beyond prevention, time for cure

September 16th, 2001

Dave Winer hosts an article from Mir Tamim Ansary on Afghanistan which seems to suggest there is the possibility of a reasoned, targeted attack on the evildoers, avoiding unnecessary Afghan civilian casualties, but at the risk of larger numbers of American military casualties.

Both Dave and Doc declare themselves as pacifists. It strikes me that pacifism is a tenet which we have only been able to afford continuously to hold over the last 50 years as citizens of a free and democratic society unthreatened by maniacal regimes. We would not be in this position of enjoying the luxury of peace-maintenance had we not stood down the threats of the past by means of necessary force. There are times and enemies for which there is no chance for negotiation. There have been times when the imminent threat of war has maintained peace where negotiation would have failed.

The time for us to use our pacifist first aid kit has passed. The cancer has set in and is laying in wait. It may well still be in the stage where tactical targeted surgery will remove the danger, but we mustn’t be afraid to admit when serious amputation becomes necessary to return the patient to a stable condition.

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