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On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 07:48:29 -0400 nagy <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: >Colleagues, > > With the death of Dr. Kelly and the "Bill of Rights" >and even the BBC on the ropes, and most to scared to >offer even an opinion (except perhaps on sports), I think >the question should be how do we get and retain people >who will work actively. One thing I've found over some 35 years of volunteer works in various venues is that everyone has different interests and abilities, and yet can form a group which accomodates that and still moves towards the goal. Subcommittees are useful in this. The old BBS systems had conferences with special topic headings, and sometimes over lap or moving threads from one to another, such as between religions and philosophy. Perhaps the CASI list can evolve in a similar way, with subsections for media news, reports from the field, stats and records clearing house, publicity, politics, general discussion, etc.? The Iraq/peace movement should have access to organizational methods as good as the invaders. >Framed this way, it's hard to see hardliners if they care >about Iraqi chidren (and I certainly hope and believe >they do), object. Or is even the matter of effectiveness >and purpose to end the abomination against the people >of Iraq (in what everform, sanctions, bombs, or >occupation) taboo? Iraq as case in point: it is possible that some people have interest in defeating imperialism but little empathy for people or children. Others might be have pity but not be able to dwell on the suffering, but choose to work by accumulating facts or doing political analysis. Some can go there and be personally involved. Me, aside from other limitations, it would drive me crazy to be around people, especially children, mangled and in pain. I've already had nightmares just from hearing about it. > Are we to induge in the lethal fantasy that all that's >necessary in our perfect US/UK "democracies" is to lay >the facts on the table? If this nonsensical view had >merit, then the crisis would have ended more than a >decade ago. Quite right. It - the war of fog, propaganda -- is only part informational: the bulk is emotional, prejudicial, and belief oriented. We must be careful, however, and take human psychology into account. Millions of people will be transfixed by the story of a one little girl gone missing or trapped in a mineshaft, and totally ignore thousands of children roasted in war. It's not just a question of "one of us or one of them", but of the way the mind gravitates towards symbolic representation, which can be moderated, but avoids the overburdening hell of carnage. This is what turns so many soldiers into basket cases -- destroys their lives. > Is it possible that there is a lack of empathy and >perhaps sneering at those of us who have had our careers >ruined if not severely compromised by our work on Iraq? > Must we die (or me made dead) before, it becomes >legitimate to raise these issues? I think not. We must remember, however, that we each form our own personal realities, and prioritize thoughts according to our specific makeup and circumstances. Real, universal empathy, would drive anyone insane, or kill them outright. Tolerance for *great* empathy seems to me to be one criteria for "sainthood" -- the ability to endure the real knowledge of the suffering of others. It is not for the average person. Yet, the average person can do some part in the work, and even then must often struggle to endure the strain of reaching out. For many in the US, even acknowledging the horror of the current administration and the evil behind it is too painful to accept, and elicits great anger. One might find more resentment towards the peace worker as the facts emerge, and people are forced to confront them, than before the war when we could be dismissed as weirdos. They don't want to know the truth -- it's too disruptive to their small comfortable world. They are like children, intellectually and emotionally -- never properly grown up -- and are traumatized by it. I was once involved in combatting scandalous corruption in a childrens' organization, and we continuously complained to other adult memebers of it. Some years later, when the bad guys were gone -- kicked upstairs -- the struggle was mentioned at a get together and several "ostriches", heads just emerging from the sand a bit, asked why they were never told about it at the time! Why is it so hard to tell Americans that *their* government's policies are killing thousands of people -- children -- through slow torture? If they accepted the truth of it, what unpleasant things would they be compelled by conscience to do? Easier not to hear it. For a message to be heard (by most people) -- to have propaganda or anti-propaganda value -- it must be something that people have a motive for accepting into their awareness. Sometimes it can be "I know something most people don't", but "I know something terrible which most don't, and I can't do anything about it" is painful, frustrating -- maybe destructive. ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today! _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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