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Tysyacha
09-11-2008, 04:47 PM
In honor of today, I present this, for Alfie Kohn's words are to the wise...

RETHINKING SCHOOLS

Winter 2001-02

September 11

By Alfie Kohn

Some events seem momentous when they occur but gradually fade from consciousness, overtaken by fresh headlines and the distractions of daily life. Only once in a great while does something happen that will be taught by future historians. Just such an incident occurred on September 11. The deadly attacks on New York and Washington have left us groping for support, for words, for a way to make meaning and recover our balance.

Almost 30 years ago, my father suffered a serious heart attack at the age of 42. I remember how he smiled up at me weakly from his hospital bed and made a joke that wasn’t a joke. “I guess I’m not as immortal as I thought I was,” he murmured. This fall we have all suffered an attack that has stolen from us, individually and collectively, our sense of invincibility. Our airplanes can be turned into missiles. Our skyline can be altered. We can’t be sure that our children are safe.

It is unimaginable to me that people could patiently plan such carnage, could wake up each morning, eat breakfast, and spend the day preparing to destroy thousands of innocent lives along with their own. But while the particulars seem unfathomable, the attack itself had a context and perhaps a motive that are perfectly comprehensible – and especially important for educators to grasp.

The historical record suggests that the United States has no problem with terrorism as long as its victims don’t live here or look like most of us. In the last couple of decades alone, we have bombed Libya, invaded Grenada, attacked Panama, and shelled Lebanon - killing civilians in each instance. We created and funded an army of terrorists to overthrow the elected government of Nicaragua, and when the World Court ruled that we must stop, we simply rejected the court's authority. We engineered coups in Iran, Zaire, Guatemala, and Chile (the last of which coincidentally also took place on September 11).

In 1991, we killed more than 100,000 men, women, and children in Iraq, deliberately wiping out electricity and water supplies with the result that tens of thousands of civilians died from malnutrition and disease. We continue to vigorously defend (and subsidize) Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians, which has been condemned by human rights organizations and virtually every other nation on the planet. We have aided vile tyrants, including some who later turned against us: Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, and, yes, Osama bin Laden (when his opposition to the Soviets served our purposes). We are not the only nation that has done such things, but we are the most powerful and therefore arguably the most dangerous.

To be sure, these are delicate issues to raise at such a time, yet it is vital that we summon the courage to face them – if only to understand how our country is seen by others and to be prepared for questions that our students may ask. Some people remember all too clearly how many innocents we killed in Iraq; some see all too vividly how much suffering takes place in Israel’s occupied territory. The prospect of further bloodshed, as grief turns to cries for vengeance, demands that we look hard at reality, no matter how unpleasant or inconvenient.

Does that reality justify an act of terrorism against us? No. Our history may help to explain, but decidedly does not excuse, the taking of innocent lives. Nothing could. By the same token, though, the September attack does not justify a retaliatory war launched by our government that takes innocent lives abroad. Early polls showed overwhelming American support for revenge, even for killing civilians in Muslim countries. If this seems understandable given what has just happened, then the same must be said about the animosity of our attackers, some of whom may have suffered personally from U.S.-sponsored violence. Understandable in both cases – and excusable in neither.

And so we come to our role as educators. There are excellent resources for helping students to reflect deeply about these specific issues, such as the website www.teachingforchange.org/Sept11.htm. But our broader obligation is to address what the writer Martin Amis recently described as Americans’ chronic “deficit of empathy for the sufferings of people far away.” Schools should help children locate themselves in widening circles of care that extend beyond self, beyond country, to all humanity.

Likewise, education must be about developing the skills and disposition to question the official story, to view with skepticism the stark us-against-them (or us good, them bad) portrait of the world and the accompanying dehumanization of others that helps to explain that empathy deficit. Students should also be able to recognize dark historical parallels in the President’s rhetoric, and to notice what is not being said or shown on the news.

One detail of the tragedy carries a striking pedagogical relevance. Official announcements in the south tower of the World Trade Center repeatedly instructed everyone in the building to stay put, which posed an agonizing choice: follow the official directive or disobey and evacuate. Here we find a fresh reason to ask whether we are teaching students to think for themselves or simply to do what they're told.

Ultimately, though, the standard by which to measure our schools is the extent to which the next generation comes to understand – and fully embrace – this simple truth: The life of someone who lives in Kabul or Baghdad is worth no less than the life of someone in New York or from our neighborhood.

Tommycat
09-11-2008, 09:53 PM
Ya know I dispise those who use this day to preach their pro/anti war stance(note I also include the pro war even though I myself happen to be on that side). This day should not be about support or opposition to the Iraq war.

It should be about honoring those that died. Not pushing your agenda.

EDIT: As an example. Would you want your family member's funeral used to convert people to/from religion?

Web Rider
09-12-2008, 12:13 AM
I have to agree with Tommycat. There are 365 days in the year, only upon a handful of them do we ask that you not preach your agenda and simply be respectful. People who cannot handle this concept are not worth listening to.

Da_man
09-12-2008, 01:27 AM
That was a really moving article. I was just watching a special on the History Channel about 9/11 using footage from cameras from people on the streets. I was too young to remember what happend specifically on that day, but now when I relized how much destruction and chaos occured, it really freaked me out. I'm already semi-paranoid, now I'm proably not going to fall asleep tonight knowing that could possibly happen again near where I live.

jonathan7
09-12-2008, 07:08 AM
Ya know I dispise those who use this day to preach their pro/anti war stance(note I also include the pro war even though I myself happen to be on that side). This day should not be about support or opposition to the Iraq war.

It should be about honoring those that died. Not pushing your agenda.

EDIT: As an example. Would you want your family member's funeral used to convert people to/from religion?

Despise is such a strong word, I would ask you consider changing it to "dislike".

I have to agree with Tommycat. There are 365 days in the year, only upon a handful of them do we ask that you not preach your agenda and simply be respectful. People who cannot handle this concept are not worth listening to.

A considerably harsh reaction, I think the point of the article was to avoid future atrocities such as the Twin Towers; and promote consideration of each other.

I quite liked the article myself, I don't necessarily think that it was pro or anti war - more that the Wests foreign policy is often hypocritical and can lead to a lot of suffering. I would have to argue that a day as terrible as 9/11 (I lost a friend that day in WTC2) that it is more honouring to all those who died to consider big issues, where life is being lost today in the "War on Terror" (poor irony indeed, in that name), than to say the day is purely to remember them. After all, dwelling on the past doesn't change the future, so we should try and learn from the past, and honour the dead by stopping such events occurring in the future and making the future a better place to be.

SW01
09-12-2008, 07:31 AM
You know, I also think that article has a lot in it that makes sense. As jonathan7 pointed out - it exposes the hypocrisy in Western Foreign policy. Note I said 'Western', not American, as our government also shares some blame.

Too long have oppressive regimes been supported by us. I'm thinking of South American dictators, Middle-Eastern tyrants and, of course, terrorist groups. How many anti-Communist terrorist factions and dictators were funded by the West during the Cold War? What about propping up the dictator Batista in Cuba, before a populist revolution removed him?

Such hypocrisy does nothing to increase trust in us, the 'developed' states, the 'civilised' West. When we embrace Libya with one arm and use the other to destroy Iraq...what does that say about us?

Tommycat
09-12-2008, 08:40 AM
Despise is such a strong word, I would ask you consider changing it to "dislike".
I chose that word specifically because of how I feel about those that use the tragedy to promote view points. Keep in mind I don't care if I share those views. Can't we have ONE day where we don't try to push some agenda. Besides, saying "despise" here is much nicer than what I REALY want to say


A considerably harsh reaction, I think the point of the article was to avoid future atrocities such as the Twin Towers; and promote consideration of each other.

I quite liked the article myself, I don't necessarily think that it was pro or anti war - more that the Wests foreign policy is often hypocritical and can lead to a lot of suffering. I would have to argue that a day as terrible as 9/11 (I lost a friend that day in WTC2) that it is more honouring to all those who died to consider big issues, where life is being lost today in the "War on Terror" (poor irony indeed, in that name), than to say the day is purely to remember them. After all, dwelling on the past doesn't change the future, so we should try and learn from the past, and honour the dead by stopping such events occurring in the future and making the future a better place to be.
My condolences on your loss. I lost several friends that day. One in WTC1, 3 in the Pentagon. My sister lost even more friends that day(she worked at the Pentagon at the time). While I'm not saying that this was pro/anti war(though it seems more anti western government), I am saying that using Sept 11th as a pulpit for views rather than as a day of rememberance for those lost is a disservice and should be frowned apon dispite the views expressed. Using the day as Alfie does is no better than using it to call for revenge against the nations that cheered at the attack in my eyes.

Also, the language of the article is such that it is akin to saying that a rape victim should not have dressed in such a way, but still saying that the rape was wrong.

Ray Jones
09-12-2008, 09:34 AM
Also, the language of the article is such that it is akin to saying that a rape victim should not have dressed in such a way, but still saying that the rape was wrong.While this is a rather unfitting analogy, it'd be more like "Rape is wrong and a terrible thing, but if you have ever raped someone, don't complain if you ever get raped."


I think, while 9/11 was truly a bad day, a tragedy, but there have been other bad days, worse even, and the article neither doubts nor disrespects that or 9/11. Also, I don't see is as anti anything propaganda, it just makes a point, which is, in my eyes, a very valid one.

Totenkopf
09-12-2008, 12:38 PM
While this is a rather unfitting analogy, it'd be more like "Rape is wrong and a terrible thing, but if you have ever raped someone, don't complain if you ever get raped."



The historical record suggests that the United States has no problem with terrorism as long as its victims don’t live here or look like most of us. In the last couple of decades alone, we have bombed Libya, invaded Grenada, attacked Panama, and shelled Lebanon - killing civilians in each instance. We created and funded an army of terrorists to overthrow the elected government of Nicaragua, and when the World Court ruled that we must stop, we simply rejected the court's authority. We engineered coups in Iran, Zaire, Guatemala, and Chile (the last of which coincidentally also took place on September 11).

In 1991, we killed more than 100,000 men, women, and children in Iraq, deliberately wiping out electricity and water supplies with the result that tens of thousands of civilians died from malnutrition and disease. We continue to vigorously defend (and subsidize) Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians, which has been condemned by human rights organizations and virtually every other nation on the planet. We have aided vile tyrants, including some who later turned against us: Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, and, yes, Osama bin Laden (when his opposition to the Soviets served our purposes). We are not the only nation that has done such things, but we are the most powerful and therefore arguably the most dangerous.

To be sure, these are delicate issues to raise at such a time, yet it is vital that we summon the courage to face them...

Actually, I'd say Tommy got the tone right. This whole section is an indictment of US foreign policy and clearly suggests that 9/11 was merely "blowback".

jonathan7
09-12-2008, 12:41 PM
Actually, I'd say Tommy got the tone right. This whole section is an indictment of US foreign policy and clearly suggests that 9/11 was merely "blowback".

Well why do you think 9/11 happened?

El Sitherino
09-12-2008, 12:56 PM
Also, the language of the article is such that it is akin to saying that a rape victim should not have dressed in such a way, but still saying that the rape was wrong.What?! Are you serious?

I understand everyone has their interpretation, but I see it more as presenting the facts surrounding the events and explaining to people what is happening and what has happened because of the event.
Part of preventing things like this from happening again is learning from our mistakes, this isn't some lecture to America about "act better or you'll get raped" it's "Act better and you won't be raped yourself" or rather "Actions have consequences, sometimes unfortunate and unnecessary"

And that goes for both Americans and the people who attacked this country.

Web Rider
09-12-2008, 04:26 PM
this isn't some lecture to America about "act better or you'll get raped"

yes, yes it is.

It is unimaginable to me that people could patiently plan such carnage, could wake up each morning, eat breakfast, and spend the day preparing to destroy thousands of innocent lives along with their own. But while the particulars seem unfathomable, the attack itself had a context and perhaps a motive that are perfectly comprehensible – and especially important for educators to grasp
We start off with this paragraph about "how could somebody do something so horrible?"

The historical record suggests that the United States has no problem with terrorism as long as its victims don’t live here or look like most of us. In the last couple of decades alone, we have bombed Libya, invaded Grenada, attacked Panama, and shelled Lebanon - killing civilians in each instance. We created and funded an army of terrorists to overthrow the elected government of Nicaragua, and when the World Court ruled that we must stop, we simply rejected the court's authority. We engineered coups in Iran, Zaire, Guatemala, and Chile (the last of which coincidentally also took place on September 11).
We then continue with "well, the US could, and the US does."

In 1991, we killed more than 100,000 men, women, and children in Iraq, deliberately wiping out electricity and water supplies with the result that tens of thousands of civilians died from malnutrition and disease. We continue to vigorously defend (and subsidize) Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians, which has been condemned by human rights organizations and virtually every other nation on the planet. We have aided vile tyrants, including some who later turned against us: Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, and, yes, Osama bin Laden (when his opposition to the Soviets served our purposes). We are not the only nation that has done such things, but we are the most powerful and therefore arguably the most dangerous.
"futhermore, look how horrible the US is."

To be sure, these are delicate issues to raise at such a time, yet it is vital that we summon the courage to face them – if only to understand how our country is seen by others and to be prepared for questions that our students may ask. Some people remember all too clearly how many innocents we killed in Iraq; some see all too vividly how much suffering takes place in Israel’s occupied territory. The prospect of further bloodshed, as grief turns to cries for vengeance, demands that we look hard at reality, no matter how unpleasant or inconvenient.
"but even though today commemorates a horrible tragedy in NYC, clearly, it was the US fault. So they can suck eggs."

Does that reality justify an act of terrorism against us? No. Our history may help to explain, but decidedly does not excuse, the taking of innocent lives. Nothing could. By the same token, though, the September attack does not justify a retaliatory war launched by our government that takes innocent lives abroad. Early polls showed overwhelming American support for revenge, even for killing civilians in Muslim countries. If this seems understandable given what has just happened, then the same must be said about the animosity of our attackers, some of whom may have suffered personally from U.S.-sponsored violence. Understandable in both cases – and excusable in neither.
"and if we look in the past, we find the US is really the problem with the world."

And so we come to our role as educators. There are excellent resources for helping students to reflect deeply about these specific issues, such as the website www.teachingforchange.org/Sept11.htm. But our broader obligation is to address what the writer Martin Amis recently described as Americans’ chronic “deficit of empathy for the sufferings of people far away.” Schools should help children locate themselves in widening circles of care that extend beyond self, beyond country, to all humanity.
Because, of course, the US has never shown concern, empathy or any other good feelings towards anyone else.

Likewise, education must be about developing the skills and disposition to question the official story, to view with skepticism the stark us-against-them (or us good, them bad) portrait of the world and the accompanying dehumanization of others that helps to explain that empathy deficit. Students should also be able to recognize dark historical parallels in the President’s rhetoric, and to notice what is not being said or shown on the news.
*insert shameless plug here about how the CIA, the Illuminati and the president all secretly worked together to carry out 9/11 so the US could persue a crusade against Islam.*

One detail of the tragedy carries a striking pedagogical relevance. Official announcements in the south tower of the World Trade Center repeatedly instructed everyone in the building to stay put, which posed an agonizing choice: follow the official directive or disobey and evacuate. Here we find a fresh reason to ask whether we are teaching students to think for themselves or simply to do what they're told.
Because, of course, the officials knew the tower was going to collapse, and it was all planned out by our own government to kill as many people as possible. Here's a novel thought: people probably ignored the announcement and tried their best to get the hell out.

Ultimately, though, the standard by which to measure our schools is the extent to which the next generation comes to understand – and fully embrace – this simple truth: The life of someone who lives in Kabul or Baghdad is worth no less than the life of someone in New York or from our neighborhood.
"But ultimately, I would quickly use a tragic day of remembrance as my soapbox to promote my agenda, as long as it was an American tragedy."


this isn't some lecture to America about "act better or you'll get raped"

yes, yes it is.

igyman
09-12-2008, 04:34 PM
I don't think this has anything to do with preaching. I agree with every word said in that article and I think it's about facing the harsh truth. The American public has been influenced for decades to view its country as the most powerful country in the world and the best country there is, but the sad truth is that the US are as flawed as the rest of the world, if not more.

Your degree of technological development is indisputable, but your society and it's general (I say general because I did have the opportunity to meet a few Americans in person and talk to them and they were all decent and honest people, so I know this doesn't apply to all) inability to be tolerant to those who are different, who talk a different language, have different skin color, live on a different continent shadows everything else. While every democratic country acknowledges the freedom of thinking, no country, except for the US (at least that I know of) allows the existence of organizations like the KKK and considers them legitimate. That says something and it isn't that you allow the freedom of speech, because freedom of speech is a lot different from instigating racial hatred.

I've named this problem, because it's connected to your general attitude towards the rest of the world. Your government also seems to cultivate some form of paranoia, which allows them to start wars that would otherwise never have been supported by the public. The reality is that nobody's "out to get you", the rest of the world couldn't care less about the United States, but the majority of your public seems to have been so influenced by either government propaganda, or the Hollywood film industry (think of all those action movies where the hero goes and kills a bunch of evil Russians/Arabs/Germans/etc who want to destroy the US) that they just can't realize it.

To get to the point of this rather long speech - you need to loosen up a bit! Stop thinking that you're the best and stop being afraid that someone's out to get you! You're just another country with problems of your own and all your energy would be better spent on trying to solve those problems rather than going around and making unnecessary and inexcusable wars. ;)

Web Rider
09-12-2008, 04:42 PM
Your degree of technological development is indisputable, but your society and it's general (I say general because I did have the opportunity to meet a few Americans in person and talk to them and they were all decent and honest people, so I know this doesn't apply to all) inability to be tolerant to those who are different, who talk a different language, have different skin color, live on a different continent shadows everything else. While every democratic country acknowledges the freedom of thinking, no country, except for the US (at least that I know of) allows the existence of organizations like the KKK and considers them legitimate. That says something and it isn't that you allow the freedom of speech, because freedom of speech is a lot different from instigating racial hatred.
Do you know how France has kept it's Frenchness? Do you know how Germany has retained it's culture so well? Do you know how Europe has been so effective at saying "Europe" with all the international influence they get?

It is though language destruction, it is through racial oppression, it is through saying "you're one of us or you're one of THEM." Are these the people you suggest we look to? Maybe the Le Pen indecent in 2002 rings a bell about what the French really think about other people. Do you know how England keeps it's people in line? With cameras on every corner, by restricting the ability to protest and voice your opinion FAR more than the US does. By using spy drones that fly above it's country does it keep people in like. And how the UK keeps it's power? By England preventing the independence of 3 other nations.

So yeah, maybe you'd like to point me to a country we can use as a good example? Because Europe sure as heck isn't doing it.

The reality is that nobody's "out to get you", the rest of the world couldn't care less about the United States, but the majority of your public seems to have been so influenced by either government propaganda, or the Hollywood film industry (think of all those action movies where the hero goes and kills a bunch of evil Russians/Arabs/Germans/etc who want to destroy the US) that they just can't realize it.
Except ya know, the event that started this thread. Or am I just paranoid and that's all done by the Masons and aliens?

You're just another country with problems of your own and all your energy would be better spent on trying to solve those problems rather than going around and making unnecessary and inexcusable wars. ;)
Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda "out to get us."

El Sitherino
09-12-2008, 04:42 PM
Wow, so this is what happens when a hint of unbias disclosure of information happens.

Vote, McCain I hope this country gets another kick in the ****ter to wake people up.

Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda "out to get us."

And we're doing nothing to avenge this or go after the guy. Instead we're in Iraq.

Web Rider
09-12-2008, 04:50 PM
Wow, so this is what happens when a hint of unbias disclosure of information happens.

Vote, McCain I hope this country gets another kick in the ****ter to wake people up.

unbiased?

We are not the only nation that has done such things, but we are the most powerful and therefore arguably the most dangerous.
This is not "unbiased", this is excusing the rest of the world from it's mistakes to take a cheap shot at the US on a day of mourning. Maybe he'd like to bring up the hundreds of thousands of incidents the rest of the world has done that make US actions look chump change?

But no, he wouldn't. Because he's using the memory of a tragedy as a podium to preach a message of "All the problems in the world are the fault of the US."

And we're doing nothing to avenge this or go after the guy. Instead we're in Iraq.
Yeah, and it sucks, and I'd be happy as a fat kid in a candy store to see us refocus on getting the guy.

Det. Bart Lasiter
09-12-2008, 04:58 PM
Do you know how France has kept it's Frenchness? Do you know how Germany has retained it's culture so well? Do you know how Europe has been so effective at saying "Europe" with all the international influence they get?

It is though language destruction, it is through racial oppression, it is through saying "you're one of us or you're one of THEM." Are these the people you suggest we look to? Maybe the Le Pen indecent in 2002 rings a bell about what the French really think about other people. Do you know how England keeps it's people in line? With cameras on every corner, by restricting the ability to protest and voice your opinion FAR more than the US does. By using spy drones that fly above it's country does it keep people in like. And how the UK keeps it's power? By England preventing the independence of 3 other nations.

So yeah, maybe you'd like to point me to a country we can use as a good example? Because Europe sure as heck isn't doing it.i like the way you think hey sithy people in germany killed jews what do you say me and you go out and <Snipped> then smoke and get crunk

<snipped>

This is not "unbiased", this is excusing the rest of the world from it's mistakes to take a cheap shot at the US on a day of mourning. Maybe he'd like to bring up the hundreds of thousands of incidents the rest of the world has done that make US actions look chump change?

But no, he wouldn't. Because he's using the memory of a tragedy as a podium to preach a message of "All the problems in the world are the fault of the US."We are not the only nation that has done such things, but we are the most powerful and therefore arguably the most dangerous.defeating your argument with your own post goddamn i'm good i'm like duke nukem only with internet posting :cool:

igyman
09-12-2008, 05:14 PM
Do you know how England keeps it's people in line? With cameras on every corner, by restricting the ability to protest and voice your opinion FAR more than the US does. By using spy drones that fly above it's country does it keep people in like. And how the UK keeps it's power? By England preventing the independence of 3 other nations.
So, it's better to be able to listen and record someone's private telephone conversation, than to record the streets with cameras in order to prevent a crime? It's better to arrest an innocent person, just because they are of a certain religion, torture them and keep them locked up with no evidence of criminal intent? Is it better to keep the people in line by under-educating them, thus making them more gullible and inclined to believe everything their government tells them?

So yeah, maybe you'd like to point me to a country we can use as a good example? Because Europe sure as heck isn't doing it.
If you're asking that I name a perfect country, there is none. Every country has had its dark periods, but we were done with the darkest ones when the Middle Ages ended and we were done with all the rest when World War II ended.
If you're saying this gives the US the right to threaten other countries, to demand that others dismantle their nuclear warheads, while you increase the number of your own, to support terrorists on one end and then hunt them on the other, then I tend to disagree.

Except ya know, the event that started this thread. Or am I just paranoid and that's all done by the Masons and aliens?
Nope, it was done by Muslim fanatics.


Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda "out to get us."
It's been seven years since nine eleven!! What has Bin Laden done to you since then, except record a few videotapes? Has anyone else attacked the US since then?? And finally, can you really claim every Muslim wants the US destroyed and thus discriminate them and violate their rights because of the acts of a few fanatics?

El Sitherino
09-12-2008, 05:16 PM
Folks, let's calm down with the sensationalism. Seriously, it's disgusting and only makes one look like an unintelligent child.

Web Rider
09-12-2008, 05:20 PM
Go read your own post and get back to me on this.
So, you're saying that pretending to have a good time killing jews is tantamount to saying that the French purposely define "Frenchness" as an exclusive category that people from other nations cannot fit into?

Wow, I didn't know espousing murder and anti-semitism were the same as pointing out history.

I compared you to a former Presidential candidate who also used 9/11 as an excuse to further his own agenda and excuse the sins of this nation just like you did, have fun whining about it when you report my post or blog about it or whatever instead of examining why I said it.
I have neither excused nor justified any action my nation has taken through 9/11. I have ONLY continually said that what this guy is doing is using 9/11 as a soapbox to preach a "US is the evil in the world!" message.


tia for remember what you just posted
huh? perhaps you didn't understand how I was writing my posts. When I put something in quotation marks underneath a [/ quote] block, it was a translation of how what he wrote read when I read it(all of 6 times now.)

[QUOTE=El Sitherino;2524328]Hi Pot, have you met Kettle and Will Smith?

All this 9/11 collective American butt-hurt is making me a bit nauseas.

So what do you want to hear? That the US sucks monkey balls because we've done some bad things? That this man is soooo right that the US is the root of all the problems in the world?

So, it's better to be able to listen and record someone's private telephone conversation, than to record the streets with cameras in order to prevent a crime? It's better to arrest an innocent person, just because they are of a certain religion, torture them and keep them locked up with no evidence of criminal intent? Is it better to keep the people in line by under-educating them, thus making them more gullible and inclined to believe everything their government tells them?
Yeah, and I don't like these things either. But I'd LOVE to hear some solutions instead of "everything the US does is wrong." for a change.


If you're asking that I name a perfect country, there is none. Every country has had its dark periods, but we were done with the darkest ones when the Middle Ages ended and we were done with all the rest when World War II ended.
If you're saying this gives the US the right to threaten other countries, to demand that others dismantle their nuclear warheads, while you increase the number of your own, to support terrorists on one end and then hunt them on the other, then I tend to disagree.
I am not. I am saying that I would like to hear people start proposing solutions. And "get out of world affairs" is not one of them.

Nope, it was done by Muslim fanatics.
And I know that and have said nothing to the contrary.

It's been seven years since nine eleven!! What has Bin Laden done to you since then, except record a few videotapes? Has anyone else attacked the US since then?? And finally, can you really claim every Muslim wants the US destroyed and thus discriminate them and violate their rights because of the acts of a few fanatics?
So, seven years later we should just forget it happened?

And I make no claims about all Muslims.

Folks, let's calm down with the sensationalism. Seriously, it's disgusting and only makes one look like an unintelligent child.

WR, take a few minutes to calm yourself, breath buddy :) Responses like this could only get you in trouble ;)

jonathan7
09-12-2008, 05:24 PM
Ok, thread has been pruned and will now be re-opened, lets play nice though folk's and not irritate one another.

I would like to remind you all of the following...

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Can I also suggest that we leave the rape analogies about 9/11 behind?

Hopefully the conversation can flow again, but nicely, lets not snipe at each other :) Thanks!

Tommycat
09-12-2008, 10:31 PM
My appologies for bringing in the rape analogy.

Still doesn't change the fact that this whole thread started with an article that posted only the bad that the US did. If he was really trying to be unbiased and bring about the positive attitude that so many of you claim he is trying to bring, he would have instead written an article promoting the good that we do. Asking us to remember that the best way to honor those that died is to continue doing the good. Instead he takes this opportunity to tell us why the US was the top target. Tell us why our civilians had to die to get this message across. It's not unbiassed. Claiming that is borderline dishonest.

To be honest, it really doesn't matter whether we change our ways or not. Extremists will still want to take on the big dog either way. That's why they are called extremists.

You want an unbiassed and good message to take from 9/11. I'll write one. I won't have to bring in atrocities to justify more atrocities. Try this message:

I remember September eleventh as a time when we all came together. The greatest memory to me was seeing the changing of the guard ceremony taking place and rather than God save the Queen, they played the Star Spangled Banner. I remember the wonderful feeling I got from knowing that we were not alone. It gave me hope for the future knowing that others were standing there with us. In the days following 9/11 we saw the greatest part of human kind.

When we as a nation and the majority of the world joined together. In these days following September eleventh, we have an opportunity to honor the memory of those taken on that day and truly make this day a positive day. If only for one day or one week, lets look at the good that humanity does. Lets remember how we as a world came together and ceased to be us and them, but all said in unison WE ARE WITH YOU.

Take this day to help your fellow man. Reach out to a stranger or a neighbor that you have never met. See if there is something you can do to make their lives better. Do something for someone and don't ask for anything in return. Take this day to honor the police and firemen who gave their lives. Get together with a few people and bring lunch to your local fire station or police substation. Take this opportunity to thank them for putting their lives on the line.

Let us all take this day to come together again as we did in the days following September eleventh. Give someone a break. Shake the hand of someone you don't know. Buy someone you don't know a meal. Tell the world that this day will forever be a positive day. Use this day not as a negative, or political ploy. Use this day to promote the good that all people can do. Lets all make our own statement that we are good people. Lets make this statement not with words, but with actions. Lets use this platform to launch more kindness. Use this day to cast off negativity. Stop fighting and join together. Stand up as humans and be humane to one another.

Lets all resolve to make this day worth remembering.

igyman
09-13-2008, 03:39 AM
So, seven years later we should just forget it happened?

Of course you shouldn't, but (at the risk of sounding a bit Jedi-ish) you should let go of your anger. For example, when my country was bombed back in '99 I remember hating the guts of Americans and your then president Clinton and the rest of Serbia felt the same way. However, back then I was an eleven year old kid and now, nine years later, I still remember the injustice done to us and the innocent lives lost, but I don't feel angry and I don't think we should execute some kind of revenge on the US.

And I make no claims about all Muslims.

I never said you personally were making any claims about all Muslims. My entire response has been directed at the United States and not you, or anyone else in person. :)

Det. Bart Lasiter
09-13-2008, 10:00 AM
So, you're saying that pretending to have a good time killing jews is tantamount to saying that the French purposely define "Frenchness" as an exclusive category that people from other nations cannot fit into?The logic is the same. You said that European countries weren't an example we should follow and the US shouldn't have try and become one because of this.

And you mentioned racial oppression.

<SNIP>

I have neither excused nor justified any action my nation has taken through 9/11. I have ONLY continually said that what this guy is doing is using 9/11 as a soapbox to preach a "US is the evil in the world!" message.You responded to igy's comment about unnecessary wars and focusing on domestic problems with a huffy 9/11 comment as if it's some omni-rebuttal.

:) "Hey don't you think we should be focusing on fixing Social Security and finding a viable alternative to oil instead of fighting in Iraq?"
http://lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=16&pictureid=1768 "Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda 'out to get us.'"
:) "..."
:golfclap:

huh? perhaps you didn't understand how I was writing my posts. When I put something in quotation marks underneath a [quote ] [/ quote] block, it was a translation of how what he wrote read when I read it(all of 6 times now.)Because he's using the memory of a tragedy as a podium to preach a message of "All the problems in the world are the fault of the US."We are not the only nation that has done such things, but we are the most powerful and therefore arguably the most dangerous.That kinda looks like he's acknowledging other countries do bad **** too but idk I'm not really an expert reader like you.

Yar-El
09-13-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm a science-fiction fan myself. I believe that someday the world will be at peace. I don't believe it will be today. It is ignorant to believe that people (civilians) of other countries don't want us dead.

Alfie Kohn is a fool. Why? It's all about how he wants the educational system to do things. High school based history is about patriotism. College year based history allready covers what he is talking about. We the parents should open up dialog. Not the public educational system. Only when a child understands the sacrifices, he or she will be able to understand the indepth stuff. I want my children to know what it means to be an American, and then in college they will see what needs to be changed. He is also a fool for only focusing on the negative. We need people to unite the country. People like John McCain, Martin Luther King, etc...

igyman
09-13-2008, 01:25 PM
It is ignorant to believe that people (civilians) of other countries don't want us dead.
While I can agree with what you said about parents opening a dialog, etc, I truly don't understand this attitude. Why would someone like me, who lives on another continent want Americans dead? Why would anyone else from any other country want Americans dead? Other countries have their own problems, which won't be solved by killing anyone, not even Americans, so why would other countries care about the US?

We need people to unite the country. People like John McCain. This is a topic I really am not qualified for and the reason is obvious - I'm not an American. If anyone asked me who I'd prefer to be the president of the US, I really couldn't say. I could only form an opinion on your two candidates based on their views regarding Kosovo, but the views of both candidates regarding it are the same and thus unacceptable to me.

Yar-El
09-13-2008, 01:31 PM
While I can agree with most of the things you say from this point on, I truly don't understand this attitude. Why would someone like me, who lives on another continent want Americans dead? Why would anyone else from any other country want Americans dead? Other countries have their own problems, which won't be solved by killing anyone, not even Americans, so why would other countries care about the US? Those are a good series of questons. There are so many reasons. We could sit here for days, and still not be able to cover all the answers. It is a problem for scholar as well. Not every person in those countries want to kill us; however, enough of those people do want to kill us.

This is a topic I really am not qualified for and the reason is obvious - I'm not an American. If anyone asked me who I'd prefer to be the president of the US, I really couldn't say. I could only form an opinion on your two candidates based on their views regarding Kosovo, but the views of both candidates regarding it are the same and thus unacceptable to me. Thats okay. I altered the last line anyway, for I thought it was implying that only John McCain can unite my country. That was wrong of me. We have other good and great leaders that are also qualified. I'm just a McCain supporter.

El Sitherino
09-13-2008, 02:01 PM
I take offense to your claim that I don't have a love for my country and consider myself a patriot.

Perhaps you should understand what it truely means to be patriotic before you cry out BH all over a thread.

Ray Jones
09-13-2008, 02:37 PM
I'd like to point out that the citizens of the USA are basically just a bunch of immigrants who came rollin' in from all those communist, killer and just plain evil people filled countries.

SW01
09-13-2008, 04:26 PM
I'd like to point out that the citizens of the USA are basically just a bunch of immigrants who came rollin' in from all those communist, killer and just plain evil people filled countries.

True enough. You should remember how many allies America has. Britain, for example, has followed America into the hell that is the Iraq war. I think the case may be being overstated a little - most with grievances against America (in Europe anyway) have problems with the government, not necessarily the people. We don't sit dreaming of the deaths of millions of people.:)

Yar-El
09-13-2008, 04:40 PM
This is a heated debate. I can honestly understand why. I'm going to stand on my comments. You either stand with your country, through thick and thin, or you should go somewhere else to live. It's okay to educate people on the rights and wrongs of our actions, so we can learn from our mistakes. Just not at an educational level where kids should be taught about the blood and sacrifice that went into building the United States. Maybe the timming of this thread is bad. Who knows?

I wish you good luck with this debate.

:patriot: To my friends who died in Iraq. To my friends who died in Afghanistan. To my father who faught in the Gulf War. To my grandfather who faught in World War II. God bless. :patriot:

Det. Bart Lasiter
09-13-2008, 05:00 PM
My original post to this thread was filled with anger. I had to restrain myself. I started to look where everyone lived, and found my biggest mistake in posting. I thought everyone was from the United States. People from all over the globe visit here. How the United States views the world is different from how China or Cannada does. I allowed someone with the lack of U.S. history cloud my judgement, and that will never happen again. Alfie Kohn is a fool. I don't have to explain my view, but he is not a U.S. patriot in anyway. George Lucas and Lucas Arts is located in the United States. Freedom of speech in the United States is paramount. People have a right to their own opinion.

...

Patriots hold fast during the good and bad times. Strong men and women of faith have died for this country. Each man and women who sacrificed themselves did it for the greater good. Somtimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong. Our freedoms will hold true in our darkest hours. Civilians have allways been a tragity in war. British soldiers killed hundreds trying to prevent colonization of the United States. Russia, China, Japan, and every other country in the world is guilty. What holds strong is the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Men and women have shead blood to protect those beliefs. I'm willing to bet that we can find fault in every single country in the world.True patriotism isn't wearing a flag pin, posting a smilie with the the American flag on it and declaring loudly that you're a patriot. Being a true patriot is doing everything you can to protect your country, pointing out its flaws and trying to make it a better place no matter whom you may offend by not ignoring social, political, and economic issues. Mr. Kohn pointed out that the US is guilty of what the men and women who we've declared our enemies have done, not to simply offend, but to make it known that our citizens have allowed such things to happen and that they must make this country great and stop assuming that it is simply because it exists.

You pointed out that you love the US because of its Constitution and because of the rights given to its citizens, but a piece of paper will not keep those in power from trampling those rights or denying people in other countries the same rights we in the US enjoy. Thomas Jefferson said that "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots", and while I'm not suggesting something as dramatic as actually spilling the blood of others, I think blood in this case is an excellent metaphor for the sacrifice we must all make for this country to stay great (or perhaps reclaim its greatness) instead of allowing an apathetic consumer culture to become mainstream.

In my eyes, Mr. Kohn, even if his timing was perhaps inappropriate, is more of a patriot than many of the politicians who are unwilling to acknowledge the US' faults for fear of reprisal from their party or sell out their beliefs to get elected and gloss over the truth to paint a picture of the US as a country incapable of doing wrong.

Web Rider
09-13-2008, 05:03 PM
The logic is the same. You said that European countries weren't an example we should follow and the US shouldn't have try and become one because of this.

And you mentioned racial oppression.
Racial OPPRESSION. Not genocide. The difference is that in the former, their lives suck, in the latter, they're dead.

You responded to igy's comment about unnecessary wars and focusing on domestic problems with a huffy 9/11 comment as if it's some omni-rebuttal.
That was because Igy seemed to be saying "nobody's out to get you". And while on the whole I don't think the world is out to get the US, but quite obviously, some people are.

:) "Hey don't you think we should be focusing on fixing Social Security and finding a viable alternative to oil instead of fighting in Iraq?"
http://lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=16&pictureid=1768 "Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda 'out to get us.'"
:) "..."
:golfclap:

That kinda looks like he's acknowledging other countries do bad **** too but idk I'm not really an expert reader like you.
I'm sure you'll improve. :xp:

I'd like to point out that the citizens of the USA are basically just a bunch of immigrants who came rollin' in from all those communist, killer and just plain evil people filled countries.

That's true for a lot of countries. People have moved in an out of various areas for pretty much all of history.

Yar-El
09-13-2008, 05:11 PM
You are right guys. I'm wrong. I'll move along to another topic. Sorry for leaving a comment.

Det. Bart Lasiter
09-13-2008, 05:18 PM
Racial OPPRESSION. Not genocide. The difference is that in the former, their lives suck, in the latter, they're dead.I didn't say "hey sithy old boy let's go commit genocide then we can retire to the parlor for a smoke and sip tea and get crunk", so my comparison is still valid to the discrimination against the Jewish people in Germany before the Nazis started shipping them along with many other groups to death camps. Things like social exclusion, discrimination, confinement to ghettos and events like Krystal Nacht count as oppression last I checked.


That was because Igy seemed to be saying "nobody's out to get you". And while on the whole I don't think the world is out to get the US, but quite obviously, some people are.That wasn't what you were responding to though.


You are right guys. I'm wrong. I'll move along to another topic. Sorry for leaving a comment.No need to apologize for voicing your opinion on an issue like this :)

Web Rider
09-13-2008, 05:22 PM
I didn't say "hey sithy old boy let's go commit genocide then we can retire to the parlor for a smoke and sip tea and get crunk", so my comparison is still valid to the discrimination against the Jewish people in Germany before the Nazis started shipping them along with many other groups to death camps. Things like social exclusion, discrimination, confinement to ghettos and events like Krystal Nacht count as oppression last I checked.
unforunately the original comment of yours got snipped, so I can't refer back to what originally set me off, so I consider this part finished.


That wasn't what you were responding to though.
You're going to have to be more specific, I responded to a lot of points in igy's posts.

Det. Bart Lasiter
09-13-2008, 05:26 PM
You're just another country with problems of your own and all your energy would be better spent on trying to solve those problems rather than going around and making unnecessary and inexcusable wars. ;)Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda "out to get us."To me this just seemed like a bit of a non sequitur, he makes a suggestion about US foreign policy and some of the more horrible things it's done, and you respond with mentioning 9/11 as if it excuses what the US has done.

Web Rider
09-13-2008, 05:33 PM
To me this just seemed like a bit of a non sequitur, he makes a suggestion about US foreign policy and some of the more horrible things it's done, and you respond with mentioning 9/11 as if it excuses what the US has done.

Yes, though it's supposed to be taken in context with the previous quote: Except ya know, the event that started this thread. Or am I just paranoid and that's all done by the Masons and aliens?
Which was a response to: The reality is that nobody's "out to get you", the rest of the world couldn't care less about the United States, but the majority of your public seems to have been so influenced by either government propaganda, or the Hollywood film industry (think of all those action movies where the hero goes and kills a bunch of evil Russians/Arabs/Germans/etc who want to destroy the US) that they just can't realize it.
Where he stated that really, nobody's out to get the US. Which he continued with: You're just another country with problems of your own and all your energy would be better spent on trying to solve those problems rather than going around and making unnecessary and inexcusable wars.
Which, again seemed to be saying that "everyone's got problems, nobody wants to kill you."
To which I responded with the quote you've been hooked on Perhaps you didn't hear of this event, it's called 9/11. Or this guy, Bin Laden, he's kinda "out to get us."
Which was a more specific version of my previous response, and that, yes indeed, some people ARE trying to get us, and some people in the world do care about what we do, and we're not simply hyped up on government propaganda.

Does it justify every US action? Does it justify bad US actions? To the former, no, I'm not excusing or justifying every or all US actions. It could justify some bad actions, but that's really not my aim. If it justifies anything, it justifies going after Bin Laden. So, yeah, it justifies some actions in response.

jonathan7
09-13-2008, 05:56 PM
Pruned a few posts, please back up opinions - this is a discussion forum, you should at least show to someone else why you think what you think. Please be civil to one another too :) I know this is an emotive subject.

Yar-El
09-13-2008, 05:57 PM
No need to apologize for voicing your opinion on an issue like this :) I'm just not a good debater. :lol: Having family in the military makes discussions like this emotional. You overlook what is said, and then you jump in filled with emotion.

jonathan7
09-13-2008, 06:00 PM
I'm just not a good debater. :lol: Having family in the military makes discussions like this emotional. You overlook what is said, and then you jump in filled with emotion.

No worries :) your free to express your opinion, just remember to try to help us explain what you do; also see my note earlier in thread, regarding taking time of emotional posts, and perhaps not making a post until you have calmed down.

El Sitherino
09-13-2008, 07:47 PM
I'm just not a good debater. :lol: Having family in the military makes discussions like this emotional. You overlook what is said, and then you jump in filled with emotion.

I agree, but what I want for my loved ones in the military is to be as safe but effective as possible. We should make courses of action that progress our country. I'' unfortunately unable to serve in the Corp but I have done my share of work for this nation abroad.

Yar-El
09-16-2008, 11:23 AM
I work for a government contractor. :D :xp: