Re: The terrorism meme

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sat 09 Nov 2002 - 15:19:58 GMT

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

    >Subject: Re: The terrorism meme
    >Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 22:31:19 -0600
    > > Snip.........
    > > >>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.
    > >
    > > Hi peace lovers
    > > There is a great kid's song that carries a memetic warning of this
    > > action - over-reaction tendency in some human cultures; it is called
    > > 'There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly'. Do you know it? On the
    > > surface it is a silly song, but the meme is solid and stable. Each
    > > time she takes a more drastic remedy until she dies - not of the
    > > complaint but the cures. (last chorus of long song) She swallowed a
    > > horse to catch the cow She swallowed the cow to chase the dog (what a
    > > hog, she swallowed a dog) She swallowed the dog to catch the cat
    > > (imagine that, she swallowed a cat) She swallowed the cat to catch
    > > the bird - and so on through the spider and the fly This is a straight
    > > out pedagogical ditty - with observable and quantifiable memes. Who
    > > was it who said that if we refuse the lessons of history, we are
    > > destined to repeat them, (or something like that)? Peace be with you
    > > Jeremy
    > >
    >And in this case, to not cure the disease will be to suffer greatly from
    >and to abandon the Iraqi people to suffer. But it isn't PC liberal to
    >liberate them, or even to notice that they exist except as anstract lives
    >that have to be preserved from the spectre of 'collateral damage', not
    >oppressed human serfs quietly yearning for freedom (because to do so
    >out loud earns a bullet - after the torture); it certainly ain't cool to
    >that they are terrorized and enslaved. Their lives do not rest in peace;
    >they are quietly desperate by dual necessity.
    > >

    I guess you still don't get my message, Joe. What I keep saying is that
    "The means we use shape the ends we get." You imply that I lack the will to help the Iraqui people. That's not what I was urging at all. What I was saying is that if we use the wrong means to do it we will end up making things as bad or worse than they are already. Of course, you might argue that they can't get any worse than they are now. Well, how about if most of those people end up dead because of our blundering and letting their mortal enemies, the Kurds take over. Or will they be happier of Iran takes advantage of the situation and comes to impose a Shiite regime on a Suni population and uses the same repressive measures that Sadam did? Will we then need to help them again by going to war with Iran and occupying that country? Where does it end? What's wrong with considering other possible alternatives to bombing and killing to solve the problem? Do you think Sadam is the only person our bombs and bullets are going to kill?

    I remember during the Vietnam, this captain of artillery was shelling a Vietnamese village. He reduced it to complete rubble. There was nothing and no one left when he was done. When questioned about it he replied, "We had to destroy it to save it." He meant, of course, to save it from the Communists, but did he really save it? And for whom? Who profited from that destruction? Are we really going to save the Iraquis from a fate worse than death? And are bombs and guns and a military mentality going to do the job? Are we going to end up killing thousands of Iraqis in order to "save them?"

    When men go to war, logic goes out the window. Sadam is the best illustration of that we can find. The question is not "whether" we should liberate his people, the question is what means shoud we use to do it? Going in with guns blazing and bombs dropping may not be the best or the only way to get the job done. And what will the fate of the people be after we've killed or captured Sadam? Are we going to stick around to find out? Are we going to ask Turkey to come in and occupy the country so we don't have to spend our money cleaning up the mess? They'd love that.

    They now have a Muslim dominated government. They'd be in a position to oppress the Kurds by taking over the area they now control and creating another oppressed people. Europe doesn't want any more refugees flooding into France, England and Germany. We've got to look beyond this one action of getting rid of Sadam. We've got to think about solving the whole problem of Iraq and all the various people involved. Instead of stopping a war and a war monger, we might end up starting a bigger war and just putting people under a different set of oppressors. Many of them may see us as the oppressors, after we've gone in and taken over. There are certainly a lot of people in that part of the world to seem to feel that way now.

    What worries me most is that I don't hear anyone in our government addressing these issues. No one seems to be thinking beyond the next week or the next couple of months. War destroys thing. What kind of country are we going to leave for the people of Iraq when we're finished? Are we going to take responsibility for what we leave behind? Are we going to tell them
    "You now have the freedom to rebuild your country any way you want while you fight off your neighbors who are trying to take it away from you?" The strongest military in the country will still be the tribes who followed Sadam. If they take over again, we will only have changed the face on the posters and the statues -- not the method by which the Iraqui people will be ruled.


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