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  • by pudge (1) on 2001.12.12 13:53 (#2271) Homepage Journal
    Sure, people are culpable for the actions of their government. This is the case in almost all nations, though, not just democracies. Castro has not stayed in power for all these decades simply because of his iron fist; many people in Cuba like Cuba and like Castro and don't want him gone. And this is also much the same thing in Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Iran, Jordan ... none of those governments could survive without popular support. You could even make the case to some degree for Afghanistan. Sure, the Taliban ruled by force, but how did they get to power? How did they remain in power? The people, largely (perhaps not mostly), supported them.

    Anyway, my problem was never that they killed American "civilians," so such an argument is a straw man. My problem is that they killed Americans (and others) and attacked America. At that point, the justification for holding "civilians" responsible is moot: the issue is whether or not such action against America was justified. And clearly, it was not. I normally don't speak in absolutes about what other people should think, but anyone who thinks such an attack was justified is either evil or blind.
    • No matter how blind, misguided, hidden, evil, stupid, or silly such justification is, it is such justification that enables them to recruit beyond the core of true religious zealots. Even as uneducated as much of the middle east remains, there's a persuasive difference between "Go blow something up" and enumerating a chain of facts (however factual they are or are not) on why something needs to be blown up.

      Much like the addict, it may not take very much justification, but it usually requires some.