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Jewish World Review Oct. 8, 2001 / 21 Tishrei, 5762

David Weinberger

David Weinberger
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My bumpersticker -- LIKE so many of us, even now that we've dropped our first bombs, I'm confused about what our program should be. That's not my job. All I want is a good bumpersticker I can get behind.

A lot of people are using the American flag that way, but, I hate to say, it makes me nervous. I think for a lot of people it actually means not just that they're proud to be American, but that they agree with the Administration's approach, and I don't entirely. At least not yet.

It would be much easier to come up with a bumpersticker if I felt an urge for revenge. But, oddly, I don't. I've been depressed ever since the attack, barely able to look people in the eye, but thinking about killing the people who did this horrible thing just doesn't bring me any comfort at all. And that rules out a whole range of bumperstickers.

If the revenge mottos don't work for me, the peacenik bumperstickers are no good at all. For example, "Justice not War." Americans who favor responding with massive military retaliation think it's exactly war that's going to bring justice. So the slogan "Justice not War" only shows that too many peace activists are too convinced of their own moral superiority to deign to understand what their opponents are thinking.

Despite the fact that I have throughout my life viewed myself fundamentally as a peacenik, I find I have no compunction about our government hunting down and killing terrorists. They're trying to kill me and my kids. But I don't want a tit for tat attack, because the tat will mean more attacks on Americans. And I can't accept killing civilians and their kids as a tactic. Hunt down terrorists? Absolutely. Bomb population centers? No, we're better than that.

And that leads me, at last, to my bumpersticker, the one that I would proudly put on the back of my car. It says two words: "Don't miss."

JWR contributor David Weinberger writes and speaks about the Web's effect on business and culture. The co-author of the national best-seller, The Cluetrain Manifesto, , which InformationWeek called "The most important business book since [Tom Peters'] In Search of Excellence," his work appears regularly some of the technology industry's most important publications. He is the publisher of The Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization. Comment by clicking here.


10/01/01: Generation Alpha

© 2001, David Weinberger