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Archive through September 23, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » The Monkey Hole » 9/11 » Archive through September 23, 2002 « Previous Next »

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_Blackjack
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 3:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

I do consider that my ideas may be wrong, but I also believe in a solid core of principles by which I try to lead my life. This solid core of principles does not change. I would die for these principles.



Even if they were to be shown to be wrong, or at least inappropriate to the circumstances at hand?

We do not live in the same world that Marx did. Hell, TROTSKY didn't live in the same world that Marx did, so he had to adapt and change the ideas of Marxism to fit his circumstances.

As for calling you "Right-wing", that, again, is a matter of definitions. If one defines the "Right" as the side which adheres to the established order without thought, then you could very well find yourself on the "Right" in a few decades, as the world progresses past you.

The Liberal ideal, the ideal of adapting and updating ones beliefs as more information becomes availible or as circumstances change, has been responsible for much more positive change in our society than rigid adherance to any dogma, even a revolutionary one.

Do I believe "in everything and nothing depending on the prevailing circumstances"? To a certain extent, sure. I don't believe that any idea I, or any other person, has concieved is so unquestionably correct that it is appropriate to impose it upon another by force. Without this safeguard of uncertainty, revolution quickly becomes tyranny.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 1:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

PV,

It just goes to show that the West will back the most vicious bastard on Earth just so long as he is prepared to act as their lackey. Anyway it wasn't as if it was a little American child he kicked to death. Another dead sand-nigger brat? Who gives a fuck? A load of gassed kurds? Who gives a fuck? The West certainly didn't give a fuck when the Kurds were being gassed by our then ally Iraq.

And we're supposed to believe that the West actually cares anything about human rights abuses outside the West. We're supposed to swallow the garbage that this is a war aginst terrorism and corrupt regimes. This is a war solely to further Western interests abroad, nothing else matters. It is certainly not a war against evil.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 12:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Ah, so you admit that you are a conservative. You admit that you stand rigidly to a set of ideas without the consideration that you might be wrong."

I do consider that my ideas may be wrong, but I also believe in a solid core of principles by which I try to lead my life. This solid core of principles does not change. I would die for these principles.

To change your core principles leaves you open to conveniently adapt to suit whichever circumstance you find yourself in. You end up in effect believing in everything and nothing depending on the prevailing circumstances (a liberal). I'm not bothered about being called conservative (although I'd prefer to be called a left-wing fundamentalist), just don't call me right-wing and don't call me a liberal.
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 5:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just to digress from theology for a moment, it appears that a few people do have educated guesses as to who'd replace Saddam -- and it ain't pretty:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0922-02.htm

They are people who would probably be prosecuted for war crimes, were they not willing to betray their former leader.
Traineraz
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 2:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I saw the most interesting article in the recent National Geographic (the one with meerkats on the cover).

The journalist visited the region surrounding the Black Sea. It seems that the people there are most assuredly Christian, and would kill you if you suggested otherwise, yet engage in ritual animal sacrifice and assorted pre-Christian festivals which are now Christian in name only.

Sounds like evolution of a religion to me . . . just like Tibetan Buddhism, which is a merger of the indigenous Tibetan religion and its pantheon with Buddhism.

It may not be "true" Buddhism, but neither is the Catholic (or the Anglican, or pretty much any) Church a "true" Christian church.
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Ismaelis do not believe that the authority of the Qur'an is absolute or infallible, and most Shi'i believe that there were prophets after Muhammed whose authority supercedes his. Your fundementalist definition would exclude much of the Muslim word, including the entire Fatimid empire.

Most Christians believe a whole body of things (that Jesus was simultaneously man and god, that the father, the son and the holy spirit are seperate parts of a single entity, that Jesus' died for our sins) that are NOT the direct teachings of Jesus, but are teachings of Paul, various early church fathers, etc. The direct teachings of Jesus actually cover a very narrow spectrum of human experience, almost all of it specific to 1st century Jews.

More to the point, religious teachings, ALL of them, are by necessity vague. A prophet cannot hope to cover every eventuality (tho the Rabbis have tried...), and as such, there is an awful lot that is left open for interperetation.

And all of THIS assumes that the scripture or whatnot is, in fact, the verbatim teaching in the first place, which it almost certainly isn't in the case of Jesus or Buddha.


Quote:

Much of the Left bases it's stance rigidly on the teachings of Marx, Trotsky etc. Our principles are firmly based.



Ah, so you admit that you are a conservative. You admit that you stand rigidly to a set of ideas without the consideration that you might be wrong. You are thus exactly the same as the monarchists and the capitalists and what-have-you, because you fail to grasp that ideas must, and DO, adapt with changes in circumstance.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack,

A 'religion' that is not based on the teachings of the Buddha cannot be Buddhist, just like a religion that is not based on the teachings of Christ cannot be Christian. It's not about believing the exactly same, indeed the idea of believing the same as someone else is contrary to the teachings of the Buddha.

If I believed that the prophet Mohammed was Allah, that Mohammed created all things, that the teachings in the Qu'ran were not applicable and that I should bow down and worship in front of an image of Allah I had made, then I would not be a Muslim regardless of whether or not I chose to call myself one.

If you do not at least try to follow the teachings of Mohammed you are not a Muslim, if you do not at least try to follow the teachings of Christ you are not a Christian, if you do not at least try to follow the teachings of the Buddha you are not a Buddhist. It's as simple as that. The labels people choose to apply to themselves or others make no difference.

"Honestly, LH, for a guy who claims to be on the left, you seem terrified with the concept that ideas can change and evolve over time. Could it be you're just a conservative who is a few years ahead of the curve...?"

But the teaching of an individual who has since deceased cannot evolve over time. Yes, interpretations can and do change over time but when the fundamental core of the teaching is replaced by something else then the 'interpretation' is no longer based on that teaching. Religions that are based on the teachings of a particular person (who is not alive to change his message) are no longer based on the teachings of that person when they remove the basic, fundamental principles of his teaching. They then become something entirely different.

And who ever said that all of us on the 'Left' are from the evolving, changing ideas brigade? I think you're confusing us with the 'Liberals'. The Liberals are not part of the Left, they are not even automatic allies of the Left. Liberals don't sit very well with Marxists, Trotskyites and the like. Much of the Left bases it's stance rigidly on the teachings of Marx, Trotsky etc. Our principles are firmly based. Where did you get the idea we favoured fluid, changing principles?
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Like I said, you are talking nonsense, in exactly the same way you would be talking nonsense if you said that no-one who wasn't a member of a pious apocalyptic sect of messianic Judaism could be called a Christian. There is a FAMILY of religions, which is called Buddhism by scholars, and this family is grouped together not because all of the adherants practice or believe the exact same things, but because the traditions developed from a common source.

Christianity includes everything from Mormanism to Unitarian-Univcersalism to Pentacostalism to the Amish to aspects of Santaria. Islam includes a continuum from the literalist thecratic groups like the Taleban to the highly interperative, nearly secular Ismaelis. None of the non-folk religions has, in practice, remained absolutely faithful to the teachings of their founders. Unless you are going to claim direct revelatory knowlege from some divine being, you cannot claim to know which version of any of them is "right".


Quote:

You're talking about labels people choose to stick on themselves and I'm talking about what these labels actually mean.



The meaning of words is defined by how they are used. In this case, the definition I have given is consistant with the majority usage, and with the usage among experts in the field. The word "deer" used to refer to any animal, but if you chose touse it that way now, people will not understand you.

Honestly, LH, for a guy who claims to be on the left, you seem terrified with the concept that ideas can change and evolve over time. Could it be you're just a conservative who is a few years ahead of the curve...?
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 8:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack,

Whether they have me outnumbered or not has no bearing on whether I am right or wrong. I'm used to being in the minority and have never thought that this makes me any less (or any more) likely to be right.

Regardless of how many people there are worshipping the Buddha as a God, as you rightly point out they are not following the teachings of the Buddha. They can call themselves what they like, it makes no difference to what they are not. If an apple decided to call itself an orange that still wouldn't make it a citrus fruit. I know a German monk who gets annoyed when people talk about Buddhism, he insists that there is no such thing as Buddhism but only the teachings of the Buddha. In the end he is right.

You're talking about labels people choose to stick on themselves and I'm talking about what these labels actually mean.

Anyway we are in danger of ending up like the Punk Rock discussion. Best just to agree to disagree on this one.
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 6:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We've been through this before, and it's going to end up JUST like the Punk Rock discussion. The MAJORITY of those who have called themselves Buddhists, historically, have practiced a religion which is very far removed from the almost purely philosophic teachings of the Buddha. An awful lot of them DO worship Buddha as a divinity, as the central force in the universe. You can claim it it's no longer Buddhism if you want, but as before, you will be talking nonsense. They have you outnumbered.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 4:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack,

The removement of attachments (tanha) is central to Buddhism. This is at the core of Buddhism. Starting from large circles moving to smaller and smaller circles. While images of the Buddha etc. can be a focus point for the removal of external attachments, they themselves (and Buddhist 'doctrine' itself) are attachments and ultimately will need to be removed in the aim to achieve nibbana. Attachments are the source of dukkha ('suffering') and Buddhism which does not include the aim to remove attachments is ignoring the Four Noble Truths and is simply not Buddhism.

Buddhists do not worship the Buddha as a divine, omnipotent God (although a great many Hindus do and I've met Hindus who say they are both Hindus and Buddhists), Buddhists pay homage to the Buddha (a very different thing). If they worship the Buddha as God then they are not following the teaching of the Buddha. Even if some do, the death of an insect living on the statue will be of more significance than the destruction of a lump of rock. It's not as if a lump of rock was probably once your mother.

Anyway I find it a bit sad that the blowing up of an inert, lifeless statue in Afghanistan seemed to cause more outrage here in the West than the killing of Human beings in Afghanistan. Fuck the statues, let's worry about the living.
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 2:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That destruction was a declaration of war on any religion, philosophy, viewpoint or hairstyle other than that espoused by the Taliban.

Whether or not the statue had signifigance to you, still it is like Kruschev banging his shoe 'We will bury you!'

People in the world who would kill me if they could, and they might be able to... sure. Bomb em.

{Mr Rabid throws poop, makes ooh oooh oohh aaaaa! noises.}
_Blackjack
Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 10:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

And once again you fall into the trap of an overly-simplistic definition of Buddhism. There are Buddhists to whom statues and other representations are very important, and who worship the Buddha (and other Buddhas) as gods.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 9:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tristan,

"No, I supported the overthrow of Afghanistan because the Taliban were a throwback reactionary regime that put the cause of peace and human interaction back into the middle ages, at least locally. I've been saying we should have knocked the Taliban over since the Buddhist Statues incidents."

Fuck the statue, it's only a piece of rock, hardly worth going to war over. Buddhists don't really hold statues in real regard. Ultimately even the Buddha himself is a distraction so who cares about a statue of him.

If you're all for going to war on reactionary regimes with a medieval view of human rights then why the fuck aren't you calling for a war on Saudi Arabia? But then the Saudis are (quoting Tony Blair) "good and dependable friends of the civilised world". The West couldn't have cared less about the Taliban's human rights record until the Taliban became hotile to the West. THE APPALLING HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD OF THE TALIBAN HAD ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING WHATSOEVER ON WHY THE US AND BRITAIN WENT TO WAR AGAINST THEM.

"And you still haven't produced a valid site on you claim on deliberate US forces attacks against foreign non-combatants."

The Beiruit truck bomb was carried out on the orders of William Casey (CIA director) and it was approved by Ronald Reagan. That was never even denied. It is a fact.

IN 1986 THE WORLD COURT FOUND THE US GUILTY OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM (not that a triviality like International Law would bother the US). Look it up for yourself if you don't believe me. 50,000 people died in Nicaragua as a result of the US covert operation there. What do you think the CIA was doing down there? Enjoying the scenery?

As for the sanctions in Iraq, even Madelleine Albright admits that Iraqi children hundreds of thousands have dying as a result (although she thinks it is a price worth paying). If hundreds of thousands of American children were dying I doubt if she'd view it as being a price worth paying. Eighty times more Iraqi chidren (and thats' using the figure as it was in 1996) have died than the victims of 9/11. But then they're just expendable, invisible, sand-niggers.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 8:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack,

"...when we have sponsored terrorism, we have done so to advance a specific political, economic or military agenda. We have not done so out of spite....That is not something that can be said of a great many of the terrorists, including those who attacked us last year."

All acts of terrorism are motivated by a political agenda. Terrorists consider the deaths of innocent civilians as secondary to the intended aims of their action. They believe that the end justifies the means. Look at all the organisations deemed by the US to be terrorist organisations, don't tell me that their motivations are not political.

The US governments own definition of terrorism recognises political motivation as being central to terrorism. If the political motivation is absent then the act is not an act of terrorism.

"...premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience."

The twin towers was chosen not because it was where most civilians could be killed but because the WTO symbolises the Western economic system which runs the planet. The act was saying "fuck you" to Western capitalism and dead innocents would serve to gain maximum publicity for the attack. The attack on the Pentagon (a legitimate military target for an act of war) was an attack on ythe US military. Both acts were politically motivated.

To imply that US sponsored acts of terrorism are more acceptable and less evil than anti-US acts of terrorism is pure hypocrisy.

Either you take the position that terrorist acts against innocent civilians as an acceptable part of groups pushing forward political agendas (regardless of whether they are commited for us or against us), or you take the position that terrorist acts against innocent civilians is evil (regardless of whether the acts further our aims or the aims of our opponents). Anything else is hypocrisy.

The US government is not opposed to terrorism, it is opposed only to terrorists who are opposed to the US. Acts of terrorism committed to further the aims of the US are viewed as acceptable (even if mildly regrettable). Anybody with half a brain can see that this is the position held, why not just cut the crap and come clean about it?
Tristan_Ii
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 11:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, I supported the overthrow of Afghanistan because the Taliban were a throwback reactionary regime that put the cause of peace and human interaction back into the middle ages, at least locally. I've been saying we should have knocked the Taliban over since the Buddhist Statues incidents.

And you still haven't produced a valid site on you claim on deliberate US forces attacks against foreign non-combatants.

As for the US killing Iraqi children... *sigh*.... here we go again.

The UN Food for Oil program lifted the ceiling years ago on the amount of oil that Saddam is allowed to trade for food/medical supplies/non-military equipment. The year they lifted the cap, Iraq sold LESS oil that they had sold during the previous years. Iraq is quick to tout the deaths of children, but still pours money into an unusally large military for the region, and apparently into WMD research, and "Presidential Palaces" and bigger rockets with which to hit Israel.

Saddam Hussein, not the UN or the US, is killing the Iraqi civilian population. How much grain or medical supplies can be purchased for the cost of a SCUD launcher, or a T-34 tank?
Bob_Chong
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"it is instead motivated by love of oil"

This is too simplistic and shows no understanding of any issues whatsoever. One possible objective is to ensure our own continued military superiority by rooting out WMD.

If WMD exist, then they threaten our military might.

If maintaining our military might is important, then we must act to preserve it.

If there are no WMD, then no problem. No war. It's really not that hard to follow.

Again, oil prices have never been lower. The OPEC states are not lining up behind Bagdhad. They know who pays their fucking bills. To say, "It's nothing but oil," is a silly mantra that went out in 1991.


"A bunch of fig eaters with towels on their heads, trying to find reverse on a Soviet tank: this is not a worthy adversary." --Walter Sobchek
Bob_Chong
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The plane that flew into the Pentagon--if it had been empty, say it were a stolen plane and not one civilian were inside: would that still be terrorism? I would have to argue that it might not be. Blowing up a military barracks or bombing a warship in port are labeled terrorist acts, but are they not acts of war? For me, terrorism is a shitty ploy because civilians are wontonly killed (i.e., civilians are the *primary* target, not a secondary accident from missing a military target).

I guess I'm not really going anywhere with this. Ahhh, monkey hole.
Artist
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 5:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Our interference in Iraq is not motivated by a hatred of the Iraqi people.




True...it is instead motivated by love of oil.
_Blackjack
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

He who pays the piper chooses the tune and as a result it is big business, and not ordinary American citizens, who have the power to influence your government. If you want to influence your government then forget your ballot paper, get a job on the main board of Exon.



Which explains why we still have slavery, women can't vote, unions are illegal and there are no civil rights laws here. Oh, wait...

Progress here can be slow, but it happens.
_Blackjack
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 3:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

If you are in such a good position to STOP your government from dong so then why the fuck haven't you stopped your government from doing so?



I'm fricking working on it, yeesh!

My point was that you cannot paint the actions of the US with the same brush as regimes that have no regard for human rights at all, with those where even the IDEA that the people can question what the government does. We still make mistakes, but we are willing to learn from them.

Here is another distinction: when we have sponsored terrorism, we have done so to advance a specific political, economic or military agenda. We have not done so out of spite. We did not overthrow Allende because we really hate Chileans and wanted them to be oppressed. Our interference in Iraq is not motivated by a hatred of the Iraqi people. That is not something that can be said of a great many of the terrorists, including those who attacked us last year. With our power, if we were to lower ourselves to the moral level of much of the world, we would simply have obliterated all life in Afghaistan and started gunning down muslims willy-nilly.

I do agree that we must hold ourselves to a greater standard of responsibility, because we ARE so powerful, but if you can't see any difference between our government and, say, the Saudis' or the Iraqis', in terms of the consideration we give to human life, you're delusional.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

But surely that is what the Monkey Hole is for? A place for monkeys to screech to their heart's content.
Marc
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Monkey Hole is in a hubbub. The monkies are screeching into the void, like monkies will.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack,

"We may have sponsored terrorism, but we are in a
better position thanmost other nations to STOP our government from doing so in the future."

If you are in such a good position to STOP your government from dong so then why the fuck haven't you stopped your government from doing so? To imply that because your people are able to stop your government sponsoring terrorism but haven't actually done so somehow makes those acts of terrorism less criminal than acts sponsored by governments where the people have less power to stop their government does not make any sense. It is no justification and does not mitigate responsibility in any way (in fact it makes you more guilty if the government are accountable to the people and the people have not stopped the government's acts).

Either the American people are powerless to stop their government from doing so or they support their government sponsorship of terrorism.

Personally (despite the jingoistic flag waving shown on the UK media whenever the US government talks eagerly about bombing other nations) I think it is the former reason rather than the latter reason. You have 2 parties to choose from. These parties have virtually identical policies (except a few minor, domestic trivialities) and both these parties are owned by big business. He who pays the piper chooses the tune and as a result it is big business, and not ordinary American citizens, who have the power to influence your government. If you want to influence your government then forget your ballot paper, get a job on the main board of Exon.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tristan,

"Taliban backed al Queda- Dived planes into non-military targets to kill massive amounts of civilian non-combatants."

Yes, and you no doubt supported the war against the Taliban because they appear to have backed Al Queda. The US appear to have backed terrorist attacks on civilians, surely that mean the countries in which the attacks took place (and their allies) have a legitimate right to go to war against the USA?

You say that the USA's reasons for sponsoring terorrism are better than other countries reason's for doing so that makes it not that bad. In whose opinion? Every nation that decides to kill human beings thinks it's reason is a valid justification. Do you not think that the 'We think its OK so therefore it is OK for us but not for others' is part of the reason why there is so much international hostility to the USA's foreign policy? That along with the fact that many millions of innocent civilians have died as a result.

Madeleine Albright's seems to sum up the worth the US holds the lives of innocents abroad in. Her quote that 500,000 children may have died as a result of sanctions against Iraq and that this is a high price to pay but the USA is willing to pay it. This might sound good to American ears, but the USA isn't paying the price. It wouldn't sound so good if the price was being paid with American or British lives. But then who gives a fuck about half a million sand-nigger brats anyway?

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