Dissolve into Evergreens
Today I celebrate an anniversary. Its one year...
The Dread Terrorist Bin Laden I think its silly...
Salon.com News | Behind the jobs debacle: "The...
Liberals = Weak Brian Hull.net - A proclivity f...
Perspective I guess I just feel angry, politica...
Lookie! Tulsa's Art Deco Architecture Photo Gal...
Incoming Message from the Mother Brain To:...
Bush is STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG!!!! Cam Edw...
All over the place today! Man, nothing sticks i...
Damn poor people, why don't they just get a job? ...
The Flaming Lips
The New Radicals
Death Cab for Cutie
Badly Drawn Boy
Coheed and Cambria
Atom Site Feed
Chalmers Johnson, Author of "The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic" - A BuzzFlash Interview:
"We know with precision from numerous historical examples that the use of a high-tech armed force like ours in trying to combat terrorism is the wrong strategy. In fact, military over-reaction is one of the things the terrorists anticipate in resorting to terrorism, in the belief that that then will generate more activists and increase the movement, which so far you'd have to say Al Qaeda has succeeded beyond its wildest imagination."
I really like what Chalmers Johnson says because it mirrors my own thoughts. I'm sure he has a greater depth of knowledge from which to draw but I think the basic foundations are the same as the ones rolling around in my head. Recall for a moment this important information:
The assumptions that we make about our foreign policy are all wrong because of one simple reason: we assume that others think and act differently then we, ourselves would think and act in similar circumstances.
We assume that by further aggravating a situation we can make it better. We might as well be trying to smooth the ripples on a lake with our fingers. If overthrowing a government in the seventies and installing a cooperative dictator didn't fix things then let's try overthrowing him and installing a version of our own government. If assassinating a country's leader didn't make things better we'll try a coup attempt or a bribe to influence voters in an election. (read this article on Blowback)
We assume that people should easily put aside old grudges and feuds for the "good of all". I think we forget that other nations have centuries of bad blood that will not so easily go away. As we get older as a nation we will see this happen with us. We already bear the wounds of a civil war and cultural shifts.
We assume that any action that we undertake is done for purely altruistic reasons (I call this one the Whittle Fallacy) or that even if we act in ways that benefit ourselves it will help others because we are benevolent. Others of course will not see it that way.
We assume that others will not resent a powerful nation that has the military capacity to overthrow most national governments, the economic clout to coerce action, and enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world.
We assume that just because we have the power to act in ways others cannot that we should be able to. How many other nations can get away with thumbing their nose at millions of people and an international governing body so they can invade a nation to prove we can?
We assume that showing others how weak they are should not breed resentment.
We assume that we are the only ones responsible enough to develop even more deadly arms and sell them all over the world., deciding who "deserves" to defend themselves.
In short , we assume a position of arrogance, meaning we think that we alone have the right to act the way we do and that others should understand their subordinate position.
Alternet: The Disquieted American
"If we had a division of Turkish troops in San Diego, we'd have a few patriotic young [American] men who would kill a couple [of Turks] every weekend."
It becomes frustrating when you debate people that take neither history or human nature into consideration. Their contention is that "other people" are acting in an irrational way. Most people do not believe they are acting irrationally. It only appears that way if you are willfully blind to history, human nature and cause and effect. People rarely strap bombs to themselves for no good reason. They are most likely either acting on bad information or under cultural influence.
Just as we are.
People will only strap on weapons and go to their deaths, overriding their own individual survival instinct if they believe they are doing so for a reason; God, Country, Family, or Freedom. While we all have things "worth fighting for" we have to be careful not to be mislead. We must always be wary of people that wish to simplify the issues. We must be wary of people that want us to act on our emotions despite the warnings of our heads. We must be wary of people that claim to speak for higher authorities.
We can only be arrogant if we assume that we would not act as others have, given the same set of circumstances.
Dissolve into Evergreens