RE: Why Europe is so Contrary

Date: Mon 18 Nov 2002 - 18:40:16 GMT

  • Next message: Douglas Brooker: "Re: Why Europe"

    > Sorry for this post everyone, I'm just indulging in some displacement
    > activity to avoid marking a huge pile of essays on my desk. so if you
    > want to avoid the political rhetoric feel free to skip- although I do
    > mention memetics in the third paragraph. so I hope that keeps the
    > moderator sweet.
    > <It has to do with the root causes for the European reticence to >
    > engage a dire terrorist threat: fear. Quite simply, they are afraid
    > to > piss > off the maniacs; they would much rather snub the
    > reasonable people, > because the reasonable people will not answer
    > with truckbombs, > airplanes flown into skyscrapers, and poison gas in
    > subway systems. > What the Europeans fail to realize is that they,
    > inasmuch as they are > not Islamic and ruled by shar'ia law, will
    > receive these attacks anyway, > simply because of who they are; part
    > of the infidel Dar el Harb, and an > affront to Allah. Chamberlain
    > once, as Churchill phrased it, had a > choice between war and
    > dishonor, chose dishonor, and still got war. > Vis-a-vis Radical
    > Muslim terrorists (Al Quaeda and others) and those > who would supply
    > them with WMD's, many Europeans are facing the > same choice, and are
    > making it in the same way that Chamberlain did. > Fear is a visceral
    > memetic hook, sometimes overriding both logic and > the urge to
    > freedom.> > >
    > Whereas the pre-9/11 rhetoric of the Bush administration
    > was very brave in > its isolationist, ignore the rest of world
    > rhetoric, was it? For someone > who's so articulate and incisive in
    > so many of the discussions we have on > this list, it's such a shame
    > to see you fly so dramatically off the rails > with this kind of
    > stuff, Joe. >
    And its a shame to see you fly off so tangentially into laundry-list irrelevance. One has to deal with the situation as it IS, not as it WAS. And as it IS, is that the Western world is facing a determined and sustained series of terror attacks by Radical Muslims (not most Muslims, but still a lot of people - maybe 10-15% of them - are sympathetic) who wish to inflict a convert-or-die (to Islam and shar'ia law) choice upon it. And what does the refusal to sign environmental and economic treaties have to do with the blunting oif terrorist threats, any way? People criticize the US for getting involved, and then turn around and criticize them for not getting involved. You just can't win with infestees of the hate-US meme.
    > Your sweeping generalisations over dozens of highly different
    > European nations are unfair and unfounded, unless of course you want
    > to call Americans fearful in those quite years between 1914-17, and
    > 1939-1941? Some do argue that that Martian panic in the US in 1938,
    > after Welles' war of the worlds broadcast was influenced by fears of
    > war in Europe. So maybe fear is a memetic hook- but fear is not what
    > is informing mass public and some significant political opposition in
    > Europe to an American war in Iraq, it's the political expediency of a
    > war that is what people over here who are against the war, hate most
    > of all. Saddam was put in power by the US, was given intelligence and
    > arms by Western nations including the US during the Iran-Iraq war, and
    > now it serves the USA's purpose to get rid of him.
    And is the US not DOUBLY obligated to rectify its own errors in the world? Saddam's regime is an egregious infliction upon the people of Iraq, and a grave threat to other nations. If the US broke it, they should fix it (and should've done so 12 years ago).
    > Indonesia,
    > Guatemala, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Northern
    > Ireland all spring to mind as examples of the persistent
    > contradictions in American foregin policy.
    Afghanistan is a place where the US suffered for walking away too soon, too. It will not repeat that error. Nicaragua was not handled very well, but the result has been good. Korea recently was a case where we believed a lying regime' Korea in the '50's was a UN action. Vietnam was a war we never should've taken over from the French. In Somalia, our soldiers died attempting to apprehend warlords who seized food from Red Cross and UN distribution centers in order to use starvation as a weapon. The Clinton administration was pivotal in negotiating the Northern Ireland settlement. Next irrelevant laundry list, please.
    > The selective nature of US
    > interference in the affairs of other nations is typified by the new
    > policy on Iraq, and it is that more than anything that annoys people
    > in Europe- and elsewhere. Surveys have clearly indicated that it is
    > only in America where the public interpretation of 9/11 downplays US
    > foreign policy- I'll try and dig out the reseach if I can- everywhere
    > else, _everywhere_ else in the world, where questions were asked, many
    > people felt US foreign policy has something to do with the motives
    > behind the attack, and the legitimate concerns of many
    > people_everywhere outside the US_ (and some inside to be fair) is what
    > the consequences of this kind of heavy handed response will be.
    Well, tie a red dress around the US and claim that it is enticing rape! Blame the victim, right? One HAS to, when the US is the victim, for the US has to be blamed for EVERYthing. I don't think you have carefully considered the memetic nature of the threat to postmodern civilization by a violently cannibalistic medieval memeset.
    > Indeed, what's interesting from a memetic point of view is how
    > people close themselves off from alternative points of view (e.g. are
    > the US networks still refusing to show Al-jazeera footage in case of
    > coded messages?) when it threatens their attempts to force a
    > particular interpretation of events onto themselves and others. Off
    > this topic might be how holocaust deniers cope with the mountains of
    > evidence for the holocaust having occured for example.
    Actually, CNN shows them quite frequently, and streaming video is available online. I read throughout the spectrum of opinion, and the one I have formed over the last 14 months has been meticulously researched and carefully considered.
    > How you could be so wrong on this topic, when nornally so astute Joe,
    > is a case in point here. For all your references, I see you almost
    > exclusively sticking to American magazines, American commentators,
    > although with the massive number of posts I may have missed some
    > you've gleaned from non-American sources. You do realise that the
    > American news media are as complicit in self-censorship with regard to
    > commercial and political interests as any media system anywhere in the
    > world don't you? After all during the last Gulf War it was American
    > journalists who willingly went where they were told by military
    > "guides" and even reported European journalists who went off on their
    > own to find real stories. I wouldn't be too reliant on Ted 'I want to
    > buy a nuclear bomb' Turner if I were you (and yes he did say that in
    > an interview a while back).
    Sorry, but I access many European, East Asian, and Middle Eastern sources, as well. As I said - the entire spectrum. Your attribution of ignorance of this issue to me reflects an ignorance , on your part, of the great amount of research I have done. YOU are the one who is bathed in error in this one, and who is simply regurgitating knee-jerk memes.
    > Attacking Iraq on the back of 9/11 is a bit like the UK attacking the
    > US on the back of the Omagh bombing, although that would have more
    > legitimacy given the very overt fundraising for the IRA that has gone
    > on in the US for decades. Of course one big difference is that one of
    > these situations involves attacking a nation with weapons of mass
    > destruction that it has used against multiple nations in the past-
    > guess which one I mean.
    Grant already hoisted you on this petard.
    > Vincent
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