Originally Posted by Splinemodel
What do you consider to be the realities of the situation?
Depends - I have a feeling you are speaking generally. My remark referred to the reality that the West will have to butt out or deal with Iran and/or Syria.
There is another option of course: humiliating defeat - but I am assuming that isn't under consideration.
So those are the realities I was thinking of. Of course there are many others on many levels depending on context and other things.
That people are dying? Is that really so intolerable?
To me yes. To you, obviously not. The fact of the deaths is a reality to be sure, but neither your reaction to that reality or my reaction are in themselves 'realities' but rather are conditioned perspectives.
The human race isn't perfect, you know, and we must account for the fact that the optimal solutions may not be available to us.
I would rather say that it contains imperfect elements.... unfortunately these are in positions of power.
It's ok. The human race is very young and is evolving from these imperfections - in a way they are natural. We have gone from caveman to Atilla the Hun, to Ghengis Khan, to Hitler to Saddam and now to Bush and co....
Each is a massive improvement. Soon (biological time) they will all be a bad dream. Or maybe not remembered at all which will be even better.
I'm certainly skeptical that peaceful accords could do much to mitigate the problem: the west doesn't appreciate being culturally usurped, and the Islamic world, well, doesn't seem to appreciate modernity.
I probably wouldn't try to speak for 'the West' if I were you. It's a bit too big a step....stick to arguing your points on an unimportant MB like this, we need to keep perspective.
Having said that I think we could usefully rephrase:
"Certain reactionary and right-wing xenophobic elements in the West believe they are being 'usurped' and as they are insecure individuals this provides a useful hook on which to hang their developing neuroses"
Of course it does not help that their 'leaders' are the ones who feed their neuroses but that is another story....
As for 'the Islamic World' and 'modernity' (I wonder what you think of when you say this? Nothing that exists in reality surely) perhaps you should take a trip to Abu Dhabi, Dubai or UAE and then we'll talk.
Of course what you really mean is: the Islamic world does not appreciate the current US policies as acted out in the ME.
Too right. Nor do I. Nor do many people. You don't need to be Islamic to see through the BS. It helps of course which is why there is a War on Islam - but that is really only because Islam is the 'last man standing', all other 'threats' to complete Western control have now been neutralized.
So, it's a judgement call. There are people who, for whatever reason, are of the opinion that the west needs to embrace Islamic culture.
True. Very few but they exist. I would say there are more Islamophobes afraid of this then people who want it hough.
There are people who do not share this opinion.
Yes. Millions. Millions of them are even Muslims.
So many people in fact that it makes a mockery of the idea that it is even possible.
But to consider that humanity is remotely close to the stage in development where cross-cultural exchanges will always be mutually beneficial . . . well, that's hopelessly optimisitic, bordering arrogant.
You say that because you are of the constituency that is beyond help in that regard...with an agenda even. But then you seem to regard 'cross-cultural interaction' (?) as some sort of threat.
Perhaps it is in a way. The civil rights movement was indeed a threat to dyed in the wool racists and I suppose they were right when they discussed it in those terms.
But people far more intelligent and influential than you have already launched the boat in this regard. You are too late.
Kucinich and the dems seem to embrace the "not west" position, which is so puzzling to conservatives. It's hard to make sense of a western, socially liberal politician embracing a culture that is chiefly at odds with his belief structure, or at least the one echoed in his campaign. That's the reality of the situation.
That's always the reality of the situation - that was the reality of the situation when the IRA were murdering people in London. Hard to embrace but one day it was inevitable that the two sides got together.
You see that was my point - which you seem incapable of grasping (the alternative that you actively oppose it in principle would be an insult to consider); that AT SOME POINT two opposing sides will get together.
You can be a uniter or a divider.... division always leads to conflict but at some point it always stops. Always.
I would say why not now?
Why not bring Iran and Syria in now?
Of course there are many people - and you and SDW may well be of their number - that would prefer to bomb the populace of those two places to shit BEFORE sitting round the table.
Perhaps you believe it is impossible to sit round a table and negotiate WITHOUT having 'proved your strength' - but I don't .
Why not do it now? All I've heard is foaming at the mouth and labeling it 'insane' while gibbering about 'Islamofascists'. There's no substance to it and no solutions...
One more thing: Someone I respect greatly - and who incidentally is a real Christian embodying the spirit of Christ - is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Middle East envoy Terry Waite
who you may remember was sent to Lebanon to secure the release of hostages and was kidnapped himself and held hostage for FOUR YEARS by militant Islamists.
Of anyone knows 'the reality of the situation' it is him. An expert on the Middle east who was himself a hostage for 1,763 days
- the first FOUR YEARS in solitary confinement.
What does he think of the situation today? What are his views based on his experiences?Find out hereAnd here...
"No insurgency or terrorism has been defeated by warfare or violence. My own experience shows that you can talk to those whose positions seem impossible," said Waite.
"There are some rational players in al Qaeda but it also attracts the psychotic. We need to seek an entry point."
Dialogue, not war, is the right way to tackle the extremist elements in the Islamic world, including Al Qaeda, according to Terry Waite, who successfully negotiated for the release of hostages in Libya and Iran.
Waite said "From my experience of talking with the so-called extremist groups and individuals like the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, Colonel Gaddafi in Libya and Hezbollah in Lebanon, I believe we should address the reasons behind extremism."
Don't be premature. Give dialogue a chance," he added.
Waite called for a dialogue with Al Qaeda, in the same way talks were held with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the African National Congress (ANC).
Talking to Al Qaeda involves the question, whom we would talk to: what is Al Qaeda," said Waite. Al Qaeda has been attributed an organisational structure which it really doesn't have. "I don't think Osama bin Laden will be ready to sit and talk with George W Bush, said Waite.
"Al Qaeda is not representative of the Islamic world. We should deal with the Islamic world in general and try to explore the root cause of the problem," he noted.
Waite was also of the mind that ransoms should never be paid for hostages, as was allegedly the case with the South Koreans held captive by the Taleban in Afghanistan.
When Bush said "you are either with us or against us" he was right. You are either on the side of dialogue, uniting, reason and longing for peace - and on the side of Terry Waite and millions like him....
Or you are on the side of disunity, force, will through strength and control, the arms business and longing for war - and on the side of all those who argue that is the only way.
Sooner or later we will all have to choose and we should think carefully - you never know until it is too late just who you will be standing next to when you have chosen your side.