Re: [Iraq] The real reason for the war

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Fri Jun 06 2003 - 04:55:38 MDT

  • Next message: gts: "RE: MidEast Futures Markets Coming Soon"

    --- John K Clark <> wrote:
    > "Jeff Davis" <>
    > > When the 911 attacks came, I thought "***NOW
    > SURELY***
    > > people will ask 'Why?'
    > You're assuming that if somebody hates you then you
    > must have done something
    > wrong,

    No, I'm saying if somebody hates you and does
    something incredibly bad to you, there's likely gonna
    be a reason behind it. You can look for it
    systematically, rationally, or you can decide you know
    the answer, declare it to be "thus and so" and be done
    with it. The latter method would seem to have it's
    limitations, chief among them the severe likelihood
    that prejudice will lead to error.

    > but hate can be generated far easier than
    > that.
    > > Some segment of Islam--maybe even a very large
    > > fraction--may disapprove of western cultural
    > values
    > Yes indeed!
    >> but so long as we keep it here, and
    >> don't force it on
    >> them, it's probably not something they
    >> care a whole
    >> lot about.
    > In the above you seem to be saying that the Islamic
    > community is infused
    > with a basic libertarian attitude, and I'm saying
    > baloney.

    That's how you feel. Fair enough. I don't know about
    libertarian attitude. I'm really just guessing based
    on my notion that people are pretty much the same
    everywhere. They care about things starting with
    themselves and then moving outward. Their families,
    friends, their neighbors, the larger
    neighborhood/community, and then provincial and
    national affairs, and then the affairs of strangers in
    far away lands. I can't think that they concern
    themselves too very much with strangers in faraway
    lands. Regular people care about things in proportion
    to how it affects them personally. Or so it seems to

    With the modern spread of cultural memes, as noted by
    Ramez Naam, I can see the fueling of a desire to have
    more, to have what we have, and envy as well, even
    strong envy. But homicidal hatred? I don't see it.
    Even a more distinctively negative reaction, a being
    repulsed by what they see as some kind of decadence,
    or corrupted morality. Is this by itself gonna make
    someone so hate-filled that they will come half-way
    around the world to murder people? You may honestly
    think so. I don't see it.

    If on the other hand large groups of heavily-armed
    foreigners with attitude(Europeans in this case) show
    up uninvited and proceed to make trouble--kill people,
    steal stuff, tell you what to do, and treat you with
    overt contempt,...then I can see it.

    > > It's the aggressive intrusion of the west that
    > > inspires their antipathy. The crusades.
    > 800 years ago, get over it!

    I was just starting at the beginning. Too far back?
    Ok. How about Nov 2, 1917? Less than a century ago.
    People are still alive today(not many) who were alive,
    mature, aware, and concerned back then. How about
    1920, or 1922, or 1929, or 1936? How far back can I
    go? What are the rules on this?

    > >The invasions of western "colonial"
    > powers
    > For a very brief time in their history, and the USA
    > was never part of it.

    More's the pity. If the British and French hadn't
    opposed it, the Inter-allied Commission of mandates in
    Turkey might have altered events back when. But the
    Report of American Section of Inter-Allied Commission
    on Mandates in Turkey, August 28, 1919 was without
    force or effect.
    Whatever chance it might have had to effect world
    events, evaporated when Woodrow Wilson stroked out on
    Oct 3, 1919. Wilson proposed the Inter-Allied
    commission to visit the Middle East to determine what
    the people living there wanted: independence,
    supervision under the proposed League of Nations
    Mandate system, or other proposals.

    > > most noitable and recently the parcelling up of

    by the way, in the above line I meant to write "most
    notably and recently".

    > the Mideast by the
    > > Europeans (primarily the Brits) after the defeat
    > of
    > > the Ottomans . [etc]
    > The long list of bad events you mention happened
    > centuries ago, and measured
    > against the historic scale of human evil none of
    > them rank very high,

    This is a pretty shabby argument.

      There are greater evils in the world, so
      "lesser" evils, despite contemporary consequences
      and victims, should be given a pass?

    I don't think you really want to try and make that
    It would be like saying "The 911 attacks killed only
    3000 people. Historically, comparatively, that's
    nothing! Fugeddabowdit!"

    > certainly not enough to account for their vast rage.

    From your point of view. The aggrieved parties may
    feel differently.

    > Nothing on you list
    > comes close to what the Jews experienced,
    > and far
    > more recently too.

    The holocaust, right? Another disjoint argument. A
    distraction. First, the offenses against the Arabs
    pre-date the holocaust. Secondly the Arabs weren't
    responsible for the holocaust. And finally, it's
    ludicrous to suggest that post-holocaust sympathy for
    the Jews somehow provides cover for the separate
    misdeeds of another time and place. And if perchance
    the jews were partially involved in the perpetration
    of those misdeeds, committed against separate and
    innocent persons on another part of the planet, are
    you suggesting that post-holocaust sympathy gives them
    a free pass? That's whee this line of justification

    > The
    > stuff that happened to Islam is just the sort of hum
    > drum evil that happens
    > in history, nothing special.

    I see. Hum drum evil. The kind you just sort of
    ignore. Hmmmm.

    > >And finally, the jewel in the
    > > crown, the poison pill, the knife in the back (or
    > > perhaps I should say the ice pick in the face) of
    > the
    > > deliberate, overt, unashamed, and unrelenting
    > > "erasure" of Palestine and ethnic cleansing of the
    > > Palestinians, accompanied by their replacement by
    > an
    > > ultra-aggressive, ultra-militaristic(which is to
    > say
    > > threatening), and ultra-contemptuous Jewish state
    > I've said several times that it's a mistake to treat
    > Israel like the 51's
    > state, but to say that the reason Muslims in
    > Indonesia hate the USA more
    > than they love life is because America supports a
    > nation who harmed a people
    > who speak a different language, live 10,000 miles
    > away and who they've never
    > seen is ridiculous. Most Indonesian Muslims wouldn't
    > recognize a Palestinian
    > if he tripped over him.

    Fine. Glad to agree. Let's leave Indonesia out of
    it. Pakistan to Morocco then?

    Best, Jeff Davis

    "No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental
    ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of
    our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we
    should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and
    love of power." - P. J. O'Rourke

    Do you Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! Calendar - Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jun 06 2003 - 05:06:19 MDT