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#76523 - 08/01/02 04:37 PM Re: off by heart
Chemeng1992 Offline

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 131
Loc: Alabama
<no one, not you or anyone, can give any reasons in favour of violence other than 'Look what they've done!>

youth - I doubt you'll find that any that have posted on this thread are 'in favor' of violence. No one jumps up and down with glee thankful that there is bloodshed.

However, unless you are a person who would let someone bang down your door, hold a gun to your head, tell you that he is going to kill you, and you would do nothing to stop him but say 'gee, please don't', then you too would at some point choose violence as a means to save your life. That's what the argument here is - that violence is sometimes necessary.

<By resorting to, or sanctioning violence we all admit defeat.>

I'll admit defeat all day long before I let my family be hurt.

#76524 - 08/01/02 06:08 PM Re: The Last Flower
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...

by James Thurber

World War XII, as everybody knows,
Brought about the collapse of civilization
Towns, cities, and villages disappeared from the earth
All the groves and forests were destroyed
And all the gardens
And all the works of art
Men, women, and children became lower than the lower animals
Discouraged and disillusioned, dogs deserted their
fallen masters
Emboldened by the pitiful condition of the former lords
of the earth, rabbits descended upon them
Books, paintings, and music disappeared from the earth,
and human beings just sat around, doing nothing
Years and years went by
Even the few generals who were left forgot what the
last war had decided
Boys and girls grew up to stare at each other blankly,
for love had passed from the earth
One day a young girl who had never seen a flower
chanced to come upon the last one in the world
She told the other human beings that the last flower
was dying
The only one who paid any attention to her was a young
man she found wandering about
Together the young man and the girl nurtured the flower
and it began to live again
One day a bee visited the flower, and a hummingbird,
Before long there were two flowers, and then four, and then
a great many
Groves and forests flourished again
The young girl began to take an interest in how she
The young man discovered that touching the girl was
Love was reborn into the world
Their children grew up strong and healthy and learned
to laugh and run
Dogs came out of their exile
The young man discovered, by putting one stone upon
another, how to build a shelter
Pretty soon everybody was building shelters
Towns, cities, and villages sprang up
Song came back ino the world
And troubadours and jugglers
And tailors and cobblers
And painters and poets
And sculptors and wheelwrights
And soldiers
And lieutenants and captains
And generals and major generals
And liberators
Some people went one place to live, and some another,
Before long, those who went to live in the valleys
wished they had gone to live in the hills
And those who went to live in the hills wished they had
gone to live in the valleys
The liberators, under the guidance of God, set fire
to the discontent
So presently the world was at war again
This time the destruction was so complete...
That nothing at all was left in the world
Except one man
And one woman
And one flower

(c) 1939 by James Thurber, The Last Flower, A Parable in Pictures; also A Thurber Carnival, book and play

#76525 - 08/01/02 06:14 PM Re: War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
FishonaBike Offline

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
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

Excellent and timely article, Helen.
Nice one.

#76526 - 08/01/02 07:23 PM Choosing Violence
FishonaBike Offline

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
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.

Hear, hear.

I'd like to point out to the hawks that our favourite Trojan is not saying violence should always be rejected regardless of context. She's just pointing out that it's a dangerous game that plays right into the hands of an intelligent enemy, and that often owes more to strength of feeling than depth of consideration.

I agree with her strongly on all counts.

#76527 - 08/06/02 04:00 PM Re: Choosing Violence
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Some of you will know my interest in political economy. The discussion here is of two opposing political doctrines – vengeance (in the guise of “punishment”, i.e. the war on terror, in itself an oxymoron of the first water), and laissez-faire (this too shall pass, just keep yer hair on and yer head down).

The fact is that the world will not side with America’s “next step” in its plan to “crush” terrorism. Tony Blair has made it plain through King Abdullah of Jordan that he completely disagrees with any attack on Iraq.

Most people in the West felt that Afghanistan was fair enough – al-Qaeda was based there, after all – but a protracted series of attacks on countries which have not actually done anything TO America is being seen as simple cultural imperialism. Or perhaps, more sinisterly, it is merely an attempt to exert direct control over a large percentage of the world’s petroleum reserves. Given the tenor of the current US administration, it is hardly beyond belief that this may be a motive.

And why, even not particularly well-educated people are asking, is the US picking on Iraq in particular, anyway? Iraq may be wiping out its citizens using mustard gas and firing squads, but it hardly has that kind of social policy on its own. Whatever, Iraq is no better nor any worse than, say, Iran, Libya, Turkey, Syria or even Saudi Arabia when it comes to human rights. Consider Chop-Chop Square in Riyadh. That HAS to be unique in the 21st century, don’t you think? To use, then, a human rights issue as a casus belli against Iraq is coming it just a bit too strong, don’t you think?

Iraq has not, if you consider it, ever directly attacked the US, and neither had Iraq ever directly threatened the US or even what it understood to be US interests. It may be convenient to forget it now, but the US did actually signal to Saddam Hussein – intentionally or not – that it considered Kuwait to be none of its concern. I sincerely doubt if Saddam would have attacked Kuwait if the US had stated unequivocally that it was off-limits. He may be a tyrant, but he’s not a fool, something he’s proved again and again. He would not pick a fight he knew he couldn’t win.

Neither is there any solid evidence to back the US’ assertions that Iraq was “poised” to attack Saudi Arabia, although I wouldn’t have put a little foreign adventure down through the Gulf States past the laddy in Baghdad if he believed the circumstances were right.

If stamping out terrorism is the name of the game, why then, there are plenty of targets much closer to home. Consider Russia, for instance. While the government there may not directly support terrorism, it hardly has a clean bill of health when it comes to enforcement of its own laws. The Russian mafia is in a class of its own and operates virtually unmolested, and that organisation (inasmuch as it can be considered to be one) DOES export terror. Ask the citizens of Budapest who really runs their city. The Chechnya affair is a pretty good example of latterday state terrorism, on a par with the Soviet attack on Afghanistan.

The Sudan will, for a very small fee, provide a base for terror groups. It’s not particularly favoured because even terrorists like to live in a certain amount of safety and comfort, amenities that you have admit that Khartoum is rather sadly lacking. Besides, the government there blows hot and cold on religious extremism and when it blows cold, it ain’t very subtle.

And while you’re at it, why not sort out Muammar Ghaddafi? I mean, he’s been sitting on that Libyan sandpile of his for, what, twenty-five years, providing ready homes for wandering waifs and strays from virtually all of the terrorist groups, money, training bases, arms and ammunition and lots of ideological hatred of the West. Yet these days, he gets the wet bus ticket over the wrist approach. A rollicking good US invasion is probably just what Libya needs today.

Oh, and I keep forgetting: “The Great Satan” has Iran to thank for that lovely soubriquet. Has Iran come back into the fold of just ordinarily deranged countries in the Middle East, or is it still bankrolling terror outside its borders? Hammas and Hizbollah are getting their stash from somewhere.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the moment has been lost. The “war on terror” has already run its course. If the US lashes out now, no one will believe that its motives are what the US says they are. I’m not saying that the US won't attack Iraq, but I am suggesting that if it does then (a) it will have precious little support from its western allies and (b) it will make steadfast enemies of even its friend(s) in the Arab world. Not thinking about Saudi Arabia and Jordan or anything, of course.

I also note with interest the about face that the US government has taken on the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Rumsfeld announced tonight (our time) that the occupied territories on the West Bank and Gaza are now “so-called”. I guess that’s true, because the Jews displaced the Palestinians from nearly ALL of Palestine by waging a guerrilla war against them in 1948. Or are we all conveniently forgetting THAT fact as well?

What is terror? What the victor says it is!

The idiot also known as Capfka ...

#76528 - 08/06/02 04:48 PM Re: Choosing Violence
Chemeng1992 Offline

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 131
Loc: Alabama
CK - what you've posted makes a lot of sense. I am a Republican and a supporter of George Bush and the war on terrorism, but I CANNOT understand what the administration is thinking talking outright of an Iraq attack for a month now. Perhaps Jr. is a bit of a loose cowboy after all. Too much time in Texas....

#76529 - 08/06/02 05:21 PM Re: Choosing Violence
Hyla Offline

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 544
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I'm with ya, CapK - if the US does go ahead with this fool plan, we're going it alone and it's going to cost us the friendship of many countries allied with us and make enemies of many who are currently willing to tolerate us.

I'd be careful where you post such a list of other good countries for our noble, oil-fattened leaders to target - it'll end up on Bush's desk and one day soon we'll all hear him saying "Captain Kiwi, who is probably on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says we should attack 'Iran, Libya, Turkey, Syria or even Saudi Arabia' and we intend to do so, in that order."

#76530 - 08/06/02 10:44 PM Re: Eastern Civilization?
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
This thread illustrates what crucial ends can be effected by the contributors of this board towards finding truth. Semantical examination and dissection as keys to understanding, will, I think, determine our fate in the 21st century. Even so...

In this regard allow me to start with Fishonabike's challenge to the exclusive nature of Western Civilization.

The word-construction "Civilization" denotes a social structure that contributes towards the continuation of mankind as a species. "Civilization" is a good thing if you think that mankind is a good thing.
On the other hand, "Western" Civilization is misnamed, it should be called "Earthen" Civilization, because it is the only game in town.

Today there is no "Eastern" Civilization, as such. There hardly is an "Eastern" Culture, the similarities between the cultures of eastern countries being miniscule today because of the varying amounts of western influence.
But make no mistake, the irrepressible thrust of Western Civilization owes a lions share of its enabling nature to the East, in particular, the middle-eastern gift of Christianity. Without the egalitarian precepts introduced by Christianity, self-government as we know it, could not exist.

Cases in point: If you were a south american indian running butt naked through the jungle, would you be happy being ignorant and quaint, and then die at thirty-five, or would you like the opportunity to be not-so-quaint and live to be a hundred?
Or...would you like to live at the capricious mercy of an government authority without any regress to fairness or justice?

Western Civilization is the only game in town.

#76531 - 08/07/02 04:04 AM Cap America
FishonaBike Offline

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
"Captain Kiwi, who is probably on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says we should attack 'Iran, Libya, Turkey, Syria or even Saudi Arabia' and we intend to do so, in that order."

Painfully funny, H !

#76532 - 08/07/02 08:40 AM Re: Eastern Civilization?
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Re:-If you were a south american indian running butt naked through the jungle, would you be happy being ignorant and quaint, and then die at thirty-five, or would you like the opportunity to be not-so-quaint and live to be a hundred?
Or...would you like to live at the capricious mercy of an government authority without any regress to fairness or justice?

Well Milo, dearest, lets compare apples to apples..

300-400 years ago, when European civilization met the civilization of south america, they had--an elaborate calendar (inca, aztec and mayan) writing, (mayan) well developed cities with central governments, and monumental architecture. The many system had all land owned by central government..(which was a religious ruler, but since all european kings/queens were "anointed by god" it wasn't all that different.

everybody had to work the land (in reality, "lord" and "bishops" only did a small amount of ritualized work) 1/3 of the crop went to worker, one third to local lord, and 1/3 to "god king" (church) -- doesn't sound great, but lets compare that to serf or indentured workers in europe... fact is, most of the european explorers commented on how healthy and well fed the local populace was..

The biggest gains in life expectantly come from not drugs, or labor saving devises, but from access to clean water. in this respect, western europe really didn't make great strides till mid 1800... Remember Prince Albert died of typhoid, a disease caused by drinking water contaminated by faeces. and there have been out breaks of typhoid is the past 25 years in europe, (ireland, scotland, italy all come to mind) (yes, in south america too, but typhus was an introduced disease, not known before european settlement)

and as for running butt naked, while american native (both north and south american) lacked most domestic animals, they had domesticated some.. in south america the llama, alpaca and relatives provided a ready source of wool, (and meat) and in north america, the hopi's had semi domesticated sheep, (and were weaving before europeans arrived, with looms almost identical to looms used in classical roman times.) and the pacific northwest Indians had developed a breed of dog that was keep for the soft hairs on its underbelly, that were woven. Cotton was domesticate in both China and in the americas and hemp was also used for fiber, and pineaple fronds.

The america were settled later in time than europe, and lacked many of the nature resources that make europe so successful (there are almost no domesticated animals today that originate here in americas,(turkey, guinea pig, llama) but many, many more domesticated and cultivated plants. Maize, (corn) peanuts, potatoes, cocoa (chocolate), tomatoes, chilies (peppers) many hardy varieties of squash, many varieties of beans, pineapples, banana's, all come to mind.

many of these, are extremely nutritious. Potatoes, with just a small amount of milk and greens make a complete diet-- corn and beans also often complete nutritional package.. a diet of peanuts, corn, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, chilies, cocoa, and squash was available year round(ie, the food either keep well, or could be harvested in different seasons), cheap, and offered more variety and nutritious than the common fare of the poor farmers in europe; (grains,{wheat, barley, oats} and vegetables, dairy. (both cultures used fish too, as cheap source of animal protein.)

Corn brews up a nice beer, too, as do other plants, so liquid refreshment was not lacking.

many "staple" diets of europeans today are dependant on american imports. Hungarian paprika is "american" and offers a huge amount of vitamin C year round. "irish" potatoes" are american and saved (and starved) the irish.

as for governments.. again.. most of the gains have been made in the past 100 years -- past 50 in US for many minorities. i don't think the spanish inquisition was a big improvement in the live of most south american natives..

my other obsession

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