Monday, November 20, 2006

Good and Evil

Targeting Civilians versus Collateral Damage

Propaganda versus Truth

A couple of recent comments serve to highlight the job we good, truthful people have on this earth. We are up against a propaganda machine that is fueled by ignorance and psychological factors beyond our control. Unfortunately it is a real battle between good and evil.

Liberals tend to feel, not think. They cannot distinguish between websites, for example, that are propaganda tools and those that are informative and objective. One sign, for example, that a site is a propaganda machine is that it is one-sided. If you land on a site that is only, for example, anti-Bush, you are on a biased, probably liberal, propaganda smear site. Go ahead and read, but the site is looking for evidence to support its theories. Compare that with this site. Here, you'll find good and bad things said about Bush. This is one sign that the site is seeking truth.

Moral Equivalence

Left-wing sites constantly promote moral equivalence. They propagandize, for example, that collateral damage is the same thing as targeting civilians.

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They cannot understand the difference between flying planes into towers full of innocent people in order to kill those people and a bomb going astray that was targeting a terrorist encampment. It is evil to walk into a market full of shopping housewives with a bomb strapped to your body. It is a necessarily unfortunate part of war, though, that innocent civilians will be killed. Terrorists are aware of leftist sympathy for them, and use this to develop new tactics, such as using human shields to protect themselves.

There is no moral equivalence. Here is the difference. One person dresses in civilian clothes; lobs mortars at civilians; hides among civilians; and tries to get the opposing army to attack them while they are in the midst of civilians. The other person wears a uniform; does not hide; seeks out military targets; and tries to kill the person who is killing civilians. Sometimes this second person unfortunately kills a civilian--the one the terrorist is hiding behind, or near. The first person is evil. The second person is good. Period.

Leftists demonize America and Israel, and excuse Palestinians, Hamas and Hezbollah. Their moral universe is warped.

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Phil said...

Come on Mr Rock, why so defensive? Surely a debate about such important issues as global security shouldnt be shut down so fast because of a clash of ideological values? Which by the way, you have not boxed me correctly.

You seem to think that I sympathise with hamas and Hizbollah, I most certainly do not!!! I sympathise with the civillians living in the Gaza Strip and Lebabnon as much as I do the American Citizens that tragically died on 911. I despise the torture techniques that Hamas have used against their own civillians (how people can electrocute, cut of fingers genitals or rape a victims wife or daughters in front of them is beyond me, but this is the reality of some of hamas actions, it is evil).

The truth is my moral universe is not warped. It is very much accurate, but in a debate one must be allowed the time to reply before any (incorrect) conclusions are drawn about myself. Had you known my thoughts as i have expressed them above maybe you would have understood my point of view, remember I am not here to provoke or convert, just to gain an insight. What I have said above coupled with my last comment might provide you with a more accurate view of mine.

Hopefully we can get past all this sillyness of I'm a liberal (which I am not) or I love terrorism (which I dont), and get back to the points you are making. The truth Mr Rock, is that Truth needs to be universally accepted, and I am not the only one who disagrees with your views, check your other posts.


Rock said...

Phil, I have to admit that responding to your kind of comments are the hardest thing I have to do. My natural instinct is to be open, respectful and courteous, but it's been proven to me on more than one occasion that logic does not convince people when you disagree with them on their "religion." I am glad that you clarified your stance on a few issues. You still haven't answered most of my questions, though, so I hardly think this is a dialogue until you do.

Do you condone shelling Israeli settlements?
Are you anti-war entirely? Is there ever a just war?
Are you glad Saddam is gone? How would you have solved the Iraqi problem? What would you do now in Iraq?

What do you advise the Israeli's do when their babies are being killed?

How should a country deal with terrorists who hide behind skirts?

I've been open and clear on my positions on all these issues. Come out and declare yourself. Who to you are the good guys and who are the bad guys? What is allowed in war and what is not? What is Israel's solution to its problems.

Bear in mind that we, the U.S. were attacked on 9/11. Saddam was a bad guy who was abusing his people and neighbors. Israelis are attacked every week. What are your solutions?

You are right if you sense I don't have much faith anymore in the world community. The world community stood by while Hitler built his army, arrested Jews and built his concentration camps. The world community has allowed Darfur to continue even now. The world community condemns Israel for defending herself while saying nothing about Palestinian terror. I think that in the world there are always about 30% of the people that see the truth, sometimes more, sometimes less.

30% of Americans saw the need for a Revolution. 30% of Americans wanted to abolish slavery. 30% of Americans supported civil rights. It's those 30% of people who defend the helpless and stand for freedom in the world, not the 70% who only watch and wait.

Thank God there are still about 30% of Americans who support the Iraq war, support Israel, and realize we are in a global war on terror. Part of this 30% is our military, comprised of good, intelligent people who are dying to protect the little children in the photographs we've seen.

What's wrong with the rest of the world? Cowardice, blindness. Europe is being taken over by radical Islam anyway. Why did you let that happen? Didn't you know there would be consequences?

Europe was not brave in standing up to Hitler, except a few countries, until it was too late. Now, they are on the wrong side of history again, demonizing the beacon of freedom in the world, the U.S., and siding with the terrorists.

Rock said...

Phil, what about the demonstrations in Indonesia? I think I'll post on this tomorrow. Do I feel bad about them? Do I feel bad that our president is so hated by this part of the world? Yes.

I think the demonstrations are shameful. Shame on that whole part of the world who do not get down on their knees and thank George Bush for removing a tyrant who was abusing Muslims. Shame on them for not thanking Bush for giving them the opporunity, an opporunity they're blowing, to have freedom. Bush is the most inappropriately maligned figure in history.

He is not a great conservative, and he has been miserable on immigration, but the man is close to a saint in Iraq and with Israel. Islam has had no greater friend than George Bush. Instead of seeing this, Islam reverts to tribalism, a disgrace. "Anything my tribe does is good"--whether this be Saddam Hussein or terrorists and so on. To this sector of Islam, it's "us against the world." They do not feel a part of the human family. Islam needs reformation. These folks need to join the rest of us in condemning terror and defeating tyrants.


eyechan said...

Hey Rock,

I’d just like to add a few comments to your current discussion.

After 9/11, I, like many people, wanted to know “why?” Why would anybody do such a cruel thing? Why do they hate us so much? Why? It didn’t make any sense. For a while, though, I was willing to accept the official explanation of “they’re evil and crazy”. But the question of “why?” continued to nag at me. Again, like many others, I began searching for a more in-depth explanation. Naturally I read many books, and what I found in those books shocked me; we in the west have an inordinate number of skeletons in our collective closet. Among our biggest sins are things such as the imposition of unfair trade agreements and political interference.

In these modern times of globalization we can no longer afford to think in terms of “us vs. them”. What happens on the other side of the world affects us here in the west. When we fail to address issues of poverty; when we force poor countries into unfair deals; when we support one corrupt and oppressive government because they’ll do business with us; when we help to overthrow another corrupt and oppressive regime because they won’t; when we help to create conditions conducive to war; when we go to war; it all comes back to us. Recently in the U.S. you reached an impressive milestone with regard to population; something like 300,000,000, I believe. However, unlike past population milestones this one did not receive much fanfare because at the time tensions were high with regard to immigration, particularly illegal immigration, and the government, understandably, was not too keen on drawing attention to this figure. So it would seem that the chickens are coming home to roost, literally. I think it’s fairly obvious that what the people of the poor and developing nations want most is what we in the first-world have. So, should we be surprised when, because of conditions we have helped to create or maintain, they come knocking on our door; and should we be surprised that terrorist groups are able to find support?

Let me make it perfectly clear, in case it isn’t already, I do not support terrorism in any way, shape or form. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to look at reasons for its existence or the conditions which make its existence possible.

These are, needless to say, complex issues, and, with all due respect to you Rock, I think if we are to have any chance of a bright future we should avoid using overly simplistic terms like good and evil; such labels, I feel, will get us nowhere. We (I mean people all over the world, not just us in the west) need to stop looking at things in terms of our interests versus their interests, because we’re all in this together.

Rock said...

eyechan, I've heard these arguments too often before, and you now have revealed yourelf too as a liberal. I'll respond later, when I'm at home. For now, I'll just say this is one problem I believe liberals have--they don't see good and evil. They see the humanity in Hitler and terrorist bombers; they see the evil in good people. This moral blindness is deadly.

Plus, in short, you are wrong. The U.S. is responsible for world poverty being less, not more. You believe the anti-American propaganda you read and you should be more discerning. I'll get back to you later.


eyechan said...

Again, with all due respect, I think your jumping to conclusions.

Firstly, I don't approach political issues like I support my local football team. Things are not so black and white. For instance, whilst I was against us going to Iraq in the first place, I think now that we are there the last thing we should do is pull out and leave the Iraqi people in the lurch.

Secondly, I stated quite clearly that I don't support terrorists.

Thirdly, I didn't say that the U.S. is responsible for increasing poverty I said that "we", as in the firtst world, haven't addressed it and by this I meant that there is more we could be doing. I'm sorry for not being clearer. Here in Japan it's 5am and I've been up all night.

One last point on good & evil. It is indisputable that the U.S. has done, and is doing, some very good things. It is equally indisputable (though I'm sure you will try) that the U.S. has done some very evil things (some quite recently). So where does that leave us? Are we black or white? Good or evil? Or are we a bit grey?

Rock said...

eyechan, again, I'll get back to you in more detail when I get home, but for now--

Poverty usually goes hand in hand with communism, socialism and/or political repression. Economic miracles happen not when people are given money, but when they adopt free market systems with the rule of law supreme. Every country which has done this has prospered, including Communist China. The reason why Russia is not working now, for example, is not because of capitalism and not because they need us to give them money, but they have gone back to their old KGB ways, and allowed their mafia to rule the marketplace.

More later.


paz y amor said...

I know you're taking a nap, but poverty goes hand in hand with EVERY economic system- including ours- not just socialist. You have the idea that in a "free market" society that anyone, ANYONE can make money if they have the work ethic and the drive to do things for themselves. Wrong. China may be in a huge economic boom, but tens of millions of Chinese live in abject poverty. The reason why capitalism is not working in Russia (among other things) is all the corruption and thuggery of the government.

You know as well as I, nothing, NOTHING in this world is black and white- not even this "war on terror". It's a lot more complex than "evil terrorists tryin to kill us" and that's no hippy liberal theory- it's a fact. You may feel that there's no such thing as moral equivalence, BUT there are two sides to every story. The US government is not just a benevolent model for other societies. It's corruptable, greedy and self serving as well- two heads of the same snake. We have done our part to upset the stability of other countries for decades- otherwise the CIA wouldn't exist. Again- that's not liberal theory, it's fact. Continue to be blinded by patriotic loyalty to your government if you choose to- you're getting fleeced just like the rest of us.

Phil said...

Do you condone shelling Israeli settlements?
Are you anti-war entirely? Is there ever a just war?
Are you glad Saddam is gone? How would you have solved the Iraqi problem? What would you do now in Iraq?

Mr Rock, you requested my opinions on these questions. So firstly, I do not condone the shelling of Israeli settlements. But given that they are illegitement I understand WHY they are being shelled. Its like this metaphor, I dont like how if I drink alcohol I will get a hangover, but I understand that if I do drink I will get a hangover.

Am I Anti war entirely? No. I fully understand the power of nationalism, this force has led to many civil wars some long and costly but ultimatley have shaped many of the worlds great nations. I thank the brave men of my grandfathers generation and his fathers generation for fighting for our freedom in the first and second world war. I dont appreciate you comparing saddam to hitler. I would never dare belittle these soldiers like you seem so willing to do. The returned service men from these two world wars paid a great toll for their efforts, this does not compare to afghanistan or iraq due to the scale i.e. the entire worlde. But the wars that I am anti, are the ones played out entirely for self interest, For example, the Revenge factor in Afghanistan or the oil in Iraq. You have to be a fool to believe Iraq was about Saddam and WMDs. These selfish unjust wars where a soldier isnt even fighting for their countrys freedom but for their future oil supply are just unjustifiable because of the huge human toll.

So yes there have been 'just' wars in the past, Iraq and Afghanistan are not 'just' wars. I can easily imagine myself joining the army in defense of my nation, but I could never sign up so I can go kill some muslims (I believe that is a reason a number of young men joined the army after 911) who my government may have linked to 911, or so i could drive my car and watch those oil companys wallets get fatter.

I am glad that saddam hussein has been removed from power. I would have preffered him to be tried in the war crimes court in geneva.

How would I have solved the Iraq problem? Iraq was never a problem, they were constructed to be a problem to justify a 'regime change'. They had been suffering for a decade because of trade sanctions which helped saddam stay in power at the cost of 250,000 babies deaths. Fact. funding an insurgeny may well have been the best way of toppling saddam. You will argue that he had weapons of mass destruction and you had to go in immediately. Which is illogical anyway, because if he had them your generals should have been more worried he was going to use them. Really you just couldnt wait for it to be proved that there were not WMD there.

What would I do in Iraq right now? I would be shaking in my boots about the beast that you have unleashed. Thats right, Iraq is now a breeding ground for terrorists. They come from all over the middle eaast to get combat skills. who better to train against than the U.S millitary? The ones that survive often foolish skirmishes have the skills and the confidence to take on tougher targets. And what if they leave Iraq and go to Iran? Lebanon? Afghanistan? Its a snowballing recruitment drive and they are coming out well trained. I would be scared.

This is a very long comment Mr Rock, and the OPINJIONs contained within this are my own and will clash with yours. You will not change my mind by slandering my opinions, but putting forth your own will help me understand your way of seeing things. I know that neither of us work in the secret service or are Generals, so we are not experts, we can only come to our conclusions from our own ability to discern fact from fiction and truth from propaganda.


Phil said...

You must have been really tired when you made the statement that
''Poverty usually goes hand in hand with communism, socialism and/or political repression. Economic miracles happen not when people are given money, but when they adopt free market systems with the rule of law supreme.''
Poverty goes hand in hand with having no money. Poverty is as old as the hills, it existed in the roman empire which is a long time before communism and socialism. Furthermore free market systems only work in a free market. Currently there is no global free market, it is impossible to achieve this until U.S, Europe and Japan give up subsidising their agriculture and other goods.

Where do you get your facts from? I mean you have completely written of any source I currently use to gather my information? May I please have a Rock Approved list of websites from which I can harvest information? Does that sound rather odd to anyone else? that to have a debate with Mr Rock we can only use his approved sources of information? I suppose it doesnt have to be an open minded debate... Maybe their would be no debate if we all read what Mr ROck has approved for us because we will all think the same thing and give up what it is to be human. Just a thought...

Rock said...

I'll try to contain myself and answer the comments calmly when I get a chance. I do notice that comments tend to come in liberal and conservative bunches--one period of time the commenters are all liberal, and another period of time the commenters are all conservative. I wonder if the stridency of the posts has something to do with this, or the topic? Anyway, we'll all figure it out if we're mutually trying to seek the truth. I have to give anyone who comments on my blog the credit for taking the time to express themself on issues that are obviously important to them.

I will remain open to what I read. Still, attempting to tell the truth on politics is tricky. As I've said, some things are black and white, and other things are not.