RE: state of memes

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Thu Sep 27 2001 - 15:49:47 BST

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    Subject: RE: state of memes
    Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 10:49:47 -0400
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    Kenneth, I agree with your point. Here in Washington, there has been a quiet
    effort to raise the WHY question, but it is not a welcome one. The natural
    reason for the resistence to the WHY question is that it leads to some not
    so pleasing conclusions about how the US conducts itself internationally. So
    instead some people react to the WHY question by saying 1) that it lays the
    foundation for appeasing terrorists, or 2) that as victims we don't have a
    moral obligation to understand why (that in other words we have a right to
    act irrationally), or 3) that we don't have time for that kind of
    reflection -- we must act now, to protect ourselves from further attack, or
    to punish the perpetrators, etc.

    Generally, the tone of discussion in Washington is improving, people are
    calming down, becoming less panicky, and we are beginning to think about
    what happened and what we should do more more intelligently. There is still
    a considerable way to go, and I believe eventually we will begin to consider
    WHY. At that point we may see some welcome adjustments to how we conduct
    ourselves internationally. The knee-jerk cowboy response is over; patience
    and carefulness are entering into the debate. I, for one, would welcome the
    help of our friends overseas in thinking through the WHY question; we need
    that outside perspective.


    > Americans have to ask the WHY question, not only the why some people
    > want them all dead, but also the why some people around the world
    > rejoice in what happened to the US.

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