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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 62 - 10/15/2001
What Are Your Thoughts On The Current "War on Terrorism"?
On Sunday, the United States, Britain and the NATO Coalition launched the first overt military strikes against targets in Afghanistan. Do you agree or disagree with this action? As the United States continues to build a worldwide coalition of nations to fight a 'war on terrorism', what are your thoughts on the current military buildup, 'war on terrorism' can be effective? Does it worry you that no 'end' to such a program has been defined? Are you satisfied with the amount of information that the public has been given on the operations? What sort of outcome would YOU like to see? NOTE: This is a very emotionally charged topic. Like all segments of society, Pagans can be liberals or conservatives, hawks or doves.
| Reponses: There are 77 responses posted to this question.
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| We Don't Know Enuf About Those We Chose To Attack. We Are... ||Oct 7th. at 9:46:50 pm EDT|
|Karen (Billings, Montana US) ||Age: 30 |
We don't know enuf about those we chose to attack. We are possibly making many assumptions about who we 'should' attack. We are too prone to operating on the military/ideology systems of the 20th century. We must be extraordinarily careful about who we inlude in the attacks, or we will reap ourselves, on our own shores, what we sow elsewhere. We possibly have not evolved sufficiently as a society to fully consider the consequences of our military actions - any of them. Above all, we must consider what will break cycles of violence. As much as I would like to consider action based upon information, that may require too much of an assumption that both sides are acting based upon rationality, and the ability to respect others besides ourselves, and thus my preference in terms of action options may not even be possible.
So far, most of the actions I appreciate the most are, unfortunately, not going to be taken seriously:
*one person suggested using the most capitalistic sectors of American society against whomever is truly our enemy: i.e., unleashing the email spam, phone and credit card solicitors against them!!!
*another suggested kidnapping our true enemies, effecting sex change operations upon them, and returning them to live among the Wahabis/Taliban traditions, but now as women. That way, our enemies would not have been imprisoned (which would risk attacks on the US), or exterminated (which would make them martyrs), and they would be returned to their families alive and healthy. ("Allah has made me a woman!"
*make sure that every reachable person in the world knows that after we were attacked that we provided food and provisions to those suffering in the society in which we assumed our attackers lived.
Beyond this last option, I do not know that there is much of a possible solution in dealing with our enemies, available at this time, based upon the information we think we have.
Finally, I do think that no matter what our country decides to do, we talk about it WAY too much on the tv. All our enemies have to do to avoid our attacks is watch ABC, NBC, CBS, or CNN. Loose lips sink ships...remember the SS Cole.
Walk in beauty and resolution always - K.
| If Anything, It Scares Me. This Is Not A War Against A... ||Oct 7th. at 11:23:24 pm EDT|
|Gwen Smith (Concord, California US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
If anything, it scares me. This is not a war against a country, much as our leaders would like us to believe it is. It cannot be fought as a "conventional" war -- again, much as our leaders would like us to believe.
Ugly times ahead, IMO.
| The Acts Of September 11 And Today Leave Me Numb With Disbelief... ||Oct 8th. at 12:06:51 am EDT|
|Jeannie Blake (Albany, New York US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
The acts of September 11 and today leave me numb with disbelief. We teach our children that violence can only breed more violence; that doing evil will come back to you ten fold. Then world leaders and madmen go against everything we have learned and taught. I believe that all spirtual people need to cast a worldwide circle of prayer and focus our strength to end this madness. Make all see that life is more precious than crude oil, money or whatever earthly possession patrirchal rule has valued above it. We need to put a human face on America. We are not murderers nor do we approve of murdering innocent people. .
A witch who cannot hex cannot heal. We need to declare war on ignorance. This is not the time to turn the other cheek but to cast white protective light around ALL the innocents who suffer these acts of violence where ever they may live and pray to Hecate to hex those who create the violence. In the end goodness and light will prevail. Blessed Be!
| I Am A Pacifist, And As Such, I Believe That Launching A... ||Oct 8th. at 12:23:24 am EDT|
|Nelli (Mountain View, California US) ||Age: 24 |
I am a pacifist, and as such, I believe that launching a war is not the best approach, whether it be a war on a country, or a war on so nebulous a thing as "terrorism". I did not suffer any direct losses as a result of the attacks on 9/11, and perhaps it is only due to that grace that I can say that I do not even want to see Bin Laden killed. I would far rather see him caught, jailed, and locked in a sterile cell ala Magneto's cell in X-men - treated with punctilious courtesy and human compassion, but not given any opportunity to escape or to spread his brand of hate and fanaticism anymore. But even if we were to somehow accomplish that, it would have a limited effect on the way America is regarded in some quarters of the world, and war is certainly not going to help us in that department either. What I do approve of is the aid package that Bush approved for the Afgani people. Actions like that will do far more to alleviate hatred than will attempting to root out anti-americanism and terrorism by force. I do believe in self defense, and I do believe that we should use all non-violent resources at our disposal to neutralize the terrorists that are out there. I do not believe that the best defense is a good offense.
I am very worried about what has been left unsaid by our leaders regarding this "war". The fact that there is no clear definition of what "terrorism" is, the fact that we are making friends with some terrorist-supporting governments (like Syria) in order to make our attack on other terrorist-supporting governments easier, these little details worry me a great deal. But mostly I am saddened by this thoroughly violent reaction to a violent act. It is a self-perpetuating, and ever-escalating, cycle.
What it boils down to for me is this: hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
I would like to add a side note, simply because it is something that is really bothering me, and I would like to know if I am quite as alone in the world as I sometimes feel these days. I am actually afraid to put signs of peace on my door or car, afraid that I will be accosted (or worse), or that my home or car will be vandalized. I am reluctant to attend peace vigils or openly state my feelings (internet posts not included, obviously), because I am afraid of a more than verbal attack. My Mom's sangha held a buddhist vigil today, where they went to a park and sat. That's all; they just sat and meditated on the current situation, in a public area. The entire hour was punctuated by catcalls, violent epithets, and purposeful disruptions. Am I paraniod, or could it conceivably become dangerous in the near future to be a pacifist in the United States of America?
May all beings know happiness and be free from suffering. Blessed Be.
| I Think We Can All Agree That This Attack Was Only A... ||Oct 8th. at 12:40:28 am EDT|
|Tanais (Spokane, Washington US) ||Age: 20 |
I think we can all agree that this attack was only a matter of time. Bush spent every waking moment organizing countries together to fight terrorism once he heard about the events of 9/11. Usama Bin Laden was the prime suspect from the beginning and no matter what, the Taliban wouldn't budge in it's stance and neither will the US. Diplomacy failed and negotiations were never an option. Bush said point blank if any country sides with the terrorists, then they will be treated just like the terrorists. On Sunday we saw that come to be. It's obvious the Taliban is a corrupt government and imposes rediculus standards on it's people. I'm not talking as an American, I'm talking about the people in Afganistan starving and bullied by the Taliban for no reason other then to say they are in power. I see the writing on the wall and they wont be in power when the United States is done. They can threaten us with the Jihad or whatever retalliation they want, the fact is we won't let what happened last month happen again. Next might be Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Libya, or Iraq. We will never be able to elimate terrorism as long as there are psychos out there willing to crash airplanes into buildings. But I do feel better we are doing something to set things right instead of rolling over and taking it as if somehow those 6000 people deserved to die.
| Like Many Others, I Have Been Stunned And Appauled By The Actions... ||Oct 8th. at 12:51:37 am EDT|
|Brenda D. (Dallas, Texas US) ||Age: 34 |
Like many others, I have been stunned and appauled by the actions of a group of intollerants against ALL the World. They aimed at America and hit, with TWO planes, more nations than BOTH world wars, 63 nations. They aimed to split America into pieces, and out of the ashes, we rose united, more so than before. Divisions in race, religion and politics have been set aside, surely not for very long, but for a time.
Like many others I saw the children clutching dusty teddy bears looking for mommy and daddy. Like others I hoped and prayed for that small child, that every child would find mommy and daddy; that by some magic those buildings has stood up long enough that ALL that could walk/run or roll had gotten out. And I have heard the tale of the Jewish man and the paralized man that went down together, the Jew was FREE to leave ALL along, but refused to leave he friend, who could not be carried down due to a portable ventalator that his chair held. So the Jewish man held his friends hand, and went down with him.
I also saw what the leaders of Afghanistan are doing to their women, and that was when my tears dried up, and pure RAGE was born. I saw as long lines of women were shot in the head, for offenses as simple as WEARING MAKE UP or learning to read and write THEIR NAME. I also saw the HUGE bags of wheat flour that were brought in. I saw the word USA in HUGE six or eight inch high letters and thought FINALLY something good done with my tax dollars.
I also saw what the leaders of Afghanistan were doing to the "aid workers" those that went in to feed the starving and give blankets to the cold. Because these workers were found to NOT be muslim, and these workers had Bibles(Christan books as well) they were rounded up. In the past Christans that were willing to admit to their faith have been raped if female(in some cases TO DEATH) and hung or shot, in some cases far worse has been done. While I am not a Christan any longer, I have NO doubt that ANY faith except for Islam would get the same response from these crazed men.
While I never thought that dropping cluster bombs on civilians was a solution, I also don't think that economic sanctions or besieging the country would work either. I was NOT for an IMMEDIATE response, but I think that a month is MORE than enough to find who did it, and bring them to justice. I also have been PROUD to hear how food and shelters are being set up for those running from the Afghanistan. It is not the best solution, but something had to be done to free the people.
What else is there to do, I could not stand the thought of us sitting back and talking about it. How many more babies and women would DIE while we talked? How many BOYS of 6 to 10 year would be TRAINED to blow themselves UP just to kill a few Isrealis or an American or two? I don't like to solution, but the situation has been a festering cess pool just waiting to explode. It just so happened to explode on US soil for a change.
There has been talk of a Palistinian state forming, but will that do it? And from what countries in that area will the land be taken? Isreal is so small it would fit about three to five times in the state of TEXAS, and most of that whole REGION would fit inside of the USA with room to spare.
I have heard the peace is the answer. How do you wage Peace with an enemy that is willing to DIE to kill you, that revels in the death of women and children even their OWN women and children? How do you deal rationally with irrantional even INSANE people?
| What Is Happening? I Think The Past 50 Years Of American Foreign... ||Oct 8th. at 12:56:38 am EDT|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 59 - Email |
What is happening? I think the past 50 years of American Foreign policy
has to be cleaned up. The Post Cold War sandbox needs to be thrown up, so it can settle down to a new playing field.
US policy created the bin Laden monster, just as it created the Saddam monster.
One, on the assumption he would offset the Soviets and the other, on the asumption he would destroy Iran.
What the US does not do is deal with Middle-Easterners and Western Asiatics
in their own psychology. How would the Mongol Khan deal with a bin Laden, or with the mad mullahs of extemist Islam? Off with several well chosen heads, so that, suddenly, extremist religion goes out the window.
This mess is "clean-up" for what was left undone a decade ago.
| I Don't Want To Be A Hostage In My Own Country; I... ||Oct 8th. at 3:04:34 am EDT|
|bil Mayer (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I don't want to be a hostage in my own country; I don't want to be afraid to fly in a plane. I don't watch to watch the night skies for fiery death. I don't want to be afraid of dying due to a random act of a martyr. I do want to feel safe in my home (the USA) and I support efforts to ensure that safety; even if it means removing what it is that threatens me.
But I cannot become that which I fear. I cannot allow one innocent to die for my ease of mind. I will not let another person fear the skies so that I may enjoy them. I won't push the terrors that confront me upon another person. I will not become a terrorist, nor allow another to cause terror in my name.
The people of Afghanistan are not my enemy. The differences of our beliefs, though enormous, do not cast us into the role of foes. We may despise each other's actions, but I know that we judge each other as equals.
The people(s) who orchestrated the infamous events of September 11, 2001 are my enemies; their actions thrust these roles upon us. I would and will support efforts to ensure that they are restrained from being able to cause such devastation again. Even if it means their death.
But I must be sure in my accusations. I need proof. I expect that these enemies would be given a form of trial. I want there to be no room for doubt about who is guilty and who is not.
And then, once I was sure who was my enemy, who was guilty, then I would make sure that anyone who could create such horrors was removed from this planet. Forever cast out for fear that the cancer of their vileness could spread again; denied burial or a place in history.
But not until I see all of the facts will I point my finger. I share the popular opinion of the identities of the guilty. But I want proof.
My government, acting in my name, has begun a military campaign against what we believe to be my enemies, our enemies. People have already died in my name, our names. I've watched the news, read the papers, and researched online. The case is strong against those now accused, no doubt. But I still expected a form of trial. I NEED to be sure of guilt before I let another's dreams die in my name.
Afghanistan made an offer to President Bush to detain the accused and hold a trial of their own making. I can see why the President refused such an offer; bias would cloud any findings at all. I understand and respect my country's stance of negotiation with terrorists, but it does not cover this aspect of US policy. A world court could have been appointed to sort through all of the findings and we'd have not lost our non-negotiatory stance.
And once the case was over, we'd know as best we could of issues of guilt and innocence. None of us would fear that we had become what we revile. The world would know that we are not better simply because we're bigger, but because that we gave even the most despicable of our enemies the right of trial, the right to defend themselves, and the chance to prove their innocence.
Those are the reasons we mourn the tragedy of 9-11-2001; all of those innocents killed by a hate machine without reason or remorse. Their lives thrown away because someone decided that they were guilty of whatever imagined or real crimes and sins.
I am not a terrorist. I will not become one, nor lend my name to those who would be. I can only hope that my government feels the same.
| I Would Like To Start This By Saying That I Am Not... ||Oct 8th. at 3:22:33 am EDT|
|Knightman (Concord, California US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I would like to start this by saying that I am not for war. I beleive that war will only result in innocent people getting hurt or killed. I saw enough war in Desert Storm. I was in the service then. But, with that caviate in mind, there are just reasons for going to war. One of them is self-defense. Another would be to defend an oppressed people that could not stand up for themselves. In this instance, both of these reasons are satisfied.
I have read a word for word translation of the "Holy Quaran" (Not the normal edited english translations that you can get), and it reads like a terrorist diary. It advocates rape, murder, looting, plunder, and etc. in the effort to overthrow and eliminate non-Muslims (Kafur) from the globe. For the successful Muslim warrior will gain entrance to heaven for dying for the cause. Once there, he will receive 72 virgins (Houris) and 28 young boys. He will also be rewarded by receiving the virility of 100 men. This is some really sick stuff folks.
Now I am not saying that every muslim is a terrorist. That would be as bad as any blanket racist statement. But, I am saying that we need to not be deluded. Everyone that says Islam means peace is either deluded or lying. (The word Islam actually means surrender, as in Surrender to the will of Allah.) All of the talking heads that tell us that Islam is a religion of peace is wrong. They have been at war with everyone around them since the religions founding around 620 C.E. or so
To those like Nelli, who advocate peace. I applaud you for having the courage to make that stand for what you beleive in during these difficult times. I disagree, but I respect your oppion as yours. In this country, you have a right to express yourself without fear of molestation; and the creeps that picked on you need to receive an attitude adjustment.
| I'm Sorry. I Posted The Wrong Email Address To My Previous Post... ||Oct 8th. at 4:03:30 am EDT|
|Knightman (Concord, California US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I'm sorry. I posted the wrong email address to my previous post. It should be firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is the correct one for those of you who want to praise my keen rationality or tell me I'm an idiot. See the post by Knightman...
| One Thing That Is Continually Heard Within The Pagan Community Is How... ||Oct 8th. at 5:03:07 am EDT|
|S. John Browne (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) ||Age: 27 - Email |
One thing that is continually heard within the Pagan community is how we are supposed to provide an "Alternative": that we are supposed to be Different. I am not as naive as i once to believe that has any truth. All that is heard now out of most of the Pagan community is exactly the same as other faiths. In our desire to grow more popular we have begun to accept into our midsts the very things that repulsed us and made us turn away from mainstream religious practice. The support from Pagans of this war, which can only result in more deaths of innocents and even more religious hate is the crowing moment of our "mainstreaming". That there would be Pagans who would support the deaths of innocents simply to gain the satisfaction of "revenge" repulses me. I am not what they term a "fluffy". I believe that one must defend oneself when one is attacked but one must first identify the Real target. There is no way anyone can say that innocents are not going to die in this bombing. I no longer feel any pride with calling myself a Pagan, only revulsion.
| In Our Society War Seems Inevitable. When The Wtc And The Pentagon... ||Oct 8th. at 5:48:23 am EDT|
|Dragyn (Massillon, Ohio US) ||Age: 46 - Email |
In our society war seems inevitable. When the WTC and the Pentagon were attacked the nation was stunned even though eveyone knew that it would happen eventually. Like so many others I seem to have pulled away from the harsh reality of this world, but deep down I know the the actions President Bush has taken are the correct ones. Just as I would do anything in my power to protect the things I love.
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