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Old 09-21-2001, 11:17 PM   #1
G'kar
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This my response to a post on the "Either your with us or your with the terrorists" I want a broader audience and more perspectives on choosing peace or choosing violence in light of the recent world tragedy that occured in the United States. So Ive decide to post it here, instead of on that thread.

I am an American and a pacifist. I have endured several violent attacks from bigots and skinheads, one of which nearly ended my life. I expirienced deep anger, shame, self-loathing, and anxiety for some time. I understand what people here in America are going through, only we are expiriencing it on a collective scale. During my times of pain and fear, I held firm to my belief that responding to evil with evil, violence with violence perpetuates a cycle that has plaqued humanity for our entire history. So when my so called leader (I voted for the enviromental guy) declared an ultimatum to punish the nations who harbor terrorists with military force, I knew that if this happens, No real justice would be found. Only more death, more violence, more children without fathers, mothers without sons. We in america have been wounded, the deepest hurt we have felt since perhaps our own civil war. In our weakness and hurt, we respond with pride and nationalism to mask our anxiety, and in fear we seek to cause terror in those who have sown it in our own land. But all we have made quiver in TERROR are the thousands of WOMEN and CHILDREN, refugees that are clogging camps all along the borders of afganistan, running from the FEAR of cluster bombs and cruise missles. Fear and pain we are feeling here is causing prejudice toward Arab people and muslims in America. One has already died at the hands of an American who didnt even know he was hurt and afraid. Others have lost property, been spat upon, and chased by mobs and all of them were born in America, or have taken the oath of citizenship. So I stand by My country and the ideals of freedom it was founded upon, but I deny my leaders call for revenge or retaliation, via war, mass destrustion,violence. I will not lose my compassion in the face of fear, loss, and pain. An eye for an eye would make us all blind, Who shall follow a blind man on a path of revenge?


Our security and peace of mind is gone. My own Mother tells me she doesnt feel safe any more and that she fears for the safety of her children and grandchildren. Rumors are abound, that tomorrow the Boston area will have a terrorist attack. The newsmedia is downplaying it, yet announcing it as a rumor. How should I feel? scared, indifferent, certainly not invunerable, I dont know. I do know I will go to work in a very busy public place. Everyday, for a few minutes, I dedicate my own thoughts and prayers to peace for the world. I have done this for years, this all I can do now as well. And if I die tomorrow as an American and a World citizen, I will have lived in peace, so as I shall rest.

 
Old 09-21-2001, 11:20 PM   #2
Sazerac
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For what it's worth, G'Kar, I've heard the same about Dallas, that we were slated for a terrorist attack this weekend. I have a feeling it's been aborted. Still, it's kind of frightening to think that Dallas and San Francisco are now the largest World Trade Centers in this country since the attack on New York.


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Old 09-22-2001, 12:08 AM   #3
John D Harris
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G'Kar, I'm not trying to flame you. I don't see it as an Eye for an eye. If the police go to arrest somone and that person resits with violence. The police use what ever force is necessary (NOT TALKING ABOUT EXCESIVE FORCE) that is not considered "an Eye for an Eye". That example is on the individual level.
On the National level protecting your citizens from being attacked is not an "Eye for an Eye" The USA has given the Taliban the diplomatic equivalent of "Come out with your hands ups". The Taliban have refused. What are we to do? Walk away and say "Ok you don't want to give up, so we are leaving. Oh, by the way please don't kill any more of us".
As for the "if you are not with us you are with the terrorist" Did no one else hear President Bush say that we would use ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT, DIPLOMATIC, INTELLIGENCE, ECONOMIC, AND MILITARY (paraphased by me but words to that VERY effect). He DID NOT say we would ONLY USE MILITARY FORCE.

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Old 09-22-2001, 09:49 PM   #4
G'kar
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Quote:
Originally posted by John D Harris:
G'Kar, I'm not trying to flame you. I don't see it as an Eye for an eye. If the police go to arrest somone and that person resits with violence. The police use what ever force is necessary (NOT TALKING ABOUT EXCESIVE FORCE) that is not considered "an Eye for an Eye". That example is on the individual level.
On the National level protecting your citizens from being attacked is not an "Eye for an Eye" The USA has given the Taliban the diplomatic equivalent of "Come out with your hands ups". The Taliban have refused. What are we to do? Walk away and say "Ok you don't want to give up, so we are leaving. Oh, by the way please don't kill any more of us".
As for the "if you are not with us you are with the terrorist" Did no one else hear President Bush say that we would use ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT, DIPLOMATIC, INTELLIGENCE, ECONOMIC, AND MILITARY (paraphased by me but words to that VERY effect). He DID NOT say we would ONLY USE MILITARY FORCE.

No Flame taken, you've made some interesting points.
Another way to see an eye for an eye is "it takes more than one to tango". Or how bout "what goes around comes around and goes around and comes around, round n round when does it stop?"
Yep,I agree we have other means available, besides force to challenge the terrorists.
I heard today on a variety of news sources, that while the Taliban wont force Bin Ladin to leave, they have asked him to do so on his own. Although our govt has implicated and "condemned" the Talibon, I get the impression they just want nothing to do with it and will defend their country, just as the U.S. would from a military attack on its soil. Does the world have "good samiritan" laws that I am unaware of?
The strong rhetoric used by Mr. Bush and other leaders implies, without a doubt, that violence will be used, against other nations. I obviously have to live with police violence. The police anology works, when a person has constitutional rights. "Wanted dead or alive", That implies using more force than is neccessary and is beyond the procedures that make our justice system fair to the extent that it is. Tradionally we use our military to defend against the attack from another country. So far we know that terrorists live and train in some countries, not that these nations were specifically involved in the recent attacks. Proliferating war with these nations will cause a backlash of violence, possibly polarizing more arab nations against the united states and causing instability in other muslim countires. It wont stop terrorism, more hate and violence for the U.S. and it allies will be the effect, More children growing up, ready to give thier lives, taking many innocents with them, like their fathers before them. More innocent deaths. It could cause a war of epic destruction and death. A coup in pakistan, by an extremist military faction would give the bad guys nukes and the 9th largest military in the world. Thats Scary, and is reason enough to use restraint when it come to a violent response, at least. I agree with using diplomatic, economic, and other non-violent means to dismantle the terrorists from the bottom. I'll concede to restrained and exact use of force, though it conflicts with my personal beliefs. The European community has wisely worded their support agreement concerning using military action. They wont be caught in an all out war with anyone, the cost is too high. The cost is the vicious circle, It takes two or more to tango after all.

Also a question for the general audience: if one follows the teachings of christ, how do we incorporate supporting retaliation with the viewpoint "turning the other cheek"?



[This message has been edited by G'kar (edited 09-22-2001).]
 
Old 09-23-2001, 12:50 AM   #5
John D Harris
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G'Kar,
IMHO a lot of the reteric is positioning and postering in hopes of forceing the USA's opponents to backdown without the use of force. As of now no bombs have been dropped.
"Turn the other cheek" is something that christians (and others) have been strugling with for years. IMHO I see the teaching found in Matt. 5:39 (not attempting to be preachy) of turning the other cheek is about matters of indiviual actions. What to do if you are personally struck, although the principles may apply on the national level.(Boy I hope I got the right one of those "Principle" words, I can never remember if it is "iple" or "pal" )
It (the Bible, or Christ if you will) also teaches that "greater love has no man than to lay down his life for a friend".(John 15:13)
Christ drove the "money changers from the Temple with a whip or scourge of cords" (paraphised by me) a violent act in defense of someone else. In this case His Father or rather His Father's house. (John 2:13-25)
Christ healed the Roman Centurion's servant because of the Centurion's faith. The Centurion was a soldier, a military man. While the is no evidence from the Bible, history and common sense teaches us that you don't rise to the rank of "Centurion" without having been in battles, or violent if you will. (John 8:5-13)
Cornelius, a Centurion, (whom I believe to be the same Centurion as in the above pargraph) is converted to Christ by Peter. No where is it recorded that Cornelius was told that being a soldier, in the military, fighting in battle, or killing in war was something that he (Cornelius) must not do. (Acts 10-11:1-18)
In Romans 13:1-7 Paul states that let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities(Christians he was writing to). For rulers are not the cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. In 1Peter 2:13-20 Peter states submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to goveners as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those that do right. There is no distinction given as to whether the evil, or evil doers are foreign or domestic. (attacking armies, terrorist, or criminals)
All of these teachings work together, and it is left to the indiviual to decide for themselves if they will be a conscientious objector (pacifist) or a soldier.

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Old 09-23-2001, 04:39 AM   #6
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G'kar, violence is exactly what these terrorists are trying to provoke. We're just playing into their hands by sending troops, jets and battleships to Afghanistan. I've said earlier that I don't think we should stoop to their level, and so I rest my case....

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Old 09-23-2001, 05:28 AM   #7
Epona
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G'Kar, I completely agree with you. Wonderful post.

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Old 09-23-2001, 05:54 AM   #8
Dramnek_Ulk
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Christian teachings from the bible can be twisted any way. Since god loves us all so much he allows us to choose between useing the bible to support american retaliation, or we can use it to justify peace, and for that reason the bible is meaningless in this situation.
Is there anymore ignored and overused commmand "than love thy neighbour as thyself." or "turn the other cheek"?

So you must justify this retaliation useing ethics,morals logic etc and however you look at it this retaliation will solve nothing just make it worse, as These things so often do.

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Old 09-23-2001, 05:54 AM   #9
250
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yeah right, just play their hands

you send planes and jets, what if things don't go your way? you would have no other options but to attack... what else? call it a practice?
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Old 09-23-2001, 06:29 AM   #10
Kaz
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I agree fully G'kar (maybe we should start the organization of IW pacifists ) Violence makes new problems.
And another thing: this is very obvious. It is all too probable that bin Laden expected the US to do something like this. In that case, he will have made plans.

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