New Civilization News - Category: Violence, War    
 The sides of war10 comments
5 Mar 2003 @ 13:51, by ming. Violence, War
Britt Blaser posts some well-balanced thoughts about empowered dialogue in regards to war or no war.
"In the fall of 1967, I was flying C-130s in Viet Nam and my fiancée was marching for peace in Washington. We didn't see that as a conflict—more like covering both sides of the story. Nor did we feel any tension around this. I was there because I was expected to be there, and, having been born in 1942, I had grown up with the expectation of military service. She marched because our generation was working out a new voice and that view had to be sent to the politicians."
Indeed, it is not as simple as a for or against, and that everybody is just one or the other. It is vital to examine all sides. Preferably to step into the shoes of all sides. Personally I'm not even particularly a pacifist, in the sense of refusing all uses of violence. Sometimes it is the best solution to kill people. If you threaten me and my family enough with physical harm, and I don't see any other solution, I'd kill you too. But violence and death is a very real and serious matter. The people you kill will be dead. The people you didn't quite succeed in killing, or that were just accidentally standing too close to the action, they will be messed up. They'll have missing body parts, and they'll have lost people they loved. Their husbands and wives and children and parents. It is very ugly. It isn't just something you can decide remotely, to make a political statement. Anyway, Britt is somebody who's experienced war first hand, who's been shot at, shot down in a plane, who's pals have been killed, so I certainly pay attention to his angles on this. Anyway, one of the main points Britt is making here, which could lead to uncomfortable conclusions is along the lines of:
"If we don't occupy Iraq now, the body count goes up—not because that's where the terrorists are, but because we will not have been forceful enough to do so and silence the Arab machismo affect."
The idea being that there are terrorists out there. They'll kill people if they can get away with it. But it is more like a street fight than a war. But that it is necessary to send a signal of strength, or the other parties will exploit our weakness. Hm, I can see that, but at the same time I don't agree. I think that the people we're dealing with, in the Middle East, and the groups we're concerned with as sources of terrorism, I think they certainly respect strength. They might be likely to respect displays of power more than they respect talk. But at the same time they feel morally obliged to revenge and pay back injustices believed to be carried out against their people, whatever definition they have of what 'their' people are, or of what injustices are. I think that's the motivation. It isn't just because they can, and nobody's stopping them. Violence that in any way can be regarded as unjust will tend to foster more payback violence, in the form of terrorism. But strength itself doesn't necessarily create that backlash. I think the Arab machismo is a big factor, but I think the worst you can do about it is to humble it. The trick is to display unarguable strength, but not to force your opponents to lose face. If you do, they will be morally obliged to use their very last breath to try to regain their pride.

The whole thing has been handled badly in terms of diplomacy from the U.S. side. It is set up so that Bush, and his pal Blair, would lose face if they don't get their war. Because they've spent a lot of energy on talking about how they're going to bomb Iraq no matter what. So, of course, if they're forced to back down, it looks a bit stupid, and they look weak. They've played their cards very badly diplomatically. It could very well have been a useful thing to send all those soldiers and all that hardware down there to stand and look very threatening. It could have been done in a way where it would have been a victory if war didn't become necessary. Right now it would look like a loss of face, even if Hussein spontaneously disappeared altogether.

I don't think the lack of a war now would in any way increase the likelyhood of something worse happening later. On the contrary. What makes this war almost inavoidable is only the unwillingness of the side of the current U.S. administration to look weak, or to be caught being wrong. It is about proving that one is right by proceeding with the original plan, even though it was greatly bungled.  More >

 The Proof16 comments
13 Feb 2003 @ 23:59, by ming. Violence, War
Question: "What proof do you have that Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction?"

Colin Powell: "We kept the receipts."
That is a joke. But not all that much of a joke once you consider that the United States and Great Britain sold lots and lots of atomic, chemical and biological weapons material to Iraq, including rockets to deliver it with. See a list here of the companies involved.  More >

 Report on LET THE INSPECTIONS WORK
7 Dec 2002 @ 08:22, by spiritseek. Violence, War
This is very exciting. In only 36 hours, over 85,000 of us have
called on President Bush to let the inspections work. This'll be
one of our most successful petitions ever, and it underscores the
wide support for this message.

The other piece of great news is that, thanks to a tremendous and
speedy outpouring of contributions, we'll be able to run the New
York Times ad. (Many thanks to all of you who chipped in.) We'll
let you know how you can increase the ad's visibility when it runs,
which we hope will happen this coming Monday.

There's one more piece we need your help with. We're going to
publish the number of signers on the petition in the ad. The more
signers, the more impact the ad will have. The number we're
shooting for is 100,000 -- if we can hit that number, our statement
will have a lot more punch.

We need to get the final draft of the ad to the Times by the end
of the day TODAY. Let's tip it over the top. If you haven't
already signed the "Let the Inspections Work" petition, please take
a moment to do so right now at:

[link]  More >

 War is Fun19 comments
picture 23 Nov 2002 @ 20:21, by ming. Violence, War
Part of what keeps us all from living in an entirely peaceful world is that, if we're honest about it, most of us find guns and violence and war very entertaining. War makes for great programs on the History Channel. Violence makes for great action movies, and most of us cheer when the good guy kills the bad guy at the end. Guns are kind of cool and sexy. It is a powerful feeling to shoot a gun. Part of what motivates people to be police officers or soldiers is that you drive fast, or fly expensive toys, and you chase bad guys and you blow things up.

But what we like is exactly the game aspect of it. The thrill and risk, the power, the rush, the gadgetry, the stimulating special effects. But if we are really exposed to the effects of violence and war, very, very few of us would think that it is cool. Just one bullet, or the tiniest of bombs, do horrible things to human bodies. Just one life lost, or one life lived as an invalid, can be a huge tragedy for the people involved. The only way we accept it as a society is to be detached from it, by just watching it on TV and thinking about it abstractly. Yeah, let's go whip Saddam's ass real good. Looks good on TV. But we aren't able to fathom the scope of what several hundred thousand dead Iraqi children means. It is just numbers. And most Americans have never even heard about those numbers.

We'll have to embrace our desire for action and violence, and provide for it, without leaving all those innocent victims behind. I hear people giving visions of the future where there is no violence. "In the New Civilization there must be no violence!" Aha, ok, then what are you going to do with the people who want it? Outlaw boxing and wrestling? Action movies? Body piercing? Jackass stunts? That's all violent stuff, but it is violence that people volunteer for. And it is entertaining. Hoping that nobody will be interested in watching it just isn't going to work. Finding a harmonious relation between all sides of ourselves is more likely to take us somewhere.  More >

 War is Peace, which means villains are necessary.3 comments
picture1 Oct 2002 @ 15:28, by devic. Violence, War
War is Peace, which means villains are necessary.

Many thousands of years ago, the ethic of 'War is Peace' was conceived.
When war rages, or the threat of war looms overhead, the masses become focused on that impending doom. This clears the pathway for the ruling classes to lead a peaceful existence, well away from the gaze of the 'cattle' (that's you and I).

This is what the phrase 'War is Peace' actually means. It's a double-bound statement. The notion of war is and always has been a technique employed for keeping the masses in a state of perpetual fear. Divide and Rule. Order out of Chaos....  More >

 Now, Some Sanity From The Ivory Tower11 comments
26 Sep 2002 @ 01:28, by finny. Violence, War
Not sure how widely circulated this is. It surely is good news from the halls of power, somebody is standing up in order to be counted. A letter from former Secretary of State; Ramsey Clark to Kofi Annan. Has this been big news in the USA?

September 20, 2002

Secretary General Kofi Annan United Nations New York, NY

Dear Secretary General Annan,

George Bush will invade Iraq unless restrained by the United Nations. Other international organizations-- including the European Union, the African Union, the OAS, the Arab League, stalwart nations courageous enough to speak out against superpower aggression, international peace movements, political leadership, and public opinion within the United States--must do their part for peace. If the United Nations, above all, fails to oppose a U.S. invasion of Iraq, it will forfeit its honor, integrity and raison d'etre.

A military attack on Iraq is obviously criminal; completely inconsistent with urgent needs of the Peoples of the United Nations; unjustifiable on any legal or moral ground; irrational in light of the known facts; out of proportion to other existing threats of war and violence; and a dangerous adventure risking continuing conflict throughout the region and far beyond for years to come. The most careful analysis must be made as to why the world is subjected to such threats of violence by its only superpower, which could so safely and importantly lead us on the road to peace, and how the UN can avoid the human tragedy of yet another major assault on Iraq and the powerful stimulus for retaliatory terrorism it would create.  More >

 "Against War"9 comments
7 Sep 2002 @ 21:21, by finny. Violence, War
Against War September 08, 2002 By Neve Gordon

I am against the war, the (perpetual) war on terrorism as well as the war against Iraq. I am against empire, the control of nearly 40 percent of the world's resources secured by the deployment of air, naval, and ground forces in over 800 bases across the globe. And I am against deception; the claim that United States foreign policy is aimed at ensuring freedom, justice and democracy around the world, when in fact its overseas agenda is driven by corporate greed, power and domination.  More >

 A Lesson From 9/1110 comments
2 Sep 2002 @ 08:58, by craiglang. Violence, War
The events of 9/11 bring to mind a dream which I had four years ago. I didn't note the date but I think that it was approximately 9/11/98. I never considered it prophetic at the time, but after 9/11, my perspective changed. Could it have been prophecy? I wonder...

Still, rather than being predictive, I wonder if it's purpose could have been to tell us more about the lessons from 9/11. To me, the formemost lesson is that war is not the answer. The lesson of 9/11 is peace!  More >

 ELIMINATION OF ALL FUTURE WARS1 comment
2 Aug 2002 @ 11:35, by xtremdufas. Violence, War
IF INTERNATIONAL LAWS WERE ENACTED TO THE EFFECT THAT ALL POLITICIAN'S CHILDREN WERE THE FIRST TO BE PUT IN HARMS WAY IN THE EVENT OF WAR - THEN WE WOULD ALL SEE THE INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE BRAINSTORMING SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD BE DEVELOPED -INSTEAD OF HARM COMING TO THEIR LOVED ONES.  More >

 Arms, Climate Change, and the Grand Media Deception4 comments
29 Apr 2002 @ 19:21, by finny. Violence, War
ZNet Commentary Arms, Climate Change, And The Grand Media Deception by Dave Edwards [link]

In a recent Guardian article, Julian Borger reports a massive 11% increase in U.S. defence spending. It is estimated that by 2007 defence spending will be 20% higher than average cold war levels. While September 11 is cited as justification, the increase is actually dedicated to promoting cold war-style weapons systems useless in the "war against terrorism".

Paul Krugman of the New York Times writes, "The military build-up seems to have little to do with the actual threat, unless you think that al-Qaida's next move will be a frontal assault by several heavy armoured divisions." (Borger, 'Bush billions will revive cold war army', the Guardian, February 6, 2002)

So what does the build-up have to do with? According to Peter Beaumont and Ed Vulliamy of the Observer, it's a mystery:

"So why the need for more and better military power? The answer is that even the military analysts are baffled." (Beaumont and Vulliamy, 'Armed to the teeth', the Observer, 10 February 2002)  More >



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