Re: The terrorism meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 06 Nov 2002 - 23:20:05 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: The terrorism meme"

    >Subject: Re: The terrorism meme
    >Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 15:26:46 -0600
    > > > > >
    > > > > >>Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 08:06:14 -0500
    > > > > >>
    > > > > >>
    > > > > >>On Wednesday, November 6, 2002, at 12:12 , Grant Callaghan
    > > > > >>wrote:
    > > > > >>
    > > > > >>>the armies raised by these religious empires still use the
    > > > > >>>words of
    > > > > >>> Christ and Mohamed
    > > > > >>
    > > > > >>Now, I'm not a biblical or koranic scholar, so, I'm just asking-
    > > > > >>what words of the new testament are they using? I can bring up
    > > > > >>about a thousand words from Deuterotomy that would skin you
    > > > > >>alive, but, I'm absent of anything reported to be said by Christ
    > > > > >>that could be used to foment war. Just the opposite.
    > > > > >>
    > > > > >>- Wade
    > > > > >>
    > > > > >That was my point. You can find bibles and quotes from Jesus
    > > > > >everywhere. Most of the people who fight the wars for European
    > > > > >countries claim to be Christians and have been indoctrinated in
    > > > > >the words of Christ, yet the memes they use in dealing with other
    > > > > >countries are the memes of empire. I grew up going to mass every
    > > > > >morning and being taught the catechism by nuns every day and
    > > > > >joined the Marines at the age of 17. The Muslims bow to Mecca
    > > > > >five times a day and run little kids through these schools where
    > > > > >all they do all day is read the Koran. Yet they grow up ready to
    > > > > >conquer in the name of Allah.
    > > > > >
    > > > > >The memes that were supposed to change that are there, buried in
    > > > > >their minds, and yet the memes of empire rule. The people who
    > > > > >run countries find war to be the final solution when it comes to
    > > > > >my memes versus your memes. The people who follow these leaders
    > > > > >usually go along with it. As Bush likes to tell us, we've got to
    > > > > >spend 300 billion dollars a year to keep a big enough army that
    > > > > >our enemies won't be able to destroy "our way of life." And they
    > > > > >are using terrorism to stop us from destroying theirs. What is
    > > > > >our way of life but the set of memes we built our culture around?
    > > > > >
    > > > > >Grant
    > > > > >
    > > > > P.S. As a note of irony, during the Vietnam war our motto was
    > > > > "We're fighting for peace." There seems to be no end to the
    > > > > twisted logic people will accept in defense of their beliefs and
    > > > > desires. I still don't know why I came out of a religious
    > > > > institute after years of training in Christian values ready to
    > > > > kill for my country.
    > > > >
    > > >We have to run the cruel yet humanistic equations, and do a cost-
    > > >benefit analysis. If we assume that unseating Saddam would cost a
    > > >hundred thousand lives (a high-end estimate), but that, if we do not
    > > >do so and he obtains nukes, that there is only a 10% chance that he
    > > >will employ them against New York or Tel Aviv, with a certain
    > > >counterstrike against baghdad whichever he chooses (total dead - 10
    > > >million), then the prudent decision, by a factor of 10-to-1, is to
    > > >act to pre-empt the risk od such a catastrophic disaster. In the
    > > >present circumstances, considering Saddam's history and his present
    > > >endeavors to build or otherwise obtain nukes, the most dangerous
    > > >course to take, by far, is to twiddle our thumbs up our nether
    > > >regions and do nothing.
    > > > >
    > >
    > > That is the excuse we are using all right. But do you really believe
    > > that kill or be killed are the only two options for an intelligent
    > > society? Why do you think we invented prisons? Why do you think we
    > > invented contracts and other ways of avoiding conflict? Why is the
    > > only solution to go into Iraq and occupy the country, as we did with
    > > Afghanistan? That may be the only solution the people running the
    > > government can come up with, but that is a product of the memes they
    > > have inherited. That's the Greco-Roman solution. I think it's
    > > possible to show them the futility of the course of action they are
    > > taking.
    > >
    >Because we can't send in the gendarmes to arrest the criminals when
    >they have armies of their own. And we are not dealing with intelligent
    >societies, but with a fascist regime and a global militant fundamentalist
    >terror organization. Allah tells Al Quaeda what is and is not reasonable
    >or futile - of this they are incorrigibly certain.
    > >
    > > Why are we occupying Afghanistan?
    > >
    >Because that's where the planning, funding, training and organization of
    >the 9/11 terror flyers was directed from. And we are there at their
    >request and behest; we will not make the mistake we made befor of
    >leaving too early, for that's what got us the Taliban in the first place.
    >Rather, we shall help them to build a sovereign and responsible nation,
    >and then leave, as we did in Germany and Japan (whyncha ask THEM
    >if they regret it now?).
    > >
    > > The Afghanis didn't attack us.
    > >
    >But they shielded those who did.
    > >
    > > But
    > > war and occupation is the only solution the military mind can see. We
    > > were clear about that part. Now we have the problem of what to do
    > > with Afghanistan now that the Taliban has been neutralized.
    > >
    >It is vastly to be preferred to the problem of how to deal with a global
    >fundamentalist terrorist conspiracy using that whole country as its base.
    > >
    > > We're not
    > > nearly so eager to rebuild the country and try to solve its problems.
    > > We will have the same problem with Iraq if we go in and remove the
    > > leaders. We have to provide new leaders that the people will follow
    > > and we have to rebuild what we destroy. Another name for conquer and
    > > occupy. The Roman solution all over again. I doubt the people we
    > > will choose will be any more acceptable than Pontius Pilate was
    > >
    >Actually, the people in Kabul danced in the streets when they were
    >relieved of the Taliban yoke, just as the people of Baghdad will, once
    >they are relieved of their own despot. I'm quite sure that the average
    >citizen of either country, if you explained to them your reasoning for not
    >relieving them of their serfdom, would happily slap you around until you
    >regained some semblance of good sense,
    For Iraq it went downhill from the start of the war with Iran. They were sitting pretty with all the petrodollars and with decent cultivatable land betwixt the Tigris and Euphrates. If they hadn't engaged in that war they could be the envy of the Middle East. After oil production got hampered by Iranian attacks and what not revenue wasn't quite there anymore. If Husayn would have been a more level headed leader and concentrated on domestic reforms and not gambled on the battle against Iran, he could have been one of the better leaders of an Arab country. Instead he chose the path of belligerence. Granted though that he was a secular leader and he probably saw Iranian Shia fundamentalism as a threat to his country (with its Sunni minority and secular Baath regime that the Iranian fundies probably saw as a great evil to Islam that must be conquered). Realistically Husayn may have acted, however destructively, to stem the tide of Iran-style Islamic fundamentalist from steamroling over Iraq and sweeping into Kumait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia (though the latter has its own Wahhabist fundies).

    After the mistakes of the war with Iran and the atrocities commited against Iranians and Kurds with chemical weapons he pretty much did himself in as far as world opinion goes. He left that war with a war debt and saw Kuwait as not playing fair with oil pricing and IIRC accused them of exploiting an Iraqi oilfield. Incurring the wrath of the world by invading the supposed province of Kuwait was the last straw. Iraq, like Kuwait, was nothing more than a British creation, each emerging from Ottoman suzerainity and gaining separate independences from the British empire. Husayn was just acting on a precendent set by the Iraqi leaders Qasim and Ghazi before him, who each had their own designs on Kuwait.

    Afghanistan has its own ironies. That's where we funnelled aid via the Pakistani ISI to the mujahiden, helping to deflate the USSR with its own Vietnam, leading to the downfall of the Communist empire and aiding an upswing of Islamic fundamentalism in the process. Now we share similar troubles of Islamic terrorism with our former Cold War enemy Russia.

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