Reply to Marc Cooper

Mike Friedman mikedf at
Mon Sep 16 18:13:57 MDT 2002

>As applied to 9/11 and AQ, this would mean: any time a group X takes an
>action against country Y (whatever country it is) which results in 3000
>deaths in an hour, you can confidently bet that Y will take out after
>and try to crush X, to the extent that it has the power to do so. That's
>just the way countries work. Even the best socialist government you can
>imagine would probably strike back, as hard and as fast as possible
>(unless it were being run by pacifists). So it's no mystery why the U.S.
>govt "intervened" against AQ and its Taliban allies.

Not necessarily. A revolutionary government (as opposed to a movement in
armed struggle for power) would (and they have) take a more politically
thought-out approach. Cuban, Nicaraguan and other revolutionary governments
faced with massive acts of terrorism have sought to politically isolate and
undermine the terrorist power (USA), foment mass solidarity movements, and
unite and arm their working people. Their approach is clearly aimed at
counteracting the goal of terrorism (to demoralize their populations and
create the illusion that the terrorist power is all-powerful) and is
connected to the underlying nature of the societies under construction
(collective and democratizing). I'm afraid the "Rambo" approach is uniquely

>Questions that need some thought include: was there any justification
>for the AQ action on 9/11, and was the U.S. govt response appropriate,
>proportional, etc. My answers (so far at least) would be, roughly
>speaking, "no" and "it could have been worse."

That is what is called a set-up question. There is no objective response to
it, although you blanket the world with your "objectivity." From your point
of view, maybe there is no justification. From the point of view of
millions of people around the world who live in abject misery as a result
of U.S. military interventions, blockades or corporate greed, perhaps there
is some justification, more so if terrorism appears as the only political
alternative on the horizon. No, no worse, not for the thousands of Afghans,
not for the hundreds of children, and not for the WTC victims in whose name
these atrocities are committed

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