T Nation

Views post Sept 11th

Eight months on from the Sept 11th tragedy and I’m just wondering how people’s view of life, goverments and the world in general has altered? Or has the interlude made the shock wear off and attitudes are pretty much the same? Do you find yourself more aware of global events and the potential to affect your lives and future?

Thanks for your time, all opinions welcomed.

speaking as a completely biased-- i mean, urm, objective observer (ive been over exposed to big fat loud american tourists visiting my city to see the ‘quaint english cathedral’, and take fotos of the quaint english choirboys, etc… etc…) well, nonetheless, i do try to be as objective as possible, and it seems to me the US really imposed their views er… “rather forcefully” shall we say? upon alot of people who were really quite happy to hold their own views.
does the US population not appreciate this point of view? or what arguments and/or propoganda (im genuinley interested in both the legit arguments from intelligent bodybuilders, and the bullshit propoganda from everyone else) are/is published to persuade the US denizens that retaliation is imperitive - and how (& why) is it so emotive that these people listen to it?
im really very curious
i think the loss of life was indeed a tragedy, and some other show of power (perhaps stealing money or something) would have been both a more profitable AND a more ‘acceptable’ form of retaliation…
anyone agree/disagree?

So, if actually being attacked doesn’t warrant retaliation, what does? Hell, WW1 and 2 were fought for lesser reasons by many countries. And who are we forcing are views on? Force meaning actual unproveked force by the way. You sound ignorant, are you European?

I really wish we had left europe to fend force itself through both WW’s and the Cold. It seems only their wars are noble.

I’m less proud of being an American. Our government is STILL holding people in Guatanemo bay, which even if they are guilty have NO right to be treated like dog shit. We have (at least I thought we did) a bill of rights in this country, I understand it is nearly impossible to “do the right thing” all the time, but damn, I feel that this is out of control.

well my views after sept 11th are probably more extreme than most people. im in the army and sept 11th has really made my job easier. as an infantry squad leader it doesnt take much to get my soldies motivated to train hard now because i can point out an enemy and give reason beyond," its good training and will make you a better soldier" to explain why we do things. my soldiers are much more motivated and want to get to another country and kill as many of those towel wearing sumbitches as possible. so please send me and my boys to war president bush because we are chomping at the bit to kill some terrorists.

Big al its easy. You tell half-truths that support the version of events you want everyone to believe. Make sure there is a clearly identifiable good guy and bad guy. Ignore the context of the event, simplify to good and evil. Fear and misplaced patriotism (ie blind belief in a leader) does the rest. It helps if in your speeches you mention that you will consider anyone not with you a supporter of terrorism, label bills things like ”the patriot bill” (geez only non- patriots would vote against that right?)…its also helpful if you can get away with closed military tribunals, secret evidence and summary judgement without appeal.

All of this good against evil crap works especially well in the military where you depersonalize the enemy so that you can make our impressionable young men and women practically desperate to “get to another country and kill as many of those towel wearing sumbitches as possible” Deadleg when you’re training them, tell them to be careful of friendly fire. Lets try not to have anyone else die accidentally huh.

Lion, I think it’s time you changed your name to something more appropriate.

Big Al, what are you on about? I would like to you to crack your history books. When in history has a country with the relative power that the US has tried to impose its views LESS forcefully than the US is? I’ll give you a hint – the last country that came close to being as strong as the US was your own, and can you say “Empire”? We COULD be marching troops in your streets, forcing you to buy our goods, making you learn American English, taking your women, blah blah blah like EVERY SINGLE other really powerful nation in history. The problem I have encountered on my many trips to Europe is this – Europeans love the US despite all their high-browed nonsense: you wear American clothes, play our worst Pamela Anderson TV shows, listen to our music, etc. You also resent and envy us for various reasons. I have met a lot of Brits with honest philospohical differences. On the other hand, the French are simply angry that they have not produced a single male since 1918 and they hate our big balls.

So let me let you in on the big secret about American Imperialism – IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T BUY IT. We are not Imperial Rome, or Imperial Britain, or even Imperial China. We don’t want to take you over and tell you what to do: we would much rather trade with you. We GIVE constantly – the week after September 11th the EU had the gall to request 50 billion dollars from us to bail you out of your economic troubles. Guess how many other countries sent us monetary aid during the crisis? If somebody knocked down St. Paul’s, you can bet your malnourished British ass that we would have had billions of dollars, troops, rescue wrokers, etc. right there immediately. You can talk about our imposing all you want, but the truth is by any historical standard you care to use we are pretty damn nice.

Lion, Lion, Lion. We’ve had this little discussion before. Now, until you can suggest a plausible ALTERNATIVE to responding to these terrorists with MILITARY FORCE – and I mean one that could’ve been implemented as policy RIGHT AWAY after Sept. 11th (not, “let’s convince the entire world of x,y and z and change their hearts,” which, although not a bad idea, will take YEARS to do, and is NOT a sufficient response to a sudden TERRORIST ATTACK on your own soil).


Damici…we have had this duscussion already and if you would recollect, i agree that we needed to retaliate. I am addressing the question of how a gov’t can undertake such an controversial task without more significant reaction from the civilian population. DUH …stop being so damn reactionary.

sorry, my view got mangled through the tiredness - i totally agree with military retaliation of some kind. And obviously, this seems to be a situation where your on one side of the fence, or the other, but it seems to me that many people who try not to get too biased either way end up being classified as ‘anti-us’, which i dont understand. Your totally right about the whole empire thing, although the irish were never really in on it. speaking of tourists as i did earlier, why cant u guys come to europe instead of the kind of americans i mentioned earlier? (although i live in a city whose slogan seems to be “the historic city”, so i guess we’re asking for it, eh?)

Redman and damici well put. I am laughing my ass off. As far as hearing from intelligent body builders what would be the point he would not get it anyway. Possibly he should look less accross the pond and more at his own shit. Nuf said. Oh yeah and If I remember correctly his troops are there as well… hmmmm.

Lion, you never do cease to amaze me. You CLAIM that you are all for the U.S. retaliating militarily, and yet you drone on in your last post about how “this good against evil crap works especially well in the military where you depersonalize the enemy so that you can make our impressionable young men and women practically desperate to . . . (kill the enemy).” Let’s examine this gross contradiction in thought processes, shall we? First and foremost, after what happened on 9/11 it doesn’t take any EFFORT on the part of the military to in any way brainwash or indoctrinate our young people to want to kill the enemy. That was pretty much accomplished by watching the TV news on, or anytime after, 9/11 (or standing in the streets of Manhattan watching it all come down). Anyone with a minimum of 2 brain cells to rub together can see that the differential between “good and evil” here is not “crap.” It is FACT. Secondly, our fighting forces our SUPPOSED to be fired up to kill the enemy – it’s their JOB! The military exists to do 2 things: kill people and break things. Learn it, remember it, don’t forget it. Bill Clinton never understood this. What would you have our soldiers do once we sent them over to Afghanistan (as you purport to be in favor of doing), bake the Al-Qaeda guys cookies? Get with the fucking program. Some people are such scum-of-the-earth evil (define that however you damn well please) that they NEED to be killed. If you don’t believe that, maybe seeing the videotape of what was done to Daniel Pearl WOULDN’T be such a bad idea for this country. With regard to “significant reaction to the civilian population,” I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about. The majority of civilians in Afghanistan seem to be quite a bit happier these days. Yes, it is AWFUL that some were killed accidentally. But is it awful enough, in our eyes, to warrant NOT going to war and defending our own people from being next (again)? FUCK NO. We HAVE to try to minimize civilian casualties, and for the most part our military does a PHENOMENAL job of that these days, but it will never do it flawlessly.

Hey guys, thanks for your views. But how about we look at the situation for a different persepective.

Let me begin by saying that I’m not Anti- American, I agree that a country has the right to defend itself and it’s people from attack, invasion and all forms of hostile intent. I don’t think the “War against Terror” is being conducted in the best way, but then I’m not general or military expert so I haven’t a real idea of it.

I don’t think it will be effective though. It certainly won’t prevent the spread of these terrorist groups or stop the rising of them

I also think that regardless of the info the Goverment had, if someone is willing to die in order to kill there is nothing that could be done. For all we know, maybe ten similar attacks have been stopped, but the public will never know.

Know as I’m sure most on this site will be aware there is a wave of Anti-US sentiment sweeping across the world, particulary strong in poverty ridden countries. I think in Europe is mostly based upon petty rivalry, cause Europe is rich enough to enjoy a good standard of living. However Africa and the Middle East is a different story. And mostly it seems to be increasing.

In the past the methods of dealing with this has been finanical alliances keeping different fractions sweet and that. But that doesn’t seem to be working anymore, both Saddam and Osama were bankrolled by the US in fights against Iran and the Soviets respectively.

Technology has increased so much in recent years that military might is no longer sufficent to ensure security and stability. If the current global situation is not addressed, the next big attack, wherever it is, may be much more lethal. No matter how many security checks, screens and intelligence you have, someone will be able to get through.

A chemical weapon released in a subway or building ventilation system. One man, a “suicide bomber”, exposed to a contagious biological agent, on a stroll around DC.

Who knows, I’d prefer not to find out though.

Some food for thought.

This isn’t a religious thing. Whoever said about the towelheads is wrong. The first Palestinian suicide bomber was a Christian. This is a bleak, hopeless, no chance of a future, absolute utter hatred thing. Religion is just the only immaterial thing left to hang onto. It fills the void.

The cult that release the Sarin attack in Tokyo, they hooked up a container of it to a ceiling or something and then pierced it with a steel tipped umbrella and ran. That’s how technically advanced they were. Didn’t even get it near a ventilation device. Imagine a proper chemical attack.

It is shit easy to make toxic bio agents if you have a background in biochemistry.

Whilst the US helping out in WW2 was very much appreciated, there was also a self serving position to it. Having the Nazi’s consolidating power on all of Europe with it’s resources, wouldn’t take long to put the US up next. But that’s in the past, we’re thankful enough said.

Finally I’m not trying to piss anyone off with all this, just stating that the rules of the game have changed and that we’d all better
wise up to it. Primitive retaliation and aggression aren’t going to resolve this.

I want to congratulate redman on his post. That was one of the best, most reasoned posts I have seen. Thank you for encapsulating the argument so well. It has saved me some time.
Big Al, I have been to England twice. With few exceptions, the English were extremely courteous. I feel the English are our brothers. My family and I were quite moved by the enscription on the east end of St. Paul’s. This enscription is about 10 feet long and covers the floor. It is a sincere thanks from the English people to the United States for their help in World War II. Now I know you were tired when you wrote that e-mail, but you are not allowed to act ungrateful. Do not lump all Americans together as fat, loud mouths. Yes, we have those. But, pal, so do you. I would submit that per capita, the French and the Italians are far more irritating guests for England.
Now as far as militarism and military retalition goes, how dare you or any other European look down your beaked noses at us. Ever heard of Cortez, Pizzaro, Napolean, Hitler, Richard the Lionheart, Henry V and VIII, the Inquisition, the Roman Empire, the British and Dutch in South Africa, Bismarck, the English and the Mohawks, quartering your troops in Boston, IRELAND, Edward II, etc…We are the most powerful nation ever. Does the American flag fly over Afghanistan, Iraq, England, Russia, Panama, Korea, Germany, Japan, Cuba, or Spain? We are also the most generous. Has there ever been another power who builds their enemies back up after defeating them? Ever notice the financial and perishable aid going to Afghanistan?
We can have a reasoned discussion, but do not think about acting morally superior because your history suggests otherwise.

“Having the Nazi’s consolidating power on all of Europe with it’s resources, wouldn’t take long to put the US up next” We both know that the Nazis did not seek originally to defeat Europe. The rest (not all) of Europe came to defense of Poland, etc… They CHOSE to jump into someone else’s war becuase of alliances made after WW1. Same with WW1, this was not meant to be a war with the British. Yet, the other European nations ‘stuck their nose in’ (at least that’s how the euros phrase it when we choose to intercede). In WW2, we became a target because of the arms and supplies we shipped to the allies. Remember Americans, only Euros are noble and have the right to choose to defend themselves. Sometimes, not even themselves, but their Euro allies (poland, autstria). While we’re meddlers when we have allies, and brutal savages in combat. How many Civilians were killed in a single day (average) during WW2, compared to this war? Very curious. Oh, I forgot, civilian lives can be spent if the Brits want to defend themselves or their allies. But if America’s civilians are attacked directly, we’re called trigger happy reactionists. Was Hitler evil? Is (was?) Osama? Damn right they are. And if Africa and others are pissed at us because they are poor, too bad!!! Stop eating babies to ‘ward’ of the AIDS virus and start buiding something. All the money that has been poured into these countries and they have the audacity to be pissed because their backwater beliefs and ways keep them from being able to compete in the 21st cent? Are you shitting me? The anti-americans can kiss my red, white, and blue ass.

Thanks Scatman, but you seem to have missed the point.

As Dan Rather said yesterday, “I worry that patriotism run amok will trample the very values that the country seeks to defend”

aye, sorry bud - your right, its just u know how when ur wee, 'n something happens, it kinda stays witcha for a long time? well i went to a school attached to a cathedral, so my initial impression of americans was a lil distorted. That said, i wholeheartedly acknowledge americans are just as cool as anyone else - our terrestral TV stations buy a hell of a lot of your shows. (this is probably suitable for a whole other thread, but a lot of brits slag Opera [and clones] off - do americans do this too, or is it just us?)

Damici: if you really believe the job of the military is just to kill people and break things, you’re more simpleminded than I thought. Maybe you wish to ignore the value of “peacekeeping forces”: Usually deployed where just an outside presence is needed to ensure the simmering tensions don’t erupt. Between north and south korea for example? Their job is specifically to sit in the middle. That’s it. Also, if there were ever martial law imposed because of govt instability or huge natural disaster…their job is to maintain law …god help us if all they can do is kill people and break things.

As far as people being scum of the earth evil? Lets see there has been civil war in afganistan for decades, northern alliance against the taliban, regular people get caught up in it because it’s a part of life. If you support the taliban( who borught a measure of stability to the country) you fought with them…If you were against the harsh rules of the taliban, you supported the NA. You could be a fighter with the taliban and not wish to kill innocent us civilians you know…they are not mutually esclusive. But of course you cant first explain all of this to the civilians here in the US and then expect to turn up the war cries….the debate about the merits of a response goes on behind the scenes and then once a decision is made the propaganda machine goes into effect preping our civilian population for war(if that’s what is deemed necessary) or whatever.

I’m tired of explaing shit to you Damici, really. You are so uncritical of this whole situation, of course there are extremist who deserve to die but nothing that comes out you reflects any critical thought. Oh yeah show the video of daniel pearl…hey folks this is what could happen to you raaaahhhhhhhh are you good and scared now?….lets kill some “ragheads”….yeahhhh. Keep people from questioning or disagreeing by by scaring the shit out of them …that’s your solution to dealing with people like me? I mighst as well have this debate with my TV. I’m out of here.

It’s sort of off topic, but where did you grow up? Canterbury? York? What is “the historic town”? I have spent some time in the Isles, maybe I have been one of the gawking tourists (although not loud and certainly not fat).

I spent last summer in Ireland and I was prepared – judging by the stuff that I read and saw on TV – for Americans to be the most obnoxious and annoying group of people.(If I may indulge in some strong generalizations and stereotyping…) I can honestly say that the Italians in terms of noisiness and lack of manners absolutely dominate the Americans that I observed. And as far as being rude, the French had the easy corner on that, but that should come as no surprise. We Americans did indeed own the fat title, however, just edging out the Germans.

I also encountered a lot of resentment towards tourists, although I think that’s common to anyone who lives near a tourist-y area ANYWHERE you go, so I understand that.

I agree with Pumpkin Pie about strong good feeling towards the Brits, though. There has been nowhere outside of North America where I felt as, well, at home as I did in the UK. It’s not just a shared language (barring Southwark) and to some extent a shared culture. I think it was because I met so many people who were, for the lack of a better word, Ass Kickers. It was the only place that I have been to in Europe where people didn’t feel the need to apologize for being successful.