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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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| 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.
| ... ||Oct 10th. at 4:52:16 pm EDT|
|Joseph L. Futerman (Los Angeles, California US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
| I Have Both Hopes And Fears Over The "war On Terrorism". I... ||Oct 10th. at 7:59:20 pm EDT|
|J. P. DeMeritt (League City, Texas US) ||Age: 44 - Email |
I have both hopes and fears over the "war on terrorism". I am encouraged to see the way poeple from around the world have come together to offer hope and comfort in theis time of sorrow. I'm gratified to see how the American people have unified -- not only in their resolve to find and bring to justice those responsible, but to support those who grieve, those who still struggle with the daunting tasks of recovery, and to rebuild the shattered lives and pshcyes of all.
My greatest hope is that our national leaders will carry on with restraint, resolute in doing what must be done to eliminate terrorism, but recognizing that there is no victory in violence -- that there is a respite at best. I believe that if we carry through in measured ways, we will substantially reduce the ability of existing terrorists to bring such suffering to people again in the near future. I also hope our national leaders will carry through on their promises to address terrorism throughout the world.
But I also fear the course we're taking. My fear isn't that violence begets violence. While that tends to be true, I believe it's true because there are social, political, and economic systems that cause people to turn to terror in the first place. I believe that if we understand and intervene in those systems, we can create a future free of organized terrorism. My fear is that current plans don't seem to address those systems. If we fail in that endeavor, those systems will continue to create terrorists, and all the lives, time, and resources spent on this "war against terrorism" will be wasted. I don't believe we can afford that outcome.
I would relish a discussion with anyone who feels they have insights into the causes of terrorism. I'm currently trying to build a model that explains it, and additional insights must surely sharpen the vision with which we view this problem.
| Just A Few Thoughts, Not In Any Particular Order: We Need To... ||Oct 10th. at 9:46:03 pm EDT|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Kansas City, Missouri US) ||Age: 33 |
Just a few thoughts, not in any particular order:
We need to rethink our Mideast policy. Yes, Israel is our ally. I also believe that Palestinians need a place to call their own. If there is ever to be peace in that region, someone needs to get the leaders of the two factions together, let them rant and rave and get all their grievances out in the open, and then let a neutral (meaning not U.S.) mediator help them work something out that will appease both sides. Call me idealistic, but I think it could happen.
If Osama bin Laden and his cronies in Al-Qaida are ever captured, they should be tried in an international court of law. Yes, the attack on 9-11-01 took place on American soil, but citizens of something like 63 other countries also perished in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Justice should be done on their behalfs as well as in addition to the justice we seek. Yes, we lost thousands but are we just supposed to tell the Paraguayans and the Ghanaians "Sorry, bin Laden is all ours to do with as we please, because we lost so many and you only lost one or two?" He committed an international crime, the international community should have a say in what to do with him.
I believe that once the Taliban is toppled in Afghanistan, we should treat them as we did to Germany and Japan after WWII. Educate them (I read their literacy rate is only about 31%), teach them modern farming techniques, help rebuild their cities, etc. The Peace Corps and other international humanitarian groups will be instrumental in this step.
I consider myself a peaceful person, but I think that military intervention in this case is warranted. The Taliban must go if anything is to improve in Afghanistan, not just the rights and welfare of the women, but for everyone living in that country. It was a beautiful place once, it can be so again.
This last thought will get me creamed, but here it is anyway. In his videotape, bin Laden mentioned the suffering in Iraq. I hate to say this, but in this instance he's right. The U.S. has imposed many sanctions against Iraq, and the only ones suffering from them are the Iraqi people, while Saddam Hussein secretly readies his own war machines and lives fat while his people starve. This is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. If we go after bin Laden, sooner or later we're going to have to finish what was left undone after the Gulf War and topple Hussein as well. The people of Iraq will not rise in revolt if they believe the U.S. is the cause of their suffering, plus, how can they rise if they're too sick and starving to fight? Perhaps that will be our next battle in our "war on terrorism".
I pray for courage for us in the days ahead. I pray for justice for those who would do evil against others. I pray for clarity of thought in our leaders and in our allies. I pray for understanding and acceptance of others' differences, because in the end we are all human. May the Lady and Lord watch over and bless all of us in the days and weeks ahead.
| I'm Incredibly Surprised That Out Of The 51 The Posts I've Read... ||Oct 10th. at 10:23:43 pm EDT|
|Theta (San Francisco, California US) ||Age: 31 |
I'm incredibly surprised that out of the 51 the posts I've read here today, that less than a handful call for peace, non-violence and compassion. Does the Witches' Rede, "An it Harm None, Do as Ye Will" get thrown out the window when push comes to shove? Was the beautiful vision of non-violence in Starhawk's novel, "The Fifth Sacred Thing" just a charming amusement? I understand that in the case of immanent threat of personal harm, that yes, we need to act to protect ourselves. I understand that the vicious and heinous nature of the attack of September 11th is unpardonable. I understand that atrocities such as acid being thrown in the faces of Afghani women who refuse to wear veils is absolutely horrifying. But we have to be strong and temper our anger. Now is our chance to show that the fundamental tenet of our belief (for many of us at least) is powerful and can work. There must be an alternative to killing and war. We must work together to discover what it is. Perhaps massive aid to the war torn peoples of Afghanistan? - Assistance to the refugees with emigration? - Leading by example? - Communication? - Meditation? - Prayer? The Taliban can't rule if they have no one to govern.
The following passage was taken directly from the "Law of Three" page from this very website:
"Revenge, on the other hand, is defined as "an urge to get even" (we've all been there!) or "to inflict harm in reaction to an insult" We cannot go THERE!. It is difficult sometimes, especially when our loved ones have been hurt, to follow the principles outlined here...VERY difficult...."
| I Have To Admit, I'd Be Glad To See A Regime Such... ||Oct 11th. at 6:23:18 am EDT|
|Karen Mitchell (Columbia, Maryland US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I have to admit, I'd be glad to see a regime such as the Taliban fall. This awful dictatorship has held the people of Afghanistan in poverty and fear for too long. But I also feel that any short of long term war on terrorism can only be fought under the auspices of the UN. This truely has to be a multi-national strike here. No one nation can sustain this sort of campaign alone, and shouldn't.
What worries me is the paranoia of the Bush Administration.... limiting information to Congress, trying to pass laws allowing more freedom to American law enforcement... Every day I open the Washington Post and see somewhere on the front page a warning of more potential attacks on American soil. All this does is keep people frightened and on edge... and in support of a President who has good speech writers. I still worry that this is seen more as a revenge for September 11th than an international campaign to end global intolerance. Only time will tell on this. For now, I just keep scanning the headlines and lighting my candles for peace and justice.
| The "war On Terrorism" Is A Misnomer, At Best. Terrorist Tactical Acts... ||Oct 11th. at 12:22:31 pm EDT|
|Alan Braden (Rochester, New York US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
The "War on Terrorism" is a misnomer, at best. Terrorist tactical acts usually are designed to be used by a smaller weaker force upon the body of a larger, stronger force. The goal is to strike hard and fast, crippling the morale of the enemy and leaving him with no clear target to strike back at.
The government of the United States of America has chosen to strike back directly at the people who have been identified as directing these actions against us. We are at war with the country of Afghanistan, and the ruling Taliban regime.
"War on Terrorism" is a sound bite provided to reasure you that you will be safe from future action similar to the September 11th events. Please do not let the rhetoric lull you into a false sense of security. Fanatics do not care when any Presidential press release tells them to quake in their boots.
The Taliban regime can be described as a group of religious fanatics. In belief of their religion, they define us (Americans, citizens of the United States and anyone else who enjoys our way of life) as evil. They cite the various actions of our foriegn policy (both public and covert) as evidence that we are monsters. They have decided it is up to them to teach us a lesson.
In the past terrorism has worked because no one has had the time and energy to expend towards effective revenge. In the past this has been allowed to continue because of the political climate in the world - one country's terrorist is another country's handyman (we trained Osama, remember?). When terrible things happened one nation would tell another, "Don't do anything rash, or else we will have to respond."
We no longer live in that age. Entering into the 21st century, the U.S.A. is apparently the King Of The Hill. All other countries in this world (not run by fanatics) enjoy doing business with us. We are not at war, cold or otherwise, with Russia, Korea, Vietnam, or anyone else. Right now, Afghanistan has our undivided attention.
Is it right to strike? Yes. People who commit lethal actions against innocents are murderers. Murder must be avenged, and since it is highly unlikely that the Taliban will surrender itself for trial and incarceration, it appears that we must wage war to exact our revenege and cripple their operations so that they cannot perform similar actions to us, or anyone else, again.
Am I nervous that no "end" has been set? No. No war was ever fought where the parties involved agreed upon the deadlines. Do I want more information about the specific operations that have occurred? It would be nice to have a complete debriefing about PAST incidents, but I am tired of every CNN wanna-be trying to get the next combat "scoop." Our soldiers are trying to save our lives and make us safe. Quiet possibly at the cost of their own lives. We know the Taliban to be technology savy, web-connected and cable ready...why give them foreknowledge of our actions by urging the press media to the worst of their vulture like behavior?
What outcome would I like to see? Remember we are dealing with fanatics here. They believe as strongly in their cause as we do believe that they are villians and murderers. Until the mind set of the people can be changed we will always be at risk from future attacks.
I would like an alternative ruling faction identified and put into power. I would like to install UN observers to suggest ways to repair the damage done by the old ruling factions (and the new US bombings) and I would like to send the peace corps over to start rebuliding, shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and any other foreign concern who wished to contribute. I would like to see Moslem temples rebuilt and the native population encourged to worship their Gods as is proper, I would like to see teachers relocated to foster literacy and vocational training. I would like to see an inproved infrastructure of roads and railways installed. I would like to see widows given recompense and children fostered. I would like to see our immense science and technology put to use making their lands as rich and productive as our own. I would like to see a McDonalds opened before 2005, and "Araby Disney" by 2010.
I would like every fanatic on the Earth to learn that is it not merely a bad idea to attempt to hurt the citizens of the 21st Century (reguardless of particular Nationality), but it is a suicidal action.
I want them to know that it will cause their harsh, tiny world to end in such a way that their grandchildren will wonder why their ancestors were ever dumb enough to hate us.
Is that too much to ask?
| I Am Forced To Agree With The Military Strikes Against Afghanistan, Although... ||Oct 11th. at 1:56:46 pm EDT|
|Aspasia (Yonkers, New York US) ||Age: 22 |
I am forced to agree with the military strikes against Afghanistan, although I deeply hurt for the innocent people who reside there. A people led by a religious fanatical faction, starving and sick crying out should have been a cry heard before such a tragic event had to happen. Understanding that the Taliban and the Afghan people are not one and the same, these series of attacks dubbed the "War on Terrorism" is right now focused on the main threat of the Taliban. I don' t think anyone can say what will occur when these attacks do end. But if this is what it takes to pull the world together in the thoughts of gaining liberty and justice for all, so be it. If the world together stands up and says "no more" to hatred and murder in the form of missiles and bullets, we are speaking the language of the Taliban. That form of government is like a cancer, a cancer of hate. This cancer resides in our world, which is very much like a global body. Sometimes to save the entire body, healthy tissue is removed with the malignancy. Just as a person with cancer must battle to keep it at bay for the rest of their lives, so may this war on terrorism go on.
My heart breaks at the thought of innocent lives being lost overseas, our own, the supporting people of NATO, and of the Afghan people. But almost 6, 000 of my fellow New Yorkers, visiting tourists and those who were on business trips from the world over to the towers are lost. A friend had all her teeth knocked out of her mouth by falling debris. Her life is forever changed, so badly damaged that she can't even get dental implants. What efforts did she ever make against the Taliban other than being American, a successful woman? In harboring such a hatred against our way of life and our freedoms - we were certainly terrorized. In my opinion, when human life is taken so wantonly, those who took human life cast away all rights themselves. Perhaps that sounds hypocritical, but keep in mind that those who lost there lives that day were just people going to work, earning a living for their families, who never made the choice not to live. That choice was made for them.
Since war has been the result, a war on terrorism, I would like to see each person teaching their children to love and tolerate others. As we stike out against the Taliban, let us show the world the great goodness that resides in the heart of every american by doing what we can to further the progress of the people, not the governing body, of Afghanistan. They too deserve a safe, happy and healthy life, without the religious tyranny of the Taliban. I may live a few miles from Ground Zero, but I would want nothing more than for the children of Afghanistan and my own son to one day play together in truly perfect love and perfect trust.
"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love on another."
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