Re: The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing By Lee Harris

Date: Thu 12 Dec 2002 - 17:42:05 GMT

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "Re: The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing By Lee Harris"

    > This is a good exchange of perceptions Joe. We differ in large areas,
    > however some of the points you raise pass through my memetic filters
    > so I therefore consider them valid. Equally, some of the points that I
    > raise pass through your memetic filter and you think of them as
    > reasonable. Perspectives are always formed from information viewed
    > through a memeticly constructed cultural lens and, having been raised
    > in relatively similar cultures (all the John Wayne movies were shown
    > here, and we have Big-Mac and Coke), this is predictable. What I want
    > to do here is go through Joe's post and, instead of disputing his
    > ideology, pick out a few memetic case-studies.
    > >> Jeremy:
    > >> 'Memes only accept the acceptable' is what I meant to say above.
    > >> For example there is an Australian incarcerated in Camp X-ray who
    > >> fought against Milosevic, Karadzic, Mladic and the Russians with
    > >> the Mujahadin (sp?). If any of them had captured him and held him
    > >> in inhumane conditions with no charge, no contact and no hope we
    > >> would have tried like hell to get him back and, if we did, many
    > >> would have acclaimed him as a hero. Yet, as he was captured by the
    > >> 'angels' our Government is not interested in his welfare in the
    > >> least. As it is we don't know whether he was or wasn't involved
    > >> with terror as he has no human-rights, no representation, NO
    > >> CHARGE, no family contact and no hope of a finite detention but we
    > >> don't care cos we are pandering to the US cos we want trade
    > >> liberalisation, (did you hear how fast our PM wound back his
    > >> rhetoric when Iraq threatened to cancel wheat purchases?) You can
    > >> see that the same man fighting the same cause, at least in his
    > >> memetic construct it probably was, is treated entirely differently.
    > >>
    > Joe:
    > >In Afghanistan he would have been fighting with Al Quaeda or the
    > >Taliban; in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was an Al Quaeda sleeper cell
    > >broken up that was planning attacks against peacekeeping interests
    > >there. In one case he was attacking one totalitarianism, but in both
    > > cases he would have been fighting on behalf of another one.
    > Thanks for the information Joe. I actually don't know much about this
    > alleged Al Quaeda fighter, which is why I raised it. I simply used his
    > case as one example of perceived USAnian double standards on peace,
    > justice, liberty and human rights. It is not my intention to argue,
    > just to examine the oppositional constructs. However, as I am bound by
    > the constraints of my own justice memeplex, IMO the man has had no
    > trial, so we don't know if he is guilty of anything. Also, he is human
    > and deserves a basic level of humane treatment regardless of his
    > crime. It is my understanding that he has no immediate prospect of
    > either of these. The world sees events such as this through many
    > cultural lenses, 'Islamofascists' being just one small group.
    He is getting better treatment than most of the societies from which Al Quaeda terrorists are drawn give those they capture. He has not been dragged naked through the street as a crowd kicks and stones him, and he has not been summarliy shot in the head. Investigations continue; six of the Camp X-Ray inmates were recently released, after such investigations determined that they were not Al Quaeda operatives, however, the vast majority of those there were either captured in battle, were known operatives caught on the run, or were extensively surveilled before their sleeper celles were rolled up. All of this will come out in each individual case in a military tribunal - but they are not prisoners of war, as they were murdering in the name of a stateless terror organization, not engaging in battle on behalf of a country. Nevertheless, they are being furnished with all their basic needs and many amenities, including religiously permissable food and Islamic clergy. They were also, AFAWK, not tortured; the pictures of them restrained with their sense paths blocked showed how they were transported so as not to be a danger to their handlers, even though many have sworn to be dangers to all infidels for life.
    > >>Jeremy:
    > >> IMO, angels and devils are memeticly and culturally
    > >> specific constructs which lead to inescapably subjective
    > >> opinion-making. Lawry wants to talk about the formation and
    > >> foundations of a new dialogue between USAnia and the rest of the
    > >> world, but we can't do that without addressing the hypocrisy,
    > >> deceit and bullying by the US. For you they may be angels but IMO,
    > >> for much of the rest of the world they are the devils.
    > >>
    > Joe:
    > >They are definitely devils in the eyes of aggressive and bloodthirsty
    > > tinhorn despots and dictators. In such cases, the angels are those
    > >who the devils consider to be devils. And your attempt to foist
    > >absolute relativism (a contradiction in itself) into the discussion
    > >and thus reject all
    > >humanistic values whatsoever, founders on the rocks of who the
    > >despots and dictators are.
    > Jeremy: I agree here Joe, but the point that is more relevant is not
    > what the extremist thinks, we know that and we know, mostely, how
    > those opinions were formed. What I am more interested is in the
    > formation of more mundane realities in the minds of the masses.
    Many are obviously religiously formed, many others are ideologically formed, and subsequent facts, information, events and evidence seem to be filtered through these prior preconceptions.
    > Joe:
    > > One who fights one despot in the name of another, but who still
    > > plans to
    > turn his attention to you as soon as he is
    > >done, in the name of the same despot he is fighting for now, is not
    > >an angel. He is a memebotic robot who is commanded by a despot,
    > >wishing to murder for his 72 virgin houris right along with the rest
    > >of the Islamofascists, and his chosen despot simply tells him who to
    > >murder to breach the gates of Paradise. Many at camp X-Ray have
    > >stated that they are lifelong acolytes of Bin Laden, and will kill as
    > >many infidels as they can murder, as often as they can do it, if ever
    > >again given the chance. Are you sure your Aussie isn't among them,
    > >and if he is, do you really want him walking among you and yours?
    > Jeremy: Once again I agree, tho' I wouldn't have used these particular
    > words, that a "memebotic robot who is commanded by a despot" would not
    > be a good neighbour. However, as your libertarian democracy won't
    > allow him to be tried in a Court of Law and judged by a jury of his
    > peers, we don't know what he is - and neither do you.
    "Jury of his peers"?!?!? "We condemn you for not killing more of the hated pig-dog infidels, Abdullah!" He will be tried in a military tribunal, just like the rest of them, and will be given defence counsel with which to consult. He will not be summarily executed without trial, and if found guilty, may receive life or a long prison term rather than execution. If executed, his body will not be dragged naked through the streets of New York for its citizens to kick and stone.
    > >>Jeremy:
    > >> You may well ask why I am
    > >> so cynical about USAnian Foreign Policy Joe; Vietnam, in a word.
    > >>
    > Joe:
    > >Here's a phrase for you: WW II. And also the conflicts that the US
    > >has gotten into in the past 10 or 12 years, mostly at allies'
    > >behests, have not been those that anyone with a humanistic conscience
    > >and no personal agenda could conscientiously criticize. It is your
    > >own bias that choose Vietnam and Central America over WW I, II,
    > >Korea, and the more recent Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, Bosnia,
    > >Somalia, and on and on and on...
    > Jeremy:
    > What can I say? Vietnam was my war. It split society right down the
    > middle. We still haven't recovered from it. So sure I am biased. Do
    > you have no biases?
    I tend to be biased by recent events: What has the US done for the world lately? What has Al Quaeda done TO the world lately?
    > >>Jeremy:
    > >> I had
    > >> my innocence stripped away by the realisation that my mates died,
    > >> were wounded or were mentally scared for the benefit of Bell,
    > >> Boeing, GE, Westinghouse, etc. As one USAnian General said, "it's a
    > >> shity little war, but it's the only one we have got". IMO the
    > >> USAnian military/industrial complex needs a war at all times in
    > >> order to justify its existence and to keep the stock-market up. War
    > >> is kind of like viagra for a flaccid market, but I've got no shares
    > >> so I don't need it to be hard all the time. BTW don't think that
    > >> this is "America (sic) bashing", it is just my attempt at
    > >> explaining the memetics of difference. Jeremy
    > >>
    > Joe:
    > >Actually, it is several voices from the present and former military
    > >that have been arguing against an Iraqi engagement, because it would
    > >mean that they'd have to actually DO something with all that money
    > >they get shoveled their way. Most generals would prefer never to
    > >engage an enemy, and simply to train forever. And the effect upon
    > >the US economy of a war with Iraq has been calculated (by Nobel
    > >Laureate Robert Samuelson)to be highly negative (yet endurable);
    > >changing that regime would be happening IN SPITE OF the economic
    > >consequences, not BECAUSE OF them.
    > >>
    > Careful Joe, other empires have fallen this way. If you can't afford
    > this war, how can you afford the next one, and the one after that, and
    > the one after that? Indestructible America is a memetic construct Joe,
    > not a reality. Jeremy
    The 9/11 attack cost the US economy in excess of 100 billion dollars; it is a war which the US cannot afford NOT to wage. If necessary, the US would even return to WW II mode, with rationing, war bonds, and victory gardens; its adversaries have made a career out of underestimating US resolve.
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