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#76513 - 08/01/02 11:47 AM learning to forget.....
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
Rouspeteur writes:
You imply from your choice of quote that if a group of people recognise evil and try to do something about it then they are mindless robots.

Evil dwells in the hearts and minds of all of us. How can any one group 'recognize' this in certain others? Don't kid yourself that the 'War on Terrorism' is anything other than a clash of two simplistic fundementalisms, each beating the war drum in the name of God on both sides. It might be worth considering whether the basic distrust, fear, and distance you feel towards a seemingly large number of our fellow men and women isn't either the result of spoon-fed propaganda or just a negative and confined Weltanschauung. Either way, these feelings do, of course, haunt us all. Perhaps we can use this 'space' for breaking down those feelings of otherness, rather than trying to strengthen them. We may all have very different histories and cultural influences, but we all infinitely more simliar than most will admit - every atom in every person.

> If you don't think that people blowing up synagogues and flying airplanes into buildings pose a threat that should be responded to, that is your opinion.

You seem to have very strong ideas on regarding this - am I right? You would go to war for it?
I suggest that what you say points to a perpetual tension in society: a significant proportion of people who care enough about single issues, have a more or less unhealthy relationship to them. Change tends to happen initially as reaction, but only if we accept the inevitability of this with its attendant distortions, and strive to keep a longer view, can we discover worthwhile pro-activity. Only in this way will we not be defined by a negative perception of what is at stake.

> Is there any case where you would say: "This must stop. These people must be stopped."

Conflict will always occur, physical or not, and the most profound change will always occur where the two most different forms of mankind clash. The following quote reflects my views. We must always remember that no country or person that participates in any war is ever free of guilt, regardless of how provoked they are. Certainly Western countries like Britain and the U.S. who produce the diabolical weapons used by both sides in the conflicts have bloodied their hands in more conflicts than I'd care to mention. To view these wars as 'just' is to admit yourself a conditioned animal.

All advanced thinkers, all men who realize the divine plan, desire and intend the solidarity of humanity. And the patriot, in the narrow and infuriated sense of that word, is a traitor to the true interest of man. It may be neccessary, now and then, to defend one's own section of mankind from aggression; but even this should always be done with the mental reservation: "May this war be the nurse of a more solid peace; may this argument lead to a better understanding; may this division lead to a higher union."... The deliberate antagonizing of nations is the foulest of crimes. It is the Press of the warring nations that, by inflaming the passions of the ignorant, has set Europe by the ears. Had all men been educated and travelled, they would not have listened to those harpy-shreiks. Now the mischief is done, and it is for us to repair it as best we may. This must be our motto: Humanity First.


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#76514 - 08/01/02 12:11 PM Cross-threading
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
by, I couldn't help but think of Shona's Gandhi ref. as I read your post. Gandhi found the press a major factor in furthering his cause as he promoted non-violence. I think I'll put the link here, too:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/8522/gand_eng.html



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#76515 - 08/01/02 12:27 PM forgetting to learn..
Rouspeteur Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 163

Can you ever answer a straight question with a yes or no?

Is it wrong to fly airplanes into buildings?
Is it wrong to blow up synagogues?

Apparently not. According to you we all have evil in our hearts to some degree or another and therefore nothing is ever really wrong.

Yes a lot of people do bad things but there is an expression: Two wrongs don't make a right.

Regardless of what other do, is it wrong to fly planes into buildings in order to kill as many people as possible?


"It might be worth considering whether the basic distrust, fear, and distance you feel towards a seemingly large number of our fellow men and women isn't either the result of spoon-fed propaganda

I never indicated that I say I have a, "basic distrust, fear, and distance you feel towards a seemingly large number of our fellow men and women?" I was referring to a small group of terrorists not an entire culture. I suppose since you revert again to insults that you don't have any better argument.

As to the rest of it. You say don't judge, no one is free of guilt, and yet so far you have insulted me personally several times. What does that say about tolerance, understanding other peoples and other cultures?

I will not respond further to someone who has a need to be insulting.


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#76516 - 08/01/02 12:46 PM Re: hate-mongering lacks novelty
Rouspeteur Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 163
"That sweeping generalisation emphatically does not hold true of the teeming millions within the UK's borders , let alone the wider diversity to be found amongst the whole of Europe's citizens. It doesn't stand up to a moment's scrutiny."



Actually, I wasn't considering great Britain as part of Europe when I wrote that. My sweeping generalisation was regarding the governments, not the people. I included the words "defence plans" for a reason. These are the purview of governments as an entity not an expression of the desires of 100% of the population. Obviously, every individual in Europe does not hold the same view. I would also not call my statement hate-mongering any more than saying, for instance, "the US should not invade Iraq" or "the US policy towards Cuba is criminal" would be hate-mongering against the US. Hate is a very strong word and bandied about much too much.

When talking about government actions you must almost always generalise because no matter what a government does, it never has 100% support.

"...generalisation and insult of those who hold a contrary view "

I agree. You must have been reading some of the responses to me. I don't think generalisation is a crime of just one side and I have not had the intention of deliberately insulting anyone. If that has been the case, I would apologise.


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#76517 - 08/01/02 01:34 PM Re: forgetting to learn..
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
This is interesting..

one of the problems that arises, it how do you deal with violence directed towards your self?

If i chose nonviolence (negotiations, talks, the UN or other routes on a national scale)- and my counterpart chooses violence..what do i do?

the natural reaction is to respond to violence with violence.. but then, I , (Personally, or as a nation) am behaving in a way that i have defined as morally reprehensible.... i am lowering my standards, i am allowing others to dictate my responses.. and once others know how to provoke a response in my by doing X, you can bet your bottom dollar, that is exactly what they will do, time after time!

the alternates are not good, and not fast.. but the Dali Lama has not called for violence in response to China's invasion of Tibet.... he has responded with non violence, because he is not going to let China's behavior govern his.. This is a very difficult thing to do..on a personal level, and harder to do on a governmental or political level, allit takes is one person, to miss behave and ruin it for all.. all it take is one Tibetan national to shoot one Chinese soldier, to have China say, Tibet is waging war, and we must kill all the Tibetans left in this city, this province, this country.

When it comes to a response to the WTC and Pentagon attacks, we, the people of the US do have a choice.. we can chose violence or we can chose other options.. There are other choices.. the "natural one" might be to return the attack.. but is that the right one?

Some think that other choices are not as effective.. but actually, since violence really only results in a short term solution, and not in a long term one.. violence (ie, war) is just a quick and dirty fix.. Nonviolence is slower, much slower, but the long term outcome is better (short term, violence, the outcome is much worse..)

being able to reach a political maturity to be able to chose a reactions is difficult.. and sometimes, violence might be the best choice you make.. there might be times when countering violence with violence is the choice that you make.. but all to often, i think, the reactions is visceral, and not thought out... and we leave ourselves at the mercy of others...we let their behavior, their violence, provoke a violent response in us.. we let them control our behavior...

i wish i could say, that i always am able to control my own reactions, and that i don't fall into the trap of being provoked.. but i get better each day, and i stive to be better.
Is it wrong to fly airplanes into buildings?
Is it wrong to blow up synagogues?

Yes.. but is it also not wrong for me to respond by blowing up town, airports and military bases? If my responce to a wrong is to commit my own wrong, what difference is there between me and my enemy? and if there is no difference, then why is he my enemy?

how can i change my enemy into my friend? can i do that by behaving violently towards him? or should i respond differently?

_________________________
my other obsession

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#76518 - 08/01/02 02:24 PM Re: forgetting to learn..
Rouspeteur Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 163
of troy,

I do not think that violence should ever be the first reaction but there are times when violence becomes an unfortunate necessity.

Choosing non-violence is the best route in most cases, but not all. The real trick is defining for yourself those cases. It would be nice if these things were always clear and you could just tick off the right answer.

1. Someone trying to drag my child into a car. -- Automatic, do whatever it takes to stop him.

2. Someone assualting your neighbour. -- Intervene or just phone the police?

3. Someone assaulting that neighbour you really detest. --Well....

The idea of negotiation only works if the other person wants to negotiate.


"Yes.. but is it also not wrong for me to respond by blowing up town, airports and military bases? If my responce to a wrong is to commit my own wrong, what difference is there between me and my enemy? and if there is no difference, then why is he my enemy? "

I do not think that it is the same. Especially the military base. Airports are military targets and fair (as much as anything in war is ever fair) game. Random bombing of civilians or deliberately targeting them is a crime. The Geneva Convention also holds that combattants that deliberately set-up in civilian areas in an attempt to avoid an attack are the one who are responsible if any civilians are killed.

Again a really simple example: If a policeman comes upon a man shooting children in a school and kills him. Is the policeman no different than the shooter? Is this a wrong in response in response to a wrong?

I use what I feel to be such a clear example to point that sometimes I feel there are cases where violence is the only choice. There are only a few such cases but they do exist. Violence is, however, too often the first response.

Murder is wrong. Killing not necessarily so. To me, killing in a heated situation such as the school example above might be a necessity. However, I do not feel capital punishemnt is ever right, regardless of the crime.



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#76519 - 08/01/02 03:01 PM Re: War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
did any one see this op ed article earlier this week in the NYtimes?

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/29/opinion/29THAR.html

here is the beginning..
Words, words, words," Hamlet famously moaned when Polonius asked him what he was reading. Such dismissiveness is often echoed by observers of the international diplomatic scene. "More empty talk," a journalist said to me the other day. "What difference will it make?"

He was referring to the meeting I was attending, a United Nations-organized seminar in Copenhagen on peace in the Middle East. But he could as well have been talking about the confabulations of the food summit in Rome earlier this year or the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next month. I have no doubt critics are dusting off the cliches for that one, preparing to denounce one more gabfest.

But why has talking become so unpopular? Talk, we are told, is a poor substitute for action; all too often talk becomes an end in itself, masking the absence of real progress. The remedy is simple: abolish the talking-shops.

Yet talk is the necessary precursor for action. Nothing can change unless the world agrees, through talk, upon change. The series of United Nations conferences in the 1990's on subjects ranging from population and women's issues to human rights and development established new global norms in all these fields and defined standards now accepted by most countries. Talking got them there.

It is true that many international meetings are consumed by what T.S. Eliot called "the intolerable wrestle with words and meanings." But that process ends up producing a form of words that is full of meaning to those who did the wrestling (even when those who didn't may have trouble finding the meaning). Such talk lays down markers, articulates aspirations, identifies common approaches, reveals gaps and helps bridge them. Without talk, there would never be agreement; without agreement, there would be no action.

Even when talk does not lead to agreement even when it degenerates into received wisdom, time-honored conventions, tired formulas and, perhaps worst of all, insider jargon it still helps change perceptions and establish new levels of acceptability for both familiar and unfamiliar ideas. Repeated talk alters the substantive threshold in the talkers' minds: as you listen, positions you would never think of adopting become comprehensible to you; the process of reacting to what is said reveals your own assumptions to you.

i almost want to invite her to join us in this discussion.. we don't all agree.. but we are learning to use words, words, words effectively!



_________________________
my other obsession

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#76520 - 08/01/02 03:13 PM off by heart
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
I don't know how I was so insulting to you, Rouspeteur; that really was not my intention. My intention was to cast things in a light other than that of the 'them vs. us' blaming game, not malign your character. I do think war proponents use schoolyard logic though, and it's about time we all grow up. By resorting to, or sanctioning violence we all admit defeat.

> Can you ever answer a straight question with a yes or no?

Some questions need no answer. Why would I think the acts you describe to be anything but horrific? Are you not just looking for affirmation of someone else's wrong-doing in order to sanction more killing? There's little point in indirectly indicting me based on a question that gets us nowhere. If you can't or won't extrapolate out of my above posts that I think all wars (including the attacks you mention) are stupid and animalistic (read 'wrong'), then I suggest you are just dodging the real debate. Why? Because no one, not you or anyone, can give any reasons in favour of violence other than 'Look what they've done!'.
Anyway, it's kinda handy that you're insulted by me, because now you don't have to think up a riposte.


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#76521 - 08/01/02 04:04 PM Re: forgetting to learn..
Chemeng1992 Offline
member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 131
Loc: Alabama
Choosing non-violence is the best route in most cases, but not all. The real trick is defining for yourself those cases. It would be nice if these things were always clear and you could just tick off the right answer.

1. Someone trying to drag my child into a car. -- Automatic, do whatever it takes to stop him.

2. Someone assualting your neighbour. -- Intervene or just phone the police?

3. Someone assaulting that neighbour you really detest. --Well....

The idea of negotiation only works if the other person wants to negotiate.


I'm with you rous. We'd all like to live in a rosy little place with our rosy little glasses never having to deal with strife, contempt, threat, etc. Even the good Lord sanctioned a little destruction in his earlier works, didn't He?




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#76522 - 08/01/02 04:24 PM Re: off by heart
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
BY:

Here's a direct question for you.

Assume that the country of Germany is sitting there minding its own business when a group of Muslim terrorists invades your territory and kills 3000 of your citizens in a sneak attack. The terrorists say they are declaring war on Germany and will pursue the war until every German in the world is either dead or is bowing to Mecca five times a day.

Can you seriously tell us that since war is wrong you will not defend yourself and your country to prevent the annihilation of all Germans and all things German?

As I have said before, they ARE coming for you if you let them. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week, but if civilization does not stop them these subhuman barbarians will destroy civilization as we know it. You can look away and say that the majority of Muslims are peaceful, friendly folk, and that they obviously do not pose a threat to you. In the long run you will be annihilated by these radicals if you do not resist them. There is no middle ground on this. None.

I sense that you don't believe that such a thing can actually happen. Not too far back in history far too many Jews, Roms, homosexuals, et alia, all believed that the Nazis couldn't REALLY be so inhumane as to murder them and use their bodies for diabolical medical experiments. Unfortunately, since they didn't believe, the great majority of them died violent, ugly deaths. I don't know it to be the case, but I suspect strongly there were similar levels of disbelief in the Ukraine, Cambodia, China, etc.

I hope and I pray that these radicals never visit upon you the horror and the inhumanity they have visited upon us and the Israelis, not to mention the people of Afghanistan, the Sudan, etc. But if they do, I know in my heart that the United States will be at your side, whether you want them there or not. We are not going to shirk our duty to destroy them utterly before they destroy us.

I urge you to read the recently published book on the Taliban, authored by a Pakistani journalist named Ahmed Rashid, where you will find adequate support for the position that nothing will stop these people until they are all dead, dead, dead. Or until everyone in the West is dead.

TEd

_________________________
TEd

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