Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Why Stephen Harper is my new hero

You have likely already heard the latest trendy political term - "proportionate response" - in countless news reports (see here, for example): one or another representative of some liberal western government or institution calls on Israel to show a "proportionate response" to, e.g., the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, implying that a large assault against the presence of Hezbollah gangster-state terrorists in Lebanon is somehow disproportionate to the kidnapping act that supposedly (but only if you are ahistorical in thought) started the present conflict in Lebanon. Anything more than what our opinion-leaders deem a "proportionate response" and Israel is to be accused of victimizing a whole group of blameless innocents - in the present case, the Lebanese people - simply because of the unfortunate presence of terrorists in their midst.

But the kidnapping last week of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah was of course merely the excuse for which Israel has been waiting, as it seeks to ensure its very existence against an illegitimate non-state army armed to the teeth with rockets and allied with Iran, a state whose leaders deny the Holocaust and yet call for another one, for wiping Israel from the face of the earth. What, pray tell, is a "proportionate" response to people who are carrying on a fifteen-centuries old Jihad in whose name they hope to destroy Israel and turn any and all non-Muslims into either dust or Dhimmis?

While their enemy may deserve no mercy, in this nuclear age Israel cannot throw its full might at its enemy without truly becoming a pariah state. Consequently, whatever the level of Israel's response, the choice will be somewhat arbitrary and as such open to criticism for being too disproportionate, too intent on victimizing. (And alternatively, in being restrained, in departing from the traditional pre-nuclear assumption that a threatened people should do whatever they can to defend themselves, Israel also expose itself to mocking from Islamic warriors who take a less than total response as a sign of Israel's inherent weakness - they can kill a few more of us than we kill of them, but there will always be more of us than of them.)

And in an age when only visible victims really count in the media's making of "the news", when the rightness of a nation's cause is secondary to its power and ability to make its enemies, and associated civilians, suffer, Israel is open to much attack because it happens to be much more militarily effective than the cult of resentment it presently faces; even as the cult presently demonstrates some capability to kill Israelis with its rockets, its only truly great military advantage is its vast superiority in the numbers of its real or potential supporters, an advantage that only encourages its leaders to sacrifice as many of its people in the cause as needs be, as the Islamic cult of suicide bombing against Israel and other western and non-Muslim nations demonstrates.

So why the obsession among the western liberal-left with a "proportionate response"? As noted, the liberal-left is presently deeply immersed in a victimary religion, i.e. in a habit of thought that tries to understand every human relationship in terms of how it departs from an original ideal of equality and reciprocity; and, in so departing - as every actual relationship must - the utopian left is able and often keen to denounce every or any relationship for victimizing one or another of its parties. For our liberals, nothing is ever good enough; the world as it is is resented for failing to live up to some egalitarian ideal.

Now we mustn't simply dismiss the left's egalitarian ideal, for it is founded, I believe, in a somewhat correct intuition about the equalitarian origin and nature of the language and human culture we all share: membership in the community of language implies equality; no one is inherently just a speaker or just a listener... (anyone who wants to pursue this idea should check out this blog and associated links). But while there is definitely something to our moral intuition of the sacredness of each and every human life, a sacredness founded in a fundamental human equality, the freedom that language also gives us necessarily entails departure from the originary equality of all language users, so that we may differentiate people in all sorts of pragmatic ways as we liberate ourselves from the dictates of both a ritualized equality and hierarchy. Thus, to make a religion out of the defense of each and every putative "victim" of human freedom or inequality is to refuse the moral imperative of our freedom to make choices.

We must discriminate in the cause of human freedom. For anyone to do anything to advance the cause of human progress, it requires that he break, for a time, with the original rule of equality that the first human users of the first word all shared, an equality that remains memorialized in every act of language to this day.

Historically, the Jews have been leaders in going first, in breaking from ritualized orders in the name of human freedom. And they remain deeply and widely resented to this day in many quarters for their success in having done just this. It must be admitted that countless of our fellow humans, both in the west and east, are committed to a resentment that is antithetical to freedom and human progress.

Those who call for a "proportionate response" are people deeply fearful of anyone doing anything (anything at all) that may look like victimization, or inequality because it entails someone taking a lead and differentiating himself from others. For the fearful religion of victims, any evidence of inequality - as, for example, is demonstrated by Israel's military superiority - is a scandal that must be denounced. The fact that this inequality is a necessary function of human freedom does not seem to trouble them: all that matters is their memory of certain historical inequalities - e.g. the Holocaust, Hiroshima, or western imperialism - that, in some cases if not in all, were simply too scandalous for any possible justification. It is the memory of such events that has led to the present cult of "white guilt". And for followers of this cult, all that matters today is that everyone be treated "proportionately", that there be no more victims.

But this cult of proportionality is a corruption of our fundamental intuition of equality, an intuition that is as much about reciprocity and exchange as it is about some fixed, permanent state of equality. Complete symmetry between two parties is actually the denial of the possibility of, or need for, exchange. Complete symmetry is a state of being that can never actually exisxt among human beings, given our mimicing and competing desires, our contests to control desirable objects or social positions. Complete symmetry and equality is nothing but a nasty utopian dream whose pursuit, in the face of contrary human reality, brings death and destruction, as for example with the 100 million death toll of twentieth-century "communism".

Real exchange and reciprocity can only occur if there is some difference or asymmetry within our fundamental human equality, i.e. if there is a first and a second and a third among equals. After all, it is our differences that we exchange, without which there can be no exchange. To speak of "proportionality" sounds, in the abstract, as if one is advocating an ideal of reciprocity. But, at present, it is really a resentful call to restrict freedom and innovation so there need be no more "victims" but only government and "international law" keeping everyone in line (an unrealistic, utopian, idea which is, of course, actually a recipe for more victims, victims of the global Big Brother). And, in the present real-world context, what "proportionate response" means is that you support a perpetual tit-for-tat in which Israelis and Arabs kidnap and kill each other, one for one, until... the relatively few Jews are all gone.

What Israel is trying to impose on Lebanon, it seems to me, is a much more realistic form of reciprocity than endless tit-for-tat. It is trying to make the Lebanese see that if they allow the presence in their midst of a party committed to the extermination of Israel, they can expect nothing but war from Israel. Yes, the idea of getting rid of Hezbollah must bring nightmares of renewed civil war to the Lebanese. But frankly, maybe the reality is simply that their choice is to risk temporary civil war or to face endless Israeli wrath (if, that is, any desire to completely destroy Israel cannot be realized). If the majority of Lebanese are smart, I think they will choose sides and take all the Israeli and American support that will come to them when they choose to face down Hezbollah and engage Israel in the kind of true reciprocity that will flow from recognition of Israel's right to exist, to be different, and to defend that difference.

Frankly, I don't want to hear about another Lebanese or Canadian Arab who considers herself just another "innocent victim" of Israel. While civilian casualties in war are no doubt some kind of victim, people living in war zones cannot avoid the responsibility of taking sides in an attempt to bring the war to a head and conclusion as quickly as possible. The fact must be faced by all Arabs that many of their brethren have long been involved in a war against the Jews. Consequently, all Arabs and all Muslims should have no choice now but to take sides. Let the world know if you choose the side of freedom, or the side of resentment against the Jewish presence in the Middle East. Are you for or against Jewish difference (and success) in your midst?

Aware to this reality, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, first responded to Israel's attacks on Hezbollah by throwing the jargon of "proportionate response" back in the faces of its pimps. He called Israel's response "measured", a word that the many Dhimmis in Canada (among whom, as we have shared in reporting, is the bulk of civil servants in Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade) have spent the last week protesting.

So what a proud moment it was for me to read today's Globe and Mail print edition headline: "Harper refuses to budge":
Mr. Harper said the conflict is the result of the fact that there is no Middle East peace process because "the current Palestinian government is not committed to a peace process.

"Secondly, there is an immediate crisis because of the actions of Hamas and the actions of Hezbollah," he said, referring to the radical Islamic movement that controls the Palestinian Authority and the Shia Muslim group that controls much of southern Lebanon.

He said the key to ending the crisis is not an immediate ceasefire, as has been advocated by some members of the Group of Eight industrialized countries at their annual summit here, but rather the safe return of three kidnapped Israeli soldiers and the end of "Hezbollah attacks on Israel."

These were Mr. Harper's first comments on the violence in the Middle East since eight Canadians, seven from a Montreal family, were killed Sunday in an Israeli air raid on Lebanon. Relatives of the Al-Akhrass family appealed to the government to act swiftly to evacuate other Canadians.
In other words, in the face of a war's inevitable victims, Harper, unlike the Canadian MainStreamMedia, is refusing to play the victimary game; he is refusing to bow to the victimary religion that controls so much of our public discourse and to defer to the anger of the family that has tragically lost seven of its members. This is why Prime minister Harper is my new hero.

And if that isn't enough, he forthrightly questions the reason, even sanity, of those who promote the victimary religion:
The Canadian Arab Federation condemned Mr. Harper for describing Israel's actions last week as "measured."

The federation issued a statement saying it held him "responsible for the death of eight Canadians in Lebanon" because of his failure to urge Israel to be restrained.

Mr. Harper dismissed the federation's characterization of his remarks as "bizarre."
[...]
Mr. Harper said neither he nor his officials have contacted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for an explanation of the air strike on Sunday that killed a Montreal pharmacist, his wife, their four young children and others. He offered his condolences to the victims' families at the start of his news conference.
Condolences should be given, not only for the loss of sacred life, but because at least some of those in mourning are surely being exploited by a bizarre and irrational victimary ideology.

20 comments:

Charles Henry said...

It goes to show how low we had fallen, that we can feel such surprise at someone doing and saying the right thing in the Prime Minister's office.

From within my circle, it seems like a step has been taken; Canada still harbors more than its share of jew-hating lefties, but it feels like there are far more left-leaning people who understand Isreal's reaction as a justified self-defensive measure... and are willing to say so.

The exception seem to be, the university denizens, still saying and doing what they said and did back in the 90s. The people in the "learning" business seem to be the ones least capable of changing what they think.

truepeers said...

Charles, one line in this Globe article made me chuckle. After blaming Harper's decision on the growth of conservative ideology, it notes:

"Although a more nuanced position might be to suggest that Israel react with more restraint, Mr. Harper almost certainly believes that the more easily understood message is to back the country that reflects the mores of Canadian society.

By doing so, he probably appeals to a portion of the lower-income mainstream that voted for his party earlier this year, say his supporters. "
-you see, the problem with the teaching profession, not being able to grasp right and wrong is a) that it is too well paid; or b) that while the low-income dullards, like myself, think we should support the country that shares our values, the true thinker is a Gnostic who has secret or special knowledge that goes beyond common sense to reveal a truly nuanced and liberating view of the world; or c) both.

I think it's c.

MIO said...

Wow, do you really beleive all this is for 2 soldiers and wasn't planned?! I suggest you stop watching CNN ASAP... Up until today, there were only three countries (US, UK, Canada) supporting Israelis in killing of innocent women, children and civilians of Lebanon. After today's news of even UK partialy backing off this apparent human tragedy and war crime, Canada is now the only country left. Yes ladies and gentleman, at this moment (July 30, 2006) sadly we live in the only country in the whole globe that its head of state hasn't yet condemns Israel or at least asked for Israeli restrain of killing pople (somthing that even Bush has done). This is really SAD.

truepeers said...

MIO,

First of all, Stephen Harper is not our head of state; the Queen is.

Second, of course the Israeli response was planned to some degree; the Hezbollah raid, its murder of Israeli soldiers, and kidnapping of two more, did indeed serve as the justifiable excuse that Israel was waiting for to do something to Hezbollah. Why was it so waiting? Because the sole reason Hezbollah exists as a military force is to destroy Israel, its only serious enemy. Israel does what it does because many if not most Muslims in this world cannot accept its existence; many cannot even accept the existence of Jews, anywhere. In this reality, what Israel does is not evil, it is not a war crime. Rather, it is not nearly enough. WE - good Canadian boys - helped kill millions of German civilians in bombings in WOrld War II. Was that a war crime? No, because the enemy created the evil situation in which this was the necessary evil they had to commit, or give in to a greater evil.

And as for Stephen Harper, he is a hero for standing up to hateful fools like you. Canada has always stood for freedom. Israel is a liberal democracy trying to get a foot in the door for liberal democracy in the Middle East. Lebanon is a country that allows a highly armed terrorist group to take over large parts of its terrritory, to use human shields, to actively put people in the line of Israeli fire so that they can then be displayed before the World's media as victims, to turn the hearts and minds of fools like you. No one likes to kill women and children; it is indeed evil; but when you pick war as the lesser of two evils it is what happens. So blame the people or the religion that has started and continued this war, not the people who are trying simply to eke out an existence on a postage stamp and who would gladly choose peace if her enemies ever would.

The only problem with Harper's defense of Israel is that it has not been strong enough. If you don't like living in a country where the Canadian Prime Minister speaks and talks to free Canadians, and doesn't pretend to the utter idiocy that there is any kind of moral equivalence between Israel and its enemies, then leave. We don't want you here. Get out. Go live in a hell hole dominanted by armed apocalyptic gangsters. I dare you. I double dare you...

Haven't left yet? no i thought you wouldn't. You do like freedom after all. Maybe it's time to start realizing it.

truepeers said...

MIO, a couple of links for you:

the truth about photojournalists

white guilt a common theme here

truepeers said...

an example of Hezbellah's social work in Lebanon:

I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

Dr. Mounir Herzallah
Berlin-Wedding

MIO said...

LOL, I must say I like your determination to get your point across, although I totally disagree with you. You mentioned Hitler and Nazis, they too believed 100% what they said and did is just and right, for the good of their people and advancement of their society and they succeeded in that area pretty damn well before fortunately it all went to hell. But the point that they missed is that, there is always two sides to any story. What we know and what we believe is just a state of mind, it is right in your head but that doesn’t make it more right or even better than the idea that you are fighting against. Although I believe in Israel's right to existence, I can not justify their methods and specially their arrogance. They should understand that they are the people forcing themselves on natural habitants of that part of world and they should respect their ideas and beliefs no matter what they are. If you take a look at a normal day of a Palestinian or Lebanese individual you see the injustice and humiliation that they go through everyday, why, just because of their lack of military/political power (don’t tell you believe its going to stay this way forever?!). Even if what you say about their propaganda was true (which is completely wrong and biased) even then you should see the truth that it has always been like that in Israel's camp and the bottom line is that they are learning it well from them. I was reading your blog and noticed you said these people should be killed and their wives should be impregnated by moral people from west! I can't see how you can justify this, but in my opinion western ideology extremism is as (if not more) dangerous as Islamic extremes. I thank you for your opinion, and tell you that although some people might tell you are insane (which I believe you like to hear), I don’t think that way and look at you more like a very knowledgeable but confused individual that needs to open his eyes to the truth on the other side of all this as well as your own. "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind...War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." Peace.

truepeers said...

MIO,

The mistake of the Nazis was not that they failed to see that there are two sides; it was rather that they chose the wrong side. Their whole ideology was a lie, a heresy, a horrible disconnect from reality. And they did not help "their own people" very much; rather they got millions of them killed, their cities destroyed. Even if they had won the war, the Nazi system could not have lasted very long, for it was founded on a fundamental lie about the nature of our humanity: it is a lie that a gangster state, continually relying on resentful scapegoating of "Jews" could ever engender a progressive "thousand year reich". Once they had killed all the Jews they would still have been resentful people and they would still have needed more "Jews" to resent since their resentment was not caused by the Jews but was rather a fundamental part of their own false ideology. Sooner or later, the Germans would have figured out that they were living under an inhuman, resentful ideology and they would have thrown the Nazis out.

Let's hope the Palestinians and Hezbollah's prisoners will come to realize this too. Of course the daily life of those people is humiliating. But as long as they continue to blame the humiliation on the Jews and not on their own "leaders" and their Jihadist ideologies, they will continue to suffer, even if they succeed in kiling all the Jews.

When you call the Israelis "arrogrant" you only suggest that you too suffer from this resentful ideology; in fact, you start to sound just like the Nazis.

What we know and what we believe is just a state of mind, it is right in your head but that doesn’t make it more right or even better than the idea that you are fighting against.

-this is rubbish as a philosophy, my friend. You may have some professors there at the University of Ottawa who teach such moral or conceptual relativism. If so i pity you and assure you that if you go through the rest of your life thinking that there is no way you can determine right from wrong, better from worse, that reality is nothing but an image in your mind, well then your life will turn out to be a disaster. I have a little more experience with life and Canadian universities than I think you do... you might trust me on this one at least...

But wait a minute... you just said Israel is arrogant, etc... so you do actually believe you have some powers of judgment after all... it's just that your philosophy boils down to a refusal to take sides when the western side is possibly in the right, and that you will only defend what you consider to be righteous victims. But what if the problem with your philosophy is not that we can't differentiate between right and wrong, but rather that we can't neatly divide up the world into victims and victimizers? What if relative poverty or misery is not in itself de facto proof of victimization or rightness? What then will you use to determine right and wrong? No doubt that's the question your professors leave you wholly unprepared to answer. As I say, find an answer soon or it's going to be a confusing life...

You say the Israelis are forcing themselves on the "natural inhabitants of that part of the world". BUt in fact Israel is the historical homeland of the Jews and Jews have always lived there. In the meantime, we have seen the rise of Islam and the Islamification and Arabization of much of the world, in a rather bloody imperialism that does not allow non-Muslim infidels many rights. Jewish minorities have been almost completely wiped out of the Islamic world, starting in Arabia in Mohammed's time. Christian minorities are presently fighting for their last footholds. I would remind you, for example, that places like Egypt and Pakistan were once majority Christian. And when we look at DNA, we see that Jews and Arabs are very close in lineage. If one of the two is a "natural inhabitant" of the Middle East then the other one is too. In Israel, there is a large Arab minority with democratic rights; in the Arab of Muslim world, there is no such Jewish equivalent. The difference, my friend, lies not in the blood or nature but in the ideas and ideologies promoted by two different religions. By the way, am I to take it that you are a "natural inhabitant" of Canada?

My blog is written by three people. I am not the one who wrote the passage about killing Jihadists and marrying their women. It sounds extreme to many people, no doubt, but why? I consider it impractical but not obviously immoral. The man who wrote that, Dag, has spent a lot of time in the Middle East as a teacher. He came to this conclusion after seeing how his teaching could actually threaten the lives of his young students. If he taught them, for example, how to think critically, how to question authority, they could say things to their elders that would endanger their lives - and there are examples of kids in that part of whe world being killed by their clan elders because of their ties to westerners. Dag came to the conclusion that the only way the children of the Middle East can come to enjoy the kind of freedom he wished for them was if the world sent them schoolteachers with guns, teachers ready and willing to kill the fathers and uncles who want their children to remain ignorant and submissive to the ritual order of their society.

I consider Jihadism immoral, and if it is indeed the case that western modernity is threatened by the Jihad then I believe, if we must, in killing its advocates and integrating the survivors of their families into a global order that priviliges personal freedom, trade, migration, and human intellectual interaction. Personally, however, I don't want to go and live in the Middle East and marry there. But if it were possible to do that, and some wanted to do it, I might well consider their doing so moral. The idea that the wealthy high-technology west can live in isolation from the rest of humanity, can live as if almost a different kind of species that does not interact and marry with other humans, is a more evil idea, to my way of thinking. No one likes killing, but sometimes it is necessary.

To say we "should kill them and marry their women" is thus jolting rhetoric, but I think when properly argued the idea can look good in comparison to what our "progressive" voices implicitly advocate by their refusal to criticize "the other": keeping the women of the Muslim world slaves to violent and morally primitive men, all in the name of multiculturalism and treating "one side's" ideas and values as the moral equivalent of our own. Did you know that most of the women in Pakistani jails are there because they have been raped and blamed for the rape? Are you Persian? If so, what do you think of the stonings of women in Iran?

No one likes war, but sometimes it is necessary when the other guy cannot come to any terms with your mere existence. Sure, humanity is capable of wiping itself from the face of the earth and may well be about to do so. But all sides are not morally equal in this respect, since some cultures are much better at deferring and controlling their violence than others. Do you see America or Israel nuking their enemies and just having done with them? Why do they put up with all those different, angry, jew- and America- hating people? Because they are civilized and can defer their violence. Do you trust the Iranians to act with the same restraint? Saying "peace" to a guy who wants you dead and who can't be convinced otherwise is stupid. Becoming a pacifist when there are people who want to fight and defeat your people is just being a coward who lets someone else do his fighting for him. It does nothing to bring the violence to an end as quickly as posisble; rather it only encourages the prolongation of violence by making it harder for your people to win. Canada is a country that invites people from all over the world to come here and be one of us. Our enemies are not so welcoming, open, or tolerant. You should learn the difference and fight with us. Thus, you should learn to distinguish between good and evil and do all you can to encourage good leaders like Harper who are standing up to Iran now in our last moment when we have a chance to defeat the apocalyptic Mullahs before they have the bomb. Otherwise we may indeed all die. Because even if the whole world submits to one religion, there will still be deadly civil wars if that religion is not capable of maximizing freedom for all, let alone feeding six billion of us. There is only one way to maximize freedom and human prosperity: that is the truth we should all be looking for. We will never have the final or perfect answer but some answers are clearly better and proven by historical experience than are others.

MIO said...

Ok, I admit I like this conversation. But there is one major problem with your arguments: You say a lot of right things but at the end of it, suddenly you miss one fundamental fact and jump to the wrong conclusion or generalize a lot of different people in the same group (kind of like what most religious teachings do). I have a lot more experience in the matter than you think, and in between your comments you personally insulted me without knowing, but I'm going to forgive you for that only in respect of your time and effort. First of all you can judge the culture and society over there just because of your friend, especially considering language barrier (which makes people perceive reality differently, but that's its own topic). True there are a lot of problems and set backs over there, culturally and politically, that are solved in western civilizations. But there are a lot of good reasons for it too. If you look into history of societies and science you might realize that up until 300 years ago Islam had been the best religion in the world in that regard, as useful as a religion can get in my opinion. What you see the problem with Islamic fundamentalism these days comes from the period of time that western civilization for specific reasons advanced much quicker than Middle East and at the same time unfortunately OIL became so important and what do you know it was found mostly there too. So what happened next? Big powers in the west started repressing people over there and kept them behind using phony, dependent government and kings. This repression and humiliation combined with their lack of funding and resources for science and technology caused a lot of hatred toward mostly western entities among the intellectuals there. But this message of "we need to advance like them or serve them forever" got mixed up with some Islamic radical teachings regarding protecting ones land, dignity, morals, etc and caused hatred that has been repressed and repressed for ages toward more dominant western civilizations. When I tell you arrogance, you didn't get what I mean. Arrogance is keeping somebody behind and then telling him ha-ha you are behind give me your oil, your land, your honor, your wife! All this true or not, is what they see, how they justify fighting a bigger power of corrupt but powerful western governments and corporations like Bush and Halliburton and so on. You can't really blame them for hating west, if it is right or not? that's a different thing, they should advance instead of hate? Damn right. You try to justify Israel kicking Palestinians out, but the same way if they get power one day they too can justify kicking Israel out in for example 100 years. This is the two sides of story and yes I believe there is no absolute right or wrong. There is absolutely no morality or justification for war anywhere, anytime. Or this vicious cycle of hate and killing will go on forever, now west has more power who knows who is going to have it 50 years from now (probably china and India). The bottom line is that from what is happening right now in Israel, will rise up a lot more Islamic suicide bombers and radical leaders than before it. Where do you think radicalism came from? These are all reactions to hundreds of years of bad judgment and action by western powers. Result of humiliation and dark dark awful ideologies exactly like yours. You with your comments are more responsible in brewing hatred toward another 9-11 than a Palestinian kid who is brained washed by people like you but on the other side of this picture to go and blow himself up. Yes, my friend as I said before your arguments are mostly correct, but you fail to see the other side, the side that those people live in, people with a lot of correct but different arguments and justifications like you. If you want to live in a better world a world with all the good things of west, east, up and down you need to stop hating, and start understanding and loving soon before it is (like Lebanon) really too late. Most governments there are puppets, bad, evil, corrupt, after money and power, but when you are getting bombed left and right that will eventually lose its relevance for anybody with any religion or opinion. "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." Peace.

truepeers said...

Look, MIO, I know there are a lot of problems in the Middle East, I know there are a lot of angry and humiliated people there. I know it is always best to try and negotiate our differences with people and try to come to non-violent solutions.

What I don't know is how Israel is supposed to negotiate with people who cannot accept her very existence. How many attempts has there been to reach agreement with the Palestinians over the years? And isn't it clear by now that Arafat could never accept any deal that was not a major capitulation by Israel, and that the same is true for Hamas and Hezbollah, but only more so? SO how are Jews supposed to live with people who, as a fundamental principle of their religion, cannot accept being ruled by Jews? THere cannot be a single state in which Muslims and Jews share power, because many Muslims cannot accept being ruled by Jews in any situation.

So there has to be either a two state solution, or force Jordan and Egypt to absorb the Palestinians. But if the Palestinians show little ability or desire to create a state at peace with Israel, what is Israel supposed to do? Just give in to the violence? Just accept the world endlessly blaming it for the violence? With whom is Israel to negotiate peace? WHo can guarantee Israel's security if not Israel itself?

You write: "You try to justify Israel kicking Palestinians out, but the same way if they get power one day they too can justify kicking Israel out in for example 100 years. This is the two sides of story and yes I believe there is no absolute right or wrong."

- look, much of Palestine was bought and paid for by the Jews. Then war came in 48 (and forever after) and some Palestinians became refugees. But why did the war start? Because the Arabs could not accept the simple existence of Israel; and it was in fact the Arabs who encouraged many of the refugees to leave their homes and fight. Nonetheless, many Arabs have remained in Israel to this day and show little desire to leave for greener pastures in surrounding Arab countries. WHy? Because they have a much better life in Israel than they would have in Arab countries.

And what have the Arab states done for the Palestinians since? Have they found them good homes or have they used them in order to create a scapegoat - Israel - onto which can be projected blame for all the internal failures of Arab states?

Of course the Palestinians might one day destroy Israel and justify the act. The thought doesnt' create a moral dilemma for me, however, because I don't despair and think that all violence is the same "undecidable" evil. I can draw moral distinctions between people's motivations, distinctions that help me choose sides, choose the lesser evil.

So, as i said, I think negotiation, understanding the other guy, is the right answer. Unless you one day find yourself negotiating with a guy who cannot accept your very existence. And when that day comes your choice becomes simple: let him defeat you, or you defeat him. And since Israel can defeat the Islamic fundamentalists if the rest of the Muslim world rises up and rejects the fundamentalists or rejects Islam, this is the side that side I'm on, because... THe other side can only defeat Israel by completely destroying Israel and having Jews exist only as Dhimmis. The latter is a more extreme and violent solution, so I choose the side that goes to war to defeat all violent Jihadists and to encourage modernity instead of medieval societies.

As for your interpretation of history, I just cannot use history in the way you do. No social situation is ever ideal; there is always some conflict and some injustice. Do I think the west is blameless in history? Of course not. But I do not think western empires were, in most cases, particularly bad as empires go. I think they were superior in many respects to Moslem empires. And in any case, I think what has come after, in the recent "post-colonial" period, is in so many places much worse than what existed previously in the colonial period. There have been countless home-grown leaders and intellectuals in Africa and Asia who have committed atrocious crimes against their own people, all the while blaming the western powers for everything. They scapegoat the west to redirect people's local resentments onto outside enemies. This blame game has become so appalling I cannot tolerate it even as I readily admit the west has its own share of historical crimes. Since the western crimes do not justify the extent of or the consequences of the blame game, reasonable people just have to walk away from the whole thing and say, you know, at the end of the day people have to take responsibility for their own fate and not get stuck in the past. I think you agree with this.

What nation, anywhere in the world, is not founded on some violence and injustice? There is none, I'm sure. There is nothing unique about Israel. BUt do all people harp forever on this foundational injustice getting ever more incapable to act because of their anger? No, most people just come to terms with historical crimes and turn to the future with optimism and hope. There is something fundamentally wrong with people who only want to blow themselves up because they think they are such great victims or heros or whatever it is. Anyway, as i say, I think you agree with me on this point.

What I find insulting in your reply is this:

"The bottom line is that from what is happening right now in Israel, will rise up a lot more Islamic suicide bombers and radical leaders than before it. Where do you think radicalism came from? These are all reactions to hundreds of years of bad judgment and action by western powers. Result of humiliation and dark dark awful ideologies exactly like yours. You with your comments are more responsible in brewing hatred toward another 9-11 than a Palestinian kid who is brained washed by people like you but on the other side of this picture to go and blow himself up."

-the west is not responsible for 9-11. Radicalism comes from resentment. Resentment is fundamentally a delusional quality of mind, even when there is a grain of genuine injustice in the emotion. The grain of genuine injustice cannot rationally justify deep and pervasive resentment. That is a mental illness and we all have a right and duty to protect ourselves from the mentally ill. It may well be that this mental illness is widespread in the Muslim world and that we may have to face terrorists who want to kill us for many generations to come. If so, I hope we will have the courage and perseverance to defeat them because that is what we should rightfully do. Yours, as best I can tell, is the counsel of the man who gives in to violence because he cannot imagine anything worth fighting and dieing for. If it is indeed true that we can never defeat the resentful violence that the Middle East seems to endlessly produce, then we will lose. We will lose because the deeply resentful will not one day turn into good buddies if we just let them win a little. Everything we give them will only be of service to their desire to elminate us.

Because how can we negotiate with a resentment that in no way respects us and that is fundamentally delusional and cannot accept our existence, or at least Israel's?

Israel's choice is clear: 1) Israeld can kill the mentally ill until they are either all dead, or defeated by the moderates in their communities, or defeated so much in spirit that they just give up and perhaps one day come to see the failure of their ideology and sit down to negotiate in good faith or 2) Israel can give up Israel and just admit it was a mistake. And that would be wrong.

I find your arguments about no absolute right and wrong besides the point. I don't need to know anything absolutely in order to act. I cannot and would never pretend to know the mind of God. We always act, and must act, from imperfect knowledge. Perfection is the enemy of hte good. All I can do is realize that not defending myself in the face of an implacable and violent enemy is the wrong thing to do.

If you have another solution as to how Israel can realistically survive without fighting for its survival, spell it out. Don't be vague. Spell it out in a way that is consonant with reality. Frankly, I don't think you have any realistic solution for Israel. You just don't want to face the hard reality. You want to withrdraw, to refuse to choose. And yet at the same time you are full of blame for the west. Don't think you will impress me by simple scapegoating and blame games. You say you don't know right and wrong but you sure spend a lot of time blaming the west for someone who pretends not to judge. It is not a convincing performance, with all due respect to you as a human being, sharing with me in our common humanity.

Made in Ottawa said...

Trupeers,
In my last response to you, I really tried to stick to Ideas rather than facts for one simple reason: There are millions of true facts that can prove opposing sides of any story. But unfortunately I can see that you again failed to see my point about the fundamental error of justifying violence on mere facts (it is typical, people who talk well usually don't listen as well). If you please take a deep breath to calm down and then just take a look at the other side you will notice something amazing: People behind Muslim extremism (or any kind of extremism for that matter) are intellectual looking individuals who have pages and pages of clear-cut facts supporting them (exactly like you) and using that in their heads they justify violence and pretend they too have the ability to choose sides and identify the lesser evil and according to that decide when violence is necessary (again exactly like you, like 9-11 hijackers).

I think it is pretty safe to assume that your and their brain patters and neuron structures are very similar to each other, because you both come to the same type of conclusions in trying to make sense of this world we live in and your hunt of finding answers. So I tell you this: Take a look at two lions fighting for their territory and spouse, they are both right in their own mere facts, but is really one of them more right than the other one? The only fact that distinguishes them at the end is which one is more powerful/lucky. One will eventually win and get the spoils but not forever, this is called animal kingdom. We (me, you and everybody in this world) need to stop acting like animals and fighting for survival. We are not animals we are all grand fruits of evolution and should sooner better than later learn to live like humans and respect our own kind. "Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." Peace.

truepeers said...

MIO

You accuse me of ignoring your point, only to completely ignore everything I have said to you. I asked you to tell me, in realistic terms, how Israel should defend itself. You have said nothing.

How is your silence on this issue contributing to the road to "peace"? It is as if you are sugesting that if we want peace we have to drink some magic potion and swear up and down that we are on the side of the peace, and then, presto, "peace!".

Will we have peace when I agree with you, or when you agree with me?

I think we will have peace when we can all agree to belong to a new kind of order, a new set of rules by which to play the human game. (These rules won't last forever, they will in time lead to more conflict and a need for another new set of rules...)

But how will we get to this new order if we both think where we are now is the right place to be? Well we will only get there if the place we are now is eroded from under our feet. And what will erode it? Conflict, and sometimes this means war. Conflict.... and then a willingness on our part to transcend the conflict by acknowledging the need for a new set of rules and showing our desire by taking genuine steps in that direction.

If this is correct, then we can indeed judge two sides in a conflict. We can judge them by their willingness, or not, to take steps towards genuine and realistic resolution of the conflict. This is how I judge Israel and her enemies. I don't see them as moral equals because I see one side doing a lot more than the other to show its willingness to work towards a new set of rules to mediate conflicts.

To come back to you and me: I am criticizing your argument, not simply so I can defeat you and be the big man; no, I criticize you so that we can both come to some agreement at a new place down the road. This process entails conflict as your very own argumentative words prove. Denying the terms of a conflict by simply shouting "all we need is peace" is not a very sophisticated thing to do. yes, we want to get to peace, but first we have to work through the conflict in order to transcend it. That means honestly engaging with the other guy's ideas, not trying to do an end run around them.

You write:

"There are millions of true facts that can prove opposing sides of any story. But unfortunately I can see that you again failed to see my point about the fundamental error of justifying violence on mere facts (it is typical, people who talk well usually don't listen as well)"

-actually, I am trying to listen to you but I don't hear a lot that i find logical or convincing; furthermore, I don't see you responding to my arguments.

Now of course I know that my opponents in this war can point to facts of their own and feel very righteous in their possession of them. But while any argument needs facts to back it up, ultimately no argument stands on the facts alone. Rather, we accept or reject arguments based on how well they correspond to our sense of fundamental human and historical truths. Ideally, we accept a new argument when we come to see that it embodies more truth about the human condition than the arguments we previously possessed. And we come to this awareness not simply by reference to facts but rather by reflecting honestly on the theoretical or symbolic power of the new argument that is being proposed.

Thus, if we are intellectually honest people, open to all questions and not insisting that our ideology our holy book is beyond question, then we can develop the intellectual skills to distinguish arguments in terms of their ability to signify more or less truth about the human condition. That, in fact, is how we come to transcend conflicts and find a new kind of peace: by getting all parties in a dispute to sign on to a new truth, to sign on to a new kind of order that transcends the old truth, the old order.

But, and this is where you come in, if you are a nihilist who doesn't believe in one kind of truth transcending another, then you will not have peace, no matter how many times you chant the word in magical incantations like the Gnostic you are.

You write:

"I think it is pretty safe to assume that your and their brain patters and neuron structures are very similar to each other, because you both come to the same type of conclusions in trying to make sense of this world we live in and your hunt of finding answers."

-there may be some truth in this. But perhaps both the Jihadists and I are closer to the truth than you are. THat doesn't mean that the Jihadists and I are equally right or wrong: it's just that in believing in truth we are both at least one step ahead of you! True, we may have yet more steps to take...

Of course, while you deny truth, you always come around and make arguments that suggest you really do believe some arguments are better than others. However, I don't think much of this present argument:

"So I tell you this: Take a look at two lions fighting for their territory and spouse, they are both right in their own mere facts, but is really one of them more right than the other one? The only fact that distinguishes them at the end is which one is more powerful/lucky. One will eventually win and get the spoils but not forever, this is called animal kingdom. We (me, you and everybody in this world) need to stop acting like animals and fighting for survival. We are not animals..."

-this is very confusing. First you say we are acting like animals; and then you say we are not animals. Well, which is it? Is it really possible that human beings could forget they were human and start acting like animals? Not really; it may be fun to insult a person by calling him an animal, but a serious analysis of how his mind actually works will not get very far by assuming it works anything like an animal's. In fact, animals don't realy have minds or consciousness like we do, because they don't have a language like ours.

WHile I think it is true that war is something whose origins are in our biological (not cultural) nature, it is also true that humans are not animals. We are not animals because we have language and religion. IN other words, we have access to truths which transcend the material world. The very nature of humanity is to fight for these transcendent truths. Soldiers do not march on their stomachs alone; they do not march simply to capture women. They march and fight to establish a new kind of transcendent human order, to transcend the conflicts in which they are presently immersed. A leader who cannot hold up some vision of a new order is not going to do very well. Sooner or later most of his soldiers will tire of conflict with no promise of an end in sight.

That is why the battle of ideas is so important in our present struggle with the Jihadists. It is not true that violence always begets violence. People can and do get tired of violence especially when they are on the sharp end of it and when they realize that the ideas that their side has to offer are weak, unrealistic, or hopeless ones. People can give up on their ideas, or they can come to their senses and agree with the other side on the need to share in the construction of a new order, a new set of rules, to transcend the present conflict. That is what we are fighitng for.

""Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

-don't you see the arrogance in statements like this? It makes you sound like God, as if it were always your choice whether harm comes to living beings or not. It is not simply your choice. You are simply one of six billion human beings. And you expect one day everyone will make the same choice as you? Come on, get real. Conflict is inherent in human nature because we learn our desires from each other and so we come into conflict over common objects of desire.

If you do not defend your side in a conflict, then the harm will come to you. You will then be acceding in the harm of a living being - yourself! When I come at you with a sword, you probably don't have a choice to have no harm done. Your only choice is to fight, to hurt me before i hurt you. If it is a stalemate, or if you get to me with good words before I come at you with the sword, you may be able to convince me that we should try to transcend the conflict by both of us signing on to a new agreement, figuring out a new kind of social order.

Thus, we must judge people by their capacity both to defend themselves and to provide the intellectual and cultural resources to help move humanity forwards to new kinds of order. But we can't have a new kind of order if no one has the imagination to bring it about. We need good ideas. Some ideas are thus indeed much better than other ideas. Good ideas are those which help us transcend conflict; or, if that is not possible, good ideas are those that help us survive, while the guy with the weaker ideas loses and dies.

Unless you have something genuinely new to say, I think I am finished now with this debate. I seek transcendence, and not getting stuck in the same old tired arguments.

Made in Ottawa said...

Thanks god, because I'm really getting sick of your blind arguments. I told you once in the very beginning not to state facts and then conclude with something only you believe in as if they are 100% related, just because they are in your head! It reminds me of all those holly books that first keep talking about obvious facts like: look around you, look at the stars, the trees, the wind, so pray to God! People can live beside each other in peace, they don't need to be exactly where they want to be first to start that, sadly you are just fooling yourself. Steps? I sincerely believe I'm millions of light-years ahead of you and your warmonger kind in east or west of this globe. True I have my beliefs and thoughts but I respect everybody's idea as well, as long as they respect every other person on this globe as well. In fact that is how I can say if somebody is right or wrong, if you are for peace anywhere, anytime, for any reason then you are absolutely right otherwise no matter what your reasons and justifications you are absolutely wrong.

About Israel, yes I didn’t answer your questions for a reason. In my opinion Israel has gone way too far and unfortunately with all this violence and blind foreign policy has tied its fate to their military dominance forever. So I think there is no more argument about that, they will be hated by everyone there as long as they are dominant, period. What they should have done though is, spend all that military money (billions of dollars per year) to persuade Palestinians that, Yes we completely understand that this is your land. But we believe this land has been given to us by God, so we ask you to let us live beside you and we will compensate for our presence by getting you any piece of land anywhere in this globe or any kind of palace you want right here in Palestine. We won't ever try to govern or force you; we just want to live here in peace. Nobody had to die, but that wasn’t what they wanted, right? They didn’t and lost their chance, they didn’t even try to persuade anybody, they forced people out of their homes, their land, and as you know that’s never forever possible except by completely destroying those people who will fight you for their land till the end of time, especially when you are surrounded by their kind.

Let me clarify something, I'm not implying being a bum! I believe in fighting for your rights and all that, but at the same time I believe if you had to fight for something to death, your death or anybody else's, then that’s the limit, that's when maybe you should forget about that right. You fight for your right but no right, no peace of land, no moral, no country, no religion, nothing is more important than a single life. You in your confused head can justify Israel's so called protecting itself by killing 850 people in less than 3 weeks (so far) but when I look at it, I see 850 humans to less than 50. Israel is committing a crime 17 times more inhumane. It doesn’t matter who started, who caused it (although I believe they did by abducting a Palestinian doctor and his brother from their home the day before kidnapping of those two soldiers). I'm not god by any means, but I feel much godlier than you will ever do, because I know there is absolutely nothing in this world that can play with my head and fool me into justifying any reason for loss of a single human life. I don't pick on others just because I'm bored or I'm done everything I'm supposed to do, I don't pick on others when I'm angry, I don't pick on others to fill my life with fake meanings, I'm not pro-Lebanon or anti-Israeli; I'm an engineering student destined to build not to destroy, and yes I only root for peace. Because I believe "Peace is the only battle worth waging." Peace.

truepeers said...

Dear MIO,

I'm sorry our discussion has to end like this. The name of our blog is Covenant Zone because we truly believe that all Canadians need to come to some new under-standing of the transcendent signs around which they can share and believe in the free possibilities of a national politics. We want a renewed covenant that people from all over the world who become Canadians will willingly join because they see in the signs of our covenant both truth and untold possibilities. I write in pursuit of such a new truth, not to pick on you or anyone else. But, as I said, i believe we find new truths by first working through our conflicts and negotiating them, with sometimes brutal honesty.

Just to be clear: like you, I think war is horribly evil, it's disgusting, I hope I never have to see it.
And yet I disagree with you about the present war. I disagree not because I have any desire for war, but because I know it is sometimes necessary.

I see that your bottom line is that Israel is to blame for its hopeless situation. I think this is wrong and irrational. Just one more point on this: Israel was not a military power in 1948. It was six hundred thousand Jews with very few weapons and facing an arms embargo that the western powers imposed, surrounded by tens of millions of Arabs who went to war... and lost! Humiliated, the Arabs haven't stopped trying since.

I am glad you will have a life devoted to building. When you have time for study in the humanities, my field, i encourage you to explore one difficult question: why did ancient peoples in all parts of the world sacrifice (kill) their fellow human beings (or sometimes animals) when they laid the foundations for their monumental buildings? If you pursue this question honestly and with courage you will learn much about our humanity, of what is evil in every one of us and also what is loving and good in the things we build.

sincerely yours,

at the Covenant Zone

Made in Ottawa said...

Dear Truepeers,

I'm glad that we could be civilized enough and finish (for once) the conversation about this weird topic in somewhat good terms. As I said before Facts or Words are fundamental elements of our thinking (we actually use words when we think in our heads!) it is subject of great research to determine weather we use words to describe situations or our brain uses words to control our behavior. This matter makes me not believe in everything I hear because I know that words can be engineered to have specific effects on humans. And that is why most of the time both sides of any story are actually the same exact truth, but because of imperfect wiring of our brains perception of the relevance between truth and word structures, they can cause different (sometimes intellectual opposing) chemical and mental reactions in human brains. I suggest you read this article: "Understanding Middle East Events and History II: What's in a Word?"

About our topic I am extensively up to date about the history of the region from day one as best as I think I can because of my personal interest in understanding how humans can be so irrational and unsympathetic about a single subject. As I told you before I believe in existence of Israel beside Palestine and internationalization of Jerusalem according to historical facts. But when I look at the modern history, I notice a pattern of cruelty, humiliation, abduction, propaganda, abusing foreign powers and interests, even pioneering of suicide bombing and terrorism and extensive and apparent use of them until today by the Zionist state of Israel (For me Zionism equals Jewish fundamentalism). So basically when we forget about irrelevant old history and focus on recent days, I personally (as a peace lover) see two sides consisting of criminal minds trying to brain wash their people to kill for phony values and moral. I believe all these groups (Zionist and extremist Muslims) should be brought to justice and be dealt with. What I don't understand is for a person like you that can justify violence to take sides, sympathy with Israel, an oppressor entity and much stronger danger to humanity in my opinion with their dirty unjustifiable methods (and specifically nuclear power). And your failure to see that without that humiliating oppressing power of States and Israel in middle east, there won't be any repressed crowd of people seasoned and ready to be exploded by Islamic fundamentalism to begin with.

Anyways I hope I could finally get my point across because I should admit I really enjoyed flexing my brain muscles in this discussion and want to wish you all the best in your life and future endeavors. And about scarification I don't want to lie to you, that concept has been puzzling me ever since my long term memory first kicked in and I still haven't found a good justification for it other than again human imperfect mental relevance of sacrifice and value itself! Well, there is no greater sacrifice (sincere devotion in a belief) in human eyes other than human sacrifice itself which itself can future solidifies my extensive value for human life and pursuit of all around peace. "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one." Peace.

truepeers said...

MIO, two last thoughts to leave you with.

1) If Israel is really the evil Zionist entity you say it is, how come it hasn't used anywhere near its full fire power, including perhaps nuclear bombs, to destroy its enemy?

2) About words and brains: I don't think words actually reside in our brains; I don't think they are in imprinted on our neurons. What our brains do is make associations (and they become "wired" by their habits of association.) For example, no matter what scanning technology is one day invented, you will not be able to find the word "chair" imprinted anywhere in your brain. But your brain is capable of associating the sounds (or letters) ch-ai-r and coming up with the idea and image of a chair.

The chair exists in the material world and we have a memory or direct observation of it as a thing. But the word "chair" does not exist in the material world. The word is not a thing. The world of words is not in this world; it is somehow transcendent: the word is not in us but among us or above us.

The word has no meaning unless we all share it as part of a communal scene, because our choice of c-h-a-i-r for "chair" is arbitrary. Nothing in nature requires it; we could just as well call it "greeger".

In other words, we have to agree on the existence of shared transcendent signs or symbols. "Chair" exists because we agree it exists. Otherwise, the word does not exist. (However since we will always have the idea of something existing... the question of whether "God" exists is more complicated...)

Words and ideas are transcendent, and as such they really "matter" for human beings. The anthropological and historical truth behind our own existence as human beings with access to the transcendent world must be pursued with honesty or we fall into lies and the violence they bring. When we pursue this truth honestly, we discover that some beliefs are more true than other beliefs.

Made in Ottawa said...

It is easy to label people terrorist or anti-semite what is hard is having an open mind beyond those labels. I ask you how am I an anti-semite when I have known a lot of Jewish people and have had a lot of Jewish friends in my life? When I love and respect a lot of Jewish actors, actress, comedians, artists, scientist and philosophers and their contributions to humanity? When I have the outmost sympathy for the victims of crimes of Nazis in holocaust? And when I believe Jewish people need their own country to avoid being discriminated against again, in their holy/promised land beside Palestinians? How am I a terrorist when all I talk about is peace and avoiding murderous behaviors? Have you noticed the title of this post?

What I say is simple: Jewish extremism and crimes are as evil as Islamic extremism and crimes. And true Hezbollah is committing crimes by killing Israelis but Israelis committing a bigger crime by killing more people (mostly civilians) in Lebanon and Palestine. Islamic extremes in Middle East is originated and caused by Jewish extremism, humiliation and repression. When I look at people I don't see color or religion, I see humans. When I see people dying I don't see their color or religion I see people dying and I can't stand it. "As soon as there is a label, the ideas disappear and out come label-worship and label-bashing, and instead of living by a theme of ideas, people begin dying for labels... and the last thing the world needs is another religion." Peace.

Made in Ottawa said...

Well you are wrong. If you take a closer look at what is happening in Palestine these days you will notice that it is Israelis that quietly trying to eradicate Palestinians and take all the land for themselves. UN ordered them to stop governing Palestinian territories and move all the Jewish settlements form Gaza Strip and West Bank 50 years ago (1967). Watch "Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land" on google video (one of many documentaries) and you will see why Palestinians are being forced to do what they are doing (out of desperation, which I totally condemn) and why you don't see any sign of that oppression and humiliation (or peace movements in Israel and across the globe) ONLY in northern American media and why people from no other country in the world (subjected to more honest media) support US policies. If by strong you mean militariewise to be honest I don't like any country have that much destructive power not only Israel, because with power comes responsibility and I'm not sure humans can handle that for a long time. You might say what is that have to do with Lebanon, ok, you talk about Islamic extremism as if it magically appeared out of thin air, I'm just pointing toward the origins of it and where the hatred come from, also they treated Lebanese the exact same way during their occupation of Lebanon for two decades which doesn’t help either. I'm not taking Hezbollah's side; I'm taking innocent Lebanese people's side that are dying right now (1000 dead so far) by Israeli and US bombs. Watch this video (they compare same news events coverage from US media and BBC) I beg you.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&hl=en

truepeers said...

This thread has migration to Made in Ottawa's blog, here.

truepeers said...

migrated... go there to see what those last two comments of MIO were in response to...