Out Making Anticlines
You’re right, Noah – this thread doesn’t belong here. My own feeling is that all political talk should be limited to The Alley or a forum like it, including the pap that is being posted in Open, much of which reads more like a bunch of re-formatted party press releases than actual poetry. To me, political wrangling is more offensive than obscenity, because it goes on and on, solves nothing, and almost invariably creates hard feelings.
I don’t have any toward you. I think you’re being a model of forbearance here, and I respect your right to hold the opinions you do. I hope you always have that right, though if we lose this battle, the right to voice political opposition will be the first casualty after the right to have or not have any religion you choose.
Ron – I’m supposed to be trying to sway people’s opinions? How silly. In a past life, I used to inhabit the political newsgroups. I’ve never seen a single instance in which a person from the center was able to change the opinion of someone on the left, and it very seldom happened with people on the right. So I won’t play that game. I’ll say what I think, and if maturity eventually changes someone’s viewpoint that’s fine, but I won’t expect it.
Israel has fought endless wars, because they’ve been endlessly attacked, since the very day the nation was re-formed in 1948. They’re surrounded and outnumbered by something like 20-1, by countries that have the stated intention of killing them all, and most of whom hold up Hitler as a national hero because of his great success in doing just that. The fact that they still exist after nearly six decades is their victory, and it is proof that their wars were successful. Meanwhile, all their attempts at conciliation and appeasement have resulted in more attacks.
True, the last thing you should do is attack, but the first thing you must do is defend, and sometimes defending means going into the enemy’s territory and clobbering him badly enough that he either can’t hurt you again, or loses interest in doing it because the price is too high. That’s what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sure, they crave attention – and if they don’t get it by being wiped out in those places, they’ll get it by staging more of the spectacular attacks that make them look like conquering heroes.
I DO believe in labeling those who want unconditional peace, because to me the words “I’m a pacifist” translate to “I’m a fool.” Of course war is the last option, but in this case it has been demonstrated that it’s the only option which has a chance of working now. We’re in a war of civilizations, and we are already losing by having failed to fight back for a couple of decades.
Midnite – You’re putting up more strawmen than Ron did. Please don’t make fatuous overstatements and try to pin them on me.
I don’t care if Neville Chamberlain himself has signed up. Failing to oppose fascist aggression is as wrong now as it was in the run-up to World War II, and the potential consequences now are even worse.
I dare make that connection because it is true. That isn’t to say Noah’s people actively support the ones who have declared war on us, but it is to say that by attempting to keep us from fighting back, they are directly contributing to the killing of innocent people and the damaging of all our lives. There is a museum in Vietnam now, dedicated to the honor of the American peace activists who helped North Vietnam win that war (for what it’s worth, Mr. Kerry’s picture is there in a place of special honor). They were for peace, but they caused innocent people to die, and left others living in slavery.
You’re right, it is a horrible tragedy, and it is up to us to stop that tragedy, because our enemies won’t. The way out, is through.
Those who oppose the war aren’t necessarily for terrorism and murder, though it’s patently obvious that a few of them are. I hope a non-violent way can be found, but so far in the world’s history it never has, at least not that I have heard about. I don’t know of a single instance in which pacifism has stopped a war. There may be some, but if there are, I’ve never heard of them.