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View Diary: Ralph Nader was Right. (204 comments)

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  •  What's wrong with peace? (none)
    The Greens are pacifists.  Pacifists are people who believe that violence is a poor solution to problems.  Most people are pacifists on a personal scale - punching your neighbor if their music is keeping you awake is frowned upon.  But somehow, when it comes to people who live on the other side of the world and maybe look a little different, violence is accepted.  Greens say that we should treat everyone with the same amount of respect and compassion as we do ourselves.  (That whole do unto others bit...)

    US Americans wouldn't be in favor of bombing Oklahoma in retribution for the deadly actions of Timothy McVey and his cohorts would they?  Of course not, because you would harm many innocent people, and it wouldn't likely stop McVey from doing it again.  Well, why would you treat the people in Afghanistan any differently?  

    Greens want to create a world where people are held responsible for their actions, problems are solved intelligently and rationally, and suffering is at a minimum.  Attacking the people of another country is no real defense against terrorism, hatred, or even of further violence.  Violence only increases violence, in the long run.

    •  Peace is great. (none)
      And you raise excellent points.  But never has a political party ever been successful in advocating peace and non violence in the face of an attack on American soil that killed 3,000 people.  Every newspaper in the country on September 12, 2001 had as its headline "ACT OF WAR."  

      And it was.   I agree that Terrorism in and of itself is not an enemy but rather a tactic.  As such, Terrorism can never be defeated.   I also agree that we need to use more law enforcement tactics when going after terrorists.  But terrorist attacks on the scale of 9-11 deserved a military response against responsible nations.  The Taliban were guilty and deserved what they got.   To say that we were wrong in attacking Afghanistan is just plain ridiculous.  

      When the revolution comes, Republicans will be a good source of protein.

      by Delaware Dem on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 11:53:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are Afghani lives worth less then Oklahomans'? (none)
        Why did the bombings of 9/11 "deserve a military response" while the Oklahoma City bombings didn't?  The whole country of Afghanistan is no more responsible for the 9/11 murders than the whole state of Oklahoma was for the Oklahoma City murders.

        Can you imagine if the military came into Oklahoma and started invading, in an attempt to punish them for housing a terrorist?  

        No.  Because it's "just plain ridiculous" to terrorize, attack, and even kill people who have nothing to do with a crime.  That is, of course, unless those innicent people happen to live in another country, right?

        •  Yes. (none)
          Remember the West Wing episode that had that exact question asked.

          Bartlet asked: "Why are American lives worth more to me than Congolese lives?"  

          An aide replied "I don't know, sir, but they are worth more."

          First, your analogy is false.  The state of Oklahoma did not aid or assist McVeigh in the bombing of the Federal Building.  

          That is where your analogy fails.

          When the revolution comes, Republicans will be a good source of protein.

          by Delaware Dem on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:00:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The whole country of Afghanistan did not aid... (none)
            or assist the hijackers either.  Some of the people did, but not all of them.  Same goes for Oklahoma.  Some of the people helped him, but not all of them.  My analogy is completely true.

            But, if you honestly believe that some people's lives are worth more than others, then I guess you will never be able understand the true horror of war.  (Or was that West Wing quote a joke?  I don't watch tv, so I'm not to up on that show's style of humor.)  

            Oh, and by the way, what is your second point?  It looks like it got lost in the shuffle.

            •  Their government did (none)
              We did not kill every single Afghanistani.

              When the revolution comes, Republicans will be a good source of protein.

              by Delaware Dem on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:01:30 PM PST

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              •  Missing the point. (none)
                The US military killed and maimed people who had absolutely no involvement in the crimes of 9/11!  They are dead or suffering simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

                How can you justify the death of innocents simply because they live in another part of the world?

        •  Peace at any cost? (none)
          If you believe that no country should ever use force that is your right of course.

          I am not sure what peaceful response would have been appropriate after 9/11.

          What should have our country's response been?

          Consider that everything which happens, happens justly, and if thou observest carefully, thou wilt find it to be so. -Marcus Aurelius

          by Blue Neponset on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:06:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't believe in "countries". (none)
            Countries are subjective creations of people.  When you look at the Earth from space, there are no borders, other than the ones created by nature between the land and the sea.  Countries don't really exist, except in our minds.

            Instead of countries, I believe in individual people.  People who have no say in where they are born, or to what kind of religion they grow up with.

            So, beacuse I believe in people, and not countries, I can't support any using any sort of force (causing either physical or mental suffering) against countries, when those countries contain people who aren't criminals.  If you could show that all of the people who live in Afghanistan actively engaged in murderous activities, then maybe I'd reconsider my antiwar stance.

            But even then, I'm very suspect of any type of "solution" that causes suffering, even when the individual has committed a crime.  I don't believe that violence (intentional infliction of suffering) ever really leads to a more civil, productive, or healthy society.  

            In my experience (including as a teacher of young kids), the best way to create a healthy, compassionate, violence-free environment is to make sure that everyone's needs are being met. When people have access to clean food and water, a relatively safe place to live, loving friends and family, freedom of expression and the ability to explore and learn, then they are going to be more peaceful, tolerant, and healthy.  It is only when these basic needs are denied that individuals become irrational, angry, violent, and intolerant (unless they have physical brain damage that interferes with rational thought, in which case, they may need to be kept safely in a padded room!).

            So, my solution to the bombings in both Oklahoma and NYC - which will seem counterintuitive to those who believe that punishment (suffering) works to solve problems - is that we should have:

            1. Properly termed the bombings criminal offenses, and sought out those who carried them out for criminal prosecution.
            2. Taken a good long look at why so many people look at the US government as a dangerous enemy, and look for ways to remedy this growing fear and hatred.
            3. Offered assistance (food, water, refuge) to those who were being harmed by their government, either here or abroad.
            4. Used multilateral power and unity to continue to non-violently decry authoritarian governments.
            5. Work with the unity that the deaths inspired in so many people around the world - and use that unity to create more compassion for those who suffer, no matter where they live.
            6. Learn from our (humankind's) mistakes throughout history, as well as those times when we were successful at solving world problems, so that we can make better decisions in the future.

            There are also many more solutions that we could come up with if we put our minds to it.  There are lots of folks who already have, probably.  But these are just my own suggestions.
            •  Thanks for the thoughtful reply (none)
              I think we are pretty far apart on this.

              I am not sure if I have a more pessimistic or less niave view of human nature, but I believe there are times when turning the other cheek is not an option.  

              Consider that everything which happens, happens justly, and if thou observest carefully, thou wilt find it to be so. -Marcus Aurelius

              by Blue Neponset on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:45:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  ballsy post (none)
          i respect this very much.

          apart from the reply given, suggesting true "state sponsorship" might distinguish them, which you could rebut by replacing afghanistan with iraq, i think, here is a thought:

          this week, the government banned an islamic network as "hatemongering." clearly, right-wing talk radio led directly to oklahoma city. i think it is an excellent question to ask as to why the government doesn't ban right-wing talk radio for its role in inciting terrorism.

      •  playing into their hands (none)
        yes, but we didn't think for a second about what Bin Laden actually wanted us to do - which is to react exactly the way that we did, both in Afganistan and Iraq.

        9/11 was an act of terror meant to provoke a wider war - and guess what - we ought it hook, line and sinker, and have given Bin Laden exactly what he wanted, and now Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations are reaping the rewards of thousands of new suicide bombers and other volunteers for their cause...the age onld endless cycle of violence

        Which is why, until we do have a government that advocates 'peace first, reaction second', we'll be stuck in the cycle of violence that has plagued the world since the end of WWII.

        Green and Growing - support David Cobb in 2004.

        by green in brooklyn on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 12:58:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  peace first (none)
          worked well for Chamberlin and the gang in the 30's.

          "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

          by bluestateLIBertarian on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:26:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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