Date: Sat 09 Nov 2002 - 19:24:31 GMT
> >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 it, 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 notice 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 Iraqi 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
I woiuld be happy to see the Kurds, the single largest dispossessed group in the world, get their own country, or even limited autonomy in a reconstructed Iraq. Iran is going through it's own period of moderation and is not interested in anything but sealing their border so that a Saddam they still despise cannot escape. If the Shiites to the south wish to confederate with Iran, I have no problem with that; let the central Sunnis re-create a smaller country, like Serbia was forced to do when Yugoslavia imploded. We very well might need to occupy Iraq for a while, and engage in the same Japan-Germany-type nation-and institution-building we are facilitating in Afghanistan. I also have no problem with that. As far as innocents being killed, some will die, but more will die, by saddam's hand, as they have for more than two decades, if we do not act, and the rest will continue to live in terror rather than freedom. There is no doubt whatsoever what the Iraqis who are free to speak prefer; they are BEGGING us to oust Saddam. If we have such concern for them, should we not listen to their fervent wishes?
> 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?"
Iraq is no Vietnam; the comparison is ludicrous on its face. I note that the same false, flawed and ludicrous comparison was made concerning Afghanistan.
> 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 Saddam? 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.
We have tried 'other means'; they have not ousted Saddam, and have led to death, deprivation and despair on the part of Iraqi citizens. They'd love the chance to rebuild a post-Saddamic iraq, and we should give it to them. Turkey will not come in, as they don't play well with the Kurds.
> 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.
We must adopt praxis; trying to forsee and forfend problems that may crop up, yet remaining flexible enough to effectively respond to the appearance of the unforseen. If we wanna show the Iraqis our intentions, we can let them talk to the Kuwaitis, or the Afghans, or the Bosnians, or the Kosovars (Muslims all); they will reassure the Iraqis of our benevolent intentions toward the Iraqi people, and our desire to see them re-emerge as free, democratic and responsible members of the community of nations.
> 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 Iraqi people
> will be ruled.
I'm quite sure we will not repeat our post-USSR-withdrawal Afghan mistake in Iraq; we know where that road leads.
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