Hlynkacg (sandwichwarrior) wrote in talk_politics,

Nothing is decided by this.

In a recent discussion it was asked if civilized people can actually win against uncivilized people in a conflict of ideas while staying civil? and if not, is it preferable to accept defeat with one's principles intact or betray them in order to win?

Being a sucker for a good fight I feel that both of these questions really deserved thier own post.

In regards to the first point I am remind of a quote attributed to Ahmed Raisuni Al Rif but in all likelyhood apocryphal.

...I'd prefer to fight the European armies, but they do not fight as men. Men fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes! Sometimes, when this is not possible, they fight with rifles. The Europeans have guns that fire many times promiscuously and rend the Earth. Nothing is decided by this. Therefore, I take women and children.

To me this quote illustrates the chief fallacy of the US/NATO's approach to modern warfare. We can declare "Mission Accomplished" all we want but the war isn't really over till both sides agree on who won. Because a fanatic would rather die than admit defeat this the so-called cvilized nations find themselves in a pickle. Either annihilate the opposition (a course of action discouraged by liberal values) or allow the conflict to continue.

This brings us to the 2nd point.

Tolerance of opposing views is seen as one of the pillars of our culture but is the tolerance of intolerance still a virtue? Does the principal of multi-culturalism apply equally? Or do some cultures have more value than others? If the latter, do we sacrifice the principal of tolerance to destroy one culture or save another?

It's a conundrum.
Tags: culture, war
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