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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 10/10/2001 11:37:08 PM EST
I apologize if this article was previously posted. ‘Collateral damage’ is a terroristic tool By CHARLEY REESE Story ran on Monday, October 01 2001 Americans have shown enormous sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. I hope we can also develop empathy. Sympathy is simultaneously feeling emotions similar to someone else’s. Empathy, often an actor’s tool, is mentally identifying with someone else or even with an object. Actors use it in order to understand the characters they must portray. Now that we have been bombed - and that’s what the attacks were - we need to employ empathy to understand that the people our forces bomb feel the same way we do. We have seen the grief, the fear and the rage that a bombing produces. We need to understand that people in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and anywhere else experience those exact same emotions when we bomb them. We now know that it’s no fun to be the target of bombs. We must recognize that it is true of everyone else. The most obscene statement I’ve heard is some character - and I’m sorry I can’t remember who it was - who said the American people will have to be "strong and accept that there is going to be collateral damage." That is precisely the mind-set of a terrorist. "Collateral damage" is the putrid euphemism used to describe the murder of innocent people. It is time to tell our government that collateral damage is not acceptable anymore. We cannot say, as decent human beings, that 5,000 of our civilians killed are victims of terrorism but the 5,000 of someone else’s civilians we kill are just "collateral damage." Murder is murder. Innocence is innocence. If we deliberately kill people who had nothing to do with the attack on us, then we are terrorists. And, by the way, many people view us as just that. You might think I’m tilting at windmills, but let’s look at the bloodiest war in American history. When North and South fought, 600,000 Americans died. But you know what? Virtually every one of those 600,000 dead was a soldier. It’s true that Gen. William Sherman burned the cities of Atlanta and Columbia, S.C., but Sherman did not burn the people in those cities. In the 20th century, we burned the people in cities. The ratio of civilian to military dead, which in the 19th century was virtually nonexistent, was still small in World War I but escalated enormously in World War II. The military deaths in World War II amounted to a small fraction of 55 million people killed. The answer is simple: strategic bombing. Regardless of what its advocates say, strategic bombing is aimed at civilians. This vicious concept reached its apex with nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are designed solely to kill civilians. You don’t need a 10-megaton warhead to blow up a military base or airfield. Its only purpose is to murder civilians. Thank God no one has used that type of weapon since we burned the people in Nagasaki. And, by the way, the reason there were so few Americans killed at Pearl Harbor was because the Japanese pilots took extraordinary care not to attack civilians. page 1 of 2
Link Posted: 10/10/2001 11:38:26 PM EST
page 2 of 2 It’s time for us to tell our political and military leaders: enough of this collateral-damage heifer dust. If you’re going to fight terrorists, we expect you to kill terrorists and not innocent people who have nothing to do with terrorism and no control over it. If you’re going to fight another country, we expect you to attack its military, not its civilian population or its civilian infrastructure. In the past, we viewed bombing other people almost as a sport. "Yeah, go get ’em. Blow ’em all to hell. Let God sort ’em out." Well, now that we know what it’s like to get blown all to hell, I hope we will develop empathy and make it clear to our government that fighting terrorism need not involve becoming a terrorist nation ourselves. Charley Reese is a columnist for The Orlando Sentinel.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:32:04 AM EST
Good article, and a good read. But I must disagree. We, as Americans, [b]must[/b] accept collateral damage. I don't advocate bombing and/or killng innocents and civilians. But if it's the case that we should not harm those not directly responsible, then there shouldn't be any attacks at all. Those directly responsible are already dead. They died the same as our countrymen did, on September 11. In a hail of smoke, ash, and rubble. The people responsible for this act are already dead. The people responsible for those people, however, remain at large. They continue to concoct these plans, and to plot against this country. And the majority of these people are faceless. They do not wear yellow stars, nor do they have 'Terrorist' tattooed on their foreheads. In our hunt for these people, our efforts to take them out, there will have to be a certain amount of collateral damage. When a base is bombed, there will invariably be a certain number of 'innocent' people on-site. It's a fact of life. I can only hope that God, or Allah, if you wish, sees fit to place these people in a better place, and to comfort their families as our families must now be comforted. But to hell with this columnist, and his intolerance for collateral damage. A terrorist is faceless. It could be Abdullah the Anti-American protestor over there in Pakistan... Or Habib the store owner over here in America. Or Jack, your white anglo-saxon next door neighbor. The enemies of freedom are the enemies of this country. Those that would do [b]our[/b] innocents harm are the enemy. We didn't ask Mohammed Atta and his friends to fly planes into our buildings. We didn't ask them to perpetrate these atrocities. And I don't need to hear this world-sympathetic bullshit about how 'we were asking for it.' We may have been putting out nose in other people's business. I admit and agree with that. And also with the idea that maybe we shouldn't have been. But when's the last time you walked down the hall and beat the shit out of some random person because your pal Henry was too involved in things that didn't concern him. When is the last time you condoned this behaviour? This must be punished, and thoroughly so. And if we kill a few civilians in the process, oh well. Even one is un-acceptable. But it has to be excusable.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:39:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 12:46:18 AM EST
Bullshit. There is a glaring -- not even subtle -- difference between what the terrorists are doing and what we've been doing for the past 10 years. They are SPECIFICALLY targeting civilians and we ARE NOT. I hope you can see the difference here.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 1:03:07 AM EST
I myself can definitely see the difference here. But I also don't mind if we take out a few civilians, either. It happens, and it has to be excused, because we're [b]not[/b] targetting them.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 7:23:18 AM EST
Maybe you should mind if collateral damage happens. Do you think the family members are just going to say "oh, well the U.S. was right and we must accept it"? I don't think so.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 7:33:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By mattja: Bullshit. There is a glaring -- not even subtle -- difference between what the terrorists are doing and what we've been doing for the past 10 years. They are SPECIFICALLY targeting civilians and we ARE NOT. I hope you can see the difference here.
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I couldn't agree more. Fact is some civilians in Afghanistan are going to be killed, but I for one don't believe we are going to purposefully bomb a childrens school, or bomb a hospital.
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 1:41:55 PM EST
People in the WTC = collateral damage. People vaporized in Hiroshima & Nagasaki= collateral damage, It happens. We are not perfect, we have burned people for being witches, Hell, we have done it because they were Davidians, maybe they did the WTC attack "for the children". GG
Link Posted: 10/11/2001 2:05:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: Maybe you should mind if collateral damage happens. Do you think the family members are just going to say "oh, well the U.S. was right and we must accept it"? I don't think so.
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Who said they don't mind? I hate to see it happen, but I understand why it happens. It should be avoided if at all possible.
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