[OPE-L:5978] Re: Re: Re: Re: "moral chasm"

From: Patrick L. Mason (pmason@garnet.acns.fsu.edu)
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 12:43:21 EDT


You're reading into my messages something that I have never said. To say 
that the incidents of September 11 were mindless violence, designed to 
incite pure terror, does not imply that it is the first time in history 
that mindless violence has occurred. Must I condemn every single act of 
mindless violence before speaking out on last week? If so, it's going to 
take a long posting because I'll have to start with Cain's mindless murder 
of Abel.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the events of last week were carried 
out by fascists interested in provoking a similarly mindless response from 
the US.

Outrage at the events of September 11 does not equal an apologetic 
acceptance of all US military actions, past or future, nor does it imply 
that I think the lives of Non-Americans are less significant than the lives 
of Americans.

Rhetorically, are you saying that because the US carpet-bombed Hanoi it is 
morally acceptable or in some sense understandable that groups of men would 
hijack plans loaded with civilians and flight them into a civilian 
work-sight? If I were to read your postings in the fashion that you are 
reading mine, this would be a legitimate question. Of course, I do not 
believe you are saying this. Rather, I've interpreted your comments within 
the framework of someone who is passionately concerned with social and 
economic justice and a more humane world. Please interpret my comments from 
this perspective.

peace, patrick

At 08:31 AM 9/21/01 -0400, you wrote:
>I think we understand each other except I'm unsure about the point below.
>Is Hiroshima, Nagasaki, firebombing of Tokyo, bombing of Dresden, carpet
>bombing of Cambodia, bombing of Hanoi and Belgrade, bombing of Iraq,
>bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Kartoum somehow 'less than' "pure
>terror" by being 'only' "mindless violence?  Do you expect or not expect
>"pure terror" to fall upon Afghanistan (at least).  The way you formulate
>your response suggests to me that what others have faced or will face is
>somehow 'less' than what we face, from your point of view.
>Paul Zarembka, editor, RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at
>********************* http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka
>"Patrick L. Mason" <pmason@garnet.acns.fsu.edu> said, on 09/18/01:
> >Paul:
> >Yes, killing hundreds of thousands of people to keep down the price of oil
> > is mindless violence. I would never argue that the US government is not
> >capable of mindless murder, assassinations, etc. Allende in Chile, Lumumba
> > in Africa, a whole bunch of other people in the US during Operation
> >COINTELPRO, the invasion of Grenada, the bombing of Panama, etc. makes
> >this  point.
> >The distinction between terrorism and a legitimate liberation struggle
> >comes down to the distinction between self-defense and malicious murder.
> >Now, you are correct that I do not "understand" the purpose of the WTC
> >attack. But, I am not along in this. President Qadafi, who was the subject
> > of a US assassination attempt (in clear violation of American law) has
> >also  condemned attack on the WTC. The goal of the perpetrators was simply
> >to  excite pure terror among the American population. Well, they
> >accomplished  that.
> >peace, plm
> >At 02:31 PM 9/17/01 -0400, you wrote:
> >>"Patrick L. Mason" <pmason@garnet.acns.fsu.edu> said, on 09/17/01:
> >>
> >>...
> >>
> >> >For me, there is unbridgeable moral chasm between mindless murder and
> >> >legitimate self-defense/liberation struggles.
> >>
> >> >peace,
> >> >patrick l. mason
> >>
> >>I agree.
> >>
> >>May I move the question one step?  When the United States government kills
> >>750,000 children of Iraq during and since the Gulf War (directly, and
> >>through diseases and starvation), is this "mindless"?
> >>
> >>I ask because the way you put your statement almost seems that the only
> >>problem is being able to understand.  So, if the U.S. government is not
> >>"mindlessly" murdering, it is less morally repulsive.
> >>
> >>If I don't express myself well enough, I'm sorry.  This is not easy times.
> >>
> >>Paul Z.

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