Clash of civilizations between the ears?

Devadatta

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So far it’s turned out that the London bombers were Muslims but born and raised in Britain and Western-educated. The 9/11 hi-jackers were also Western-educated. The primary reason for this of course is that it takes this kind of background to successively operate in the culture. But it also points to the fact that much of Muslim extremism is fuelled by a deadly fusion of Western ideology and traditional absolutist metaphysics. The Muslim Brotherhood, for example, is said to represent that kind of fusion, and has been influential in the formation of groups like Al Qaeda.

This is depressing, of course. While many people on this forum would like to see a fusion of the best in each culture, here you have a fusion of the worst. And what I find particularly sad is that neither side is able to own up to its part. Politics is politics of course and powerfully colours everything, but it would be nice to see some evidence somewhere of the kind of searching self-criticism needed on all sides. Instead, the West wraps itself in the flag of Liberal Democracy and its superior way of life as if it were a simple & unmixed blessing with no back-story. And so much of the Muslim world still presents itself as passive victims of Crusaders and would seem to be lacking any compelling figure or institution to effectively put its own houses in order.

But this diabolic fusion of cultures tells us something very important and very uncomfortable, and perhaps that’s why so few are willing to face it. And that’s the metaphysical absolutism at the base of both civilizations. It’s easy to graft Western fascist and totalitarian notions on to absolutist interpretations of Islam because they share a fundamental identity & mindset, which George W. Bush unfortunately summed up when he said, You’re with us or you’re with the terrorists.*

It’s been said before that the Palestinians and the Muslim world in general needed and need a Gandhi – instead they got Arafat. I would say that the Western world needs a Gandhi as well, and probably more than just one. And what’s a Gandhi? Not a god, or some perfected human being, and not simply a promoter of peace, but someone who radically, imaginatively and courageously addresses the root impulse to violence, absolutism and will to power in all of us.

But this is precisely what we’re lacking. And the four young men who shattered their lives along with many others are among the most pathetic victims of this lack. They’re the tragic ground on which the clash of civilizations is most intimately taking place.

The terrorists are often called “cowardly”, but there’s a far greater cowardice in our inability to seriously grapple with our fundamental impulses and in our repeated recourse to yet another absolute. You are with us or against us, and the cure for bad kings is a relatively better king with more guns.

*(Of course, Bush is close to quoting gospel. I was struck recently by contrasting verses on this topic in the gospels. I can’t site the exact verses at the moment, but one says “those who are not with us are against us”, while the other says “those who are not against us are with us” (this last verse has to do with non-sanctioned persons using Jesus’ name to perform miracles). A whole world of difference turns on which verse we take to heart.)
 

lunamoth

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Another interesting post, Devadatta. :cool: But somehow this sounds quite familiar. Or am I confusing you with someone else?

lunamoth
 

Devadatta

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Vajradhara said:
not much... but... IP addresses, by contrast, are a wealth of information :)

metta,

~v

Indeed, Mr. Sherlock. And anyway, in this interdependent & interpenetrating reality, revelations are constant and nothing can be concealed. :p
 

Bandit

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Devadatta said:
What's in a name? ;)

i would say everything is in a name. without a name you dont get paid. w/o a name you dont do much of anything or get very far in anything.
of course you can change your name if you mess up the first one.
 

Vajradhara

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Devadatta said:
Indeed, Mr. Sherlock. And anyway, in this interdependent & interpenetrating reality, revelations are constant and nothing can be concealed. :p

hehe...

especially from Carnivore!

metta,

~v
 

Postmaster

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The attacks we had last week, were ignorant, revengeful and a bid to destroy what the west stands for. Then again how do you explain 200'000 Muslims dead due to the attacks of the Israelis, US, UK and Europeans?
 

Vajradhara

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Postmaster said:
The attacks we had last week, were ignorant, revengeful and a bid to destroy what the west stands for. Then again how do you explain 200'000 Muslims dead due to the attacks of the Israelis, US, UK and Europeans?

what 200,000 Muslims?

more to the point...

do you believe that revenge is a proper motivation and course of action?

what i mean to be asking is this: in your view, do two wrongs make a right?

metta,

~v
 

Postmaster

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Vajradhara my friend, the poverty (poverty being a nice way to put it, the ones who tipped my car on it's side at night and brake our windows, drunk till 6am ;)) children of America and the UK who enrol to the forces are serving there country in what is the bloodiest war humans have ever wedged. We are talking about the Iraqis, a powerful sovereign nation with a massive population.. Do you think it was a piece of cake? The media is only allowed to film certain parts of this war. I assure you it was the bloodiest maybe in history. Crusaders all over again.
 

Cerealkiller

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Perhaps I misunderstood that last post, but did you really mean to say that the Iraq war is the bloodiest war in history Postmaster? Are you honestly trying to claim that the "War on Terrorism" is bloodier than World War 2, or the Indian exterminations in the America's?
 

Vajradhara

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Namaste postmaster,

thank you for the post.

Postmaster said:
Vajradhara my friend, the poverty (poverty being a nice way to put it, the ones who tipped my car on it's side at night and brake our windows, drunk till 6am ;)) children of America and the UK who enrol to the forces are serving there country in what is the bloodiest war humans have ever wedged.


not even close to the bloodiest war. i strongly suggest that you research the Mongol invasion of Europe for a more thorough view of this matter.

in addition, it is a common misconception that it is only "poor" people that volunteer for military service. this is demonstrably not so by any measure that one could care to use. of course, that does not mean that poor people are not also joining the military service.

We are talking about the Iraqis, a powerful sovereign nation with a massive population.. Do you think it was a piece of cake?


i'm afraid this thought doesn't convey much information... was "what" a piece of cake?

no military operation, not even Desert Storm, was a "piece of cake" which is understood to be a slang way of saying that something is easily accomplished.


The media is only allowed to film certain parts of this war.


what is it about war and death that you would like to see?

I assure you it was the bloodiest maybe in history. Crusaders all over again.

if you assure me of this, you simply proclaim your own lack of knowledge in this area. please, research the Mongol invasion of Europe and you will find a whole new meaning for the term "bloodiest".

metta,

~v
 

Postmaster

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I suppose you have a point with the Mongolian invasions, I didn't think that far back.. I believe the figure of Iraqi civilians that died in Iraq is massive way more then will be reported, they were better off with Saddam. What are they left with now? Civil conflicts, the US and UK will not leave too soon because they know if they do they will have failed, they have created civil disruptions that seem will last forever and to be honest it may last for a very very long time, Hell we can even directly trace instability in that area from Alexander the greats time.. These kind of people might well have been better with a strict and savage regime of Saddam, who are the US and UK to judge an other sovereign nation? It's sickening how they have been sticking there noses in the Middle East since the first world war, there seems to be someone and somewhere is orchestrating a master plan, I can see connections, including the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.. Turkey acts as a buffer zone to stop the soviets getting into the oil supplies, Northern Cyprus has 70% of all natural resources on the Island, Imperial Mongolian descendants Turkey were given Northern Cyprus by the UK and US and the Island was ethnically split giving Greece a good deal too other wise hundreds of thousands of Greeks would have flooded mainland Greece, some how a Turkish minority of just over 10% ends up with 40% of the Cyprus, why did they even stop? Anyway, who ended up in the Middle East in the end? US , UK and Turkey sent forces into Northern Iraq too, where there are plenty of oil wealthy Kurds to intimidate ;).

Greece and Cyprus have never been touched by terrorists, which just goes to show, it's not religious or agaisn't the western way of life it's totally revengeful just as alexnaders attack on the East after hundreds of years of Persian supression.

 

Vajradhara

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Namaste Postmaster,

thank you for the post.

Postmaster said:
I suppose you have a point with the Mongolian invasions, I didn't think that far back..


well.. that's the tricky bit about making absolute statements.. we really need to have a good understanding of what has gone on before. war, no matter the scope, is, to use the old cliche "hell".

I believe the figure of Iraqi civilians that died in Iraq is massive way more then will be reported, they were better off with Saddam.


why do you believe that? do you have any rational basis for this belief?

i would encourage you to speak with some exiled Iraqis for a more broad view to the rule of Saddam. you may also consider speaking with the Kurds in this regards.

What are they left with now?


in what sense? if, you believe the media, they are busy drafting a new constitution and all of that sort of thing now.

Civil conflicts, the US and UK will not leave too soon because they know if they do they will have failed,


that is one way to look at it. that is not the view that i would hold, but it is a valid view. i note with some interest, however, that some 55 years after WW2, America still has troops in Germany and Japan.

they have created civil disruptions that seem will last forever and to be honest it may last for a very very long time, Hell we can even directly trace instability in that area from Alexander the greats time..


if this is so, i am completely failing to realize your underlying point here.

These kind of people might well have been better with a strict and savage regime of Saddam, who are the US and UK to judge an other sovereign nation?


hopefully, they are the same folks that will choose to stick their nose in the situation in Zimbabwe and the Congo and Dafur and Tibet and all those other places where beings are killed with wonton abandon.

as Quahom so rightly stated... when America gets involved, she is critisized for being involved... when she doesn't, she is critisized for being elitest and aloof, especially in todays fashionable international left.

It's sickening how they have been sticking there noses in the Middle East since the first world war, there seems to be someone and somewhere is orchestrating a master plan, I can see connections, including the Turkish invasion of Cyprus..


well before that, actually.

if you believe that there is a being that is coordinating all of this, then you really can't believe that it is American or British in nature. both of those nations have representative systems and the political leaders get replaced on a frequent basis.

Greece and Cyprus have never been touched by terrorists, which just goes to show, it's not religious or agaisn't the western way of life it's totally revengeful just as alexnaders attack on the East after hundreds of years of Persian supression.


what are you talking about? Greece has it's own terrorist organization for goodness sake. check out the November 17 group and you can find this for yourself.

here's a snippet of the various terrorist related activity in Greece:

4/27/99Intercontinental HotelBombs; 1 dead, 1 woundedGreek Revolutionary Nuclei Unsolved

12/10/97Development Minister Vaso Papandreou's Private OfficeBombs; 2 policemen woundedGreek Fighting Guerrilla Faction Unsolved

5/28/97Konstantinos Peratikos (Businessman)Shooting (killed)Greek 17N Unsolved

9/19/94Police BusRemote Controlled Bombing (one policemen, killed, ten wounded)Greek ELA Unsolved

7/12/94Rhodes HotelImprovised Explosive Device (six wounded)Greek No claim Unsolved

7/11/94Rhodes RestaurantImprovised Explosive Device (two wounded)Greek No claim Unsolved

1/24/94Omer Haluk Sipahioglou (Diplomat)Shooting (killed)Turkish 17N Unsolved

1/24/94Mihalis Vranopoulos (Former Governor, Bank of Greece)Shooting (killed)Greek 17N Unsolved

http://athens.usembassy.gov/rso/victims.htm

metta,

~v
 

iBrian

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Postmaster said:
I forgot to add foreign, my apologies.

You also forget the EOKA on Cyrpus. These were not foreign. They were Greek Cypriots happy enough to kill civilians.
 
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