I'm not sure who those people will be...
It's a lot of people I think. It's political leaders who make the right decisions regardless of the political consequences, it's soldiers that decide to talk rather than shoot, it's Arab mothers who stop telling their sons to kill Americans, or American mothers who teach their sons that Arabic traditions are important. It's a whole mindset. I think it's hard for a nation to admit their mistakes and take steps to correct them, and it's also hard for mothers to admit that more killing won't bring back the children they've lost.
War is a primitive and childish behaviour. That's especially true of terrorism. The only sure way I've seen of resolving it is to simply let the combatants fight it out until they're all exhausted and finally admit that they each have the right to exist and no matter how hard you punch you can't make the other disappear. Unfortunately that means a lot of people get killed in the process. And also, unfortunately, more people will be born that forget that lesson. All we can hope for is a time of relative peace.
The other thing I should mention is that I think every nation has the right to fight "terrorism". But there's a right way and a wrong to go about doing it.
Honestly, I don't believe this administration really gives a damn about how the US is viewed by the "outside" world. Only after the next
Yes, but I think you'll agree with me that sooner or later it will become an issue.
Oh Q, I can't agree with you more on your statements. Honestly, you are correct on so many levels. But, I also have come to realize that all the political leaders could recall all of their coalition troops and our's would still remain, just to make a point - at least for 3 more years. Again, I don't mean to sound flippant, but common sense does not flow freely in Washington DC. Peace is a mindset, as is war. One of the problems with our involvement - the ones who are actually on the front lines, as it were, were not even born during the Viet Nam "Conflict". (Just as many of those who fought there were not born until after WWII.) When you have only history book recounts of war, it doesn't sink in that this is wrong until you are actually there. Sad thing - those who are in charge of this miserable mess were alive during Viet Nam.
And, yes, I do agree with you that the outside view of the US will become an issue. That is a given. But it just isn't going to be anytime in the very near future I'm afraid. I have been around long enough to see several presidents come and go - but none quite as "I don't give a shit" (sorry) as this one.
Again, Beerman and I couldn't agree with you more on this.
Regarding every country having the "right" to fight terrorism I need to disagree.
Terrorism is a tactic, not a group or an ideology. You can't "fight terrorism" because it doesn't make any sense. You can fight people who use terrorism as a tactic.
And this is where the situation gets sticky... who defines terrorism? More and more around the world the ruling classes are labeling any descent towards the state as "Terrorism™". In time simple protest will be outlawed and fought against with force.
You're wrong, you can fight an idea.
The same argument can be had over "crime". Who defines what "crime" is? "Crime" is an ideology, what is defined in one nation as a crime is different in another. Call it a figure of speach if you'd like. In my simple mind, I don't want crime on my streets and I don't want terrorism on my streets. And I feel that any nation has the right to do what it can to protect its citizens.
Again we disagree. A ruling class can define terrorism. But it's the role of everybody else in the country to agree or disagree (sometimes violently, sometimes in the courts) with it. Like in any society if the vast majority agree with the definition, it sticks. Where it does get tricky is when one nation applies its definition to another nation. We now move into the global arena. Looked at in one way it is the right of the Iraqi people to fight for its rights by any means necessary until the people in Washington acknowledge that their definition of "terrorist" is incorrect. Unfortunately, there are no courts where the Iraqi people can sue the American government. So they must resort to violence.
You and five billion other people...
It is not about everyone doing everything, but more about everyone having a voice about everything.
It would not be "Okay Q_Zhang, it is your turn to design the bridges and roads today". It would be "Okay Q_Zhang, what are your thoughts on us building this road and bridge through here.
Many retort with lack of concern. You don't want to think about the roads and the buildings, everyone wants to live out their life having everything taken care of.
This leads me to believe that apathy will be our downfall.
I don't think it's wrong to not want to know about something. It's admitting I'm human. If I'm to give my opinion about something, I want to be knowledgable about it. I can't physically, be well enough informed about all the issues that a government has to deal with that I can give an informed comment on it. Your example question is incorrect. There hasn't been much construction in my area lately. However, in the city of Toronto, I know there is a lot of construction going on. My point is that I really don't think my opinion should be sought concerning a building or a road that's on the otherside of the city that I may or may not ever see. What about on the other side of the country? I really don't want to know about that!! That's the service a government does for me. The important thing is that the information is there should I ask for it, and I know and agree with what the general rules are for when my opinion will be sought.
The way I see it is that the government works for us, NOT the other way around. As such, I don't consider them a real 'ruling class', unless they are dictators and have robbed us of the right to remove them. In democracies, we choose someone amongst ourselves (through a more or less fair voting process) who organises things for us and ensures our taxes are spent fairly. I consider it more of a 'managing class' than a 'ruling class' and I consider the citizens as a sort of board of directors who appoints those managers to handle day to day affairs. Unfortunately, the government isn't always the one we want and what they do isn't always what we would want done. But, then again, there is no possible system (even anarchy) that would ensure the right thing always happens. Well, maybe a systematic brainwashing of the entire world.
I don't see idealism as a bad thing btw, I just think it's better to try and apply those ideals to a practical solution rather than wishfully think that 6 billion other people will somehow agree with you.
I am sure that we are all considering the context in which things are said or quoted. I haven't looked into the quote from the Biloxi Mayor but I am sure that any human life is precious.
Yes - most definitely. I didn't mean to say that any loss of life was more tragic than another. The point I wanted to make was that we, in the West, don't seem to understand the scale of things. One hundred thousand people died in the tsunami - can we even begin to fathom that number? Can we imagine the reaction had 100,000 people been killed in the hurricane?
It's almost an insult to compare the two - although every, single life lost in each remains a tragedy. I'm sure the mayor was speaking of the devastation he saw before him - and it must be a terrible sight to see. But the media this morning are picking up and running with that quote and suddenly a tsunami in the South and a hurricane in the North are on par with one another. And they're not. The tsunami killed 1,000 times more people, without warning, in some of the poorest countries in the world that have no health coverage, insurance, or means to rebuild on their own.
Six thousand people die EVERY DAY in Africa from preventable diseases. It doesn't even make the news anymore. "Expendible" people don't sell.
I couldn't agree with you more. I just didn't want this thread to evolve into a rant about the Mayor's unthought-out speech. People don't even think before they speak anymore.
I forget who said it, Q_Zhang maybe, but I have so many other things that I would rather being doing than to even be asked whether I think that the road should be built or if it makes sense or who is going to pay for it or where the money in the budget is going to pay for it. That's why I rely on the 'managers' or 'leaders' I elect to make those decisions. And I can only hope that they are honest with me before I elect them and continue to maintain that persona that I voted for.
I can only hope for the same thing in Iraq. That eventually they will get tired of fighting and try to resolve their differences for a better future. And America get their troops out of there and concentrate on all our problems at home. And maybe restore some of that image to the outside world.
The way I see it is that the government works for us, NOT the other way around. As such, I don't consider them a real 'ruling class', unless they are dictators and have robbed us of the right to remove them. In democracies, we choose someone amongst ourselves (through a more or less fair voting process) who organises things for us and ensures our taxes are spent fairly. I consider it more of a 'managing class' than a 'ruling class' and I consider the citizens as a sort of board of directors who appoints those managers to handle day to day affairs. Unfortunately, the government isn't always the one we want and what they do isn't always what we would want done. But, then again, there is no possible system (even anarchy) that would ensure the right thing always happens. Well, maybe a systematic brainwashing of the entire world. ...
I can't agree more with Peter on this.
In fact, our Prime Minister announced right after the last general elections that he was the No.1 Servant for all Malaysians. Well, he was indeed right. He made many Malaysians realised that the elected state assembly and parliamentary representatives were merely servants to the people, not the other way round which most people had in mind. This wrong mindset was very apparent whenever the elected representitives or any top officials from the government made a visit to certain places. These people, who were actually civil servants, were served very well by the people instead, with some almost like a royalty.
Part of this "tradition" can actually be traced back to the colonial days, where the ruling officials from the colony were perceived to be of a different and higher class than the locals.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." [Romans 13:9].