Re: [ba-unrev-talk] TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED
John, Gary. (01)
Well, yes. I must agree there is a lot to what you wrote. And, yet, I
feel that in the case of the kind of action the U.S., the U.K. and
Australia are presently engaged in Goehring's quote is not appropriate.
For one thing, it is most unlikely that the quote was intended as some
pearl of wisdom in the vein of Gary's examples. It is rather more likely
to be a sarcastic comment by a cynical man caught up in some battle of
wits with the prosecutor at the Nueremberg trials. Furthermore, I
question whether the slogan would have been used without its connection
to Hermann Goehring. (02)
More importantly, the issue of the actions in Iraq call for a greater
depth in understanding than what is conveyed by a slogan and a shout. At
this point, I should also say that I am disturbed by such reasoning that
the action against the Iraqi regime has been precipitated to liberate
the Iraqi people from the current regime. That justification, much used
bandied about by the Bush administration, seems to me also as just
another form of sloganeering. (03)
Key factors that to my mind call for the action underway in Iraq are: (04)
1. In a world community, like in any other community, police action is
called for to avert threats against the communal interest such as those
posed by toxins and dangerous biological materials. And this quite apart
from sitting by when a sadist practices his arts of terror on people
living under his regime. (05)
2. A delay in action would have made it harder to be effective when it
allows for additional such fronts to open up, i.q. with North Korea
which is now rapidly developing the capability to take nuclear terror to
even the U.S. West Coast. Bear also in mind that it appears that
energy-rich Iran is operating a nuclear plant that will provide
fissionable material. (06)
Ideally, the action now undertaken by the coalition ought have been
engaged in by a world government - in parallel with any lesser police
action undertaken on a national or local scale. And it would have been
undertaken as a means of upholding facets of international law that seem
not to be in existence today. An action sanctioned by the U.N. would
have been more widely acceptable to the world at large than the current
one - even though, and let's not forget this, the means and their
effects would have been the same! I am inclined to think that the the
fact that the U.N. is still far from being a world government is what
puts us in the current position as for as legality is concerned. (07)
I am inclined to believe that the current action and its timing are
necessary, although I am not at ease with accepting the Bush
Administration's particular mix of motivations - the suspected private
ones and their public ones. (Incidentally, I suspect that a large number
of Americans, be they for or against the war, did not exercise their
democratic franchise to vote in the last presidential elections, even
less assured themselves if they were making the right choice. So much
for the health of that much touted democracy.) (08)
Strongly arguing against the action now underway is the sentiment of the
majority of people in the Mid East. There has been a long history of
Germanic tribes (notably the English, French, and German) stirring up or
adding to troubles in the Mid East. I think I am correct in believing
that as far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned, the British,
in 1920 or so, used mustard gas to put down an Arab uprising. Over the
past century, Western European and American foreign policies haven't
exactly been designed to bring democracy to the Middle East. On the
other hand, as far as crusades are concerned (the word came up in recent
discussions among us), over the centuries, Islam has threatened infidels
unwilling to convert with death, i.o.w. religious wars hardly have been
a one-sided affair. (I understand that even now, there exists an
undercurrent within the Muslim world that subscribes to that ideology.) (09)
A thing that troubles me is how to shift paradigms that are tied to
nationalism and national/tribal histories and existing throughout the
world to ones that may be felt among the entire world community, i.e. to
paradigms tied to a chronology of progress in thinking on a
world-community scale. This calls for an education and media that
inculcate in all of us across the globe an understanding of cultural
backgrounds worldwide and a learning from them - a tall order for
education and media. (010)
Coming back to John's and Gary's remarks, you will appreciate that even
the above expansion of my reflection on the current crisis is far from
deep enough and probably leaves plenty of room for dissent and argument.
But simple slogans leave us in an even less satisfactory state. (011)
On Sun, 2003-03-23 at 13:25, Gary Richmond wrote:
> And isn't this "naming a pattern" exactly behind George Santayana's
> phrase that
> "those who do not understand the past are destined to repeat it"?
> John Sechrest wrote:
> > when I am in my classes. I try to come up with
> > little sayings that I say over and over to get
> > some larger pattern named.
> > In system administration, I say things like:
> > Don't do something, if you can't backup.
> > Or
> > It's not done until it documented
> > Or
> > If it is not monitored , then it is not working.
> > or
> > If you can't measure it, then you can't manage it.
> > I think that what gary is doing is naming a pattern.
> > We don't have a name for this. But since we don't
> > have a name, we tell a short story that names the pattern.
> > And for me, that in fact is a helpful step. If you can
> > get out of the details of a conversation and look at
> > the deeper patterns, then you can actually achieve deeper
> > understanding.
> > Isn't the hard part of complicated conversations that
> > we end up being unable to see the forest for the trees?
> > So to have deep understanding of a conversation, don't
> > you need to find a way to elevate the conversation above
> > the details into larger principles and patterns?
> >Henry K van Eyken <email@example.com> writes:
> > % Gary.
> > %
> > % With due respect for you many thoughtful contributions, I must point out
> > % that it is not hard to come up with some apt-looking statement for just
> > % about any occasion. There is already much of that around on both sides
> > % of the current argument and it does not help any attempt to try to think
> > % more clearly about the issues involved.
> > %
> > % I do appreciate your sentiment.
> > %
> > % Henry
> > %
> > %
> > %
> > % On Sun, 2003-03-23 at 10:43, Gary Richmond wrote:
> > % > Naturally the common people don't want war....IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
> > always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY
> > % > -- Hermann Goering, Nuremberg Trials
> > % >
> > % > I attended the anti-war march in NYC yesterday which had an estimated 125,000-200,000 participants. An excerpt from this excerpt was on several placards being carried.
> > % >
> > % > Gary
> > % >
> > % >
> > % >
> > %
> > %
> >John Sechrest . Helping people use
> >CTO PEAK - . computers and the Internet
> >Public Electronic . more effectively
> >Access to Knowledge,Inc .
> >1600 SW Western, Suite 180 . Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Corvallis Oregon 97333 . (541) 754-7325
> > . http://www.peak.org/~sechrest