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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: [OT] the poetry of donald rumsfeld

From: Robin Green
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: [OT] the poetry of donald rumsfeld
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 00:54:50 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Mon, Mar 22, 2004 at 06:09:40PM -0500, Clark McGrew wrote:
> Changing the subject ever so slightly, since you've used Hitler, I feel
> free to mention Pearl Harbor... 
> I've always thought that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is a
> classic example of "rational" preemption that went horribly wrong.  As I
> understand the history, prior to Pearl Harbor the US was applying
> pressure on the Japanese that in the view of Tokyo would eventually
> require capitulation to the US.  I'm not suggesting that the US was
> about to invade Japan, and frankly I doubt that many people in the US
> considered the situation with Japan as that big an issue.  Bu, the
> Japanese seem to have felt that the US had a program to strangle the
> Japanese economy, and was making actions that could be interpreted as a
> lead up to active military aggression.  Based on the perceived
> intentions of the US, the Japanese could arguably be justified to
> preemptively strike the gathered US forces.

Indeed, it has been argued that they fell into a trap set by the US.
The argument goes that the US government wanted to enter the war, but the
population was heavily against it. So they deliberately provoked Japan,
and they got the kind of response they were looking for: Pearl Harbour.


> What's the point?   The Japanese blew it and ended up with the war they
> were trying to avoid.  The "preemptive doctrine" would seem to require
> presentient leaders.  

Right. More to the point, if there are circumstances under which "we" are
allowed to preemptively attack "them", then there are surely corresponding
circumstances under which "they" are allowed to preemptively attack "us".

Take Cuba for example. US-based terrorists have many times attempted to
attack Cuba by air; the US, far from tracking down and prosecuting these
terrorists, has actually prosecuted anti-terrorist activists in the US,
even though those activists were trying to prevent terror!

Leaving aside the fact that it would be extraordinarily stupid, doesn't Cuba
have the *moral* right - under the Bush doctrine - to launch a preemptive strike
on Miami? Isn't the state of Florida, as a point of fact, harbouring

Oh but what about all the innocent people living in Miami who have nothing
to do with terorrism? Well, what about all the innocent people in Iraq
who had nothing to do with terrorism, who were killed by cluster-bombs,
depleted uranium etc?

wearing his Chomskyite hat today

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