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2002-02-12 16:27:54+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Sorry I'm not finding cool links for y'all, but... Well... British Telecom is further defending a patent on ideas which predate their claim by 35 years. The much vaunted "War on Terrorism" still hasn't found Osama bin Laden, doesn't seem to be having the desired deterrent effect, and has probably killed more Afghan civilians than were killed in the attacks on the US. At least Ken Lay is keeping his mouth shut rather than perjuring himself like other execs at Enron, and the Israelis are arresting Palestinians rather than just assasinating them, but... well... Obviously I need a change of pace in my own life, 'cause I'm obviously bored and boring right now.

And the topic-monster chose "Monty Python" for this post. Which I've removed.

[ related topics: Intellectual Property Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:16+00 by: Dan Lyke

Rafe has a rundown on the various civilian casualty estimates in the Afghan/Taliban/U.S. war.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:16+00 by: petronius

How many Afghans died in the war the Taliban fought against their own countrymen? And how many were simply executed for violating the Laws of Allah? And how many Taliban are up in the hills waiting for the chance to stir up some more trouble?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:16+00 by: ebradway

To suggest that the Taliban used 'human shields' is more revealing of the historical amnesia and racism of those making such claims, than of Taliban deeds.

The symantics of the 'human shield' may be arguable in this case, but every time I see the footage of the WTC and Pentagon being hit, I feel that our country is completely justified in these actions. I applaud the military for even attempting to preserve civilian lives in this war. Since the dawn of man, it has essentially been the right of the aggressor to rape and pillage the civilian population - actions that we now label 'war-crimes' but only when they are committed by the losers of the war.

And to declare that the US is being 'racist' in claiming that the Taliban is using human shields is disappointing to me. If the Taliban put half the effort the US has in preventing civilian deaths, there wouldn't be any concern. In fact, the Taliban was given every opportunity to deliver Osama bin Laden to us before the first bomb was dropped. This isn't Nagasaki. We aren't leveling a civilian city in a simple show of force. We are using every means at our disposal to quickly end the war with as little 'collateral damage' as possible. Actually, I am shocked that so FEW civilian deaths have occurred.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:16+00 by: Dan Lyke

I actually don't take the claims of civilian casualties all that seriously, in general they're made by people who are whining that we haven't taken a European approach to our foreign policy. There are a couple of incidents in the last century that indicate that as flawed as our foreign policies may be, a European model would be worse. However, I believe that removing the Taliban from power will be the[Wiki] great accomplishment of the Bush administration. But that has nothing to do with why the United States has troops in Afghanistan. We haven't captured Osama bin Laden. Any "rah, rah, go, go" at this point is dramatically premature.

I'm also very concerned that we've done little to ensure that once we pull out a Taliban-like group won't come in immediately after. I'm hoping that the Brits will take care of setting up the coalition that will prop up the new government for the two decades or so it'll take to put in some real social change to keep allegiances from shifting to the best-armed group of the moment.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:17+00 by: topspin

As far as preventing a "Taliban-like" group from assuming power, we're damned if we do or don't.

We/the Brits look imperialistic when we support a coalition because the "common denominator" approach pleases no one. They all see us as pulling the strings (and we will) to keep harmony and avoid a coup. In short, we don't run the country.... we run the folks who run the country.

If we don't support a coalition, we appear mercenary. Westerners came in, disrupted the govt, killed bunches of folks, took prisoners, then left the people at the whim of warlords and bandits who will struggle over control of the country. In short, we pillaged and left the spoils for bastards.

Option 1 is best, but this the sorta thing that leads to the hatred and resentment America/the West receives from the third world.

There is little way for America and other strong countries to defend themselves from smaller "state supported" terrorism and not look like a bully. As someone said early in the war..... "We've got soldiers equipped with over a thousand dollars each of high-tech resources and they're fighting against guys wearing flip-flops and curtains. The outcome isn't in question, but how to keep the outcome from looking like a slaughter is the tough issue."