It was not my intent to minimize communist atrocities, only to point out that the US Cold War paranoia about “creeping communism” and “the domino effect” was much more about our capitalist system vs. their socialism, than about our religion vs. their “godlessness.”
I’m on YOUR side, for crying out loud, if you read through this thread.
But you said “I believe that US mission of ‘detroying the godless commies’ was much more exemplary of paranoia, greed, corruption, and ignorance than religious fantaticism.” I am saying it wasn’t paranoia or ignorance. It was a real threat.
So, can we stay on topic?
You started a thread on why we’re losing the war on terrorism in the Specific Comments on the End of Faith forum.
Sure. Its just that when I think someone is denying Communist attrocities, I understandably feel like the descendant of a Holocaust survivor upun hearing the crazy theories of a Holocaust denyer.
And how we managed to fight off one threat could shed light on how we could fight another. Granted there is an important difference between the ideology of Communism and Islam. Communism promised heaven on Earth, and since it failed to provide it after nearly a whole century of trying, people could actually see that it failed, and is therefore false. Islam promises paradise in the afterlife, so there is no empirical way to prove it false.
It doubtless is TRUE that the US denies Cuba’s right to exist and that the entire history of Communism - Russian, Chinese and all the rest, is replete with repression, atrocities, megliomania, insanity, and ultimately, dismal failure.
I deny the right of Cuba’s opressive state dictatorship to exist. (The right of the island and people to exist is not in question, in fact, isn’t even a question). No government that violates its own people’s rights has the right to exist. This is an important point in this discussion. America has the moral right (legality is a different question) to overthrow Castro’s government, and we had every right to end Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Tyrrany should not have the protection of “sovereignty” to protect it. A government’s job is to protect the rights of its people, and when it does the opposite, it loses that moral legitimacy.The only important question is wether or not its a good idea for us to invade. At least in hindsight it seems like invading Iraq was a bad idea.
The point is we shouldn’t let the idea of sovereignty, especially when applied to government to which it should not apply, get in the way of our doing what we need in order to fight this war. The question is not one of our moral right to do it, just wether or not its a good idea. I have the moral right to cash in all my savings and blow it on one night of booze and strippers, but I don’t think that would be a good idea.
The point is that RELIGIOUS FANATICISM is more or less completely irrelevant to those issues. To be sure, Communism, as Sam points out in books and lectures, when it devolves into a dogmatic ideology, can be analogous to religious fanticism, and perhaps its ultimate demise can be attributed to that. But it is not our current topic.
In a sense it is. Like I said, communist religious fanaticism at least had empirical evidence against it, a whole century of it. Even the Russian people got sick and tired of repeated promises that socialism was just over the horizon. Islam, making no claims that can be empirically verified, is unfalsifiable. However, there are some things we can learn from the Cold War that might apply, but only so long as we do not deny its horrors.
Our current topic and our immediate problem and worldwide threat in 2007 - per The End of Faith - is precisely religious fanaticism, particularly Islamic and Christian (another other huge - but also off topic - issue is global warming and environmental degradation.)
How reasonable and rational people are supposed to deal with religious fanatics, and particularly terrorists, is the issue of the day.
For one thing, we fight them with the courage of our convictions, which many of us did in the Cold War. We must be willing to stand up and call the Evil Empire by its right name.
Do we negotiate with and try to appease them?
We’ll be manipulated and taken advantage of.
You are asking this rhetorically. I hope. My answer is “Hell no”, in any case.
Do we declare “Holy War” on them and try to eradiciate them?
They outnumber us.
Definitely not eradicate them. But lets never leave out our military options. We do have advantages in technology and industrial strength.
Do we try to educate, modernize, and deprogram them?
Evolution takes too long.
Nevertheless, we have to try. Anybody know someone who can translate “The Federalist Papers” into Arabic?
Do we isolate them until they grow up and evolve?
See number 2
Hopefully it will happen, but you are right, that will take a long time.
Beats the hell out of me. :?:
We need to remain true to our own ideals of individual freedom, for one thing. Thats the source of our strength. I strongly disagree with those who say we need to sacrifice some of our freedom for the sake of security. Didn’t Ben Franklin or Thomas Paine say something about that? :wink: