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6638Re: A Real Life Application? The Media's Role

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  • james tan
    Apr 7 4:01 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
      Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      To: "Wisdom Forum" <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: A Real Life Application? The Media's Role
      Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002 21:49:34 -0800

      Tommy wrote:
      >>It seems to me also that your argument tends in the direction of
      regarding there to be some kind of inherent racial element here, eg.
      Arabs are inherently unstable whereas blacks are inherently
      peace-loving. I don't think that is the case. While I am no
      determinist, I do believe that behaviour such as suicide bombing or
      necklacing (the treatment given by blacks to other blacks who
      collaborated with the apartheid oppressors) is elicited by the
      situation within which choices such as "shall I get married or go
      straight to heaven?" are made.<<

      Taking this, your most grievous accusation against me, I will attribute it
      to your fatigue before bedtime. I do not now, nor have I ever believed that
      people are inherently one thing or the other because of their race or
      ethnicity. What I am trying to understand is what I suspect may be learned
      cultural differences that manifest themselves in different ways in different
      people. There is no doubt that there are good people and bad people of
      every color, race and creed. What I think we are discussing are the
      attributes, inclinations, characters, decisions and actions of political
      leaders chosen to guide particular societies. Necklacing and suicide
      bombing are very different things. Necklacing was directed at people
      believed to be guilty of specific wrongful acts, whereas suicide bombing is
      directed against people innocent of any wrongdoing under any rational
      account. And that is a huge difference. Still, I think necklacing
      suspected collaborators is morally wrong, although not as reprehensible as
      suicide bombing weddings, banquets and restaurants.

      Tommy said:
      >>There my objection breaks down and so does yours I suppose since we
      cannot, as Sartreans, ever say of somebody that they are inherently
      this or that. It is the choices they make from moment to moment
      within the contingency of their situation and how these choices are
      viewed from without.<<

      I think we must make a distinction here. It is true that we may not know
      what lies deep inside the character of Arafat as a man. But as a political
      leader, we must judge him on the ground of practice by what he does, even
      more so than by what he says. What he has done in leading his people has
      taken them into the horrific realm of murderous terrorism and plunge them
      into the abyss of a mindless war. And even you must admit, the Israeli
      aggression is a response to suicide bombing and not the cause of it. The
      bombing preceded in time the military incursions of the Israelis. And
      that's a simply fact.

      Tommy wrote:
      >>The Palestinian Authority is not doing these things either. There is
      some question of whether it is using its influence over the other
      groups sufficiently proactively. But that is completely a moot point
      since its ability and will to use this influence diminishes daily due
      to the emasculation it has been receiving from Sharon's Israel.<<

      Again I think you are buying a load of political propaganda and hogwash.
      Arafat called for Jihad and started supporting suicide bombers and
      glorifying them long before there was any emasculation of his position by
      Sharon's Israel.

      Tommy said:
      >>Your point about the Palestinians having TVs and Disney toys rather
      than wearing rags and starving is, I am afraid, not worthy of you.
      There is a fundamental point about occupation in terms of how humans
      see themselves and behave which is not a simple sliding scale of
      personal involvement in consumerist technological advances.<<

      I think this is a relevant point. At what point does political oppression,
      which comes in degrees, warrant murderous violence? Just because you find
      the occupation rude, disrespectful or hurtful to your feelings does not
      justify one in killing innocent men, women and children. If the oppression
      rises to the level of starvation, mass murder, or genocide, then one ways
      more warrant for extreme and violent actions. My point is that the
      Palestinians are utterly lacking in the degree of justification, if any
      there could be, for the heinousness of their actions. In the course of
      human history, many people have endured much worse without stooping to the
      levels of murder and mayhem that the Palestinian suicide bombers have
      inflicted. Many peoples throughout time have achieved their political aims
      without blowing up innocent civilians. The sooner they realize that these
      actions are utterly unacceptable and unjustifiable from any civilized
      perspective the better we will all be. I doubt seriously if European Jewry
      on the way to the their near extermination ever thought the solution lay is
      killing innocent German children in pizza parlors. I don't even think the
      blacks of apartheid South Africa engaged in such tactics.

      We have a saying for the person who occupies the top political position in
      the U.S. That saying is that the buck stops on his desk. He can't pass
      around the blame. He takes his office with all the burdens of
      responsibility that it brings with it. The buck stops on
      Chairman/President/General Arafat's too. He's responsible for what goes on
      under his authority, the buck stops on his desk. He doesn't get to make
      excuses, he only gets to accept responsibility and to act responsibly, in
      accordance with the rights, privileges and powers of his office as leader of
      his people. Sadly, he doesn't seem to realize that.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tommy Beavitt
      Sent: Saturday, April 06, 2002 4:08 PM
      To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [WisdomForum] Re: A Real Life Application? The Media's Role

      >At 2:23 pm -0800 6/4/02, Christopher Bobo wrote:
      >The ANC was negotiating with the white majority government
      >peacefully. The ANC was not fire-bombing restaurants or killing
      >civilians, as far as I recall.

      That is right. What we call the ANC today was not, prior to the fall
      of the apartheid system run by white supremacists, fire-bombing
      restaurants or killing 'civilians'. But others were.

      The Palestinian Authority is not doing these things either. There is
      some question of whether it is using its influence over the other
      groups sufficiently proactively. But that is completely a moot point
      since its ability and will to use this influence diminishes daily due
      to the emasculation it has been receiving from Sharon's Israel.

      If the western world were to grant the PA the moral authority it
      granted the ANC it may very well be that we would say of it in
      retrospect (once the vision of a Palestinian state has been
      achieved), "it negotiated with the Jewish majority government
      peacefully".

      The only legitimate question, it seems to me, is whether Mandela is a
      man of integrity similar in inherent moral stature to a Gandhi or a
      Luther King while Arafat is fatally flawed.

      There my objection breaks down and so does yours I suppose since we
      cannot, as Sartreans, ever say of somebody that they are inherently
      this or that. It is the choices they make from moment to moment
      within the contingency of their situation and how these choices are
      viewed from without.

      It seems to me also that your argument tends in the direction of
      regarding there to be some kind of inherent racial element here, eg.
      Arabs are inherently unstable whereas blacks are inherently
      peace-loving. I don't think that is the case. While I am no
      determinist, I do believe that behaviour such as suicide bombing or
      necklacing (the treatment given by blacks to other blacks who
      collaborated with the apartheid oppressors) is elicited by the
      situation within which choices such as "shall I get married or go
      straight to heaven?" are made.

      Your point about the Palestinians having TVs and Disney toys rather
      than wearing rags and starving is, I am afraid, not worthy of you.
      There is a fundamental point about occupation in terms of how humans
      see themselves and behave which is not a simple sliding scale of
      personal involvement in consumerist technological advances.

      Anyway, I have written far too much here. A few words would have
      sufficed. I am off to bed.

      Good night!

      Tommy








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