We love our bombs

This is so fucked up.

The survey was conducted by the Program on International Public Attitudes at the University of Maryland, whose work is extremely well-regarded. They found that Americans were far more willing to condone attacks deliberately aimed at civilians than were the residents of the largest Muslim countries in the world. Ballen writes:

Only 46 percent of Americans think that “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” are “never justified,” while 24 percent believe these attacks are “often or sometimes justified.” Contrast those numbers with 2006 polling results from the world’s most-populous Muslim countries - Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Terror Free Tomorrow, the organization I lead, found that 74 percent of respondents in Indonesia agreed that terrorist attacks are “never justified”; in Pakistan, that figure was 86 percent; in Bangladesh, 81 percent.

Ignore the terrorist attack comparision, because there’s lots of obvious phrasing issues. What I want to know is how the hell half the country can either have no opinion on intentionally killing civilians, or thinks you can justify it.

The connotative difference in the questions asked reduces the meaning of this survey dramatically.

This is one of those situations where you try to create a moral equivalence between firebombing Hamburg and 9/11, isn’t it?

Money quote from the article:

The unwillingness to hurt innocent people in war has always been a measure of what distinguishes just and fair societies from extremist ones.

The “unwillingness to hurt innocent people in war” was pretty much invented in 1960 by America. So, er, not even close, whiny blog dude, unless you’re going to claim that NATO countries of the past half century are the only just and fair societies in human history, neatly defeating the rest of the article.

This is one of those situations where you try to create a moral equivalence between firebombing Hamburg and 9/11, isn’t it?

Yes, it is.

If proportionality should be a guideline in war, then Nazi Germany and imperial Japan earned their carpet-bombings in spades. The whole of the German and Japanese societies – military and civilian, though it’s hard to make the distinction given the truly national war efforts made by both those nations – were embarked on rampages, and had to be targeted in order to bring those rampages to a halt.

Germany and Japan were salting the earth around them, using all the power of their industrial bases. Auschwitz and Nanking are only their most glaring legacies.

Americans aren’t bloodthirsty, and they know the difference between warfare and terrorism. Jason should probably just be thankful that the ferocity of America’s response to the Axis innovation of “total war” pretty much ended its practice in 1945.

The questions were:

Are “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” justified, and are “suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets” justified?

What’s the big difference?

You have not been appointed the official speaker for all America, thank you very much. And I would argue that those “we” did elect to represent us, at least the ruling majority at the time of declaration of war against Afghanistan and Iraq, went to war for that very reason: a lot of people wanted blood for 9/11. Did you forget all the deception that went into making the Iraq war happen? No, I just think you don’t care.

Good to see everyone ends up discussing something else within 1 post. :)

We love our landmines too…

Yes we are, and it’s awesome.

Yep, it’s the difference between us and them.

Hey now! We invented total war way before those Axis kooks. Or am I misremembering the American civil war?

Come on, haven’t you seen all the old lithographs of Sherman handing out candy bars to children on the march to Atlanta?

You’re forgetting this is a country of people who consider wrestling and monster truck rallies as entertaiment.

Now, I think it’s fair to say Americans aren’t bloodthirsty.

Specifically, in really not liking to see the bloody results. Maimed soldiers and civillians, only furtive shots of coffins being shipped back, that sort of thing. That stuff’s a downer. America doesn’t like downers; it’s pessimistic and defeatist.

Explosions from a good distance, though–explosions are awesome. Did you see how that laser-guided bomb went right in through the window, like, whoosh and it was all BOOM, yeah baby!

So, not bloodthirsty. I don’t know what the proper term would be, though. Pyrothirsty?

“Hollywood violence.” Let them see some real bodies, blown to bits, swollen, steenking, etc… and see what they think…

The key to justifying the oppression and murder of some more or less cohesive group of people is to label them as something other than people, e.g. ‘gooks’, ‘niggers’, ‘terrorists’, ‘liberals’, ‘imperialist running dog lackeys’, and so forth. Seems to work for most Americans pretty well, judging from past history.

Damn, this survey finally solidified it for me. Thanks Jason for working your magic and finally convincing me.

Fuck America, I’m moving to peace-loving Pakistan.


Well, the concept of total war predates the concept of regular war to attempt to be serious.

The goal of attempting to lessen the suffering of the civilians of your opponent is relatively recent, and the idea of not trying as hard as you can to win is a post WW2 invention.

Was this supposed to go in another thread? Almost everything is on topic besides idiocy from the usual suspects.

One implies a governmental use of military force, the other, terrorist fanatics. Now that I actually read Jason’s post properly, I see he was just calling attention to the first survey.

But trying to compare the two surveys in any meaningful way (as the linked article does) is incredibly bad statistical practice, and reeks of intellectual dishonesty.

You’ll note that Jason actually says to disregard the survey of Muslim nations, and he simply wants to focus on the first survey’s results. Poorly chosen quote in that case though.

Musharraf called… he said: “Keep that nutcase away from us!”

One implies a governmental use of military force, the other, terrorist fanatics.

If the question “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” had been asked of Muslims instead of “suicide bombing”, do you really think there would have been any difference in their response at all?

I wouldn’t compare the two surveys to claim that “x is better than y”, but they do have value in showing that there are people everywhere who support violence against civilians for causes they agree with. There’s a lot of people who refuse to believe that their own people could think like that.

Well, the question “is phrasing it as terrorism equivalent to phrasing it as attacks on civilians the same” seems to be a contentious and pointless timewaster.

What I’m really interested in is how anyone, and I do mean anyone other than say, the joint chiefs or the president, who are paid to worry about horrible hobson’s choice scenarios, could respond to “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” with a maybe or a yes. It’s the intentional part that’s the killer.

It doesn’t seem to be up on pipa.org, unfortunately.