Critical Section

Archive: March 7, 2003

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This War

Friday,  03/07/03  12:01 AM

I could understand if one opposes the upcoming conflict because one consistently opposes all conflict. But if you would allow that there are at least some circumstances that would justify taking up arms in defense of this nation and its citizens, read on...

A few things to think about when someone says we have no right to strike against middle-eastern extremists:

- The bombing of PanAm Flight 103
- The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993
- The bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon
- The bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia
- The bombing of the American Embassies in Africa
- The bombing of the USS COLE
- The attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/01
- The attack on the Pentagon on 9/11/01

Set aside your political biases and take a moment to consider the thousands of innocent lives - most of them American lives - lost in these attacks. Consider what the trend of these attacks portends for citizens of this country if we do nothing.

Is it appropriate to oppose the Bush administration's plans on the grounds that we should not attack "because we have not been attacked?" No.

What about the claim that this is all about oil? To someone committed to a liberal position, it may feel good to characterize this campaign as being only in the interest of "Big Oil."  There is no question that big business influences policy in this country - whether it be fiscal policy, war, or health care reform. This has always been the case, and always will be, regardless of which party rules which branch of government in any given year. Get over it. But to say that we are wrong to strike because this is all about oil, and we have no real beef with these people, is just insulting to the intelligence of anyone who looks even casually at recent history.

Now, the question remains: Who are "these people?" Does striking at Saddam Hussein serve the purpose of protecting Americans (and other innocent people around the world)? Is Iraq an appropriate target at this time? That's a very important question, and it is a question about military intelligence. Our military intelligence says that Saddam is an imminent threat to add to the list of attacks above. If you know anything about him, you know that Saddam is a powerful and wealthy dictator, with a long history of savagery, who has dedicated his life to taking down Western Civilization. He is known to have WMD and has in fact used such weapons against his own people.

I could understand if one opposes this conflict because one feels that our military intelligence is not to be believed. But realize that, in taking that position, one posits that Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and many others are intentionally misleading this country (read lying). I have no proof that they are lying. Do you?

There is one thing we do have proof of, and it can be seen in the list above: Proof that there are many people actively working to kill innocent Americans in large numbers, and that the intensity of their efforts is increasing.

Don't get me wrong - in general, I am very cynical about politicians. But this is not a time for generalizations; this is a time to think clearly and critically about the specifics of the current situation.

If you say this is only about oil, I say look at the list of attacks, and the trend.

If you say we have no right to strike against people who have not harmed us, I say look at the list of attacks. And the trend.

If you say that attacking Iraq in order to separate violent anti-American extremists from weapons of mass destruction is not necessary, I ask:

What do you know about the US military intelligence that I don't?

-- received via email 3/6/03, and posted anonymously...


Friday,  03/07/03  02:21 AM

Did you see President Bush's press conference tonight?  He seemed tired, didn't he...  I would be, too, if I carried his responsibility.  I don't see how anyone could watch him and think he is a warmongering cowboy, he seemed very serious and concerned.  He also made two significant points: "When it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission", and "the risk of doing nothing is greater than the risk of doing something".  He also said he's going ahead with a U.N. Security Council vote whether or not a "whip check" reveals he has the votes.  Meaning note will be taken of who is with us...Armed Liberty

Wondering why we are so bothered with Iraq and not North Korea?  Eugene Volokh nails it.  Please read this if you are wondering...

Saddam is such a great guy.  This article describes how he has issued U.S. uniforms to some of his troops so they can attack Iraqi civilians, then blame it on the U.S.

Have you heard about The Lysistrata Project?  Apparently women are being urged to withhold sex from pro-war men.  Yeah, right, like that's going to happen.  Asparagirl posted a terrific response.  I think of women more like the illustration at right.

The Pentagon gave a briefing yesterday on how Iragi targets are determined and how collateral damage will be minimized.  Details here...  very interesting.

Here's a really cool essay about "overclocking" humans by Gregory Cochran, who doesn't have a blog but should.  It is posted on Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor site, of all places.

Razib copied this article from The Economist's print edition about affirmative action in Britain.  "What caste is to India and race is to America, class is to Britain."

From Scoble:  "If you're going to do a layout of pictures, you must ALWAYS make one picture twice as big as any of the others.  Why does this rule work?  Because the human mind wants to focus on one thing."  Fascinating.


Friday,  03/07/03  11:35 AM

Every once in a while you come across a utility which is just - cool.  I figured I'd run a "link check" against little 'ol Critical Section to make sure nothing was broken.  Surfing around I came across Xenulink, a free link checker written by Tilman Hausherr which just ... works.  Awesome!

This is the power of the Internet.  Some guy in Germany wanted a great link checker, so he wrote one.  Then some guy in California needed a great link checker, and he was able to find and use the same one.  How efficient is that!

You learn some interesting things this way...   turns out the L.A.Times only keeps articles posted for 7 days.  After that they go into their "archives", which you must pay to access!  So any link to a LAT article goes stale after 7 days.  That's it, they're off the blogroll!


Friday,  03/07/03  04:08 PM

Paper Sky.  Cool.  View it.


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