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I really have no argument with what you said here, especially when it comes to the simplistic portrayal found in Mr. Bush's speeches. You put things very well.
As for the press, I am much aware of the problem you bring up. You may be interested in knowing that Bill Moyers has devoted quite a few PBS shows on the issue. And there is also at least one item about it somewhere in the Fleabyte archive. Obviously, I haven't got the capacity to deal with all those urgent things no matter how much deserving of attention. Needed are processes for eliminating redundancy and digestion while maintaining impartial editorial integrity. (A look at www.fleabyte.org shows that I pretty well have given up. What stops me from formally closing shop is that it is such a final act.)
As said before, I have personally difficulty accepting that helping the Iraqi people plays a big role in the Administration's motivation, but am glad to see that it may turn out to be a side benefit. Or it may not be when one considers the ethnic and religious mixes in the country. Moreover, I have my doubts about a direct Irac-Al Qaeda link - but no doubt about transfer of terrorist ideology and means.
I just again realized that there is another factor to be taken into account: that the international community is inheriting sons of despots in various countries who are raised as sadists. Leaving things alone promises to make matters even worse eventually, especially so in Iraq and in North Korea.
I hear it repeated and repeated: There are better ways. What I don't hear is an example of such a better way.
Well, what else can I say?
Gary Richmond wrote:
While you and Jack are no doubt correct that sloganeering
is wholly inadequate in the world-historic matter under consider-
ation, I would remind you that I did not post a
slogan (though I mentioned that a portion of it was used as a
slogan at the NYC peace march on Sunday), but rather a
brief quotation. This elicited your initial response, John
Sechrest's on naming a pattern, my brief quotation of
Santayana's on the importance of learning the lessons of
history, your discussion suggesting that this lesson could be argued
from both sides, Jack's in support of your opposition to slogans
and for the promotion of education as a more adequate tool, and
this recent extension-emendation of your earlier pro-military comments
which I am now responding to. This seems to me to have been valuable.
A peace march or rally is no place--and there is no time--
for complex argumentation. Yet the people I spoke with at
and, especially, after the NYC march had each his/her own arguments
for opposing the war (including one fellow who said we had it all wrong,
that this was an invasion, not a war, since Iraq has antiquated
weapons in line with it's 3 billion dollar defense budget as opposed
to our 300 billion dollar budget for "smart missiles" and other high
tech war devices) Many of the arguments I heard in Washington
Square Park in NYC's Greenwich Village seemed to me based on
not inconsiderable reading and critical thinking in the matter (there
were rational arguments behind the slogans).
But who's been doing the major sloganeering? Bush has been
throwing us simple phrases like "Weapons of mass destruction" (it is we
who possess them; our own government reports have suggested that it would
take under optimal conditions 10+ years for Iraq to have that capability) or
"Axis of Evil"; and simplistic notions like, terrorism would be lessened by
a war in Iraq (whereas a recent CIA report has made it clear that terrorism
is likely to increase because of war); and "misdirections" which has led
40% of America to imagine that Iraq was implicated in the 9/11 horror (whereas
most of the participants were from Saudi Arabia, with whom we maintain very
cordial relations--we need their oil), or that Saddam Hussain has direct ties
to Al-Queda (none have been shown according to the government releases
I've seen), etc. Meanwhile, the war is expected to cost from $60 billion to
$100,000,000,000 dollars, and this doesn't even included the costs of
rebuilding Iraq. And we are not see as friendly in the world at large. This
is not even a "pre-emptive" strike (where we attack the enemy who is prepare
to attack us before he attacks us), but a "preventative" one (--so that the
enemy would not be able to develop the capacity to war against us)--history has
not look kindly on such wars, it was recently noted in the NY Times).
But more importantly, why should we believe the Bushites in this matter (says
the world) any more than we do in other matters when, for example,
they have withdrawn the US from all important international ecological
agreements (esp. the Kyoto protocols), have thumbed their nose at international
law, etc., etc. And why should I as an American trust an administration (a mere
couple of years old and barely "elected") which is wrecking havoc on the economy?
Meanwhile, recent books like Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? and Herbert
J. Jens' Democracy and the News are showing the "liberal media" to be a myth.
For the most part, the media is in the pockets of corporate American and
the right. I would think that you, Henry, would be keenly sensitive to this.
Nevertheless, I completely agree with you and Jack as to the solution, namely, to complete
the revolution that Doug Engelbart began, and to educate "us all" in a way that
can lead to the evolution of consciousness that all men and women of good will
desire and the subsequent benefits to the planet.
Henry, I have only the greatest respect for you (whom I know only by reputation)
and Jack (who I met at ICCS01 at Stanford, and who I have quoted in my critical thinking
classes). So I hope you realize that I am "agreeing to disagree" with you in this matter.
Let us all work together towards the fulfillment of Doug's dream.
Henry K van Eyken wrote:Jack. Thank you for your supporting comments. Relevant to DKR/OHS (and potential ancillary softwares), I should add that the "overview" in my previous post is far from complete and that, in balance, the sentiments I expressed in favor of the military actions underway may well be offset by other factors. For example, I overlooked that 60 % of Iraqis are Shi-ite and, hence, ideologically strongly linked to Iran. A newly "democratic" Iraq may well develop a strong fundamentalist tilt that then will reinforce Iran's. The now so despised French premier, Jaques Chirac, is likely quite right in being concerned about the effect of the war and a subsequent imposition of a Western-controlled regime in Iraq on such Muslim intelligentia as a highly political and activist clergy. (In the meantime, the incoming leaders of Iraq are, it appears. not taking too kindly to a long Coalition presence in their country.) Thinking now about DKR/OHS, it must spawn tools that permit public assessment of the potentials of alternative policies, and Earthlings must learn to efficiently avail themselves of those tools. We have a long, long way to go. Henry On Sun, 2003-03-23 at 17:28, Jack Park wrote:At 01:51 PM 3/23/2003, Henry K. van Eiken wrote:A thing that troubles me is how to shift paradigms that are tied to nationalism and national/tribal histories and existing throughout the world to ones that may be felt among the entire world community, i.e. to paradigms tied to a chronology of progress in thinking on a world-community scale. This calls for an education and media that inculcate in all of us across the globe an understanding of cultural backgrounds worldwide and a learning from them - a tall order for education and media.These words, coming from a man who lived his childhood in a nation occupied by invaders who were given to sending his neighbors on "vacations", strike me as terribly profound, important, and otherwise central to all of the discussions going on around the world at this time. I cannot agree more strongly with the notion that, no matter what we do in the future, we must find a way to work our way around those issues which have, as their roots, tribal behaviors. I'd like to think that the factory-based education systems that most developed nations use would or could be found to be adequate for the job; it is my opinion that they are not so, and that, as appropriate to this discussion's occurrence as part of Douglas Engelbart's Unfinished Revolution, it is more than past time to think about the OHS/DKR paradigm in terms of augmentation, indeed, revolution in education as suggested by Henry. Slogans will never be enough. Jack --------------------------------------------------------------------------- XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web. Addison-Wesley. Jack Park, Editor. Sam Hunting, Technical Editor Build smarter kids globally to reduce the need for smarter bombs.