Re: The terrorism meme

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Thu 07 Nov 2002 - 02:17:38 GMT

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    >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,
    > >
    > > Grant
    > >
    And now that the dancing in the streets is over the U.S. military is rearming the war lords and backing some of them over Karzai, a man we helped put in the position of head of government. People sympathetic to the Taliban position on Islam are planting bombs in schools that educate women. The country is slowly being divided into the camps of various factions, some of whom will oppose us again. Pakistan looks to be on the verge of changing colors once more and will try to influence the tribes on their border and the "government" in Kabul can't leave their compound without putting Karzai in danger or using a falanx of American soldiers to protect him.

    I expect the same scenario on Bagdad. In fact, that's why I think George Bush the First refused to oust Husein the first time. He saw the country disintigrating into a bunch of factions at war with each other. Iran's Shiite faction could seize a large chunk of territory in the south and the Kurds could seize another in the north. This will upset Turkey, which has been at war with the Kurds for I don't know how long. When the dancing in the streets is over, the reality of war between Kurds, Sunis, Shiites and the EU under Turkey will make it kind of hollow. Iran may be able to use our interventions to expand the territory they control to include southern parts of Afghanistan and part of Iraq. And we will once more be the Great Satan to the people who danced when we came.

    During WWII, people cheered in the streets when the invading armies marched into several countries. They cheered again when the next army came through.
      That doesn't mean they were happy to any of the armies that marched through their country. It simply means that cheering is a survival behavior when you're being invaded.

    If we really put our minds to it, how many other options do you think we could come up with? When I say the means we use shape the ends we get, that's what I mean. The means we used to fight Russia in Afghanistan led to the Taliban taking control. It led to the creation of Al Quaeda (the list of reliable agents who were trained and proved their worth in Afghanistan) We are taking the expedient route to solve a problem that is much deeper and will last much longer than the means we are using will solve.

    What we have to do is find new solutions for a world that old solutions don't do much for. No, we can't arrest Husein or use any of the other old solutions (although we did do that to Noriega). But we can look at what new ideas have been developed since the Roman Empire and find one that has a better chance of changing things for the better for everyone rather than just for the "winner" of a war. It will be ten years down the road before we really know whether we "won" this war or not. What we did to Japan and Germany after WWII gives me hope that there are other options more viable than what we've been using.

    We didn't have to invade or occupy Russia to find a solution that looks better than war. The people who danced in the streets of Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe weren't dancing at the sight of American soldiers, but at the departure of Russian soldiers. The Russians had more weapons of mass destruction than we did. It didn't keep their empire from collapsing. And we saw the folly of invasion in that case. And invasion and occupation didn't help Russia keep its empire together. Maybe we should look at our options in Iraq again before we rush to a "final" solution.


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