[thechat] US to redraw world maps

Seb seb at members.evolt.org
Sun Mar 9 09:33:01 CST 2003

Interesting reading. Absolutely terrifying reading as well.

>Indeed, interesting reading. And proof that it comes down to whether
>you're dispositioned to believe that humans can get along without being
>forced to or that sometimes you have to agree to disagree.

 From a logical point of view, these two prepositions are not mutually
exclusive. In fact, the latter is almost a requirement for the former.

What I think you might be referring to is the difference between:
Those people who believe that humans can get along without being forced or
coerced, and
Those people who believe that it can be necessary to force people to live

>In sum, it is always possible to fall off this  bandwagon called
>globalization.  And when you do, bloodshed will follow.

Live as America decrees, or we will kill you? Live as America decrees or
you're a bunch of bloodthirsty savages?

>What was interesting about all those scenarios is  the assumption that
>only an advanced state can truly threaten us.  [...] That assumption
>was shattered by September 11.
>I would not define the deaths of 00.0001% of the population as
>"shattering", rather, "a symbolic accomplishment". (forgive me if I
>forgot a few zeros).

He's not talking about the event as being "shattering", he's talking about
the shattering of America's arrogant view that is essentially invulnerable
to all but force-majere attacks from nation states of similar power.

I would agree that Sept 11 was a "showpiece" attack. You're attempting to
reduce the human horror of the event to a statistical representation, which
is exactly what militaristic organisations do in order to justify killing.

>In my mind, we fight fire with fire.

Terrorists don't play by rules, by international conventions. Neither
should we? I'm reminded of America killing its prisoners of war through


And of the contradiction with Bush's State of the Union address:

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has
already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own
citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced
confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are
made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other
methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with
hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills,
cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.


Now, can we please mention those people who are still being held at
Guantanamo Bay in Cuba?


>FOR MOST COUNTRIES, accommodating [...] transparency [..] is no mean
>feat, which is  something most Americans find hard to understand
>Including the US, being that Bush's approval rating is still over 50%
>... google for <search>energy task force gao </search>, or read
>for a starting point.
>Some states like Qatar and  Jordan are ripe for perestroika-like leaps
>into better political futures, thanks  to younger leaders who see the
>inevitability of such change.  Iran is likewise  waiting for the right
>Gorbachev to come along—if he has not already. What stands in the path
>of this change?  Fear.
>I'd wager that the author is over 65 and submitted the article in a
>non-computer readable format ... and can't understand that putting the
>money he proposes be spent militarily would be better spent on getting
>the World "wired".

I'd wager the author is 40 years old, and has delivered this as a position
paper more than 60 times. He has been a researcher and writer of position
papers for the majority of his career:


(This is linked from both the photo and header at the top of the page we're

Now, let's talk about how getting the world "wired" is going to help.

<silence />

Wow, that was a fruitful discussion on how the 2 Billion people (approx 35%
of the world's population) that live below the poverty line will benefit
from having internet connections. That's exactly how much the internet is
going to help them feed, clothe, and shelter themselves. That's exactly how
much having access to google is going to help them build medical
facilities, to protect themselves from torture, oppression and disease.

You can't pipe clean water, over ethernet, Erik.

>In fact, I think I'd totally agree with him if you go through and
>replace references to the physical world with references to the
>electronic world. IE, instead of "Show me a part of the world that is
>secure in its peace and I will show you a strong or growing ties
>between local militaries and  the U.S. military" ...
>"Show me a part of the world that is secure in its  peace and I will
>show you a strong or growing Internet connectivity."

This is so utterly trite that I can't bring myself to respond. In fact, I
can't work out which of you understands the world the least. I'd love to
meet you both for a drink, but I fear that neither of you would even
recognise an alternative view of the world, let alone listen to it.

- seb

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