Buying Safety With Freedom: A Bad Bargain? 

Buying Safety With Freedom: A Bad Bargain? 

Buying Safety With Freedom: A Bad Bargain? 

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Sept. 19 2001 11:30 PM

Buying Safety With Freedom: A Bad Bargain? 

There have been more than 100,000 Fray postings since the terrorist attack last week: an outpouring of every conceivable point of view. Some readers called for censorship of some of those opinions, but that's not the way the Fray works. There is room for all views, even unpopular ones.

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Ferdinanda said, "I can see why there are people who resent us, and this, too, is a security risk. I am not saying we should stop being who we are, just that we should try to be our best selves," and more than 500 readers replied, many of them outraged by her message. Thrasymachus attempted to parse how President Bush's speeches might sound abroad and got some (undeserved) trouble; he then gave us an honest and surprising take on his feelings since the attack here. His posts were part of a highly recommended thread showing what Fraysters do best: Look at the issues both seriously and less seriously.

Martin Greene felt strongly that even in a time of war, Slate should have published its regular poem: "The lack … suggests that art is frivolous in time of war. … Why not a piece written in time of war?" And many others felt that poetry could provide comfort: Mike J suggested W.H. Auden's September 1, 1939; Claude Scales (who lost a friend) wrote a defiant haiku—which in turn led Kassandra to quote some Horace. There are more comforting words in the "Poem" Fray.

Some of the best postings reflect that the first shock is over, and it is time to build strategies.

Subject: Protecting Liberty

Re: "Dialogue: Civil Liberties in Wartime"

From: A.G. Android

Date: Tue Sep 18  7:08 a.m. PT

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Before we discuss the value of buying safety with freedom, shouldn't we at least have some assurance that we're getting what we pay for? You can try to protect the most important and vulnerable places, figuring that you'll stop some but not all attacks. For the rest, you have to go to the source—incidentally keeping the terrorists off balance and disrupting their planning, training, etc. By doing that you prevent far more calamities than even the most extensive security. And you do it without asking Americans to give up their freedom. And without making yourself look silly and scared (thus granting the terrorists one of their goals) by doing dumb, intrusive stuff like banning nail clippers.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Protecting the Innocent

Re: "Ballot Box: Back to Tribeca"

From:
Locdog

Date: Thu Sep 13 10:29 a.m. PT

Clearly, we should not try to kill civilians, but the attitude I'm getting from some people [in The Fray] is "but if they do die it's no big deal." … If we are fighting a just war, as a war against terrorism would be, and we've taken every conceivable precaution to avoid killing innocents, but even then some innocents are killed, then the blood of those innocents is on the hands of their unjust and immoral leaders who forced the war in the first place. But if we don't, if our attitude for the safety of innocents is one of apathy, then what we are doing is somewhere between negligent homicide and third degree murder.

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[Find this post here.]

Subject: Looking at War No. 1

Re: "Kausfiles: Bush Is No Giuliani; He Shouldn't Even Try"

From: Yukon

Date: Fri Sep 14  10:46 p.m. PT

If we face a war, it will be much more like the war on drugs than the war on Japan. … It will be extremely protracted and extraordinarily frustrating. Few of the rules of war we now know will apply. It will be impossible to say if victory has been achieved; a cessation of attacks may mean that the enemy is merely lying low. By definition, when the enemy hits us, it will be completely unexpected and will therefore achieve the terrorist's primary objective: demoralization. …

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Looking at War No. 2

Re: "Kausfiles: Bush Is No Giuliani; He Shouldn't Even Try"

From:
Cato the Censor

Date: Fri Sep 11:42 p.m. PT

To Yukon: I agree that this effort will be very difficult and will take many years. However, that is not an excuse for not undertaking it. The alternative is to wait for a nuclear bomb to wipe out New York or Washington. This will happen if we don't wipe out terrorism and terrorists. We must contain this contagion as we did smallpox. We must think differently to beat this enemy. We should not be thinking about occupying Kabul. This war is not about territory. It is not about destroying infrastructure, because there is none. It is about liquidating terrorists and their ability to wage war.

[Find this post here. These two messages were part of a long and excellent thread.]