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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: ravedog on Sep 11, '03 01:18:17PM

Can we just remember that people died without diminishing it with speculation and articles about what may or may not have happened? bottom line people died - let's remember that. leave the socio-polital debate for another time and place.

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: vonleigh on Sep 11, '03 06:29:32PM

Today, tomorrow, the next day and so on, each one of these days over 20 thousand people will die of hunger or hunger related illness. These people have led painful lives and will die in a horrible way most of us couldn't imagine; can the same be said of the victims of september 11th?

I admire rob and his convictions, plus I completely agree with his right to hold a day of mourning on the site. However, I think we should give deeper thought to these issues: 3 thousand people from the US are not more important than 24 thousand from other parts of the world.

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: Ionas on Sep 11, '03 07:36:12PM

Incredibly well said. It would be doing all the dying & dead of the rest of the world a monstrous injustice to, in any way, assume that the 3000 victims of 9/11 are more significant than other victims of violence and ideological warfare around the world. I find the thought of a 9/11 memorial a bit misplaced, as there have been ample & plenty of opportunities for similar and even greater (and more terrible) grievances all around the world for the past 20 years. But I suppose distance is everything here, as this is the first time such a catastrophe has struck americans, in america...

As an european, however, I'm amazed at the number of crime experts, terrorism analysts and political commentators *in America* that belives the attack was planned and staged by the bush regime (just as I'm amazed by the number of americans that still think Saddam is connected to the world trade center thing). I can certainly buy some of their arguments as to what the government had to win from doing such a thing...

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: gedi on Sep 11, '03 08:11:34PM

If you remember only those who died in America then the statements are already political.

September 11 was a brutal tragedy, but no more so than much of what has been done in its aftermath.

I respect the sentiment of honouring the dead in New York, but I am horrified by the ritual forgetting of the thousands more who died, and continue to die, every day since in this bogus "war on terror".

A hijacked plane crashing into a New York tower is evil. A cluster bomb exploding in a Baghdad market is evil. Scattered fragments of depleted uranium in Afghan farms are evil. To denounce one of these, while ignoring or applauding the others is abhorrent.

I think one of the other posters on this forum is right, this is a computer forum, not a political one. It should stay that way.

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: foobar104 on Sep 11, '03 11:18:17PM

This is a textbook example of false equivalence.

Though this is hardly the place to debate such matters, I simply could not let this statement go unchallenged. To the person who made the statement: please think a bit more carefully about what you're saying before saying it. The error inherent in this statement is blindingly obvious after just a moment's reflection.

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: gedi on Sep 11, '03 11:57:45PM

what is the error?

how is the death of innocent Iraqi civilians in an illegal invasion any less abhorent than the death of innocent American civilians in a terrorist attack?

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: gedi on Sep 12, '03 12:04:01AM

actually I have something else to say to foobar104....

I find your statement about "false equivalence" deeply disturbing and offensive. Perhaps if politicians and patriots were able to see that human life in other countries is indeed equivalent to that in your own country then we might be on the path to some sort of justice for all.

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: foobar104 on Sep 12, '03 11:42:58AM

The error can be expressed in one word: context.

When a person dies, it's tragic and sad. Period. Regardless of the context. If you want to say that death is tragic and sad, no one will argue with you.

But when you start throwing around the word "evil," you get on shakier ground. In order to determine whether something is evil, you have to examine context.

On 9/11, some men deliberately and with overwhelming malice killed as many people as they could, with the specific intent that those people should be innocent men and women sitting at their desks in their offices. That was an evil act, any way you slice it.

It's difficult to examine your second example, because it never happened. Cluster bomb in a Baghdad market? I suspect you're probably alluding to some event or other here, but not accurately. I'm unaware of any cluster bombs exploding in any Baghdad markets. If, however, you want to take the example of the still-unidentified explosion in Shula on March 28, then that was either an accident on the part of the allies, or a deliberate act on the part of partisans or Iraqi soldiers. We don't know--and probably will never know--which. We have no evidence to support either theory. If it was part of a "frame-up" in an effort to create an new Amiriya and end the bombing campaign, then it was clearly evil. The deliberate targeting of noncombatants for the purpose of affecting a political or military goal is how the State Department defines terrorism, and that definition clearly fits here. If it was an accident on the part of the allies, however, then it can hardly be described as evil. Evil requires malice, and there was none. Tragic, yes. Should those responsible be disciplined? Absolutely. But evil? No. We can make this decision only after examining the context.

And as for the matter of DU, the great thing about DU is that it is depleted. It is not radioactive. Not at all. It is simply a heavy metal, no more toxic than lead or iron. Now, granted, lead and iron aren't healthy for you, but if you're going to leave debris lying around battlefields, DU is no different from any other choice. In fact, it's significantly better, because DU shells can be smaller, and we can use fewer of them, thereby producing less residue. It's a net benefit. It's not evil. In fact, it's just the opposite. In situations where artillery fire must be exchanged, to use fewer and smaller shells is virtuous.

Putting the victims of 9/11 on the same level as the victims of a (presumed) accident and non-victims is, as I said, a textbook example of false equivalence. It doesn't matter what nationality we're talking about; I would say exactly the same thing if we were talking about the al Qaeda bombings in Riyadh recently. What matters is context, and your refusal to be aware of it.

Now, for sake of civility, I'm going to assume that this false equivalence--incidentally demonstrated effectively elsewhere in this very forum--is simply an error on your part. But be aware that those who have an ulterior motive often rely on false equivalence to sway public opinion to advance their agenda. That's why responsible people must always call it when they see it, and thereby force those expressing their opinions to be honest in so doing. That way we can separate the naive from the insidious.

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: gedi on Sep 13, '03 09:29:51AM

So Foobar, you want to context? Try this context: the ongoing Iraq war started as an illegal invasion, predicated on lies. It had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. Nothing to do with terrorism. Nothing to do with protecting the human rights of Iraqis. It had everything to do with ideological hubris, shameless greed. Evil doesn't require the precondition of malice; depraved indifference will do the trick also.

Every death in this battle has been an act of evil.

We don't even need to start talking about Chile, Cambodia, Laos, etc etc etc etc....

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Remembering September 11th...
Authored by: wilton on Sep 14, '03 05:38:25AM

Depleted Uranium is harmless ???

The extremely dense DU shells easily penetrate steel armor and burn on impact. The fire releases microscopic, radioactive and toxic dust particles of uranium oxide that travel with the wind and can be inhaled or ingested. They also spread contamination by seeping into the land and water.
In the human body, DU may cause harm to the internal organs due both to its chemical toxicity as a heavy metal and its release of radiation.
An otherwise useless by-product of the uranium-enrichment process, DU is attractive to military contractors because it is so cheap, often offered for free by the government.
According to the Uranium Medical Research Center, the toxic and radiological effects of uranium contamination may weaken the immune system. They may cause acute respiratory conditions like pneumonia, flu- like symptoms and severe coughs, renal or gastrointestinal illnesses.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic of UMRC explains that the initial symptoms will be mostly neurological, showing up as headaches, weakness, dizziness and muscle fatigue. The long-term effects are cancers and other radiation- related illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, joint and muscle pain, rashes, neurological and/or nerve damage, mood disturbances, infections, lung and kidney damage, vision problems, auto-immune deficiencies and severe skin conditions. It also causes increases in miscarriages, maternal mortality and genetic birth defects.
For years the government described Gulf War Syndrome as a post-traumatic stress disorder. It was labeled a psychological problem or simply dismissed as mysterious unrelated ailments. In this same way the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration treated the health problems of Vietnam vets suffering from Agent Orange poisoning.

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depleted uranium is radioactive.
Authored by: discordantus on Sep 15, '03 03:42:21AM

I'm not about to get involved in the more political arguments, but I feel it is necessary to correct a factual inaccuracy.
The "depleted" in "depleted uranium" refers not to the depletion of the radioactivity, but the depletion of all usable fissionable material. All it means is that there is nothing fuel-worthy left. It is still quite radioactive, and the radioactivity alone is enough to cause sever health problems, leaving alone heavy metal poisoning.
There's a reason why the Pentagon's scientists strongly recommend that any soldiers that goes near a site that has been targeted with depleted uranium weapons should wear hazardous materials gear. It is also suspected that many of the cases of "Gulf War Syndrome" are related to the fact that soldiers were never warned of the reports, and were ordered to search destroyed tanks and other sites that were contaminated by depleted uranium enhanced bullets and explosives.

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