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Re: [casi] Baathists in a twist

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

In a message dated 05/31/2002 8:18:02 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:
This email is primarily for the 'babiltrading' so the rest of you are
certainly free to ignore my peaceful drivel.

> I don't need to mention the wars which
> have led to millions of deaths (yes millions, remember?), or the genocide
> and the countless cases of human rights abuses, executions, expulsions and
> 'total town-destructions' (I don't even think there's a word in the
> dictionary to describe it) because you already know about it. Do you
> seriously think that something like this is occurring "inside the borders"
> of "every other country"? I don't know whether to laugh or to cry if you
> really believe that, honestly.
If your asking me if I believe the email that I myself wrote, well, yes I do.
 Actually what I wrote is: ""I have no doubt that things occur within the
borders of Iraq, as well as EVERY other country that are offensive to most of
us.""  Since I did not write a laundry list like the one above, you perhaps
have taken my words, added words of your own, and constructed a thought which
was conducive to your own goals and perhaps did not reflect the original
intent of the individual who wrote them.

Of course bringing up Hitler is a way of clouding the discussion, introducing
non-relevant issues, and something that is often "resorted' to.

For the sake of Clarity, what I said was that violence to prevent (or end)
violence is wrongheaded thinking.  It involves the prioritization of the
value of one persons life in favor of anothers'.  The value of one person
OVER another.  I believe that this is arrogant and leads to more violence.  I
believe that perhaps if we were to try to end violence with nonviolence, then
just perhaps over time we could.

Since in both scenarios people will die, in my mind it makes more sense to
stay true to oneself and not perpetuate the violence by ones own hands, but
perpetuate the ideal of nonaggression, nonviolence.  Over time, perhaps those
that do violence will come to learn from the lack of aggression of the other
while popular support wanes due to the poignancy of the peaceful who are
dying at the hands of the violent.  Perhaps people who hold the guns will
become so disgusted with the actions that they do to the of noncombatants who
simply die, that they will point their guns down and stop the violence.  Or
perhaps we will all together slip into barbarism.  Nevertheless, if I have a
choice, which I do, I will not partake of violence and if it someday costs my
life then at least it will be an example for others to follow.

I have tried this many times in my life and in all cases ultimately the
violence ended I walked away and those who observed applauded my  peaceful
stance, in all cases.  And of course as I mopped the blood from my face I
could look myself in the mirror and recognize the man that I am and not the
animal that I would otherwise have become.

As to the atrocities that occur in other, many, most, countries, yes of
course horrible things occur everywhere.  In my own lovely democracy, do you
think my government hasn't marginalized millions based on social race and
socioeconomic status?  Do you think they did not murder millions within the
borders of this land, both black and red and yellow and brown and the poor
white?  Do you not know of the executions of men women and even teens through
our judicial system?  Do you not know of the medical and biological
experiments conducted unbeknownst to those who were experimented on?  Do you
not know of entire towns destroyed in favor of "economic development" for the
few  over the lives of the many?  Have you not heard of neo-liberal economic
models which marginalize and even kill millions throughout Asia,
Latin-America, and Africa in favor of the few?  Do you not know of a 400
billion dollar annual military budget that destroys millions of humans all
over the world in favor of the few. Have you forgotten Vietnam, Korea,
Somalia, Congo, South Africa, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nicaragua, El
Salvador, Haiti, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, and of course the
list goes on and on and on.  Do you seriously believe that Saddam can match
the USA for its destructive power and millions upon millions of murders!!??
Have you forgotten all you ever learned??

If you choose to cry over what I believe or do not believe, well, that is
your choice.  I choose to cry for the 30000 children who will die today of
hunger and hunger related illnesses.  I choose to cry today for the countless
who will step on hidden land mines and be maimed or die.  I choose to cry
today for the countless who will die from DU and the unknown effects of the
many choices made relating to the irresponsible use of these sorts of
materials in power plants etc.  I cry for the foreign economies, and
therefore the humans, who will be strangled into poverty and even death, by
the West, so that my neighbors can drive 3 ton SUV's getting 10 mpg and
spewing pollution into the air we all breath. The destruction of species, the
destruction of ecosystems, the senseless quest for personal wealth at any
cost, etc. etc. etc.
And so it goes...
Peacefully yours.

Roger Stroope
Peace is a Human Right
Austin College

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