Friday, November 12, 2004

Some quotes on taking a country to war...

Thanks to my buddy Jesse for finding this quote:

"Naturally the common people don't want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

- Hermann Goering, a Nazi henchman, talking to a prison psychologist and U.S. Army Captain Gustave M. Gilbert when he was in jail.

My sister's friend's quote from Mr. Shakespeare:

'Beware the leader who bangs the drum of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor. For patriotism is indeed a double- edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and patriotism, will offer up all of their rights to the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Julius Caesar.'

- Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


dave p said...

Sure Goering (much more than just a henchman, btw) and the Third Reich had to hoodwink the nation into believeing a good offense was the best defense. But unless I'm mistaken, the Nazis *did* invade Poland. And France. And Holland. And... well you get the idea.

And again, unless I'm mistaken, those were indeed three hijacked airliners that crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon.

Sure, it's best to be wary of militant leaders, but do you seriously believe the US public would have stood for no action at all after 9/11? Just shrug it off?

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

You know it's a tricky thing: figuring out what should have been done. I mean, it's systemic problems, not a singular "how we should respond to 9/11" question, you know?

But I guess if I had any advice to have given to the Bush administration on the days following 9/11, I would suggest taking stock of what sort of things or people we have supported or oppressed in these last decades... you know, to really consider if these attacks were not a 'strike because they hate our freedom' but rather an oppressed force wanting to be heard, wanted to be reckoned with.

And perhaps I am just too idealistic.

But an interesting story a friend of mine told me yesterday. He is a Marine and was stationed in Falujah. He recently returned. He told me how Iraquis would plant a car bomb near Americans so they could kill them to take their shoes. They wanted shoes.

I think there are serious issues when 1% of the world has 49% of the world's wealth... and these are Americans.

So, what should we have done then? It's too late for that. We did retaliate... and on people who were not even involved with 9/11.( There is so much evidence to support that theory.)

So, what should we do now? I am not sure, but I think it begins with admitting that we might have acted rashly, perhaps America has its own evils that we need to own up to.

When I was younger, I thought that what I did didn't affect other people. It does. And American foreign policy (and domestic policy on some levels) and values do affect other nations.

Kim said...

Hey Ryan, I'm so glad you thought the Shakespearean quote I happened upon worthy of posting on your blog. I think it is very poignant.

Responding to the question of what should we have done after 9.11...I think our FIRST move was a much, much more justified course of action. We went into Afghanistan- a severely underdeveloped country and put the DIRECT associates of the 9.11 attacks on the run. I think there is justification in that. The U.S. did not just lie there and suffer the most brutal attack on its own soil without retaliating. But then....

...for some reason we found it necessary to divide our military efforts to a country that had shaky connections to 9.11 if any at all? I think questions should be raised by the citizens of this country. It would be completely undemocratic and unnatural if we didn't. And I think our questions deserve answers.

in_the_military said...

All right, maybe this will shed some light in your self-made darkness:

You say America is an empire without reading history. Do we run Japan, Germany, France or Korea or Kuwait. Yet by the laws of war they are ours. America is different by choice.

I got a quote for ya'll. Educate yourself. This is from 16 Sept. 02.

"Not long ago in history, Muslim troops stood in the heart of Vienna, the capital of Austria; not long ago, Muslim troops were in Lapwatae in Southern France; not long ago, Muslims dominated the Balkans; not long ago, Muslims dominated northern and central Africa; not long ago, the Mediterranean, the red sea (sic.), the Arabian Gulf and the Indian ocean (sic.) were exclusively Muslim waters and were under the full control of Muslims. And not long ago, the straights of Malaga, Gibraltar and Aden were under Muslim sovereignty. Not long ago in history, the Islamic State was the greatest state in the world; the world order was completely different. The West is afraid of this type of state being re-established and consequently threatening their interests."

Jesse said...

Hey in_the_military,
usually when you quote something, it would help to put the speaker's name and context of where he/she is speaking, instead of just putting some random post and acting like we should all know what your talking about...and as far as history, it doesn't take much to realize that america is the leading empire of the world today, just like britain was, rome, babylon, etc...what requirements do we need? colonization (Iraq, Panama, McDonalds, Starbucks,), world economy dominance (check), most powerful military (yep), only to name a few...i agree with ryan, disagreements are great as long as there is a mutual respect for one another.

in_the_military said...

You got to remember I'm in the military . . . I hang out with tough men all day. I'm not used to the sensitivity you display in writing. You looked pretty tough in the picture that's why I suggested the Marines in the comment you stripped off.

To the point:

Quoting you to put this in context, "you know, to really consider if these attacks were not a 'strike because they hate our freedom' but rather an oppressed force wanting to be heard, wanted to be reckoned with."

Let's talk about who was being oppressed . . .
do your own search on google for "270 mass graves"

Here's the first thing you will find:
"Mass graves of the Husein regiem."

Do a search on "Ambassador Prosper" of the United States State Dept. See what other disgusting things he is discovering.

Militant Muslims don't hate us because we have freedom. They hate us because we have the ability to shut down their oppression. Or maybe these Arab women and children don't matter to you becuase they aren't white? Is that it? Tell me you aren't a racist.

So if you aren't a racist then tell me how many kids have to be stuffed in the sand in full scale genicide before someone makes Saddam stop. Huh? I don't get it. How can anyone be against going into Iraq and stopping the atrocoties?!?!?! To be against the war in Iraq you are either ignorant of what was happening there or racist to leave the oppressed to thier fate.

Do you know that over 100 people a week in the days before we rolled into Iraq were having thier limbs cut of as punishment. You know how we know . . . because the prisions delivered itemized bills to the familys.

I assume that you aren't a racist even though you ideolgical position is. That's why I tell you to join us in the military, open your eyes, see for yourself that the United States of America is that best country this planet has ever seen. We bring freedom and prosperity because our ideology is based on the Bible (and not all your eastern zen). And then you talk about moving to Canada and America being to wealthy. I don't see you moving to Iraq like a modern day Mother Teressa.

You are 27 years old . . . before you know it you are going to be 47 and you'll be full of regrets.

Not me. The only regret I have so far is that I haven't down more to set the captives free while sending evil people to hell. Come help me Ryan.


Oh, and Jesse go look at my previous comment, under the quote you will find the address which put's it in context. It was there all along . . . ya ding dong (we call guys like you "sniper eyes" cuz you see everything).