RE: The terrorism meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 06 Nov 2002 - 03:16:19 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "RE: The terrorism meme"

    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: RE: The terrorism meme
    >Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 07:28:59 -0800
    >>Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 00:19:11 -0500
    >>>>Subject: RE: The terrorism meme
    >>>>Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 22:51:36 -0500
    >>>>I can't disagree with you, Grant. The question, then is, What
    >>>>tactics/strategies should each group now try? Scott has suggested for
    >>>>Palestinians non-violence. (Personally, I think this has much to
    >>>>it; might a reciprocal Israeli new tactic be? I do note that the Druse
    >>>>non-violent resistance to Israeli occupation, and did have some modest
    >>>>success, though ultimately it failed.)
    >>>>Would the new tactics of one group have to be met with new tactics by
    >>>>other? Is there a way of starting both groups on the first steps toward
    >>>>(and less destructive) tactics?
    >>>>What are your own thoughts?
    >>>I think the people who want violence are one group and they hold most of
    >>>the weapons and the people who want peace are a separate group and they
    >>>are the ones who would use non-violence. The non-violent group might win
    >>>in a police state where there were only two sides, but where there are
    >>>three sides or four sides, I don't think the method would work. While
    >>>one group of palestinians was being non-violent, Hamas would be
    >>>committing atrocities. While one group of Israelies was being
    >>>non-violent, Arial Sharon would be sending tanks into Gaza. All you
    >>>would get would be conflicting messages that included both violence and
    >>>non-violence from both sides.
    >>>Someone has to spread the message that the only solution is one in which
    >>>both sides win. They have to see that by cooperating with each other
    >>>they can build a garden of Eden. By fighting, all they will end up doing
    >>>is destroying each other. War is a zero-sum game. Only it uses up so
    >>>many people and resources the winner ends up winning in name only. How
    >>>you get to people to realize that non-zero is the only game that makes
    >>>sense, I don't know. Right now the people in power only know how to play
    >>>the zero-sum game. They are all ex-generals and guerillas. They think
    >>>they can win the game they are playing and they are willing to expend as
    >>>many lives as it takes to achieve that goal.
    >>>When they run out of people willing to sacrifice themselves and others to
    >>>"win" the war, the war will stop. I don't really see any short cut to
    >>>accomplish that. Maybe a second coming of Christ would do the job. His
    >>>was the only philosophy that holds out any hope. But even if he came
    >>>back, Sharon would find a way to become Pope and Arafat would become a
    >>>second Mohamad and the wars to control the Holy Land would start all over
    >>>You've got to remember, this war has been going on for about 2,000 years.
    >>> First it was the Romans, then it was the Muslims, and then the crusades
    >>>sent the Christians. These same groups are still at it. Christians are
    >>>just Romans in clerical garb. The same groups are still fighting over
    >>>the same spit of land and they all still think they can control it with
    >>>violence. In 2.000 years, they've learned nothing. I don't see them
    >>>changing their spots anytime soon.
    >>It's too easy to simplify. For instance when you bring up Christians, who
    >>are you talking about? There's Christians in America who (especially the
    >>fundies) have an affinity for Israel and her Judaic underpinnings.
    >>Many Christians in former Palestine are just as Arab as their Muslim
    >>cohorts and thus have leanings toward the Arab side in the dispute.
    >>Remember George Habash, one of the major terrorists who gave rise to the
    >>Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is Christian as is
    >>Hanan Ashrawi a moderate Palestinian leader.
    >>When you look at Lebanese politics things get even messier since they had
    >>the confessional system which was designed to split power between
    >>Maronites, Sunni and Shia. After the fragmentation of the Lebanese civil
    >>war some of the Lebanese Arab Christians were more partial to Israel. The
    >>Gemayel family comes to mind. IIRC Saad Haddad of the SLA was another
    >>Israeli ally who may have been Christian. But I'm not sure Lebanese
    >>Christians have been of like mind on Israeli relationships.
    >When you sum up 2,000 years of history in a paragraph or two you have to
    >simplify. It's not a matter of personalities but idologies. When the
    >Roman Emperor took over the church around the time of Constantine, he
    >injected Rome and all its memes into the philosophy of Jesus and created an
    >imperial church that set out to conquer all of Europe and the East up
    >through Russia. By the time of Henry VIII, all the kings of Europe were
    >getting permission to rule from the Pope. It was just the Roman Empire in
    >clerical garb.
    >Today the philosophical descendants of that empire are still fighting over
    >that piece of earth. The Jews of today are mostly Europeans and Russians.
    >There is only a vague resemblance between them and the people who were
    >driven out of Israel by the Roman soldiers. But the memes that grew out of
    >that struggle between Rome and that band of Jews are still alive and well
    >and weilding their influence on the scene today.
    You are thinking of Jews as being largely of European ancestry. These are the Ashkenazim. What about the Sephardim or so-called "Oriental" Jews? There are Jews who stemmed from Arabic countries who had to leave those countries as a result of Israel's emergence (e.g.- Iraqi Jews). There's also an interesting subgroup of African Jews from Ethiopia whom Israel took in after the troubles that country suffered. Israeli Jews are not a homogenous group. I'd suppose there's some ethnic and class problems between these groups which would parallel similar problems seen in countries like the U.S.

    Thus Jews are not limited to those from Europe and Russia.
    >The memes that grew up around the Muslim conquest in the 1400s are also
    >alive and continuing a struggle that grew out of the crusades.
    Tell me something. How long did it take after Muhammed's death for Islam to spread from the Arabian peninsula and sweep across northern Africa and into Spain? When was it that Charles Martel asserted himself? Could Islam have swept into England if someone didn't make a stand? Please explain to me me the contrast of *dar al-Islam* and *dar al-harb* and how the concept of jihad fits into this picture. I don't know that the crusades were the proper reponse to Islam. Part of me is disgusted that my Norse Odin, Loki and Thor loving ancestors in Sweden were subjected to the Christian religion, but Islamic conquest would not have been much of an improvement.
    >It's not the individuals I'm talking about that are tearing that land apart
    >-- its the clash of cultures. Its a solution to a problem of governance
    >that has been handed down for more than two milliniums. And for some
    >reason or other it all revolves around that tiny piece of land that hasn't
    >had much to offer since before the time of Christ.
    >These two concepts of how to govern and how to treat people are still at
    >the root cause of what is happening there now. The fanatic desire to take
    >and keep posession of that land has infiltrated Muslim and Jew and
    >Christian alike. The Pax Americana is not much different from the Pax
    >Romana. You keep the peace by conquering and controlling. The people who
    >are doing it are just the instruments of the memes that drive them.
    >It's a failed philosophy that has been failing for more than two milliniums
    >now. In fact it goes back to Egypt and the empires that Alexander
    >conquered in the name of Greece. It doesn't bring peace nor does it make
    >the lives of the people who carry the seed within them any better. It's no
    >accident that much of Christian doctrine was written first in Greek and
    >that Greek memes were instrumental in the rise of Rome. Deus is just Zeus
    >pronounced in the Roman way. So many people have died and been made
    >miserable by those memes that I wonder how they manage to continue to run
    >the world.
    >Yes, that is a gross simplification. I would have to write an encyclopedia
    >to explain it in detail. This is just my rant on the subject for the day.
    >If we ever want to rid ourselves of the memes that drive us to destruction,
    >we'd better come up with new and better memes such as the ones that Jesus
    >gave us or Buddha or any other philosopher who ralized that power corrupts
    >and when men chase it and use it, they are corrupted absolutely.
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