the crux

the cover of newsweek is on terrorism.

my boss comes to me with this same old argument that “they” deserve this and understand nothing but force.

true genius is found in making connections between seemingly dissimilar things.

i often tell my friends, when they bitch about someone wronging them after they help them, that sometimes being a good person sucks.

“they” think their beliefs are right and true.

so do “we”.

both of us can be wrong.

there is no point.

the cycle can not stop without effort and sacrifice.

i hope that is as clear to you as it is to me!

8 Responses to “the crux”

  1. James Says:

    it seems like everyone thinks killing innocent people is the in thing nowadays. One guy said something about the bible giving the Jews deed to Israel and I was like, you know that means you’re a jihadist, right? lol

  2. Camilo Cienfuegos Says:

    This conflict has nothing to do with beliefs.

  3. Administrator Says:

    “This conflict has nothing to do with beliefs.” For who?

    The Arabic/Islamic population has no beliefs behind this conflict? The terrorism is purely criminal?

    The USA does not believe it has the right to intervene, to correct to teach, to impart its wisdom? Do some of us not believe that we are justified in doing what we are doing simply because it maintains our extravagent lifestyle?

    Doesn’t all conflict stem from a belief that one is threatened in some way?

  4. Camilo Cienfuegos Says:

    “Belief (i.e. perception) that one is threatened” is not the same as belief as in ideology.

    Beliefs are the ammunition, but not the motive behind the crime.

    The people in power on both sides of the conflict are not motivated by beliefs. Al-Qaeda’s leadership and their ilk want political power in the Middle East. They use Islam and attacks on American and Israel in order to build a large, committed, and zealous base of followers. Similarly, the so-called terrorist- supporting states of Iran and Syria support terrorists such as Hezbollah in order to support their own geopolitical and strategic objectives in the region.

    Our government doesn’t intervene in the Middle East because we believe our way of life is superior to theirs, or that it is our obligation, or even that it’s our right to do so. They use such rhetoric to legitimize their actions and guarantee an ample number of supporters, especially the talking heads and talk radio hosts who tout the moral legitimacy of our foreign interventions and misadventures (Lenin referred to these types as ‘useful idiots’). We have strategic objectives which include the integration of the Middle East into the global market and maintaing the access of the global economy to the resources of the region (e.g the Carter Doctrine to which you alluded in an earlier post). Within the framework of these strategic objectives, we pursue tactical objectives which aim to prevent the emergence of rivals to American power in the region (such as supporting Iraq in its invasion of Iran, invading Iraq in response to its invasion of Kuwait, invading Iraq again, threatening Iran, and most recently supporting Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah).

    I would argue that the war on terror is 50% attempt to reduce the probablity of future attacks on us and our interests and 50% convenient ideological excuse to shore up our geopolitical interests, but the propaganda behing it is of course 100% defense of freedom and civilization against barbarians. Just as on the other side, the propaganda is “go and blow yourself up at an American checkpoint in Iraq in order to avenge their injustice” while the reality is closer to “create chaos in Iraq to distract the Americans from their pursuit of our leadership and finances.”

  5. Administrator Says:

    Amen.

  6. Administrator Says:

    I guess the real question, or crux of the matter perhaps, is what is it are we really arguing about here? Whether or not the masses understand what is really going on concerns very few of us. My boss and random opposing bar patrons do not understand all of this, so what really then is the reality?

    If the people have to comply (even implicitly) and fight the battles required then their motivations must be taken into account, right? No matter what it is the powers-that-be want, they still have to gain the (approval) of the mass public. If the unwashed masses understand the battle as A and a few others have another understanding of it as B, then what is really going on?

    And if they do understand all of this, what then?

  7. Camilo Cienfuegos Says:

    “If the people have to comply (even implicitly) and fight the battles required then their motivations must be taken into account, right? No matter what it is the powers-that-be want, they still have to gain the (approval) of the mass public. If the unwashed masses understand the battle as A and a few others have another understanding of it as B, then what is really going on?”

    I think that it is important to understand the motivation of the citizenry for supporting/opposing the actions of the state, but that it is not the “crux” of the matter. As explained in that famous quote by Joseph Goebbels, it is not that difficult to drum up support for whatever the state wants to do, particularly if you have fear and hysteria working to your advantage. But in practice, for people such as yourself who would like to effect some sort of change in the world, obsessing over the beliefs of the average or even above-average citizen translates into a campaign to try to change minds in order to change the world, which is futile. It is essentially a strategy of seeking power through the truth, while, forgive my cynicism, it is a much more practical strategy to pursue truth through power.

    You’ll notice that the neocons didn’t try to win American hearts and minds during the Clinton administration, although their basic vision for American foreign policy was fleshed out in the early 1990s. They positioned themselves to obtain positions of power in the state and now their vision is “common sense” for a significant portion of the American public and is thoroughly entrenched in the conservative ideology. If you want to change the way Americans like your boss and bar buddies think about the world and about America’s role in it, you take power and use that power to shape the way they think. It’s not a “totalitarian” strategy, although totalitarian states take it to the extreme by constructing an entire self-contained alternate universe around the state. It’s simply the way society operates, the ability to shape events is the ability to control perception. And perception is reality.

  8. nonc0mpliant » Blog Archive » The cr ux, revis ited, sort of Says:

    [...] I have been commenting back on forth on this topic, sort of; you can get some background on this here. This is another one of those posts I wrote in the wee hours of the morning by hand because I am [...]

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