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" width="8" height="8"/> September 11th had to happen, From the heart
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Dragonspirit
post Sep 11 2002, 08:44 AM
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When I was young, I had no idea of politics or world affairs. I think most of us take awhile to learn about the world around us. Iíve pursued learning more, and every paper or book I read, every message board I visit, every television show or discussion I have Iíve tried to take a little from, to learn a little more. Sometimes it feels enormous, and rather overwhelming, in that the more I learn, I feel there is ten times as much to know. Sometimes, I wonder why I even try to understand the world. I was happier in many ways being naÔve.

I am not one who easily believes in things like premonition, but on the night prior to the attacks, I had a very ominous thought that unsettles me when I reflect on it. That night, I had been watching something on the history channel, and I remember sitting back and thinking how nothing "big" like that had ever happened in my lifetime. No vast war, no presidential assassination and no Jesus Christ reborn. The largest thing I could think of was the explosion of the challenger when I was young.

When it happened, I was still sleeping in my bed. That is something that in it self is an odd paradox. To think at the same moment that Iím in a state of relaxation, other individuals are involved in the most tragic and terrifying event of their lives. Anyhow, I donít think Iíll ever forget how I learned of the irony of my previous nights thoughts. The phone just kept ringing and ringing and ringing. I finally got up and answered it, and the voice on the other end of the line was my wife. She simply told me to turn on the television.

The feelings I had were so mixed. I felt anger and sadness. I felt horror. I guess I felt terror. I didnít feel scared for myself, but I did fear for those who might and did lose their lives. And in some ways I felt a bit of contempt for myself. Who was I to feel anything for what isnít mine? Who was I to be angry or sad? Emotions, however, are not ruled by command.

The inevitable war followed, and so did the heightened rhetoric on both sides. Many felt the US should accept this act as their punishment and a reprimand for perceived behavior or decisions. They believe that the US policy should be changed in exchange for peace. Others felt the US should wage some hellacious nuclear war upon anything that moved in a non-friendly manner. To them, the whole Arab world became the enemy. The rest fall somewhere in-between. Most of those want to see terrorism stopped at minimal deaths.

Regardless of what we do to pursue that goal, we must begin to think and not simply regurgitate party lines. We must learn more and expect more of ourselves. Particularly, we must become more globally aware. Simply putting a flag on your house and car does not make you patriotic Ė symbolism does not make you safe. Making excuses for Islamic nations and radicals saying only .001% of them are dangerous does not make you reflective. It shows a refusal to embrace realism.

Finally, let me end this by saying on this day that anniversaries, when all is said and done, mean very little without future purpose. Lighting a candle will not unite the world or bring back the lost. The dead are no more or less dead today then they were yesterday or in this case on September 12th. What may give their deaths meaning is if we learn more about the world beyond our borders.
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Dragonspirit
post Sep 11 2002, 08:47 AM
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As a side note, if one of you could repost this for me on the other Utopia politics board I would be grateful. I wrote it in word, and for some reason I got the invalid character thing. Thanks.
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Allon
post Sep 11 2002, 01:44 PM
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Nice......very, very nice.
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mhallex
post Sep 11 2002, 01:51 PM
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Very profound.


This should be reposted.

Maybe I'll put ti on my locker at school.
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Sup
post Sep 11 2002, 04:36 PM
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*applauds*
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Muztard
post Sep 11 2002, 06:09 PM
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It was all Dragon spirits fault! He secretly wished it!!! Perhaps he is Osama Bin Laden? Of couse he could be Brezhnev reincarnated.
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gnuneo
post Sep 11 2002, 08:14 PM
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its been posted on UP.

<took me 15mins grumble grumble>


BTW - good message.
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Nietzsche
post Sep 12 2002, 01:53 AM
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Patriotism is a dangerous thing and more than what most think it means.

I never support patriotism since it invariably leads to a cancerous outgrowth namely, nationalism. 9/11 was tragic. On a global scale though it was rather insignifigant in relation to deaths some nations face on a yearly basis.

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Wolfenstein
post Sep 12 2002, 02:00 AM
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Patriotism is sometimes extremely motivating and positive...
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ro4444
post Sep 12 2002, 02:39 AM
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perhaps, but only in very small doses. Otherwise, as Nietzsche said, it will lead to nationalism. Still, though, in times of crisis a LITTLE patriotism never hurts (although the Patriot Act is far from patriotic)
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Dragonspirit
post Sep 12 2002, 07:46 AM
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Thanks to all for the kind words.
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T-bone
post Sep 13 2002, 11:31 AM
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(thier needs to be a smiley with a single tear) *applauds*


<<<Patriotism is sometimes extremely motivating and positive...>>>

True. Sometimes it can be the bane of us all though.
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Muztard
post Sep 13 2002, 01:57 PM
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gnuneo
post Sep 13 2002, 10:16 PM
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the motivation to give ones energy and life for something greater than your own egotistic self, or even family, is surely noble (in defense of).

however when compared to thinking about grander dreams, of the human race, or life itself, then it becomes a meagre and paltry philosphy, degrading and limited.
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acow
post Sep 14 2002, 04:09 PM
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I am a staunch critic of patriotism. What few gains it can give in good times are akin to solving your problems with alcohol. It dims the pain, and warps one views of the issues, and rarely does one wake up the next day praising the results of the night before. Plus the added isolationist, nationalist, segregation and "us vs them" mentality it brings will always push it into the negative.

And that's at its best. At its worst, it is as horrific as any kind of other irrational fundementalist attitudes.

What i felt on that moment just over a year ago was feelings of frustration and compassion.

Frustration at the conflict and ignorance apparent in almost every human in the world, whether they be islamic fundamentalists, american nationalists, or just your average joe from anywhere in the world. The hate, the blame, the anger....contained within them all.

Compassion simply because of the seemingly never ending cycle of ignorance that has clouded the views of humanity since time immemorial and the pain it has inflicted.

Everyone talks about how much the world has changed since september 11th. For afew individuals, i concede maybe it has, but they are the EXTREME exception to the rule, for most of the world, it has not. They still walk around with the same attitudes, the same problematic approach, the same mindless spewing of rhetoric and party line without even a semblence of reflection or independant thought.

I'll give a metaphorical example of what i'm talking about.

Here in Australia recently, in perth, there was an incident of a "supposed" miracle, with a statue of the virgin mary crying tears. What disturbed me most, was not the attitude of those who were skeptical, but instead the attitude of those who were believers. Assuming the miracle was real, which it was in these peoples minds, what did they do? They went. And they sat. And they stared. Never once did these people really consider the impact of a highly important religious icon in their lives, physically crying in their midst. They did not think there could possibly be a reason the statue was crying, or have it lead them to any kind of insight. Instead they went and they gawked. Whether the statue is still "crying" i do not know, but i would not hazard a guess that if and when it stops, all these "believers" will go back to their lives like nothing has happened...

The exact same thing has happened, it seems to me, with semptember 11th.

The great symbol of america openly wept that day. Hell, the great symbol of most of the world wept. But what did the people do? They sat, and they bowed before their national symbols. While america cried, the people played their roles just as they always had. The right screamed bloody murder. The left pretty much shut up for now, cause the last thing they wanted to be seen as was condoning the attack. The extreme left scremed the bloody murder of the right. And everyone else sat around finding that because they had believed and known nothing before the attacks, that they still believed and knew nothing now. And in doing so, they turned and bowed in fear and hysteria before their crying statue. They cared not to ask why the statue cries. Sure, half of them say their lives have changed, just as most of those in perth say that they were doing something merely by going to look at the statue of mary, but deep down, when the dust of the WTO had cleared, the world looked exactly the same, possibly worse. Fear, revenge and blame were now instilled amongst most of the people bowing before the statue.

These are the very same people who hang flags outside their homes, and think that somehow the very action of placing some miniture flag on their car makes them better off. What's worse, anyone who questions their little flag placing ritual is attacked, as though someone pointing out the issue of their own ignorance is someone to blame. These people, who thought they were just and good and problem solving before, and in the destruction of the WTO found themselves naked and ignorant, have once again convinced themselves they are just and good and problem solving again, by putting flags on their houses and cars. Yet they remain ignorant. They are the same people who believe that a memorial service, and the lighting of a candle means something if they do nothing else for the rest of their lives. They are the same people who watch a commemoration of Sept 11 program on television and think in doing so, they are actively doing something.

The same goes for the other side too, but it is the enemy that one doesn't see that is the problem. For we all know there is a problem in the middle east now. We know there are problems with education and world outlook over there. But it is this subtle stupidity at home, in our western countries, in both the left, the right, and those who know not enough to have an opinion set in stone. Although ironically, i believe it is those who DO know enough that lack an opinion set in stone. We light a candle, and believe we are doing something. We watch a memorial, and believe that we have done our part. And we put a flag on our home, and kneel in front of the weeping statue, and believe we are actively doing something for the good of all. Sadly, its not the jerry springer viewers of the world that are the sickness, for everyone knows they are ignorant :lol: Its the oprah viewers, those who think they are doing something, finding solutions,doing something for those who died, but in reality, know, and do, nothing.

This entire post has turned out slightly longer than i first intended, and i'm not sure if i've gotten my point across. But i felt frustration and compassion on Sept 11th that night. I watched from the moment the first plane hit, to the moment the second tower fell. I knew the obligatory war would follow. And i watched from afar as people cried and screamed in the streets, as for a brief minute, real life intruded on their sheltered lives. I see not a world changed, but a world further segregated, where instead of wiping the ignorance from their minds, it has pushehd people further and further into their little safety blanket of ignorance. Whether it be patriotism, rhetoric, or ideology. Whether the left or the right.

I felt frustrated that day at the stupidity of most of the human race.

But i feel compassion for them too. And as i watch them withdraw again into their lives, their ritual of placing flags and lighting candles to clear their conscience. I feel for the suffering that has come about in their past, and will come about again in their future, and the seeming inevitability of it all happening again, watching the same cycle of pain and suffering in humanity go on for all eternity, and the powerlessness of those few who see what is happening to stop it.

And it pains me...

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mhallex
post Sep 14 2002, 06:16 PM
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acow, do you mind if I repost that?

I'm thinking of printing and putting it on my locker, too.
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Allon
post Sep 14 2002, 06:48 PM
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We really need that single tear smiley....
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acow
post Sep 15 2002, 04:39 AM
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Stick it to the man...
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You can do what ever you like with it....

Well....almost what ever you like..... :blink:

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Muztard
post Sep 15 2002, 06:41 AM
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That was truely insightful Acow. Well done.
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gnuneo
post Sep 28 2002, 10:57 AM
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OK, i *know* its over a couple of days old (and therefore ancient history to most of you), but i was searching for news and i just dicovered this - it seems to fit in with DSs thread quite nicely.

-------------------------------------------

September 11 - Enough Day.
Enough flag-waving, enough violence, enough nationalism. Enough already! September 11 was not an American tragedy it was a human tragedy.


G.W.Bush, acting upon a joint resolution of Congress, has declared September 11 to be Patriot Day. According to his proclamation, we're supposed to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT, this in honor of the Americans who died in the terrorist attack.

You know, personally I think this idea just inappropriate. I have heard of a better idea, so I'm making it a proclamation of my own, which of course is completely unendorsed by any US politician so far that I'm aware of.

I declare September 11 International Enough Day. Enough flag-waving, enough violence, enough nationalism. Enough already! September 11 was not an American tragedy it was a human tragedy. It was a tragedy not just for the people in the US who died, but for every innocent person killed as a result of the US reaction to the attacks as well. It was a tragedy for the human spirit, regardless of nationality, religion, and anything else.

On September 11, let's say Enough. No more killing. Let's remember not
only the victims of the hijacked airplanes in the US, but of the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Let's remember all the Israelis killed by Palestinian bombers and all the Palestinians killed by Israeli troops. Let's remember all the innocent people slain by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India in 1984. Let's take the day to contemplate the people who've been victims of genocidal warfare in Africa, and the ones who've starved to death because of political games as well.

Let's remember the victims of the Holocaust and of the firebombing of Dresden, too. Let's not forget those who were slain in the Mai Lai Massacre.

Instead of waving the flag of one nation and thinking only about our own dead, let's make September 11 a day to remember all the people who've died at the hands of someone else's political agenda through no fault of their own, and let's say enough. We should stand up and disavow this, no matter what country we're in, no matter what religion we are, no matter our political affiliation or status or race or anything else.

If we had a moment of silence marking the time of every atrocity ever committed in the name of nationalism, religion every atrocity committed in the name of the artificial borders that try to make us forget that we're all human, all in this together, all fragile creatures whose lives can be snuffed out in an instant through no fault of our own then we would never speak again.

So we here in America should, I think, observe September 11 as the day when the nightmares that humans around the world have been living with for decades came lumbering ashore on the East Coast of the US. We should see it for what it is; the day the US truly experienced the horror that rings like a bell around the globe, from South America to the Middle East to Micronesia, the day we joined the human race at a most profound and fundamental level.

There should be no Patriot Day, no day to further emphasize that we're different. Instead, let's say Enough. Enough of putting the interests of any one nation above the interests of the human race. Enough dwelling on our small differences. Enough killing each other over them. Enough hate, enough fear, enough hunger, enough violence, enough bombing, enough, ENOUGH.

We should each find our own way of expressing this. A moment of silence or perhaps a day of silence. Meditation, art, whatever it is that you do do it. Take the day to celebrate the lives of all of us -- wherever we're from and whatever we believe -- who are still here, and think on those -- wherever they were, whenever they were and whatever they were -- who weren't so lucky.

Take the day to remember the fragility of human life and all the nightmares wrought by those who wanted to impose their will upon the whole of humanity.

Commit no act of violence, however small. Let go of any hatred and prejudice and thirst for revenge and, for one day, see yourself in the other and the other in yourself. Do whatever you do, and do it to say ENOUGH. And let's pray that GOD BLESS ALL HUMANITY not just America!

http://www.drh-movement.org/
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gnuneo
post Sep 28 2005, 04:48 PM
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top, a little late for the anniversary, but still worth a memorical visit.
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Ryan_Liam
post Oct 1 2005, 01:02 AM
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Why did it take september the 11th for that shit to be said Gnuneo?
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gnuneo
post Oct 3 2005, 04:38 PM
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:blink:

what?
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acow
post Oct 3 2005, 05:20 PM
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Stick it to the man...
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Holy carp, did i actually write that :P
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QWOT
post Oct 4 2005, 04:32 AM
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Agreed, all three essays here (Dragonspirit's, acow's and gnuneo's) are worth re-reading and contemplating.
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Flyer_Bear
post Oct 7 2005, 07:03 AM
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A constructive response is the greatest form of flattery for an essay writer. So, Acow, consider yourself flattered.

QUOTE(acow @ Sep 14 2002, 04:09 PM)
I am a staunch critic of patriotism.† What few gains it can give in good times are akin to solving your problems with alcohol.† It dims the pain, and warps one views of the issues, and rarely does one wake up the next day praising the results of the night before.† Plus the added isolationist, nationalist, segregation and "us vs them" mentality it brings will always push it into the negative.


Patriotism is a natural reaction to outside aggression. It is instinctual. It unifies the group, focuses their attention, and forges an iron will. It is absolutely essential to the survival of the group. If a nation does not react to violence from an outside aggressor with patriotism then it is doomed. It will become lost in uncertainty and indecisiveness.

You will argue that it is better to react rationally to such an attack, as if it were impossible to react patriotically and rationally. I would like for you to show me a single example in history of a nation reacting succesfully to a direct attack from an outside threat without patriotism amongst its citizens?

You will also argue that patriotism is ultimately responsible for the Iraq War. You are mistaken. Fear--not Patriotism--gave the current administration the backing it needed to launch OIF. Fear of another attack.

Patriotism has acted as a catalyst for the war (which is a good thing--you do not fight wars half-assed), but it did not cause the war.

You can scream bloody murder at the Bush administration until you pop a blood vessel, but fear is what gave the green light to the invasion, and 9/11 spawned that fear. Therefore Al-Quaeda is ultimately responsible for the suffering visited upon the people of Iraq since 2001. Lets stop blaming ourselves, God Damnit, and stay focused.

QUOTE
And that's at its best.†  At its worst, it is as horrific as any kind of other irrational fundementalist attitudes.


Again you confuse patriotism with fear. Your frustration is justified, but misplaced. Fear is the mind-killer.

QUOTE
What i felt on that moment just over a year ago was feelings of frustration and compassion.

Frustration at the conflict and ignorance apparent in almost every human in the world, whether they be islamic fundamentalists, american nationalists, or just your average joe from anywhere in the world.† The hate, the blame, the anger....contained within them all.

Compassion simply because of the seemingly never ending cycle of ignorance that has clouded the views of humanity since time immemorial and the pain it has inflicted.


This to me respresents the naive view of life and the world that is shared by many of us spoiled brats in the West. It is so painlessly easy to point fingers when you are not the one who has had your life shattered in an instant, by people who don't know you from Adam.

I am reminded of a debate ajudicated by Bill Mahr between Ward Churchill and a man who lost a family member to the 9/11 attack. Towards the end of the debate, Bill Mahr tried to justify to the family member the notion of having a display within the 9/11 memorial in New York. The display would be entitled 'Why They Hate Us,' and would list all the reasons why the suicide bombers decided to launch their attack.

It's obvious how grossly inappropriate such a display would be inside a memorial dedicated to the victims of the attack. What really struck me was how, in spite of all the death and destruction caused by the attack, there are people in our society who are so spoiled, so sheltered, so self-absorbed, and so detached from America that they will sacrifice respect for the dead on the alter of their own twisted concept of 'humanism.'

QUOTE
Everyone talks about how much the world has changed since september 11th.† For afew individuals, i concede maybe it has, but they are the EXTREME exception to the rule, for most of the world, it has not.† They still walk around with the same attitudes, the same problematic approach, the same mindless spewing of rhetoric and party line without even a semblence of reflection or independant thought.


You need to look at things with a more patient, discerning eye. There is a growing disillusionment with the 'party line' in America. People are learning to see things in shades of gray. This, from where I'm standing, is a revolutionary time in American history.

QUOTE
The great symbol of america openly wept that day.† Hell, the great symbol of most of the world wept.† But what did the people do?† They sat, and they bowed before their national symbols.† While america cried, the people played their roles just as they always had.


Bullshit "just as they always had." Not since World War 2 has America stood united in this way. For the past 50+ years we have been an apathetic, cynical bunch of spoiled brats, unwilling to fully commit to anything.

QUOTE
The right screamed bloody murder.† The left pretty much shut up for now, cause the last thing they wanted to be seen as was condoning the attack.


Your perception is wrong. The Left as a whole screamed murder as well. Perhaps not 'bloody murder,' but murder none-the-less. This goes back to Patriotism being a unifier.

QUOTE
These are the very same people who hang flags outside their homes, and think that somehow the very action of placing some miniture flag on their car makes them better off. What's worse, anyone who questions their little flag placing ritual is attacked, as though someone pointing out the issue of their own ignorance is someone to blame.† These people, who thought they were just and good and problem solving before, and in the destruction of the WTO found themselves naked and ignorant, have once again convinced themselves they are just and good and problem solving again, by putting flags on their houses and cars.† Yet they remain ignorant.† They are the same people who believe that a memorial service, and the lighting of a candle means something if they do nothing else for the rest of their lives.† They are the same people who watch a commemoration of Sept 11 program on television and think in doing so, they are actively doing something.


I am not a flag waiving American. I did not join the Air Force to defend my country or kill terrorists. I enlisted because I dropped out of highschool and my life was going nowhere. When I deploy I do so with grim determination, because I am a professional soldier and it's my job. The American people provide for me, and I act as a living extension of their will.

So when I say that the American soldier needs the visible support of the American citizen, I know this flies in the face of what I just said. But it's true.

It is vital to have the moral support of the People. Whether it be in the form of a candle-light vigil, or having some one come up to you in the airport to thank you for all that you have done. That last part is always embarrasing to the point where I wish people wouldn't do it (I don't deserve it), but it shows that the support is there.

So that flag waiving American, which your foreign, ignorant Aussie ass looks down upon with such spite because he or she is so happy and so proud, does in fact accomplish quite a lot. More than a spoiled, sheltered Western child like you can appriciate with your narrow-minded view of things.

QUOTE
The same goes for the other side too, but it is the enemy that one doesn't see that is the problem.† For we all know there is a problem in the middle east now.† We know there are problems with education and world outlook over there.† But it is this subtle stupidity at home, in our western countries, in both the left, the right, and those who know not enough to have an opinion set in stone.† Although ironically, i believe it is those who DO know enough that lack an opinion set in stone.† We light a candle, and believe we are doing something.† We watch a memorial, and believe that we have done our part.† And we put a flag on our home, and kneel in front of the weeping statue, and believe we are actively doing something for the good of all.† Sadly, its not the jerry springer viewers of the world that are the sickness, for everyone knows they are ignorant† :lol: Its the oprah viewers, those who think they are doing something, finding solutions,doing something for those who died, but in reality, know, and do, nothing.


Your raging cyncism and snobbish attitude undermind an otherwise well written essay. I would like to know what you, Acow, as a fellow human being, have done to make the world a better place? The person who watches the memorial, flies the flag, and blesses the troops with words is doing something. He could be doing more, it's true, but why not try encouragement instead of derision? With the holier than thou attitude you have now you're not going to convince anyone. Though you will more than likely piss them off.

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This entire post has turned out slightly longer than i first intended, and i'm not sure if i've gotten my point across.† But i felt frustration and compassion on Sept 11th that night.† I watched from the moment the first plane hit, to the moment the second tower fell.† I† knew the obligatory war would follow.† And i watched from afar as people cried and screamed in the streets, as for a brief minute, real life intruded on their sheltered lives.† I see not a world changed, but a world further segregated, where instead of wiping the ignorance from their minds, it has pushehd people further and further into their little safety blanket of ignorance.† Whether it be patriotism, rhetoric, or ideology.† Whether the left or the right.


You fail to grasp the hypocracy of these words. You are smarter than this.

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I felt frustrated that day at the stupidity of most of the human race.

But i feel compassion for them too.† And as i watch them withdraw again into their lives, their ritual of placing flags and lighting candles to clear their conscience.† I feel for the suffering that has come about in their past, and will come about again in their future, and the seeming inevitability of it all happening again, watching the same cycle of pain and suffering in humanity go on for all eternity, and the powerlessness of those few who see what is happening to stop it.

And it pains me...
*



Again, such a cynical viewpoint. Have you ever considered that the people who fly the flags and light the candles do so maybe--just maybe--because they want to? Because it brings them genuine joy and pride to do so? Is that so wrong? Why does everything have to be so fucking cosmic?

This post has been edited by Flyer_Bear: Oct 7 2005, 07:12 AM
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Time is now: 5th March 2006 - 03:23 AM