StopWar

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The idealists of each generation speculate that war could be eliminated in their generation. The senselessness of endless cycles of retaliation, the shallowness and fleeting nature of military victories, and the death and destruction of war seem below civilized humanity as a reasonable means of conflict resolution.

But the cynics point out that the HumanBeing is violent and selfish and bound to extract and escalate cycles of revenge and propagate hatred in UsAndThem conflicts until we ultimately destroy ourselves.

The prophets predict an Armageddon where 2/3 of everything and everyone is wiped out in a great war before the new civilization of peace and prosperity emerges. Nostradamus claimed that these premonitions are not set in stone and offer us an opportunity to avert calamities that might otherwise occur. If the new civilization can be achieved first, Armageddon can be avoided.

In the world today the stabilization of the balance of power is over, the US has become the self elected PoliceForce of the world turning small bands of (formally CIA supported) terrorists who hate the US into whole nations and cultures of US haters. The face of war is changing, it is no longer only one land against another land it is peoples scattered world wide and within our borders who's hatred we are provoking daily. The terrorists gave their lives to provoke us into retaliatory actions that would lead to the next great war. We have been like putty in their hands. A year later we sit here contemplating our next escalation of the hostilities. We ignore the sovereign rights of nations and ignore the United Nations. We validate the legitimate use of war and the disregard for international law on a daily bases.

We could be a gentle giant, we could uphold, truth, justice, and the American way for all people everywhere by upholding international law and the self determination of all peoples giving then no reason to hate us.

Yet war seems inevitable and it is creating TheDivide in our paths to unification.

How do WE get there?

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. 
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. 
This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. 
Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how I hate all this,
how despicable and ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an
action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
-- Albert Einstein

I second that emotion -- JimScarver

When you kill while you are naked and barefoot, you are a savage. When you kill in a uniform, you are a soldier. What's the difference? There are times in ones life where taking another life is the only way to survive. The problem is when people start killing for money (or oil), or religion (or skin color) or anything other than the fact that there is someone at your door trying to kill you first.

We were attacked and many of our family members, friends, and fellow countrymen were killed, lost their jobs and had their lives turned upside down. So let's go do that to other people too! NO. Our government now thinks that they should send more of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers into harm's way.

I read today that so far, 40 US soldiers have died in Afghanistan since we waged war against the taliban. We killed way more of them then we lost. What a victory. There are only 40 families in this country who will never see their loved one again. Children growing up without fathers, Wives having to raise those children by themselves. Maybe Mr. Bush, who has no chance of ever having to put himself in harm's way thinks that's a victory. But I only see 40 defeats. --JaLong

http://xanthus.net/jim/prayer.html
http://socsci.colorado.edu/~jonesem/betterworld/intro.html
http://www.globalactionpw.org/faq.html
http://www.stopwarnow.org/htmls/manifesto.html
http://www.democracynow.org/
http://www.internationalanswer.org/index1.html
http://www.warresisters.org/


Stephen Lewis wrote:

I'm not quite sure where you stand on this issue. As for myself, I'd have to say that war was declared on us on 9/11/2001.

Afterwords I heard the expected calls for "understanding" those who would do such a thing. I said then, and I say now: I am done trying to understand them. It is time that they understand US.

Most of them died September 11th. The problem with retaliating against suicide bombers is that they are already dead. Israel is firm about retaliating against every action against them, but they kill the wrong people making 10 enemies for each enemy that took their own life.

I still hear a great deal about the "cycle of violence", and how it should be broken, as if it were as simple as that, as simple as refusing to indulge in a fistfight with some bully. In the meantime, Islamic factions, for reasons which no doubt seem good and just to them, have created and fostered a culture of death and destruction, of reducing women to the status of property, of harsh and often fatal brutality to any who might disagree with them, however mildly.

The problem with cycles of vengeance is that they have positive feedback that escalates the conflict. Some primitive civilizations would kill one person from the next tribe every year. This kept the violence down to two deaths for year. Sometimes, when the missionaries convinced them to stop the useless cycle of retaliation, it was taken as a sign of weakness and they ended up being decimated by the opposing tribe. What is right? Should the killing go on year after year? I don't think so. But breaking the cycles of vengeance is not a simple a just stopping. It is certainly not just giving the bullies free reign to abuse you.

All right. Suppose you simply refuse to get into a fight with an arrogant bully. Let us say that he tries to provoke you by beating up someone you have a passing acquaintance with. It may still be easy to stand nobly above his level. Now let us suppose he begins to beat a close friend. It is not quite so easy now, but no doubt still endurable. Now let us suppose he begins to beat your child. Still feeling noble?

At this point, what are your options? I suppose you could try to talk him out of it, but I rather doubt that that approach will work well. You could, of course, stoop to fighting him yourself, which may save your child a second black eye, but what of your principles then? Now you have bought right into the mythical "cycle of violence". There is, of course, another possibility.

You could pay him or give him something to induce him to stop. This may well work, especially if one of his stated reasons for wanting to hurt you is his assertion that you unfairly have more than he does. However, there is a small catch to this approach. The next time he has mulled over how unfair it all is, he'll be back, attacking your child until you give him something more. At this point, you have bought into the "cycle of extortion". Eventually, he will have everything you once did, because you have taught him that he can get anything he wants through violence, and that you are perfectly willing to be the sheep for his wolf. You may dress this up in all sorts of high-sounding words and phrases, but the results will not be changed one bit for all that.

Now, I'm sure someone will point out that one could call the police, solving the matter without soiling ones hands one way or the other. I would point out that a police force is often effective only insofar as it presents a threat of force with a countering threat of force. Are your principles still as pure and shining simply because you asked somebody else to do the dirty wo rk?

As a Christian I am tempted to turn the other cheek, but I know his time has not yet come and that will not work. We must stand up to bullies forcefully, but it would be wrong for me to beat up his friend and his kid. It might make him think twice the next time, but now his mothers and friends family will be after me. I've made my situation worse.

It has been repeated and repeated that "violence never solves anything". I would say that INSUFFICIENT violence never solves anything. If the Palestinians could somehow kill all the Israelis, or the Israelis somehow kill all the Palestinians, I have no doubt that that blood-soaked bit of the Middle East would be peaceful...for a while at least.

I think that's a bit naive, you know the world would not sit still if either of those things happened, That would only fuel the Arab / western conflict.

However, while the more militant Palestinians (the ones who tend to murder any Palestinian who disagrees with them too openly) have said more than once that it is their burning desire and holy mission to kill all the Israelis. I have yet to hear of any Israeli call for the extermination of all the Palestinians.

Now, I'm sure someone will point out that one could call the police, solving the matter without soiling ones hands one way or the other. I would point out that a police force is often effective only insofar as it presents a threat of force with a countering threat of force. Are your principles still as pure and shining simply because you asked somebody else to do the dirty wo rk?

As a Christian I am tempted to turn the other cheek, but I know his time has not yet come and that will not work. We must stand up to bullies forcefully, but it would be wrong for me to beat up his friend and his kid. It might make him think twice the next time, but now his mothers and friends family will be after me. I've made my situation worse.

It has been repeated and repeated that "violence never solves anything". I would say that INSUFFICIENT violence never solves anything. If the Palestinians could somehow kill all the Israelis, or the Israelis somehow kill all the Palestinians, I have no doubt that that blood-soaked bit of the Middle East would be peaceful...for a while at least.

I think that's a bit naive, you know the world would not sit still if either of those things happened, That would only fuel the Arab / western conflict.

However, while the more militant Palestinians (the ones who tend to murder any Palestinian who disagrees with them too openly) have said more than once that it is their burning desire and holy mission to kill all the Israelis. I have yet to hear of any Israeli call for the extermination of all the Palestinians.

You are de-humanising Palestinians. Israel has succeeded in alienating even their greatest Palestinian supporters with that sort of reasoning. They follow many of the same sacred texts and worship the same God. Their mothers don't want them to die in war. They are human beings that for the most part want to live in peace and harmony. Islam means peace.

I have heard the interminable lists of grievances, real, imagined, or distorted, cited by Islamaniacs as justification for their acts of terror and murder. That some of these grievances sound reasonable and should be addressed, however, has become irrelevant. Within Islam, a toxic and murderous culture has sprung up, one which delights in massacre, destruction, and terror.

More terrorists who attacked America are Americans in America than all other terrorist nations put together, why don't you wipe out the Americans first, that would solve the problem.

If concessions are made to redress past grievances, in the hopes that the destruction will cease, all that those murderous people will learn is that they can get anything they want through more massacre, destruction and terror. These people are a cancer which will consume all Islam, and eventually everything else, unless they are excised. The longer the necessary operation to re move them is put off, the more they will metastize, and the more healthy tissue will have to be removed along with them, if and when the necessary operation is performed.

To return one unlawful act with another legitimizes unlawfullness. Making concessions to a bully is wrong, so is becoming one yourself except when your only other choice is eminent death. Vengeance may be the only choice. If a dog bites me I'll kick it and make sure he knows I'm top dog. The reason the dog bit me, however is not addressed by that action. The dog was poorly tr ained, probably abused, and allowed to be where he could hurt people. Kicking one dog just makes me a dog kicker and will not prevent another dog from biting me. Addressing the causes is the only chance to improve things.

We have been attacked. By "we", I mean what we are pleased to call the civilized world, not just the United States. We are at war. WhWhethere declare war or not, the fact remains that a demented and ruthless enemy has declared war on us. What we do about it is all that matters now.

Stephen John Lewis

Yes, the civilized world was attacked, but the United States has not demonstrated that it is part of that world. A civilized country would follow international law and not infringe on the sovereign rights of other nations that have done nothing against them.

The world trade center was an international building in an international city killing people from all over the world. If we chose not to be an international bully ourselves we might have kept the high moral ground. As things escalate, we are proving the terrorists right about America and justifying their cause. Using military action to discourage suicidal individuals is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

-- JimScarver


Okay, you have at least made a stab at a reasoned argument here, unlike Fenwick who went straight to insults and personal attack. I would point out, however, that I have not "dehumanized" Palestinians. I have simply pointed out that SOME Palestinians are murderous lunatics. I would also like to bring to your attention the Palestinian families who have celebrated the immolations of their homicide-bomber relatives. This does not look to me like mothers unwilling to lose their sons in war.

AND I WOULD POINT OUT, in case you missed it, calls from Islamic "holy men" for a jihad to wipe the Jews (and sometimes the Americans as well) off the face of the Earth. THIS HAS HAPPENED. IT CONTINUES TO HAPPEN. Am I dehumanizing Moslems because I point this out?

On the other hand, you seem to assume that if you fight the bully his whole family will now come after you. It may be that his family is as heartily sick of him as is everybody else, but like everybody else they are afraid to do anything about it. They might even cheer you on.

I fail to grasp your idea about killing all the Americans. I'm sure you were trying to make a point here, but I am not at all sure what it might have been.

Stephen John Lewis

You pointed out that there are crazy Palestinians, I pointed out there are a lot of crazy American terrorists such as in various militias and survivor groups as well. If bombing the Palestinians is right, let's bomb America first, there are more terrorists here anyway and we won't have any more problems, and al least the rest of the world won't suffer at our hand.

You say there are Muslim extremists but deny the Jewish extremists. I think you are being naive, I know some. In fact they exist in every religion and nationality. Your own prejudice is evident to any of the deamonized others who are reading this. Why not just wipe out everybody?

Sure there is prejudice on both sides. You claim they are against us and and they claim we are against them. Guess what, ever body is right. And it could come down to it being us or them and we can further deplete our pathetic genetic diversity by war. America seems intent on bringing it to that.

But we are all individual human beings from a relatively small line of decedents. We already wiped out all the other humanoid species and most of the family lines in our own species as well.

Ask any animal trainer how an animal will behave if you punish it every time it makes a mistake. It won't learn and it will become defensive and ultimately dangerous. People are animals too, our behavior is conditioned by positive feedback. When we escalate these cycles of vengeance we are not being strong, we are being stupid. Behavioral science tells us what we can expect in return, but we Igor it. Skinner's Law tell us how we can elicit the behavior we want, but we ignor that also. One guy on the other side says something bad about us and we are are blissfully unaware that we are saying pretty much the same things about them.

Some day we will stop wiping ever body else of the earth and cherish the little diversity we have left. Someday we will look at people as individuals human beings rather than Americans or Palestinians or Jews. We will find that most of us are good and that there are bad elements are in every sector. Someday we will learn that there is no other to deamonize. Someday, though we must protect ourselves from them, we will find that there is even hope for our bad children if we show them a better way.

In the international arena American has failed to uphold the principles it claims to hold dear. We claim to support freedom and self-determination but our policies make it clear that is only for Americans. We spout human rights and democracy only when we have a political interest in doing so. We have covertly meddled in the affairs of most countries. Why is it that most of the terrorist leaders were formally supported by the CIA? Do we have no culpability? Are we hated for no reason? We don't need to be weak, but a little affirmative action might be called for. Our foreign affairs have been an embarrassment to the principles we stand for.

Let us not be weak, but be strong in our conviction to protect the rights of all people everywhere. Let us stop the hypocrisy and be ready to give our lives for freedom of every individual human being everywhere. There is no power on earth that could hope to defeat us and thus no more war.

-- JimScarver


I used to think that John Lennon's "Imagine" was corny and played out. Poor John was hopelessly idealistic. But I think that his is the conclusion that we all come to once we've thoroughly talked about it and thought about it.

Imagine there's no countries
No Religion
nothing to kill or die for
A brotherhood of man

the song had meaning for me "when i got there"
so, John got there
lots of people got there before him
I got "there"

What do we do now- how do we take it to the next level.

  • I think American democracy was the last benchmark and that we are primed for the next. How do we get it rolling? If Sept 11 isn't enough to light a fire under us i don't know what is. I am willing to do my part. --JamesJr
    • Join the discussion group below james. That is one place. See SpecialInterests for how WE can be one. popscarver


Law is the organized monopoly of violence. --JaLong

  • Then may WE legislate it wisely.

This discussion is ongoing in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/collective_intelligence

On Sept 11 I watched new york burn from our building in Newark NJ. http://www.xanthus.net/jim/prayer.html


In the wake of the Bush UN and anniversary speeches the rally and drums of self-righteous America embarking on an internationally unsupported war sickens me. But at the same time I concede that the threat of unilateral action may be justified in this case. And it may be right to depose Saddam with or without UN support.

We must show we back up our threats IF WE remain certain that WE are right, and our action is necessary. Then, and only then, should we solemnly and regretfully and with reverence for life embark on annihilating fellow human beings with weapons of mass destruction.

Was it necessary in Afghanistan? Did we need to vaporize whole valleys of people with super bombs? Did we need to burn alive unknown humans in their cave shelters. Perhaps. The world accepts our actions there for the most part. Who am I to say now that we could have used UN action and maybe blown up fewer people. I assume we can find a better way if we are willing to look for it, but what is done is done, perhaps next time we will find a way that is both more civilized and more effective by applying our collective intelligence should WE have the will to do so.

It has been surmised that war will continue until it is perceived as vulgar to civilization. As long as it is thought of as wicked, or noble and honorable international dualing will continue. I don't know how to change the perception of war. If the inherent ugliness of war is not enough to make war vile, what more can I say? I can only pray that WE seek a higher road and the find the better way. --JimScarver


Baghdad 9/14/02: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz addressing a press conference, saying that compliance with UN arms inspections must go hand- in-hand with lifting of sanctions and an end to US and British air raids. from http://frontierpost.com.pk/

Can we be reasonable? If we lift sanctions and stop raids in exchange for iraci compliance with the UN we can protect ourselves without firing a shot. We can always sanction them again and continue bombings if they again fail to comply. We have nothing to lose.

We can't, we are animals, we just want to blow the fuckers up. Boy do I wish I was wrong. The truth is not pleasant. Though Bush's speech surprised many, time will tell if it was just more US lies. See BushTriumps


Why should we give in to them? They are the ones in violation of the terms of the UN resolutions. By lifting the sanctions, we are doing nothing more then rewarding their non-compliance. Think about it. Do you reward your children for throwing food at you when eating dinner by giving them money and buying them presents? No.

By linking something they agreed to do, and are required to do with other things, they show they are not serious about complying. They are manipulating and bargaining with the world for things they are already supposed to have told us they would do. Why should we have to reward them to think about complying with what they've agreed to? If they don't like the bombings, then we should start leveling everything until they comply. Every day they try to show 'unconditional compliance' by negotiating terms, they should have a power plant bombed into nothing. After the power plants, water systems. Keep picking apart their infrastructure, until Saddam's wives, mistresses, and family cannot stand it, and they will pressure him to play by the rules he's already agreed to play by.

  • The alternative to them complying is not necessarily bombing their children. Sure police action may be needed. A change in regime may be required. But is is NOT NECESSARY that we piss off the entire world and show that the way to solve problem is to demand our way and attack anyone who don't comply on our own authority without recourse or representation of the sovereign nation we would invade. We must stop presenting ourselves as the bully of the world. No nation anywhere recognizes our immunity to international law. There is no international law without US support. Even preemptive sticks are legal in international law when real risks can be shown. But even in these cases we must learn to seek the higher road and resolve the problem without bloodshed when possible. If we must act it should be solemnly, not self-righteously.

If all nations know that war is illegal by the power of all nations together, there will be no reasonable justification for any small nation to build up defensive weapons of mass destruction. --JimScarver


Saddam could redeem himself by declaring that he will step down if Bush does. What an Idea! We can be rid of both of them! -- JimScarver

George's StateOfTheUnion confirms he is determined to conquer TheDivide.


Can Human Shields stop the war? http://humanshields.org/

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Related Topics

See WorldGovernment, TheDivide, Islam, WarInIraq, EvolutionaryGameTheory

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