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response to Walter

Reader comment on item: Defending and Advancing Freedom

Submitted by a Filipino liberal (Philippines), Nov 22, 2005 at 04:30

Did I say Pakistan? That's an error on my part. Sorry. I meant Afghanistan, of course. Thanks for pointing that out.

Here's my response. Aside from that mistake, you were unable to say anything else other than that my comment was a "rant", a "diatribe", etc. It didn't sound too much like a rant to me (especially when you compare it to Kim Segar's earlier comment). You did not offer a response of any value to my comments, and said it was because of Proverbs 26:4, "do not answer a fool according to his folly...". That proverb means, of course, that attempting to argue or reason with fools is useless, because they cannot be swayed from their beliefs by logic and they probably have no logical basis for them in the first place. Arguing with them for too long will just turn you into one of them. And so, if you don't mind, can you tell me what it was I said that was so "foolish"? And you did not respond to my comments because you claimed it would be useless. Could it be just because you don't really have any reply in the first place? And that you were looking for a reason to not do so by dismissing the entire argument out of hand as "foolish"? How convenient. To say another person's argument is stupid, without explaining why, is of course a means used by people in arguments when they really have no answer. And we've always been told that conspiracy theorists use this method, being unable to offer good evidence for their case.

Also, some other things I was unable to mention in the previous comment due to time constraints. I mentioned earlier that the UN should keep the peace in the world, not a single country (after all, can you expect a single country to act for everyone's benefit, and not pursue its own interests?). And that's yet another problem, because many American conservatives distrust the UN. Why should they? Has the UN ever treated them or the US badly?

I think the real reason is precisely because the UN is a force that can limit the US's actions. That's strange. If their intentions are good then they should have nothing to fear from the UN. (Unless of course the United Nations is the evil one, and I don't think so) The US also does not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a court that tries people for war crimes from all over the world. They even plan to form their own court to try terror suspects, etc. They have already done this before, trying international terror suspects in American courts, trying Cuba itself in an American court (imagine trying someone in the court of his enemy), and during the Yugoslavian war in 1999, NATO, which is directly connected to the US, formed its own tribune to try Serbian war criminals. Why are they doing this? Don't they trust the UN to do things fairly and effectively? So they have to take the law into their own hands? Or is it because - impossible! - some Americans or American allies might be tried for war crimes themselves?

If you don't believe that any American can be tried for a war crime, what about those responsible for the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, when American soldiers massacred an entire village? You don't think any high-ranked officer was involved in the massacre, that it only involved lower soldiers? Well, there's one very important man who was personally responsible for the US's cover-up attempt afterwards. His name is Colin Powell.

As I said in my last comment, the US believes that anything should be done to spread democracy. To that end, all means are usable, and all means have been available. Well, Walter, I have a couple of sayings as well. The US apparently believes that "The end justifies the means", and that "Might makes right". I disagree. Neither is the opposite, "The means justify the end", correct. The US practices both. They believe that a noble goal allows them to do snything to achieve it - even a war based on lies to spread democracy in the Middle East, and they also believe that if they do something nicely - like when they were dropping both food supplies and propaganda leaflets on the people of Afghanistan during their invasion - they can aim for any goal they want. Well, to me that's just wrong. In the first place, who gave the US the right to spread their own brand of democracy to the rest of the world, anyway? Who gave them the right to use force to spread their way of life in other nations? Who died and allowed them to dictate policy to everyone else? Do they know how arrogant, condescending, and offensive that sounds to other people?

As a non-American, I can understand how the Arabs must feel, even though thankfully the Philippines, as a close ally of the US, is not under attack by them just yet. Of course, preaching the "right" way to do things (get it!?) would be a bit more justifiable if you actually were morally correct. Obviously, you should be above someone else before you can presume to criticize them. But I don't believe the US has that moral ascanedancy anymore. They stopped having it when they invaded Iraq. I was actually a supporter of the US and the "war on terror" right until that then. Even before, however, when I heard of the US killing civilians and mistreating prisoners in Afghanistan (not to mention Bush's aggressive and provocative "axis of evil", and "if you're not with us, you're against us" rhetoric), I was already having some doubts about whether their actions were correct. It seemed too aggressive and extreme. And the Iraq invasion, of course, merely confirmed those suspicions. That military action was justified by the "war on terror", despite the fact that there was, and still is, no demonstrable connection between Saddam and bin Laden's al Qaeda. In fact, according to alle evidence, the two of them hated each other. (This is similar to accusing the Saudi royal family of aiding bin Laden, when in fact bin Laden's avowed goal (the very reason he first founded al-Qaeda, was to topple the "corrupt" Saudi government and return to a more fundamentalist one.). It was a classic case of the war on terror being used by the US to pursue other, different goals.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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