appreciation thread -- 9-11-06 - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-11-2006, 12:53 PM   #1
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appreciation thread -- 9-11-06

it's a shame how politicized 9-11 has become. one thing the left and the right (for lack of better phrases) can agree upon is that a way of life -- Western life, modern life, whatever you want to call it -- was attacked, among other things, on 9-11. while different people can argue about the best way to protect the US, our own culpability in the current state of the world that contributes to radicalism, as well as the worthiness and efficacy of various military adventrues, i think everyone can take a step back and be thankful that we live in a country where these things can be debated, where we can march in the streets and protest the manner in which the government believes is the best way to prosecute the war on terror, to live in a country where i can debate the political expediency of an intentionally vague phrase like the "war on terror."

while far from perfect, the freedoms we enjoy -- and when i say "we," i include what might be called "the West," but that's also woefully incomplete -- includes things as noble as democracy, women's sufferage, freedom of (and from) religion, as well as things not-so-noble such as pornography, alcohol, gambling, and naughty language on TV. you take the good with the bad, the objectionable with the commendable, because if Larry Flint can't print what he wants to print, then i cannot march in the streets. and it's safe to say that those who would fly airplanes into the towers are opposed to pornography and gay rights, as well as to freedom of religion and women's sufferage. Jews and gays are to be murdered, women to be subjugated, all relgions but one to be vanquished. the short comings of our own society are manifest, but i don't think we can yet equivocate (which is why we must never allow ourselves to stoop to the level of those who kill innocent civilians for joy, and why we must never use tactics upon them, like torture, that they would gleefully employ upon us ... vigilance).

so, to celebrate what we have, what was attacked, and what we are, ultimately, fighting for (however much we might debate the best ways to "fight" for such things), i'd love to hear a sort of "thanks-giving" from everyone -- it can be that you're happy that you can go to a movie and see a scantily clad Angelina Jolie, or that you are free to worship on Sunday in whatever manner you choose.

it's up to you. if we are to understand this as a war, what do you think is worth "fighting" for? (and i quote "fighting" because this war, imho, need not be "fought" with guns and ammo).

some things i think are worth "fighting" for:















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Old 09-11-2006, 10:35 PM   #2
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I agree all these freedoms are worth "fighting" for, I'm not sure they're worth killing civilians for; literal-self defense is something different from militarily promoting a particular set of political and cultural ideas abroad--I'm very grateful to be an American Jewish professor not an Iranian Jewish professor, but that difference isn't by itself a reason for aggression against Iran. And international terrorism doesn't endanger these freedoms per se--it can destabilize and it certainly kills, but it's not the same thing as an invasion or a coup. For most countries the biggest threats to these types of freedoms--if they have them--will come from within. National security does have to be weighed into this equation but in proportion to the nature and scope of the threat, which is mostly where politicization comes in. The right not to be murdered is, obviously, a necessary precondition for enjoying other rights, but that doesn't make other rights any less precious. And as trevster eloquently pointed out in the Limbaugh thread, there's more than one way to address the motivations to murder.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
I agree all these freedoms are worth "fighting" for, I'm not sure they're worth killing civilians for;


yes, of course -- i thought i had made it clear that what i meant by "fighting" need not include bombs, in fact, the best way to "fight" might be without guns, as Travester has elucidated in another post.

though, to branch out the question, what would you fight for, in the literal sense? besides basic self-preservation (and, by extention, one's family), is there anything you would use force to protect?

and while this might sound a little paranoid, in an islamic theocracy/restoration of the caliphate/Bin Laden wet dream, yolland, you and i are the first ones in the guillotine.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:06 PM   #4
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I am grateful that I have information available to me if I am willing to seek it out. I can read any book, see any work of art, hear any viewpoint without any retribution and without much effort. I'm grateful for a free press even if the press often doesn't behave very freely. I'm grateful for the ideals of our justice system, although I do not believe it always works according to that ideal.

I believe in the individual and at least we pay lip service to the individual. All those things are worth fighting for and there are fights to be fought every day--to make sure the reality lives up to the ideal. And there are hundreds of ways to fight for those things.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:31 PM   #5
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sorry if my above post comes off as too strong, i just wanted to be clear(er) that "fighting," as i intended for this thread, was more metaphorical than physical.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:45 PM   #6
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I understood where you were coming from, Irvine.

I think there are things worth fighting for--striving to stop harm from coming to others for example--even on the "physical" level.

writing while my students are working so can't post long. I've missed you guys!
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:03 AM   #7
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Yeah, I understood that you weren't necessarily advocating fighting in the military sense, I just thought the clarification warranted restating, given the way this question is often framed.

What would I fight for in the literal sense, besides basic self-preservation...that's a tough one, partly because "basic self-preservation" is to me bound up in things like, erm, your guillotine scenario, unless one considers choosing not to express one's political sentiments freely, choosing not to love whom one wants freely, choosing not to worship freely, etc., as acceptable alternatives to mass neck-chopping, which I wouldn't. So I guess you could say I would support fighting in the literal sense for these things (except in the case of religious or political speech intended to incite violence, which would undermine one of the the most fundamental reasons for supporting such freedoms). But what always unnerves me a bit about these "what's worth fighting for" questions is the tendency to conflate what's worth (literally) fighting for here with what's worth (literally) fighting for abroad; it's the same dilemma I would find in militarily imposing "democracy," I guess. I personally was comfortable extending the "basic self-preservation" principle to the invasion of Afghanistan, for example (though not to all aspects of how it was/is carried out)--but I wouldn't regard Taliban-era Afghanistan as a "typically" problematic Islamist state: it was a "terrorist harbor" on a pretty extreme scale; and while the Taliban were certainly also a savage regime in an internal sense, I'd have been, at best, awfully wary about invading Afghanistan purely on those grounds; I didn't view them as genocidal with regard to their domestic policy, for example...to cite one concern that I think should take a higher priority than others in considering when and where it's ultimately advisable to intervene.

What do you think legitimate grounds for fighting in the literal sense, both here and abroad, would be?
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We've missed you too...I just posted a comment on your blog a bit ago actually.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:49 AM   #8
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i never could feel free with a president that lie to manupulate because he wants to go to war,...and that is the biggest threat to western freedom.



I would fight for my freedom, i would make sacrefices for my country,...but not for hallliburton or the carilse group.
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland


We've missed you too...I just posted a comment on your blog a bit ago actually.
Awww thanks! I'll check it out!

I agree with your summation on "things worth fighting for." A lot of the values I would be willing to fight to protect here in America, I would not fight to foist upon people elsewhere. The concept that you don't force "right" upon people is a fundamental part of my faith. Those values of love, liberty etc must be chosen, not coerced.
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for this thread Irvine.



It certainly has its flaw but damnit I love the US and I love living here.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:25 AM   #11
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The problem I have with your argument Irvine, that you're defining the situation as black and white. Good versus evil.

I agree that freedom is worth fighting for, but you have to accept that the US in particlular is seen by many as a greedy, manipulative, self centred country, that thrives on the repression of others.

9-11 wasn't simply a good versus evil event, religion, politics, culture all contributed to it, and it's impossible to have just one without the others.

That's precisely where Bush went wrong in his "you're either with us or against us speech" on the war in terror.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ellay
The problem I have with your argument Irvine, that you're defining the situation as black and white. Good versus evil.

I agree that freedom is worth fighting for, but you have to accept that the US in particlular is seen by many as a greedy, manipulative, self centred country, that thrives on the repression of others.

9-11 wasn't simply a good versus evil event, religion, politics, culture all contributed to it, and it's impossible to have just one without the others.

That's precisely where Bush went wrong in his "you're either with us or against us speech" on the war in terror.


no, go back and re-read my initial post. the absolute last thing i've ever done on this board is see things in black-and-white, and i think you're taking my nationality and reading into my post things that aren't there, especially given the ultra-simplistic characterization you gave of the US, and not once did i use the phrase "good vs evil."

i'm talking about the UK too. and Australia. France, Germany, Japan, Belgium. and many others. countries where you are free to dissent, to mock, to be profane, to drink, to swear, to fuck, to eat unhealthy food, to buy pornography, to marry whomever you choose, to think God is a fantasy, to watch South Park, to draw cartoons depicting Allah . these are things that could never be done in any sort of theocracy that is dreamed of by people like Bin Laden. i don't think it's at all simplistic and black-and-white to remind ourselves of Bin Laden's stated goals. this is not the same thing as saying "they hate our freedom." what is, to my mind, simplistic and black-and-white thinking is equivocation between two competing sets of values. go and read about life under the Taliban, about the women stoned to death for adultery, about the gay men who were crushed by constructed walls in the soccer stadium.

look at the title of this thread -- appreciation. all i'm asking for, in my little multi-media fantasy of a thread, is for people who are able to access websites like this one, who can listen to U2, who can debate about politics and have the freedom to say something i find inane -- like, "9-11 was a jewish conspiracy/inside job" -- and for us to reflect upon this freedom, because not everyone can do this.

that's all i'm asking, and this is a million miles from the "freedom/terror" garbage that spews from Bush's mouth.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:35 AM   #13
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Ok fair enough.

(though actually, I didnt look at your nationality at all)
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Ok fair enough.

(though actually, I didnt look at your nationality at all)

thanks.

and sorry if i came off a little strong -- i dislike the "good vs. evil" mentality as much as you do.
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