Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Syria Offers Wisdom

Category: Issue 4, News Winners

“It is regrettable that U.S. policies in the Middle East have fueled extremism, terrorism and anti-U.S. sentiment. What has happened recently in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq is exacerbating the fight against global terrorism. The U.S. should take this opportunity to review its policies in the Middle East and start looking at the root causes of terrorism and broker a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”

This statement was issued in a press release by the Syrian Embassy in Washington, DC around Sept. 12, 2006.

On page 48 of the Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication for Sept. 2004, it is noted that the motivation for the attack against the World Trade Center towers came not from a hate of our freedom, but from the tendency of powerful nations, like the U.S., to meddle in the affairs of other countries.  This is fortunately a growing sentiment.  I say fortunately because if Al Qaida realizes the power of such sentiment, and they wish us to let Middle Eastern countries develop without interference, they will put more work into spreading the sentiment and less work into destruction.

As Sahab is the media outlet for Al Qaida, and it has already begun to use up more of the organization’s resources to create and distribute videos.  Let us hope that other terrorist organizations also realize that the long term effects of media are far more helpful than the long term effects of violence.  Let us continue paying attention to ideas like the one the Defense Science Board Task Force report suggested - that violence does not find it’s source in freedom, but rather in the overstepping of bounds which is such a common activity of governments.

It is generally true that the pen is mightier than the sword, but the margin of extra power held by the pen is proportional to how much attention we pay to what is written.  If our attention is captured only when buildings are destroyed purposefully by fanatics in airplanes, then that is what will happen.  Where people have no voice, they will create one.  Let us stop making them so desperate that their creation is destruction.

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Old Comments

  • Unfortunately you are assuming that the media will do something in the best interest of something other than the media. This will never be the case. I’ve worked inside the media. As hideous as it sounds, they no more want peace in the Mideast than do the Syrians, the Iranians, or Hezbollah. Here, for instance, are Hezbollah’s founding tenents from their own manifesto: the eradication of Western imperialism in Lebanon, the transformation of Lebanon’s multi-confessional state into an Islamic state, and the complete destruction of the state of Israel.

    You see, its that third one that seems to be the stickler. Mostly, arab nations feel the same way, and frankly, the reason that rogue terrorist “nations” such as Syria and Iran want the Western World out of the way is so that they can A. Replace them as the defacto Mideast power, and B. annihilate Israel

    Until the real problems are addressed in the Middle East they will never be fixed. The place is one giant mire stuck in a continuous power struggle dating back to pre-Biblical times.The real problem is that all the money in the Middle East has belonged to so few people for so long, the education systems have been slanted to a narrow bigotted view. You cannot overcome bigotry or hatred without education. Bigotry is simply fear of the unknown. Men over there are largely taught from birth to fear women, to fear Jews, to fear Westerners, and to fight for dirt that they don’t own so they can be secured a place in Heaven. The precious dirt is owned by a very few, yet it is protected by masses of men raised by the wit of dark age laws and mores. Men are taught to believe it is their sacred duty to hate and protect something they’ll never own. This is the basis of fundamentalism, and while there are many men that are not fundamentalist fanatics, there are enough men that are. They believe through sacrifice they will get something that’s been owned by the same few powerful Arabic families for years, power. If not in this world then in the next. Until a better education system is developed, one free of religious oversight that reaches all children of the Mid East, and for several generations, the results will be the same over there as they have been for thousands of years.

    Lebanon, faulty execution or not, has the rogue, fanatic element in the Middle East scared. They are terrified that a democratic nation might flourish in their midst. look at all that they are doing to derail its possible success. Evil governments such as Iran and Syria recognize a succesful Lebanon, or even Afghanistan or Iraq, would spell doom for their means to power and way of life within a few generations. Bush is an idiot, of this there is no doubt, but his evil regime has stumbled onto one pearl, spreading democracy in the Middle East, no matter how difficult, might be the only solution to fix this two thousand year old endless power struggle.

    It’s the only thing that hasn’t honestly been given a shot. Everything else from fences to treaties to sit-downs to regime change to war to Imperialist occupation has been tried, tried again, tried to death, and failed.

    Reference the Chinese definition of insanity.

    Posted by deminizer  on  11/02  at  08:59 AM
  • One - Syria Offers Wisdom is an excellent piece of writing. May I quote you?

    Two - Mr. Deminizer’s comment is also a powerful argument, and I generally agree, with some exception. We prop up the fascist governments in Arabia and Eqypt - this is also a source of Bin Laden’s hatred, as Mr. Scotese noted. And there is no possibility of annihaliting Israel - that is little more than a rallying slogan (used by both Israel and the Arabs).

    May I suggest the Vietnam option - bring our troops home and let the regional powers (Turkey, Israel, Arabia, Eqypt, Iran) work out it out.

    Posted by Mikael Covey  on  11/15  at  11:47 PM
  • Stokey,

    Yes, you may quote me - in whole or in part, but please reference the URL (http://www.litmocracy.com/syria_offers_wisdom/) to attract more wits to this endeavor - the point of the post as well as the entire website.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/16  at  02:18 AM
  • yes, how’s that Vietnam thing going, its about twenty years, rhetorically, and physically, behind our other Asian pull out, the Korean one. How’s that playing out?

    and as to the “And there is no possibility of annihaliting Israel”, Hitler took a pretty good crack at it, perhaps annihilation isn’t possible, but devastation certainly is. Israel is trapped in a sea of bitter hatred, and we are, and have been for quite some time, their only life preserver.

    To the rest I agree fully, but we are agreeing on the same principle of my argument. Either we are all in and we take over, or we are all out. It’s the half-ass nature of our society, particularly when it comes to foreign affairs, that keeps us in hot water.

    This time, when discussing nuclear capabilities in the hands, potentially, of a guy who perhaps is a practiced terrorist (kidnapping people qualifies for me, the fact that his actions might have been the catalyst that forced Ted Koppel upon me for the past twenty years is further proof) scares me enough to want to err on the side of caution. Tony Blair’s idea of appeasement to save his ass is no solution either. Let’s cut Syria and Iran in on the divying up of Iraq. Insanity.

    Posted by deminizer  on  11/17  at  01:43 AM
  • Of course Isreal didn’t exist during the Nazi years, nor much of the current map of Africa or Asia or Indonesia - maps change. Israel doesn’t need our help, except to come to the peace table with Palestine. Consider - who’s responsible for Israeli hatred?

    As for nuts with nukes - Dick Cheney? W Bush? Yeah, we need tactical battlefield nukes, and probably a tactical battlefield to test them on. MacArthur would’ve liked that idea.

    A unified Vietnam is thriving - second fastest growing economy in the world, behind only China. S.Korea is thriving, and will be even better once they take over the north; like Germany, once east unified with west.

    Posted by Mikael Covey  on  11/18  at  01:54 AM
  • Israel existed, it was called Palestine. Your agument is simply based on semantics. It wasn’t “recognized” until after WWII, out of guilt, in fact, over my point, the fact that an entire race was nearly wiped out by the spreading of hatred and ignorance, so thank you for driving that point home. Just because it wasn’t “recognized” by the US doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. In fact, the big argument is that our recognition started all this, that as long as Israel was ignored it might go away, but Jews, and Israel, have been around for sometime. Read the Bible, it’s right there. And here:http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060802172524AArQ9AY and here: http://www.aish.com/literacy/jewishhistory/Crash_Course_in_Jewish_History_Part_65_-_The_State_of_Israel.asp

    You are right, maps change, land is taken away from people, and land is given back, but the argument is 2000 years old, it is preached hatred that has soured the mass psyche like poison water. Consider who’s responsible for Israeli hatred. Is that a blame of the US, because we weren’t around when JC was in diapers, and weren’t a factor before WWII and the Nazi’s.

    As for Vietnam, second fastest growing economy, which translates to 7% gdp, sounds like a lot, unless you consider where they were starting from. 7% better than a crater and some cow patties leftover from the war isn’t much. Here’s Wikpedia’s presentation of the facts: “On the other hand, urban unemployment has been rising steadily in recent years, and rural unemployment, estimated to be up to 35% during nonharvest periods, is already at critical levels. Layoffs in the state sector and foreign-invested enterprises combined with the lasting effects of an earlier military demobilization further exacerbate the unemployment situation.

    Despite an impressive 23% rise in 1999’s export performance to $11.5 billion, a sharp drop in new foreign investment commitments foreshadows slower economic growth than Vietnam experienced in the early 1990s. Government control of the economy and a nonconvertible currency have protected Vietnam from what could have been a more severe impact resulting from the East Asian financial crisis. Nonetheless, the crisis, coupled with the loss of momentum as the first round of economic reforms ran its course, has exposed serious structural inefficiencies in Vietnam’s economy.”

    Wow. I hope Iraq is that lucky. Those one armed kids might get a mitten in FIFTY years. Silly of me to think Vietnam a failure when the Avian flu and HIV crisis is at an all world high percentage wise. What am I thinking, their economy is up 7% from super devastated 10 years ago to 1 kid in 4 actually gets to go to school now.

    And if you think for even one nanosecond that China would ever let S. Korea, with our military stronghold inside of it, “take over” N. Korea, wow, do I have some property in the sunny, or maybe sunni, everglades for you.

    other than that I guess we agree.

    Posted by deminizer  on  11/18  at  04:48 AM
  • By the way, Stokey my friend, I don’t disagree that we should get out, I disagree that we should get out and leave them to be devoured by bthe fundamentalists. The war is horrible but we’re their. Education must be, may in fact be the only tool that can be used to solve the mideast crisis for real. That will take work and effort not just by the coalition of the forced to, but by everyone affected by that portion of the planet, including Europe, Russia, and China.

    Posted by deminizer  on  11/18  at  02:16 PM
  • Did Russia let W.Germany take over E.Germany? China got no want for N.Korea - they’d rather trade with S.Korea. How does Vietnam compare with Burma, Palestine, Columbia, Panama, Venezuela, Argentina, Eqypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, or post-colonial Africa? Carter and Clinton brought peace to Israel. Democracy brought Hezzbollah and Hamas to political power in Lebanon and Palestine. These are complexities beyond the kith of Bush and Rice. The only thing that kept the fundamentalists at bay, was that bad-ass Sadham Hussein who Reagan and Rumsfeld sold the helicopters and nerve gas to.

    Posted by Mikael Covey  on  11/18  at  05:37 PM
  • To compare Russia to China is obsurd. China has far more in the way of numbers, far more in the way of military prowess, and they are far more internalized and alienated to western powers meddling in the asian peninsula than in, say, Japan, where we have free reign, which is the equivalent to Russia allowing us as far as West Germany. I never saw us get up inside of the Ukraine, though, which would be similar to getting a foothold in N. Korea. How is Vietnam compared to Hong Kong, China, Japan is the better question, and Carter and Clinton brought peace AGREEMENTS to Israel, not peace. Big difference. Bush and Rice don’t have the brain trust to figure out a rubik’s cube or a Jeopardy riddle, let alone the complexities of geo-politics, and if your argument is that losing Saddam was a bad thing, perhaps you should work for them, because that sounds like pure partisan logic, and that’s what Bush is good at, partisanship. According to that logic the only thing that kept Stalin in check was that Hitler guy. Again, education is the only answer, until global education catches up to the education systems of the civilized world, we will always have these issues where the many can be controlled by the often evil few. This is not something that can be accomplished by one or even a few countries.

    Posted by deminizer  on  11/18  at  06:18 PM
  • The fact that the media thrives on war and destruction and may therefore play some part in motivating it is a specific case of a more general truth:

    Any endeavor to solve a problem in a *profitable* way, in a sense, thrives on that problem and may therefore play some part in causing it.

    This does not mean it is better not to solve problems profitably.  It means that some people are evil and exploit their ability to hide what they are doing.  Nevertheless, if Al Quaida spent more on As Sahab and less on destruction, the outcome would be better for both sides.

    There is a reason that some religious instruction is given behind closed doors, and that is because it is harder to teach hatred out in the open.  I personally believe that when those in power structures like that of Al Quaida or that of the U.S government begin to use propaganda *instead of brute force* to get their way they suddenly become far less destructive, and may even start learning themselves that cooperation works better than confrontation.  And Candide caressed his sheep (look it up).

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/19  at  02:13 AM
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