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Re: wikileaks.

Dara wrote:
This is not the only occasion you have resorted to aggressive, insulting language and name calling.

As I said in the response to cyberpainter, I think you need to consider your own manner. This post far surpasses any aggression you may perceive in my posts. Nonetheless, in the spirit of good will, I am going to respond.

Dara wrote:
Let me take you for a brief moment on a couple of time travelling trips in my hired time machine. It uses truth for navigation and the drive core is made from the spirit of humanity condensed into a glowing sphere of pure energy...

So you're standing on the deck of a merchant ship in a convoy in the middle of the freezing Atlantic ocean in the middle of the night and your best chance of getting home, putting your feet up and listening to the Groop on your iPod is a gay scientist working at the SECRET code breaking facility at Bletchley Park, England.

As I already said, I donít know what the code breakerís sexuality has to do with code breaking. WW2 is definitely a bleak time in human history and we can celebrate the fact that the Nazis did not kill all of the Jews, gypsies etc. Whilst I cannot say what the best course of action was, I definitely acknowledge that war seemed like a good option once tensions escalated.
One of the lessons we could learn from history in this case is how to avert war in the first place. The war was not simply a case of German aggression verses Allied peace. The same for the US and Japan. The fact is that I would be in the middle of the Atlantic because a war had already started. Perhaps we can learn not to get into situations where war seems like a sensible option. I know it is easier said than done but it is possible.

Dara wrote:
You are one of a group of Kuwaiti citizens who have just seen your friends and family fed to the lions in front of you at Kuwait zoo, and you are waiting for your turn. Your only hope of survival is your country's liberation by allied forces with a legal UN mandate - the success of which depends on the element of total SURPRISE.

Again, the Kuwait war was a horrible event in which many needlessly died. The US certainly chased Saddam out of Kuwait and for that we should be thankful. But again, the history is not so neat. The US had supported Hussein despite his murderous ways on many occasions. Kuwait is also not a country that I would call liberated. I think many would acknowledge that there is a better way.

Dara wrote:
The truth is that war, and the death of civilians particularly, can never be justified in moral terms. But it is a sad fact that there will always be megalomaniacs who abide by a twisted morality and inflict inhuman suffering on their fellow humans. Also unfortunately, there are others who have to take the initiative and stand up and stop them. War is a very dirty business. With no secrecy and completely open governance, millions more Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and countless other 'sub-humans' would have died and would still be dying now. The liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny beginning on D-Day would never have happened. Slavery (and by this I mean being literally worked to death) would be an everyday experience for millions.

See my earlier point for most of this paragraph. I think war was probably inevitable once things got out of hand. I also posted something in the JFK thread about the fact that Kennedy called on the press to unite with the govt during times of war. I wonder whether we are in a proper war and whether this war will ever end. In many ways, it appears that the US are ďmegalomaniacs who abide by a twisted morality and inflict inhuman suffering on their fellow humansĒ. Of course, they are not the only ones as The Taliban, Northern Alliance, Al Qaeda, Shiites, Sunnis, Israelis, Palestinians, Saudis, Syrians, Lebanese and more seem to be madly killing each other.

Dara wrote:
The video you posted is one of millions of terrible events which have occurred in the heat of battle in all wars. I have just read a book about the Somme and being blessed with a vivid creative imagination I can run many 'videos' in my head of similar tragic and sickening events from that battle alone.

Well, I think the video is still important. Worse things have happened but that does not negate the fact that the video demonstrates both brutal actions and attitudes. Of course, you can choose to think that people being gunned down is not important or not important enough. I can try to convince people that it is. That is the nature of discussion and debate.

Dara wrote:
It is totally naÔve to say that a completely open society would solve the problems of the world - that is the utopian view of an idealistic teenager.

I admit I am idealistic. I only live once so I would rather be idealistic than pragmatic. You donít have to be but I choose to be.
I think your remark is insulting to teenagers and presents the commonly held view that the older you get the smarter or more correct you are. Now I know your view is commonly held and I am the weird one here but maybe consider this. You are born free of prejudice and accepting of all sorts of people. As a teenager, you see the possibilities of peace and love. As people get older, their dreams are not realised and they become more pragmatic. They squash teenage idealism and say from experience that there cannot be peace. Maybe the teenagers have it right (Look at what idealism did to the pointless Vietnam war). Maybe the babies are the ones who are correct.

Dara wrote:
It is also not true that it would give us an understanding of why 'we' are hated by 'them' The fact is we already know the reasons the west is hated so much by other cultures. If you refuse to accept that we are now facing a clash of civilisations then there is really no point in continuing to discuss this here.

I think the video would not be the only reason that 'we' are hated by 'them' but it certainly contributes. Brutal actions like this are unlikely to win people over and enable extremists to convince people that the west has malicious intentions.
I like your reasoning about the point of this discussion. If we donít agree that the problem is rooted in a clash of civilisations then this discussion may be futile. I have some idealism about this issue and donít simply believe in a culture clash. It is probably part of some peopleís thinking but I donít know that our brains are that linear. I still hold out hope as the alternative would probably be genocide or apartheid. If you donít think we can get along then we either have to kill them all or build a great wall. What do you see as the solution to this cultural clash?

Dara wrote:
Suffice it to say that over the past few years many people on this forum have elucidated very eloquently (and sometimes not so) what those reasons are - the distribution of wealth, military dominance, capitalist materialistic ideology, the freedom of the individual, equality, legal system, art and culture and so on - ad infinitum. No, we know exactly why we are not liked. The question is, do we think all these things are worth fighting for? - if not, fine.

The unequal distribution of wealth hardly seems like something that is worth fighting for. I think it is awful that I live in luxury while others have relatively little.

Military dominance is a rod for our own backs. I think it was Archduke Ferdinand who said that if you invade a country you end up in control of a bunch of rebellious savages. Now it is snobby but he has a point. Military dominance breeds resentment. This is definitely a paradigm that i would like to see change.

Capitalism is imperfect at best. I can see why people would resist it. I can see its appeal but I think it is false to assume that free market capitalism has generated our wealth. Most of it came from colonialism, exploitation, the world wars, the cold war and environmental vandalism where the profits were privatised and the costs were transferred to the public.

Freedom, equality and legal rights. I know some hate others having freedom, laws and equality but I think this is a minority of megalomaniacs. Sadly, I think these types exist both in the west and the middle east.

Art and culture. This seems like a long bow to draw. Again, religious zealots can be like this but this is not limited to the middle east.

In the end, language like ďfighting forĒ probably harks back to a paradigm that I wish we could leave behind. If you look at My Returnís $700 million video, you can see that there are alternatives.

Dara wrote:
Then we can sit back and whinge while the other systems fight it out between themselves for dominance - the global caliphate versus the post communist world order. Bring it on I say - they can't make much of a worse mess of it than we have. There are even some aspects of the nascent global Islamic state and the principles of communism which are a great improvement on western democracy. Don't expect openness and freedom of speech/information though, the western democracy Assange is attacking is the only reason he still has his head on at the moment.

This last argument is sadly one of the most common ones espoused by apologists for Western immorality. Our morality must be judged for the most part on the standards we set for ourselves. So Assange would be flogged, beheaded, silenced whatever under a cruel dictator, so what? I cannot bash my wife because I am better than my neighbour who murdered his. We want to set the highest standards for ourselves.
It is good that you acknowledge the positives in other cultures as I am sure there are many strengths. I also agree that dictatorships should not be idealised. People who praised the USSR were sadly giving tacit approval to the murder of millions.

Dec 07, 2010, 01:26


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