New Civilization News: The sides of war    
 The sides of war10 comments
5 Mar 2003 @ 13:51, by Flemming Funch

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.


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10 comments

5 Mar 2003 @ 17:17 by sharie : The Plan
The plan is to steal oil, so they can rule the world. They don't give a damn about diplomacy, or what's right, or what's democratic. If they did, they wouldn't be in the White House. The film "Unprecedented" [link] is playing here tomorrow night.  


7 Mar 2003 @ 00:55 by b : Fear, hate, chaos
USA is a democratic republic. That is, it has structure, succession, and the people speak. A key foundation is:seperation of church and state. another is:democracy is a step up from fuedalism. Members of a religion who band together(57 member islamic conference nations ) for political purpose, use their religion to dictate to the democracies. Built on a framework of lies, enforced by repetition reading, chanting the same book(that authorizes much killing of non muslims) causes lack of general knowledge of the world. Islam in the 21st century is the only religion whose members defile other religions churches, temples, shrines, graves. Iraq is a target for using Islam to justify its political existence so it can(the political entity Iraq) threaten USA. Oil is a part of the victors spoils. Devotion costs.
There was a mass murderous attack on New York City and USA on 9-11 and it was not about oil. I think it was about fear of free women. But, what do I know?  



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