October 27th, 2015

Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!
  • htpcl

Is this a clash of civilizations?

Greetings, ma'fellow indifferent procrastinators concerned citizens of the world! First of all, Im'ma throw this in here:

Richard Dawkins says 9/11 hijackers weren't evil, prompts angry response from religious right

First off, the right-wing, quite predictably, seem to have (intentionally?) misunderstood what he was actually saying. To me it reads that he's not saying the 911 attackers are not evil - but that they were not born evil, only they became evil under the influence of religion. Hardly inconsistent with what he's been, ehm... preaching, for quite a while.

That said, to put this into my local perspective, we here in my country have long prided (sic?) ourselves of our so called "ethnic model", i.e. our religious and ethnic tolerance - usually citing our centuries of relatively peaceful cohabitation with other ethnicities and religions as an example (among other, more heroic manifestations of that model). Which is probably why part of our society was so stunned by the "un-Christian" position of our nationalists about the Syrian refugees who've come knocking at our doorstep.

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Godzilla, default

So, where are they now?

http://world.time.com/2013/02/15/viewpoint-why-was-the-biggest-protest-in-world-history-ignored/

^About ten years ago, there were huge crowds across the world protesting a Bush war in Iraq. These people were nowhere to be seen when Clinton bombed Iraq in 1993, in 1996, and in 1998. They are conspicuously absent now that Obama has committed the US military to open-ended expansion of wars in Africa, all over the continent, and when Obama has twice now placed the USA at greater danger of nuclear war than at any point since 1983 and 1973. Why is pacifism such a conveniently timed incident when easily despised poltiical figures in a Republican US political family do it?

For that matter, when Obama bombed Drs Without Borders, people threw a huge hissy fit about it and claimed it's proof that America is evil and inhumane. There was even this post about a US bombing of hospitals in Afghanistan. This post was a well written take but why, then was it that non Americans were writing about this here? American progressives can complain about Trump but not a fucking hospital bombing? That post should have had ten times the comments it did.
http://talk-politics.livejournal.com/2019988.html

Well, the Russian dictator has bombed a total of three hospitals now:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/22/three-syrian-hospitals-bombed-since-russian-airstrikes-began-doctors-say

No posts in this community about the evils of Russian imperialist policies and their deliberate and malicious and murderous targeting of innocentts in Syrian hospitals until I wrote them some time after the fact. This is unconscionable when Americans do it. Some in did rightly condemn that. Shouldn't overt targeting hospitals and Kunduz be major topics? No protests, period, from lefitsts and so-called pacifists who should have an obligation to condemn this when any Great Power does it. I suppose pacifism is only worth courage when it's a regime that uses assassination campaigns on its own citizens with a pretense of accountability. The USA can't openly shoot people who disagree with it, Mr. Putin does it, however, and the idea of protesting someone who's quite happy to murder and intimidate his opponents seems rather more challenging, where it's not associated with the idea that imperialism only exists if Americans orchestrate it.

I suppose it would be unsporting to note that people don't give a flying fuck about civilians killed or hospitals bombed unless it's a cheap political attack on the United States and that silence in this case is approval of these deeds, but it is notheneless a reality sufficient to merit an entire article about it. I for one see things like this as just why I believe, frankly, that the supposed principles of today's anti-war and progressive crowds are sound and fury, signifying nothing. Either killing civilians and bombing hospitals is universally wrong, or it isn't. Protest it when Russia does it for pure realpolitik reasons and do so consistently, or don't whine about American bombs killing doctors because all you care about is the American bombs, not the doctors.

The risk of invoking moral principles in politics is that they do not include built in "except in case of X' clauses. Either you oppose bombing hospitals, period, or you're just finding a good and indeed reprehensible and indefensible club to beat the USA over the head with, but the priority is attacking the United States, not the deeds American power actually did in the name of freedom, so-called.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/27/russia-bombs-hospitals-lefties-shrug.html
Godzilla, default

Speaking of the curious silence of the antiwar community:

http://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?idnews=2965

^As is no secret, the United States has spent the last eight years in open-ended expansion of military influence on the world's second largest continent. As per usual, there are the paens to highly moral causes, but reality is this:

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/World/America-Africa-Military-ties-grow-trade-lags/-/688340/2802248/-/15306mbz/-/index.html

American involvement here is almost entirely military. Sometimes, as with Ebola and fighting Boko Haram, there are clear good things out of it, but sometimes equally there's outright imperialism and serving as a counterweight to growing Chinese influence in a Neo-Great Game. If imperialism itself is the issue, not who perpetrates it, where are the 2002-scale crowds protesting it? Why is imperialism only a buzzword worth mentioning when it's Republicans talking about killing people in other countries to convert them to Christianity or the arrogant boasting of a pinhead like Trump? Why is the open expansion and use of military power for political goals not a major isssue if a Nobel Peace Prize winner does it?

Why is it that Europeans and people outside the USA swarmed streets in tens and hundreds of thousands only for a Bush but not a Clinton or an Obama? Why is it that an invasion of Iraq for open-ended goals was worth all this, but not the mass expansion of US military power on an entire continent? Could it possibly be that it's never been about the wars or the open-ended military expansion, but merely the person who did them and personal animosity motivated all that? I believe that's a fairly accurate verdict after seven years of Obama wars and diddly squat in the way of measurable protests or anything smacking of organized pacifist protests against US military power.

There are very few, if any, protests in Europe against Russian invasions of Ukraine, French threats to use nuclear weapons as a first response to terrorism, or Obama's expansion of US military influence on this scale. But there is that same tendency as in the anti-abortion movement to gussy up extremely specific and targeted partisan politics in sweeping moral statements. The cause of pacifism is not strengthened by adherents that only protest immoral and warmongering actions when a few individuals do them, it is revealed as a latter-day progressive version of beerhall demagoguery, no more and no less.