Why we should bomb those evil Syrians and Iranians...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by candletrader, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Shalom fellow traders... lets bomb Syria and Iran, if necessary with nukes in order to defend ourselves... Syria and Iran are terrorists with weapons of mass destruction... God Bless America!!
  2. msfe


    Swift-Footed W.

    Published: October 22, 2003

    On the eve of our invasion of Iraq, I went to ancient Troy in Turkey. It's a haunting spot, quiet and deserted, though if you scrunch up your eyes you may still catch a glimpse of Helen on the walls. Those walls include a gate that shows signs of having been widened — or so my guide claimed, probably fancifully — as if to accommodate a giant wooden horse.

    At the time, I wrote about the lessons of the Trojan War for Iraq, but now I find my mind wandering back to Troy again. Homer seems even more relevant today: In "The Iliad," he describes how the Greeks are sapped by a prolonged, dreary, unnecessary conflict that does not go nearly as well as it was supposed to, partly because their leader antagonizes his allies. And in "The Odyssey," we have a king who inherited his throne and whose arrogance and impulsiveness cost the lives of his soldiers.

    "The Iliad" is the greatest war story ever told, but it's not fundamentally about war — after all, it never mentions the Trojan horse and covers only a few weeks in a war that lasted 10 years. No, "The Iliad" is ultimately not about war but rather about how great men confront tragedy, learn moderation and become wise.

    In case "The Iliad" isn't lying around the Oval Office, let me recap for our warriors in Washington. Achilles is both the mightiest warrior and a petulant, self-righteous, arrogant figure. A unilateralist, he refuses to consult with allies; he dismisses intelligence about his own vulnerability; he never reads the newspapers.

    So the Greeks are nearly defeated, and while Achilles sulks in his tent, his dearest friend, Patroclus, is killed. Then the impulsive Achilles careers into action and overdoes it in the other direction, desecrating Hector's body, but in the end he returns to his tent, calms down and shows a new sense of his own limits, a new compassion, a new moderation and a new wisdom.

    That is a constant theme in the classics: ancient heroes like Achilles and Odysseus do not avoid mistakes, but they learn from them. Through their errors, they come to understand moral nuance as well as moral clarity, and to appreciate moderation. Indeed, the subtitle for "The Iliad" could be "Achilles Grows Up."

    Unfortunately, until recently this administration hasn't shown much signs of growing. Yet over the last few weeks, there have been a few hints of a rosy-fingered dawn, signs that President Bush may be learning from his mistakes and moderating his impulsiveness. I'm hoping that's the case, and it's reassuring to remember what happened in the last electoral cycle: Mr. Bush turned his campaign upside-down after his loss to John McCain in New Hampshire in 2000.

    It helps that Mr. Bush has made plenty of mistakes to learn from. Just look around the globe:

    Afghanistan was a brilliantly executed war, but the peace was flubbed because of a failure to provide security outside Kabul. Iraq was a well-planned war and an unplanned peace. A refusal to negotiate with North Korea led it to ramp up its nuclear production lines. And haughtiness (the same problem Achilles had) has nurtured more anti-Americanism than Al Qaeda ever did.

    The clearest sign of a new willingness to learn from error is Mr. Bush's pirouette on North Korea. Mr. Bush has now abandoned his position that we will not negotiate with North Korea until it gives up its nuclear programs. While it may be too late to reach a deal, he is taking the first steps toward constructive diplomacy by discussing a security guarantee for North Korea.

    Then we have the White House's seizing control over Iraq policy from the Pentagon ideologues. That's potentially a very important shift because it empowers pragmatists like Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, who, unlike the civilian leaders at the Pentagon, don't filter all information through ideological sieves.

    To pursue the classical parallel, Don Rumsfeld can be compared to Ajax, the Greek warrior who had great force projection — but was so deluded that he laid waste to what he perceived to be his enemies and turned out to be a herd of cattle. (But a prominent classics scholar called the comparison daft, noting that Ajax "has such nobility of spirit.")

    Homer's most powerful lessons include the need to restrain hubris, to cooperate with allies, to engage the real world rather than black-and-white caricatures. If Achilles and Odysseus can learn those lessons, maybe there's hope for Mr. Rumsfeld or even the mighty Mr. Bush.


  3. If there is an anology between us and the greeks fighting the trojan war, I don't see it. but I do seen an anology in the making between George Armstrong Custer and George Strong Arm Bushe! The moral of this story may be that George's never learn anything from their mistakes.
  4. candle,

    I really can really hardly grasp that someone here should have said this, not to mention you!

    Honestly - I haver never seen so much rubbish stuffed into a couple of sentences!

    Let's summarize : "those evil Syrians and Iranians (= generalization, distortion)

    "lets bomb Syria and Iran (=everybody, let's not distinguish, they're all evil people, also their women and children, and the US media is not biased at all)

    "if necessary with nukes" - You don't even know what you're saying. How old are you??? :eek:

    "in order to defend ourselves..." - From WHAT???

    "Syria and Iran are terrorists" (GD / both generalization & distortion again)

    "With weapons of mass destruction" - Only GWB himself could have rambled this pile of hypocritical bullshit better.

    "God Bless America!!" - And hail the fuehrer!

    I think, quite frankly, that 'god' should bless anybody with a good heart and good intent, and not just the noble Americans, of which of course every single one has a heart of gold and good intent and their 5,000+ nuclear warheads, as well as a cunning repertoire of chemical and biological terror agents don't count as WMD in this context. This is part of the great American hipocrisy. They don't like to count their own chickens here, since they claim their right to be the only free, happy and politically and economically superior empire in the world. Good work.

    As if the war on Iraq hasn't been bad enough, not only for moral and politics, but particularly for the federal budged. The war on Iraq was a lost war, and that substantially. Why should another US-instilled aggression be any better?

    I am deeply disappointed in you, candletrader, and only hope it was a bitter and immature joke of irony of yours. However, if you indeed meant these statements with sincerity, I will refuse to call you my brother any longer.

    Oh by the way - Although living in Australia now (and not liking the current government, either), I grew up in the today very left & green Germany, where we have indeed been taught by history what this kind of thinking can bring. Not to mention the word shalom in the context, probably the dirtiest deed in the post. After all, it's the jews who fell victim to this kind of thinking in a very sneaky way, and not too long ago. My own family was affected by that, and I don't like hearing this word in this context. It's a bitter, bitter irony.
    Don't repeat the same mistake. History should be there to learn from.

    I'm absolutely appalled. :(

  5. Scientist,

    Don't cross that line...
  6. What? He said: "Shalom fellow traders... lets bomb..."

    Who crossed a line here? :eek:

  7. m&m&m


    just wandering… does it helps to trade with an attitude like this?
  8. Good question. Makes me wonder, too. He must have had a couple of bad days, poor candletrader.

    And I always thought candle was one of the most peaceful spirits on ET. Quite a shocking surprise to me, this sudden hate attack.
    Maybe he doesn't walk all his talk after all?

    As you sow, so you reap. Happiness comes from kindness. Happiness cannot come from hatred or anger.

    - H.H The Dalai Lama
  9. i put the little brother on iggy last week....first one ever....

  10. candletrader... nice posting approach :D Scripting for white house press releases? hehehe haven't heard the evildoers word tho for some time. We need to bring Ari back.

    #10     Oct 23, 2003