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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 Don't Want To Be A Hostage In My Own Country; I... ||Oct 8th. at 3:04:34 am EDT|
|bil Mayer (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I don't want to be a hostage in my own country; I don't want to be afraid to fly in a plane. I don't watch to watch the night skies for fiery death. I don't want to be afraid of dying due to a random act of a martyr. I do want to feel safe in my home (the USA) and I support efforts to ensure that safety; even if it means removing what it is that threatens me.
But I cannot become that which I fear. I cannot allow one innocent to die for my ease of mind. I will not let another person fear the skies so that I may enjoy them. I won't push the terrors that confront me upon another person. I will not become a terrorist, nor allow another to cause terror in my name.
The people of Afghanistan are not my enemy. The differences of our beliefs, though enormous, do not cast us into the role of foes. We may despise each other's actions, but I know that we judge each other as equals.
The people(s) who orchestrated the infamous events of September 11, 2001 are my enemies; their actions thrust these roles upon us. I would and will support efforts to ensure that they are restrained from being able to cause such devastation again. Even if it means their death.
But I must be sure in my accusations. I need proof. I expect that these enemies would be given a form of trial. I want there to be no room for doubt about who is guilty and who is not.
And then, once I was sure who was my enemy, who was guilty, then I would make sure that anyone who could create such horrors was removed from this planet. Forever cast out for fear that the cancer of their vileness could spread again; denied burial or a place in history.
But not until I see all of the facts will I point my finger. I share the popular opinion of the identities of the guilty. But I want proof.
My government, acting in my name, has begun a military campaign against what we believe to be my enemies, our enemies. People have already died in my name, our names. I've watched the news, read the papers, and researched online. The case is strong against those now accused, no doubt. But I still expected a form of trial. I NEED to be sure of guilt before I let another's dreams die in my name.
Afghanistan made an offer to President Bush to detain the accused and hold a trial of their own making. I can see why the President refused such an offer; bias would cloud any findings at all. I understand and respect my country's stance of negotiation with terrorists, but it does not cover this aspect of US policy. A world court could have been appointed to sort through all of the findings and we'd have not lost our non-negotiatory stance.
And once the case was over, we'd know as best we could of issues of guilt and innocence. None of us would fear that we had become what we revile. The world would know that we are not better simply because we're bigger, but because that we gave even the most despicable of our enemies the right of trial, the right to defend themselves, and the chance to prove their innocence.
Those are the reasons we mourn the tragedy of 9-11-2001; all of those innocents killed by a hate machine without reason or remorse. Their lives thrown away because someone decided that they were guilty of whatever imagined or real crimes and sins.
I am not a terrorist. I will not become one, nor lend my name to those who would be. I can only hope that my government feels the same.
| I Would Like To Start This By Saying That I Am Not... ||Oct 8th. at 3:22:33 am EDT|
|Knightman (Concord, California US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I would like to start this by saying that I am not for war. I beleive that war will only result in innocent people getting hurt or killed. I saw enough war in Desert Storm. I was in the service then. But, with that caviate in mind, there are just reasons for going to war. One of them is self-defense. Another would be to defend an oppressed people that could not stand up for themselves. In this instance, both of these reasons are satisfied.
I have read a word for word translation of the "Holy Quaran" (Not the normal edited english translations that you can get), and it reads like a terrorist diary. It advocates rape, murder, looting, plunder, and etc. in the effort to overthrow and eliminate non-Muslims (Kafur) from the globe. For the successful Muslim warrior will gain entrance to heaven for dying for the cause. Once there, he will receive 72 virgins (Houris) and 28 young boys. He will also be rewarded by receiving the virility of 100 men. This is some really sick stuff folks.
Now I am not saying that every muslim is a terrorist. That would be as bad as any blanket racist statement. But, I am saying that we need to not be deluded. Everyone that says Islam means peace is either deluded or lying. (The word Islam actually means surrender, as in Surrender to the will of Allah.) All of the talking heads that tell us that Islam is a religion of peace is wrong. They have been at war with everyone around them since the religions founding around 620 C.E. or so
To those like Nelli, who advocate peace. I applaud you for having the courage to make that stand for what you beleive in during these difficult times. I disagree, but I respect your oppion as yours. In this country, you have a right to express yourself without fear of molestation; and the creeps that picked on you need to receive an attitude adjustment.
| I'm Sorry. I Posted The Wrong Email Address To My Previous Post... ||Oct 8th. at 4:03:30 am EDT|
|Knightman (Concord, California US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I'm sorry. I posted the wrong email address to my previous post. It should be firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is the correct one for those of you who want to praise my keen rationality or tell me I'm an idiot. See the post by Knightman...
| One Thing That Is Continually Heard Within The Pagan Community Is How... ||Oct 8th. at 5:03:07 am EDT|
|S. John Browne (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) ||Age: 27 - Email |
One thing that is continually heard within the Pagan community is how we are supposed to provide an "Alternative": that we are supposed to be Different. I am not as naive as i once to believe that has any truth. All that is heard now out of most of the Pagan community is exactly the same as other faiths. In our desire to grow more popular we have begun to accept into our midsts the very things that repulsed us and made us turn away from mainstream religious practice. The support from Pagans of this war, which can only result in more deaths of innocents and even more religious hate is the crowing moment of our "mainstreaming". That there would be Pagans who would support the deaths of innocents simply to gain the satisfaction of "revenge" repulses me. I am not what they term a "fluffy". I believe that one must defend oneself when one is attacked but one must first identify the Real target. There is no way anyone can say that innocents are not going to die in this bombing. I no longer feel any pride with calling myself a Pagan, only revulsion.
| In Our Society War Seems Inevitable. When The Wtc And The Pentagon... ||Oct 8th. at 5:48:23 am EDT|
|Dragyn (Massillon, Ohio US) ||Age: 46 - Email |
In our society war seems inevitable. When the WTC and the Pentagon were attacked the nation was stunned even though eveyone knew that it would happen eventually. Like so many others I seem to have pulled away from the harsh reality of this world, but deep down I know the the actions President Bush has taken are the correct ones. Just as I would do anything in my power to protect the things I love.
| 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?
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