July 7, 2005

CARRYING ASYMMMETRY A TAD TOO FAR:

Two die in London terror blasts (BBC, 7/07/05)

Two people have been killed [AP is reporting 40 at 9:15 EST] and scores have been injured after at least seven blasts on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said it was "reasonably clear" there had been a series of terrorist attacks.

He said it was "particularly barbaric" that the attack was timed to coincide with the G8 summit which he would be leaving to return to London.

The BBC's Frank Gardener said Arab sources believed al-Qaeda was to blame.


Similar to 3-11 in Spain and obviously tragic, but is this really all al Qaeda can pull off these days?


MORE:
-What Does the Purported Al-Qaida Letter Actually Say? (Yassin Musharbash, 7/07/05, Der Spiegel)

A letter posted on a Web site frequently used by al-Qaida claims that the "Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe" is responsible for today's massive terrorist attack in London. In it, the group also issues warnings to Denmark and Italy.

Since they bombed Britain they took a name from Life of Brian.
-For Commuters, Typical Day Turns Into Chaos (ERIC PFANNER, 7/07/05, International Herald Tribune)
A typically drizzly London commute turned into chaos today as Londoners still basking in the euphoria of the city's surprise choice as the site of the 2012 Olympics were forced onto the streets by a series of explosions that shut down the public transportation system.

Shortly before 9 a.m. travelers waiting for trains at the Chancery Lane station on the London Underground's Central Line were informed of delays and station closures on other lines because of "power failures." No trains appeared, and soon the announcement message changed to a "security alert."

There was little reaction at that point as Londoners over the last four years have become used to service disruptions because of suspect packages and other reasons. But shortly after 9 a.m. it became clear that this was no ordinary security alert. Underground staff members suddenly urged people to leave the station. A rush to the exits began, and this reporter was caught up in a surreal scene where information was gleaned from passing taxi drivers and mobile phones.


-London explosions 'mirror Madrid bombings' (Donald MacLeod, July 7, 2005, The Guardian)
The explosions in London look like an attempt to recreate the Madrid bombings and would have been planned for months, a leading terrorism expert said today as the capital began to come to terms with an apparently coordinated attack.

Michael Clarke, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College London, said six bombs would mean at least 24 people involved in planting them in a targeted operation. The fact that London had been hit when the resources of the security forces were focused on the G8 summit at Gleneagles indicated some clever thinking by terrorists.

"It will have been quite a big plot and months in the planning," said Prof Clarke, who declined to speculate who was behind the attacks at this stage.

The danger of further explosions during the day could not be ruled out, he added. "The way to really bring a city to a halt is to explode some more bombs when the rescue services are running around."


-Explosions batter London in likely terror attack (AP, 7/07/05)
Four confirmed explosions rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday. The blasts killed at least two people and injured scores in what a shaken Prime Minister Tony Blair called a series of "barbaric" terrorist attacks.

Three blasts were on Tube trains and the fourth was on a bus, Britain's Home Secretary Charles Clarke told the House of Commons. "We do not know who or what organizations are responsible for these terrible criminal acts," Clarke said.

Police reported "a number of fatalities" at one London subway station. "Things are still relatively confused," Superintendent John Morgan said. [...]

Denying an earlier report, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said that Israel was not warned by Scotland Yard in advance of the blasts.


Some kind of record for the "Jews knew" conspiracy theory.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 7, 2005 7:31 AM
Comments

Fortunately my sister was working at home today and all my cousins are OK.

Those f**kers need to be caught and executed.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 7, 2005 7:44 AM

Publicly executed!

Posted by: Bartman at July 7, 2005 7:59 AM

Ali, Do think this will change any anti-war minds in the UK?

Posted by: erp at July 7, 2005 8:11 AM

Heck they will probably say the brits deseved it.
Or maybe say it was the CIA.
Or the JEEEEEWS.

Posted by: Joe at July 7, 2005 8:19 AM

erp:

The anti-war crowd continue to see Iraq as a folly unconnected to the fight against Al Qaeda.

This will persuade some that Islamist terrorism is still a dangerous enemy but I doubt it will cause a major shift in attitudes.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 7, 2005 8:22 AM

It's too early to tell at the moment, but if it is al Quaeda the reaction will be more like NY than Madrid, though less extreme.

Incidentally OJ - it's also too early to say "Is this all they can do?"

Let's hope it is.

Posted by: Brit at July 7, 2005 8:44 AM

Assuming we are dealing with the usual suspects here, the choice of targets isn't a surprise. Just as al Qaida went after the World Trade Center a second time after their 1993 attack, the Islamic terrorists have had a fascination for attacking trains, even prior to the Madrid bombings last March. A group was caught three years after the WTC attack trying to bomb the major subway transfer point in downtown Brooklyn (near where two of the attackers lived) and NYC police charged a man last year with trying to bomb the Herald Square subway station, a block away from Madison Square Garden during the Republican National Convention.

If the pattern holds, I'd be extra alert if I were the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, WMATA in Washington or the police officials in both cities. Other transit systems might be targets, but just as the terrorists like to come back to old plans, they also tend to focus on attacking the most high-profile cities to get the biggest PR effect.

Posted by: John at July 7, 2005 8:59 AM

Brit:

Their pattern from inception to 9-11 was of escalating and ever more spectacular attacks. Indeed, since they had little hope of changing policy and not much in the way of coherent aims the nature of the attacks was that they had to justify themselves by their grandiosity. That's why everyone fretted abould boiologicals, chemicals, or nukes. Instead, since 9-11 the attacks are increasingly pedestrian--although they did score their one victory by driving a European nation out of Iraq and replacing its government.

Today's attack is tragic whether the final toll is 2 or 2,000, but it's part and parcel of their diminishment.

Of course, the broader point is that, as with all their recent activities except for 3-11, it's going to be counterproductive and it served George Bush, not Osama.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 9:21 AM

Wonder if anyone's going to retaliate against the Finsbury Park mosque? I know about the evils of vengeance and all of that, but part of me really wants to see that place torched.

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 7, 2005 9:30 AM

Now we may see whether the Brits have come to be made of sugar candy.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 7, 2005 9:31 AM

this attack is proportional to the 9/11 attack here. 45 dead so far, 1000+ injured. netanyahu (sp?) had a few minutes warning, and avoided being hurt; one of the blasts was in a tube stop under a hotel he was due to be speaking at.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 10:02 AM

A couple of bombs on public transport in London is similar to the first hijacking in the US in thirty years, multiplied times 4, and then the crashing of those jets into the Pentagon, White House and WTC?

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 10:08 AM

Two years ago when the Iraq war started, Al-Quida was capable of fielding groups of combantants that numbered up to a hundred each to skirmish with American troops. Those guys mostly died, so then Al-Quida switched to Chechen-style tactics using groups of about a dozen each armed with RPGs to ambush vehicles. The Americans killed those guys too, so Al-Quida switched to snipers and midnight mortor attacks. But the Americans made short work of those guys too. So now Al-Quida is only capable of using car bombs. Their combat power is almost non-existant now.
In addition they went from having a country (Afganistan), an army of over 30,000 battle-tested Mujahadin, and free rein to operate in a dozen other countries. Now they have no country, no army, and are hunted everywhere except Iran and Syria. In addition they are fighting for their very survival in a civil war in Iraq. If Japan or Germany in WWII had suffered such a rapid decline we would have been laughing.

Posted by: Henri LeBeaux at July 7, 2005 10:15 AM

did anyone hear that 'anonymous' CIA guy (I forget his name) on NPR this AM?

he actually used the word 'lie' to describe the rhetoric of Bush/Blair on the GWOT -- he sounded like Neville effing Chamberlain

If I could have reached through the radio I would have strangled the despicable little twit ..


Posted by: JonofAtlanta at July 7, 2005 10:18 AM

population 300M, casualties 3000
population 60M, casualties 1000

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 10:38 AM

cjm:

It's not about casualties. It's about style.

http://www.policyreview.org/AUG02/harris_print.html

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 10:55 AM

well nothing is going to beat 9/11 for style and shock.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 11:03 AM

7 bombs, 34 deaths (at this point), and over 1000 wounded. Chatter on other sites says this is more sophisticated than Madrid, with probably 40 individuals involved. One of the bombs was powerful enough to knock down a tube wall and damage two other trains on the other side. The bomb on the bus was a suicide bombing, and powerful enough to rip the second deck right off.

And George Galloway is blaming Blair and the US for invading Afghanistan, et al. He should be shot in Trafalgar Square, right alongside his soulmate Hamza.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 7, 2005 11:06 AM

cjm;

"casualty" means "injured", not "dead". The 11 Sep attacks caused 3000 fatalities plus another 2300 casualties. Note that the 11 Sep attacks were almost unique in producing more fatalities than injuries. I'm not aware of any other terrorist bombing attack for which that is true.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 7, 2005 12:28 PM

AOG: I should also add that the 9/11 attack destroyed a major part of the NYC infrastructure, as well as a highly visible landmark.

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 7, 2005 12:35 PM

ok, my understanding of "casualty" means injured and killed, so:

population 300M, casualties 5000
population 60M, casualties 1050 (and counting)

i believe the original propostion holds. this isn't some basketball game, i was just pointing out the similarity of magnitude for the two attacks.

the lack of similar response by the u.k. will be informative; i.e. they won't do anything about it.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 1:16 PM

Pogroms against British Jews are not far off.

Posted by: bart at July 7, 2005 1:33 PM

Bart:

The mosques will burn first. All it will really take is for the yobs to get angry. Of course, they might be outnumbered now.

Posted by: ratbert at July 7, 2005 1:43 PM

The perception will be that the Muslims will fight back. Since the Jewish leadership in Britain is wimpy even by Jewish standards, the yobs will have the opposite perception of them.

But for Churchill, the British would have surrendered to the Nazis in a way so abject as to make the Vichy French look courageous. Do you see a Churchill on the British horizon? I don't.

I'm guessing the women in the royal family will be wearing burqas in about two decades, but that may be for aesthetic as well as religious reasons.

Posted by: bart at July 7, 2005 1:50 PM

Mr. Choudhury comes through. Still waiting on the rest of the billion peaceful Muslims, though.

You know, I can identify everybody in my community who opposes the American policy: they march down the main street, they have teach-ins, they hire halls, preach sermons, publish a newspaper, write letters to the editor, put political signs on their cars.

Making as much allowance as I can for differences in style, where are the equivalent statements in the Muslim world to distance themselves from a policy they disapprove of?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 7, 2005 2:13 PM

Anon stated on NPR today that this is not a war against our civilization but against our presence and behavior in the Mid-East.

He was an OBL specialist for the CIA with 22 years service. Apparently he hasn't heard OBL's pronouncements yet ... and his commentary today was an example of how ineffective the CIA was prior to 911.

I just hope he was canned by them after 22 years for being an imbecile. Now NPR parades him out as an "expert." Cut their Federal funding NOW!

Posted by: Genecis at July 7, 2005 2:15 PM

Harry:

They're legion. We post them all the time.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 2:22 PM

i guess those are the varus' legions, because i sure missed them.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 2:38 PM

The only things the CIA has demonstrated competence in are smuggling drugs into the US and smuggling Nazi war criminals out of Warsaw Pact countries. There is no need for it and it should be replaced by the Defense Department.

The similarly incompetent FBI should focus on counterfeiters and serial killers, leaving the anti-terror war to Defense.

Posted by: bart at July 7, 2005 3:00 PM

Bart forgot to add the bioengineering of AIDS to his list of accomplishments. And I thought everyone knew it's the Secret Service (Treasury Dept.) that handles the counterfeiters.

While I have to agree with Harry (for once), the situation should be compared to Italian immigrants and the Mafia. On one hand, they resented the implication that all Italians were Mafiosi, to the point of saying such organizations didn't exist, and don't call them "Mafia" if they do. On the other hand, there was a tolerance of paisan activity that went beyond normal fear of retaliation, as well as the view of Mafiosi maybe not as heroes, but just businessmen who used rough tactics like those back in the old country days. Were there ever any cases of Mafiosi being excommunicated simply for being Mafiosi? So Muslim behavior isn't all that surprising in that regard, just extremely disappointing.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 7, 2005 3:40 PM

Raoul,

Had the CIA been involved in the bioengineering of AIDS, I have little doubt they'd have screwed it up so badly that it would be infecting primarily high income, high IQ, White heterosexuals. There is also no shortage of documentation of CIA's role in smuggling both Nazi war criminals and narcotics into the US.

The FBI, which refuses to hire Arabic-speaking Jews to help fight terror in the US( thousands of whom have volunteered to do so according to NY State Senator Dov Hikind) because it would 'offend Muslim-Americans', is too inept, too politicized and too bureaucratized to be of any value in fighting serious criminal matters. Let them stick to the small stuff.

The Treasury has people working on counterfeiting all the time, and has crime labs devoted to dealing with it. Didn't you ever see 'Catch Me If You Can?'

Posted by: bart at July 7, 2005 3:56 PM

I meant to say the FBI has people working on counterfeiting.

Posted by: bart at July 7, 2005 3:57 PM

no one can seriously argue that the CIA has ever been effective. they would be of more use to the u.s. if they were seconded to the other side.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 4:15 PM

Raoul, Hughes makes a similar argument about the Irish in Australia in 'The Fatal Shore,' a book inexplicably admired by Orrin.

A difference, of course, is that the Irish in Australia or the Sicilians in New York pretty much avoided killing anybody outside their clans.

If the Muslims limited themselves to blowing up other Muslims, they'd still be pretty busy; but I wouldn't care.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 7, 2005 5:28 PM

It'll be news to the aboriginals.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 5:37 PM

From my Welsh brother-in-law, who was extremely strongly against the U.S. invading Iraq:

Michael Herdegen: Sorry to hear about the terror attack. If it is al Qaeda, will Britain want to strike back, or withdraw, as Spain did ?

Chris J.: Bugger the spineless Spaniards. We'll stay, and go after them too.
That's what we're good at and have more experience in. Terrorism is not new to the UK or the UK's police/ambulance/fire/intelligence services. More (longer) experience than the US has.
This may be conspiracy theory but I would not be surprised if there were 5 terrorist cells in each of the 5 Olympic candidate cities, planning and preparing for the result yesterday, with orders to go live in the winning city.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 7, 2005 6:58 PM

go after the terrorists' families, and the attacks will stop.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 7:06 PM

Note that the 11 Sep attacks were almost unique in producing more fatalities than injuries. I'm not aware of any other terrorist bombing attack for which that is true.

That was just unusually bad luck. No one, including al Qaeda and UbL, expected the WTC's Twin Towers to collapse.

If they had not, then there would have been many fewer fatalities, maybe half as many.

[G]o after the terrorists' families, and the attacks will stop.

That exact policy didn't stop Palestinian suicide bombers.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 7, 2005 7:20 PM

the only time i know of targeting families was done by the russians, when the iranians grabbed some of their diplomats. the russians were returned unharmed and never bothered again. it's not that easy to kill someone elses mother, when you know it will result in your own mother dying as well.

Posted by: cjm at July 7, 2005 7:32 PM

Well, it's nice to see you guys sticking to the script. Obviously, responding to death by killing gets you --surprise-- more death.

Someone up above mentioned that this is less about an actual 'war on terrorism' than it is about our presence in the cradle of Islam, and I think that gets to a kernal of truth that all this cock-strutting, "why, I oughta..." bellicosity fails to appreciate entirely.

It would be nice to see, just once, what would happen if we decided to mind our own business instead of striving to be the world's policeman.

Posted by: lonbud at July 7, 2005 7:38 PM

kumbaya, kumbaya, Lonbud back in the hizzle to lead a peace-in. Everyone join hands and form a circle. All together now, kumbaya, kumbaya. If we only aimed peaceful thoughts at the Islamofascists everything'd be cool. Pass the bong dude.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 7, 2005 7:53 PM

lonbud

WW11.

Posted by: Peter B at July 7, 2005 8:45 PM

Gulf War I.

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 7, 2005 8:58 PM

lonbud:

9-11 happened under your ideal corcumstances.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 9:38 PM

The Jordanians used it quite effectively against Abu Nidal group I think it was.

Posted by: oj at July 7, 2005 9:39 PM

The first World Trade Center attack in '93

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 7, 2005 9:41 PM

lonbud:

It would be nice to see, just once, what would happen if we decided to mind our own business instead of striving to be the world's policeman.

The U.S. didn't invade Iraq for the good of the world and all humanity - that was Somalia and Kosovo.

We invaded to make some changes that the Bush administration believed would make AMERICA more safe, in the long run.

Obviously, responding to death by killing gets you --surprise-- more death.

And your response to 9/11 would have been... ?

The Clinton admin's response to the first WTC bombing, the African embassy bombings, the Khobar Tower bombing, and the attack on the USS Cole led pretty directly to 9/11.

Therefore, we have actual and recent historical evidence that any kind of diplomatic/legal approach would have been ineffective.

That leaves killin'.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 7, 2005 9:42 PM

London Bobmbs & 9/11

Think on this, it seems all too clear to me;
The bombs went off on the day the G8 are discusinig Africa. Which leader was strongly opposed to this being included on the Agenda? Bubba Bush.

Which leader has had the finger pointed at him over 9/11 on more sitees than I can name. I fist read about the 9/11 job on www.conspiracyplanet.com and note they have come to almost the same conclusion as me.

GW is responsible for an estimated 10,000 civillian deaths in Iran (the Gaurdian) and given his utter disregard for the value of human life (he was THE hanging Judge, in Texas, passing more death sentences than anyone else)

All of the above, and the fact that Israel (52nd Stateof the US) knew about the bomb in advance screams Bush to me. He succeeded too. Because of the London bombs Tony Blair returned to London, leaving the other leaders to debate Tony's pet item, namely some realistic solutions for Africa, which GW opposed. The outcome being the summit did not do enough, and by staging a terrorist incident GW got his own way again.

I am starting to think that Al Qaeda only exists on a PC somewhere in a deep dark corner of the whitehouse basement, and in GW Bush's twisted mind(s)

Posted by: graham at July 8, 2005 2:45 PM

Is the above comment meant to be a joke?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 8, 2005 3:51 PM

Graham:

That's precisely right, al Qaeda has served no coherent Islamicist purpose but has played into our hands at every turn. Unfortunately it's in the nature of things that only psychotics choose America as an enemy, so our wars do tend to be walkovers.

Posted by: oj at July 8, 2005 4:03 PM

OJ: 9/11 happened while dubya and condi were ignoring the clinton administration's warnings that the gravest threat to US security was al Qaeda.

You guys who keep equating Iraq and Hussein with WWII and Hitler are just so over-the-top, it's almost not worth attempting a dialogue.

We went into Iraq to let Hussein and all the other oil states know that it's a BAD idea for them to make the Euro the currency of exchange for oil transactions, and to maintain American hegemony over the world's fossil fuel-based energy complex. End of story.

You guys wouldn't know a global threat to mankind if it poked you in the eye.

Posted by: lonbud at July 8, 2005 4:07 PM

OJ: surely you aren't suggesting the quagmire in Iraq is a "walkover"....

Posted by: lonbud at July 8, 2005 4:10 PM

lonbud:

I agree with all of that. But the liberalization of the Middle East is underway, irreversible and all that matters out of the whole kerfuffle.

Posted by: oj at July 8, 2005 4:12 PM

the "liberalization" of the middle east has been underway for a long time and ought to have been left to proceed at the pace the people of the middle east themselves would determine.

by impatiently casting us into the fray and hardheadely assuming that we could somehow show them how it's done, bush and his junta have actually given a boost to those within middle eastern society who would prevent the liberalization from coming to fruition.

so, what may have taken another generation to flower has now been set back god knows how long.

Posted by: lonbud at July 8, 2005 4:53 PM

lonbud:

Yes it has been.

Posted by: oj at July 8, 2005 4:57 PM

800 dead and about 60 billion per year. We have 300 million people and already spend 10 times that on defense each year. So, yeah, that is pretty much a walkover. If we had Iraq-like casulties per year in Vietnam, we'd still be there.

Posted by: Bob at July 8, 2005 5:11 PM

lonbud, you don't seem to ascribe much blame for the carnage to the actual group perpetrating it -- the terrorists around the world.

Posted by: cjm at July 8, 2005 5:30 PM

Bob: We did have Iraq-like casualties in Vietnam, in, say, 1964. Let's compare notes again in 2010.

cjm: Well, of course the terrorists are to blame for the carnage they perpetrate. I've never argued they should be encouraged or applauded. BushCo, on the other hand, is in complete denial about the carnage we are perpetrating --both against the sons and daughters of our less-well-connected and/or less wealthy fellow citizens, and most certainly against the very innocent Iraqi citizens we are acting so heroically to "free."

In complete consistency with every phase of his life and career, George W. Bush has taken a bad situation in Iraq and made it immeasurably worse.

And he neither recognizes any responsibility for having done so, nor feels any obligation to participate in any way to clean up the mess.

Posted by: lonbud at July 8, 2005 7:18 PM

lonbud:

Iraqis don't think they were better off. Only comfortable Westerners think they were.

Posted by: oj at July 8, 2005 7:22 PM

oj: who said anything about whether the Iraqis were "better off" under saddam, or whether they think they are better off now? although, now that you mention it, under saddam they weren't being blown up every single day of the week -but that's not the issue. the issue, as respects the "inevitable" (as you call it) liberalization of the middle east, is that IT'S UP TO THEM. we cannot make them be free, we cannot show them what it means to be free, we cannot kill enough terrorists to make whoever is left standing FREE. freedom is a state of mind and if the people of the middle east are ever to be "liberalized" they will only get that way of their own accord.

Posted by: lonbud at July 8, 2005 7:50 PM

lonbud:

you

Posted by: oj at July 8, 2005 7:56 PM

it's always a personal thing with these conservatives. anyone who has a different view or contests their cherished policy ideas has some sort of personal flaw (the gene for america-hating, or jew-hating, the gene for cooperation vs co-optation, the gene for holding hands in a circle and singing kumbaya) that renders any actual exchange of ideas beyond the pale. you know, even if we did just STFU and let you folks handle it, terrorists would still blow up innocent people, and you'd still be chasing your tails trying to figure out why they just can't accept our way of life. hopeless, you are.

Posted by: lonbud at July 8, 2005 8:38 PM

lonbud:

"the liberalization of the middle east has been underway for a long time and ought to have been...

There's your problem right there and it shows why it is you, not we, that is locked into a faith-like paradigm. That statement is so obviously factually incorrect it could only have come from a dogmatic "the world is getting better by definition, darkness to light, progress is inevitable and must be discerned" mindset. It's the same impulse that causes our beloved Harry to insist over and over that communist Russia was no worse than Tsarist Russia. Lots more blood, maybe, but at least they all had regular jobs.

The Middle East was far, far more open, liberal-minded and promising in the fifties and sixties. Then they embarked on a suicidal course of accelerated nationalism, socialism, Islamicism, virulent and offically promoted anti-semitism and totalitarianism which has been their undoing and which they and their Western fellow-travellers blamed on everyone but themselves. By 2001 the Libya-Lebanon-Syria-Iraq-Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan axis was not only keeping cowed populations terrorized and much worse, it was trading in nuclear knowhow, backing terrorists in myriad ways, holding anti-semitic festivals and promoting the dream of Israel's destruction, paying bounty on Israeli lives, crushing dissent and setting up direct challenges to the West based upon overt blackmail. Yes, yes I know, they were far from united. Neither were the Warsaw Pact countries. Big deal.

Your statement reminds me of the modern parent/teacher who thinks all children are born creative and good and will accomplish great things provided no one hurts their delicate little psyches or warps them through punishment 'n guilt 'n stuff. In this case, the argument from much of the left seems to be that all Third World countries will blossom naturally and humanely if they aren't pressured in any way by big, bad old capitalist America, which should just write checks and let them do whatever they want. Then, and only then, will the Husseins, Assads, Ayatollahs and Talibans self-destruct and the broad sunlit uplands of modern humanism will prevail. It's a beautiful dream, isn't it?

Posted by: Peter B at July 9, 2005 7:41 AM

Peter B: where'd you get your degree in mindset-reading? you seem to be under the impression that if change does not occur in a straight line then it's not occuring at all, and, by implication, that the United States is therefore anointed with justification for putting change back on the "right" track through unilateral military action. In addition, you'd be surprised how creative and good children can be when they are not "motivated" by "punishment 'n guilt 'n stuff." Third world countries would blossom naturally and humanely if big bad old capitalist America and its henchmen at the IMF and the World Bank would cease plundering their natural resources and cozying up to the corrupt despotic elements in their midst.

Posted by: lonbud at July 9, 2005 10:29 PM
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