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a sad chain of events

Okay, I rarely if ever post about political stuff, and I rarely read the news, but I just happened to read an article on CNN, and it prompted a question in my mind...

1. Hitler tries to take over the world, starts killing Jews left and right.
2. US intervenes, kicks Hitler's ass, and boots the Palestinians out of Palestine to make room for persecuted Jews.
3. Islamic fundamentalists get mad, brood in anger for half a century, and crash a couple airplanes into some US buildings.
4. Madman takes over US Presidency, interprets this as an act of war, and decides to bomb random countries to get even.
5. US troops flood into Iraq, arrest dictator, and celebrate by getting drunk and raping a 14 year old girl, before burning the bodies of her and her family with kerosene.

Question: WHERE DID WE GO WRONG HERE? I know that at some point in this absurd chain of events, someone must have been able to do something that could have resulted in averting this chain of tragic outcomes. Innocent people being killed at every step of the way, for no good reason. Was there no way for an intelligent person to intervene at some point and say "look, this is all going to end badly. Stop, please!" Are we as a species just doomed to keep killing each other? How many more events are going to be triggered after this one? Will the Iraqis ever forgive us now? How many more terrorists get recruited after the murder of each innocent Muslim?

"According to statements given at the hearing, the soldiers were drinking whiskey, playing cards and hitting golf balls when Green brought up the idea of going to a house near the checkpoint where they were stationed, to rape the girl."
"One of the soldiers, 23-year-old Army Spec. James P. Barker, told an Army criminal investigator that after the killings he poured kerosene on the girl's bullet-ridden body, according to testimony in August at a military hearing. The girl's father, mother and five-year-old sister were also killed, according to military officials."


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
A big suck-fest
How about, we went wrong 150,000 years ago when Homo sapiens butchered all other competing hominins. I'd say we're pretty prone to war-like behavior.

I rarely comment here, but I thought this was a vexing/true post.
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:59 am (UTC)
I've always been fuzzy on the details of the formation of Israel. How did it actually occur? I've heard conflicting versions. I know Jews raised a lot of money and bought some of the land, but I also heard that was just a small fraction. I heard some of the land was gained essentially by "squatters rights" and that some of the land sold was sold by people who didn't really own it (absentee landlord problems).

I'm interested in your version and why you believe in your version. I'm interested because I don't have a clear enough picture to have a version of my own.
Oct. 20th, 2006 08:11 am (UTC)
I don't know much about it either, but I've always heard that it was carved out of a piece of Palestine in the aftermath of World War II (perhaps as compensation for all the hardship the Jews went through during the holocaust?).

This page looks like it explains much of it, although I don't have time to read it right now:

I'm interested in your version and why you believe in your version.

I'm just going by what I've heard, I really don't know enough history to have a "version"... I'm certainly not saying it was a bad idea or anything. Just that it pissed off the Arab world royally... enough that the rest of the chain of events likely would not have happened without it. But then again, who knows.
Oct. 20th, 2006 08:13 am (UTC)
Personally, I think the "bad idea" is several groups of people calling the same piece of land holy and wanting to build a modern state around it (based on religious ideology).
Oct. 20th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
Yes, certainly :) Religion was obviously the root cause of 911, as well as (I think) most bloodshed that goes on in the world. Something Richard Dawkins is apt at pointing out. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms.
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
i recently friended you; hopefully you'll reciprocate.

of course i take issue with some of what is implied in the 2-5 series--not helped by your choice of words and obvious reduction (textbook oversimplification). [3 especially! post hoc, ergo propter hoc?] something more interesting that i take out of this post itself: i wonder if this was, in essence, provoked entirely/mostly by the cnn article?

finally, a play that's somewhat related (more information about which can be found in my most recent entry): http://www.culturecatch.com/theater/major_bang
Oct. 20th, 2006 08:20 am (UTC)

something more interesting that i take out of this post itself: i wonder if this was, in essence, provoked entirely/mostly by the cnn article?

yeah, pretty much entirely by the cnn article. I almost never say anything political in my journal... partially because I don't care for politics that much, partially because I'm friends with people from a pretty wide range of political ideologies and I don't want to piss anyone off or start any fights, and partially because I've always been bad at history as well as current events so I don't want to say anything "dumb". But seeing this article caused a bit of a reaction in me I guess... and I spontaneously decided to write my thoughts down. I hope that if I've said anything historically inaccurate someone will correct me.

So you mention that #3 doesn't seem to have followed from #2, eh? Then what do you see as the major causes of Islamic hatred for the US? Like I say, I don't know much about this kind of stuff, but my understanding was that this was their main complaint with the US from day 1. IIRC, wasn't that bin Laden's primary demand in the video tape he left? (Giving back Isreal to Palestine?) I may be misremembering, but that was the impression I got at the time.
Oct. 20th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
i think that, as you've said above, religious conflict is the root cause. islam generally has a historical tendency to be a very aggressive religion.

but more directly to your question, i think israel is less of a cause per se than a rallying point that's common for all muslims.


while with US involvement their motive has become a matter of desperately driven strategy more than fundamentalist ideology, i think that US involvement would not have come without the ideology. if you're western, you're secular, you're atheist, you're anti-islam, you're evil; you do not deserve to exist in allah's holy universe. especially not his region.

more personally, i think that they look at us like we did the soviet union. israel or no israel, it is an attack on the "west" more generally--wherever the west is.

i also think any occupation will result in extreme offense given britain's history in india, israel's creation, and the russian threat more recently..the gulf war too. our presence is offensive enough, literally.

also buried in the "israel spurred this terrorism as we know it" idea is the suggestion of appeasement by israel's removal, which i don't think would work either.

not that you should take from this that i'm defending israel (ew).

don't ever worry about sounding dumb or offending somebody. that's how you tick them off the point that they must correct you personally--it's a good way to learn. i should know.
Oct. 21st, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
Well said.
Oct. 19th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
This shows how maleable the human mind is. The military can break people down and then turn them into killing machines.

Why are humans violent? Same reason any species is violent. Limited resources, growing population. Get yours or someone else will.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


domino plural

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