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07 December 2005 @ 03:22 pm
Passive Aggressive Military?  
I just had a vision. Without working through any details or the sheer manpower required, it seems like a good idea…

I had a strange day today, but it was a good one. I think.

I am a police officer in Baghdad. I was at my desk early this morning (or was it yesterday morning?) when a terrible gas came into the room. I thought, “Oh no, it’s chemical weapons this week instead of suicide bombs…” right before I passed out.

When I came to, sick and dizzy, it was my telephone ringing. It was my brother, Osama, and he was very hysterical. He told me that he’d passed out from some terrible gas in the house and when he woke up, all of the weapons in the house – even the sharp kitchen knives! – were gone.

Other phones were ringing, people were waking up. More calls – gas in the house, missing weapons, thefts.

Bewildered, I checked my holster. My gun was still in place. I stood up and wandered into the holding area. There were 10 times the people there had been in the morning! Each had a note, written in Arabic, attached to them. “Bombs and bomb making equipment found in house. Please hold while evidence is analyzed for use in previous bombings.” Another said “Illegal arms dealer.” Another said “Basement contained laboratory with biological agents in test tubes. Evidence confiscated and being turned in to the UN for analysis.”

All were signed “The Peacekeepers”.

Gasing an entire town increases risk of raping unconscious women. Women only task forces sent in? I assume this greatly reduces the risk. Int’l female combatants – they have to be prepared for those who had and wore gas masks and who will be shooting at unexpected trespassers.

What I’m wondering is, rather than carpet bombing a place where people live, what is the int’l ethics of knocking them out for 8 hours and confiscating their armory?

I was thinking about how I’d feel if all weapons except the police’s and the military’s were confiscated in the US. It would make me really nervous. I don’t have a gun, but I have friends who do and I would somehow feel that the lack of guns among civilians could make the police or military more corrupt or all powerful. Seeking peace shouldn't punish or disable the commoner from protection against tyranny...

Do you hold all of the weapons, carefully catalogued, and have regular people reregister for them? Is it possible to leave insurgents with just a single gun with a few bullets and expect them to stop killing people and use it instead as last resort self-defense? Do you just target ammunition stockpiles and made and bomb-making materials?

Do you spraypaint "Bomb Maker" on houses and buildings and let the citizens or police deal with it when they wake up? Do you confiscate everything from a bomb-making facility but leave the people alone and unidentified, and give them a second chance? The latter would seem the better choice since so many problems arise from the catch 22 of vengeance.
Current Mood: deliri-yum
Kburgunder on December 7th, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
The uncontrolled nature of gassing an entire town has at least this very negative: say someone is taking a bath or doing something else that's benign only when you're awake and dealing with it. If you knock them unconscious without warning, you risk killing them.
Beththepresident on December 8th, 2005 12:28 am (UTC)
Or driving.
metkat on December 8th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC)
VAXhackervaxhacker on December 8th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)
The potential for collateral deaths is still great. Poor person who was in open-heart surgery at the time. Or any of a bunch of dangerous tasks, working on ladders, whatever.

But even on a smaller scale, I find it hard to justify the wholescale ignoring of basic civil rights which it represents to go around rendering the populace senseless and defenseless and violating their property (and possibly their persons) for the government's own purposes. What's the long-term effect of people knowing they're living under the cloud of never knowing when big brother is putting them to sleep and invading them?

Not to mention how many people may have a medical (fatal?) reaction to the gas. I bet it's not healthy for very small children and most people in hospitals.

Strange whimsykindofstrange on December 8th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)
Putting aside the fact that plenty of people would be killed by this each time it was put into effect, I think it's an absolutely appalling idea. That sacrifice of individual rights for the sake of 'the people' is absolutely disturbing and at considerable opposition with several of my core values.

Aside from that, do you really expect that having women only troops go in would solve the problem of rape or violence towards those who are fallen? Liddy England anyone? Being female does not automatically make someone incapable of committing personal intrusion or offense against those who are helpless.

To add another degree to this discussion, what about a terrorist group that has inside information for when these gas outs will occur? Wouldn't that just make it altogether ridiculously easy for them to kill, loot, rape, plant bombs, etc while everyone else is helpless and unaware?
Strange whimsykindofstrange on December 8th, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC)
Er... Lynndie England, at any rate.
Khalliskhallis on December 9th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
"Do you hold all of the weapons, carefully catalogued, and have regular people reregister for them?"

You presuppose here that registration carries with it some form of legitimacy and wholesomeness. I believe that to be errant.

Does the notion of 'properly registered homosexuals' make you flinch? Or for that matter, 'properly registered Jews'? It certainly does so for me.

I contend that your scenario is far too much power over others to concentrate anywhere, ever, for any justification. It is implicit in the nature of freedom that people will make choices that others disapprove of. The helplessness of the second group to stop the first is, at it's heart, the only thing that allows freedom to exist.

What you speak of is basically the power to reforge the world as you would have it be. Thank all that you hold precious that those opposed to your beliefs lack that power - imagine what an Intelligent Design advocate, or a Klan member, or (insert your political opposite here) could do if they could pause the world and make the edits of their choice.
Anything but Plain: 10mmjaneoftrades on December 10th, 2005 03:28 am (UTC)
Random (and probably not initially accounted for) side effect of "confiscating bomb materials":
Farm yields will initially plummet drastically. Economy in farming country will plummet, food prices for domestic produce (that isn't wholly organic) will rise... organic prices will most likely also rise with supply/demand rates. If you propose registering farms for this purpose (to allow them to keep fertilizers, gasoline for tractors, and spare plumbing/irrigation equipment), then you're going to have a hell of a time in Idaho. ;) (This isn't as big a deal as it used to be since we import most of our food and pay farmers *not* to farm in this country.)

Besides the afore-mentioned mess of violation of civil rights, unacceptable potential for "the wrong party" to get ahold of this power; there are loopholes, health risks, etc. etc. in this scenario. I'd also like to add that the "we found (x) with this person, they are under arrest and we labelled them, thus they are guilty" sits in my craw like Soviet Russia's standard treatment of its citizens circa 1940.

How does one "make a bomb"? Household materials.

So you, personally, would be fine if you were a *citizen* in this situation and the world was "as you see fit"?

(Randomly wandered by.)