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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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| I Cannot Get Behind The Recent Attacks By The Us And It's... ||Oct 8th. at 8:48:31 am EDT|
|Q (Alpharetta, Georgia US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I cannot get behind the recent attacks by the US and it's Allies. As a Witch, my conscience cries out for balance in nature. There must be something to balance out the horrendous acts of Sept. 11th. But I cannot see how violenece balances violence. It seems to me that the only proper response to death and evil is life and goodness.
These kind of terrorist attacks are risks we take while living in a free society. And I will not readily give up my personal freedoms and rights in order to feel more secure. I would rather be free with risk than oppressed with security. I personally believe that the United States can only be kept truly safe by practicing benevolence and understanding.
As horrible as the initial acts on Sept. 11th were, there was a message there. We should listen to that message, and learn from it. The message was a response to some bias, intimidation and second-hand support of violence on our part. Many are dying in the Middle East every day. We should have no hand in that. Violence will only breed more violence.
We should stop this war at once and help those we can help with diplomacy, food and shelter - not guns and bombs.
| To Me, Having A 'war' Against Something As Elusive And Etherial As... ||Oct 8th. at 9:38:51 am EDT|
|Sunfell (Little Rock, Arkansas US) ||Age: 41 - Email |
To me, having a 'war' against something as elusive and etherial as 'terrorism' is about as absurd as having a 'war' against ants. Who wins? How can you tell if someone has surrendered? Where are the fronts? Who are the combatants?
Obviously, we need to redefine the concept of 'war'. First off, we are all combatants whether we are members of any armed forces or not. The nature and object of terrorism is to strike at random and create the maximum amount of anxiety and confusion and insecurity. So far, they have succeeded.
But they've also angered us- which leads to a whole different scenario. We are on guard now, and like it or not, America has joined the greater world where stuff like this is common place. I always had a feeling this would happen- the question to me was when. I lived overseas for 8 years, where terrorism was part of the everyday background. I have lost colleagues and friends to terroristic acts. One learns to spot the unusual, get to know their friends and neighbors and their habits, and questions everything that isn't 'right'- what is that fire extinguisher doing there? Whose package is that? Why is that man hanging around? Don't be afraid to assert yourself.
We are going to have to learn how to do this. We have been awakened from our complacent sleep. This isn't the same America it was a month ago. We've had a big hole shot into our souls, and it will take decades to heal.
We must become vigilant warriors, using both our physical and spiritual senses to discern danger. Passivity will get you or people you love killed. I am not saying that we all must arm ourselves or join the armed forces, but in order to regain security, we must be willing to battle for it, and to put up with difficulties and inconveniences. We must also assume that information we get from major media sources will not always be completely truthful, and will be 'spun' for the best effect. The best thing to do is to cultivate different sources, and start listening to your inner Guidance as to whether or not what you are hearing is honest.
The president was right when he said that a 'war' such as this has no clear end. It does not. But this isn't a conventional war, either. Terrorism is a whole different critter, and will continue as long as there are people with grudges, religious delusions, and fanatical misconceptions.
Since this is a 'war' of a different color, perhaps we might consider taking it on with different weapons. It is obvious that despite its 'superiority', our military forces aren't going to get the job done. We Pagans have an entire arsenal of magickal/metaphysical tools and weaponry at hand. I suggest that we use it. And before I get hit on the head with the Rede, let me say this: are we going to turn the other cheek? We are empowered to blast as well as bless, to curse as well as cure, and any carefully crafted spell always should have an 'out': "This will continue UNTIL neutrality/peace/cessation is achieved." "This is only aimed at those with malevolent intent." The Ancient Egyptians utilized magick in many of their wars- perhaps we need to dust off our old tomes and do the same.
And I suggest that those of us with prognostic and clair-anything gifts fine tune them and start listening for warnings. No thought can be hidden- be it from a terrorist or anyone else. Unlike electronic communications, they cannot be hidden or encrypted- by nature they are 'clear air' transmissions. Language is no barrier- the Akashic/AEther translates all. Put your 'ears' on. Pay close attention to your inner Guidance. Share and compare what you hear/dream/see with others of like mind. (If you meet on a newsgroup, I'd like to know where it is. I am not currently subscribed to any.)
Be strong, vigilant, and prepared. It's going to be a long, difficult haul. We will persevere.
| Can We Not Evolve Beyond The Need For War? Although I Am... ||Oct 8th. at 11:51:30 am EDT|
|Dawn (Schweinfurt, Gilbert Islands) ||Age: 33 - Email |
Can we not evolve beyond the need for war? Although I am not yet personally involved in the attacks on America - I don't know any of the victims personally or through my friends - my husband is currently serving in the US Army and we are stationed overseas.
My personal path these past 14 months or so has been one of not taking anything personally and being non-judgemental. When someone says they dislike me for my beliefs, I attempt not to take it personally as well as to not then return their judgement harshly. On the flip side, when someone express their like for my beliefs, to take that personally and then to judge that they too are nice cannot be done. To hear people say that the Taliban are the modern day equivelant to the Nazi's is to pass judgement if I believe that, and to hear Oprah and others say that the current government of Afganistan treats women horribly is to pass yet another judgement. How can I possibly know without going there or without accepting someone else's judgement?
I've heard from President Bush that we must defeat evil - but can that ever be done? How can good exsist without evil? How can evil exsist without good? Ying & Yang, the best of times, the worst of times.....all must be balanced.
In short, I don't know what the answer is, only to trust that it will be revealed to me in time if I keep my senses & mind open. I do believe that war is not the only answer & that we can evolve beyond if we, as a species, desire to do so.
| I Find It Inconceivable To Think That Violence+violence=peace...or That... ||Oct 8th. at 12:52:23 pm EDT|
|sherry mercieca (huntsville, Alabama US) ||Age: 51 - Email |
i find it inconceivable to think that violence+violence=peace...or that war is not terrorism...and i think that at this stage of our human evolution the only solution is a spiritual one. then i remember that we have helped to create this situation with our willingness to overlook atrocities perpetrated by our own government on countries of the so-called third world and the developing nations. i realize that we have lost the sense of our true purpose for being and now are being reminded and put back on our path. we are experiencing the magic of karma at its deepest level. when this magic begins to work in such a dramatic way...when kali, the destroyer, stirs the world cauldron, it's a call to spiritual action for all of us. it's a call to trust, to deeply know that whatever is being removed from the collective human consciousness needs to be gone. it's a call to compassion, for ourselves as well as others...and it's a call to be committed, responsible and prayerful participants in the welfare of this blessed planet and all her children.
| This Entire War Scares Me. I'm Scared Of What Will Become Of... ||Oct 8th. at 1:14:20 pm EDT|
|AradiaMoon (Holyoke, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 19 |
This entire war scares me. I'm scared of what will become of this country and others, and afraid for myself and loved ones. I am terrified of biological warfare, as well as the neuclear warfare. I want myself and those I love to be able to have full lives.. to accomplish our goals and dreams, and not die from anthrax or from smallpox or other chemicals, or get blown up or shot. I want us to be able to live freely, and without fear. I don't know much about war, I'll admit, but I do know that it is a senseless violation of humanity that should never have been thought up, even for so-called enemies. I don't know when or if it will ever end, but I do want to be kept updated about the happenings. But above all...I want it to end.
| Well, I Don't Have Any Doubt That Al Qaeda Should Be Destroyed... ||Oct 8th. at 1:29:30 pm EDT|
|Aedh Rua (New Richmond, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 35 |
Well, I don't have any doubt that al Qaeda should be destroyed. They are the ones who attacked the World Trade Center, and who are the most dangerous of the terrorist groups faced by the U.S. Likewise, I have no sympathy whatever with the Taliban. These are the dudes who banned education for women, and kill anone who attempts it. They are the ones who banned women's employment, no matter who starves.
If Bush wants to take out those creatures, let him.
But that isn't what he is really saying, is it? He isn't declaring war on al Qaeda, a specific group, with (presumably) a membership list, coherant leadership and so on, which can be defeated. He is declaring war on "international terrorism", a phrase so broad as to be meaningless in any realistic sense. We are NOT hearing that we have a specific list of targets, of individuals whom we must assassinate to bring the war to a close. What we are seeing instead is something "long-term", ill-defined, and perfect to use as an excuse to limit freedom, and to go after dissidents.
In the end, it was Osama bin Ladin's group who attacked the United States, and who started this. But both Bush and his fundie allies have jumped on it as an excuse to push their agenda on us all. I have read the report which created the new Homeland Defense organization. Like it or not folks, we are now living in a police state.
I am beginning to think that it might be time for Pagans to start thinking about getting out of this country.
Any countries out there want about a million highly intelligent, motivated, computer literate people? All you have to do to get us is let us live as we will....................
| I Have Thought About This Question For A While And I Have... ||Oct 8th. at 1:34:46 pm EDT|
|ƒowyn Forestchilde (Western, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I have thought about this question for a while and I have come to a conclusion ... we (that is the Global "We") are in real trouble. Terrorism does not only come from Afganistan ... it comes from the IRA, the PLO, Isreal, the US. It comes from virtually every country in the world. When Bush talks about a "War or Terrorism" is he also refering to the anti-abortionist who believes that the only way to stop abortions is to bomb the clinic? Isn't that a terrorist act?? What about the white supremist extremist who lynches an African-American for the purity of the race? What about the homophobic who pummels a Gay or Lesbian? Aren't these terrorist acts??
I will go bigger with this question? The war in Ireland is almost exclusively terrorist in nature ... are we going to let the IRA continue without a second thought because it does not touch our shores?? What about the conflict in the Middle East?? The PLO and Isreal are constantly at each others throats, planting car bombs and blowing up shopping plazas to do the most damage. The people there live in constant terror ... and the US helps by backing Isreal! (Has anyone else noticed Sharon Parez's statements against the US lately?? He is scared that he is next for the terrorist acts that he has done).
The "War on Terrorism" is at best laughable. At worst, it is absolute. I listened to Bush's statements in one of the speeches he has given over the last month. He said, basically, that if you do not support the US, then we have to assume that you are working with the enemy and that gives the US the right to walk into your country ........ and obliterate it. Doesn't that make the US a terrorist as we insight and instill fear into the population if the world?
| I Am Seriously Disappointed In A Lot Of Witches, Pagans, Druids,etc... ||Oct 8th. at 2:41:36 pm EDT|
|Dragonzize (North Augusta,, South Carolina US) ||Age: 50 |
I am seriously disappointed in a lot of witches, pagans, druids, etc. The Goddess knows that something has to be important enough to believe in, to fight for.To die for.Not oil, not gold, but our lives, our way of life. Our freedom to be Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. is that important alone. I am a warrior Witch. I will do healing and I will do hexing. I will let smarter people than I decide how much military is needed and when the war is over. The Office of Homeland Defense scares the heck out of me. We must watch it carefully. In closing, I am just one of many voices, but together we are the. Voice. Blessed Be.
| It's Been Said By Many In Our Communities That We Must Evaluate... ||Oct 8th. at 2:46:40 pm EDT|
|Vince Conaway (Cincinnati, Ohio US) ||Age: 24 |
It's been said by many in our communities that we must evaluate any actions of the US for signs of what we did to deserve this attack. And they're right. What is wrongly implied by this is that there is any way we can modify our behavior to make the threat go away. Actions and interactions of the US government resulted in an attack on our people. But there's little we can do now to erase the hatred our past actions has already created.
We've supported puppet governments when it suited our purposes, overlooked human rights abuses when those perpetrating those abuses have been useful to us, and actively championed those who've spurned international laws and conventions for our country's gain. Have we done wrong? Yes. Have we done enough wrong to deserve the attack on our country? Certainly not.
And, of course, the big question is whether we can do enough 'right' to overcome the ill-will now directed towards us. By supporting Israel we've made enemies in the Middle East, but does anyone seriously think that by ceasing that support all the built-up hatred will simply disappear? We've put heavy santions on Iraq, but if we lift those sanctions will terrorist organizations suddenly revert to pacifism?
We need to evaluate what we've done in the past, but for now our mission is clear. We must fight fire with fire. We had a role in creating the hatreds that lead to the attacks against us, but we cannot rebuild from new ground until we've weeded out and destroyed those who would destroy us. Only then can changing our patterns help us. For bin Laden and those who support him, it's simply too late.
| I'ts Hard To Imagine What Happened When "america Stiked Back" But I... ||Oct 8th. at 3:36:12 pm EDT|
|Drakon (Ruckersville, Virginia US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I'ts hard to imagine what happened when "America stiked back" but I knew it was coming. I saw it in the eyes of our leaders. I also know it is far from over. Although I think that strikes where nessicary my heart goes out to the people of afganistan for all the hardship they must go through now. My only hope is that this ends quickly and fiarly before america resorts to unessicary and devestating attacks. Last time America was attacked in such a manner we droped Atomic weapons and wiped out two cities full on innocent people. I can only pray that this dosen't happen again. I hope that those in power realise that brute force will get us no where. and that all people can come together has human rather than define ourselves by our country, color or creed.
So mote it be
| I Agree With Many That Something Needs To Be Done About And... ||Oct 8th. at 5:46:28 pm EDT|
|Michael F Holland (corvus) (Gary, Indiana US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I agree with many that something needs to be done about and in retaliation for the Events of 9-11-2001. But, I am very conflicted about what should be done. I strongly believe that airstrikes and artillery will have little effect on terrorism, other than perhaps swelling the ranks of the terrorists with families of those killed as "collateral damage".
If military action must be taken, the only methods that do not bring us down to the level of terrorists or lower is ground action. But in recent history Americans have shown ourselves unwilling to put up with the loss of American lives. As the former Soviets learned the hard way, a ground war in Afganistan is likely to make the SNAFU of Vietnam look like a cake walk.
I am not convinced that we as a nation are willing to spend the number of lives necessary to wipe out every Islamic fundalmentalist with leanings toward terrorism, and i even further doubt we have the resources to find only those who would engage in acts of terror. Thus unless our intelligence community shows itself as being better at removing its collective thumb from its ass, this is likely to become a war of genocide against all of Islam.
I fear that within months, atrocities committed by both sides will make peace virtually impossible.
I am NOT willing to spent that many lives, on either side.
The only other option is even more frowned upon by the world as a whole, especially world leaders. Assassination, quiet, fast and fed by good intel, its efficacy has been proven time and again. It is retail murder, aimed only at leaders.
Those leaders of course prefer the wholesale murder of their own and each other's citizens that is war. So of course that is the method we will use.
But maybe i am just a cynical bastard.
| There Are In The End Two Sides To This Question, And I... ||Oct 8th. at 7:41:46 pm EDT|
|Richard Bateman (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 24 |
There are in the end two sides to this question, and I find myself supporting both of them. On the one hand, the terrorist group(s) responsible for the Sep 11th attacks were morally wrong for what they did. Killing our innocent civilians and celebrating about it and then crying foul when there is a chance we can (and probably will) do the same defies logic. A crime, either against one particular facet of society or against a society at large, should be punished. But that raises an interesting moral issue we as Americans must answer: when is enough enough? By retaliating, we commit crimes against others, both individuals and societies. Who is to say that our cause is more just than their cause? This is an unbelieveably complex moral dilemma. I did not enjoy any part of watching the attacks or the hours of coverage afterwards of rescue workers or victims' families. I was as mad as anyone else in this country was. But in my mind, killing is killing. In many dedications, Pagans state we are allowed to do what we will, as long as we harm none. We are all members of one race and one global community. By continuing the path of hatred and killing, we are killing parts of ourselves. At the same time, I am not advocating a pacifistic approach to the situation. Something must be done, the terrorist groups must not be allowed to think we will sit idly by while they kill thousands of our countrymen.
Many points have been made. I question what President Bush will do when Israelis attack Palestinians again. Who is the decisive voice in determining what is terrorism and what is not? What happens the next time the IRA detonates a car bomb? Will Tomahawk cruise missles and B-2 bombs reduce IRA strongholds and training facilities? I doubt it. As Americans, we have often times looked aside when it fit our convenience. I fear nothing has changed as a result of Sep 11th and we will continue to look away when it suits our momentary fancy. Then not only will we be killers, we will be hypocrites as well.
I also fear the fact that there is no set time limit on our overseas activities. Again, who will make the decision that enough missle attacks is enough? When most of the American public wants to stop? Or when the few in power have had their fun pushing their agendas across the world? Another question pops up: what is the "proof" that bin-Laden is THE man to go after? Many Americans thought it was bin-Laden that orchestrated the Oklahomoa City bombing, and that turned out to be an American. I for one would love to look at all the evidence the world's governments have put together, just so I might feel more comfortable attacking groups of people halfway across the world.
I hope wisdom and patience can guide our thoughts and actions in the future.
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