Isadora- I do see what you are saying, I really do. I still can not agree with it though. Through out the ages "leaders" have rallied troops to fight for the greater good. To kill the enemy, to vanquish evil from the land. Doesn't all sound so cliche to you now? You can see it now... you can turn to any news channel and actaully see the propaganda to try and convince people to do it all over again.
Forget the propagandizing - I don't pay attention to it anyway. If I did I wouldn't be putting "™" behind the words terror, terrorist, freedom, FreedomLand, etc. I'm able to recognize it for what it is. As far as "rallying the troops", it's not the troops that need rallying - it's the people who's children and relatives are the troops. The troops are rallied by government mandate, with or without the media blitz. Cliche? Only in the the rhetoric. But evil is as evil does and evil still exists in the hearts of (some) men. ("Men" being generic.) So, eliminate the military. Now, tell me how you effectively deal with those who aren't quite so enlightened as we presume to be? Or those who disagree with another's beliefs to a point where they are willing to kill and be killed to make a point?
As for my reaction if Canada was attacked in the same manner, I truely believe it would be the same. People don't just kill without a reason and Terrorists™ are no exception. If Canada were to be attacked (which is more likely now that it is taking the lead role in Afganistan) it would be attacked for a reason. Would it warrent an illogical frenzy of warfare across the globe? No.
I do believe your reaction would be no different, I don't think Canada as a whole would be as forgiving. But, that's just my opinion. Yes, those who kill believe they have a reason for it. Though, it is that reason that comes under question at times. As you state below, country, religion, race, gender, etc. are the easiest themes to sell. (I'm not going to get into the underlying (possible) reasons for Iraq. That debate could last for decades.) But, it's already an illogical frenzy of warfare across the globe. Pick a continent - except maybe OZ - I don't think they are fighting over Mount Isa.
As for Patriotism, I see what people like in the idea. That your country is your home and you should love it and protect it. However, I think it nothing more than another system of control. The only way to control a massive amount of people is to rally them around a common theme. The easiest ones to sell are: Country, Religion, Race, Gender, etc.
As I said - it's what people have done to the the definition that's another story. I love my country. I am devoted to my country. (I have not know any other in the same way at this point in my life.) And, I am willing to sacrifice for it. How I choose to make that sacrifice is up to me - no one else.
Who is to say a Terrorists™ has no respect for life? In my eyes someone who puts insecticide on their lawn has no respect for life.
the only reason you believe that is because your a panthiest and are unwilling to admit intellectual seperation between man and everything else. And your making me mad. Even a muslim terrorist who kills because of what he deeply believes is able to admit that.
I am fairly certain that even if by chance someone close to me was killed by Terrorists™ I would hold my view that instead of unleashing vengeance and fury we find out "why" they did what they did.
I am equally certain that if someone close to you- say five feet away or so- was killed by a terrorist you wouldnt have a chance to ask him why, because you would be terrorized too. Make it personal Brendon. I mean as personal as you can possibly make it, and then tell me how you really feel...
Thanks for the reply RiverRunner, I would like to make clear that my intent is not to make people angry. I like to talk about issues and hopefully come to understand people and there methods of living.
Interesting that you call me a Panthiest in - as far as I can tell - a degrading manner. I wasn't sure what you meant by it and looked it up. I suppose the term could summarise my belief that all life is sacred. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself one though.
Besides that, I am not sure what you are trying to get at... that because I don't seperate humans from all other life I am somehow below the level of a muslim terrorist? Interesting. You'll have to explain that a bit more to me.
I will try as you say to make it more personal. Let's say, as a hypothetical example, that I was on a city bus with my family. We are headed downtown to do what ever people do downtown. Part way into the ride the bus explodes. Out of some strange cause and effect I surrive the blast while my family does not. I am not saying I wouldn't be sad, angry, or grief stricken... I do infact have emotions. However, I wouldn't fly a Canadian banner over my house and proclaim the death to all who would terrorise.
I would morn the loss of my loved ones and friends. I would honour their lives by remembering them. To me that is all that can be done, anything more would be unwarrented.
Let's say the person who was responsible for the explosion was found. I saw him in court as 'he' was tried for the murder of 30 people. I wouldn't be calling for his death or deportation to a country that sanctions torture.
Flip this around a bit and say I was killed and that my mother survived the attack. I would not want anyone to kill my name. To avenge my death by taking more lives. There would be no point to it.
I hope that helps to explain my reaction if say it were more personal. If not let me know.
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Isadora, I don't think that we should look past propoganda. It is more than just war posters and CNN Anchors. From the time we are born into what ever region of the world we come into we are molded to fit with the local flavour.
All through our learning years we are told what to think and how to think and when to think. (If they want you to think at all). This isn't just the United States, it isn't just Iraq. It is in every region across the planet. Even at the PTA meeting people are trying to sway the opinions of others with a little misrepresentation, a litte smoke and a few mirrors.
As for eliminating the military. Let's say the United States had no military, think about it some more. Just ponder that though for awhile. What comes to my mind is a more peaceful world.
Certainly there would be people that would take that as an easy way in. Warlords would send their droves of soldiers to conquer, plunder, and pillage. But that is the thing... who stops first? I can see my own words are very idealistic. I just don't know what can be done with - as you say -
with those who aren't quite so enlightened as we presume to be? Or those who disagree with another's beliefs to a point where they are willing to kill and be killed to make a point?
I suppose either a common threat to the planet or an end to greed.
As for the patriot theme, I still can't understand it. You are willing to sacrifice (do you mean both ways, take life and give your own?) for your country that you cherish. I can understand sacrificing yourself to save another... I just don't see the "drive" to save ones country.
It's all too hypothetical I guess, but let's say the Russians invaded Canada and the United States. And people were fighting, killing, and dying in the name of Canada and the United States. Is there a point to it? Say we were to let the Russian walk in, give them the keys to the White House and the Parliament? Of course our lifestyles would change, but other than that we would still live under the corrupt elite of the world with no more foresight than a mole.
I am saying that someone who claims to have no emotional reaction when someone else kills their entire family because of a personal vendetta, and who claims to want to know [i]why[i] what happened happened is someone who is only allowing for their own intellect and not for the intellect and heart of the rest of the human race. I'm not saying that in such a hypothetical situation that you should fly a Canadian banner over your house and proclaim death to all those who terrorize. All im saying that most people in that situation would experience alot of anger, and justified anger. I am saying that when everything you love and know is ripped away from you, the reaction of the human spirit is not to sit down, take it and not take whatever kind of restorative action you know how. But you are entitled to what you say you believe. How very big of you.
As for using the term "Panthiest" in a derogatory manner and insinuating that you are less than a muslim because of it: I don't suppose you are a Pantheist. or that you beleive all life is sacred. Because if you did you would be a little more sypathetic to those who lost their families and loved ones due to terrorism. What i was getting at with that comment was that i dont believe you are being honest with yourself, because the intellectual difference between man and everything else is apart of the inherent moral law that exsists within every human being, even those who seem as different from myself. its part of the intrisic knowledge between right and wrong, and what matters and what doesnt.
Lastly, i want to clear something up: I don't support the war on terror and i dont like the way the media and the government war against one another to capitolize on it and to push their personal agendas. And i dont support war in general.
Just ponder that though for awhile.
Pondering - though have been pondering since this discussion started. Also trying to figure out where to start - there is so much...
Isa leaves to sort her thoughts and study for awhile... But says to B that this discussion is far from finished (on so many levels).
I look forward to is Isa! Plus I have been thinking more about the patriot issue and I think I wasn't really clear on my part. That it isn't the part of loving your country and where you come from - it's the part that stems from that. When it turns into the willingness to kill for your country (or what ever your are fighting for) that I find dangerous.
Like wise RiverRuner, I may have mis.. umm... represented myself. It isn't that I don't get a wrench in my gut when I see the World Trade Cent[re] get slammed into, it also isn't that I don't feel sorrow for the people who lost their lives or lost loved ones. I am trying to draw focus on the fact that the actions of a soldier are the same as those of a so-called terrorist. That both fight to the death for what they cherish in this world.
And hense my arguement that attacking the attackers leads to no other end than mutual destruction. Anger is a reaction, and many people act on their anger, but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
I disagree on your human spirit point, for the fact that all creatures experience anger, love, devotion, rage. I think what seperates humans from the others is because we can actaully step back and think about our actions and not react on instinct alone.
As for not considering all life to be sacred because I don't sypathise with the people who lost loved ones in a terrorist attack I don't quite understand. I would say that I do consider life sacred because I not only care about the lives of the attacked but also the attackers.
Perhaps my main problem with the idea is the use of the word "terrorist". Terrorism is a tactic - a method of attack - it isn't an ideology of dogma. Through out the media you hear nothing but the use of the word "terrorist" as if people subscribe to the ideals of terrorism.
Terrorism - refers to a strategy of using political violence, social threats or coordinated attacks closely related with unconventional warfare in manner of conduct and operation.
So the confusion comes when people use the term terrorist as if it sums everything up nicely. I don't know how the term can be used at all really. It is far to subjective:
"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
The common ground would come with a definition such as a terrorist is a person who uses terror as a method of fighting. But again, this would describe pretty much all armies around the world.
As far as a humans intrisic knowledge between right and wrong, and what matters and what doesn't is far to subjective in my eyes. Right, wrong, good, evil... these are humans contructs, more methods of control.
Thanks for the debate, I don't try to be difficult or always trying to find a counter-point I enjoy fleshing out idea's and opinions is all.
[ Edit: Removed unintentional quote markers. ]
as a canadian, i say that we generally use good-spirited rivalry that sometimes is misinterpreted by the americans. we call them rednecks, they call us pot-smoking hippies, and on and on it goes. as a well travelled youth and relatively well educated for my age (i'm not standing on my soapbox, i'm actually pretty smart), i can say it's just become kind of a poke between two friends. We're gay and they're broke. it's not important in the big picture.
i'm an american, new yorker, and life long east-coaster, which means i actually have a brain in my head. i think it's sad and pathetic the way so many americans project this chauvinist "big brother little brother" (phrase from an earlier post) scheme onto the relations between our countries, and I think it sums up the American attitude pretty concisely. It's like saying "Wow you're so much like us...except not as good."
Most of the canadians i've met (lots from montreal) have been extremely educated and smart, interesting people, and I have never EVER been insulted or accosted while there for being an american. and I would never consider doing that myself b/c it's lame and infantile. So people should stop having petty, insecure discussions about "who's better" (btw it's mostly americans i hear bringing this up). I guess if you're used to being top-dog fear of losing prestige overshadows everything else...
I feel that it varies in Canada - French speaking Canada is a world onto it's own, the provinces are varied.
As an "ugly American" I have found that if you keep your antenna up and show up as a teachable person- where ever you go, eventually people will come to like you. I try to get to know local people in every town I go to ANYWHERE I go- and apart from any gender issues, I can usually befriend people.
If I could get outside my skin and do what anthropologists do- study themselves- I'd say that our greatest flaw as US citizens is our impatience.
Just a question, it was brought up in a conversation during an interview on TV last night regarding Americans (USA) and their view of Canadians. This thread is the purfect place to ask the question regarding that.
In the interview one of the people stated that in the eyes of himself (american) that Canadians were: "Want to be americans who couldn't quite make the grade."
Now it was said in jest, so my question is do you guys take the piss out of each other as much as:
Aussies and Kiwi's and Saffa's
English, scots,welsh and irish