stockingfull wrote:On your rebuttal, all I can say is, if the Boston Tea Party and the Declaration of Independence weren't provocative acts in their time (before there was dynamite, jet aircraft or skyscrapers to fly them into), I don't know what would have been. In fact, if David McCullough's portrayal of the Boston Massacre in the current -- and excellent -- John Adams series on HBO is accurate, the British soldiers were "baited" or even affirmatively deceived into firing their muskets by the provocative acts of the rebellious crowd which confronted them. That's how defense counsel John Adams got them acquitted.
Oh man, you are baiting me now, aren't you?
Do you mean to suggest that you believe the only thing that prevented the Boston Tea Party from being the Boston "Pair of Passenger Jumbo Jets into the center of Boston" Party or the Boston "Dynamite Main Street" Party is that the technology wasn't available at the time? Or to put a more charitable spin on it, that if the BTP were to be carried out today that it would have taken the form of the 1993 attack on the towers or the 9/11/01 tower attacks? If you are, then my only response can be (and I apologize in advance for the personal attack, but I can't think of a nice way to say it): you are delusional.
There were plenty of ways they could have make just as provacative an act as the 9/11 tower attack were. They didn't have dynamite, but they had kegs of blackpowder. No skyscrapers, but plenty of very important targets: market places, ports, merchant ships, military ships, schools, churches, bridges, mills, etc. They could have set the entire main street on fire, women and children, old and infirm be damned. They didn't though. They dumped a bunch of tea into the harbor. They didn't kill or even hurt a single person in this act. According to wikipedia, they even replaced a padlock that was accidentally broken during the thing!
And the Boston Massacre was basically the British opening fire on a rioting crowd. All but four of the soldiers were found not guilty, those convicted were convicted because they fired directly into the crowd instead of into the air or over the heads of the crowd to disperse them. The riot/crowd was instigated by an anti-british wigmaker, but the rioters weren't innocent, being anti-british enough themselves to participate in the riot. The propaganda that was generated based on that massacre happened before all the facts were known and regardless was generated independently from those responsible for instigating the event. So the event was not an attempt to bait the british into committing an act for a propaganda piece. In contradistinction, when Jihadis bait our troops (or our nation) they generally bait us into killing innocents by presenting a very dangerous situation where the soldiers are entirely justified in the actions they take, while the jihadis hide out of range and film the whole event, edit out any contextualizing bits, and then post it to the net and mail it to TV news outlets. And even if we were to accept that the Boston Massacre was a deliberate attempt to bait the british into firing on the crowd for propaganda purposes, at least the anti-brits baited the british upon themselves. And finally, John Adams was anti-british and the jury was probably at least partly so! Do you think for a moment that Al Queda's jihadi lawyer is about to represent a US soldier in court or military tribunal at all, much less for an act against a muslim or in relation to an event AQ is propagandizing or deliberately arranged to have happen?
You are so barking up the wrong tree on this recent line of argument you've started.
But, as the old saying goes, history is written by the victors. Were it not so, our genocidal treatment of the American Indian might warrant a congressional rebuke similar to that directed at Turkey over the Armenians.
I'm not taking the bait this time.
IMO, there is no higher patriotism than the call to adhere to the principles upon which our nation was founded, even when -- perhaps especially when -- that call conflicts with what's convenient or popular at the moment. No President, no commander, stands above the Constitution and laws of our nation. My respect is directed to the latter; those who occupy the former positions are human beings, subject to all the flaws and foibles of all of us. They must be constantly measured against the yardstick of those principles.
That's a beautiful sentiment. How you choose to apply it to the values, ethics, and motivations of those who carried out the 9/11 attacks or to AQ or any number of other Islamic-extremist terrorists around the world, or actually venture to draw equivalence between the 9/11 attacker's tactics and those of Paul Reveere, John Adams, GW, and the rest of our country's founding rebels (or even the British for that matter) is beyond comprehension.
And damn it, stop baiting me!