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Old 07-18-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
Taliesin
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A President's Thought

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:24 PM   #2
Hogan
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace....
Too bad terrorists don't believe in peace - only your death.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: A President's Thought

One man's terrorist is another man's patriot.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
Hogan
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Re: A President's Thought

A hearty, cool glass of milk is another lactose-intolerant man's nightmare.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
John Hogan wrote: View Post
A hearty, cool glass of milk is another lactose-intolerant man's nightmare.
lol
Aint that the truth.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:46 PM   #6
Cady Goldfield
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Re: A President's Thought

We bargain from a position of strength, not from weakness. I'd rather grant peace because I'm powerful; not beg for peace because my neck is under the boot of another.

And thank heavens I'm not lactose-intolerant.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:35 AM   #7
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

John

If Terrorists are those who kill and torture to maintain power - what does that make the USA's current President and VP???

Looking forward to your evasive reply
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: A President's Thought

This current war is probably the most humane war we've undertaken. If even a slight rumor that our soldiers have killed civilians gets out, there's an inquiry. and that's from a rumor, not cold hard facts. We have severe rules of behaviour. Our enemies? Strapping bombs to anything in sight and blowing up anyone at all.

Yeah, there's similarities between us. For those that can't read well, that last sentence is all sarcasm. If you really can't tell the difference between us, our president, and the way we're conducting this war, why don't you go ask Daniel Pearl how he was treated by terrorists. Oh, wait. They beheaded him and he was only a journalist. Can't ask him. How about the 3000 innocent civilians at the twin towers? Oh, yeah, they decided to purposefully strike civilian targets and kill men, women, and children.

All this "Bush lied, people died", "Bush is a terrorist", "Bush is a nazi", "this war is our Vietnam", etc is some of the worst intellectual dishonesty I've seen. It comes from people who can't reason, think, or have any intellectual substance at all, but rather fall back on sloganed rhetoric that's usually just being spewed back like a tape recorder being replayed again and again.

Our current president has kept U.S. citizens safe ever since the terrorists murdered innocent people on September 11th, 2001. There is a very huge difference between our actions and the terrorist's actions.

And one man's terrorist is most decidedly not another man's patriot. A patriot would never use a knife to hack off a journalist's head. A patriot would never use a plane to kill innocent men, women, and children. A patriot would never use a bomb strapped to his/her chest to kill innocent kids. Would you liken one man's patriot to the Dahmer's of the world? Those that prey on the innocent?

If you really can't tell the differences, I suggest a visit to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, etc and find a place among the terrorists. Just give that thought some undivided attention and think about long and hard. Think about truly doing it, being there. And if those thoughts somehow give you an uneasy feeling, then you know in some part of yourself that there are differences. Here, you won't be killed. There, your chances are a lot greater that you'll be tortured and/or murdered. Here you can say and write what you want. There you would be killed for those actions.

If you really can't tell the difference between our actions and these:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/iraq

then there isn't any need for us to converse.

Mark
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:50 AM   #9
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
John

If Terrorists are those who kill and torture to maintain power - what does that make the USA's current President and VP???

Looking forward to your evasive reply
One man's evasiveness is another man's answer.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #10
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

Mark

Nice Try ... BUT... - The only difference between killing innocent civilians by bombs dropped by planes and worn by suicide bombers is that suicide bombers only do so once.

BTW I did like your line "A patriot would never use a plane to kill innocent men, women, and children". (Please see Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Bomber Harris etc)

The suggestion that 'Our side' (including us Brits) do not torture is absurd.

The fact that the arguments put forward to support invasion of Iraq were all lies told by GWB and his Poodle Tony B-Liar are fact. The consequences including literally thousands of deaths are also undisputed fact - are you really suggsting FACTS are intellectual dishonesty? Or is it intellectually dishonest to consider all facts, even the invonvienient ones.

If a terrorist is some who used force and kills people with the powers at command for his own power and benefit - the GWB is one. (But no he's not a Nazi)

Now since this is a simple argument - let's put things in perspective

To claim that 'our side' are all misunderstood angels - is dishonest
To claim that we have not killed innocent civilians - is dishonest
To claim that we do not torture detainees - is dishonest

Nor, and this is the real point, can you claim any 'moral superiority' over anyone when your standards are rapidly sinking towards his. - And the only thing that keeps 'our' standards higher is being called to account by people who do not accept arguments like 'it's war so it's justified', "they do it, so we can".

I also conclude that you belive that Mr Eisenhower lacked the expertise to deal with war and evil enemies that good ole' GWB does.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:21 AM   #11
Hogan
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Re: A President's Thought

Careful David, you lay on the moral relativism any thicker & you'll "...undermine [your] ability to justify [your] own existence...".
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:01 PM   #12
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

John

relativism is saying there is no right and wrong -it's all relative - that's Mike's positon - ('what they do is worse therefore what we do is OK' or 'we look like nice guys in comparison to them')

Mine is even if what we do isn't as bad as what they do - it's still wrong. Which is about as far from relativism as GWB is from MENSA
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:38 PM   #13
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
John

relativism is saying there is no right and wrong -it's all relative - that's Mike's positon - ('what they do is worse therefore what we do is OK' or 'we look like nice guys in comparison to them')

Mine is even if what we do isn't as bad as what they do - it's still wrong. Which is about as far from relativism as GWB is from MENSA
That is not Mike's opinion - he believes there is a right & wrong.

You are comparing certain actions of the Prez & VP to be on par with terrorists... You are comparing war waged by a nation against another to a terrorist cutting the heads of innocents or suicide bombers.... Meaning you are saying it is the same, it is equal, there is no difference - THAT is 'it's all relative'. Now you may say, all war regardless of who does it is wrong, but sometimes it is necessary. THAT you do not see.
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:37 PM   #14
Neil Mick
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Re: A President's Thought

Boy, I really go through a trial, every time I consider posting here. You cannot imagine the moralistic knots I put myself through, every time I reach for the keyboard. You see, I disagree with the latest moderation policies here, and so I am going against my declaration not to participate.

But to sit here and read such a declaration of willful ignorance begs...no, SHOUTS...for a reply. Who knows? Maybe this post will never make it online. Perhaps I'll hit the cancel button before I'm through.

If not...then consider it a lapse of weakness, in service to my need to be heard.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
This current war is probably the most humane war we've undertaken. If even a slight rumor that our soldiers have killed civilians gets out, there's an inquiry. and that's from a rumor, not cold hard facts. We have severe rules of behaviour.
"Severe rules?" Oh really? Sorry, Mark, but you seem to be forgetting about the 100,000 or so PRIVATE CONTRACTORS, bound to no rules of inquiry, no penalties. If one of these guys gets caught, he generally is sent back to the States, with no punishment at all.

Quote:
Our enemies? Strapping bombs to anything in sight and blowing up anyone at all.
Which makes SO much difference to the innocent dead (and uncounted) Iraqi's, shot on the roadside, or murdered in secret, by US forces, I'm sure.

Whether you're beheaded, blown up by a suicide bomb, raped and tortured by US forces, or bombed by US planes (as we did to Iraq between 1998-2002, in violation of international law), dead is dead.

Do you think it really matters HOW it was done, once you're dead?

Quote:
why don't you go ask Daniel Pearl how he was treated by terrorists.
OK...then I'll go talk to Maher Arar, or Jose Padilla (locked up so long his mind is gone), of the unknown victims of extroadinary rendition, or...

Quote:
How about the 3000 innocent civilians at the twin towers?
Gosh, you and Rudy Guiliani DO have something in common, don't you...? A certain, um, propensity to mention a certain day, when thousands of other "9-11's" are going on every day, courtesy of our--and our close friends (Israel, et al)--tax-subsidized military.

Quote:
Our current president has kept U.S. citizens safe ever since the terrorists murdered innocent people on September 11th, 2001.
Nah...all he did was "make it rain." We pay him: and if it rains...look! He made it rain!

If not, then he obviously needs more money, to "make it rain."

Quote:
There is a very huge difference between our actions and the terrorist's actions.
Sure is...it's called the "US military budget."

Yes, a very, VERY big difference, indeed.

Quote:
And one man's terrorist is most decidedly not another man's patriot. A patriot would never use a knife to hack off a journalist's head.
Nah...they'd just jail 'em for years on end, without charge. That makes us the "good guys,,," right?

Sami Al-Haj and Bilal Hussein: Their Names Mostly Unknown in U.S., Jailed Journalists Have Spent Combined Six Years in U.S. Military Prisons Without Charge

Quote:
We take an in-depth look at the case of two reporters whose imprisonment by U.S. forces has gone largely ignored in the corporate media. Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj has been jailed without charge at Guantanamo for the past five-and-a-half years. Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has spent more than a year in a U.S. military prison in Iraq, also without charge. U.S. officials haven't made public any evidence of wrongdoing.
Quote:
If you really can't tell the differences, I suggest a visit to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, etc and find a place among the terrorists. Just give that thought some undivided attention and think about long and hard. Think about truly doing it, being there.
An excellent idea...let's go together. Let's live among the innocent people who have their doors kicked in, their oil opened up to national interests (read: stolen), their country "made safe from tyranny."

Yeah, let's do that....if we could survive the mass lynching we'd get for turning their country into a training ground for terrorists, if we weren't made deaf from all the shouting, we'd probably get kidnapped by men desperate to make ANY money to feed their families, or simply shot onsite by men forced to become insurgents or (the smallest minority of all) actual terrorists who WOULD kidnap and kill us...

After all that, in those few seconds left to our lives...perhaps you'd consider that all this violence wouldn't be HALF so bad if there weren't 769 US bases around the world, or that Iraq six years' ago was free of Al Qaeda and suicide bombs...but I doubt it.

The truth takes awhile to sink in.

Quote:
And if those thoughts somehow give you an uneasy feeling, then you know in some part of yourself that there are differences. Here, you won't be killed.
Unless your name sounds Arabic.

Quote:
There, your chances are a lot greater that you'll be tortured and/or murdered.
Now that we've so properly set the stage.

Quote:
Here you can say and write what you want. There you would be killed for those actions.
You DO realize that the US censored the Iraqi press, don't you??

Quote:
If you really can't tell the difference between our actions and these:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/iraq

then there isn't any need for us to converse.

Mark
No, Mark: there is a GREAT NEED to converse. Conversation brings in new information. New information breeds curiousity, a need to validate.

Or, it could bring in greater polarization. Really, the choice is up to you.

But to respond directly to your comment...

* Abu Ghraib
* Guantanamo
* Extraordinary Rendition
* Use of Torture, and redefining torture
* Mass Deportations and jailings of hundreds of thousands of Arabs

After all this, even then, I'd say that we were "different" from terrorists and failed states. You see, I could point to Habeas Corpus and state that anyone accused of a trial could demand a reason.

Not anymore. Now that Habeas is gone, we are truly no better than they.

Now...will I weaken and hit "send..." or will I cancel....?

Last edited by Neil Mick : 07-19-2007 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:28 PM   #15
Marc Abrams
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Re: A President's Thought

David:

President Eisenhower, a man who served in the last "world war" learned from his experiences and that led him to be able to make such a profound realization and statement. Obviously that does not apply to our current coward-in-chief and the puppet masters behind the scenes.

Cady:

Non-positional based bargaining fits within David's paradigm. This paradigm shift works better. It asks that the parties move beyond looking at their stated positions and what they might gain from taking those positions and asks that they work from a position of what all of them might gain together in reaching some kind of agreement. There is a whole collaborative movement within the legal and mental health fields that are spreading the word about this powerful, better method.

Fairness is for fairy tales. Consideration and cooperation do allow people to work towards a greater good, such as accepting differences among people PEACEFULLY. O'Sensei came to this realization and towards the end of his life sought to move the study of Aikido towards people existing in Harmony. I wonder how many people view their practice in that manner.

Marc
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #16
Cady Goldfield
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Re: A President's Thought

Marc,
So, are you saying that it's fine to be weak and helpless --- that Providence will provide, and it's a superior state to be in than that of being self-sufficient and capable of defending/taking care of oneself?

Your mention of M. Ueshiba actually makes my point. He was anything BUT weak and helpless. He was supremely powerful because he had a better-than-average level of mastery of internal structure. That's why his students couldn't best him. He was the one who could apply the "boot to your throat" and then decide to be merciful; he wasn't the meek, helpless mouse pleading for mercy beneath a dominator's boot.

-Because- he had this immense power, he was in the position to preach peace... not plead for it. He could choose to be "meek," and not have to be so because he had no other choice. See what I'm sayin'?

It's all well and good to bless the meek, etc., but the bottom line is "it's a jungle out there," and the more power you possess, the better a position you are in to both be peaceful and benign, and to make sure that others play nice too.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 07-19-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:48 PM   #17
Marc Abrams
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Re: A President's Thought

Cady:

I have NEVER advocated being weak and/or helpless!

You are viewing my response from another paradigm. Let me go into non-positionally based bargaining a little deeper for you. Your particular strength vs. the other person's strength are not relevant positions in this paradigm. The paradigm that you are working from leads only to countless conflicts over long periods of time. If an entity feels as though it has "lost" to a stronger entity in a bargaining situation, you have set-up the future as being "wait until it is my time..." Short-term gain, long-term loss for all sides. Now let us assume that we both are willing to take a position that finding a solution (albeit imperfect) based upon a mutually agreeable goal, then the give and take is done towards a mutual point, without the sense of having won or lost. Each entity wins by contributing towards the mutual goal and also establishes a healthier means of interacting.

I believe that O'Sensei spoke about peace not out of some egotistical sense of profound power, but from the painful awareness of what budo had been used to do, and a greater awareness of budo as being a vehicle to allow people to live peacefully together.

I am not a tofu-eating, new-age fool. The older I get (statistically speaking on the downslope of the hill of life!) the more I want to see people move and act in a manner that actually contributes towards making our world safer for my children and soon to be (September) grandchild. I fully advocate the pro-active killing of zealots who want to kill first. I fully advocate trying to work with everybody else towards looking at our stakes in the world at large . We need to see how we choose to live so that we can become aware of our choices to abuse ourselves and our planet, or be caretakers of ourselves, the next generations, and our planet.

Your position of more power, more choice is more illusionary and short-term, than real over a long course of time. Everybody wants to see superman fail. History has also born out that power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts. When people have a mutual stake in a greater good, better things happen over the long-haul (not unlike employee-owned companies). The issue seems to me to be that it is not how much power you have, but how you use what you have to make a positive difference.

Thinking back over my life, it has typically been people without a lot of power (blue collar workers, etc) who have pitched in and helped me when bad things happened. This did not happen out of a sense of power, entitlement, or what they might gain, but from a sense that we are all in this together and an act of kindness just makes our world that much nicer. They might be the weak and meek, but they stand no more chance of inheriting the earth than the powerful and strong. That position is one based on gaining ownership and power. This earth is ours to live on, on a temporary basis before we become part of the soil. I think that if we all had more humility and cared less about what "power" we might have, we might actually become nicer people (myself included).

Marc

Last edited by Marc Abrams : 07-19-2007 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:50 PM   #18
Cady Goldfield
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Re: A President's Thought

You are missing my point, Marc, which is that Ueshiba could come to that "painful realization" AFTER having acquired the power that provided him with the privilege of being able to be his own man. He was in a position to make -choices-... something denied to the weak and subjugated simply because they are... weak and subjected!

Again, we bargain from a position of strength, not one of weakness. In a position of weakness, one can't bargain -- only plead and beg. The former is in a position to make choices; the latter isn't. Pleading for mercy or just accepting subjugation or death, are not real choices.

God bless the child that has his own... not necessarily wealth, but the power to defend himself so others must respect him.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:05 PM   #19
Marc Abrams
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Re: A President's Thought

Cady:

I simply disagree with your premise. Have you ever played poker? Many mistakes have been made throughout history by those who misread their perceptions of power and weakness.

Bargaining does not always have to exist within the paradigm that you are locked in.

People other than O'Sensei have come to similar conclusions without ever having "ascended" to places of power.

marc abrams
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:22 PM   #20
Cady Goldfield
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Re: A President's Thought

Before any kind of negotiations or bargaining of any sort can take place, the parties involved must have respect for each other. Respect doesn't happen if one party is perceived as weak and impotent. This is biological in nature; as animals, humans "read" each other's weaknesses, and it will directly affect the way they bargain with each other. That is the way it is.

Have you ever been at the mercy of another? How did it feel? The Mahatma Gandhi's methods worked only in the face of the morally-decent Brits. He was puzzled that passive resistance wouldn't work for the Jews in the face of the Nazis, who did not subscribe to the concept of "moral conscience."

Good luck with your beliefs, Marc. I hope you never find yourself plopped down in the real world, where the Law of the Jungle prevails. In the hands of the wrong party, power may be wielded for evil, but might and power are not in themselves evil. They are personal attributes and gifts for those who realize their value.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 07-19-2007 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 07-20-2007, 05:08 AM   #21
Taliesin
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Re: A President's Thought

John

Before i go of on my hols

- I know how hard you are working to misunderstand what I say. So let's try it another way. (Given your confessed inablity to understand that two wrongs don't make a right)

The argument that what 'we' do is not as bad as what 'they' do therefore it is justifed - is relativism (we are right because in comparison to someone else we don't do quite such terrible things is a relativist argument)

Try and take a few minutes or hours to grasp that fact.

Now if you're ready move onto the second point. There is right and there is wrong. To say two actions are wrong is NOT the same as saying they are equal. For example

It is wrong to attack someone for no apparant reason with a baseball bat causing them serious injury, say broken ribs.

It is also wrong to shoot them in the head killing them.

The perpertrators of both those actions are criminals in the same way that using your power to kill and torture people for your own political ends is terrorism. GWB & OBL are both terrorists under this definition, in the same way that they guy with the baseball bat and they guy with the gun are both criminals.

So let me conclude with the same pojnt i made at post 12

"even if what we do isn't as bad as what they do - it's still wrong"
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:44 AM   #22
Marc Abrams
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Re: A President's Thought

Cady:

I can't speak for you, but in my past I did have to exist in the "real world." Obviously, I am alive today because I acted properly. I do not live with my head in some fantasy cloud. Why is it that I can work with people in conflicts and have the be successful in non-positionally based negotiations? If that idea was so unrealistic, it would not be applicable in reality.

If you really read what I said before, I have no problem ridding "evil." I believe that your concept of "respect" is short-sighted. We, as humans, have the capacity to engage in abstract reasoning. We can look beyond our own short-sighted, short-term power gains and work towards a common goal where we all come out ahead.

I call myself a pragmatic optimist. I expect the best and prepare for the worst. I have no problems dealing with worst or the best. I work with the hand that I am dealt. That does not mean that I cannot take whatever opportunity presents itself and work towards to mutually better future for us all. I am sorry for you if you cannot look beyond your expressed paradigm.

Marc Abrams
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:59 AM   #23
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
David Chalk wrote: View Post
John

Before i go of on my hols

- I know how hard you are working to misunderstand what I say. So let's try it another way. (Given your confessed inablity to understand that two wrongs don't make a right)

The argument that what 'we' do is not as bad as what 'they' do therefore it is justifed - is relativism (we are right because in comparison to someone else we don't do quite such terrible things is a relativist argument)

Try and take a few minutes or hours to grasp that fact.

Now if you're ready move onto the second point. There is right and there is wrong. To say two actions are wrong is NOT the same as saying they are equal. For example

It is wrong to attack someone for no apparant reason with a baseball bat causing them serious injury, say broken ribs.

It is also wrong to shoot them in the head killing them.

The perpertrators of both those actions are criminals in the same way that using your power to kill and torture people for your own political ends is terrorism. GWB & OBL are both terrorists under this definition, in the same way that they guy with the baseball bat and they guy with the gun are both criminals.

So let me conclude with the same pojnt i made at post 12

"even if what we do isn't as bad as what they do - it's still wrong"
Huh? I be stoopid... Sey agin? Too menny wurds! My hed hurtz! Eye need yu to help mi understan!
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:34 AM   #24
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Re: A President's Thought

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Before any kind of negotiations or bargaining of any sort can take place, the parties involved must have respect for each other.
Amen to that.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:18 PM   #25
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Re: A President's Thought

I usually avoid this sort of topic as they can decend into flames very quickly. However with this being an aikido site, and we're talking about conflict I thought I would post this thought. I'm going to keep it simple so as to avoid any possible confusion.

We are taught in the dojo that harmony with our assailant is more effective than opposing them (whatever you take harmony to mean!).

So far (according to wiki) the cost of the war in Iraq is estimated to come to $400 billion. This figure doesn't include the humanitarian cost.

If the coalition forces had spent just 10% of that cost on supplying fresh water, access to education and medical care in the countries they are occupying rather than attacking that would have been $40 billion, a still enormous sum.

Is it unreasonable to think that assisting these countries rather than attacking them might have dried up much of the grassroots support for the terrorist organisations?

Jon

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