Another response to Terrorism: "Good" vs. "Evil":
>> To you and I, it is so obvious, but what astounds me is how many don't see it, partly because they really don't give it a thought or care. <<
It's even more astounding that two acquaintances criticized me for saying it. The nerve of some people!
>> I mentioned to them the world's perception of us and in turn how we tend to treat the rest of the world, and some of them will look at me as if I had a third eye or the very least irritated by my reminder of our position in this world. <<
Most people's views are a lot more fixed than we'd like to admit. I doubt my comics or my postings have changed many minds. Mostly they speak to the already converted.
If anyone is still openminded, it's probably our children. But I wouldn't bet on them either. I've seen some letters they've written to Bush, and even there you can see a split. Some youngsters are saying "give peace a chance," while others are saying "go get the terrorists."
>> When a person considers themselves to be on top of the world, having a high status, they might feel they can afford to be indifferent to other people's plights. <<
Definitely. Sometimes I think it takes an event of international magnitude to begin shifting cultural values, even a bit. World War II confirmed our belief that we're everything good and right in the world. The Vietnam War shook that belief to the core. On the domestic front, events like the Civil War confirmed our self-image as a beacon of liberty and justice for all. Events like the civil rights movement and Watergate shook those beliefs to the core.
I almost hope this war is a stalemate, with no decisive "winner," or else we'll revert to the WW II mentality that we're right and everyone else is wrong. Long-term, I suspect a loss would be better for America and the world than a win. A true statesman could fashion a win that eliminated Bin Laden while addressing the world's concerns, but Bush isn't that person. He couldn't read to the end of this message without an aide to summarize it for him.
The discussion continues (12/17/01)....
>> Long-term, I suspect a loss would be better for America and the world than a win.
That's funny, I've been keeping a close eye on the news and also filling in the gaps that are at times left out, and in the last day or two I've been in some ways coming to the same conclusion as you have. <<
The situation is getting terribly muddled from my viewpoint. On the one hand, the war is going well. This will only encourage future presidents to go to war. And that isn't all bad. Invading Rwanda to stop the genocide would've been better than letting the Rwandans die. (Of course, acting politically against the Rwandan killers would've been the best approach.)
On the other hand, the police action against terrorists elsewhere is also going well. So there's something for everybody. Warmongers can point to the war's success and say, "See, that justifies warfare." Peaceniks like me can point to the police action elsewhere, plus the deaths in Afghanistan, and say, "See, a peaceful approach would've taken out the terrorists without killing so many people. We should've gone that way first."
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