowledge. They apparently have nothing
substantive with which to counter my points. So they reach back into
the past and dredge up outdated and irrelevant name-calling tactics.
All of those doing so should
realize that by their words, they risk irrevocably branding themselves
September 22, 2001
10:55 p.m. --
The Taliban gave a dire warning to a CNN correspondent this week:
Nic Robertson has
reported for CNN from Afghanistan throughout the coverage so far. But on
Monday he was forced to move from Kabul to Kandahar after officials of
the ruling Taliban told him they could not guarantee his safety.
"They told me, in no
other terms, that should there be an attack, the mob will rule and
nothing will be able to be done," Mr. Robertson said from a
satellite phone in Kandahar. "One official told me: `The crowd will
set upon you and pull you apart into so many pieces no one will be able
to identify you from a piece of meat.' "
New York Times, September 19, 2001]
Remember the eight Christian
foreign aid workers, included two Americans, who are imprisoned and being
tried in Afghanistan for trying to convert people from Islam to
Do they face a similar risk
of mob violence should the U.S. attack Afghanistan militarily?
Two of President Bush's
demands on the Taliban during his recent speech
- Release all foreign
nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned.
- Protect foreign
journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country.
It certainly sounds like the
U.S. government is concerned about their safety also.
The Taliban, who have been
condemned by most of the world for virtually enslaving the women of their country, are
to be condemned as well for imprisoning people for talking about religion.
I previously wrote about how even other Christian
aid workers in Afghanistan felt that their imprisoned colleagues had acted
recklessly in violating such a well-known law, and for thereby endangering
not only themselves, but their Afghan staff, 16 of whom have also been
At that time, it seemed the
Afghan staff faced the death penalty, while the foreign workers only faced
expulsion from the country.
Now it appears the foreign
workers may well be in quite a bit more danger.
The latest report
is that the Taliban have just moved the aid workers' location for reasons of
"security." Or, perhaps, to make it harder for a U.S.
commando rescue mission to find them.
We all hope and pray the aid
workers get out of Afghanistan safely.
And I also hope and pray that
all other innocent civilians in Afghanistan -- men, women and children
--also survive the current turmoil unharmed.
on the necessity of avoiding civilian causalities in any U.S. military
10:55 p.m. -- A
previous column reported the
opinion of legal experts that the Joint Resolution authorizing
President Bush to respond to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks does
not give him carte blanche to wage extended war with U.S. troops.
This conclusion was based on
the fact that the Joint Resolution
specifically states that
it does not supersede the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which requires
the president to seek Congressional approval for any extended use of
American forces in combat.
Many of us thought this was
good news, because while we want the threat posed by Osama bin Laden
eliminated, we also want Congress to have oversight over the process.
Unfortunately, it turns out
that this view is not shared by all legal experts:
The resolution passed by
Congress authorizing President Bush to use force in response to last
Tuesday's terror attacks is nearly as wide-ranging as a declaration of
war, some legal analysts said...
Prof. Harold H. Koh of
the Yale Law School said that he believed that the resolution did not
limit Mr. Bush in any significant way.
"I think it is
extremely broad because no nations are named, the nations are to be
determined by the president and the president could theoretically name
lots of nations," said Professor Koh, an authority on national
security law and a former assistant secretary of state under President
Bill Clinton. "There is also no time limit."
New York Times, September 18, 2001]
This may seem like an
irrelevant, even esoteric discussion at the current time, when the country
is united in its desire to eliminate the bin Laden threat.
However, the issue of if, how
and to what extent Bush is limited in his power to conduct an extended war
campaign without Congressional approval may well become quite relevant
should the initial military efforts bog down, or not be as immediately
successful as we would hope.
September 20, 2001
10:55 p.m. --
Bush's speechwriters gave him a forceful, well-crafted speech to read.
Bush read the speech much more effectively than anyone has ever seen him
read a speech before.
He verbally made certain
distinctions he needed to make, such as between the terrorists who call
themselves Muslims, and the other one billion Muslims in the world.
Bush didn't smirk, and seemed
Frankly, I was impressed with
There were, however, at least
two major substantive shortcomings that leapt out at me immediately:
First, Bush made no pledge to
avoid any military actions which would kill innocent civilians. Such a
limitation is a prerequisite before
I and many millions of other Americans could support any military strikes.
Those of us who hold this
view have a duty to make our "No Killing of Civilians" a national
Second, Bush repeated the
simpleton-level explanation of why bin Laden and his group hate us: our
freedom and our prosperity. As noted yesterday,
there are legitimate political grievances that many peoples around the world
have with the way U.S. foreign policy has hurt and killed their countrymen
and ruined their countries.
Bin Laden and his group, who
would, if they could, impose a Taliban-like theocratic dictatorship on
humanity, with the attendant placing into slavery of all women, might very
well hate us even if our government had not committed atrocities all over
Still, U.S. foreign policy
needs to be seriously examined and changed. (Of course, whether that's
possible or not given the present power structure of our country is a whole
Be that as it may, a
necessary first step is what I suggested yesterday:
setting up a non-partisan National Commission on U.S. Foreign Policy Since
World War II. Broad domestic and international input would be critical
to its relevance and success.
So what Bush's speech omitted
can guide our political activism in future days:
No killing of civilians, and
set up the Commission -- two positions that progressives can espouse with
vigor, and without fear of being criticized for wanting to let the
terrorists get away with their evil deed.
10:15 p.m. --
The lock-step mantra thundering from the Bush administration and most
politicians and commentators is that the terrorists who attacked the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon targeted the United States because they hate
our freedom and are jealous of our prosperity.
A few public figures -- not
many, but perhaps a slowly growing number -- have dared to delve deeper into
All of these public figures
rightly condemn without equivocation the terrorist attacks, and lay 100% of
the moral responsibility for these outrageous acts on the perpetrators.
That being understood, an
acknowledgement is made that there are concrete, specific issues involved,
not just irrational hatred and jealousy:
[I]n the Arab and wider
Muslim worlds... bitter political grievances abound, among them: the
United States' support of Israel; its troop presence in the "holy
land" of the Arabian peninsula; its military encirclement and
economic strangulation of Iraq; and its alliances with governments
across the Middle East and Asia that are widely perceived as corrupt.
[John Burns, The
New York Times, September 16, 2001]
Similarly, James Robison, a
well-known evangelist and host of "Life Today," a Christian
television program, speaks of our "sins" of
relationships with Third World and foreign countries, plundering other
countries for resources while supporting their despots, and indifference
to others' poverty and pain.
New York Times, September 15. 2001]
Patrick J. Buchanan asks:
What motivates that kind
of hatred? Why did they do it? Why do they hate us so much?
How can all our meddling
not fail to spark some horrible retribution?
[on Hannity &
Colmes, September 19, 2001]
Where should our asking these
questions lead us? Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE) provides a clue:
Mr. Kerrey, a combat
veteran of Vietnam, also pointed out the psychological challenge for
leaders and a public that have been quick to denounce the attacks as the
work of cowards or madmen.
"I condemn it
morally, and I do think it was cowardly," Mr. Kerrey said.
"But physically, it was the opposite of cowardly, and if you don't
understand that, then you don't understand the intensity of the cause
and then you're papering over one of the most important things. There is
hatred out there against the United States, and yes, we have to deal
with terrorism in a zero-tolerance fashion. But there is anger, too, and
they ought to have a place for a hearing on that anger, in the
International Court or wherever we give them a hearing."
New York Times, September 15, 2001]
Following those last words of Sen. Kerrey, I propose that at an appropriate
time -- not immediately, but soon after the immediate threat of bin Laden
and associates has been taken care of -- a non-partisan "Commission on
United States Foreign Policy After World War II" be established.
I say non-partisan as opposed
to bi-partisan, because a far greater spectrum of input would be appropriate
than just from the Democratic and Republican parties.
All elements of the U.S.
political spectrum should be invited to present their facts and analysis on
a country-by-country basis. And it shouldn't end there.
In a manner similar to that
of certain commissions which have been set up in Third World countries after
internal strife has ended, citizens of other countries who feel they have
been victims of U.S. foreign policy should be invited to present their
testimony and data.
The mandate of the commission
I am advocating would be not only to try to come to a consensus on where
U.S. foreign policy in the last 56 years had gone right and where it has
gone wrong, but also, to make recommendations for the future.
Would Congress ever set up
such a commission?
If not, who could?
By what process would
commission members be chosen?
How could the number of
individuals and groups desiring to present evidence be kept to a manageable
All of these questions and a
myriad of other concerns must be addressed.
I make this proposal here in
only the most rudimentary form, in an attempt to start making something
positive come out of an event last week so tragic.
In that spirit, all
suggestions for how such a commission could be set up and operate would be
most welcome. They will be incorporated into future writings on this
September 18, 2001
10:55 p.m. --
Those of us strongly opposing the bombing of the civilian infrastructure of
Afghanistan or any other country are often met by the argument that "we
did it in World War II against the Germans."
The situations are not
In World War II the United
States was fighting the standing multi-million man German army. The
civilian population of Germany provided the men for that army, grew the food
to feed that army, make the guns, planes and other weapons that army used to
fight with, and through taxes provided the funds that army used to purchase
anything else it needed.
So destroying the civilian
infrastructure of German could at least be said to have been directly
related to cutting off the German army's supply of men, food, weapons and
everything else it needed to survive.
In the case of Afghanistan,
the opposite is true. Bin Laden's "troops" don't by and
large come from the Afghan population, but from other Arab countries.
Bin Laden's money doesn't come from taxes paid to the Afghan government;
rather, bin Laden is himself wealthy, and his group also receives funds from
individual contributors from countries outside of Afghanistan. Afghan
factories certainly don't manufacture the weapons that bin Laden purchases.
So destroying the civilian
infrastructure of Afghanistan would not have anything to do with cutting off
bin Laden's source of personnel, weapons or money.
Assuming bin Laden purchases
his food locally, destroying the civilian infrastructure could, if it
produced widespread starvation in Afghanistan, reduce bin Laden's food
But as discussed yesterday in evaluating
Bill O'Reilly's call to starve the Afghan population to force them to
overthrow their government, such a course of action would constitute
terrorism by our country: targeting civilians for injury or death in order
to further our political goals.
That would bring us down to
bin Laden's level, and forfeit our claim to moral superiority in our
campaign against him.
There are legitimate
diplomatic and military ways to bring down bin Laden, and those are the ones
that we should employ, not killing innocent Afghan civilians.
10:45 p.m. --
Bill O'Reilly, Fox News talk show star, called tonight for mass terrorism
against the civilian populations of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
O'Reilly advocated completely
destroying the civilian infrastructure of those countries, as well as mining
the harbors of Tripoli, Libya.
Then, O'Reilly said, those
populations will have two choices: starve, or overthrow their
"Knock their food supply
out and their water supply out and those people will have to overthrow the
Taliban. It's either that or they die."
"The population must be
made to endure another round of intense pain" O'Reilly said of Iraqi
Regarding Libya, O'Reilly
says, "Let them eat sand."
Even a military
counter-terrorism expert on the show, retired Major General Paul Vallely,
when asked his opinion of O'Reilly's plan, balked. Vallely warned
O'Reilly that such a course of action would hurt "all the other people
that are not part of that regime."
O'Reilly said he didn't care:
if people were going to go down, better the civilians than U.S. troops.
Note to Bill: targeting and
harming civilians for political purposes is the very definition of
terrorism. Mass terrorism is what you're advocating.
Why does O'Reilly have a talk
show? He should have a padded cell.
[O'Reilly's horrible idea also violates
the Geneva Convention]
September 16, 2001
10:55 p.m. --
We can't claim it was wrong for others to kill our innocent civilians, and
then go ahead and kill another country's innocent civilians.
Some pundits would have you
believe that as long as we don't "intend to" or
"deliberately" target civilians, we're okay. In other words,
if we attack military targets and civilians get killed in the process,
That's not so. If you
have a military target in your gun sights, and also in the field of fire are
civilians, if you fire your weapon, then you have "intended to"
and "deliberately" killed civilians.
Killing civilians may not
have been your desire nor your main intent, but if you can reasonably assume
that your actions will kill civilians, then you have deliberately, with
intent, killed them.
In other words, you
will have killed innocent civilians in pursuit of your larger goal --
exactly what the World Trade Center terrorists did.
And of course, the innocent
civilians are equally dead in both instances.
We should, therefore, attack
targets only when we can reasonably assume there are no innocent civilians
in the way.
That's the only way to avoid
a hypocrisy so severe as to literally undermine the very justification for
our military actions.
[more on not killing innocent Afghan
children, women and men]