Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13: From the shalllow to....

A couple of days ago, I suggested Mr. Cormier's understanding of foreign affairs (he was writing about terrorism) is shallow. Shallows are okay. Walking barefoot in the shallows is even pleasant on a summer day. Compared to Cormier, reading editorial page editor Norbert Cunningham on terrorism is like walking baerfoot over the Gobi Desert on a hot day. Try out his column justifying the killing of bin Laden. It's on the editorial page of todays' Moncton Times and Transcript.

He quotes Gwynn Dyer  to the effect that the purpose of terrrists is not simply to goad governments, but to convince their own people of their own, twisted ideas.

I object to  his crashingly ignorant understanding of what Gwynn said. I knew Gwynn back in our radio days in Montreal, and I have followed his columns ever since. He's the best in his business. The statement that Cunningham claims he wrote or heard could only have been made by ignoramus and a bigot. Gwynn is neither of those. But an ignoramus or a bigot might interpret his comment in that way.

That statement was not a definition of either terrorism or its purposes.  It refers only to moslem terrorists, and only in our time.

Terrorism means to kill in order to create terror. That surely is not hard to understand. The end purpose may vary. But the desire to create terror is universal. That surely is not too hard to understand.

We have seen moslem terrorism, Nazi terrorism, Chrstian terrorism, Jewish terrorism, American terrorism - and one could go on forever. If you are going to approve of the assassination of a moslem terrorist without  trial, then you have to approve of assassinations of the Sons of Liberty,  the founders of the modern state of Israel,  French leaders in Algeria and Vietnam, and every  president of the United States in this century, You can do the same with every country on earth going back to ancient times. Read The Bible when you have a chance.

Bin Laden was at the heart of the current conflict? Really? Is that why the US just had to invade Iraq? Gee, and I always thought Hussein was opposed to bin Laden. Was bin Laden behind the slaughter of the Maya people in Guatemala? Was he behind all the Duvaliers and their murdering brother dictators in Central America? Did he invade Vietnam? Was it bin Laden who overthrew the elected government of Iran back in 1950, and imposed a dictatorship?

As for the justice of our fighting against dictatorship and extreme religious views, are you aware that among the world's worst dictators and most extreme in Islamic religious views are our close allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States?

Moslem terrorists are people - and much like us. I certainly mourn the loss of 2,000 innocent people in New York. I also  mourn the millions of innocent people killed in Vietnam, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, and I mourn the uncounted others all over the world killed by assassination squads of all the major powers.

I don't think it appropriate, though, to use that mourning as an excuse to peddle bigotry, ignorance and hate - and more killing. If we want to stop the killling, we have to recognize that we are all doing it. As Pogo said, :We have met the enemy. And he is us."

The world is at the edge of disaster. The last thing we need is ignorant bigots pushing us.

Oh, The word "justified" means according to law. The laws national and international, require that a person be charged, evidence presented, and a judgement made before punishment is assessed. Otherwise, the killing is called murder. That is not simply a "subtlety".. That is the definition of murder. We charged and tried even the leading Naziis before executing them. Without law, no society - and no world - can survive.

I don't have time to comment on the lead editorial. It's about being careful about overdoing pay equity. I can only advise the editoriall writer not to worry about it. It will take quite a while for the single mothers working at Wal-Mart to catch up to the CEOs of this province.

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