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Re: [nyceducationnews] Why Education Activists Must Act To Oppose Military In...

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  • RichardEdBarr@...
    Let s not forget, as John Kerry and Barack Obama apparently have (or do not wish to acknowledge) that it was the U.S. that was the first, and still the only
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2013
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      Let's not forget, as John Kerry and Barack Obama  apparently have (or do not wish to acknowledge) that it was the U.S. that was the first, and still the only nation to drop an atomic bomb on not one, but 2 cities, killing hundreds of thousands not just with the blast but from radiation afterwards, dropped untold amounts of napalm and agent orange on Vietnam, and then, through the C.I.A. gave assistance to Iraq (yes, Iraq) in it's use of chemical weapons on Iran during the 1980's, the decade before we turned around and made the first of our 2 invasions of Iraq, in which estimates of civilian deaths range from the hundreds of thousands to the millions, including from white phosphorous.  And now we are killing children among others in our drone strikes in 3-4 countries and calling them collateral damage.  If you asked citizens of every country in the world what country they feared the most, do you think Syria would get more votes than us?
       
      RB
       
      In a message dated 9/7/2013 6:00:20 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, falik@... writes:
       

      I would generally agree that we should keep  off-topic issues off this list – but certainly the subject is not off topic.  It is the essence of a Social Studies curriculum. So let me add a few comments, if I may.
       
      The Tanakah, the Jewish Bible, contains no prohibition on killing per se.  It prohibits murder; unsanctioned killing. While we would not wish to see people die, we would certainly recognize the propriety of killing someone who is about to kill another even though we would not celebrate the death.  And it seems to me that the situation is Syria is similar.  Since the first world war, use of poison gas, even on the military, has been recognized as particularly barbaric.  It’s use on civilians is beyond description.
       
      So the question is, what should be done to one who practices such barbaric behavior?  Is there anyone out there who would sanction it?  Would that person sanction it in a civil war, against his own people? Is it being used to prevent an even greater crime?  I think not.
       
      So I suggest that there is a moral imperative to stop such behavior  and punish it to the extent possible.  And it is possible for the United States to do so at relatively little cost.  Therefore we have a duty to act.
       
      Let me spend a few moments on Josh’s specific issues.
       
      1) It would be terrific if people who do bad things listen to the still small voice of reason and justice.  But when they fail to do so, force, ultimately deadly force, is necessary.  In this particular case, there is unlikely to be loss of life given the great advance warning.
       
      2) Certainly the biggest gets to impose his/her way.  Hopefully, that is the best rather than the badest.
       
      3) Justice shall you do.  And there is a cost to justice.  But it is small in comparison to the overall scheme of things, and the cost of failing to act is greater.  And the cost of justice is not a reason to ignore society’s other issues.
       
      4) Certainly the United States is not acing precipitously.  Notice was given a year ago not to use poison gas.  And the president has asked for a national debate.  Precipitous is hardly an appropriate description here.  At some point effective sanctions are required.  Must we allow an arsonist to burn the house own before we act. And, in international relations as in local police matters, credibility generally means that the application of a small amount of force now means that greater force will not be needed in the future.
       
      Eugene Falik
       

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