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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,630,440  

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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. Reverse Sort 

Ibelieve There Should Be An Effective Action Taken Against Any Terrorist Activities... Oct 9th. at 1:55:07 am EDT

Gwydion Elkmoon (Lancaster, Pennsylvania US) Age: 57 - Email

Ibelieve there should be an effective action taken against any terrorist activities anywhere in the world. As this problem effects everyone and not just the citizens of our country, the establishment of a specific "world court" should be the course to follow in bringing terrorism to an end. Unfortunatly, our country frequently engages in overkill in actions of war and to an end innnocent lives are lost. We are by far the most powerful nation on Earth, but with this power comes a responsibility to which we will be called to test. In the 1960's I served in VietNam as a pilot in the USAF. I have witnessed first-hand the horrors of war and the tragedy of lives lost for an unpopular cause. We who served in the military were looked on as "baby killers" and mental freaks and it is not surprising that the largest number of homeless in America are veterans of that war. With the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I think the false sense of security we enjoyed for so long has been shattered forever. America is no longer a safe haven in our chaotic world, and I think we had better get used to it. Osama bin Laden will die in the coming weeks, and the power of the Taliban will be abolished, but the repercussions of our actions here and now will determine our security as a nation for years to come. The world will never be free of terrorists, because when one group perishes, another is soon to rise up, each with a new set of radical beliefs and a willingness to do what they have to do to make thier "cause" known. Bin Laden believes he is fighting a war for his God. But how different is this idiot from the Christian Fundamentalists of our own country who willingly persecute Pagans in the belief that they are doing the right thing for the Christian God? Terrorism will always have it's roots in pure evil, but behind that evil is the mind-set of intolerance and uncomprimise. I believe this was a wake-up call for America, people, and rather than continuing our life styles as self-centered narcissistic brats with our big SUVs and our cell phones, we should take a long introspective look on how the rest of the world views us with our obsession with guns, televised violence, blatant materialism and self-indulgence. Sorry for the rant, fellow Pagans, but I love my country and I fought for her in an unpopular war and I can say with all sincerity that I am proud to be an American. But the days of basking in our own limelight ceased to exist on September 11 and we must remember that we must give up some of our freedoms now, so we can insure the preservation of those left in years to come.

The Positive View, I Think Some Good Will Come Of These Events... Oct 9th. at 7:07:23 am EDT

Michael (Dublin, Ireland) Age: 23 - Email

The Positive view,
I think some good will come of these events, and the current strikes may well save more lives and reduce suffering for the future.

The current Afghan government is a fundamentalist repressive order, it is not the only place in the world under these conditions, but it is one of the worst.
Under normal circumstances nobody would really care, it is far away, there is nothing of value there, and the terrorism they support was tolerable... like all their sponsered terrorism was before the twintowers episode.

Now the British and American armed forces are going to topple this government, the King in exile is prepared to return and form a legitimate government, and the nation will be rebuilt with western aid. Basicly do what was done with Germany after the 2nd world war.

A violent and savage attack is going to be turned around into some good in that many nations are making closer ties and cooperation, an entire people are being liberated from an unjust fundamentalism, and terrorism is being dealt a serious blow.
Small consolation to the friends and family of those killed by not just the recent terrorist attacks, but previous ones also, but we are making the best of an unpeasant situation.
It is inevitable that civilians will be killed and maimed by the US Air Force and Royal Air Force bombers, but I am confident it will save more lives in the long term, and it is impossible to wage war without civilian casualties.
It is to hope that these strikes will not only materially damage their capability to wage war/oppression in their own region or terrorism in the west, but also to damage their support for these actions.

I only find it a pity that it took so many deaths to convince us to topple this fundamentalism.

This Is A Tough Issue For Me. I Consider Myself To Be... Oct 9th. at 7:34:48 am EDT

Todd Ambrose (Toledo, Ohio US) Age: 27

This is a tough issue for me. I consider myself to be peaceful, but I feel that this war is neccesary. Maybe if the pagans of old would have rose up and fought, the burning times would not have happened. I also realize that our actions in Israel has provided some motivation for these attacks, and I belive that Palestine has has much of a right to exsist as Israel. I don't think that a change in our policy will stop the most extremist groups, however. The Sept 11 attacks were an attack against people of all races and creeds, including Pagan. This fundamentalisism has a potential to (and has) spread to other nations. This can't be allowed to happen. What would we do if the fundamentalist christians grabbed up there guns and decided to purge America of paganism? We would have to rise up and fight, or be destroyed. I see the actions of the terrorists as an act against pagans and witches everywhere. I do not want to see innocent people die. But we need to remember that most of this war is covert. Covert operations are targeted at specific groups, not civilians. As long as we stay focused, and target the specific groups that are responsible, and the governments that harbor them, I will support our military actions.

Well What Do Ya Know It's Ww3, And We Get To Witness... Oct 9th. at 9:35:39 am EDT

Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar Saba, Israel) Age: 16 - Email

Well what do ya know it's WW3, and we get to witness it first hand. I think it's about time that America DO something about the terrorists. On the other hand the Americans are hypocritical elitists (this is a generalization people).
I'm Israeli, my whole life I've lived under the threat of terrorism and the past year has been pure hell, and there was nothing the government could do, why? Because the US asked them nicely not to kill the people who throw stones at us. I'm not a pacifist and I belieive that there are times where force is needed and neccecry. The attack on America was an act of war, as are all terrorist attacks, in my opinion.
Earlier in my life, I thought this fight with the Palestinians was wrong and that we were the bed guys. Now I realise that throughout the history of Israel, we provoked no attacks that the land we have we either bought or fought in a "justified" war.
Israel is not occupying Palestine, America has every right to bomb Afghnistan.
Just because we use force doen't mean we will abuse that force.
In my opinion the Taliban and Bin Laden can go f**k themselves.

Fundimentalism Of Any Form Is Terrifying. In The Past, People Who Advocate... Oct 9th. at 11:48:32 am EDT

Gwydion Famespear (Luton, England UK) Age: 36

Fundimentalism of any form is terrifying.

In the past, people who advocate their views to the suppression of others have been ignored or reviled. Yet they are never really taken as being dangerous. It takes the death of 6, 000 people to convince those in power otherwise.

It doesn't matter what "cause" fundimentalism is wrapped in, it is about gaining power. Osama Bin Ladan's group don't really care about Islam. Not deep down. Islam is about people. About love of one's God and fellow humans. It is about peace.

What exactly went through the mind of Osaman Bin Laden when he planned the attack? Did he consider the people who live in the country around him? People who are now in danger of their lives.

Did he consider those who practice Islam? The people who have lived peacefully with neighbours of other faiths, but who now think twice about revealing their religion.

Did he feel that this action would show his faith is a positive light?

I doubt anyone thought that the US would NOT react to the horror of 11th September. In the past, the US government has shown how it looks after its own and that any effort to bring people to justice is not too much.

All the actions of Bin Laden appear to be those of a man wrapped in his own arrogance. In his belief of his won PR in his fight, supposedly for the Islamic cause. He is a man without conscience or thought of the destruction which he directly caused on the US or the indirect destruction which Afghanistan will now face.

But Osama Bin Laden is not alone. There are other similar leaders who convince themselves that their stated cause is their motivation. They delude themselves. their goal is power.

Terrorism is based on this. It must be challenged.

There is no totally satisfactory way to solve this. Peace is not a language such people understand. It is sad that it is always those who are suffering are destined to suffer even more. It is interesting that Bin Laden comes from a wealthy background and chose to reject a wealthy lifestyle. Most Afghans do not have that choice.

That is why there can be no end to this war. As there will never be an end to the war against crime. Indeed this is the same war, just a matter of degree.

As long as someone has something someone else wants, thinks in a way different to someone else or acts in a differenty way, conflict will always exist.

That is the human tragedy.

Heavens, What A Question. It's Kind Of Like Asking What Our Thoughts... Oct 9th. at 3:12:38 pm EDT

Cat (Asheville, North Carolina US) Age: 34

Heavens, what a question. It's kind of like asking what our thoughts are on the cosmos or something. My thoughts are sometimes random, often contradictory, and (I sometimes think) of no use to anyone anyway because my elected representatives really don't care what I think. But here are a few of them:

1) Maybe we should look at our own foreign policy before we decide to "strike back" and declare a "war" on anybody, even terrorists? I mean, face it, folks, when large groups of people hate you enough to die to prove their point, they can't ALL be crazy. And you know what Queen Elizabeth said in the film: "I dislike wars. They tend to have unpredictable outcomes."

2) On the other hand, I've thought for years that if the U.S. really cared what happened in any country that we weren't getting oil from, it would've done something about the Taliban's treatment of its own people, especially women, a long time ago. I mean, we impose sanctions on Cuba and trade with a regime who institutionalized and sanctified hatred of women and other religions--say what? I can't imagine saying this about most countries, groups, or areas, but I suppose it's possible that the people of Afghanistan would actually do better as a U.S. protectorate. Many Muslims may consider Jordan a sellout, but it's thriving economically.

3) On the third hand (this is getting rather Kali-esque) maybe there's something we could do about it besides bombing. Is it just me, or does anyone else think U.S. foreign policy has gotten more shortsighted even than usual? Right now we're dealing with a mess we created barely a decade ago, when we encouraged Afghanistan to fight the USSR, and it doesn't seem too far-fetched that what we're doing now is going to spawn new messes even sooner. Do we even know if we're sending in ground troops, which is almost certainly what's required if we're serious about this? Rumsfeld won't say; maybe he doesn't know.

4) Coda to #3: wouldn't it be nice if we could just decide who we support and stick with it for a few years? Ten years ago the proto-Taliban were "freedom fighters" against the "evil empire." Now the evil empire is our buddy and the freedom fighters are cowardly madmen who have made pacts with Satan. Hello, Congress? A little consistency, anyone?

5) And, finally, all this is provisional because I haven't done my homework. I don't know what things are really like in Afghanistan (or Israel or Palestine for that matter); if there's a clearcut good guy or bad guy in the Middle East, I don't know who's who; what the exiled king might've got up to in his glory days I rather wonder, since he's not king now. Without real research, with no more to go on than our fairly appalling U.S. news (let's not even talk about the "new CNN", I don't know that I'm even qualified to have an opinion. I love to give it as much as anyone else, but whether it's worth listening to I don't know. Certainly my representatives don't listen to it.

Coda #2: even if the "war on terrorism" is justified, it's going to bring with it some nasty baggage in the domestic sphere. I guess you all know that the defense bill that no one dares oppose (since that would unpatriotic) has a rider attached saying we're going to drill for oil in the Arctic Refuge? That little exploitation of our patriotic feelings will have longer-lasting repercussions than anything we do in the Middle East. If my fellow American pagans want to write their congressmen about something, that would be a good choice.

We Are At War. Sept. 11th Proved That. The Only Question Is... Oct 9th. at 9:09:13 pm EDT

Nissa Annakindt (Daggett, Michigan US) Age: 43 - Email

We ARE at war. Sept. 11th proved that. The only question is whether to fight back in the hope of ending these ongoing terrorist horrors, or surrender our freedom to the likes of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. I support my country and even the president that I did NOT like previous to this. I hope other Pagan folk will do likewise.

It Is Nice To See People Expressing Their Views. Thankfully, This Is... Oct 9th. at 9:28:27 pm EDT

Mavarius (Bergen County, New Jersey US) Age: 31

It is nice to see people expressing their views. Thankfully, this is a free society and we can speak freely. It would be an ideal world to live by the motto...."violence breeds violence...." and that by attacking we help to keep the violence alive.

But in a realistic world, we need to protect our own. I see people posting from around the world...but as someone who worked the pile at ground zero......the answer is clear. A message needs to be sent that America is not going to be an easy and willing target. Hit me once...shame on you...hit me twice and shame on me.

Some people have stated that we deserved this due to our foreign policy. Sorry.....I didn't realize my brother firefighters worked on capital hill. I didn't realize that Cantor and Fitzgerald signed treaties or that the staff from Windows on the World sanctioned foreign governments. Maybe I missed that day in class.

This isn't meant to "flame" anyone.......but people need to understand how people were affected. It's don't see people who have lost someone sitting on TV talking about how we deserved this. It's usually people who are quite distant from the whole thing. Yes...I am sure some people were affected personally and still speak out about this.....but not many.

There Are Thousands Of Young People Who Look Forward To Death Like... Oct 9th. at 10:16:09 pm EDT

Kea Erisdottir (Frederick, Maryland US) Age: 37 - Email

"There are thousands of young people who look forward to death like the Americans look forward to living."

What kind of people do you think we're dealing with here? This is nothing less than a vicious cult of personality cloaked in a grievous distortion of Islam that makes Jim Jones and the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978 look like a Sunday picnic. Every tactic used by the recruiters of this network is the antithesis of everything we believe, and extreme, even for the blood debt practices of Arab culture that it mimicks.

Yes, this has been coming for a while. While Tarostar says 50 years, I see things going back to the early half of the 20th Century that started the ball rolling toward 9-11-01. We can even peer a bit further back to the Roman occupation of Palestine for some of the persistent prejudices that we live with to this day. It doesn't mean we pass the buck, but it does mean that we need to be very real about what has to be done and if we are willing to take responsibility for what we need to do to live free and make opportunity for others to do the same.

Sticking our heads in the sand and chanting anti-war slogans while people put flowers in the ends of M-16s singing 'Give Peace a Chance' won't make the world safe again. Vietnam is over and the collective consciouness of the US would benefit from a lesson in how to discern between a bad war that we had no intention of winning, fought for all the wrong reasons, and one where we have to hunt down some very bad people who have taken the whole world hostage.

Still, while the fighting goes on, we need to do things at home, not the least of which is live our lives. There is only so much money that you can throw at a problem, but you can offer comfort to those who are troubled by what is happening around us. Letting it drop or saying that the 6000 people who have died in the US somehow had it coming is an idea that I find less than noble, and we are far better people than that. Our light should keep shining as a beacon to everyone, and especially to the people who hate us.

Boy, I Don't Think It Is Possible For Me To Answer This... Oct 10th. at 2:24:57 am EDT

Sprite (St. Ignatius, Montana US) Age: 26 - Email

Boy, I don't think it is possible for me to answer this one shortly. Let me start out by saying that I think the use of civilian passenger planes to devastate a civilian target is deplorable and truly a terrorist act--I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Let me say also that I don't think our government has much business doing much of anything but when it comes to responding to attack on American soil, that is one responsibility it can legitamitely claim.

We've been a military presence in the MidEast for years. Before we became a force there, Britain and France were. They, like use in the late 1700s, don't like being told how they will be governed and how things will be organized. Many, many people in the MidEast hate the West because the West has been a destructive, controlling force there for over 1000 years. If you randomly polled people on the streets of Saudi Arabia or Iran or Iraq or any one of the Arab nations, you would find that half to a third have a loved one who has died at the hands of the US or of a government backed by US dollars. We monetarily back and millitarily support bloody, brutal regimes in that region in the name of stability and American interests. These are things we have no business doing. We would not welcome a foreign military presence directing events in our country, why should expect such a presence to be welcomed in others.

So what do I think about this war on terrorism? I think it is an uninformed, self-perpetuating response. Now, I don't like to be one to offer criticism without offering a solution, but there is no easy solution to this problem. It goes back to far and runs too deep. Here's what I think we should do, however. I think we should find the people who attacked our country and respond to them with due force. Then I think we should pull out of the region completely. Remove our military presence and discontinue any monetary backing of any government. I also think we should lift any trade embargoes that may be in place. It's time to acknowledge that our government has no business influencing the politics in any country but this one beyond allowing anyone that wants a better life and wants to be reunited with their natural rights to come here and be productive citizens. It's time to acknowledge that our government has no business telling its citizens who they can and can't trade with.

This course of action is not without consequences. It would completely destabilize the whole region and it would temporarily spike the price of oil. It's my opinion that those consequences are worthwhile. This nation was not exactly stable after the Revolution, but given control of their own destinies, its founders were able to build something great. So might they. Or they might find themselves in situations equal in oppression to what they have now, but it is not within our government's ability or reach to try and build humanitarian nations--in fact when our government decides to intervene in a nation's course for idealogical reasons, it has never had good results. As for the price of oil--I can answer how many lives I'm willing to expend so that I can pay less than $2 at the pump and keep the overhead costs down on other goods--zero.

In closing, I am on the side of those who seek liberty for all and I stand opposed to any who would try to exercise power over others.

Hello All, First Off, What Is Terrorism? The Attack On Sept. 11th... Oct 10th. at 3:20:54 am EDT

Gypsy Moon (Berri, South Australia AU) Age: 19 - Email

Hello all,
First off, what is terrorism? The attack on Sept. 11th is definetly terrorism. But can we totally say that America has not participated in any terrorist act against another country, only disguising it as war.
If America attacks, it will continue the cycle. People will continue to hate and it will not solve anything but prolong the inevitable. Of course, get Osma Bin Laden for this, but bombing Afganistan does not prove anything except show to the millions of people that America is still to be hated.
If innocent lives are killed by America and her allies, it will only prove that America is just like the terrorists.
I agree with getting Osma Bin Laden and his supporters, but if America could, please spare the lives of the innocent. They do not need to suffer as well.
Maybe a war is needed to destroy the hatred, but can we be sure of the outcome of it all? Can we be sure that we will 'win' this war? If America and its allies canwin this war, they must also look deep within themselves and try to right the wrong doings of the past.

I Would Like To See Osama Bin Laden And His Comrades Be... Oct 10th. at 8:51:14 am EDT

Bathsheba (Colchester, Connecticut US) Age: 35 - Email

I would like to see Osama bin Laden and his comrades be brought to serve justice for the horrible, violent crimes that he and his followers commited to America and her people. I dought very much that he will be found and brought to any kind of justice, he is way to cunning to get caught. He is a sick, evil person but karma will catch up to him some day. Even if we did imprision him and bring him to justice what is to stop his followers from continuing more acts of terrorism? How do we know that his follwers are NOT here in America right now, living across the street or possibly down a block or two. Will we ever be safe from this madman? Will America ever be the land of the free?!

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