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6640RE: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application? The Media's Role

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  • Eduard Alf
    Apr 7 8:06 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      james,

      I can see your point, but I tend to agree with Tommy on the aspect of
      Palestinians with TVs and such. In a society, those who are in the middle
      class are usually those who have the time, connections and inclination to
      act. Those at the lower ranks are too busy trying to survive to do
      likewise. Those who participated in the 9-11 terrorism were well educated
      and could hardly be said to be suffering. Yet they were more open to the
      "meme" that suicide has its own reward.

      My other fear is that, if Israel military withdraws from their latest
      advancement into the occupied territories, it will be seen that terrorism
      does indeed have a result in causing change. If there is no positive
      indication of security for the Israeli state by the Arab League, this will
      go on forever. You can see the some of the thinking now in the references
      to the American revolution. "Give me Liberty or Give me Death". The point
      is being made that if the Americans took such action [in essence terrorism]
      against Britain, then why not the Palestinians. Of course the situations
      are not the same, but you can see how this is going.

      As to Arafat, I think that in his old age he is unable to take positive
      action. I think that he was a prisoner within his own community, even
      before the Israelis laid a siege on his headquarters. It may well be that
      he is not capable of acting responsibly even if he wanted to. Unfortunately
      he is the only figure head that is available. Perhaps the actions of the
      Israelis in regard to preventing him from travelling, and the visits by
      American spokesmen, may actually do him some good.

      eduard


      -----Original Message-----
      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
      Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 7:02 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application? The Media's Role


      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.


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