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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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the high road

I've been thinking about what what an astounding example it would set for the Middle East if we didn't retaliate. Far from demonstrating our weakness, it would set us far above the world stage in progressiveness, tolerance, and respect. Respect for humanity, overall: only the strongest moral fibre could permit a nation like the United States not to spill more blood in return for its own. Imagine what kind of bargaining chip that would be in the Middle East conflict in general.

That response might be too progressive, though. Unless one makes a conscious decision to change their behaviour from their own norm, they most often go ahead and do what you thought they were going to do in the end. Things usually end up going the way you think they will.

There's nothing wrong with that either, though. If the US starts a war against Afghanistan, then that's obviously what they were meant to do. Rather, it's what they will be doing, and there's not much you can do to stop something once it's underway. Not anything with as much momentum as this war is going to have, anyway.

I'm really thankful for the place in which I live. It's a smaller center, with only about 300 thousand people when you include all of the broadest outlying communities. In the grand scheme of things, it has not been subject to too many crazy events like what happened last week. We did have that tremendous explosion here about 80 years ago, but that's pretty far in the past, now. I'm not under the illusion that we're immune to something like this, but I do feel pretty safe living here.

I hope everyone's doing well today.

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lightmare September 16th, 2001
I was just having a similar discussion with my friend a few days ago.. what kind of precedent, what kind of example would be set if the US took a stand and in front of the whole world, issued a statement of forgiveness...

and put the issue of fighting international terrorism into the hands it belongs... UN.

I would definitely be surprised.. but a delightful sort.


iamom September 16th, 2001
I can appreciate where you're going, there. Perhaps we could all do with a certain shift of priority.

searby September 16th, 2001
"I'm not under the illusion that we're immune to something like this, but I do feel pretty safe living here."
relatively safe for now
but what if the terrorists find ebola?
I always struggle with repsond/don't repsond.
it's a tough one.
I wonder what would have happened if England had not stood against the Nazis in '39 . . . .
each day as it comes, maybe . . .


iamom September 16th, 2001
Excellent comments Dave, thanks for sharing them here. I hadn't thought about something like ebola; that's the kind of thing that could affect a lot more people than isolated bombings or the like.

each day as it comes
Yeah. Just watching each moment come, pass through us, fall behind.

vyoma September 16th, 2001
The Nazis could only come to power because the allies humiliated and emasculated Germany after World War I. If they had instead gone in and helped to rebuild it, Hitler would never have ascended. This is a very good parallel in terms of what's happening now.

As far as ebola, its not a very useful bug. Its too hard to spread and too unstable outside of controlled conditions. There are rumors circulating amongst defense experts that terrorist organizations may already have stockpiles of anthrax and smallpox, however. Its been suggested that they may have gotten hold of an aerosol smallpox capable of surviving extreme heat, and in fact samples from the attack sites are already being tested for its presence.


searby September 16th, 2001
no, missing the point
good and bad in history all the time,
but it's what you decide to do when a watershed demanding your attention arrives, respond or not?
having a good historical analysis is worthwhile but may not help you decide what to do, when push come to shove.

ebola seemed to be very virulent in Africa and a variant of it killed six Swiss research workers in a building supposed to be safe. but it was the principle I was establishing. America was surprised by recent events, i hope it does not get surprised again.

vyoma September 16th, 2001
Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it, and that's exactly what we're doing now. My point is that we should have learned from the World War era that the kinds of policies we've held in regard to the Middle East don't work because they didn't work 60+ years ago. We should have learned from our spectacular failure in the embargo of Cuba that an embargo against Iraq wouldn't work.

You don't wait for a critica situation to decide what to do, you plan in advance to avert the situation before it becomes critical, and you do that by looking at historical precedents. It doesn't even matter whether the situation is one involving world politics; the principle applies to every aspect of life, individual or otherwise. Any governing body that can't learn from the past in order to assure the future is one that simply isn't doing its job in representing the best interests of the governed.

In a nutshell, we've had a series of stupid regimes in the US that couldn't learn from history and made the same mistakes that were made in the early part of this century. So now, having failed to learn from the past, we prepare to repeat it.


searby September 16th, 2001
don't get me wrong, I do believe in learning from the past. but no matter how good your analysis is, nonetheless, you may have decide whether to particiapte or not. if I was a young man back in '39, even tho I bitterly resented the failure of the allies to resolve Germanys' problems and was sympathetic to the conscientious objectors movement, there is also a very real and pressing problem of an imminent invasion by Germany. do I want the Nazis walking down my street? do i want my kids to have to learn German? this is really my point. my Dad, my Grandad and my uncles faced this decision. you in america are not in that position yet, but how far away might it be? Bin Laden (or whoever) has escalated this situation far indeed. that was my thing about ebola, ot whatever virus, how far and how quick is the next escalation???????? yes, i agree 100%, let's learn from history, but my addendum is, be prepared for ALL the demands history might place on you as an invdividual.

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