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Hi, Wade. Sorry for the delay -- the recent blizzard of list emails has been
both delightful and overwhelming. Digging out...
> >Re. your smallpox question: I can't imagine such a scenario, and
> would feel
> >terrible if anyone were to recommend this.
> It's mostly your run-of-the-mill genocide-solves-the-problem solution.
> Nations, and peoples, have seen it, and done it, before. It has never
> been a solution offered with any seriousness by any free state. But it is
> a solution we need to look at as possibly coming from outside of freedom.
> >do believe that there is
> >much we can do -- even now -- to improve significantly US relations with
> >other peoples.
> Let us not ask what others can do with us, but what we can do with
> others? It still takes two to make a successful relationship, or at least
> two committed to working on it. There's much needed to do to remove the
> sources of the fostering of hatreds, on both sides, as well as the climes
> of such sources.
Yes, it does take two and sometimes more to make a successful relationship.
I do believe that it is in our interest to take the initiative, along the
lines that I have been suggesting in other emails, for many reasons. The
first and foremost on my mind is that our actions are likely to have
increased the probability that we will be targeted yet again, and I would
like to see this defused before it happens. Second, as the society with the
resources and the education, we have the greater means to do so. Third, I
focus on what we can do because I have more influence here. If I were
Muslim, I would be focusing on policy makers in Cairo, Riyadh, Jerusalem,
I agree completely with your thought that "There's much needed to do to
remove the sources of the fostering of hatreds, on both sides, as well as
the climes of such sources."
Fortunately, we are not alone in wishing to do so. There are many Americans
who also want to do this, and many Muslims and Arabs. Everyone has been
terribly shocked by Sept 11, and perhaps the first requirement for moving in
this direction is having to get our thinking calmed and coherent.
> Parochialism of all stripes needs to be eradicated. And that, and its
> handmaiden, tribalism, have been at the beck and call of humanity all
> along. And they appear far from vestigial.
Can you say a bit more about what you mean by 'tribalism' and its dangers?
Might it be possible to create a sense of a species-wide tribe? And would
this be at all helpful or harmful?
> Tall orders, anyway, all this world peace stuff.
> - Wade
True, but for someone in my field, it is really the only order in town.
Again, apologies for the delay.
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