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for Barcoo and Christina:

I won't try and answer every point.

I wrote: And let's face it, America did bring this on itself. That doesn't make it any less evil to attack civilians, but it's true.
Barcoo wrote: Saying America brought this on itself, to me sounds like "serves them right". Is this how you feel?

No, I didn't express that very well. The innocent civilians who were murdered did not deserve to die. The action was horrific and (as I said previously) evil. That's an absolute.

Barcoo, it seems to me that you lay out the rhetoric of each issue in such a way as to rule out any US guilt.

I wrote: In particular, the sentiment from a Muslim leader in Brisbane that "we oppose all acts of violence", those committed against the Americans as well as by the American state.
Barcoo wrote: This is just gutless political rhetoric trying to stir up justification and anti-American feeling prior to them retaliating. He couldn't come straight out and condemn the attack without condemning the Americans in the same sentence.

By first ignoring and then reinterpreting the clear meaning of his words, you are trying to deny him the possibility of holding a view different to your own. Your reaction seems completely unjustified to me.

"As to USA and Western powers helping to install Saddam. Totally irrelevant when you really think about it. This does not mean that they are forever responsible for everything he does."

Well, considering he was clearly a murderous bastard when they installed him, yes, they are responsible. If I aid a murderer, I have committed a crime, even if he kills people I didn't want him to, or keeps going after I say "Stop!" Even at the time they were supporting him, equipment supplied by the US & UK was modified by Sadam for chemical warfare.

I wrote: Or the direct support lent by the CIA to Suharto in murdering around half a million people in the mid-60's. And we haven't even touched Latin America yet
Barcoo wrote: The CIA did not support Suharto murdering 500,000 people.

This is quite widely accepted, actually. They supplied lists of "communists" to the killing squads aligned with Suharto. Incidentally, the Times and other western media reported the killings as a good thing. From living in Indonesia for two years, I saw some of the effect of the oppressive Suharto regime. We could also talk about East Timor, where so many were killed with US & UK supplied weapons. Now the Western powers try to gain moral high ground from it, but, to use the analogy again, if I supply weapons to a serial killer, knowing what they are doing, then I share the guilt.

"I am not saying the CIA always get it right but sometimes a dictatorial leadership can appear better than the attempted genocide that replaces it."

Sukarno had big problems... years of deliberate destabilisation by the US & its allies contributed strongly to them. US bombing of Sumatra in 1958 for example. It was very embarrassing at one time when a US pilot was shot down and was found to be carrying CIA papers.

Christina - I appreciate your considered and respectful response.

"I AM AN AMERICAN and proud of it. My country is not an "oppressor" - quite the opposite. Over the centuries, we have lost American lives fighting for the freedom of others."

America has done good things... but I think you would benefit from some study of history. Did you know Mark Twain was a vocal critic of US foreign policy, e.g. in the Philippines? Do you have any idea how often elected governments have been toppled by or with the help of the US?

Perhaps the clearest example is that of the complicity in the repression of East Timor.

Here in NY, those office buildings were filled with civilians - at their desks or going to their offices. And they were the target (along with all of civilization, in my opinion). So, pardon me, but I think the greater condemnation goes to the terrorists and their supporters, not to the US.

Certainly the nature of this action is more abhorent. That's very true. My point though is that there have been many unjustified killings by the US & its allies than by their enemies. Any such killing deserves condemnation - whether it's from a particularly shocking terrorist attack, or through immoral foreign policy directed towards Iraq or East Timor. I would also add the invasion of Vietnam in support of a corrupt puppet regime, but I'm sure you interpret that bit of history very differently.

"You are entitled to your opinion. I may not agree with you in the slightest but since I believe in freedom of speech, I will defend your right to have an opinion and to express it."

I guess the point is for us all to keep an open mind and seek to understand. Thanks again, Christina, for your reasonable attitude to discussing this (in spite of our differences). I realise this must be a particularly difficult time for you (and many others) and I apologise for any insensitivity on my part.

My concern is that more innocent lives aren't taken in anger... but I don't want to be insensitive in the process of doing it.
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