RE: state of memes

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Sep 28 2001 - 05:19:00 BST

  • Next message: "Re: Evolution on PBS"

    Received: by id FAA16572 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Fri, 28 Sep 2001 05:23:55 +0100
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: state of memes
    Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 00:19:00 -0400
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 28 Sep 2001 04:19:00.0623 (UTC) FILETIME=[B31521F0:01C147D4]
    Precedence: bulk

    >From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: RE: state of memes
    >Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 10:49:47 -0400
    >Kenneth, I agree with your point. Here in Washington, there has been a
    >effort to raise the WHY question, but it is not a welcome one. The natural
    >reason for the resistence to the WHY question is that it leads to some not
    >so pleasing conclusions about how the US conducts itself internationally.
    >instead some people react to the WHY question by saying 1) that it lays the
    >foundation for appeasing terrorists, or 2) that as victims we don't have a
    >moral obligation to understand why (that in other words we have a right to
    >act irrationally), or 3) that we don't have time for that kind of
    >reflection -- we must act now, to protect ourselves from further attack, or
    >to punish the perpetrators, etc.
    >Generally, the tone of discussion in Washington is improving, people are
    >calming down, becoming less panicky, and we are beginning to think about
    >what happened and what we should do more more intelligently. There is still
    >a considerable way to go, and I believe eventually we will begin to
    >WHY. At that point we may see some welcome adjustments to how we conduct
    >ourselves internationally. The knee-jerk cowboy response is over; patience
    >and carefulness are entering into the debate. I, for one, would welcome
    >help of our friends overseas in thinking through the WHY question; we need
    >that outside perspective.
    Well the why question isn't too hard.

    1. Our (US-ian) presence in Saudi Arabia, happening to contain Mecca and
    Medina which are two holy Muslim sites. We had fought a campaign against a
    fascist upstart named Hussein who had been gassing Kurds and Iranians and
    had decided to flex his newfound muscles on Kuwait. Saudi Arabia is a
    strategic location to thump any other attempts by the butcher of Baghdad to
    assert himself is it not? Maybe the mujahideen could have done better all by
    themselves (sans stealth technology and smart bombs) or maybe they might
    have suffered the same gassings handed to the Kurds and Iranians previously.
    Whether Husseein should have been removed from power (with a resulting power
    vacuum) or whether the U.S. should have continued presence in Saudi Arabia
    are debatable, but the recent jihad strikes were unacceptable in regard to
    the latter.

    2. Our continued support of Israel, who though not all that clean handed wrt
    treatment of Palestinians would likely be driven into the Mediterranean if
    the Islamicist militants had their druthers.

    Aside from casuistric implications resulting from anti-Soviet policies
    whereby the U.S. played a hand in aiding the mujahideen and how this may
    have helped facilitate the emergence of some of the terrorist networks now
    seen across the globe, I think that may about exhaust the *why* unless
    someone feels like delving into the history of jihad into medieval Spain and
    the crusades.

    Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 05:29:01 BST