-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Mon, 17 May 1999 19:17:22 -0700


At 01:48 5/17/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>It concerns me a great deal that the embassy, of the no. 3 nuclear power
>of the world and, to say the least, a mildly bad guy, was carelessly
>destroyed. Not so long ago, embassy and diplomats were untouchables, back
>in the saner days of the Vietnam War, both the American and Soviet
>embassies were off-limit, even "accidentally". No matter, accidents do
>really happen. The trouble is (1) all the Administration can offer is a
>half-ass "Monica" apology and (2) the whole nation doesn't seem concerned
>at all. So now the Chinese must be thinking if only they have ICBMs,
>future accidents can certainly be prevented. Wrapped thinking? Of
>course! But does it matter?

It does matter. But I fail to see why the destruction of an embassy to a
hostile power is such an outrage, compared to, say, a civilian airliner
that just happens to be flying in contested airspace. KAL 007 was far less
of an accident than the Chinese embassy, which has extremely bad feng shui.

It concerns me a great deal that America is deemed responsible and held
accountable for the actions of NATO. Last time I flew with NATO troops, we
Americans had to use NATO equipment and follow NATO Rules of Engagement
(ROE) under the command of NATO officers. These officers are as likely to
be from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Iceland (which was where
I was serving at the time), Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, or
Portugal as from the U.S. Serving with NATO is even worse than seriving
with the U.N. Peacekeepers in that regard.

Nevertheless, America has apologized for NATO's error. If that's not
enough, then I suggest you take the matter up with the other 11 member
nations and, most especially, with the actual perpetrators of the deed.
Just for the record, the authorizing body is not the U.S. Congress or its
President, but the North Atlantic Council, which is heavily dominated by
France.

And China *DOES* have ICBMs, courtesy of the civilian rocket technology
that we sold them, which it is currently arming with warheads built using
military technology that it stole from us. China also has a lot in common
with the Milosevic regime, as I'm sure the Dalai Lama would agree.

When you point a finger at someone, there's always four fingers pointing
back at yourself.

>It concerns me a great deal that the no. 2 nuclear power of the world and,
>to say the least, until recently a very bad guy, had just had a major
>political earthquake. A very very bad guy can easily assume power in
>Moscow if Yeltsin is continually embarassed as a weakling with a war
>against his ally right at his own doorstep.

You might also be concerned that Number 2 has already cast its lot with the
Milosevic crowd and recall its own role in Chechnya.

And India and Pakistan are still rattling *their* sabers. This idiocy is
not limited to the old Cold War powers.

>It concerns me a great deal that NATO have (with little remorse) admitted
>to killing hundreds of Albanians, and have not yet even tried to estimate
>if they actually have saved any single Albanians. In the NATO assisted/
>approved news coverage, you constantly hear from the refugees: "where's
>NATO?" "what have they done for me?". So even if you take NATO's words at
>the face value, you must conclude that bombing has been counterproductive.
>Yet the military continue to pat themselves on the back and this whole
>nation cheer them on. Heroism is now officially dead.

So what's *your* solution?

If Milosevic has his way, the refugees will never be allowed back except as
slave labor with a short life expectancy. I can guarantee you that not
many of them know English and none of them know Cantonese. If they can't
return to their homeland, where then shall they go?

>> Generalize in haste, repent at leisure....
>
>Sorry, repenting is pretty much out of fashion these days.

Not much on repenting? Try apologizing, instead.

>In Gundam (at least 0079), death carries a lot of weight. Amuro seems a
>lot more troubled about killing compared to NATO pilots who have no
>trouble sleeping after accidentally bombing refugee camps. "But it's only
>a few out of thousands of bombs!" "I cannot second-guess my orders."

How many NATO pilots do you know? Or support personnel, for that matter?
Do you know anyone who has actually worn a uniform and served in a foreign
land?

You know *one* that I can see -- me.

I'm here to tell you that everyone involved has a fully-operational
conscience and, for the most part, a solid moral compass. Everyone of them
has taken an oath to protect and defend, asked themselves the hard
questions and come up an answer with which they can live. I know. I've
been there and done that.

You don't like Clinton or his policies? Fine. Take a number -- there are
millions of Americans who feel the same way you do. But don't bad-mouth
the men and women under his command who are doing their sworn duty in the
face of tremendous physical, mental and emotional hardship.

>Everyone hear the cry for help, everyone know what must be done. If this
>whole nation lacks the courage (euphemism "political will") to do it, she
>should at least stop making things worse.

There are 250 million people in the United States and a minimum 125 million
and one of them (or a majority of their representatives) have to agree on
something before anything is done. While a record number of Americans are
in prison this year and the majority of those who are free are
understandable more concerned about the new STAR WARS movie, I still don't
see where you get off lumping us all together and calling us moral cowards,
especially as you've offered nothing in the way of an alternative.

But before you start in on what *America* should be doing, I'll remind you
that this is a *NATO* operation and the French (who have no love for the
Albanians) have just as much say as the U.S. about how this operation is
conducted.

-Z-

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