JMSNews
The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive

 

JMSNews provides an archive of messages posted
by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

  Home      Community Forums      Contest      Links      FAQ      About JMS     

RSS Feed  

 Search all Messages

   Sort by: 

This field searches the text of all messages in the archive.

 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Attn JMS: What about now?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 12/10/2002 9:26:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

View this message only
 



>Do you think the conditions are currently right for martial law? I
>realize that something similar has been discussed to death already on
>this group, but it's not quite the same question, so I hope you'll
>indulge me.

Well, let's see...American citizens (low-lifes, yes, but citizens nonetheless)
detained without questioning or formal charges, military tribunals reviewing
cases in secret without the right of appeal, a proposed system of gathering
everyone's private information for use by the government, tracking checkouts at
public libraries, going through purchases to determine who's taken various
kinds of lessons (including, most recently, suba diving lessons), asking high
schools to turn over addresses for students eligible for military service,
signing an overall action for overseas "hits" on possible targets that does not
specifically exclude American citizens as targets and thus generically includes
them, all but reversing the Freedom of Information Act, a declaration of
wartime emergency that has no clearly defined end-point, moves to weaken or
eliminate the Posse Comitatas act which prohibits the use of military in
domestic situations, the detainment at airports -- under the new terrorist
provisions -- of pepole whose only offense was to take part in protest marches
in Seattle and San Francisco, the loosening of search and seizure laws....

No, not at all, why do you ask?

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Attn JMS: What about now?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 12/17/2002 11:35:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

View this message only
 



Okay, I'm probably going to get cyber-mugged for this, but let me put in my two
cents on the Iraq situation, and the reasons behind it.

It is really nothing more or less than an attempt to re-draw the map of the
Middle East.

By their actions and their statements, Bush and Co. seem to believe that they
have a manifest destiny, and that they must act to seize the moment while they
can, hence their haste to get things popping.

If you take down Iraq and replace it with either a puppet government or one
friendly to the US, suddenly you can bring down the price of Iraqi oil
considerably. If the other nations in the region don't go along, they get
frozen out. So suddenly the prices go down, profits go up, and (while fossil
fuels last) everybody profits economically.

Politically, if you take out Iraq, you remove a linchpin from the Mideast
structure. You have a friendly base of operations from which to launch
military endeavors; you can aid your friends and loom over your enemies; it
puts the US in a position to destabalize other countries in the area or bring
them to the side of the US.

That, I believe, is their plan. The only thing wrong with it is that it can't
work; the region is too interlinked and impossible to govern from afar, and
they haven't fully thought out the doctrine of unintended consequences.

Within an hour or so of 9/11, Rumsfeld -- according to the NY Times -- was
asking people, "Can we pin this on Saddam, take 'em all down at the same time?"
They've clearly been looking for an excuse to go in on this for a long time.
If it wasn't 9/11, it'd be something else.

If you say it's about oil, that's only part of the picture; if you say it's
about weapons and terror, that's also only a part of the picture. You have to
stand well back from the tapestry and get a good look at the whole of it to
recognize the thing for what it is: an attempt to redraw the map of the Middle
East in its entirety.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Attn JMS: What about now?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 12/19/2002 11:10:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

View this message only
 



>>If you say it's about oil, that's only part of the picture; if you say it's
>>about weapons and terror, that's also only a part of the picture. You have
>to
>>stand well back from the tapestry and get a good look at the whole of it to
>>recognize the thing for what it is: an attempt to redraw the map of the
>Middle
>>East in its entirety.
>
>Considering the fact that most of the governments in the Mideast are
>barely-tolerable tyrannies as it stands, even among our "allies", I
>don't know that that would be a bad thing to try and do, is all.

Which would be, on the face of it, a valid counter...except that the
governments we tend to install in our wake are often, or soon become, every bit
as bad as what was there in the first place.

We helped put in and prop up the Shah of Iran, creating a situation that was so
awful, so corrupt, so full of human rights violations, that it led in time to
the growth of the fundamentalist forces that overthrew him and gave us the
current Iran.

Remember that, because we didn't like the russians, we helped arm the Afghanis
and trained the people who would in time become the Taliban and Al-Quaeda.

When we didn't like Iran, we gave Iraq the very weapons that we're not
complaining about, in many cases. When it looked like he might use (and may
have used) chemical weapons in the Iran/Iraq war, our government was decidedly
silent. No one was making a big deal about it at the upper echelons of
government, because we knew he had chemical weapons but he was using them in
"our interests."

The bottom line, apart from all this, is very simple: is it the business of the
United States to go out overthrowing governments when and where we feel like
it? Is that really what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the
Constitution?

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Attn JMS: What about now?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 12/19/2002 2:56:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

View this message only
 



>I still support an attack on Iraq - for my
>own reasons, regrdless of Bush's reasons. I want to make sure Iraq
>doesn't use nukes/bio/Chemical weapons against any of its enemies.
>Saddam is a true threat to the Middle East and to the world. I don't
>feel like having a repeat of when I was 8 years old in the shelter,
>with a gas mask on

Don't blame you. So I guess the question before us is not so much "does the
end justify the means?" as "does the means assure the end?"

There are any number of governments -- friendly or hostile to the US -- that
have these weapons. Do we take out all of them? With so much of this out
there, does it make it one whit safer for the US?

On top of that...to the best of my knowledge, and I'm happy to be corrected on
this, Saddam has never made an actual threat to attack the US. Even the CIA
came back and said that the odds of Saddam attacking the US are very close to
zero...unless he feels he's cornered and no longer has anything left to lose.
He might then use it locally, or give it to others.

And let us remember that so far the Bush administration has not produced one
whit of proof that these weapons exist in the first place. So we have a
conundrum on our hands: either he has them, and we guarantee an attack by going
after him, or he doesn't have them, in which case why are we going in?

The thing about regime change from outside is that it never works. Any time
we've done it in the past, we've ended up making the situation worse, and had
those ghosts come back to haunt us later, in Iran, Iraq, the Phillipines, you
name it.

The only time it does work is when it's the people of the nation rising up.
And they do, sooner or later. They rose up in Poland, in East Germany, in
Russia proper, and elsewhere. And that, for me, is the telling point: someone
from the outside coming in does not have the moral authority to make the change
stick, or make decisions with the best interests of the local population at
heart.

If, in 1775, prior to our declaration of independence, the Austrians had said,
"Look, we think you Americans are being oppressed, the British have these
terrible weapons, we're going to liberate you," and they did so, putting in a
puppet government, or setting up Austrians to run the country...would we have
ever accepted that? Would we not have in time risen up against them?

GIving support internally to rebel forces in Iraq? Sure. Responding to a
direct attack against the US? You bet. Maybe even to just an announced
threat.

But none of that is ever going to guarantee the safety of the US. Our friends
in Europe have learned this lesson already, with terrorist actions in both
France and Britain for decades. But rather than torch their liberties,
egalities and fraternities, they set their jaw and endured it, allowing their
law enforcement arms time to deal with it...and for the most part, that's been
successful.

You want a guarantee that it can't happen here, but it can...and it will,
because in truth there's nothing that anybody can do to stop a handful of
dedicated fanatics. The only surprise here is that it took this long for it to
happen. And when it did happen, it came from a small group with lots of
sponsors, not as an act by one given nation against the US.

If Al-Quaeda had WMD, you can bet your ass they would've used them by now. But
what we've had have been small, limited operations. Nor -- and this is
strictly my opinion -- will any nation give them WMD to use on their behalf
here.

For one reason: if that were ever to happen, if a big biological or chemical
attack were ever perpetrated against the US, there is absolutely no doubt in my
milnd, or in their mind, that we would glass over whichever country was
responsible.

So as long as our enemies have something to lose, we're safe. Back them into a
corner...and I'm not so sure.
jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Attn JMS: What about now?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/6/2003 1:00:00 AM  

Message 5 in thread 

View this message only
 



>Personally, I'm not willing to set my jaw and endure 100s of years of
>terrorism. I (and my children) can if we have to, but I'd rather remove
>the root cause ASAP.

But to assume that Sadam is the root cause of terrorism is naive and, most
important, incorrect. He takes advantage of the situation, sure, and his reign
is a symptom, but he ain't the root cause. Not by a long shot.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)

Site © 2015 Midnight Design Productions  -  Message content © 2015 by Synthetic Worlds  -  Privacy Statement