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Old 03-05-2003, 01:08 PM   #101
Michael Neal
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You didn't answer my first question, it is a little bit more difficult to answer.

There is nothing wrong with peace at all, however sometimes peace is achieved only through victory over ones enemies.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 01:22 PM   #102
Erik Young
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You're right. I didn't answer teh question. I don't have an answer. However, that doesn't make my position wrong. What would've happened had our administration not made teh "axis of evil" declaration and finished it's business in Afghanistan (i.e. helping to rebuild the infrastructure shattered by years of war, drought and famine)?

I imagine that Saddam would still be contained. I imagine that teh Taliban would not be making inroads into Afghanistan again. I'm thinking there would be less warfare between various warlords in the conrtyside (last I hear, our troops have been sticking close to major cities). Might some more humanitarian stances on the part of the US might...jsut might...help to put us in a more positive light internationally. People who are not starving and frightened are make better allies and are less likeyl to follow the likes of teh Taliban.

What does this have to do with Iraq? As it stands, we didn't follow through with our promises in Afghanistan. We're taking on an even bigger challenge in Iraq. What makes anyone think we'll do any better there? Do you really tink marching in with guns blazing then marching out jsut as quickly will solve anything? Maybe we stay....still got that Taliban problem though.

What about other countries suffering equally harsh regimes? I don;t hear alot about the likes of Liberia. If we're going to be the global police force, why do we pcik and choose who is worthy of our wrath?

Liek I said, I don;t have any answers. This problem seems to be way too far out of hand. It saddens me. It's a situation that didn;t need to be so far as I'm concerned. Never the less, I will continue to struggle with the dilemma. That's all I can do. The world is a crazy dangerous place...but that does not mean that peace is not a viable alternative. It jsut takes a little more forseight and effort on the part of everyone. Would you be a part of that? It's hard to stare at someone (or someones) who seem hell bent on harming you and not try to land the first punch. It's even harder to stare into the face of hostility and not flinch, not do more than is necessary to resolve the situation. It's hard to back down...even lose face in the process. However, when one can do these things wondeful transformations can take place.

Peace is never achieved through victory over enemies (losers hold grudges)...but in coming into harmony with them.

This comes from personal experience. I can't quote chapter and verse from numerous magazine articles. I can only speak from my heart. Take it or leave it.

Peace,

Erik

HAve you heard the one about the agnostic dyslexic? He wasn't sure if he believed in the existence of Dog.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 02:32 PM   #103
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Mike,

I would disagree with you that Pacifism in running away....that is cowardess.

I think it is sometime harder and takes much more courage to stand your ground and stand up to your convictions of non-violence.

Ghandi is a great example of a pacifist. So is Martin Luther King.

I have much respect for those that look deep inside themselves and "do what it right" even in the face of adversity.

This is what both pacifist and soldiers have in common, "doing what they believe is the right thing to do". I think both are necessary and while at opposite ends of the spectrum really only want one thing....peace.

It is interesting the dichotomies (duality or yin/yang) that exsist it the world.

So IMHO, it is possible to be a pacifist and be a hero and be a soldier. hopefully (all though I don't hold much hope for the current situation) we can find another way to resolve the current situation.

Mike, all do respect, if you are seriously looking for someone to demonstrate DIRECTLY how aikido TECHNIQUE would apply to world events or even modern warfare, then you will have a long wait.

Although if you want to see how it applies in daily living, come by and see the small group of "at risk" kids I teach aikido and karate to down near George Mason University. They are where TECHNIQUE gets applied in real life. If I can reach out and make a difference helping these kids channel there energy/KI in the right direction, then maybe one day the small ripple in the pond will amount to something!

It is the smal things that matter. We cannot solve big problems, we can only solve small ones...one at a time.

Along that line we must keep in mind that aikido can only be applied to yourself. It is individual and aikido solves nothing but what is inside YOU. You cannot magically manifest it onto anything or anyone directly. As Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". I think he is implying that you change the world by changing yourself. That is what Aikido is all about....influencing others, by influencing yourself.

 
Old 03-05-2003, 03:19 PM   #104
Michael Neal
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Kevin,

We are back to the original discussion we had many months ago, that Aikido philosophy can be applied on an individual basis but does not fit very neatly into world politics and war.

Erik and Kevin,

I think it is noble to strive towards peace I just don't think containment of a ruthless thug is the answer. I am not willing the risk the consequences of letting him continue on as the leader of Iraq. I think there is more humanity and compassion in removing him from power than letting him continue.

So my point is that I am striving for peace as well, I just choose a different road to achieve it. Negotiations and containment have failed and failed over and over again.

If someone is trying to punch you in the face and you can not react in your own defense without bringing harm to your attacker then I think you must defend yourself at his expense.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 06:52 PM   #105
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
LOL! Seriously, I am interested in finding out how you would suggest applying an Aikido technique against a rogue nation. I have been waiting on an answer for this for many months, what Aikido techniques work in modern warfare?

Using Aikido is not pacifism, running away would be pacifism.
Aikido techniques probably would not work in a modern warfare setting. But, then again: why do you think that I expect they would?

Absurdist arguments generally don't work, Michael. Would you deride Kevin Leavitt's spiritual practices by suggesting that he try meditating in za-zen, on a battlefield, to defeat the enemy?

Sort of reminds me of the ordeal I underwent with one Faito Anto, on aikidojournal. He kept encouraging me to come to Israel, to try to iriminage a suicide bomber, etc. Absurdist, and pointless.

(BTW, I am not a pacifist. I just found that joke old, tasteless, and lacking any point, except to suggest that might makes right.

What a novel concept... )
 
Old 03-05-2003, 07:04 PM   #106
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
If someone is trying to punch you in the face and you can not react in your own defense without bringing harm to your attacker then I think you must defend yourself at his expense.
And so, the metaphors start to fly...

I'm still looking for the reference to Saddam's "punch." When, did he punch us? Was it when the US pushed the Sanctions, and he bloodied our reputation? Was it when he invaded Kuwait, without our explicit permission (only implicit)?

Or, perhaps he punched us with his evil oil, as Rumsfeld suggests, when he said that Iraq's oil is a danger to the US?

But, I guess you mean that "pre-emptive" punch, that punch he WILL give us, if we give him the chance. So, I guess police officers ought to throw out those annoying policies of miranda-rights, and probable causes, and just bludgeon the first person he sees that he KNOWS is going to commit a crime. Better he punch out a prospective robber, than actually deal with anything messy, like probable cause, or proof.

After all, the US is working the same logic with the UN, and Iraq: why not our police force?
 
Old 03-05-2003, 07:33 PM   #107
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Erik Young wrote:
That doesn't make my position wrong. What would've happened had our administration not made teh "axis of evil" declaration and finished it's business in Afghanistan (i.e. helping to rebuild the infrastructure shattered by years of war, drought and famine)?
In fact, a UNEP report states that after all the war and destruction, Afghanistan may well be beyond the point of rebuilding.



http://postconflict.unep.ch/pressafghanistanjan2003.htm
Quote:
Erik Young wrote:
Might some more humanitarian stances on the part of the US might...jsut might...help to put us in a more positive light internationally. People who are not starving and frightened are make better allies and are less likeyl to follow the likes of teh Taliban.
Too true. All those refugees caused by the upcoming war...I suppose OBL is dancing for joy, right now.
Quote:
Erik Young wrote:
What does this have to do with Iraq? As it stands, we didn't follow through with our promises in Afghanistan. We're taking on an even bigger challenge in Iraq.
In fact, if you look at all the other places we helped "bring democracy," you'll find a grimmer reality. Haiti comes immediately to mind, but I could find a list, easily enough.

The US likes to march in as the bringer of democracy, install an interim leader, and then leave the reconstruction half-finished, then act totally nonplussed when the country is overthrown by a right-wing dictator (Hussein, for example, was assisted to power by the CIA, in the '60's).
Quote:
Erik Young wrote:
that does not mean that peace is not a viable alternative. It jsut takes a little more forseight and effort on the part of everyone. Would you be a part of that?
In a similar thread over at aikidojournal, I talk about the logical by-product of all this US-grandstanding: the Sanctions, DU-radiation, and the atrocities in Palestine.

Conservatives never like to talk about these nasty side-issues, it appears (altho Brian H. is doing well, IMM). It interferes with their comfortable fantasy of cheering Iraqi's dancing in the streets as the US rolls proudly down Baghdad.

But, what is "Shock and Awe?" Simply put, shock and awe is the orchestrated mass-murder of Baghdad's citizenry. Oh, it may well "get" some of Hussein's cohorts, but it definitely kill innocents. In fact, I can safely say that it will mostly kill civilians, and kill soldiers as a by-product.

Just as in every war, you have the propagandistic version propounded by both sides, and then you have reality.

Ask Kevin-- I don't know if he has "seen the hamburger on the hill," but he certainly knows that war is a terrible thing, and not some extension of foreign policy to remove a foreign leader, as if he were an annoying mosquito. Unlike certain other chickenhawk leaders who have never seen combat, yet seem quite comfortable pushing for war and conveniently ignoring the costs, in their speeches.
Quote:
Erik Young wrote:
I can only speak from my heart. Take it or leave it.
I think you did well, but Michael would be the first to say that I'm biased (lol).
 
Old 03-05-2003, 08:10 PM   #108
Michael Neal
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More of the same old melodrama.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 08:55 PM   #109
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Mike,

I would agree that it is stupid to stand by and recieve harm when someone wants to punch you in the face.

However, I think you do have many options depending on your training to "fix" the situation.

Not to get into a million "what if's"...but they can run the gamut from simply irimi to punching back. It is situational dependent.

The hard part is keeping your emotions and ego under control. I do think that many times that the return "defending blow" is many times done out of ego than a true need to punch your assailant.

Yes, I agree we are back to where we started from with aikido being an individual thing. (that is why I rarely respond to threads much...since we typically end up at the same point once again!).

 
Old 03-06-2003, 01:55 AM   #110
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
More of the same old melodrama.
Yes, I totally agree: mass murder and genocide are melodramatic.
 
Old 03-06-2003, 12:08 PM   #111
Michael Neal
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Yes it is melodrama because the only mass murder and genocide is being perpetrated by the people you constantly are defending.

Where is the US commiting mass murder and genocide? This is why I don't really find it useful to get into pitched arguments with you, you just make stuff up and pretend that it is real.
 
Old 03-06-2003, 02:12 PM   #112
deepsoup
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
Where is the US commiting mass murder and genocide?
On the road to Basra (again), coming soon?

Or you could cast your mind back to Chile, on that other September 11. Democracy is all well and good within limits, but if they would insist of electing a commie like Allende, what else could Uncle Sam do but sponsor the coup that replaced him with a murderous dictator?

Here's a good one, from Union Carbide/Dow Chemicals' website:

" The merger of The Dow Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation creates one company that is uniting to improve the essentials of life."

Do you think anyone has passed on this good news to the people of Bhopal (who are still suffering, still dying, and still waiting..)

And for anyone who'd like to sponsor a little terrorism:

Visit www.noraid.com, and continue decades of American money funding the largest terrorist organisation operating in the UK.

(Manchester city centre has just about been rebuilt now, and its much nicer than it was before you helped to demolish it, thanks guys.)

Don't get me wrong, our government is no better than yours, but they just don't have the clout to get as much done around the world as Uncle Sam.

Sean

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Old 03-06-2003, 02:51 PM   #113
Michael Neal
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Neil, if you are that sensitive that you have to go to Jun and complain about my "language" then I am just going to put you on my ignore list, seriously. So you really think that I am putting a damper on democracy while you actively attempt to censor people?

Bye!
 
Old 03-06-2003, 03:30 PM   #114
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
you just make stuff up and pretend that it is real.
...and you call me a fanatic??

Check yourself in the mirror, Michael. You like to use smear tactics and provocative name-calling, yet balk at any real documentation to support your statements.

You call me a fanatic. Let's look at that, for a second.

fanatic: a person whose strong admiration for something is considered to be extreme and unreasonable.

The key-words are "extreme," and "unreasonable." While I suppose I could arguably have "extreme" viewpoints (and I would debate this, as many ppl around the world agree with my position on Iraq-- note the marches), I willingly accept that my opinion is fallable, and subject to mistakes in judgement.

Even so, I would stake my opinion in the arena of debate against any opinion that disagrees with me. In a few of these debates, I've been wrong, and have admitted my mistakes. In others, I have discussed issues with those who disagree, and we both ended the discussion, amiably. Hardly the stance of a fanatic.

OTOH, you balk at discussion, and have even suggested that I should move to Iraq, since I "hate" the US, so much.

Funny, how many conservative extremists like to use this line, no matter what stripe their conservatism.

But, you're entitled to your opinion (after all, everyone is born with 2 things: an opinion, and...that place from which opinions often issue), and if you think I am a fanatic, that is, well, your opinion.

But I resent your claim that "I make stuff up" just because you do not think that these events are real. If you like to go through life with your eyes closed to US actions in international arenas (or worse, have one eye closed and only seeing what you want), that is also your choice.

But don't think for a second that your choice makes you right, or that an opinion at odds with yours is false, merely because you choose not to debate it, or see it.

You also seem to shy away from documentation. IMM, an opinion is pointless if it lacks documentation to support it.

SO, just for you, Michael: a few sources broaching the US atrocities, in the world. I'll try to keep them mainstream, in case you feel inspired to lob a few more slurs, in a poor substitution for debate:

http://users.westnet.gr/~cgian/us-atrocities.htm

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/55a/099.html

http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolit...A/Backyard.asp

http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/apr/rwanda399.htm

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0103-08.htm

Last edited by Neil Mick : 03-06-2003 at 03:39 PM.
 
Old 03-06-2003, 06:39 PM   #115
Neil Mick
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
I am just going to put you on my ignore list, seriously. So you really think that I am putting a damper on democracy while you actively attempt to censor people?

Bye!
And so, yet another "brave" conservative runs into the safety of the ignore list, as a shield against debate.

Censor you, Michael? Au contraire: I am encouraging you to speak your mind. See, actually I have respect for your thinking.

I'm POSITIVE that there is more to your thoughts than pointless slander. I just want to see it posted.

But, like guns in action movies, when the invectives fly, all discourse ends.

Farewell Michael, we hardly knew ye.
 
Old 03-07-2003, 01:16 PM   #116
Michael Neal
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Tongue



This is to whatever response that you wrote. Hope to see ya on the mat sometime but I just find your politics insufferable. Good luck.
 
Old 03-07-2003, 03:07 PM   #117
Neil Mick
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Oh, jeez, grow up.
 
Old 03-07-2003, 04:07 PM   #118
Michael Neal
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Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Mike,

I would agree that it is stupid to stand by and recieve harm when someone wants to punch you in the face.

However, I think you do have many options depending on your training to "fix" the situation.

Not to get into a million "what if's"...but they can run the gamut from simply irimi to punching back. It is situational dependent.

The hard part is keeping your emotions and ego under control. I do think that many times that the return "defending blow" is many times done out of ego than a true need to punch your assailant.

Yes, I agree we are back to where we started from with aikido being an individual thing. (that is why I rarely respond to threads much...since we typically end up at the same point once again!).
I completely agree that it depends on the situation. And if the situation is that someone is trying to kill you then I think using alot of force is warrented and perhaps needed to protect yourself.

Ego is maybe not so important to preserve on an individual basis, however, sometimes dignity gets mistaken for ego and I believe that sometimes using force to preserve dignity is justified. For example, the little kid who stands up for himself in school and punches out the bully rather than shrinking away thus allowing the behavior to continue.

This become much more important on an international basis where having authority and strength behind your words makes all the difference.

In the case of Iraq I think that it is important that we both preserve our dignity and defend our people from future attack.





Last edited by Michael Neal : 03-07-2003 at 04:13 PM.
 
Old 03-07-2003, 04:33 PM   #119
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Not applying this logic to iraq...cause it really is a different and more complex set of events than a playground bully....

but, I disagree with that analogy....a kid on the playground has other options to stand up for him/herself without losing "face" and dignity other than hitting back....the skill set is not as easy to obtain, or to employ...mainly cause we do not teach it in schools or the household.

I know cause I teach it to kids once a week. They have options.

 
Old 03-07-2003, 04:35 PM   #120
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Oh also, diginity is never more important than human life. Sorry, Mike have to draw the line there. If that is why we would go into Iraq...then it is wrong.

What is important is to go into Iraq in order to prevent further lives from being lost, but not for "american values", dignity, or any other reason. To save other lives is the only reason to go in.

 
Old 03-07-2003, 04:38 PM   #121
Kevin Leavitt
 
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one more!!! (sorry). I would agree that in order to be effective, you must be able to convince your enemy you can attack.

I think 300,000 Troops has gotten the world's attention. Hopefully we can resolve this with no force...but if not, well so far we've made more progress in disarming Iraq than we have in 12 years!

But, we must be prepared to back it up with action if necessary.

So agree with you on that one Mike.

 
Old 03-07-2003, 06:32 PM   #122
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I don't think saving face alone is a reason to go to war but it is a factor in the whole equation.

However, I would certainly fight for my liberties if someone took them away even if they had not used violence to do so. So there are circumstances in my view that would justify war to preserve American values.
 
Old 03-07-2003, 06:54 PM   #123
deepsoup
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
However, I would certainly fight for my liberties if someone took them away even if they had not used violence to do so. So there are circumstances in my view that would justify war to preserve American values.
Does that include the civil liberties you currently enjoy as an American citizen, but which are rapidly being eroded by your own administration in the wake of 9/11 ?

http://www.aclu.org/safeandfree/

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-Benjamin Franklin

Sean

x
 
Old 03-07-2003, 07:09 PM   #124
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I can certainly understand Mike's point of view on protecting basic freedoms as outlined in the constitution. (As a military officer I am oath bound to protect them and will.

That said, it is interesting the post that Sean has just made.

I am throughly intrigued that we are willing to take away some of those basic freedoms to protect others.

I think it is all fear driven. Regardless of how "free" we percieve we are...we are all prisoners of our own fears, ignorances, and delusions.

I have been reading Thoreau's Walden lately. He makes a very good case in Walden for the "slavery" we all commit ourselves to by trying to gain material possessions.

Fast cars, big houses, nice clothes lead all of us to do things, hold jobs, bend our values, and give up our ultimate freedoms in order to appease our inate need for comfort, status, and ego.

So while the constitution does seem to guarantee us freedoms, at least in concept, how free are we really?

in the past two years we have definitely given up certain freedoms because of our fear of terrorism.

Heck, I all but get strip searched several times a day going in and out of the Pentagon and other DoD buildings. I also must live in DC to earn a living to support my lifestyle.

I think it is something we must all decide as individuals about what what we are willing to give up in order to gain somthing.

I guess I will continue to put up with the loss of certain freedoms for now to have my family live in a semi-safe, warm, house.

However, I do think about it CONSTANTLY and think it is important to be mindful as we throw the concept of "FREEDOM" around though.

How free are we really???

 
Old 03-07-2003, 08:23 PM   #125
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We are very free compared to every other nation in the world
 

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