[thechat] What can WE do?

Bill bhaenel at twcny.rr.com
Thu Sep 20 19:56:03 CDT 2001

> >There will always be an 'us' and a 'them'. Pick your side, but know that
> >you'll be on one or the other.
> I disagree. There is only 'them' when we fail to see a common humanity
> in other people.

I understand what you're trying to say, but I must in turn disagree with
you. If it were even possible for us to all be on the same team (so to
speak), I would agree with this. Seeing a common humanity in each other
would indeed bring us together. I guess what I am suggesting is that it may
be actually impossible. Assume for a moment that we did all learn to "see a
common humanity in other people". Now I ask you to stretch a bit: assume
then that we are visited by beings from some other galaxy. Are we on their
team, also? Or are we on our team. Will we embrace them as brothers and
sisters, even if they come armed to attack us?

> And I certainly disagree into turning members of 'us'
> into 'them' (The Taliban were 'us'. The Afghan people were most
> definitely 'us'). And it sickens my stomach when people call for
> *exactly* the kind of attack on other people which we saw last
> week.

I hope that what you're hearing is just well-meaning politicians trying to
muster some togetherness amongst their countrymen as a first step. I hope
that it stops soon. I think it will. Rumsfeld said today that our objective
will be to fight the ones who have committed the crime without harming
innocents. Yes, an American politician said that!

> Calling for indiscrimate bombing which doesn't care whether
> or not it kills the innocent (and remember that US and UK
> jurisprudence defines this as 'until proven guilty to the
> standard of beyond reasonable doubt') makes you a supporter
> of murderous terrorism, whether you live in Baghdad, Peshawar
> or Shitsville, Idaho.

Haven't heard anyone seriously give the directive to do so...don't think
they will. They (president, etc.) are not stupid, just angry. I'm already
hearing some toning down of the initial response, and hey - they're renaming
"Infinite Justice"! What a joke - Apparently there was concern that
religious groups would be offended that the US would suggest that we could
enforce Infinite Justice, when obviously only God can do so. I thought it
was a bit absurd without even thinking of God. How egotistical! How full of

> Human life is equally precious in Kabul as it is in Manhattan.
> Selective grief is despicable.


> >I personally wonder if this is even possible. Should I just accept that
> >humans will kill each other and die for each other forever and ever?
> Solzhenitzin had a good insight into that: "Let the lie come into the
> world, but let it not come through me."

Thanks for this, Martin. It's meant more to me in finding answers lately
than anything.


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