Re: The terrorism meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 09 Nov 2002 - 18:08:02 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: The terrorism meme"

    >From: Jeremy Bradley <>
    >Subject: Re: The terrorism meme
    >Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 16:21:15 +1100
    >At 10:31 PM 8/11/02 -0600, you wrote:
    > >> 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.
    > >>
    >Steady Joe
    >I was not being specific here. BTW the jury is still out on much of what
    >you present as fact. AND there are worse things happening in countries
    >which have no oil but are 'friendly to the West' - what about them? AND
    >other countries sponsor terrorism AND have WMDs. All that I was commenting
    >on was the repetition of history and the way that we won't know if we are
    >being hoodwinked until it's too late.
    >There is a lot of biased media around - well all of it really - but if you
    >want to get a reasonable picture of what's going on, shop around.
    >There are online English news services in most countries. As they are all
    >partisan, if you take a reasoned, neutral overview you will be close to
    >the 'truth' of events.
    >Stay cool buddy, we live in interesting times.
    The problem with the repetition of history argument is that it cuts both ways. One could easily draw comparisons to Vietnam and how we were blindly led into that war. Yet one could also draw comparisons (as many usually do) to World War II and appeasement of Hitler. I don't know that either comparison works out all that well in an historically unique situation.

    IIRC comparisons were drawn between Gamel Abdel Nasser and Hitler in the time period leading up to Britain, France and Israel's attack on Egypt in the Suez campaign. Nasser was a nasty chap in many ways, but he stuck around and gave rise to Sadat, who eventually wound up having the guts to make a difference that counted (and paying the ultimate price for peace).

    If Husayn were to kick the bucket any time soon, thanks to mother nature, would a Sadat clone take his place?

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