Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by OPTIONAL777, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. Is courage posting an opinion in a forum?

    Is courage copy and paste of some else's ideas?

    Is courage threatening to vote no in the UN security council?

    or is this real courage.....

  2. stupidity
  3. That's what the British said about the Colonists when the Colonists stood up to the British Empire.
  4. Its all perception. If the tanks stop, he's courageous. If the tanks didn't stop, he's stupid.

    If you're playing poker with your life, it is a good idea to know when to bluff and when to fold.
  5. I'd say once you're at that point, your commitment to the cause has trumped the courage factor. By the same token, you'll need that courage to get out of bed the morning you decide to do it.
  6. If I was driving the tank, I wouldn't have stopped, but hey,...that's just me.:p

  7. Yes, you might have, but the tank driver was smart enough not to make a martyr in front of the world audience.
  8. I heard and read various reports of the man's fate; most say he was caught and executed.

    Anyone know more about this (other than Wild - he'll say the guy deserved to die as he was an agent of the US plotting to take over the oil reserves in Tianenmen Square)?
  9. Babak


    any way you stack it, that guy in the picture has more courage than probably this whole board put together.

    He's standing up for what he believes in. a way that doesn't put anyone else in harms way except him. This is similar to hunger strikes or chaining yourself to a tree.

    And not similar to suicide bombers who blow themselves up and kill or hurt others in the process. That's terrorism. Not courage.
  10. rs7


    Stupidity? I would argue that this guy (who's name is still unknown, so most likely he suffered a sad fate) did what he did out of strong conviction. And I would say COURAGE.

    Many of you may not remember that in Vietnam, before it really became a military conflict, it was more a religious and civil conflict. There were MANY buddhists, who, to bring attention to their feelings of despair and oppression, took their own lives in self immolation (setting one's self on fire). A hell of a painful way to go. But they were desperate to make their plight known. They were oppressed by the Catholic Diem regime, a fine example of what the French accomplished with their colonization of a foreign land and a forcing of their "official" religion on a peaceful people. Which brings the question....WHY? What did the French care? Why did they fight to expand their "empire" for so long? (Rhetorical question...there is no explanation that can make sense. Especially when it comes to the French). They were truly imperialistic, as were England, Germany, Spain, Portugal....indeed virtually all of the countries of Western Europe at one time or another (even the Dutch, who are pretty cool overall). So it amazes me that we hear from Wild and company how America is an "imperialistic" nation. We conquered our enemies, enemies that drew us into conflict. (we never said "hey, let's take over country "x" like we have seen by the "invade and conquer" mentality of Hitler and so many others over the course of history).

    We treated them with total humanity during occupation, and left them better than they were before our conflicts. What did we take from Germany? Japan? Truth is, we re-built them to be stronger and more economically efficient places than they ever had been. We are now being accused by Wild and others of wanting to "take" the oil from Iraq. Not likely. Even though Bush and his administration are indeed oil people. And a good debate could make for a strong argument to support this nonsense, in reality, this is not what America does. We do NOT enjoy the "spoils of war". We rebuild and we pay dearly. What other country in the history of the world has conquered an enemy and then paid to rebuild and reconstruct the vanquished, and then just left?

    As I mentioned in earlier posts (don't remember what threads), the "Domino Theory" of stopping communism was what (supposedly) led to the US involvement in Vietnam, Korea,and much of Southeast Asia. (Practicing new tactics and new weapons was probably a factor too...can never have enough fighting to satisfy some of our military leaders). But it all really started long before, like virtually all wars, because of religion. The French colonization of Viet Nam brought with it their religious "missionary" objectives. Another fine example of organized religion advancing civilization :confused: (This is why I consider a guy like Thunderbolt to be dangerous...while Traderfut may be dogmatic in his beliefs, he at least says he believes in "freedom of religion". Thunderbolt can't even deal with Christianity that is not of his own "brand"). A dangerous mind set!

    So this unknown protestor in Tienaman square, while certainly risking his life (he was NOT killed that day), brought international attention to the plight of the oppressed Chinese who were trying to get attention in a place that did not lend itself to "Peaceful Protest".

    In America, protests are legal. Virtually anyone can obtain a permit to assemble and make their point publicly. A bullhorn, or a PA system will do the trick on the spot, and a free press will cover any demonstration of note and make for a vast viewership. But in China, this doesn't work. Or can't be counted on. It took a drastic measure to make a drastic impact. And that man's stand against a column of tanks was a visual image that was burned into the world's consciousness. He took a chance, and while it did not immediately pay off, it will never be forgotten. And it will certainly will never impact his beliefs in a negative way to the world. So I have to say, while maybe you think his act was stupid....and surely on paper it was at best "reckless" reality, he made a great and lasting impression. Also, he had to have been thinking that no matter how strong and how oppressive a government is, the soldiers of any army are humans. And what human would just drive a tank over another human? Governments don't drive tanks, people do. (paraphrasing a gun advocate's line I truly despise). He counted on that, and of course, he was right. In all likelihood, the guy driving the lead tank was another 20 year old Chinese citizen just like the demonstrator. How many of us could, in cold blood, just run someone over (ok, Snake says he could, so I guess there are some...but really, how many)? We (normal people) wouldn't do it with a shopping cart, let alone a tank. The guy bet his life on the humanity of the driver. And it was a good bet.

    Kent State was the most similar event I can think of to what happened that day in China. Yet the victims were not the frontline demonstrators, but just innocent bystanders. And Kent State will always be remembered as perhaps the low point in 20th century America. American kids killing other American kids. NO ONE was happy about that. Not even Nixon (who was only questionably human in the first place).

    During the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the slogan of the day was "The Whole World Is Watching". And it was. The brutality of the police was well documented and four years later, at the next Democratic convention, many of the organizers of the '68 demonstrations were on the floor of the convention hall. But Richard Daley, who had been the mayor of Chicago in '68 (and for the previous 100 years it seemed like) and gave the "go-ahead" to the Chicago Police to use (excessive) force against the demonstrators, was NOT permitted to attend the '72 convention. What goes around comes around as they say.

    While self immolation is obviously a sure way to make a point (by sure death), the "anti-tank" guy took his chances. And survived (at least that day). While it is likely his fate was not one anybody would opt for, ultimately his act will be remembered forever. And historically, it will be a piece of the puzzle that when assembled will surely end the kind of oppression and the kind of government that existed in China at that time. Already, while China is notoriously horrid in their human rights policies, economics will, like with the Soviet Union, overcome the grim policies of the past and will eventually bring China into the civilized world. Already, their most important issue is Most Favored Nation treatment by the US.

    Yesterday, Dubya made a televised speech about the economy from some warehouse. In the background were cartons that had "Made in the USA" boldly printed on them. But I saw on the news last night that the cartons had been switched by a zealous employee of the warehouse (certainly without the knowledge of Bush or his public relations people:confused:). The cartons that were originally behind where he spoke, and taken away all had "Made in China" printed in big letters on them.

    Having rambled on about all this, and gone off and on topic, the question becomes this.....Is the willingness to die for what you believe "stupid"? Or "courageous"?

    If it is stupid, then America was built on "stupidity".

    I don't think so!!

    #10     Jan 23, 2003