View Full Version : Iraq 2, and the Aiki of Politics

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Neil Mick
05-10-2004, 07:50 PM
Hello everyone:

In light of the locking of the Iraq-thread: I thought I'd begin a new thread on Iraq, with special attention paid to etiquette.

Many might suggest (as has Stanley Pranin, over in aikidojournal) that political discussion has no place in a website dedicated to Aikido. In a sense, this is true: politics tend to divide, rather than unite; and Aikido is an art of harmony.

However, Aikido exists in a world filled with conflict: should we stop training because there are wars going on?

In my mind: political discourse is much like training, in that we need to work at communicating with people with whom we might disagree. We're (I'm) not here to "convert" anyone; I'm here to state my views, to sound them out, and to hear (polite) feedback.

Attacking a view is (IMO) fair-game, but attacking a person directly is wrong. As another post-er once said: "hate the game; not the player."

With this intention in mind, I ask you--what are your thoughts on the current situation in Iraq? Please, state your opinions fully, but also respect the guidelines of this website. Leave your personal invectives out. It's one thing to say that "that's the craziest idea I have ever heard;" quite another to say that "you're just crazy." See the difference?

So, what's your take on Iraq, or the US policy of Occupation? We have had some new perspectives over on the other site, and I welcome your continued thoughts, over here.

05-11-2004, 05:15 PM
I just look at it this way; if someone came into my country and told me they are going to set up a better system of govenment for me but contract out all my resources to their countrie's companies, I'd be a little pissed to say the least. Americans wouldnt let it happen, so why should Iraq? Yes, Saddam was bad, he took all of Iraqs resources for himself. IF Iraq ever unties with Americas help, living standards will be much better. But, in some senses America will be controlling some of those resources just as Saddam did. What was the first thing we secured when we took the country over? ;) Not to mention that almost none of the Iraq reconstruction funds have spent over in Iraq, but rather in America for stuff such as campaigns! Hmmmmmm...

Its hard to believe just a year ago I was a proud Iowa boy ready to die for everything his country stood for. I was into Army ROTC all through high school and was planning on trying to get into Air Force Spec Ops. More specifically, a Combat Controller. I lived and breathed everything military.

Then, I learned of politics. I learned of special interest money, corruption, etc. You see this everywhere in the world, including America. The way the US government dealt with 9/11 BEFORE it happened and how it is dealing with things now has totally made me lose all taste to serve this or any government. I know want to serve for mankind. IMO, I don't see why the US has to "fight for peace" with weapons and violence. I think in some aspects there is some validity in the hate the US government has generated. In my experiences, typically people people just don't naturally hate each other. Fifteen out of the nineteen hijackers were Saudis and Saudi Arabia holds more terrorists than Iraq ever did, yet we are strong allies with them! Same thing with Pakistan. Not to mention that the Army War College stated that Iraq was an unecessary step in the war on terror. There is so much gray in all of this. I fear I will be helping out more trying to spread the word of acceptance of cultures...rather than aiding in the McDonaldization of them. IMO, it is the soldiers that get the shaft...US soldiers and Iraqi ones. Thats just a little summary of reasons why this and many wars have made me cringe. It is extremely easy to label someone a terrorist or a rebel. In Star Wars, I don't think many people sided with the Empire lol. Just because someone holds power doesnt make them the proper authority to follow. Think about it.

All in all, I find it ridiculous to wage war against a tactic (terrorism) that is less likely to kill me or others than a lightning strike or a plane crash. People don't understand that war is terror. Ten thousand civilians have been killed in Iraq. My ROTC buddy Nick, left recently for the middle east after being stuck in a combat mos; his wife is a disaster. Is that not terror in itself? The current state of governments around the world sicken me. Not the common people or soldiers; many of them are truly noble at heart. God bless us ALL. If you believe the cause is just, go fight. If you believe it isnt, speak out against it. (Although you may be punished for this.) Honestly, just don't be apathetic. Look further into things and see the truth.

05-11-2004, 07:42 PM
My life philosophy:

Does it make sense to justify acts of brutality because brutality is being committed?

If you are willing to kill, you must also be willing to be killed.

Fighting fire with fire only increases the size of the fire.

Neil Mick
05-11-2004, 09:07 PM
My life philosophy:

Does it make sense to justify acts of brutality because brutality is being committed?

If you are willing to kill, you must also be willing to be killed.

Fighting fire with fire only increases the size of the fire.

Well-stated: I completely agree.

05-12-2004, 07:04 AM
Fighting fire with fire only increases the size of the fire.Well, sometimes they do fight fire with fire. Eventually it decreases (or at least supposed to) the size of the fire.

05-12-2004, 09:59 AM
Yes, that is true...because then there is nothing left to burn. Idk, it was more of a figure of speech than anything.

05-12-2004, 10:06 AM
A figure of speech that's supposed to convey a certain message in the context of this thread, right? Well, I guess my response conveys a message as well :)

05-12-2004, 12:02 PM
Also true, but I think using fire to prevent more fire used in the context that I was thinking would go along with the brutality thing. I should have thought about that more thoroughly, yes. You are a very smart person, yes. Fire is a good thing, natural fire that is. I think the killing of people to stop the killing of people is way different, and I should have realized that. For every one of those civilians that were killed over in Iraq, I'm sure at least one of their family members will take up arms against the US. I feel this is what I was really trying to convey. Although some could argue that killing and power struggles are human nature, and I somewhat agree with that. That doesnt mean I have to feel it is right, though.

05-12-2004, 12:39 PM
Mitch, I have a feeling you took my comments in the way they weren't intended. I indeed understood your metaphor to mean that violence begets violence, and my response was to point out that at times violence can be your only option.

Neil Mick
05-12-2004, 09:58 PM
at times violence can be your only option.

Sorry, but while I do agree that at times violence is the only way out of a situation: all too often a person, group, or gov't feels that their only way out is violence, when there are other options.

Violence is a means of last resort; and it usually means that you have lost the vision to imagine alternatives.

05-12-2004, 10:26 PM
Sorry, but...It sounds like you're disagreeing, but I'm not sure with what... :)
Violence is a means of last resort...Sure; all that's left is to define what a last resort is....and it usually means that you have lost the vision to imagine alternatives.I do agree that leaders with vision are in short supply these days.
OT - how did it go in Turkey?

John Boswell
05-13-2004, 08:35 AM
So, what's your take on Iraq, or the US policy of Occupation? We have had some new perspectives over on the other site, and I welcome your continued thoughts, over here.

What's my take? I think Bush is going to easy on the terrorists. He's "making nice" with the Saudi's, Jordan and whoever else so as not to piss off EVERYONE in the region, but I think the time for niceness is passed.

Islamic Jihad is NOT Islamic at all. It is the bastardization of a few verses in a relligion being used to twist the moral fiber of millions of people. It's disgusting and it should be put down. The only thing that makes me even more mad about this whole thing is Mr. Mick's signature with his "casualty" counter. Um... hello? War? Ever heard of it? Between 8 and 10 thousand civilians are dead? Did you ever go back and count up the American dead from terrorist attacks? Overseas, I'm sure it will at least equal those numbers. 9/11 was quite a spike in the number, right?

Yet, everytime I see that little counter, I remember back in the 80's when Saddam gassed a whole town of his own people because they were against his rule.Mustard Gas... nasty stuff! Look it up. It's also a WMD, by the way. But who could blame those people for speaking out and fighting Saddam? MASS GRAVES are all over Iraq. Tens of thousands... Hundreds of thousands are dead thanks to a murderous dictator who everyone tried to play nice with for far too long. (umm... Hitler comes to mind as well)

Bush lied? Who the hell hasn't ??? Politicians are LIARS! That's what they do! They tell us what we want to hear and try to keep the country from destroying itself long enough for you and your kids to have a good life... no matter the cost and with money in their pockets at the end of the day. That is what they do.

The day Bush scares me is the day that he starts telling me the REAL truth about the world. THAT is the day I'm going to really worry about.

So get rid of the stupid little ticker, please. It offends me and in today's politically correct world, that is a political blunder. You must placate and bow to the will of the oppressed in this nation... and your numbers are oppressing me. :disgust:

"Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!"

~ peasent # 1, Monty Pythons: Search for the Holy Grail

05-13-2004, 08:41 AM
Jaime, c'mon, can't you take this offline? I'm sure everyone who's interested has already seen your similar posts in other threads...

John Boswell
05-13-2004, 08:45 AM
Don't sweat it, Daniel. Neil brought it on himself.

2 cents

John Boswell
05-13-2004, 08:58 AM
Something else I just thought of:

Anyone remember the Revolutionary War? People were being supressed by a government/dictator an ocean away. They were taxed into the ground, given no voice in the governing of themselves, people were killed for speaking their mind and protesting... and they fought back.

Things were going bad for the colonists and an outside country chose to intervene and help the oppressed population... and I'll bet trade and money was a big deciding factor in that decision. It was the French... helping the new American country, trying to get a foothold in the world and struggling for a better life.

For those people who think that America is butting in where we do not belong, I say we belong in anyone's business if that business is corruption and tyranny. Spin it anyway you care to, but if you break it down to the basics, that is where it comes from. Could it be done in a better way? Probably. But it doesn't deny the fact that American's fight for and will ALWAYS fight for Freedom.

05-13-2004, 09:21 AM
Jaime, I've yet to use the ignore feature on anyone here. I think one should try an approach of reasoning before resorting to the ignore button, and the level of discussion here would benefit from it.

05-13-2004, 09:59 AM
Once again, a thread in the Open Discussions forum devolves into personal attacks. This thread is now closed.

For the record, no one asked me to close the other thread nor this one, neither.

-- Jun