Am now beginning to read up on what congress is doing in response to the war. I'm rather unhappy -- it looks like this may be an opportunity for the installment of abominations on good government which I am not willing to comprimise, e.g. flag-burning, encryption, and racist treatment of Arabs. Absolutely none of these are acceptable, and must be met with political opposition, and beyond that, dissent. Civil disobedience and beyond is warranted if essential liberties are violated. Rights are a proclaimation, "I will not yield". The day flag burning is banned is the day I begin to burn flags. The day 'uncrackable' encryption is banned is the day I begin to use it. When Arabs are assaulted or legally stripped of rights purely based on race is a time when I will need to make sacrifices to aid them. These are critical times -- the United States is faced with the results of its evils, and has the chance to either react well -- intelligently find the responsible and kill them and stop being an international bully, or to react badly -- start a war with a country that's merely harboring someone who might not even have been involved and use the temporary passions of its people to make its own government intolerable. May I be an antibody in the midst of the disease, and should the disease destroy the body, may I keep my head clear and do only what need be done to restore liberty and end the horror.
I listened to a smattering of radio on the way back from the coffeeshop, and was displeased at all the talk stations I heard. In one, there was an American news reporter speaking to someone at the Afghenistani embassy, and the Afghenistani diplomat was talking about how some sort of international court should be used to determine whether Bin Laden was guilty. The reporter, doing some kind of weird voice thing, said that most of the people in the United States were certain it was Bin Laden, and tried to make the Afghenistan government look sinister for merely defending itself from the American military. This is exactly why Bin Laden should not be tried in the United States -- impartiality is impossible here. It would be a horrid and dangerous thing should the United States take him should be be innocent. How could we possibly be fair about the issue with so many people here calling for his blood? At the very least he should be tried in a U.N. tribunal, although I do worry about some bias there as the U.N. has acted too often as a tool of the United States.
I suggest China. They have a dislike of both terrorists and the United States, and the balance of these might ensure a fair trial. I do wonder about their court system though -- perhaps a hybrid system or a U.N. style trial held and moderated within China would be fair. If Bin Laden is guilty, he should die. If he is innocent, he shouldn't be harmed. A fair judgement cannot happen here, so he *MUST* be kept out of the clutches of our government. The United States should, at this point, clean the blood off of its hands before it becomes drenched in it. Stop supporting the nastiness of what Israel is doing, and for goodness sakes, stop training people like Bin Laden as pawns in some grand political game. It is quite juicy, and underreported, that Bin Laden was trained by the United States as a pawn against Communist Russia. I could not have the liberties I claim in the USSR or China, but certainly I would be happier there than under the rule of religious fundimentalists (of any sort). In consorting with terrorists, the U.S. has tainted itself. It must come clean, or it must be opposed.