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Re: Against war

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  • irvhal
    Jim, Your question prompts me to recall an exchange some years ago between Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell over Western values. Thatcher was heard to say
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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      Jim,

      Your question prompts me to recall an exchange some years ago between Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell over "Western values." Thatcher was heard to say that if she sent British troops to fight abroad, "it will be to defend our values," to which Powell replied "No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed." And much mischief has been done of late in the name of imposing values in Irag and Afghanistan. Values cannot be imposed, and political realities are such that national survival sometimes requires a choice not between Anglo parliamentary democracy and something else, but between choices far from ideal.

      Irvin

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Irvin,
      >
      > Are you saying that when it comes to national interest and treatment of foreigners, it is ok to be amoral?
      >
      > Jim
      >
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I concur. Our geo-strategic interest in oil must be resolved not in reference (or deference) to idealistic notions of nation-building or dialectics, but rather realpolitik. Such is the world we're in. And as Nietzsche might say, what survives of the good and noble is rarely not also assertive and strong.
      > >
      > > Irvin
      > >
      >
    • Jim
      Irvin, I don t think that really answers my question. Bill seems to be saying, we should favour the side in the Libya civil war which would better enable us to
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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        Irvin,

        I don't think that really answers my question.

        Bill seems to be saying, we should favour the side in the Libya civil war which would better enable us to buy Libyan oil. By implication, we should pay no heed to ethical issues, like the justice of the situation (i.e. which side is acting justly and which side is acting unjustly). So Bill is saying we should act on the basis of our own self-interest, and not on the basis of ethical considerations.

        I took your response to Bill to be an endorsement of Bill's view and his arguments.

        So I was asking you if you agree with Bill that the US (and/or UK) foreign policy towards Libya should be based on non-ethical considerations alone. In other words should we, as nations, act amorally when formulating our foreign policy?

        I am not suggesting we (US and/or UK) should be imposing our values on the citizens of Libya. But I am suggesting we act on our ethical values, rather than on purely considerations of self-interest.

        Do you understand what I am saying?

        Jim




        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
        >
        > Jim,
        >
        > Your question prompts me to recall an exchange some years ago between Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell over "Western values." Thatcher was heard to say that if she sent British troops to fight abroad, "it will be to defend our values," to which Powell replied "No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed." And much mischief has been done of late in the name of imposing values in Irag and Afghanistan. Values cannot be imposed, and political realities are such that national survival sometimes requires a choice not between Anglo parliamentary democracy and something else, but between choices far from ideal.
        >
        > Irvin
      • irvhal
        Jim, I read Bill as saying that an abrupt cut-off of oil from the Mideast would imperil our economic and national security, and that our failure to act thereon
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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          Jim,

          I read Bill as saying that an abrupt cut-off of oil from the Mideast would imperil our economic and national security, and that our failure to act thereon would leave a dangerous void to be filled by another power antagonistic to us. However, I know of no Arab or Islamic country unwilling to sell their oil, at least since the 1973 embargo. Reasonable people of good will may disagree on the whys and wherefores of our oil dependency. But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know. Nor do I know whether international power politics -- or national survival -- are necessarily amenable to fine rules of interpersonal behavior.

          Irvin

          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Irvin,
          >
          > I don't think that really answers my question.
          >
          > Bill seems to be saying, we should favour the side in the Libya civil war which would better enable us to buy Libyan oil. By implication, we should pay no heed to ethical issues, like the justice of the situation (i.e. which side is acting justly and which side is acting unjustly). So Bill is saying we should act on the basis of our own self-interest, and not on the basis of ethical considerations.
          >
          > I took your response to Bill to be an endorsement of Bill's view and his arguments.
          >
          > So I was asking you if you agree with Bill that the US (and/or UK) foreign policy towards Libya should be based on non-ethical considerations alone. In other words should we, as nations, act amorally when formulating our foreign policy?
          >
          > I am not suggesting we (US and/or UK) should be imposing our values on the citizens of Libya. But I am suggesting we act on our ethical values, rather than on purely considerations of self-interest.
          >
          > Do you understand what I am saying?
          >
          > Jim
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Jim,
          > >
          > > Your question prompts me to recall an exchange some years ago between Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell over "Western values." Thatcher was heard to say that if she sent British troops to fight abroad, "it will be to defend our values," to which Powell replied "No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed." And much mischief has been done of late in the name of imposing values in Irag and Afghanistan. Values cannot be imposed, and political realities are such that national survival sometimes requires a choice not between Anglo parliamentary democracy and something else, but between choices far from ideal.
          > >
          > > Irvin
          >
        • Jim
          Irvin, You write: But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war,
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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            Irvin,

            You write:

            "But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question."

            Here you seem to be saying that if a future Libyan Government (whether lead by Gaddafi or the anti-Gaddafi faction) decided not to sell its oil to the US, you would consider that an act of war. Is that what you mean?

            I find your comment shocking.

            Jim




            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
            >
            > Jim,
            >
            > I read Bill as saying that an abrupt cut-off of oil from the Mideast would imperil our economic and national security, and that our failure to act thereon would leave a dangerous void to be filled by another power antagonistic to us. However, I know of no Arab or Islamic country unwilling to sell their oil, at least since the 1973 embargo. Reasonable people of good will may disagree on the whys and wherefores of our oil dependency. But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know. Nor do I know whether international power politics -- or national survival -- are necessarily amenable to fine rules of interpersonal behavior.
            >
            > Irvin
            >
          • irvhal
            Jim, Whether Libya alone would suffice to provoke the harm I hypothesized is an empirical matter I can t answer, though I suspect it wouldn t. But what if it
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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              Jim,

              Whether Libya alone would suffice to provoke the harm I hypothesized is an empirical matter I can't answer, though I suspect it wouldn't. But what if it did? Or what of a larger source, say Saudi Arabia? Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? Or what if China or Russia sought to control the region? Wil took note in a recent post of the "violence" experienced by so many in our Great Recession. I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?

              Irvin

              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
              >
              > Irvin,
              >
              > You write:
              >
              > "But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question."
              >
              > Here you seem to be saying that if a future Libyan Government (whether lead by Gaddafi or the anti-Gaddafi faction) decided not to sell its oil to the US, you would consider that an act of war. Is that what you mean?
              >
              > I find your comment shocking.
              >
              > Jim
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Jim,
              > >
              > > I read Bill as saying that an abrupt cut-off of oil from the Mideast would imperil our economic and national security, and that our failure to act thereon would leave a dangerous void to be filled by another power antagonistic to us. However, I know of no Arab or Islamic country unwilling to sell their oil, at least since the 1973 embargo. Reasonable people of good will may disagree on the whys and wherefores of our oil dependency. But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know. Nor do I know whether international power politics -- or national survival -- are necessarily amenable to fine rules of interpersonal behavior.
              > >
              > > Irvin
              > >
              >
            • eupraxis@aol.com
              Jim, Well, it IS part of our anglo heritage. Wil ... From: Jim To: existlist Sent: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 10:49
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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                Jim,

                Well, it IS part of our "anglo" heritage.

                Wil





                -----Original Message-----
                From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
                To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 10:49 am
                Subject: [existlist] Re: Against war





                Irvin,

                You write:

                "But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question."

                Here you seem to be saying that if a future Libyan Government (whether lead by Gaddafi or the anti-Gaddafi faction) decided not to sell its oil to the US, you would consider that an act of war. Is that what you mean?

                I find your comment shocking.

                Jim

                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jim,
                >
                > I read Bill as saying that an abrupt cut-off of oil from the Mideast would imperil our economic and national security, and that our failure to act thereon would leave a dangerous void to be filled by another power antagonistic to us. However, I know of no Arab or Islamic country unwilling to sell their oil, at least since the 1973 embargo. Reasonable people of good will may disagree on the whys and wherefores of our oil dependency. But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know. Nor do I know whether international power politics -- or national survival -- are necessarily amenable to fine rules of interpersonal behavior.
                >
                > Irvin
                >









                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jim
                Irvin, Your posts (and those of Bill on this topic) strike me as the posts of an addict. Once a person becomes an addict they lose their ability to judge and
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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                  Irvin,

                  Your posts (and those of Bill on this topic) strike me as the posts of an addict.

                  Once a person becomes an addict they lose their ability to judge and act ethically. A drug addict will rob his own family and friends for the money to buy his drugs; he will mug innocent passers-by in order to get his next fix.

                  Your addiction to oil seems to have affected your ethical judgement.

                  My English heritage includes instruction in the stories of the Bible. Prominent amongst these is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus says we should treat the foreigner as we would treat one of our own. I read this parable as saying that it is just as wrong to harm someone in a far off land in order to maintain my comfortable lifestyle as it is to harm one of my own kith and kin.

                  Jim




                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Jim,
                  >
                  > Whether Libya alone would suffice to provoke the harm I hypothesized is an empirical matter I can't answer, though I suspect it wouldn't. But what if it did? Or what of a larger source, say Saudi Arabia? Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? Or what if China or Russia sought to control the region? Wil took note in a recent post of the "violence" experienced by so many in our Great Recession. I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?
                  >
                  > Irvin
                  >
                • eupraxis@aol.com
                  Jim, With all due respect to you, England rarely followed that model. Had they, we here would be drinking tea instead of coffee. Wil ... From: Jim
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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                    Jim,

                    With all due respect to you, England rarely followed that model. Had they, we here would be drinking tea instead of coffee.

                    Wil


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
                    To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 3:20 pm
                    Subject: [existlist] Re: Against war





                    Irvin,

                    Your posts (and those of Bill on this topic) strike me as the posts of an addict.

                    Once a person becomes an addict they lose their ability to judge and act ethically. A drug addict will rob his own family and friends for the money to buy his drugs; he will mug innocent passers-by in order to get his next fix.

                    Your addiction to oil seems to have affected your ethical judgement.

                    My English heritage includes instruction in the stories of the Bible. Prominent amongst these is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus says we should treat the foreigner as we would treat one of our own. I read this parable as saying that it is just as wrong to harm someone in a far off land in order to maintain my comfortable lifestyle as it is to harm one of my own kith and kin.

                    Jim

                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Jim,
                    >
                    > Whether Libya alone would suffice to provoke the harm I hypothesized is an empirical matter I can't answer, though I suspect it wouldn't. But what if it did? Or what of a larger source, say Saudi Arabia? Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? Or what if China or Russia sought to control the region? Wil took note in a recent post of the "violence" experienced by so many in our Great Recession. I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?
                    >
                    > Irvin
                    >









                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • irvhal
                    Jim, I should note that oil -- for the present -- is not only an intricate foundation of modern industrial economies and the living standards to which most
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
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                      Jim,

                      I should note that oil -- for the present -- is not only an intricate foundation of modern industrial economies and the living standards to which most aspire for a good life, but the primary source of wealth for oil possessing countries. As such a hypothetical oil cut-off in contravention of inter-national and reciprocal agreements, besides being a harmful provocation, would be a loosing proposition for all and thus unlikely in normal course. But its the abnormal, the terrorist, the triumphalists you've acknowledged before and who are oblivious to ripple effects, who'd be the true muggers who force others' hand.

                      Irvin

                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Irvin,
                      >
                      > Your posts (and those of Bill on this topic) strike me as the posts of an addict.
                      >
                      > Once a person becomes an addict they lose their ability to judge and act ethically. A drug addict will rob his own family and friends for the money to buy his drugs; he will mug innocent passers-by in order to get his next fix.
                      >
                      > Your addiction to oil seems to have affected your ethical judgement.
                      >
                      > My English heritage includes instruction in the stories of the Bible. Prominent amongst these is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus says we should treat the foreigner as we would treat one of our own. I read this parable as saying that it is just as wrong to harm someone in a far off land in order to maintain my comfortable lifestyle as it is to harm one of my own kith and kin.
                      >
                      > Jim
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Jim,
                      > >
                      > > Whether Libya alone would suffice to provoke the harm I hypothesized is an empirical matter I can't answer, though I suspect it wouldn't. But what if it did? Or what of a larger source, say Saudi Arabia? Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? Or what if China or Russia sought to control the region? Wil took note in a recent post of the "violence" experienced by so many in our Great Recession. I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?
                      > >
                      > > Irvin
                      > >
                      >
                    • tom
                      Jim I agree with you that it would be wonderful if governments ever really started conducting their foreign policies in a moral manner. The Gospel parable of
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 4, 2011
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                        Jim

                        I agree with you that it would be wonderful if governments ever really started conducting their foreign policies in a moral manner. The Gospel parable of Satan offering Jesus the kingdom of heaven was a symbolism of the fact that the world was in effect owned by what might be described as quite amoral forces. I suspect in the days of Attila the Hun and some such with nomadic hunting tribes who overan villages when the opportunity arose, Attila could be pretty upfront with his Huns. Invading a townstate and taking a vacation from hunting for a month or so until they ate up all the grain in the warehouse, and enjoyed new women, and partying like outlaw bikers during that time, after which they left with any women,gold, or fast horses around was something the men would relish and take risks for. However, as nomadic hunting gave way to agriculture, commerce, and finance, moral reasons had to be made up to convince the masses that the war was a moral one. Everything from saving the souls of pagans, or Operation Free Iraq, but in reality the real motives are usually as amoral as those of Attila's huns.In Orwell's 1984, enemies and allies change over night; and a Bog Dylan peace song almost 50 years "God on our side" had the line about Germany after ww2"Though they murdered 6 million in their ovens they fried, the Germans now too have God on their side".

                        Peace
                        Tom
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Jim
                        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011 6:55 AM
                        Subject: [existlist] Re: Against war



                        Irvin,

                        Are you saying that when it comes to national interest and treatment of foreigners, it is ok to be amoral?

                        Jim

                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I concur. Our geo-strategic interest in oil must be resolved not in reference (or deference) to idealistic notions of nation-building or dialectics, but rather realpolitik. Such is the world we're in. And as Nietzsche might say, what survives of the good and noble is rarely not also assertive and strong.
                        >
                        > Irvin
                        >





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Jim
                        Irvin, I find your recent posts rather sinister, as well as arrogant and amoral. You seem to be saying that America has a God-given right to the oil under the
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 5, 2011
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                          Irvin,

                          I find your recent posts rather sinister, as well as arrogant and amoral.

                          You seem to be saying that America has a God-given right to the oil under the ground in Middle Eastern countries, and it would be perfectly acceptable for the US to kill anybody who got in the way of the continuous flow of the oil into the US.

                          For example you write:

                          "But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know."

                          "Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? … I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?"

                          "But its the abnormal, the terrorist, the triumphalists you've acknowledged before and who are oblivious to ripple effects, who'd be the true muggers who force others' hand."

                          What you write in these passages seems so alien to my own ethical outlook and way of understanding recent events, I feel I would have more in common with a Middle-Eastern Muslim than I do with a white protestant American like yourself.

                          Where to start?

                          First, a factual issue. The only people who seem to think that al-qaida are prominent in the anti-Government demonstrations in the Middle East seem to Col Gaddafi, Bill and yourself. (Or is Fox News putting out as distorted an account of the Libyan situation as Libyan state television?)

                          Second, it seems perfectly clear to me that in Libya the non-violent, unarmed protesters have the ethical high ground, rather than Gaddafi who ordered the shooting of the demonstrators. Hence The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, is starting an investigation of possible war crimes by Gaddafi against his own people. The fact that you "don't know" which side in the civil war is more ethical, defies belief.

                          Third, I don't know if the Libyan government, or any other Middle-Eastern government, has signed any contracts to deliver so much oil over so many months to the US, but even if they had, I don't see breaking a contract as an "act of war", or a mugging to force the hand of another. I agree it is wrong to break a contract, but it is a non-violent wrong, and a non-violent wrong should not be met with violence.

                          Fourth, as I say at the start of this post, I don't think any nation can lay claim to the natural resources of another nation. You seem to think that when it comes to oil, all international law and all ethical considerations can go out of the window. When it comes to oil, anything goes!

                          Finally, I expect that the forthcoming demonstrations for democracy and justice in Saudi Arabia on 11th March will be crushed with America's blessing. The result will be that Western car drivers will have blood on their hands. Whilst, no doubt sensitive Westerners will feel a measure of guilt about this, you suggest that such guilt will be misplaced. Your own heritage does not seem to see the foreigner as a human being worthy of the respect accorded to your own kith and kin.

                          Jim
                        • eupraxis@aol.com
                          Jim, Wherever I hear heritage , I see a license to commit any act in its name. Wil ... From: Jim To: existlist
                          Message 12 of 18 , Mar 5, 2011
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                            Jim,

                            Wherever I hear "heritage", I see a license to commit any act in its name.

                            Wil


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
                            To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sat, Mar 5, 2011 2:33 pm
                            Subject: [existlist] Re: Against war





                            Irvin,

                            I find your recent posts rather sinister, as well as arrogant and amoral.

                            You seem to be saying that America has a God-given right to the oil under the ground in Middle Eastern countries, and it would be perfectly acceptable for the US to kill anybody who got in the way of the continuous flow of the oil into the US.

                            For example you write:

                            "But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know."

                            "Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? … I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?"

                            "But its the abnormal, the terrorist, the triumphalists you've acknowledged before and who are oblivious to ripple effects, who'd be the true muggers who force others' hand."

                            What you write in these passages seems so alien to my own ethical outlook and way of understanding recent events, I feel I would have more in common with a Middle-Eastern Muslim than I do with a white protestant American like yourself.

                            Where to start?

                            First, a factual issue. The only people who seem to think that al-qaida are prominent in the anti-Government demonstrations in the Middle East seem to Col Gaddafi, Bill and yourself. (Or is Fox News putting out as distorted an account of the Libyan situation as Libyan state television?)

                            Second, it seems perfectly clear to me that in Libya the non-violent, unarmed protesters have the ethical high ground, rather than Gaddafi who ordered the shooting of the demonstrators. Hence The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, is starting an investigation of possible war crimes by Gaddafi against his own people. The fact that you "don't know" which side in the civil war is more ethical, defies belief.

                            Third, I don't know if the Libyan government, or any other Middle-Eastern government, has signed any contracts to deliver so much oil over so many months to the US, but even if they had, I don't see breaking a contract as an "act of war", or a mugging to force the hand of another. I agree it is wrong to break a contract, but it is a non-violent wrong, and a non-violent wrong should not be met with violence.

                            Fourth, as I say at the start of this post, I don't think any nation can lay claim to the natural resources of another nation. You seem to think that when it comes to oil, all international law and all ethical considerations can go out of the window. When it comes to oil, anything goes!

                            Finally, I expect that the forthcoming demonstrations for democracy and justice in Saudi Arabia on 11th March will be crushed with America's blessing. The result will be that Western car drivers will have blood on their hands. Whilst, no doubt sensitive Westerners will feel a measure of guilt about this, you suggest that such guilt will be misplaced. Your own heritage does not seem to see the foreigner as a human being worthy of the respect accorded to your own kith and kin.

                            Jim









                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • irvhal
                            Jim, In the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear, wrote Shakespeare. Note if you will, that I ve been a critic of our governments
                            Message 13 of 18 , Mar 5, 2011
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                              Jim,

                              In the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear, wrote Shakespeare. Note if you will, that I've been a critic of our governments' invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan. On these points, as demonstrated most recently by your former prime minister's admissions, our leaders were, at best, under or mis-informed, which should remind us of our finitude, of the reality that we act always constrained by time and limited knowledge. There are no linear unfoldments to consult courtesy of some historic dialectic, Marxist or otherwise (which I hasten to add I don't attribute to you). Nor I think it sinister to acknowledge our limits in assessing from our comfortable perches in Britain and America who is more "ethical" in the civil conflicts now brewing. I suspect our disagreement is more empirical than philosophical. Or as President Reagan might have said, what's two old thinkers like us getting so lathered up over something we're probably not that far apart on anyway?

                              All the best,

                              Irvin

                              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Irvin,
                              >
                              > I find your recent posts rather sinister, as well as arrogant and amoral.
                              >
                              > You seem to be saying that America has a God-given right to the oil under the ground in Middle Eastern countries, and it would be perfectly acceptable for the US to kill anybody who got in the way of the continuous flow of the oil into the US.
                              >
                              > For example you write:
                              >
                              > "But any gratuitous cut-off of oil with its foreseeable convulsive consequences to our nations could reasonably be treated as an act of war, regardless of the type of government in question. As to who's more "ethical" in the pending civil war in Lybia, I don't know."
                              >
                              > "Isn't there contractural and forward arrangements here begetting what contract law calls detrimental reliance? … I suspect what we've sufferred so far would pale in comparison to the foreseeable convulsions of an abrupt oil cut-off. We always must act disadvantaged from time and knowledge constraints, but could we indeed rule out war under any circumstance?"
                              >
                              > "But its the abnormal, the terrorist, the triumphalists you've acknowledged before and who are oblivious to ripple effects, who'd be the true muggers who force others' hand."
                              >
                              > What you write in these passages seems so alien to my own ethical outlook and way of understanding recent events, I feel I would have more in common with a Middle-Eastern Muslim than I do with a white protestant American like yourself.
                              >
                              > Where to start?
                              >
                              > First, a factual issue. The only people who seem to think that al-qaida are prominent in the anti-Government demonstrations in the Middle East seem to Col Gaddafi, Bill and yourself. (Or is Fox News putting out as distorted an account of the Libyan situation as Libyan state television?)
                              >
                              > Second, it seems perfectly clear to me that in Libya the non-violent, unarmed protesters have the ethical high ground, rather than Gaddafi who ordered the shooting of the demonstrators. Hence The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, is starting an investigation of possible war crimes by Gaddafi against his own people. The fact that you "don't know" which side in the civil war is more ethical, defies belief.
                              >
                              > Third, I don't know if the Libyan government, or any other Middle-Eastern government, has signed any contracts to deliver so much oil over so many months to the US, but even if they had, I don't see breaking a contract as an "act of war", or a mugging to force the hand of another. I agree it is wrong to break a contract, but it is a non-violent wrong, and a non-violent wrong should not be met with violence.
                              >
                              > Fourth, as I say at the start of this post, I don't think any nation can lay claim to the natural resources of another nation. You seem to think that when it comes to oil, all international law and all ethical considerations can go out of the window. When it comes to oil, anything goes!
                              >
                              > Finally, I expect that the forthcoming demonstrations for democracy and justice in Saudi Arabia on 11th March will be crushed with America's blessing. The result will be that Western car drivers will have blood on their hands. Whilst, no doubt sensitive Westerners will feel a measure of guilt about this, you suggest that such guilt will be misplaced. Your own heritage does not seem to see the foreigner as a human being worthy of the respect accorded to your own kith and kin.
                              >
                              > Jim
                              >
                            • Jim
                              Irvin, I tend to think that the philosophical (i.e. ethical) disagreements between us are significant, and more so than the empirical disagreements, which are
                              Message 14 of 18 , Mar 6, 2011
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                                Irvin,

                                I tend to think that the philosophical (i.e. ethical) disagreements between us are significant, and more so than the empirical disagreements, which are also present.

                                However we have now both expressed our thoughts on this issue so perhaps it is time to move on.

                                Just to mention the lead article in my Sunday newspaper which focuses on a new Government initiative to reduce our nation's dependency on oil for our energy needs.

                                Our Energy Secretary Chris Hume says: "Getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent by the crisis in the Middle East. We cannot afford to go on relying on such a volatile source of energy when we have clean, green and secure energy from low-carbon sources."

                                In other words, we need to develop the technology to harness the "free" energy we can get from the sun, the wind and the waves. I gather the US has these three energy sources within its borders (including coastal waters), and if your country can more towards self-sufficiency in energy supply, all talk of foreign wars will fade away.

                                On the home front, the move should be from petrol cars to electric cars.

                                Jim




                                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "irvhal" <i99hj@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Jim,
                                >
                                > In the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear, wrote Shakespeare. Note if you will, that I've been a critic of our governments' invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan. On these points, as demonstrated most recently by your former prime minister's admissions, our leaders were, at best, under or mis-informed, which should remind us of our finitude, of the reality that we act always constrained by time and limited knowledge. There are no linear unfoldments to consult courtesy of some historic dialectic, Marxist or otherwise (which I hasten to add I don't attribute to you). Nor I think it sinister to acknowledge our limits in assessing from our comfortable perches in Britain and America who is more "ethical" in the civil conflicts now brewing. I suspect our disagreement is more empirical than philosophical. Or as President Reagan might have said, what's two old thinkers like us getting so lathered up over something we're probably not that far apart on anyway?
                                >
                                > All the best,
                                >
                                > Irvin
                                >
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