Re: Why Europe

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Mon 18 Nov 2002 - 20:27:25 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: Why Europe"

    Douglas, interesting comment ! You, and others should read " Jihad vs. McWorld by Benjamin Barber ! Together with Fukuyama's The End of History and Huntingtons The Clash of Civilizations, Barbers' book is a very good beginning in the ' Why ' of 9/ 11 !

    One of Barbers ' quotes I like is the following,
    " Free market has an indespensable effect on which brand of shoes people wear worldwide. A Palestian suicide- bomber wears no doubtlely Adidas and not sandals. "


    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Douglas Brooker" <>
    > Grant Callaghan wrote:
    > > As a man who is deploring sweeping generalizations, you seem to be
    > > into your own trap. Is that YOUR petard I see you dangling from?
    > >
    > it may very well be what you see, but whether or not this is actually
    > what is happening is very different question.
    > the folklore or history of the British empire is very different in
    > England, than say in India or Canada. similarly, the record the
    > American activities in other countries since the end of WWII is also
    > seen, when it is seen, very differently within the US than in those
    > countries who have been the object of US affection. a month or so ago
    > there was a conference in Washington - Pentagon I think - that meant to
    > examine why there is so much anti-American feeling around the world.
    > That it was held at all is nothing less than an amazing case of
    > blindness to the military activities of the US in many countries around
    > the world, thousands dead or maimed and dozens of governments
    > overthrown. (a good list was circulating a few months ago of countries
    > bombed, invaded or de-stabilised by the US since 1945)
    > now you can argue pro or con about these activities - this will depend
    > on the culture you have been raised in and other factors - there are
    > many Americans who are unhappy about US foreign policy and there are
    > those in UK and elsewhere who support it. so there is debate about
    > exactly what happened and whether or not it was justified. (Along the
    > lines of: no "massacre", the Israelis say, in Jenin in April, but last
    > Sunday's attack on Israeli troops in Hebron was, the Israelis say, a
    > "massacre", and other nice debates about the number of other people
    > killed are required to constitute a "massacre".) (or here re the IRA -
    > Grant has not told us that the change in US policy with respect to
    > fund-raising activities in the US by the IRA is relatively recent)
    > what is the interesting issue for me, is how a rather dominant strain of
    > US thinking about their overseas activities can be either so dumb,
    > naive, or ingenuous, to fail to make a connection between the record of
    > bombing, invasion and destabilisation and the fact that there is
    > widespread hatred of the US government in these countries. Bin Laden
    > and Saddam, or the Shah of Iran were all American proxies and there is
    > no end of examples which should permit Americans to establish some cause
    > and effect between their own actions and the antipathy felt toward their
    > governments around the world. many Americans can make this
    > connection.
    > much the same can be said about the roles of the UK during and after
    > their Empire period, or other, usually large countries. comparing
    > dominant myths in Serbia and ISrael would be a good study. the issue
    > that's relevant here is how a nation or people can be blind to their own
    > contradictions, (my shit doesn't smell) and how they create historical
    > myths which elevate or sanctify certain aspects of their activities and
    > make invisible that which is unsavory. on a political level, it can only
    > be healthy when nations collectively become aware of their own blindness
    > and contradictions. from the academic perspective, it would seem to be
    > a compelling task to identify instances of this kind of blindness and
    > from these examples, start abstracting theories about the functioning of
    > national and collective consciousness, and unconsciousness.
    > it seems from here - Canadian in Europe - that the kind of political
    > partisanship in America that increasingly is reflected in its
    > scholarship and science - (the cultural civil war) - and which makes
    > participation by others in alot of American academic discourse at worst,
    > a waste of time, and at best, a social challenge - is being exported to
    > the rest of the world. it's a natural human characteristic to so
    > identify with the myths that are the basis on one's social identity. the
    > challenge it would seem to people involved in memetics and similar
    > disciplines is to get outside of themselves, because if one doesn't or
    > can't, all one's going to have to say will be recycled ideology cast in
    > a different set of words, basically saying the same thing. It may not be
    > apparent to those who speak it, often it is apparent to those who hear
    > it.
    > ===============================================================
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