I have done my best to frame this in a way which does not come over as a personal attack, if you still have a problem with it, please feel free to delete and I will try again].
Just to set the record straight, sir, the word "still" is out of place. I never saw your original post which was removed, so I had not had a problem with whatever you said in the first place. That was Ron's call, not mine. My skin is not that thin that I would complain.
No the word “still” wasn’t out of place. If you look again, my comment was addressed specifically to Ron not to you. I am well aware of your tolerance threshold and I thank you for it. Actually, it’s a shame you didn’t see my original post, as I feel fairly sure that you wouldn’t have viewed it as in any way personally disparaging; but like you say, it’s Ron’s call.
The distinction has to be made between the terrorists you refer to who are basically people who like killing other people, and who are in a tiny tiny minority, and the vast majority who are misguided or misinformed or simply determined to be heard.
I agree the terrorists are the tiny minority but they are the ones who rule. The taliban was a tiny majority of Afghanistan and yet they ruled the country with an iron fist. In Africa, the ones who massacre are also in the minority and yet thay are the ones who rule, also. Majority and minority ae redefined by those who have the weapons and the power. Who is more at fault...those who rule or those who allow thmselves to be ruled?
You make some very interesting points here Mike. Firstly I think that we’d have to be careful about what you mean by “rule”. I think that what you are getting at is that either killers rule directly and personally, as with, say a South American drug cartel or by proxy, as, to some extent the IRA did in Ireland. There are also questions of complexity and scale, and whether the “rule” is simply by stick, or whether carrot is involved as well. So it’s not simple. But you might say that at one end of the scale you have a drug baron who points a gun at his employees while also making them wealthy with dirty money. In that example sure, I agree with your implication that the employees are nearly as culpable as the employer, although the pointing gun lets them off the hook a little I guess. At the other extreme, you have the position the Southern Irish were in, and then in the middle such situations as Saddam in Iraq, and, as you say, the Taliban.
In those scenarios, partly because of the scale and the complexity I think it’s dangerous to assume that there is “fault” on the side of the majority. Sure, you could say that the whole German people were partly at fault for allowing themselves to be brainwashed, bullied, intimidated, enticed and carried away on a wave of mass hysteria – but the way to combat that would have been either to remove the elements which were doing the enticing and manipulating (the real evil) and/or to counter the effect of it with truth and reconciliation. What is never helpful in such situations is to make the patently false assumption that the masses are all intrinsically bad too, and then to play right into the hands of the evil that manipulates them by making frivolous videos about their beliefs.
That’s why I say Bush was right. He didn’t take the view that the masses in Iraq were at fault or wrong – he dived straight in (albeit in a more gung ho way than might have been advisable) and chopped off the head.
Same in Afghanistan, the West hasn’t stood on the sidelines and moaned and whinged about the nasty beliefs of the Afghan people, we have tried to combat the real evil.
Bush and Blair were right about “hearts and minds” – and trashing a whole belief system simply because a small minority is trying to impose it upon you is wrong. (Ok, it just occurs to me that that is exactly what we should have done about Nazi beliefs; I haven’t got time to explore that right now though).
“Spiking the football” – got it Mike, see what you mean. I think we all know that anything goes in elections! I don’t doubt that you are right about some of what Obama and his team are doing, I’d do the same; I’m sure the Republicans do too. Gets a bit tiresome, but I guess it’s inevitable given our adversarial democratic system. Thanks for taking the time to explain.
I’m following the progress of the video fallout with interest. There’s a lot of stuff flying around right now, so I’ll just wait a little longer before commenting.
On a more serious note, the Royal family seem to have competent lawyers, they actually seem to be making some progress in the great Cover Up Kate Campaign.
Amazingly, it looks like some of the pictures may never see the sunlight and lose their tan lines.