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Thanks People-

for putting up with my crazy message.

Patriots don't necessarily view through specially filtered glasses that
the object of their patriotism is totally unblemished. No one is perfect
- not even America or its inhabitants and citizens. By that then, is
someone anti-American because they see and say, that America is
blemished?  Who judges?  Who is perfect, without blemish?

This is from the Washington Post Newspaper, 16 December 2001 Parade's
Special Intelligence Special by Lyric Wallwork Winik
"War" without Rules - The Geneva Convention is supposed to protect
uniformed soldiers captured in battle, but it only applies in a declared

war.  So, any military personnel captured during peacekeeping,
humanitarian or nation-building operations, such as those now under way
in the Balkans, are not automaticaly protected. Nor are those fighting
in a nondeclared war.  If captured, they're classified as hostages, not
POWs, even by the Pentagon, and have no special rights.  The American
Legion recently asked the Pentagon to revise its policy and grant full
POW staus to any captured American in uniform."

Also from today's Post on the Outlook section, B1
Quoting an interview with Donald Rumsfeld
"Go After Them and Destroy Them" is the lead banner.
To the question "what did you think of the Osama bin Laden videotape?"
I'm not inclined to come out with a series of sound bites on the tape.
It is what it is. People can see it and make their own judgments. I
already knew whaat I thought of the fellow.
To the question, "Why did you think he made it?"
No idea. He was obviously proud of himself. It was celarly not a
professional job. But everyone in the room knew it was being done. They
talked about it. You could see they kew it was being done.

An essay by Peter Freundlich who has worked for several major network
news organizations for the past 30 years. (edited by me)
"What Counts, The Death Toll is Far Less than Feared. Can We Accept
"How many people need to have died on Sept. 11 to justify
America'sactions in Afghanistan?  If it turns out that fewer than half
as many perished as once we feared - and, at around 3,000, that is where

the toll now stands - does that somehow undermine our moral right to
unsheathe our swords?  Is Osama bin Laden half the criminal we thought
he was, or are we perhaps reacting twice as forcefully as we ought to?
  This seems like a reprehensible line of thinking - this notion of the
human ante, of the minimum bid in lives for going to war. .....Before
there was any count of casualities at all, New York's mayor, Rudolph
Giuliani, eloquently warned that, whatever the figure, it would prove
'more than any of us can bear.'  Could 3000 human beings somehow fail to

satisify our definition of unbearable?
  Suppose the towers of the World Trade Center and the jetliner did not
crash in Pennsylvania, and all that happened in Sept. 11 - All- was that

a jetliner was flown into the Pentagon. The numbers have been known for
some time.  189 dead or missing, 64 of them including the 5 hijackers,
aboard American Airlines Flight 77. The heart breaks, but can the strain

to take in 184 victims. They would fit in a school auditorium or on a
convoy of buses headed for a family reunion. Lest you thjink that number

in the low hundreds is too small to start a conflgration, consider the
loss of 266 sailors on the battleship Maine sunk in Havana Harbor led
to-or provided the excuse for- the Spanish-American War of 1898."
(He then goes on to enlarge and explain what he just said)
  "Counting the dead is a job that freezes the spirit.  And the truth is

that, beyond a certain point accuracy is impossible".......
   "Is it that we need the higher number, to shore up our fury? Is it
that the sight of those sinking skyscrapers, in which, God knows, 10
times as many people might have died, ....
  When the death toll allowed commentators quickly began characterizing
Sept 11 as the bloodiest single day on American soil, displacing the
Civil War battle of Antietam in which some sources say 3,650 Union and
Confederate died - as if it were an exact number.....
   We owe it to the dead, and to history, to get the numbers as right as

we can, and to get the words as right as we can. Both have to be looked
back at continuously and unblinkingly, hard as that is to do. And both
have to be revised when necessary.
  At the moment, Rudy Guiliani's original word on this subject is
holding up, and it does not depend on a number at all: In a newly
fatherless or motherless household, a death toll of one is unbearable -
which is precisely what the mayor said it would be, even before the
counting began."
That is one man's comment.
There is a bold  sentence in another commentary
"Carrying out a World War II-style strategic bombing plan using
21st-century smart bombs would still probably fail to achieve the
collapse of an enemy regime."

Outlook also is available on the Internet at
www.washingtonpost.com/opinion/outlook        Sally

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