Wednesday, April 18, 2007


David had a post a while back concerning Darfur and the Genocide that is going on there. As I recall, David had asked his friends to write about this real time atrocity. I know little about Darfur, but if you have not noticed I have lately been studying War.

What I have learned so far is that when men resort to guns, reason has been suspended. I don't know how you bring reason back into the equation, but clearly this is the challenge.
In Americas Civil War, the answer was more guns, and quickly too, because huge armies were engaged. The dissolution of the Union was unthinkable and Slavery had been sleeping underneath the table since the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the Constitution.
Germany had to be decimated. Germany had to be executed. I think there is a real distinction between WW11 and the wars we have inflicted since.
Korea.Vietman. Bosnia. Nicaraugua.
Somalia and Rwanda. My nephew Dave was in Somalia.
What were the answers there? Was America a good influence?
When shall we know when all that is left is a "Military Solution"?

I depend on the Frontline programs for objective coverage and analysis of the issues facing this country.
Sunday night Frontline began an 11 part series called “America at a Crossroads”. As always it has surpassed my expectations.

“America at a Crossroads is a major public television event premiering on PBS in April 2007 that explores the challenges confronting the post-9/11 world — including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops serving abroad; the struggle for balance within the Muslim world; and global perspectives on America’s role overseas.
Aimed at creating a national dialogue surrounding the crucial issues explored in the series, an extensive media and outreach campaign in more than 25 communities accompanies the series. The campaign features screening events with the filmmakers and their subjects in discussions with United States military personnel, leading policy experts, leaders of the Islamic community, scholars from across the country as well as members of the public. Integrated Web and educational initiatives further extend the campaign.”

Part Four featured the writings of the soldiers that have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. I enjoyed that very much.
Last night they had Richard Perle as a host for ‘The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom”. My impression was that in stating his case he damned his position.

In typical Frontline fashion they are presenting all positions relevant to the issues. Their goal is to inform and explore.
If you have not been able to see any of the programs take a look at the website devoted to their project.
Tonighes Episode’s are “Europe’s 9/11” and “The Muslim Americans”

From part 1 “Jihad: The men and Ideas behind Al QeadaQuestion" and their on-line discussion group:

#1 Discuss the differences between the historical religious meaning of jihad and Osama bin Laden’s interpretation of this term. What can the United States and its allies do to help counter bin Laden’s use of the term to recruit young men to jihad?

I like the word "counter".


Annelisa said...

I reckon, if an alien race set up camp on the moon or Mars, it wouldn't be long before we all realised that, although we have different cultures, we are more alike than we can possibly know. It's only when someone/thing different is there to compare against that we (as races/ nations/ individuals) find our own place. This, I believe, is part of the 'boundary theory' where we use others, good and bad, to create boundaries round ourselves that we recognise. Anything that is outwith these boundaries is a threat... hence war.

...oh, and there's greed of course... :-(

Barbara said...

That's a tough challenge since hatred of the United States and Israel, among others, is taught to children in many of these countries from a young age on. I think the best thing that we as individuals can do is offer people in these countries another view by virtue of our Blogs. Perhaps if they understand that we are not bad people they will be less likely to declare a holy war on us.

steve said...

annelisa-welcome back- what you're saying is kinda like the idea that when we go to fight the Terrorits and free Iraq we become terrorists ourselves? i can see that.
barbara-I find it pretty incredible that 3 religions with the same roots are responsible for so many wars.That God would ahve us pick the True Relgion by Faith seems a sloppy way to run a universe.

steve said...

there is a Google map of what is happening in Darfur..its paints a pretty powerful picture of what is happening there. If anyone were to want to see it I am sure they could find it.

David said...

"When shall we know when all that is left is a "Military Solution"?" This is a great question and the $64000 question at that. When is a war necessary and just? I think we can safely say that Iraq was neither and WWII was both.

Google Earth and The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum(USHMM) teamed up to product this amazing piece of geographic software. You need to download GoogleEarth (google for it), install it and then go to the USHMM web site and download the Darfur layers.

Great post, Steve.

Annelisa said...

I must admit, I thought the speed that some countries jumped in to 'squash the terrorists' would have achieved an olympic medal, if such thing existed...

Hey, maybe there should be 'World Achievement Awards' - the competition might make these certain countries pull in line, and maybe even work at putting the world to rights. Should we promote the award? An annual People's award for:

'Country who's most improved pollution control'

'Country who is involved in the least wars'

'Country who has promoted most peace issues'

etc... Hey, maybe that could be a good post for peaceglobe day.... :-)

Old Lady said...

Trace all wars back to their origin and you will find that somebody wanted something someone else had and they took it, by any means necessary.