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An Appropriate Response?


romansh
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romansh, Great and difficult question. I am sure Christians and progressives will have different responses even if they belong to the same category. In 1978 I was teaching at the Iranian Airforce and the revolution started. The Airforce said they couldn't give us a ride home as they were afraid the bus would get damaged, it seems they didn't care if we got hurt. They were doing their duty inforcing capitalism as taught by the US. The Shaw had left so people were in the streets burning the banks and liquer stores and were very emotional letting all their pent up feelings and frustrations go into their destruction. All along the way people came up to me, concerned about my mental and physical health. They said, Don't worry we are not angry at the American people just the American government." It was humanity speaking to humanity.

 

The Shaw was a dictatorial monarchy supported by the American governement, which was oppressive, brutal, corrupt and they flaunted their wealth. The women who followed Islamic traditions wore a chador over their other clothes, which was just a large black piece of material, but underneath they wore modern clothes that were fashionable at the time. The police would take and rip up the chador from women who were wearing them.The Shaw wanted the country to be western. After the revolution the Islamic guards would throw acid in the face of women who did not wear them. There was a brief moment that the American government could have made the right decision and supported Bazargan a moderate who was a moderate and voice of reason, but the US thought he was a liberal so would be hard to control. Not like the Shaw who big oil corrupted and manipulated for oil contracts and profits. The poor and middle class suffered while the greedy ran wild. Ayatollah Khomeini appointed him the first prime minster after the revolution, but the Islamist thought he was too liberal too and they even thought Khomeini was liberal so Bazargan had to go. Bazargan was walking down the middle of the road, but it seemed people wanted their leaders to draw a line in the sand and walk to either the right or left of middle, but the extremes were the same manipulating the people under them for power.

 

President Bush created ISIS when he invaded Iraq, which was another bad decision leading to disasterous results. People were manipulated to support an illegal war that bombed Iraq back to the stone age so it looks like if you win a revolution you are a hero, but if you lose you are a traitor and an enemy. Bush needed a war in Iraq, his popularity was low before 9/11 and he had to misdirect the anger and fear of the American people. Now, people are doing the same thing ISIS is recruiting on capitalism and democracy oppressing people and conservative Americans are using ISIS in the same way. They are the same and opposites.

 

With all that said let me give you my spiritual feeling on your question. The Quantum Unity that we Christians call God does not sacrifice diversity for unity because the disconnected and those united in the all-encompassing energy have permission to penetrate one another so we are already intertwined so completely that they can’t be separated. One enegy in, above, below and around everything. There can be two view points of the same reality like two sides of the same piece of paper. One side is about the aspect of duality (we are right and they are wrong) and the other side is concerned with the entirety of the whole experience and its activity in infinity. You are a scientist so here is a quote for you. David Bohm, a professor of physics at Birkbeck College in London said, “The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it.” (Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

 

Therefore, my response is to walk down the middle of the road.

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I had an opportunity to spend ten nights in Iran back in 2000.

 

Iran is not what is portrayed in our nightly newscasts. And depending on one's perspectives it can be "worse" and "better" at the same time. The one striking memory I have when returning to Heathrow, women wearing chadors getting on the plane immediately disappearing into the bathrooms and emerging from their cocoons in skinny jeans and generally in western apparel.

 

I like Bohm, I like his approach to quantum phenomena, but I find his more philosophical ruminations close to impenetrable. What I think you and he are describing is monism and I am aligned with that world view; though I have sneaking feeling nihilism might have a truth in it as well. Pluralism (philosophical) and dualism can be useful so long we are not married to them, and accept them at times as useful approximations.

 

So what does walking in the middle of the road look like in more real world terms?

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When I was in Iran I had to go to work everyday and interact with the people at different stations in life. The reporters flew in from other countries and stayed at a hotel that was guarded and they checked people in and out. The reporters never left and everyone they interviewed came into their artificial shelter. They only saw one perspective of the revolution, the people and the country. The same goes in our countries where Time and Newsweek have an European edition, an Asian edition and a North American edition. When a war breaks out "God is on our side" is the motto when God is on both sides. When the US was bombing Iraq hundreds of thousands of innocent people, children and women were killed and we were not labled terrorist so the result was an opposition force was created. There is always an equal and opposite to every force so terror and violence creates terror and violence as a counter. The middle road would be to see both sides and walk in harmony with both so instead of taking a side and trying to defend it, it is better to conference and educate both sides so a consenses can be obtained. Arabs and Muslims are not bad people and have a lot to offer the world, but we are paying more attention to the negative aspects and not giving energy to the positives so the baby that is fed the most over powers the twin so the terrorist win by creating more terror on both sides.

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The middle road would be to see both sides and walk in harmony with both so instead of taking a side and trying to defend it, it is better to conference and educate both sides so a consenses can be obtained. Arabs and Muslims are not bad people and have a lot to offer the world, but we are paying more attention to the negative aspects and not giving energy to the positives so the baby that is fed the most over powers the twin so the terrorist win by creating more terror on both sides.

 

Fair enough ... what mechanisms are there to bring ISIS to a table and what are the positive attributes of ISIS that we should feed. Why would ISIS want to come to a table if they think they are winning and why would essentially a "Western" ideology work?

Do we need to take care that we don't feed the negative aspects at the same time inadvertently?

Edited by romansh
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Fair enough ... what mechanisms are there to bring ISIS to a table and what are the positive attributes of ISIS that we should feed. Why would ISIS want to come to a table if they think they are winning and why would essentially a "Western" ideology work?

Do we need to take care that we don't feed the negative aspects at the same time inadvertently?

 

I think we need to talk to the people in the region and ISIS. I don't think they think they are winning or losing they are creating terror to get noticed. They were originally the Sunnis that were the royal guard for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. After the bombing and the US occupation of Iraq. Bush put in charge Paul Bremer the occupational authority of Iraq following the 2003 invasion by the United States. He was appointed head of state of the internationally recognized government of Iraq. He had no military experience or experience in the Middle East. He decided against the advise of military experts to dismiss the Iraq Army. Saddam didn't trust the Sunnis either, but he worked out a balance with them so there was peace. Chaos rained on Iraq mostly caused by the Sunnis after that. I think we need to talk to them first and see what they want, the people that will be affected and then work towards peace. The countries that are the most affected are quiet now for example Saudi Arabia they have an army, airforce and money for stability. If the surrounding countries are not interested or willing to work for stability then we should wait because they know the region better than we do. Saddam's army were professionals and now they are just terrorist. If we just listen to the hawks we will only have war and terror. They are good at creating fear and propaganda to start their wars for profit. We need to talk and listen to the people affected and not the Defense Industry before acting.

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I am sorry soma there is something that bothers me about your post(s) and it touches back to my monism comment.

You say things like:

Chaos rained on Iraq mostly caused by the Sunnis after that.

I get what you are saying ... but this is ultimately a highly dualistic (perhaps pluralistic) interpretation. Again I get that you have been "caused" to have this view point (and I have been caused to have mine). For me the "Unity" you spoke of earlier is like the modern circular evolution trees we see. Each country, society, individual, etc are position on that ever expanding circle. All is interconnected to each other and the past. This is true (for me) at either the quantum level or the aggregated quantum world we seem to inhabit.

 

Sometimes I tell a story about how a wave knocked me down when I was three years old and how that event shaped my life. While the story is true in the sense commission, it is almost completely a fabrication in the sense of omission.

 

Christ did not "say" not to have enemies, just that we love them.

 

Having said that I am still not sure what you are proposing ... Who is going to sit at the table and more importantly how are we going to persuade any of the many sides to that table?

Edited by romansh
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At this moment we are fighting power with power creating more power and it is not working and has not worked in the past. Yes, even opposites are connected even by the premise of cause and effect. First, we must take responsibility for causing the chaos and then realize they are humans just like we are and with that attitude people will in turn open up. If we have the will to talk I am sure they will talk also. We can stand there next to them and let the waves knock us about or we can dive under them and get out to the deep sea where it is calm. To keep the suffering going each side is spreading fear and hate for the other side, which makes it harder to have a meeting of the minds. Yes, we can see the unity and that Allah and Jesus are symbols for this higher power and both sides can't, thinking they are right and the other side is wrong. This is where I recognize duality in the unity so physically we have a body and mind, our instruments to act in duality, nature, but I feel we have a spirit, soul or supernature to dive into the unity so we know it is there and don't just get battered by the waves wearing down to want to eliminate the other side. The jungle is a fierce competion for resources, but it is also a harmony that is uplifting.

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At this moment we are fighting power with power creating more power and it is not working and has not worked in the past.

I can find examples of where talking has not worked:

For example from The Neville Chamberlain School of appeasement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO725Hbzfls

First, we must take responsibility for causing the chaos and then realize they are humans just like we are and with that attitude people will in turn open up.

Before we can do take responsibility for causing chaos, we have to understand the nature of cause and chaos. When we talk of attitude and similar we are living in our minds ... not necessarily the best reflection of reality.

 

We can go to war without hate or fear ... we can go to war with compassion. But I suspect it is easier to get funding for hate than compassion.

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I agree and like the concept of going to war with compassion, but our leaders are manipulating the masses with the whip of fear and hate. They make the enemies look like monsters and our side like the saviors. In the US we are in the midst of an election that never ends candidates wanting to rush in full blown and scorch the other side to show strength. The people, countries that know the cultures in the regions are best for a ground war, but we can support with technology. I hope we learn from the past and not destroy the infrastructure and then think we can build a nation. It failed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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soma

I agree and like the concept of going to war with compassion, but our leaders are manipulating the masses with the whip of fear and hate.

I don't get the sense that Obama is getting the fear and hate whip out.

Trudeau my new "leader certainly is isn't.

 

And what do we expect our leaders to do other than advocate for the positions they have come to? They can do this by leading by example, appealing to our reason, but ultimately they have to appeal to our wishes and fears. We all manipulate ... your posts (and mine) are a form of manipulation. You have put a negative connation on the word (I think).

 

I still don't know how to get the other side to the table and after they leave how do you know we can trust them?

Edited by romansh
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I like Obama's approach in a rational well thought out plan. I think he is listening to the Generals and his experts, but the Republicans running for president and Fox news are fanning the flames of hear and hatred to gain votes or viewers. They want us to implement the same failed policies we should have learned from in Iraq. When we put troops on the ground we create enemies because we don't know the language or the customs so their leaders can fan hate and fear of America to get their way and followers. Education, good will and good intentions open many doors like what the peace core did in the 60's and 70's. Statemen and women will negotiate first, gain allies in the region that know the problems and avenues to take to win over the people. Obama is doing that, but the hawks are pressuring him through the people to enter the ground war, I would say which goes against what the Generals advice suggest.

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