Letters to the editor
ď. . . But the war took place and the question now is what will happen next, or, what should† happen next. According to the British military historian Michael Howard, Bush's answer to the Twin Towers attack, declaring a war against terrorism, was "an understandable but irrevocable error". That war, he wrote in the January 2002 issue of Foreign Affairs, is equivalent to conferring on the terrorists "a status and dignity that they don't deserve". It implies the commitment to seek an impossible victory against a shapeless enemy. It would be better, he maintains, to launch "a police operation conducted under the auspices of the United Nations ... against a criminal conspiracy whose members should be apprehended and brought before an International Court of Justice."
† My own definition of terrorism (one that I formulated after having survived a terrorist bombing in 1983) is that it is the use of violence to accomplish a political goal - one that the entity in question is otherwise incapable of doing through conventional military means. This entity could be anything from one person up to and including a nation-state.† Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Henry Kissinger talk on the subject, and he upheld my amateur's view of terrorism. He talked about how the world has become accustomed over the past several hundred years to understand and measure aggression between nations by the movement of uniformed forces across clearly defined borders, but that how terrorism, with its seemingly mysterious and invisible structure (shapeless enemy?) is aggression between nations just the same.† The issue of "state-sponsored terrorism" with the inseparable problem of Iraqi WMD is one of the United States' justifications for the war. In his assessment of the war's impact on international terrorism, Kissinger said that [regimes that sponsor terrorism] now realize "...they cannot bear the consequences of challenging the United States..."
† I haven't read Michael Howard's piece, but from your excerpt, it sounds like more appeasement theory.† The United Nations is an ineffectual organization, and an international court cannot solve the problem. If I'm wrong, then what has stopped them from doing so? I think Kissinger is right, I think the war is just - and long overdue.
Bob Cohen, NYC
Re: Editorís Page, SCR nr. 26
Correct me if I am wrong, But I believe James Reston died in 1995.
[Oops, I meant David Remnick. Now corrected. Thanks. Ed.]
If no WMD are found, it is my strong belief that this war and all the loss of life, cannot be justified. Although you state in your piece that civilian casualties were at a minimum, still more than two thousand lost their lives and many were injured. Should I quote John Donne, Meditation 17?
As to our only hope for any sane and reasonable person in the Bush Administration: Colin Powell. You should note that he was very much against intervention, until just before the Presidentís State of the Union address. The President shocked the world with his humanitarian assistance program for Africa and the Aids outbreak. After the State of the Union, Mr. Powell was as big a Hawk as Rush Limbaugh. The deal was done.Finally, I truly hope that peace will come to the Middle East It is a very dangerous place, and children by the tens of thousands are learning to hate my country. I fear that the quagmire has just begun. Already the Hawks are pointing to Jordan and Iran with the same basic arguments they gave for the Iraq invasion. We have about 250,000 well armed troops surrounded by 20 million Muslims. What price peace?
Mike Ingles, USA
Re: Lost Time
Time is the playing field that we as a species must understand in terms of the evolution of intelligence. Humankind is the football. Evolution is the quarterback. Procreation is the coach.Consider: A German Jew as a mother and a Swiss blue collar worker father produce-Einstein. What are the random chances? A theoretical question.
Consider Einstein, Newton and Frank Thomas Smith live on through their works as they are dancing for 84 years. Their base intelligence stimulate many other prosperous minds as the evolution of intelligence continues, and young minds evolve their basic ideas and forward them to unseen horizons. As redworms scurry through the remnants of your cold brain, some one child might just read, "Lost Time."that may give him a thought to implement some grand scheme, only to pass on to another football field (or time) for some other soul that will be born in the 22nd century, who understands intuition on a scale that none other can conceive.
As Vonnect would say, busy-busy-busy.