R. Hell Site Forum Message

eight days later

Posted by:Richard Hell
Posted on: 19 Sep 2001
I'm a little disappointed that there hasn't been more discussion and thought here about what's going on. Though I'm glad to see what has been written. We're able to see that traffic is almost double normal, so the people have been by.

Granted, thinking about the situation all the time is exhausting, but it's hard not to. One nice thing is I've spoken to more friends in the last week than I have in any single week in 20 years probably.

I have to say it gives me some sympathy for the politicians. These problems are so difficult. But the thing is that it's too easy to lose sight of the way that the country is controlled by the values of big business (and the military deployments are usually about their money). It's so easy because they control the law making and the media because they pay for them with their contributions to political campaigns and their advertising (and can afford the winning lawyers)! It's that simple, and if my arguments and the info presented here seem slanted it's only because ALL we ever hear on television, in the newspapers, from the politicians, is the other side. So any alternative ends up sounding "fringe." It is so easy for us to be complacent. We live in the richest, most powerful country in the world (never mind that the last time I looked we also have by far the most people in prison and the least health coverage of industrialized countries), and so we regard as our birthright all kinds of luxuries (like gas for under $5.00 a gallon for instance, not to mention three big hot meals of fat a day and many Coca Colas) that are obscenely extravagant to most of the world.

And what's with this "patriotism?" What kind of value is that? Is it just loyalty to self-interest? What is "American" about you? Why would you pretend your country (in its collective actions) can't be wrong? On the contrary, as a citizen, ideally it's an obligation (and privilege in a democracy) to be aware of what's going on and to act on your perceptions. The problem with America is the way its citizens truly think they're superior somehow because of their citizenship. I guess most nations have that problem but it's more dangerous here because of our power. So Americans should be especially careful to always try and do the right thing. A person is NOT LESSER because he or she is a citizen of Iran or China or Angola. They are just as worthy as you and I. In fact I think a good "thought game" to play when one is considering going to war on a place is to imagine that your friends and family live there. Because they do.

I am not my country's government and I live in a democracy; until I have very good evidence to the contrary I think I should assume the same thing about the citizens of Afghanistan, especially considering they live in a tyranny (we're told).

Then, it's true, there do come times when you have to bring in the military, "make war." Or I can accept that we do in some situations anyway. I'm not a pacifist. And I also feel that if I am going to talk about these things it's my responsibility to truly inhabit my "position," and not say things only as a gadfly, frivolously. I can't honestly say that I think war is going to go away. Even if everybody had adequate living conditions. Having enough doesn't seem to be enough, people need to have more than the next person. But I oppose that mentality, including when I see it in myself, and it's that opposition that I want to express.

Anyway, even tyrannies are human. This talk of "evil" is the evil. We may have to kill people to protect ourselves but it's not only ignorant, immoral, and cowardly to call them evil, it's boring.

I'm tired of writing, I think I'm losing it, I've got to take a rest, but I'll be back later.

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Message thread:

         eight days later by Richard Hell, 19 Sep 2001 (11)
                 drained by J G, 21 Sep 2001
                         other discussions by Murray, 22 Sep 2001
                 The REAL Enemy by Oskar Mire, 2 Oct 2001
                         support for your position by Mitchell, 2 Oct 2001
                 Bush to Congress; Chomsky interv., etc. by Richard Hell, 21 Sep 2001
                         ive got a sick mind by J G, 22 Sep 2001
                                 the situation in California by Adam Gnade, 23 Sep 2001
                         gleeking earth-vexing clack-dish by Hoodnar, 23 Sep 2001
                         Beware of Chomsky! by rudeboy666, 23 Sep 2001
                         from the southern hemisphere by Nat, 24 Sep 2001
                 The Masks of God by Dolores , 1 Oct 2001

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