Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Slate)   Why hasn't the US declared war?   ( divider line
    More: Strange  
•       •       •

6987 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Dec 2001 at 12:01 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

227 Comments     (+0 »)

Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Newest | Show all

2001-12-06 03:22:06 AM  
Buckshot: Wow, thanks for explaining why nations hate and fear the US.
2001-12-06 03:26:28 AM  
I find it odd how so many liberals are intent on calling America a terrorist nation because it is defending itself.
Pheh. My opinion:
The main difference between the deaths of those in the WTC and the civilian casualties in Afghanistan is intent.

The terrorists and the muslim fundamentalists that support them want to destroy Americans. All of us. Regardless of whether or not we had any part in any real or imagined wrong doings. Their strict fundamenentalist interpretation of their religion does not allow them to live and let live. They feel the need to destroy all those who do not follow their doctrine. I think it likely that the majority of those that died in the World Trade Center on September 11th had only a vague idea that Afghanistan even existed. But in the eyes of Al Queda, and the Taliban, those 4000 or so people had to die because they were Americans.

The civilian casualties in Afghanistan occured because some bombs were misaimed. It's a war and mistakes happen.

<uber-conservative mode>
But then, seeing as how liberals hate America and Americans, I suppose I'm not surprised that many liberals seem to believe that the deaths of Americans in the WTC are not reason enough to take up arms against a group of psychotic zealots.
</uber-conservative mode>

And now I'm done.
2001-12-06 03:26:32 AM  
The last two paragraphs, I mean. You not only justified bullying everyone, even allies, but demanded it.
2001-12-06 03:29:55 AM  
Wouldn't an official declaration of war automatically lead to:

1) An (implicit) recognition of the Taliban as a souvereign government?

2) A state of war in the U.S.? For those of you that think there already is a state of war, take a trip to Afganistan, Palestine, or ask someone who remembers 40-45. A state of war gives government (and the army) enormous power and control over the citizens. Conscription, special taxing, balckouts (for energy savings), rations, internment camps, random arrests (possibly executions)... just some of the possible "tools" that can be used by a government "at war".

Sending your military out to "kick ass" is not the same as being at war... anymore.
2001-12-06 03:30:55 AM  
"I find it odd how so many liberals are intent on calling America a terrorist nation because it is defending itself".

Suicide Boy: I find it odd how you think anyone who has any reservations about US policy is a liberal.
2001-12-06 03:33:03 AM  
Nuisance: yo've got a good point there... I don't think anyone would call the Taliban liberals, yet they certainly have reservations about US policy...
2001-12-06 03:33:48 AM  
Aw! insert a "u" there, please
2001-12-06 03:34:34 AM  
Dido: Those powers you mention are not exclusive to war. There have been peacetime drafts, executions, rationing, internments, special taxing and questionable (your word: random) arrests. The declaration of war is a formality, and not necessary to carry out a war a long as the congress funds the action.
2001-12-06 03:37:46 AM  
Nuisance: true, those things are not exclusive to war, but if the US government would want to implement them now, the legal and political obstacles would (thank heavens) be enormous. Declare a war, and you've got a potential police state.
You don't need to declare a war to get it, it just makes it a whole lot easier to turn a democracy into a dictatorship.
2001-12-06 03:42:33 AM  
Dido: What you say there though is the reason they DON'T declare war and make the overtly drastic moves like a declaration of war. They don't want a backlash when soccer moms children get drafted, etc. They can accomplish the same ends without alarming people. The Us is in no greater danger than other nations such as the UK have been due to terrorists. There is not danger of invasion or conquest. Just dispruption. As big as 9/11 was, it was hardly a danger on par with armies storming the beaches.
2001-12-06 03:43:19 AM  
Apparent Nuisance:
Hmm. Good point. I generally associate pacifism with liberals. Perhaps this generalization is uncalled for. Though I do generally find that the majority of those who decry any use of force at all to describe themselves as liberals.

And what reservations do you have about the US's current actions in Afghanistan? And to paraphrase a question from Fb- aimed at anyone who claims that America is a terrorist because it's defending itself, what other solution do you propose?
2001-12-06 03:44:53 AM  
Yes, Nuisance, that is exactly what i'm saying. If necessary, they can take action. But there's no reason to unleash hell because it might be necessary.

Good point about the danger the US is in!
2001-12-06 03:45:51 AM  
Dido: I forgot to metnion that the legal obstacles you mentioned would disappear if they chose they were no longer illegal. Plus they see no need to ration like in WW2 because there is no scarcity of supplies. In fact, Bush has implored everyone to keep shopping so as to not disrupt the economy. There is no military availability crisis, as far as resources.
2001-12-06 03:50:53 AM  
There is indeed no immediate economical or military crisis, so no reason to declare war.

About the legal obstacles disappearing: sure, but you would have to change the law (and possibly amend the constitution!) for every single "dictatorial" action you want to legalize... at least it will take time, and likely it will kill the political career of whoever wants to pass a bill making it legal for the FBI to shoot people on sight if they think they might not be trustworthy...
2001-12-06 03:53:57 AM  
Suicide Boy: I don't claim to have any solutions. I am not opposed to military action, but I think the government is being disingenous about many things. Even if Al Qaeda and the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 I won't shed a tear over them losing power. At this point, since what is done is done, I think there should be careful oversight to create a new goernment there that has shared power between the ethnic groups. Sounds like a Yugoslavian nightmare in coming years, but not much else can be done at this point other than have the separate regions absorbed by their ethnically similar bordering nations like Tadjikistan (and each region accordingly). That won't happen though, and would probably lead to an India/Pakistan style war over Kashmir. I find the situation hopeless mostly. I would be happy if they can just live their lives as the agrarians they mostly are without much interference.
2001-12-06 03:59:06 AM  
Dido: The Patriot Act has already changed the law, it took very little time. It will be seen if it withstands court tests, but even if it doesn't, it can be used for many years to come just as the Sedition act was. What is labeled abuse of power in later years is often very popular during times of crisis.
2001-12-06 03:59:52 AM  
It sucks, but you've got a point...
2001-12-06 04:18:28 AM  
Jesus Buckshot, calm down and take your blood pressure medicine.


Today, 74 days and almost six million man-hours into the largest criminal investigation in the nation's history, the FBI cannot even prove that a terrorist conspiracy took place on American soil on September 11.

About 4,000 FBI agents and another 3,000 support staff have been involved in the investigation. But at best they have only four people regarded as likely to be involved in the attacks.

2001-12-06 04:19:13 AM  

2001-12-06 04:20:14 AM​F11%2F24 %2Fwladen24.xml

OK, don't know what the fark is going on..
2001-12-06 04:23:33 AM  
Only declare war on opponents we can respect. These are just the human equivalent of rabid dogs in the world neighborhood, and must be hunted down and removed. There's no need to declare war in order to remove some bad men that simply need to die.
2001-12-06 04:28:25 AM  
CobraBoy: While I agree the published evidence against Bin Laden isn't very good, he has been linked to and taken credit for other terrorist attacks so it isn't quite the same as if he was an innocent man minding his own business when suddenly he was unjustly targeted. He brought the attention on himself, purposely. Even if he isn't responsible for 9/11, it is hard to have sympathy for him. He is a wealthy funder of such activities.
2001-12-06 04:32:52 AM  
CobraBoy: I am assuming you mean proof of Bin Laden being involved, but you said there is no proof a conspiracy occured. There is proof of a conspiracy by someone however, since four planes were almost simultaneously hijacked.
2001-12-06 04:39:16 AM  
Apparent Nuisance: And I never said that he or Al Qaeda shouldn't be stopped. But if you read a little bit you'll see that Al Qaeda basically functions as a venture capitol group. He essentually runs the group and they recieve most of their funding from our "friends" the Saudi's.

Personally I feel the entire middle east should be turned to glass. All our lives this crap has been going on. It's been going on for 4K years. It isn't going to stop.

So when I hear someone in the White House saying the "war on terrorism" will last as long as the cold war (50 years) then Lockeed get's a 200 Billion contract just weeks after 9-11. When, as many Farkers are happy to point out our rights are being thrown out wholesale, it makes me wonder.
2001-12-06 04:42:32 AM  
Skwidd: I understand what you mean. Elected or not, a doddering old man like Strom Thurmond is nothing but a puppet of the party machinery. Does anyone actually think he does anything? If he is responsible for anything his office does, isn't that even scarier?
2001-12-06 04:44:31 AM  
CobraBoy: I couldn't agree with you more.
2001-12-06 04:46:09 AM  
Well, maybe turning them to glass is further than I would go, but I agree with your point :)
2001-12-06 05:11:33 AM  
Buckshot's appraisal of the amount of oil in the Caspian sea is sadly at odds with the facts.

The amount of oil there has been variously estimated as being able to last us between 100 - 300 years AT PRESENT RATE OF CONSUMPTION.

Buckshot, if you for one moment think that the Caspian Sea oil reserves are not a factor in any of this, then you are quite simply a fool. The wealth there is beyond the dreams of avarice and has been coveted by every superpower since Hitler.

Unocal have been trying to whore out the Taliban for years to no avail, culminating in a representitive of the oil cartel telling Congress late last year that there would never be a functioning pipeline to the Caspian sea reserves until *there was a more palatable regime in place in Afghanistan*. This is all on record. Pakistan was told early this year that military action would take place in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban by October 2001. That was long before 9-11.

That's right. The gubmint planned have a military action in Afghanistan anyway, on account of that oil you reckon no one is interested in, *long before* the maniacs ploughed those poor innocent people into the WTC.

The naivety of some people amazes me.

Buckshot says "Not that I care really, we should be focusing on alternative energy and driving farking OPEC into bankruptcy, or just bombing the hell out of anyone who opposes us. It's what being in power means."

You, sir, are a blithering idiot. Hopefully you will never breed. Goodnight.
2001-12-06 05:27:15 AM  
The reason the US hasn't declared war is because it's a poof.
2001-12-06 05:33:55 AM  
Or because they would have to then obey the rules of war, not excuting prisoners, avoiding civilian casualties etc.
2001-12-06 05:39:58 AM  
Oh yeah. Get my mail?
2001-12-06 05:42:16 AM  
Nope, just checked.
2001-12-06 05:43:40 AM  
Fvck. OK, I'll send it again.
2001-12-06 05:51:09 AM  
Sent. To the harmonia@postmaster, yes?
2001-12-06 05:51:31 AM ?
2001-12-06 05:54:13 AM  
2001-12-06 05:56:50 AM  
Still not ere, I'll send you one with a different address.

*sorry all for this very boring conversation when you were expecting provocative left wing ranting. Normal service will be restored as soon as we get the world wide communist conspiracy's email server back up.*
2001-12-06 05:59:13 AM  
2001-12-06 06:01:16 AM  
2001-12-06 06:09:40 AM

Do you run this exciting and informative site G?
2001-12-06 06:21:36 AM  
I don't, but I wish I did. I am The Goatman, but there are 263 pretenders...
2001-12-06 06:39:44 AM  
Do you accept then thats its fine for the Taleban to execute Americans and British soldiers then Skwidd?

As for hiding behind civilians, thats just the oldest lie in the book. You are bombing cities and villages and killing hundreds every day.
2001-12-06 06:44:31 AM  
From yesterday:

A village is destroyed. And America says nothing happened
War on terrorism
Richard Lloyd Parry in Kama Ado, Afghanistan
04 December 2001
The village where nothing happened is reached by a steep climb at the end of a rattling three-hour drive along a stony road. Until nothing happened here, early on the morning of Saturday and again the following day, it was a large village with a small graveyard, but now that has been reversed. The cemetery on the hill contains 40 freshly dug graves, unmarked and identical. And the village of Kama Ado has ceased to exist.

Many of the homes here are just deep conical craters in the earth. The rest are cracked open, split like crushed cardboard boxes. At the moment when nothing happened, the villagers of Kama Ado were taking their early morning meal, before sunrise and the beginning of the Ramadan fast. And there in the rubble, dented and ripped, are tokens of the simple daily lives they led.

A contorted tin kettle, turned almost inside out by the blast; a collection of charred cooking pots; and the fragments of an old-fashioned pedal-operated sewing machine. A split metal chest contains scraps of children's clothes in cheap bright nylon.

In another room are the only riches that these people had, six dead cows lying higgledy-piggledy and distended by decay. And all this is very strange because, on Saturday morning - when American B-52s unloaded dozen of bombs that killed 115 men, women and children - nothing happened.

We know this because the US Department of Defence told us so. That evening, a Pentagon spokesman, questioned about reports of civilian casualties in eastern Afghanistan, explained that they were not true, because the US is meticulous in selecting only military targets associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network. Subsequent Pentagon utterances on the subject have wobbled somewhat, but there has been no retraction of that initial decisive statement: "It just didn't happen."

So God knows what kind of a magic looking-glass I stepped through yesterday, as I travelled out of the city of Jalalabad along the desert road to Kama Ado. From the moment I woke up, I was confronted with the wreckage and innocent victims of high-altitude, hi-tech, thousand-pound nothings.

The day began at the home of Haji Zaman Gamsharik, the pro-Western anti-Taliban mujahedin commander who is being discreetly supplied and funded by the US government. The previous day I had followed him around Jalalabad's mortuary, where seven mutilated corpses were being laid out - mujahedin soldiers of Commander Zaman who had been killed when US bombs hit the government office in which they were sleeping. And now, it had happened again.

There they were in the back of three pick-up trucks - seven more bloody bodies of seven more mujahedin, killed when the guesthouse in which they were sleeping in the village of Landi Khiel was hit by bombs at 6.30am yesterday morning.

Commander Zaman is a proud, haughty man who fought in the mountains for years against the Soviet Union, but I've never seen him look so vulnerable. "I sent them there myself yesterday,'' was all he could say. "I sent them for security.''

But the commander provided us with mujahedin escorts of our own, and we set off down the road to Landi Khiel. We found the ruins of the office where the first lot of soldiers had died, and the guesthouse where they perished the previous morning. And there, in the ruins of a family house, was a small fragment of nothing. It was the tail-end of a compact bomb. It bore the words "Surface Attack Guided Missile AGM 114", and a serial number: 232687. It was half-buried in the remains of the straw roof of a house where three men had died: Fazil Karim, his brother Mahmor Ghulab, and his nephew Hasiz Ullah. "They were a family, just ordinary people," said Haji Mohammed Nazir, the local elder who was accompanying us. "They were not terrorists - the terrorists are in the mountains, over there.''

So we drove on in the direction of the White Mountains, where hundreds of al-Qa'ida members, and perhaps even Osama bin Laden himself, are hiding in the Tora Bora cave complex. A B-52 was high in the sky; a billow of black smoke was visible, blooming out of the valley. Something, surely, was happening over there. And then we reached the ruins of Kama Ado. Among the pathetic remains I found only one sinister object an old leather gun holster with an ammunition belt. It is conceivable that a handful of al-Qa'ida members had been spending the night there, and that US targeters learnt of their presence.

But after 22 years of war, almost every Afghan home contains some military relic, and the villagers swore they hadn't seen Arab or Taliban fighters for a fortnight. Certainly there could not have been enough terrorists to fill the 40 fresh graves. One person told me a few holes contained not intact people, but simply body parts.

We had been warned that white faces would meet an angry reception in the village where nothing happened, but I encountered despair and bafflement. I had only one moment of real fear, when an American B-52 flew overhead. We halted our convoy, clambered out of the cars and trotted into the fields on either side. The plane did a slow circle; I was conscious of electronic eyes looking down on us, the only traffic on the road. Then, to everyone's relief, the bomber veered away.

Before we left the city, an American colleague in Jalalabad telephoned the Pentagon and informed them of our plans to travel to the village where nothing happened. I can't help wondering, in these looking-glass times, what that B-52 would have done to our convoy if that telephone call had not been made. Perhaps nothing would have happened to me too.

From today:
It is the latest in a series of misdirected bombs to have embarrassed America in the past week. About 60 Afghan civilians were killed near Jalalabad after missiles struck villages in incidents that the Pentagon initially said did not take place

You are being lied too, cant you see that?
2001-12-06 06:49:17 AM  
umm... there are always other implications and ramifications when taking any action. external costs/benefits to any policy or action. but these externalities are not what guides policy.

yes, there is caspian sea oil. we've known about it for a while, and yes, AMERICAN companies have invested there and built oil extraction facilities. but just because there is a correlation there does not imply causation. your argument could apply to anything in the war, and it's just not feasible. we also have wanted to get rid of the taliban regime for quite some time because they have been one of the most odious governments on the planet. but we are not there because we are defending women--rather, it is simply a desirable consequence that has occured because of the war (or non-war, as the case may be).

we are there because of september 11. we are there because a message needs to be sent that terrorism is not an acceptable form of political protest. to say otherwise is to stare at your own bellybutton and strain to think of conspiracy theories. good god. let's get real.
2001-12-06 07:02:18 AM  
skwidd: you are so right.

accidents/collateral damage happen. that's why it's RISKY going to WAR. i think one of the problems today is that we are a part of an age or a generation that has utterly no comprehension of war and what it entails. we've never had to suffer through an enormous conflict like WW2, WW1 (keep the list going through a lot of history as well). I was born after vietnam. I truly have no idea what a full scale conflict would be like. but i do understand that wars are by definition, hell, and that accidents and mistakes happen.

wow. i sound like a rightie. eek. : )
2001-12-06 07:11:07 AM  
"The first casualty of war is truth"

And also critical thought it seems.

BTW the Independent a "Liberal rag" now that is funny.
A bit like me calling CNN a nest of communists.
2001-12-06 07:11:44 AM  
From The Independent (British National newspaper):

A stray American "smart bomb" killed three American special forces soldiers, injured 19 others and apparently wounded the very man who, just hours later, was appointed to head an interim government in Afghanistan.

The three soldiers were killed by a 2,000lb satellite-guided device that was intended to hit Taliban and al-Qa'ida positions close to the city of Kandahar. But, in addition to killing five anti-Taliban tribal fighters, the munition also lightly injured the Pashtun commander Hamid Karzai, the man now expected to hold together the Afghan factions that will make up the interim administration.

Mr Karzai was later heard on Channel 4 News denying he had been hit, despite confirmation from the Pentagon.

Ooops. Perhaps this is why they didn't declare war. This can all be put down as, er... industrial accident, I suppose...
2001-12-06 07:15:51 AM  
"A bit like me calling CNN a nest of communists."

That's because it clearly is. Their colours are red and yellow, for gods' sake...
2001-12-06 07:16:23 AM  
The independent, thats just full of those terrorist hugger, commie fact things.
2001-12-06 07:16:42 AM  
i think i'd just like to add that kylie minogue is hilariously fantastic in that uber-cheesy kind of way.

*...i just can't get you out of my head..*

(sorry for that brief interruption. listening to the radio right now, and had to share that information with all of you).
Displayed 50 of 227 comments

Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Newest | Show all

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter

Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.