Honestly, Tailsteak, I don't know who the bad guy would be. Maybe it's just my experience as a scriptwriter, but a lot depends on characters' personalities. <P>In one sense, I could say that the all-encompassing system becomes the bad guys, because they mandate ID's, etc, and it's a popular theme for the underdog to conquer the overbearing empire. Star Wars, of course, is the prime example.<P>However, in another sense, the small ragtag band of activists could just as easily be shown as the bad guys. If the worst the system is doing is mandating ID's and keeping people entertained, that doesn't give you much fodder to be against them <i>except</i> as a knee-jerk reaction to structure. As long as the system isn't unfairly treating its population -- say, by killing them for being unwilling to participate in the entertainment, or by denying them education, or some other totalitarian power-mad scheme, then the system really isn't that bad; in contrast, if the rebels still think of it as evil and proceed to assassinate leaders and kill innocents, they're the bad guys.<P>Perspective matters a whole lot. Al-Qaeda seem to think they're Luke Skywalker's squadron. We're the evil Empire, in their eyes. As much as I hate what they've done, their commitment to what they believe is "good" is astonishingly strong.<P>The irony that I see in our retaliation (which I still support) is that we're in essence telling them "You should not kill for what you believe in, and we will kill to make that point."<P>I don't think we have a choice, though. There's a frighteningly fine line between patriotism and terrorism, or between religious commitment and sociopathy -- and I say this as one who comes from a very religiously committed background. When morality and ethics are black and white, it's easy to disregard anything outside your worldview. As a teenager, I was committed to fundamentalist Christianity, to the extent that I didn't want to even associate with anyone who "claimed" to be a Christian "but believed in evolution" or "but drank alcohol" or "but swore" or "but would watch that movie"... and it wasn't until a couple years later that I looked back and saw I was doing more damage with my unbending faith than I was "leading by example".<P>The Taliban, unfortunately, see things very clearly (so they think). They did what they felt they had to do. My reason for supporting the strikes is simply that I don't think their level of commitment to striking back at "evil" is going to go away, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to protect the innocent -- whether that's make them too scared to attack us again, or make them incapable of it (my preference).<P>I don't like coming down on ANY religion; I think it's a good thing when people have a belief so strong they would die for it. But killing for it, and killing innocents... this is no better than the Crusades. Our response, although it will certainly also kill innocents, I believe will help minimize the number of innocents killed.<P>Convoluted grammar, to be sure, but there it is.<P>--Strange/Dave<P>------------------
<A HREF="http://viciouslies.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Vicious Lies.</A> You can't handle the truth.
<A HREF="http://divergence.keenspace.com" TARGET=_blank>Divergence.</A> Apparently, neither can I.
Neurotic: sane, but unhappy about it.