1997-05-16 - Re: I Treat All My Enemies Equally

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From: TruthMonger <tm@dev.null>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 8d0eba4bf3c5aeec2efdc5faa798b4ecc7df4104e5f9ce26629609d86a043b03
Message ID: <199705160833.CAA27181@wombat.sk.sympatico.ca>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-16 08:58:02 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 16:58:02 +0800

Raw message

From: TruthMonger <tm@dev.null>
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 16:58:02 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: I Treat All My Enemies Equally
Message-ID: <199705160833.CAA27181@wombat.sk.sympatico.ca>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Blanc, taking on the million monkeys repeatedly typing,
"Is too!"--"Is Not!", wrote:
>  I was thinking about those who have expressed a lack of concern for
> the unfortunate mixture of the guilty & innocent in a close encounter with
> a destructive device.   I was thinking that people who  aren't careful
> about such differences make of themselves an enemy to all, because who can
> tell what they're supporting and whose lives they really value, since
> anyone at all could become their victim.

  What I see being expressed is not so much a lack of concern for
those caught up unwittingly in the war between the government and
its citizens as it is a debate over the comparative level of guilt
or responsibility that the warring factions should bear for the
end results of their actions.
  There has also been some debate as to the right of an individual
to make decisions which will affect the lives of those who will be
involved only by happenstance.

  Blanc brings up an excellent point; namely, that those who choose
to take drastic action risk striking out randomly and maliciously at
everybody if they do not consider the nature of their target and
the amount of risk to peripheral participants in the event.
  From all accounts, McVeigh's actions were purposeful and directed
at a target which he deemed suited to his purpose. Whether one
agrees or disagrees with the perceived "innocent" body count will
probably play a large amount in their support or non-support of
his actions.

>  The fact of the matter is that those in the
> middle must find a way to protect themselves from whatever weapon or
> vehicle of destruction comes around, whatever its source.

  This is the way it is in all conflicts. Part of the current reason
for the widespread disillusionment with government and the resulting
animosity towards our rulers is the fact that those in the middle of
the government's war on freedom and privacy don't see themselves as
being involved in a war until it affects them personally.
  When those in the middle have their lives affected by those who
take countermeasures against the government, then their view of his
actions will be affected by whether or not they have had their car
confiscated for possession of a single joint, or whether or not they
are facing imprisonment for plugging a parking meter.
  Some of those who lost loved ones in the OKC bombing are involved
in fighting the government to have a *real* investigation into what
happened. No doubt some of them will come out of the whole process
with much more disgust for the government than for McVeigh.

> So, for instance, if Whitfield Diffie and PhilZ were walking into a Federal
> building in OK City, and I saw some cypherpunk not too far away getting
> ready to blow it up, well, I guess I'd have to kill him.   (Dirty Harry
> saying:  "feel lucky today, cpunk?").

  It's good to see that you've given this some thought. It is important
to personalize one's thoughts and actions in order to keep from getting
caught up in the mass-hysteria that surrounds such issues.
  History has recorded many instances of people who had to decide if
could attack a building that contained friends, compatriots, or loved
ones in furtherance of their purpose. (Or make the decision to place
themself inside an area targeted by their own cause.)
  While I would defend McVeigh from those who dismiss his actions out of
hand, with no thought of the culpability of the government and the
average citizen, I downloaded pictures of some of the children who were
maimed by the OKC bombing and I use them to avoid forgetting that there
is personal tragedy involved in such an action.

  The fact remains that the more the government violates the freedom
and privacy of their citizens, then the more the citizens will strike
back in their own chosen way.
  The final tragedy of the OKC bombing is the lack of reckoning demanded
by the citizens of their government for the growing disdain of the
of the citizens that has led to so many feeling disenfranchised by their
  Nobody is voting for disenfranchisement; nobody is voting to have
privacy invaded and their freedom violated; nobody is voting to have the
government take their money and enrich those in power. Yet still, the
onslaught of government control and intrusion into every area of our
lives continues.

  Blanc makes some excellent points about the average citizen being
caught in a ping-pong crossfire in the conflict between government
and anti-government forces. However, as I said, this is in the nature
of conflict and the citizen's best option may be to make a daily 
effort to resist the government oppression, no matter how small it
may seem in any instance.
  To borrow an analogy from another thread, if the government spams
enough cypherpunks with a few Kilobytes here and there, they will
eventually raise the ire of a Rick Osborne enough that he will
send them back a few Gigabytes in return. And if Ross Wright's
computer gets caught in the crossfire...