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I was trying to find something that Eliot wrote that echoed a columnist in this morning's NY Times.  In paraphrase, a Chinese army officer told the reporter protesting the oppression of a dissident that you will know why when you are faced with similar problems.  The reporter wondered whether terrorism would prove the officer correct and we would go the Chinese way.  Secret courts, unknown defendants, and indefinite incarceration are not the American way.  Are they ?
Erwin
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: Eliot and the war on terrorism

In a message dated 9/10/02 3:10:34 PM Pacific Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:


In seeking an answer to our future in the war on terrorism we may well think back on what T. S. Eliot wrote in the New English Weekly at the start of the Second World War. In October, 1939 he noted that the important question of the result of the war is "what will win" ...In a sense in which war is something that starts with the fighting and ends when the fighting stops, we may quite well win this war without ideas. But in that event the statement "we have won the war" must be countered with the question "who are we, now that we have won it." If it should happen that by some hideous metamorphosis we had, in the process of winning become the Germans--or the Russians--it would be a very hollow triumph indeed ..."



But we didn't become the Germans. I see your point, however.  We only need to look at some of the South American countries to learn the value of thinking it all through before arming a particular side or assisting in putting into leadership of a foreign government a worse regime that what existed before or one just as ruthless and immoral.


World War II was obviously justified, more than justified because had there not been the War, then a tyrant would have controlled the world eradicating whatever groups of people he didn't like.  As for "who are we now, now that we have won," I don't believe that after World War II, America had that thought, although the winning of that war actually brought America to the status this country now holds.  But, it is a different time.  Now, we cannot help but that think that.

I believe that there are times when a situation becomes so dangerous that action must be taken, even if "the end results after the war is won aren't completely thought through.  Who are we to decide that?  Someone has to.

All of this aside, it is the evening before September 11th.  I've not listened to any of the media rehash.  Yet, as this evening progresses, I am becoming more and more upset.

Regards,

Kate