Saturday, July 09, 2005

War and Killing

We've been having a discussion down lower in the blog about war and
killing and the causes of war. And I sort of want to talk about that
at more length.

The way I feel is that violence begets violence. This was the
prohpesy Chronos was given when he slayed his father. That story, one
of the oldest moral tales, tells us that when we call violence on one,
we call violence on ourselves. Chronos was in turn slayed by Zeus.

I feel that us going into Iraq was one of those moments where we could
have taken the high road. The cycle of violence stops when someone
refuses to participate in the violence. I think that we live in the
greatest country in the world and should be held to a higher standard.
We should be taking the moral high ground, not the immoral low.

The anonymous poster is right, sometimes killing is ineveitable.
World War II was ineveitable. Violence begets violence because
sometimes the only thing that will stop violence is more violence.
World War II was one of those situations. Hitler was power-mad and
made a grab for all of his surrounding neighbors. I don't want to
compare George Bush to Hitler. A lot of people have, I don't think
that's fair. Hitler was crazy and brilliant, I think George Bush is
genuine and ignorant. The similarities come in the fact they both
feel they are doing the right thing deep down inside, when in fact,
attacking a foreign soveriegn nation that poses no immediate threat to
you is barbaric.

Germany was invading it's neighbors. It needed to be stopped.
America, in my opinion, should have stepped in sooner, but popular
support for the war wasn't there. Pearl Harbor, like September 11th,
2001, galvanized support in the country for a cause.

In World War II, the cause was to stop the aggresion of evil
countries. For 9/11, the cause was to stop the aggression of evil
men. The problem is that these men had no political ties to a nation.
Yet what we invaded a nation. Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein was evil,
but he was no threat. Saddam Hussein was evil, but he had nothing to
do with 9/11. Saddam Hussein was evil, but he did not have Weapons of
Mass Destruction. Saddam was evil, but not so evil that Reagan wasn't
his friend during the '80s. Saddam Hussein was evil, but that's no
reason to invade a sovereign nation, no matter how much we disagree
with their politics or not. It is reason to work with him and try
educating him politically to the error of his ways, and to educate the
people to change their government.

There is such a thing as a bloodless revolution. These revolutions
are a good thing. The Ukraine. Bolivia. Venezuela. There are
others, but if the people were educated enough to know exactly what
they need to make a better country, they will rise up. The revolution
in America wasn't bloodless. But we could have another revolution and
it could be bloodless. We could fight this revolution with our minds
and with our deeds. Our country was built on the idea that if the
government became to corrupt we could always start over. We could
always change our government. Maybe we're reaching that point. In
order to become a more perfect country, we need to move more towards
taking care of ourselves and others than fighting with them.

I guess I've rambled on long enough. My original point was this:
Violence causes more violence. It's common sense proven since the
dawn of time. Occupying Iraq is causing more violence. Not less.

Let's just treat each other better, be they Iraqi's, Muslims, Sunni's,
Shiites, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Russians, Communists, Black,
White, Pro-Choice, Christian Conservative or whatever.

We're all just people. Human beings that can live, and love, and just
be. If we're given the chance. Let's try not to kill each other with
what little time we have on this Earth.


Anonymous said...

I think the US disagrees with more than just Saddam's politics.

Forgive me if I find your last two paragraphs incredibly naive. The rest of your post is very thoughtful (although, I don't think you need to use Greek mythology to make your point).

Sometimes peace begets violence (i.e. Tibet).

I don't intend to attack you, but I am enjoying our conversation.

Anonymous said...

Maybe my last comment was a little harsher than I intended. Sorry if it was.

Bryan said...

No apologies are required. I think one of the other things that would help people every out is the ability to listen to what other people have to say about what they're saying and realize that every is just as right or wrong is they are.

And maybe I am a little naive.

But I don't think wanting to get along with people is exactly naive, nor do I think that fixing our government to help people instead of kill them is naive.

I do think it's unrealistic, but we can all strive for an ideal.

If we all did strive for that ideal, instead of discarding it as naive things would work better.

It's like voting for a third party. If everybody who said, "I'd vote for a third party, but I'd be throwing away my vote" just voted for the goddamned 3rd party, the 3rd party would win.

Bryan said...

one. everyone. everyone is just as right or wrong as they are.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, we should strive for Ideal. Regardless, of how insurmountable it seems (or is).

Anonymous said...

One more thought (I'm bored today, so that's why I keep writing).

"The cycle of violence stops when someone refuses to participate in the violence. I think that we live in the greatest country in the world and should be held to a higher standard. We should be taking the moral high ground, not the immoral low."

Wasn't that what the US was doing before 9/11? Ignoring terrorism. We knew where they were, because we invaded Afghanistan almost immediately. But before, we choose not to participate in the violence.

Also, this is what we did with Rwanda. But that's not what stopped the violence in Rwanda, it was the Tutsi rebels who fought back.

Don't get me wrong; I believe the Bush administration's reasons for going to war are riddled with contradictions.

Bryan said...

Like I said, in some cases it is necessary. But I think in the case of 9/11, why do we use that as a pretense to move into Iraq?

I mean, in all fairness to Afghanistan even, the majority of hijackers and the money that paid for it was all from Saudi Arabia.

But what I'm saying is, would people want to attack us if we were spreading food and clean water around the world instead of forced-at-gunpoint democracy?

Anonymous said...

You may have a point about Iraq, but my hopes are that it will make the region a better place. There are so many good reasons to have invaded Afghanistan! But I have to agree with you about Saudi Arabia. Why haven't we invaded them? ; )

We don't spread food and clean water around the world? I believe the US is doing that now with North Korea. But there are worries that it won't go to the people of N. Korea but rather to the fascist military.

"Forced-at-gunpoint democracy"? That's a pretty cynical point of view. Is that what Allies did to Germany and Japan?

; )

Bryan said...

I just think educating people about democracy is a better way to go about.

I mean, look at Ukraine. Those people were being robbed of their democracy, they were taught to believe how important it was, and they stood up for it.

And now the Orange Revolution is a momentous occasion in history.

People need to understand why democracy is better. That's why Anakin Skywalker had no qualms about turning the galaxy over to Palpatine. No one sat down and explained to him why democracy better, they only preached that it was.

I apologize for the Star Wars. Half of my brain is constantly devoted to processing Star Wars. But it is apt.

Anonymous said...

Preach. Explain. What's the difference?

Anakin failed because of his fear for losing the ones he loved. I suppose that's also why he succeeded years later.

Bryan said...

Anakin turned to the dark side because of Padme. He turned the Empire over to Palpatine (and watch the picnic scene in Clones for some foreshadowing on this one) because he didn't understand the moral difference between a dictatorship and a democracy. He felt that if he trusted the leader, he needed no say. And it was all in the name of security that the senators handed over control to Palpatine as well. (I love that scene in the senate, where Palpatine says he's reorganizing the Republic into the first galactic Empire for a safe, secure society.) (Who am I kidding, I love all the scenes)