"In the discussion between Dean and Tom, one thing that, as a non-American, deeply troubles and infuriates me is the unquestioned assumption that America's concerns and desires preclude those of everyone else in the world."
How you came to that conclusion puzzles me, Miguel. I thought you knew me better than that. I said that in the context of American politics. As I posted, any president that did otherwise would have been summarily impeached, if not worse, and the country would have gone up for grabs, quite possibly resulting in an even more violent response. My position on 9/11 has been clear in previous threads, perhaps best expressed as follows: Why would 19 young men, well educated and in the prime of life, come 6000 miles to fly airplanes into buildings? I have always been enormously distressed that, to my knowledge, no one here ever asked that question. Certainly not in public discourse. Until we confront that question, we will be doomed to an unending conflict in that part of the world, at enormous cost to ourselves and so many others.
"In the discussion about attacking Afghanistan to get bin Ladin, the statement, "It had to be done." is about as hubristic as I can think of, with a cavalier dismissal of Afghanistan as a valid and sovereign entity, that exhibits an aristocratic attitude worthy of any of the world's empires, and goes against the very thing that Americans were fighting against when they broke away from Britain."
See above. To take account of the political reality in America as part of the discussion does not mean that I support our actions in that part of the world in general. Quite the contrary, as you of all people should know from previous threads. If that doesn't calm your fury, there is nothing further I can say.
"Even the term, "terrorist" is a total dismissal of another people's authenticity and legitimacy (and the very reason why those who become "terrorists" become what they do). People very rarely fully address the whole issue of what a "terrorist" really is; the term is just vaguely applied so that no more responsibility is needed in thinking about another person. "It had to be done"? That statement alone says everything about how Americans see everyone else in the world."
I just replied to a previous post regarding terrorists, in which I observed that their own people consider them martyrs, and that they are not born that way, but made. Again, I thought you knew me better.