Re:virus: Ann Coulter\'s Rant/Rave

From: Hermit (
Date: Fri Aug 02 2002 - 02:05:26 MDT

[Hermit 1] As an example, the most accurate Afghan death toll I am aware of (to December 2001) is visible at originally posted to "US Definitely Avenged: but on whom", Hermit, 2002-04-08 (;action=display;threadid=11541;start=30). That stated that deaths were in excess of 3,700.


[Hermit 1] You have given us your unreferenced opinion that these figures are inaccurate.

[Joe Dees 2] It is fact that those are peoples' opinions.

[Hermit 3] Bodies are not opinions.

[Joe Dees 2] Such a count can be easily explained by the fact that those reporting the deaths are generally against any war at all, whatever the reason, and thus uncritically accept and relay bloated figures given to them by Taliban sympathizers wrangling for, and receiving, sympathy from you and people like you. The following is just one example.

[Joe Dees 2] The aid workers arrived in Islamabad from Kabul on Wednesday to relay information about what is happening in Kabul.
They claimed that 10 civilians had been killed since the bombing began
the night of October 7.

[Joe Dees 2] The figure is much lower than the 70 civilian fatalities in Kabul as claimed by the Taliban. Across Afghanistan, the Taliban said "around 500" civilians have been killed or injured.

[Hermit 3] So you cite a single article about a single report made by "aid workers", accept it as true because it reinforces your beliefs (Virian sense) and make a conclusion based on that - when you yourself previously asserted that the death-toll was low enough to identify individuals? Please show me the source of your list. Now go to the cited report and examine their list.

[Hermit 3] Here is the period in question.
Three days later, a researcher at the Institute for Health & Social Justice, Partners in Health of Harvard University, H.J. Chien, confirmed that civilians had been killed in Jalalabad and elsewhere. On October 9th, the Pakistan Observer [Islamabad] daily newspaper reported on the first night, "37 Killed, 81 Injured in Sunday's Strikes." The casualties spanned four provinces : Kabul [20], Herat [9], Kandahar [4] and Jalalabad [4]. By October 10th, The Guardian reported 76 dead civilians. And by October 15th, the leading Indian daily, The Times of India was mentioning over 300 civilian casualties and that the US-UK bombing action was in violation of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter allowing the use of force in self-defense. On the following day [October 16th], the alternative U.S media noted that during the first week of bombing, 400 Afghan civilians had been slaughtered.

Yet, the mainstream western press only took note of civilian casualties on October 9th when a cruise missile destroyed the building of the United Nations land mine removing contracting firm, the Afghan Technical Center, in the upper class Macroyan residential district of eastern Kabul, killing four night watchmen. Tellingly, the day before, October 8th, twenty other Afghans living near the Kabul airport [in the Qasabah Khana neighborhood] and near the Kabul radio station were also killed. On October 10th, the Sultanpur Mosque in Jalalabad was hit by a bomb during prayers, killing 17 people. As neighbors rushed into the rubble to pull out one injured, a second bomb was dropped reportedly killing at least another 120 people [though I have not included this figure in my tally].

[Hermit 3] Here are the sources. In the original they link to the reports which were cross-referenced to determine probity.
8 A.J. Chien, "The Civilian Toll," [October 11, 2001] at the Institute for Health & Social Justice, available at :
9 "37 Killed, 81 Injured in Sunday's Strikes," Pakistan Observer [October 9, 2001].
10 "Raids Restart with 76 Reported Dead," The Guardian [October 10, 2001].
11 Siddarth Varadarajan, "An Ignoble War," Times of India [October 15, 2001].
12 Chris Kromm, "Week One: Operation Infinite Disaster," CommonDreams [October 16, 2001], at:
13 as for example in Los Angeles Times [October 9, 2001], Derrick Z. Jackson, "Already, One Smart Bomb Has Proved Dumb," The Boston Globe [October 10, 2001], The Washington Post [October 10, 2001] and The Independent [U.K.] [October 14, 2001].
14 from Geov Parrish, "Where the Bodies Are," Working for Change [October 22, 2001], at: ; and also in The Frontier Post [Peshawar] [October 12, 2001] and BBC News Online [October 11, 2001]. On October 25th, a U.S bomb hit the mosque and village of Ishaq Sulaiman near Herat, killing at least 20 civilians [Agence France Press, October 25, 2001, cited in Dawn [October 26, 2001].

[Hermit 3] It seems to me that your aid worker's "opinions" are somewhat less persuasive against this level of comprehensive and in my opinion persuasive accounting.

[Hermit 3] Unless you show reason why you adhere to your assertions, we will have to conclude that your "opinion" appears to be faulty.

[Hermit 1] As another, what is a fact is that you asserted various things about Iraq's intentions to dominate the World. When asked you pointed to your "six points" which proved nothing of the sort. It is your opinion that the six points supported the inference that this was the case.

[Joe Dees 2] It is not my opinion that they have committed these actions. They have.

[Hermit 3] So now you assert that a sequence of (largely disptable) "facts" (see the reply on that thread) are the same as showing intent. You are incorrect. While Saddam might be a nasty piece of work (in fact he seemed quite charming in person), you know nothing of him, or his intentions bar what he has stated. And he has stated nothing of what you aver. Indeed, he is supported by a large percentage of the Middle East population, in no small part due to the role played by Israel.

[Hermit 1] Finally, it is aso a fact that we are rushing toward the singularity. And if my surmises are correct, if we do not develop a less aggressive, competitive and more appropriate ethical system, it is likely that humanity will not survive that event. Speaking for myself, I think that would be a pity. It seems to me that your arguments and the actions of the US are in direct conflict with this end-goal.

[Hermit 1] Winston Churchill once said, "The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives." My estimate is that there is little time for experiment or trying the many alternatives available. Choosing to gamble with your future is all very well, but I would suggest that your arguments are gambling with the future of all mankind. And the dice are already in the cup. And loaded against us. Is this sensible?

[Joe Dees 2] That he future is uncertain is a universal truism, but if we roll over and commit collective suicide by allowing these fanatics to garner Allah's favor by murdering us without response, the future, whatever it is, will most certainly not include us.

[Hermit 3] I think you miss the point. There are other ways to address this issue. That don't involve destabilizing the world and killing at least tens of thousands of people who are not involved. And do not involve suicide at all. The fact that you cannot see this possibility indicates that the competitive meme which has served us so well for so long is still alive and well and motivating you. Unfortunately, in a changing environment, where we are likely to have to face a being infinitely more capable and intelligent than ourselves, this is unlikely to be a good meme to be carrying around.



This message was posted by Hermit to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS.

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