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Hostis Humani Generis

The pirates of the 17th century were a similar force to modern terrorists, and they were also hard to stamp out, but for a while, they were extinct. I believe it was Joseph Conrad who called pirates the "enemies of all humanity" - "Hostis Humani Generis" - and it is clear that today's pirates and today's terrorists also fit that description.

Both pirates and terrorists combine the delibrate, willful use of "terror tactics" (or "frightfulness") with military grade weaponry, in order to produce the maximum amount of terror and achieve their objectives.

The seas were made safe from ancient pirates by the formal, declared war, against them by all civilized nations. It is only the combination of declining naval forces and regional instability that has caused a resurgency of modern pirates.

But, IMHO, pirates and terrorists compel us to ask the question....

Where does "a criminal act" end, and "war" begin?

When military grade weapons and tactics are employed, in a warlike mode, should we respond with war, or with law?

Did Edward Teach, aka "Blackbeard" get "due process?"

Could we not legitimately argue that because we are at war that we can freely pursue terrorists with all the military forces at our disposal, as Govenor Spotswood did with "Blackbeard?"

Your Thoughts?

-- Rich Marsh (, September 13, 2001


Old fashion pirates are theives and oppertunist, nothing wrong with that! But the Islams seeking redress for their problems, caused, in large degree by our country's peculiar policy of 'doing what we damn well please, as we please, without even an 'by your leave,'" called of course, Stratigic policy for the US interest, regardless of what it does to those people. So they strike back the only way they can. Saddam tried the "we'll duke it out on the battle field" approach and we flatted him and killed about 600,000 of his children (if what I read is correct,) and starved his economy. What other way is left to the terrorist? Address the UN? Sue us in court using the services of Price, Money and Gold Attorneys at Law? I am not applauding our losses, but unless we change the way we look at and handle soverign states, then the killing will continue. Yes, we should try to do justice here and bring them (whoever they are) to heal. But unless the US and Her elected reprehensibles start living up to our global reponsibilities of handling our affairs with other nations needs clearly in mind, then we are only going to get more of the same. We have more to lose then they! They are clearly willing to die, to right wrongs, they feel they have endured, our favoritism and underhandedness. Are we willing to die to preserve the benefits of the World Bank and that vampire, the Internation Monetary Fund and International Cartels? You can go. I'll stay home and plant a

-- Don Park (, September 13, 2001.

We don't really know who to be at war with. Think. Double think. What has happened to Saddam? to Milosevich? to Arafat? Perhaps they're all puppets in a game plan to get us into another war with ourselves. Will any physical harm really come to Bin Laden? After 5 years? After 10 years? Let's think about this before we get behind lobbing missiles at supposed terrorists.

-- hubble (, September 13, 2001.

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