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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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| 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 funny....you 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 |
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?!
| Tough Question, As Are All On This Topic. I Feel That The... ||Oct 10th. at 9:19:55 am EDT|
|Dick Sommers (Keller, Texas US) ||Age: 52 - Email |
Tough question, as are all on this topic. I feel that the United States must react in the strongest possible way. If we do not, you might as well post a "kick me" sign on the back of every American. Bin Ladin and others of his kind are, no more and no less, criminals and thugs. I, too, am a peace-loving person, but I cringe when I see my country shamelessly attacked. This is definitely war, and in no way can I fault the United States for defending itself. As Americans, it is our duty to support our country in her time of need. So often we ask, What can our country do for us? Now is the time, as President Kennedy so eloquently put, to "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Will karma catch up with bin Ladin and the others? Perhaps we will know, perhaps not. Think good thoughts, love each other, and what is good will prevail.
| I'm Probably Going To Get Hit With Tomatoes For This Post, But... ||Oct 10th. at 12:30:54 pm EDT|
|Dragon Li-Hagetaka Yung (North Plainfield, New Jersey US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I'm probably going to get hit with tomatoes for this post, but here are my feelings and "sensings".
I agree that we can't just sit back and let what happened go unpunished. I personally don't like the Taliban and feel they should get what they deserve. I also don't particularly like just running in there and bombing everything to bits. I would have chosen a different approach myself. But none of my personal feelings about it really matters.
Reason being, we have to look at this from a different level. We too quickly look at things with an "us vs them" or "me me me" or "how does this affect my life?" view. Take a few steps above your normal vision of things. Realize that everything in existence is tied together to form one greater thing. You can kind of compare this idea with the human body: we are the cells that make up the body parts. Cells die off all the time and are replaced by others, but they all still have a very important function-every single one of them. If not, they wouldn't exist! It's that simple. Sometimes, cells go haywire and we get tumors and cancer. For the body to survive it must be healed either through removing the causes of the cancer or other methods of healing, but many times it requires both. Both a change in diet and surgery perhaps. Now, with this vision in your head, let's go on.
The world we live in right now is in a cancerous state. With capitalism running rampant, money takes precedent over health and life. Pollution abounds, women are being suppressed and tortured. Children are being sold as slaves. You get the picture. In order for the Earth Mother to heal herself, she must be rid of those cells that are causing this cancer before she dies, taking everyone and everything along with her. And I have sensed that this is occurring now. In order to get rid of a disease, you must fight it. Conflict and chaos is necessary before you can have order, peace, and healing. What is going on is a direct example of this chaos and battle. And honestly, I don't think it's just going to be "yeah we're going to wipe the terrorists out and get back to our lives." No, you must think on a far grander scale. For America is run by capitalism. So are most "high powered" countries. Until we all start putting life, health, and spirituality above material gain, chaos will continue. I won't lie to you, many will suffer and die because of this. But it is inevitable. The Mother must be healed or else more will die and suffer.
Not only must the Mother, both in concept of the earth and in the ideology, be healed, but so must the Father. Men and women have to break this bounds of negativity and embrace their spirituality. If they weren't so confused over human dictates for what they are supposed to believe and how they are supposed to act, there would be no suppression of women or "man-haters." The healing of the Mother and Father will begin once they have shed their old skin that humans have placed upon them. They will be free and so will all creatures of the earth.
So it really doesn't matter all too much to debate if we're doing the "right" thing. If this wasn't happening, something else would. And for those who protest the battle and want peace, instead of focusing on the battle focus on teaching people how to live free and embrace spirituality as the most important thing. The battle will go on in one way or another. Or else a meteor will crash into the earth and then we won't have anyone to blame, but we'll still have to pick up the pieces. SOMETHING must cause this change, this chaos, this shedding of the old, for without change, nothing can survive.
"Clarity is learned by being patient in the presence of chaos. Tolerating disarray, remaining at rest, gradually, one learns to allow muddy water to settle and proper responses to reveal themselves" -Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu
| I'm So Thankful That We Can All Speak Our Minds Freely Here... ||Oct 10th. at 2:34:53 pm EDT|
|ModernMuse (Tulsa, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I'm SO thankful that we can all speak our minds FREELY here! Let us remind ourselves that this war is defending our FREEDOM.
I am pretty idealistic about the world - even with all of the bad things that we have seen and will continue to witness on this earth, I DO believe that world peace is possible. With that said, I would never EVER "want" a war to happen...who TRULY does? But in this case, I feel that the REASON for this war is to protect not only America's rights, but the WORLD'S rights - the basic human rights of truth, freedom and happiness.
The fundamentalist hard-core beliefs of the taliban do not involve freedom whatsoever. It was already bad enough that the women of Afghanistan have been completely stripped of ANY freedom and also PUNISHED repeatedly, just for being women. It is also bad enough that little children and young boys are being kidnapped, raised and taught this poisonous fundamentalist abomination of Islam. - Not only are these young people being taught to hate, they will no doubt, be trained as "young Guerrillas for Islam." Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban have planted poisonous, infectous seeds into many, many people in the Middle East.
But NOW...now we find that these "poisoned" people have lived in and are operating out of our own country, Canada, Europe and Gods only know how many other places?! Unfortunately, I feel, the only way to snuff out the seeds and prevent their growth is to show those who have been poisoned the reprocussions of terrorist acts. - That being, that the "free world" WILL defend itself AND defend those freedoms MIGHTILY.
So far, at least, as far as we know, we have been bombing ONLY targets associated with the Taliban, the Al Quaeda network and Terrorist training camps. We ARE acting as responsibly as we can by making the targets specific AND backing up our actions with humanitarian aide to the people. I feel that this is one war to actually be proud of, because for ONCE it is not about money or oil...it's about FREEDOM and it's about FREE countries banding together like brothers and sisters to protect the world.
Osama Bin Laden's goal is for the entire WORLD to be dominated by the beliefs of the taliban. Yes, the WORLD. We cannot just remove foreign policies and expect everything to go away. The truth is, these people hate FREEDOM - not JUST the US, but ALL nations who are free. Our cause is just.
As Tony Blair had said, "Nobody WANTS to go to war, but sometimes, to protect peace, we must fight." I completely agree.
As a spiritual and human being, I feel that my job is to continue to pray, to donate and to believe that freedom WILL prevail...and to cling ever closer to love.
Thanks for listening. :-)
| I Am For Military Action To End Terrorism. Terrorist Organizations Under Osama... ||Oct 10th. at 3:07:16 pm EDT|
|Brian Grisham (Modesto, California US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I am for military action to end terrorism. Terrorist organizations under osama bin laden and other insane religious zealots abduct little children from Africa, 8, 000 each year and use the girls and some boys as sexual slaves and the rest of the boys are trained as soldiers. They export haroin and opium and are trying to supply themselves with weapons of mass destruction. If this happens this means not one country or one kind of government is doomed, but the entire world including Pagans, christians, buddists, peaceful muslims who seemingly haven't demonstrated publicly if they're anti-aq'ada/taliban, (perhaps they should), and thousands of other religions. Osama and the taliban wants to kill us all and use our children as slaves, sexually as well as laboring slaves. They want to torture people into submission. They believe women don't have the right to show their faces in public. If we don't fight this will happen to us. I've seen short videos of afgan women begging in the streets as they cling to their children with material over their faces with no eye holes because they aren't allowed to even look at a man. Will this happen to us? It will if we don't fight the oppression. 60's wanna-be Pacifists are for anti-freedom. They WANT to be controlled.
| I Support The Limited Use Of Military Force In Afghanistan. Not For... ||Oct 10th. at 3:52:49 pm EDT|
|Big John (South Amboy, New Jersey US) ||Age: 40 |
I support the limited use of military force in Afghanistan. Not for revenge, which would only continue the cycle of hate, but to protect our country from future attacks by Islamic fundamentalists. Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban have publicly promised future attacks on U.S. citizens. To do nothing would be foolish, these people are not going to go away by themselves.
Strength can support freedom, but only when it is tempered by judgement. Although I do support the U.S. government's use of force in Afghanistan (and possibly Iraq at this time) I don't support it blindly. I want to see Osama Bin Laden, the members of the Taliban, and as many members of
al Queda that can be found brought back to the U.S. for a public trial. I think this is essential to provide closure for the families of the victims and to mark an end to this war. Before sentencing I want each and every one of them to be asked the question: Why? I think most of us suspect that the U.S. government may have been involved in unethical actions in the Arab nations. While this could NEVER justify the attacks on Semptember 11th, the public should know about it. If U.S. foreign policy is need of changing then it's about time this became a public priority.
As to Osama Bin Laden, his supporters, and the members of the Taliban and al Queda - they should all be sentenced to life in prison without parole. I do not support their execution! Yes, it's true I'm morally opposed to the death penalty, but there are other reasons. First, the last thing the U.S. needs is to turn them into martyrs. Second, it is a far worse penalty. It's one thing to die for a cause, it's quite another to spend 40 or 50 years alone in a prison cell with no money, no power, and no followers waiting to die from old age.
As to Afghanistan, now that we are involved I think it's going to have to be a long term commitment. The country is poor, ravaged by decades of war. We could bring back their exiled king, but he's 86 years old. Five years from now we could be back where we started if we pull out.
Despite the cost, I feel the best solution would be to make Afghanistan a U.S. protectorate for the next 30 years or so. Until the next generation comes of age. In the meantime, we could establish a basic agrarian economy (and I don't mean poppies, opium, and heroin), provide basic medical care and education for everyone (including the women), and enforce U.S. law allowing women the same rights as men. After 30 years or so we would leave after establishing free elections. After a long taste of freedom I don't think that the Islamic fundamentalists could ever take power again.
We as a country were caught by surprise on September 11th. We don't understand the motivations, the religion, or the people involved. But, we can defend ourselves, we can see justice done, and we can learn why.
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