Monday, March 21, 2011

Dead Air: Now with more warfare

I haven't been too sure about what I should write.

Except for this: My apologies to the rest of the world for American interventionism run berserk, once again. We are now at war with THREE countries simultaneously! President Hopey-Changey seems intent upon rivaling Ronald Reagan with his imperialist war credentials. Nobel peace prize, HA HA HA!

I am sick over our newest military adventure in Libya and just wanted to go on record as officially saying so.

Alas, as poor children die of no transplanted kidneys and various curable cancers at home, The United States of Amurrica spends big bucks bombing... who? Why? What for? Huh?

As I said, I am sick over it.

Your opinions?

PS: President Hopey-Changey (PHC for short) comes courtesy of Larry at LOTUS.


JoJo said...

AGREED!!!! AGREED AGREED AGREED!!!!! Thank you so much for saying it so succinctly. Enough is enough.

D. said...

No, I'm too mad, heartsick, and associating my country with a rogue elephant.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Ditto what D and JoJo said.
Bombs cost a lot of money and somebody makes and sells them.
That is the true crime against the planet. BAE Systems is one of these evil organisations and is aligned with Honeywell corp. just sayin.
Peace and love ...

Ann O'Dyne said...

at the Wikipedia I found:
"In September 1990, Honeywell spun off most of its military contracts business and formed a new company Alliant Techsystems. At the time, corporate spokespeople dismissed the notion that the Honeywell Project's activities had any part in their decision to do this. Honeywell Project activists disagreed.
Some of the activists that once worked on the campaign against Honeywell, and others, are now involved in AlliantACTION a similar group that currently conducts weekly vigils outside of Alliant Techsystems' headquarters in Edina, Minnesota and has since 1996."

Blue Heron said...

I can't really agree or disagree because there are consequences for doing nothing. Gaddafi has been systematically wiping out the opposition the last two weeks, including attacks by air. To do nothing is to allow him to exterminate the popular uprising, both literally and figuratively.

Now there are not a lot of test cases for arab democracies. The results in Gaza have not been too great. Whatever supplants the monarchs and dictators will probably be a more strident islamic fundamentalist regime, like we witnessed after the fall of the Shah.

Be that as it may, people are trying to throw off the yoke of oppression. The question is if there is indeed a moral consequence in doing nothing, a la Neville Chamberlin or Pat Buchanan or a host of other isolationists.

Of course the Arab League is now poo pooing the attacks because there have been 20 civilian deaths, in their estimation. Unfortunately the Arab League has always been an ineffectual force and has never shown an ability to police themselves or the region.

I don't have a horse in the race. In some ways I could care less. But let us be clear at the price of inaction will be. Without resistance, the unarmed uprising will be grist in the Colonel's mill. Are all you folks cool with that?

Or is it easier to just frame this as the U.S. war machine once again terrorizing the world?

LarryE said...

What follows is both incomplete and somewhat garbled but I'm going to say it now anyway, just to have it said.

While it's easy to understand Blue Heron's underlying frustration (both doing something and doing nothing have consequences) and thus the desire to "care less," the fact is when faced with that choice you don't get to opt out. You have to accept that, as s/he says, either way has consequences and then make the choice you think is best.

Disapproving of death by creating more of it rarely if ever seems a good course to me. The fact that "their" side always "kills civilians" while "our" side "inflicts collateral damage" with the accompanying impression that those killed on "our" side are somehow deader than those killed on "their" side only, at least to me, emphasizes that rarity.

There is already too much death in the world. I don't want to see us add to it.

LarryE said...

Oh and Daisy: Thanks for the link. :-)

Blue Heron said...

Larry, I don't think your message is garbled at all, in fact it's pretty cogent. Please don't misunderstand what I am saying about collateral damage. Innocent deaths are innocent deaths, no matter what or why, they are terrible and regrettable. Having said that, I think that the air mission has been about as surgical as possible, principally wiping out command and control sites. My friend Shawn sent me this link David Cenciotti's weblog
which seems pretty comprehensive.

I abhor violence and killing as well but let's take this down to the micro. If an armed robber attacked the little old lady in the house next door, would you turn up your television so as not to hear her screaming because you don't want to contribute to the cycle of violence? Of course you wouldn't.

What is different when a Saddam Hussein decides to gas the Kurds or a Gaddafi starts wiping out his largely helpless people?

I took this issue up on my website yesterday if I may be so bold, Daisy.

Over hill, over dale...

Dave Dubya said...

As a multinational corporatist empire we must involve our country in every conflict, it seems. The tragedy is in the Libyan military siding with the dictator. It will get ugly unless this can be changed.

On another note:

Last Friday Google took down my blog without notice.

Talk about a Kafkaesque experience. No warning, no explanation, no accusation even. I guess a lot of blogger world goes down because of misidentification as spammers. They also have a very Kafkaesque system of hoops and loops to jump through for a review.

I get a sick sense of foreshadowing from this that all politically incorrect blogs and information sources may meet the same fate when net neutrality is lost and corporatist government clamps down.

I'll take my elsewhere; Wordpress looks pretty good in comparison. I'm glad I saved all my posts and links.

Jim said...

People in that country were begging us - somebody, anybody - to do it. It's on the order of intervening in Darfur. This is on the order of taking your shotgun next door to stop an episode of DV - and just as likely to end in tears.

So I am definitely of two minds on this.

"Bombs cost a lot of money and somebody makes and sells them.
That is the true crime against the planet."

Depends on how many humans it takes off the planet, not to put too fine a point on it - we have become a weed species. Sometimes you lok at the devastation people's goats and wood cutting and soybean plantations have done to forests and you think landmines are the planet's only hope. That's morally abhorrent, but the planet doesn't care about human morality.

LarryE said...

I dunno if this will come up as a double post; if it does, I apologize. But it seems to have disappeared so I'm trying again.

Blue Heron -

This, I think we'll agree, isn't the place to debate this but the one thing I do have to say here is that I do not accept the validity of your ever-present "little old lady next door" analogy, which attempts to equate restraining a robber with cruise missiles, bombs, and strafing runs as if the difference was merely a matter of scale.

And by "ever-present" I mean just that: In the '60s, Joan Baez labeled it the "What would you do if" argument and over 100 years ago Leo Tolstoy recounted a discussion with William Jennings Bryan in which Bryan "as usual brought forward the argument of the
brigand who kills or violates a child." Note particularly the phrase "as usual." It was a cliche even then.

If the intervention is to be justified, it must be done on the basis of the real forces involved and their real effects on real people, not on cliches about "the little old lady next door."

Blue Heron said...

Larry, it is precisely only a matter of scale. The little old lady being attacked, the unarmed citizenry, it is only scale. The underlying moral calculus remains the same.

Why don't you look at the effects of doing nothing on "real" people. Our government is on record saying no civilians have been killed collaterally, how the hell would I know? I believe that they have tried to be as precise as possible.

But if it a manner of intervening in a Darfur, Tripoli, Cambodia or even the Warsaw ghetto to save innocents from slaughter, I believe I know where I stand. And where you stand.

LarryE said...

BH -

Actually, you have no idea where I stand except as an implied stand about Libya.

I'm sorry that you found it so difficult to avoid passing judgment on me over what I thought was a discussion about the moral dilemma involved in a situation where both doing something and not doing something have consequences and how to find a way to resolve that dilemma.

So this is my last on this: Anyone who insists that the difference between tackling, arresting, or otherwise restraining someone and blowing away as yet unknown numbers of people with bombs and bullets is "precisely only a matter of scale" rather than of kind is really not in a position to judge someone else's "moral calculus."

Blue Heron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Heron said...

Sorry, Typo.

Larry, here is what I think is my last word.

I find it interesting that you have reframed my hypothetical regarding the lady next door being attacked so that it fits in with your nonviolent precepts. The attacker is now "restrained, tackled and subdued." For the sake of argument, let's put Richard Speck at her door with an icepick or any other violent predator that is all to common on our streets these days. If you really want to stop her attacker, unfortunately you may have to employ violence to do it, as nasty as it sounds.

Or shall we give him a dissertation on Ghandi or the boddhisatva's vow regarding sentient beings while he dismembers granny?

My own grandmother was one of two sisters that made it out of her shtetl in Poland alive, Wyzkov, out of nine that perished in the ovens at Auschwitz. It would have been nice if someone had stepped in to help avert the slaughter of the other 4 million or so jews who died in Poland.

I have read your website, or the link that was up the other day that espouses nonviolence. Have you ever tested your theories in real life?

Unfortunately we live in a world full of predators. It's not the parking lot at a Phish concert. Whether it is the poor woman next door or a defenseless people, sometimes we have to rise up and stop the big bad wolf. Or we can kick back and just watch it all go down.

I still don't understand why you think that the hypothetical is an old tired cliche, the corollary between helping somebody being terrorized in your microcosmic world and the world at large and I guess I never will..

LarryE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarryE said...

Deleted and re-written because it occurred to me I could make it clearer.

BH -

This is just for clarification on a single point: my rejection of the "little old lady next door/abused child" analogy. My intent is to make my reasons clear rather than to argue it further.

The reason you "still don't understand" why I reject it is that you persist in thinking of, for example, a billy club and a bomb as separated only by degree, which somehow - speaking of things I'll never understand - leads you to equate "tackling, arresting, or otherwise restraining" someone not only with not engaging in any degree of violence but with standing by and doing nothing as a "predator" "dismembers granny."

But the fact is, to continue my billy club vs. bomb comparison, the perp who is clubbed is still alive. The perp who is bombed is not: They are dead. They are not simply less alive. They are dead. The difference is qualitative, not merely quantitative; the difference is not one of scale, it is fundamental.

That is why I do not accept the "attacked granny" analogy to justify military actions: It is a false one that depends on regarding the difference between life and death as simply a matter of degree. If military force is to be justified, it must be done as military force, not as merely (and falsely) a large-scale version of defending "granny."

BTW, I don't know what "link that espouses nonviolence" you mean. I address the issue rarely; in fact, I often think I don't write about it as much as I should. Or did you just mean the link to my blog found on my comment here?

Blue Heron said...

Larry, that may have been it. I am not going back to the link, my memory tells me that the page was brown, I seem to recall some reference to a group of like minded individuals who espouse non violence, a laudable aim.

I once again must point out that we may have to kill the "perp", the billy club might not do the job. It is not always as clean and hygienic as one would hope.

And neither is a situation where a dictator strafes his own people with fighter jets. Basic human atavistic response mechanism to want to help people getting bullied.

Cheers, I am done. Never the twain shall meet.

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

Yes'm. Nevertheless, you know why we have this retarded war, don'cha? Greed and control. Control and greed. And the stanky, puppet prez, BO, doesn't do a #@!! thing about it. In fact, he approves. It ain't about HIM, necessarily; he's just the lower rung on the totem pole. There's THOUSANDS of hidden and subversive people on the OTHER side (and higher) of Barack's teleprompter. Forget'm, girl. Fuck'm. They cannot be helped; they have their sights set on the Abyss o'Misery. What we need to do now, girl, is literally riseabove in thy spirit. And I believe I have the key: just accept God if you haven't already done so, and repent. Then, Ta-Da!! You'll join me for my BIG-ol party-hardy where we'll play a whole lotta gobbsa Greatfull Dead at my BIG @$$ party-hardy in Heaven. WonderFULL. Deee-licious. Magnificent. BeautiFULL. Love you, girl. Be at peace. Meet me Upstairs, girl, where I'll definitely kiss thy adorable feet forever.