the problem of moral clarity

November 23, 2002
Quote and Link of the Moment
"So let America increase the pace of this conflict or decrease it, and we will respond in kind."
--Osama bin Laden. Part of that recent audiotape...but the part you probably hadn't heard. This article explains how by seeing Osama as evil, and only evil, we are putting ourselves in more danger that we would be in otherwise. Bush's "you're either good or evil" viewpoint is so, so, so tragically stupid. Osama sees himself as good, and so do a lot of Arabs. He uses tactics that we find reprehensible, but targetting civillians is the strongest way he has of getting our attention, and he feels that we've (accidentally or on purpose...I don't think it matters that much to him) been responsible for the deaths of enough Arab civillians that there's a justification there. Counterpoints: I think this articles idea of promoting a mutual standdown misses the way that there's been so much water under the bridge, they might feel that any 'spectacular attack' going into the future is 'justified'. Plus, the logic is if you seem to be able to be pressured by terrorism, that might lead to terrorism being seen as more of a useful, and therefore more widely used, tool.

Backlog Flush #3
Still from the end of last year...