Sunday, July 23, 2006

War Without Borders

It seems that almost everything I write recently drifts into the area of gaps, of divides, disconnects, and which have a measure of bridgeableness and which do not, of wagons circling and doors closing, and others opening.

There is something in the nature of some of us, I think, that naturally rebels at the suggestion that a gap is unbridgeable, a divide so deep that no compromise, no negotiation is possible. And so we hammer away, ignoring smashed fingers, because that something in us does not want to "give up."

There is such a fine line between giving up and recognizing that our energies are sorely needed somewhere else that many of us often miss it. In our zeal to bridge that gap, we often lose sight of the one thing any compromise or negotiation needs most: a recognition and comprehension of the other party's point of view.

Even as we cajole and wheedle and try to choose the best words to make them see ours, the temptation to wishfully craft theirs into what we long for it to be is sometimes just too strong.

Extricating ourselves from such a predicament can be a painful process, as it challenges our stubbornness, and forces us to acknowledge things that we wish were not so.

But as painful as it may be to confront and accept the fact that someone else's point of view is indeed one that our own moral absolutes will simply not allow us to meet halfway, that there are some drawing rooms into which we should not enter, and in which, if we have entered, we should not remain.

People in gated communities put those gates there for a reason, and rather than crashing those gates, even if our gesture is tolerated for whatever reason, our efforts will be better spent in working toward our goals outside of that "closed space," and if we are also obliged by circumstances to circle our wagons, we can make the circle a large one.

The Situation that is now upon us does not recognize national borders, nor ethnic or religious divides. It is universal, it is basic, and it is absolute.

How ironic that the words of a man disliked by so many both in and outside of so many spaces so aptly and so tragically correctly define the plight of us all: "You are with us (US policies) or you are with the terrorists."

It is this sorry rag of truth that we all share. We are on either one side or another. We are either for invasion, occupation, kidnapping, torture, etc etc etc, or we are against it.

It does not matter whether one side calls the other "terrorists," or "extremists," or "radicals," "obstructionists," "rejectionist," "anti-business," and calls itself "patriotic," "pragmatic," "centrist," electable."

It does not matter whether the other side calls its opponents "the real terrorists," "nationalist," "racist," "colonialist," "imperialist," "exceptionalist," and calls itself "the real patriots" or "pro-peacce," or whatever term each side wishes to apply to the other, whatever term each wishes to apply to itself.

Just as the Situation knows no national borders, neither does it bow to nomenclature. It is a divide that cannot be bridged by euphemisms or presentation strategies or even the current favorite "nuances."

The only path to a solution, if there is one, begins with acceptance of these painful truths, with meeting the reality of the Situation head-on, despite our very natural fear, and very natural desire to take refuge in the comfort of semantics and platitudes.

Two recent comments on my blog, as well as an article pointed out to me by catnip brought this home to me with a terrible and inescapable starkness.

One, from a tireless peace activist, stunned by the fact that she is now at risk, not from some shadowy foreign "terst" entity, but from her own countrymen. The Situation, remember, is knows no national borders. It is the Ultimate and Extreme non-national space.

The other, from a very courageous man who has not only the bravery and nobility of soul to make a journey so agonizing, so difficult, that those of us who have not had to make it can only imagine the wrenching pain of the process, but a man who also has the grace and pure-hearted generosity to have shared every step of his passage with earth residents, that we might all be edified, inspired, and educated by his heroism. He pointed out a hard and universal truth: Aggressors put their fate in the hands of their victims.

These two, both Americans, might take some small measure of comfort to know that they are not alone, that while the Situation knows no borders, at least
one of their countrymen
has moved his wagon next to theirs, and I suspect we may be hearing from more.

As events unfold (are you as tired of reading that phrase as I am of typing it?), we will all go through some painful and unpleasant experiences, offline, we will watch helplessly as families divide, as office water coolers ring with angry words, we will be witness to all the various ways in which human beings make manifest the grim and unbending horror of the Situation.

Online, the "kerfluffles" and textual hysterics we may have seen are nothing to what we will see. We will receive emails verging on, even descending into, "hate mail" from internet friends we have for years called "brother." With eyes still wet from those inbox tears, the online phenomena we see will, like its offline homologue, involve irrevocable dissolution of longstanding friendships, as individuals come to grips with the totality, the vastness, the all-encompassing and unbridegable gap of the Situation.

We will variously bid farewell to innocence, or "put away childish things," as the Christian bible says, and with that unglorious weight of sadness and fear in our hearts, reluctantly move our wagons into one circle or another, and forsake the relatively irrelevant and picayune battles that have of necessity and by definition failed to stave off the inevitable, and prepare ourselves for the War without Borders into which we are all, every one of us, without exceptions, thrust into by the universality of the Situation.

NOTE: This will probably be cross-posted elsewhere, but not on any "gated communities for white Americans." ;=>

45 Comments:

Blogger Man Eegee said...

I watched the movie And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself tonight and found myself horrified at the killing. If this Situation has done anything good, it has made the idea of any violence committed by my hands utterly incomprehensible. I can certainly think of situations where that would be tested, but the idea is to grow a foundation of inner-peace that becomes....attractive, for lack of a better word. The fact that the warmongers cannot be shamed for their beliefs says alot about the societies that support them or don't support them due to ineffectiveness.

I have had high expectations over the past few years that as revelations of torture, continued war, lack of due process for detainess, etc etc etc were exposed that the public would finally turn against the neocons and reject their worldview. Instead I see pundits and lawmakers who encompass everything I abhor given the celebrity treatment, plus tv time to boot.

I know this is a global issue, which is why I value voices that come from outside our human-made borders. That this willingness to listen sets me apart from so many others not only says alot about the deterioration of U.S. "democracy" but also makes me profoundly sad and fearful for what is to come.

7/23/2006 10:18 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Manito, I don't think that you are alone in having had that hope, that once people KNEW, that there really would be tens of millions swarming on Washington.

Instead, as you say, it is glorified, and we learn that it has been the very authors of the policies who have skilfully "leaked" and in various ways, made the reality known, presented it, as it were, some will call it "innoculation," others will call it "de-sensitizing," and the ologists are busy as we speak, writing their books on the success of the strategy.

Nor do I think you are alone in your disappointment, in your disillusionment, when even your illusions were relatively new, you had very little time to enjoy them :)

Fear and sadness, and yes, anger, (which is really nothing but sadness on steroids), dominate the Situation-era color palette of Those Opposed.

It is the lot of the old to feel an obligation to argue against, explain away fear and sadness to that overwhelming majority of people who are younger than we are, and whom we wish to protect, and comfort, and take that fear and sadness away, by producing any of the vast array of consolation memes and wise old adages and parables and platitudes that we have collected over the years, and which, in most cases, do have a pretty good comfort track record.

The task that falls to us is to recollect all the times that it has seemed that all around us are convinced that they ominous approaching CLOP CLOP they hear are the thundering horsehooves of the Dajaal, and all the times that we who have tried unsuccessfully to suppress a smile, or a rolling of the eyes, or both, as we patiently explain that even if one is inclined to consider one's universe in terms of the metaphoralooza that sprawls itself all over the ancient texts of the angry desert God, which we, naturally, are not, having made such extensive studies of same and received for our efforts so many accolades, that whatever war, or eclipse or comet, or scandalous clothing worn to somefunction by the fearful and sad one's daughter in law, does not, in fact, constitute incontrovertible proof that the Dajaal indeed walks (or rides) among us.

But it is true that since the efforts of Mr. Oppenheimer et al bore their to say the least, sobering, fruit, our reassurances have been somewhat tempered with acknowledgements that the world shared by the Fearful One and ourselves could possibly undergo some, well let's call it some very dramatic changes, and it is true that since that time, the could possibly has given reluctant way to might, which has slowly but inexorably matured into probably will, but always with the reassurance that this will not take place, if it does at all, for a very long time, and if the Fearful One is without descendants, or rather selfish, it has sometimes made them feel better, and we have tried hard to believe it ourselves.

This time, however, we sort in vain through our arsenal of arguments and adages and platitudes, because there is no Fearful One more fearful than we are, we cannot deny or explain away the fact that this time is different, this time it is likely - no, we will not sugar-coat it, it is inevitable that even those of us whose physicians are continually astounded by our failure to have perished, will see those well, let's call it some very dramatic changes - there we go, sugar-coating it again - and all we can do is admit that we also are sad and fearful, and remorseful, wondering what, if anything, we could have done, and did not...

7/23/2006 11:21 am  
Anonymous scribe said...

I hear you. I cannot find a single "encouraging word" to offer anyone this morning, and yes, as an elder, I think I was feeling a responsibility to provide some hope and empowerment for attempts at bridge building, from my vast storehouse of lessons learned.

In my arrogance, I thought I could remain in a small pond and swim the vaster ocean at the same time.

But this morning, I discovered I can't, as I reeled away in shock, the gate clanging shut in my face.

I cannot live in any gated community of any kind, ever again, not physically, nor in my mind or spirit. And I WILL not, no matter where my body must reside.

I have nothing to offer anyone this morning. I feel numbed and weary and so very very sad. All I want to do is grow arms big enough to gather in all those I love and respect so much, online and off, in one massive, wordless hug, and somehow keep everyone safe.

Then I want that group of to grow arms big enough to encompass all the worlds innocents and children, and keep them all safe, too.

In that way, whatever happens, none of us would ever face it alone.

7/23/2006 12:18 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

DuctapeFatwa,
Thank you for starting this thread, or pulling this thread as Nanette might say :o)

Man eegee,
I give much credit to people like you and Damnit Janet and others who continue to move towards peace in their own lives and in how you relate to others, no matter the provocation or the madness that you witness. It must be the hardest of all things to do. I've not crossed that bridge yet. There are atrocities and insults to my humanity that unleash a rage in me and a desire to strike back. An example would be what DamnitJanet described when protesting the war and those who recruit it's human weapons. That any man, soldier or not, would figuratively point a gun at her head and pull the trigger is to me the foulest thing short of actually doing it. I, for one, could never, at least not yet, find it within myself to react to such a monster in a peaceful way. The way I see it, evil force sometimes needs to be met with force because that is the only thing they understand, and that's why I also fear, more and more each day, that there will be no peaceful solutions to our Situation. That there could be a bloody battle, not only beyond these borders, but within them too. I hope that i'm wrong, but as I've said in some other places, I feel that I'm being forced to renounce my allegiance to this one nation and being forced to become it's enemy. And before you say anything DTF, yes, I understand that those words could or will be seen as an invitation for a visit from the security arm of this government. I don't care. Silence solves nothing. More need to speak up and voice their opposition, and yes, intentions.

Scribe,
I read the words that you desribe as clanging the gate shut in your face. My first reaction to them was disgust. And yet, as someone who's not been able to move beyond violent reactions, at least in thought, I can see the outrage that causes those kinds of things to be said. And I saw a lesson there to be taken as to what we should tolerate from those we think we know, or look to for some leadership even. That while he's allowed the words of others to stand, whether he agrees or not, we should afford him the same right to say what's on his mind, whether it's agreeable to us or not. Because what's offensive to one, might not be offensive to another. His rage is palpable, at least to me. Because I feel it too. Though I could never agree with his solution. My reply, figuratively or literally would come down upon the head of the transgressor before it would come down on the heads of his ancestors.

7/23/2006 2:21 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

The end of my comment above should read,

"My reply, figuratively or literally would come down upon the head of the transgressor before it would come down on the heads of his descendents".

7/23/2006 2:43 pm  
Anonymous scribe said...

To me, this has nothing to do with his "rights" to feel whatever he is feeling. It has to do with the effects of expressed hatred no MATTER how justifiable" it may be, It's about realizing the power of hate energies and hate language from ALL sides. It has to do with humanities knee jerk reaction of "revenge" ..of shooting the hate right back at the hater...as a reflective reaction and feeling justified in doing it because "they shot first"

Where in HELL ITSELF will this ever stop? Because hate isn't going to exit the scene by itself.

7/23/2006 3:23 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

Scribe,
I here everything you're saying and the futility of revenge in the long run. I only acknowledged his right to say it. Nothing about his right to feel it. Whether he's the face of that site or not, I don't really see him as different or any more accountable for what he says than I am or anyone else. And some of us, as I tried to express in my comments above, are having a difficult time moving beyond the desire to strike back at the atrocity of thought that we see. Maybe that makes me dangerous, I don't know. I only see it as being in a different place in my journey to something better within myself and in the world beyond my own self.

7/23/2006 3:46 pm  
Blogger Nanette said...

No one gets away unscathed from war. Or occupation. Both destroy... even those thousands of miles away who have no bombs dropping on them, no rationing of food, no scrabbling through the rubble to find a tiny treasured item for memories of one just buried, no putting one tired foot in front of the other in search of some safe space, some escape from the violence.

It's during war that the unthinkable, the unimaginable, becomes the imagined, the rejected, then the ultimately accepted. What else could we have done? we are taught... but the question only asked after all other avenues of action have been cut off, if only by marginalization; - you're just naive - or by fear; - if we don't do this you will die - or by intimidation; - if you say this you are a traitor and there will be consequences.

I think that it's out of that sense of the destruction of more than bodies and buildings that war and occupation bring, as well as the acceptance of war and violence, and the language of such, as a needed thing, that brings someone to the point where they can blithely suggest that maybe it's a good thing to kidnap and torture a persons's family to prevent that person from committing a violent act - as a thought exercise. Or to the point where someone contemplates the death another person's children, as a learning measure, while wrapping around themselves the prophets of peace.

Sometimes I think we've all gone mad.

7/23/2006 3:55 pm  
Anonymous scribe said...

Super, of course he has a "right" to say whatever he wants to. But my reaction to those words would be the same no matter who had said them.

We are ALL EQUALLY accountable for our actions and our speech. And we each can only act and speak from whereever we are on our individual journeys.

I respect the difficulty you are experiencing in moving on from a revenge reaction. I am still travelinig that same pathway too, Michael, being raised the way I was. I can't erradicate it totally in me, either But I can finally pause long enough now to question it, and control it, and see past it.

I just think we are running out of time in this world. And I think that those of us who don't want to let it go, need to begin to listen not only to our emotions, and our ingrained ways of thinking, but also to the deeper wiser voice within who always knows more than the mind has yet learned.

I see a need bigger than ever ever before in my entire lifetime, for me to be thinking far beyond "me", and whatever I personally feel or think or need.

I see that need as a critical, urgent need for as many people as can possible manage to do this, all over the globe: to move to that wider view now or at least to as wide a view as possible.

So my reaction was not about Boo or his rights..it was about the effects of that kind of reactive, hate filled speech, no matter how justifiable or understandable it is.

My concern about reflexive revenge is the same..no matter HOW understandable or justifiable that reaction may be.. all of it adds to the overall energies of violence and hatred that is about to swallow this whole damned globe.

And I am thinking that I may need to step back and take a little blog break too, because I am not sure I have a real good handle on my own emotional reactions today. My clues are a) I have a belly ache b) a headache, c) and I am hunched over this keyboard pounding away like someone possessed!! Not good.

7/23/2006 4:33 pm  
Blogger catnip said...

super wrote:

That while he's allowed the words of others to stand, whether he agrees or not, we should afford him the same right to say what's on his mind, whether it's agreeable to us or not. Because what's offensive to one, might not be offensive to another.

Where to even begin? It's as if scribe and I inhabit the same body today. I was in tears last nite when my head hit the pillow because I was so in shock that I wasn't even yet able to fully process what he wrote or, more to the point, why he wrote it.

We all experience anger and revulsion as well as the ugliest thoughts at times. But. We have a responsibility that goes beyond ourselves when we choose to write.

Step back. The right-wing blogosphere recently went absolutely ballistic over the Deb Frisch affair. (just google it) She wrote some absolutely appalling things about one blogger's children and she deserved what she got as a result.

People like me spend a lot of energy calling out hate speech on the right because it needs to be exposed and it needs to be recognized for what it is: irrational and dangerous.

That anyone - anyone - could not see parallels (and yes I'll use the word hypocrisy) demonstrated by what Booman wrote considering he also rails against the right by parsing their hate speech is simply flabbergasting to me. He has now given up any right to call them out because he has become one of them.

That he would want a bomb to kill Dershowitz's children in order to prove the point that he doesn't agree with the man's opinion is just inhumane. The man is entitled to his ideas (Dershowitz) but Booman is not entitled to wish his children dead in an online post. There must be a line drawn. I thought there already was by reasonable, rational people. Perhaps I am so shocked because, once again, I now see how incredibly wrong I was in believing that people in a left-wing community would actually understand that.

Do you not see that if Booman wrote that in letter form and mailed it to Dershpwitz, he would have been investigated by the police? yes. because that is the extreme level of his words - they are a perceived threat and should be seen as such. Whether Booman has the ability to make that bomb hit or not is not the point. It's the intent - the hate behind the words that is taken into account.

I just had a light-bulb moment while writing this and I'll type it quickly before I fall apart - because, in this moment, that is what is happening in my body.

10 years ago I was responsible for saving the lives of 5 people who had been held hostage by a man who was threatening to kill them. There were children involved. That incident and two simultaneous others caused PTSD - a condition I have been dealing with and still do to this day and it hasn't been a fun fucking ride.

What I just realized was that Booman's words have caused the most ingrained reaction in me: that fear I felt for those children, that hell I've been living in ever since for realizing that the reposnibility for their lives was placed in my hands. Yes, they are alive, but the horror that if I'd made one wrong step they wouldn't be today haunts me.

That's why I take Booman's words so seriously. No one has the right to wish death on anyone's children. Period.

I need to walk away right now and regroup. I'm glad I wrote this because I realize now what's come over me and I, after all of these years, know how to deal with it. And sitting here reading others comments justifying what Booman said cannot help me heal. It just brings back the horror and that is a dangerous place for me to be emotionally and psychically. I have to walk away and take care of myself.

Now, regardless of how this has affected me personally due to my PTSD, I will never agree with anyone who chooses to defend him for what he wrote. Free speech has limits and rightly so. You don't wish out loud for the death of someone's children. Period.

7/23/2006 5:10 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

Catnip,
For myself, I never sought anyone's agreement with those statements or my own about what he said, or how I feel about things at this exact moment or how I express those feelings. You see for me, I really can see how some of the things said in DTF's diary that drew out all the hostility at that place, would be offensive to some. Whether it was their Americaness that was offended or their human senses. Thay did not offend me. What Booman said offends me greatly. But, and this is just for me, I cannot on one hand defend DTF's right to say what he thinks and on the other hand decide not to defend Booman's right to say how he feels. It's as simple as that for me. If I begin wieghing the offensiveness of comments of one or the other or many, then i'm going to wind up in a position of deciding who's speech is acceptable and who's isn't. For you, the line is drawn at wishing, or at least expressing it as a way to make a point, the deaths of children. My emotional reaction to those words is beyond anything I could describe. I'm a parent. That he defiles the names of Dr.King and Ghandi and the others and presumes to know that they would choose violence is just as offensive.
That's all I've got. I'm not defending his thoughts. The same as the KKK has the right to express theirs when they wish the deaths of Black children. I don't have to like it. I should do all I can to make it go away. but I can't deny it's right to exist.

And lastly, I'm not here to make friends or keep them. I'm just here giving my perspective for as long as it's welcome...or tolerated.

7/23/2006 5:29 pm  
Anonymous scribe said...

Take care of yourself, Catnip..I will do the same. I'm planning a quiet, offline afternoon playing with (and learning some more from, of course) my cats and my plants, and sitting under a tree or two or three, to soak up all the comfort they always offer me. I know I've got a "center" somewhere, I've just mispaced it again!

Super..and all of you here.well...I just love you, thats all!

7/23/2006 5:34 pm  
Blogger catnip said...

If I begin wieghing the offensiveness of comments of one or the other or many, then i'm going to wind up in a position of deciding who's speech is acceptable and who's isn't.

What you don't seem to understand is that you have the responsibility to do just that - especially when someone is wishing death for someone else's children. And I don't know your commenting history but I doubt you can tell me that you've never been critical of the right-wing hatemongers. We make judgments all the time and no one deserves a free pass. I don't care who they are or what they claim to represent.

7/23/2006 5:49 pm  
Blogger Nanette said...

This sort of reminds me of the cartoon posting and text and the various views of it being seen as a free speech issue by some, and as a setting people up as targets issue and being unalterably immoral by others. I think both were right, by the way.

I don't think I would be considered a free speech absolutist, but I do believe in this situation BooMan (as did Susan) has a right to post whatever his views are, and express his anger in appalling ways... at at the same time, he should have the sense of responsibility and decency not to.

I don't think even implied threats are okay, especially not directed towards children for the sins of their parents or any other reason. I also am not sure it compares all that well to the offense some took (and have long taken) to Ductape's words, because from what I rememeber, I don't recall him ever threatening anyone. He may imply or say outright that there is a reckoning coming, but anyone with their ear to the ground is hearing that, from many directions. I don't consider that a threat so much as a sense of warning and a mournful sound.

So, I guess I am saying that I view that post there as unacceptable and indefensible, especially with the attempt of retroactive approval from those who worked for peace and non violence, but it is within his right to state that, and within the rights and responsibilities of any reader to completely condemn it. And to take whatever they will from the fact that it was said at all.

7/23/2006 6:37 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

catnip, I can't say I "understand" everything about how you feel, because not being you, that would be presumptuous of me. But I respect your feelings, and I can understand that it would be shocking and hurtful to you that someone you know would choose to define their blog in that way.

The cartoon incident hurt me in that same way, I think, so much so that it surprised me and caused me to express that my feelings were hurt, which was inappropriate on my part, but at the same time, then and now, I respect the right of every person to express their views, regardless of whether those views hurt my feelings or whatever opinion I may have of them.

And I think that for me there is also an element, and this was touched on, interestingly just now in a comment on Manito's blog, about how words seem to cause more outrage than the actions.

The example on Manito's was about my words, describing the doings of US politicians. I said I wished that the "doings" would anger people as much as my words!

And in this case, I wish that every American who reads the words under discussion today, and feels outrage, would feel even a fraction of that outrage on consideration of the fact that their tax dollars are currently paying to blow up other peoples' children, which is what the offensive remarks in this case were about, in my opinion.

And in that sense, I cannot argue with his outrage, though I would probably express it, and in fact, have done so about a squillion times, with the "what if Malaysia were occupying the US? What if Iran invaded and seized your son? etc"

Such desperate pleas are cries from the heart, but they are useless, as I finally conceded; one can simply not say this to most mainstream Americans, it is simply a file not found, they cannot conceive of such a thing.

And it is unlikely that Dershowitz can either. To him, there is no comparing the life of a child in Gaza or Tyre to the life of an American or Israeli child. The former are simply not considered completely human, if they are considered human at all.

So I hope that you will not be too outraged at me when I say - again - that I find the remarks to be all kinds of unflattering adjectives, to see a cry from the heart of an American exceptionalist so entrenched in his exceptionalism, so plagued by files not found, that he actually asked someone who opposed US policies to apologize to a victim of those policies for opposing them!

Under those circumstances, while I am intimately familiar with the pain and revulsion his words caused scribe, and also caused you, and possibly others, and aside from being an intractable free speech extremist, in a twisted sort of way, I see hope there.

Oh, and in case there is any confusion, the original piece in this thread was written prior to the incident to which we all seem to be reacting today.

7/23/2006 6:41 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

I'm going to keep digging this hole until I fall out of the other side I guess.
Firstly, the things I've expressed here today haven't come easily, nor do I feel particularly close to anything you might call clarity about it. I'm deeply offended by Booman's words. I want to make it clear that i'm not comparing anything DTF ever said, in it's meaning to what Booman has proposed. In equating the speech of each, I'm not also assigning moral rightness or wrongness to either. Or saying that DTF has issued threats. I never read that in any of his words. I'm only trying to say that some were as deeply offended by his words. Not that i agree with their conclusion, but it's theirs to make. And I also see the connection with the cartoon issue. I saw those words as a threat too. Something different than DTF's words. At least as how I'VE read them.

Maybe i'm trying to walk too fine a line here. And I can't honestly tell you why. I don't understand the reluctance to blast him myself. I'm thinking about all of this as I write it. And I think that Catnip is right that I do have a responsibility to oppose those thoughts. But, I still cannot bring myself to oppose his right to say it. Whatever category that puts me in, in other people's minds...I don't know. If it means i'm a coward, then it's not within my power to change those opinions. And maybe there's no use in trying, because they could be right. I just don't know.

7/23/2006 6:55 pm  
Blogger Nanette said...

supersoling:

I'm going to keep digging this hole until I fall out of the other side I guess.

I, for one, have seen you do that too many times, and come out on top (wherever that may be), to discount your ability to do so here.

I don't think you are a coward, nor do I think that of anyone here... I just think that you, like all of us, are struggling with many different thoughts, beliefs (current and former), core principles and so on. None of those, in my mind, are the marks of a coward or anyone to be set aside or anything like that (even if the ultimate conclusion is in disagreement with me, for some reason - and this is not something I am especially relating to this particular issue).

Anyway, the ones that worry me are those that don't struggle at all.

7/23/2006 7:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didnt "blast Boo" either, Super..I gave my opinion on something he wrote!

There is such a big difference. Boo is a person. I did not attack his person, or his character, or even his right to post whatever he pleases!

I did go after something he wrote, the content of which I see as harmful, and let him know how it affected me, and my concerns about the overall effects of that kind of language. That's honest feedback in my book, feedback on content,not any kind of personal attack.

Make any sense?

7/23/2006 7:26 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

supersoling, I think I can explain the difference. The cartoon, and the remarks today, hurt some people as much as or more than they angered them, because they have a personal investment.

Of the cartoon, I remember saying that I felt my home had been defiled. Now without bothering about the merits or demerits of one thinking of somebody else's blog as one's cyber-home, it was a feeling, and it was a real one.

And for some others, it went deeper. They felt they had, and in some cases did have, and still do have for all I know, personal relationships with the administrators of the blog, so in addition to seeing it defined in a way that made them feel funny being on it, it also hurt them on that personal level.

In my case, it's not my blog, so nothing I could say could define it. And I am not aware of a single person who has ever had much of an actual conversation with me about anything, much less anything that they might consider a personal relationship, being so outraged about anything I have said. That is not to say that people have not disagreed with me, they have, and do, all the time, but the kind of stuff I saw recently regarding myself was just so over the top, that was another kind of thing, that did not really have to do with me, and what made them mad in the first place was not any "look how they treat their own" remarks I made, what made them mad was that I said that should I see US gunmen in an airport, the most courteous and prudent thing for me to do would be to conclude my business as quietly as possible and depart the premises.

And I did find the idea both revolting and ludicrous that anyone would suggest that I purchase them treats and thank them for their activities.

I am not an American, I am not obligated to support policies, or those who participate in their implementation. And I will venture to say that there are Americans who would reject the notion that they have any such obligations.

Yet there are people who do have very different beliefs, and those beliefs are sincere. And those are the beliefs I offended.

And it also brought home the reality that is the topic of the original post in this thread: The Situation has two sides. Each one of us is on one side or the other. That is hard to accept, but sooner or later, we all have to accept it.

That is very different from someone feeling hurt on a personal level. Not one of the people who are offended by me can claim expectations based on a personal relationship.

On the other hand, I think that with the remarks about Dershowitz, it is that combination of expectations and a sense of a personal tie that is driving the anger and hurt.

7/23/2006 7:38 pm  
Blogger NLinStPaul said...

DTF said:

The Situation has two sides. Each one of us is on one side or the other. That is hard to accept, but sooner or later, we all have to accept it.

I struggle with this way of thinking about things as its never been the way I see the world. Perhaps I don't really understand what you're saying though.

As I see it, I have some very real differences in how I see things from almost everyone. And taking this to its conclusion seems to lead to me having my "wagon" out there all alone. And that's not something I can survive at all.

I have differences with Booman, and especially what he said last night. But I also know that I have way more in common with him than I do, say, with my wingnut family. And as much as I detest almost everything that Bushco has done, I find very little common ground with those they identify as their "enemies."

It all feels to me more like a web of threads that connect in some ways with some and other ways with others. A more complex weave of connections and disconnections.

Is that in total contradiction to what you are saying DTF? Or am I just misunderstanidng?

7/23/2006 8:13 pm  
Blogger dove said...

I'll admit it, I've been sitting here going 'what to write?'

I'll begin with solipsism I guess, that being one of my favourite sins, especially when given the flattering label 'personal perspective.' To the limited extent that I manage non-violence, I do so by decision and sundry imperfect, attempts at self-discipline, certainly not by nature. That is, FWIW, among the reasons that I'm a slow writer generally and not very fleet-footed in comment threads where there's conflict. Like this one.

And as I have mentioned elsewhere, non-violence for me does not mean 'supporting the troops by bringing them home' whatever the nationality of those troops. I do not support the troops: for me non-violence means something more like refraining from wishing them harm. Or trying to refrain from that anyway.

Though having said that, I appreciate that 'supporting the troops by bringing them home' is part of non-violence for many other people, probably including some that post or read here whom I have considerable respect for. And I would say too that, to the extent that one might think of non-violence as a shared destination or goal, it is not necessarily approached from the same starting place or side. I don't know if that makes any sense.

Anyway, that attempt to refrain from wishing harm is not always something I manage -- certainly not in my head and sometimes not in my public writing either. For example, I remember failing to restrain my outrage and expressing the view that certain members of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom involved in formulating policy on the treatment of asylum seekers would benefit from a protracted stay in Woomera and/or similar such institutions. That is not true: nobody benefits from being immured in places like those.

So in a way I too think it hopeful that that degree of outrage was felt. I think it should have been expressed very differently in the ways that others have already indicated. As, in retrospect, I should have expressed differently my outrage with certain government ministers.

Which makes me a hypocrite, no?
Probably more so than Booman.
Certainly far more so than supersoling, who firstly, at least on my reading has made a judgement on those words and secondly, has (along with DTF and Nanette for that matter) what I sense is a stronger commitment to freedom of speech than I do, which I would speculate complicates this issue for him perhaps more so than it does for me. (I do put a high value on freedom of speech, but it is a high relative value: certainly I have made use of hate speech legislation myself in other contexts, albeit many years ago now. And I continue to destroy any BNP /Combat 18 posters I see while out and about in my or other people's neighbourhoods.)

But I think I do have something to say about hypocrisy, which though it may be tangential to this thread, I see as having been something of a recurring theme that's run through a few conversations lately here and elsewhere.

For my part, I think that by and large, there are many worse failings.

I think that much of the time, what gets called hypocrisy is a 'spirit is willing, flesh or temper are weak' sort of thing. Or a 'mind knows what the right thing to do is, body is frightened' sort of thing. Or even a "has a principle, but hasn't figured out how to apply it" sort of thing -- or its close and common cousin, "has two conflicting principles and hasn't worked out how to integrate or resolve them when it comes to acting on them" thing. I see lots of different ways of failing to espouse what one believes, in other words -- usually without the intent of espousing one belief and acting otherwise in order to derive benefit from both public profession of principle and private abandonment of same.

Sometimes it's not this sort of thing, of course. Sometimes it is -- as in that last example -- the kind of thing that has not even unselfconsciousness to recommend it.

But I am concerned, I suppose (and as I wrote about a couple of months ago here ) that if hypocrisy is made too much of a sin, that people may fail to commit to principles at all -- whatever those principles may be -- out of the fear that if their actions fall short of their beliefs along the way, that they will not only be judged for the immediate harm they did (by violating whichever of their precepts they violated), but also for having tried to have principles at all.

And certainly one sees something that plays on that very human fear used as a way of telling people that they're not allowed to have principles because they are not perfect. (Think of all of the pressure exerted along the lines of 'you can't say 'I wouldn't do x' because you don't have that choice immediately in front of you' and/or 'you can't say 'I oppose x' because you're complicit with x in this way.' As though the only legitimate way to come to resistance was from a position of innocence.)

Anyway, I'm not sure that ever escaped solipsism, actually.

(OT -- my email is down today: don't know whether it's yahoo snafus or what since some other big UK sites are also down, so if anyone has emailed me today and not had a response (as opposed to being owed a response, for which I also apologise re. delays) that's why.

7/23/2006 9:20 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

Nanette,
sometimes when one is digging so furiously all you can see is dirt everywhere, which makes it difficult to know or remember which way is up. So, I'll take your word for it that my cances are good of ending up on top :o)
Thank you

Scribe,
I'm sorry that I put my foot in my mouth again. When I wrote about blasting Booman I didn't have you or your reaction to him in mind. Only my feelings about my reaction to his words. Nowhere did I mean to make a judgement on your reaction. And maybe my choice of reaction is evidence of how far I've yet to go toward living a peaceful life, not just asking for peace, or fighting for peace. DamnitJanet is a role model to look up to in that sense. Well in one of many senses. But that one, in this conversation, is key. My eyes are wide open. As are my ears.
Please try to be patient with me, even though I know that we're out of time.

Ductape,
you are a wise man. And I often marvel at the appearance that you seem to know more about me than i do myself :o) Kepp talking. Again, I understand the difference in the two sides we're talking about here, and I've been honest about the inner struggle i'm having. Part of it might be that i've invested mush in a percieved friendship Booman, and others there. Like Nancy, I can see the good there, and the threads that bind me to him as well as where we have opinions that are polar opposites.

I think that Dove hit at the core struggle that I'm having when she observed that hypocrisy in an opinion could mean no more than:

"has two conflicting principles and hasn't worked out how to integrate or resolve them when it comes to acting on them".

I plead my guilt to that one. When the cartoon diary was written at first I failed to recognize the depth of the injury. That's a subject for another tortured post from supersoling in itself, but once I did recognize it I was floored by the seriousness of what was being proposed. On the other hand, I empathized with the author's defense of her right to say it under the principle of freedom of speech. The collision of two priciples without knowing how to integrate the two, let alone addressing the question of whether some offenses expressed are so injurious that they should even be considered to be protected under that notion or principle of freedom of speech.

Here's what I do know at the close of this day, with my head full of so many thoughtfull words and opinions...

I feel like the kid who just got out of junior high school and tossed in with the big fish in the big tank! :o) Each of you challenge me in different ways and I can only see that as futher proof of my good fortune :o)

7/23/2006 10:18 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

I wish I could edit my comments so that it wouldn't be so evident that I can only type with my thumbs :o)

Dove,
I forgot to mention that I DO owe you a reply and will try to get to it tonight. Besides, I have a great curiosity about all things Kiwi and hoped to ask you some questions :o) Btw, they are magnificent sailors. Though I'm guilty of wishing that the America's Cup could be brought back to America. At least for a couple of years. I know...I know...exceptionalism.....

7/23/2006 10:27 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

NLinStPaul, what I am saying is that the nature of the beast into whose gaping maw we have now been gobbled, all of us, that we are obliged to move, whether we like it or not, into that grim, stark, unforgiving and terrible realm of absolutes: Raping fewer women, torturing or kidnapping fewer people, or ones only from here or there, or only those who have red hair, is not an acceptable compromise.

There are some things, that for some people, simply are neither negotiable, nor do they lend themselves to compromise, or even "nuances."

And for those whose moral absolutes trump all else, whether that be shared attitudes, opinions and beliefs on any number of things, personal affinity, whether based on online intellectual interaction or offline socializing, even family ties, which is why we see so much conflict, both online and offline, and why we will see that conflict intensify, as events, well, unfold.

And when I say events, I don't just mean external events on the ground in this or that theatre, I mean very personal, very internal, very individual events, such as, for instance, supersoling, and Nanette, and you, and others, have been sharing today, the working through of those processes, the acknowledgment of where one is, or isn't along the path to self-knowledge, along the path to where your wagon will go.

And that includes the acceptance that it does have to go in one circle or another. That may not be your choice, and it may not be your fault, beyond the collective responsibility we all share as earth residents for the Situation.

While we can go on for days about the role of the US, for how long and how hard it has worked to get to this ugly place, we cannot ignore the rest of the world.

To do so is to emulate the diabetic man who ignores the little sore on his foot until it festers, gangrene sets in, and invades the bloodstream, past the point where even amputation will save him.

To what purpose does he curse the ulcer?

That web of threads has been spun into one inescapable cord, that will pull us inexorably toward one circle of wagons or another.

dove LOL please do not tempt me to hold forth on the subject of solipcism, especially in any discussion involving US policies and/or mainstream US culture.

I think you may be saying the same thing I have been, that each person is going to evolve via their own process, and for some, that may be a sudden realization that something they had perhaps taken for granted, or been soothed by, for instance, the reassurances of a US gunman today on CNN, for example, as he explained that the superior population reduction equipment being rushed to Israel would essentially streamline the extermination process, which, combined with a repetition rate worthy of a Berlitz 2-day intensive, of the meme that Lebanese civilians' living rooms are full of "Hezbollah rockets," and of course the obligatory "human shield" chants (not the best argument, really, since if one accepts it, one would also be obliged to concede that the entire population of Israel, not to mention the US, are effectively human shields...)

So it is easy to see that many westerners are obliged to engage in some very fancy mental footwork, once even that seed has been planted, that cri de coeur born of a sudden, jarring suspicion turned awful truthburst that oh my God, they ARE just as human!

And it is also easy to wax all misty and idealistic and suppose that such a Moment is in fact the harbinger of a real live Epiphany, from which the individual emerges newly enlightened soul who accepts himself as an Enemy of his own State, as either supersoling or Mr Roberts, or maybe both, and a chorus of other people, too, have put it.

But that is not likely. In fact, it is more likely that horribly traumatized by the Moment, the individual will scurry back to CNN and the solipcism of exceptionalism and write something about Iran and insurgents and Shias, and what would be the best strategy to get Lebanon to stop trying to defend itself so that there can be a peace process.

As we await that, however, we can acknowledge the Moment we may have seen, and hope that there are many more that we have not, and that some of them will indeed prove to be chrysali of the butterfly of Epiphany.

7/23/2006 10:50 pm  
Anonymous Janet said...

DTF, thanks for the link. I have read and reread many of the ideas and thoughts here and it's a lot of food to digest. I'd really like to respond but right now... I'm beyond gunshy. I'm just really tired of ... well so much.

I know there is alot of complexity around the issue of Supporting the troops by bringing them home. It's the only way I can for myself balance out my outrage at the attrocities. That is why I try so very hard to stand with Veterans who are against wars and killing. I can't simply dismiss this aspect of the very war machine I want to stop. I wish I could because it would make things so much easier for me. But for now I'm not at that leg of the journey yet. Yes, it's odd to say that I want the war machine to be toppled down, no more killing no more training humans to kill other humans. To be literally brainwashed into thinking it's fun and games to kill.

The best way for me right now is to help get them home so they can heal and maybe.... just maybe be the next voice alongside against wars. All wars.

I'm just hear to learn and share. I truly hope I don't offend anyone here with my words as I'm just glad I got some excellent food for thought and the words expressed here do change me, alert me, help me or support my own ideas. Thank you.

7/24/2006 1:25 am  
Anonymous Janet said...

Unlike SuperSolings typing with his thumbs... I seem to type with my elbows...

What I meant was... it may seem weird that I'm very much opposed to wars and killing and yet marching with Veterans and part of a group whose one goal of many is to get the troops home Now. But it's all apart of reaching out and trying to prevent more...

different page but possibly in the same book... perhaps.

Anyways, thanks

7/24/2006 1:31 am  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

I don't think it is weird at all, Janet, and I bet your veteran friends don't either.

In fact I have heard some veterans assert the view that their opposition to war should be taken very seriously precisely because as veterans, they know exactly what it is they are opposing. :)

7/24/2006 2:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Ductape. My husband was a part of an aux platoon. Basically they did counter-terrorism, and trained for martial law and crowd controll... all that nasty crap. He knows what this admin and military are doing so wrong and in many cases illegally. Like the Fleet Weeks... a civilian event and these dudes were guarding empty ships with ARMED GUNS and their finger on the trigger or their finger straight up near the trigger. They shouldn't even have guns let alone with bullets.

My husband isn't yet in the realm of peace activist... he's too angry and stills feels protective as he's been trained and knows the militarization of civilian events and how the police and miltary handle crowds/protesters... is so damn wrong.

BTW BOHICA a VFP man here in Portland that I met via Kos, gave Wayne a VFP pin while we met together with Lt. Watada (long story) My husband has tossed all of his military garb. He has so much anger because he knows that so much is wrong. He sees it from a viewpoint I can't.

Anyways, thanks for the kind words... that comment on your site about CP being sexist... ACK! LOL That threw me for a loop. Gotta go family is all home. (Sun is still a work day here)

7/24/2006 3:35 am  
Blogger Nanette said...

Janet, I just saw that comment... I wouldn't worry about it, that particular commenter has longstanding um... issues. Virulently anti women and anything and everything women do (including the violence against women act) is anti-men. Been banned from blogs far and wide, because of it.

dove, I think that is an important point, about hypocrisy.

7/24/2006 3:50 am  
Blogger Nanette said...

Manny:

I have had high expectations over the past few years that as revelations of torture, continued war, lack of due process for detainess, etc etc etc were exposed that the public would finally turn against the neocons and reject their worldview.

For a brief moment I was hopeful too. Not for too very long though... not because I don't think people care. I think some people care deeply. I think it's more that, as a nation, and as a world in general, we have become inured to the suffering of others. Even if it's by our own hands (by proxy).

But more than that, we've become convinced that "there is nothing we can do", because of all the other things we don't think we can do anything about. We're shown photos of skeletal children with flies on their eyes or young kids wandering through trash heaps looking for food, and told that they are sick and starving and that we can help by sending some money, but at the same time we are told (either outright or by implication) that things will always be this way. It's just how they are.

Or wars... "there have always been wars, that's just how it is". Or even our US prison system, which in some cases apparently makes Abu Ghraib seem like Club Med.

All of which is very odd, when you think about it, because one of our US myths is that we are infused with a "can do" attitude.

Maybe we should work on making that myth a reality ;)

7/24/2006 4:00 am  
Blogger NLinStPaul said...

Janet, I don't know if you're still hanging around, but I wanted to say something to you since you brought up the a-hole with women's issues over at ductape's blog.

I know that you have taken a bit of a pummeling lately and I want you to know that I admire your passion and the stand you take.

And I also admire your sense of humor. I know you've probably had trouble seeing the humor in much of anything lately, but you are one of only a handful of people who has made me laugh out loud at my computer. And sometimes it was a piece of sanity that I was sorely in need of.

So I hope that passion and humor of yours continue to lead both you and all of us to a little more sanity.

7/24/2006 4:19 am  
Blogger catnip said...

I've collected myself a bit. Damn PTSD.

super,
I see you're struggling. We all are. And, far be it for me to offer advice, but I will anyway by rewording a Gandhi quote:

Be the change you want to see in yourself.

When it all comes down to it, peace and supporting peace is a choice. I think it's more than possible to build up strength in oneself by choosing the decision to be peace and then throwing yourself out there to defend that choice. It's in that that a person who has changed their perspective learns more about their choice by being challenged by others to speak about it - no matter how wobbly they may be.

I don't apologize for how I feel about what Booman said. It struck at my very core and would have even if I didn't have PTSD just as all inhumanity does. I do apologize, however, if my emotional reaction here was seen as bullying - especially to you, super. Ironically, I made the same mistake as Booman - I acted out on strong emotions when I ought to have stepped back first.

I am grateful, however, that by writing what I did, I was able to see exactly what was going on for me. So, maybe it was meant to work out that way. If I harmed anyone in the process, I'm truly sorry.

Breath first. Post later.

7/24/2006 5:28 am  
Anonymous scribe said...

I'm also in better shape today. (Amazing what some time spent with squirrels and ducks next to a REAL pond can do.) It's also been helpful (thanks, Nancy) to "get out more" and roam the neighborhood of blogs. Too much of one place has never worked out very well for me anyway.

Catnip, thanks for mentioning the visual aids stuff. I hope to be able to get the eyes fixed within a month or so, but if they get worse in the meantime, I'll take you up on your offer, I know voice activated software in my future someday anyway, because of hand limitations, cuz I will NOT shut up!

May we all come through this brand new week intact and still able to chuckle, if not laugh.

7/24/2006 3:08 pm  
Blogger supersoling said...

Catnip,
no need to apologize to me. I don't expect that my opinions will be keft unchallenged, so it's not a problem. I understand how deeply we're all effected emotionally by what we're witnessing and I also understand that sometimes we might react in ways that we wouldn't had we more time to think about things. I've certainly written things while the anger I feel is boiling on the surface. We're all in different places and our circle of wagons is loose right now, but I see these interactions as a way to, at least for me, boil it all down to the basic knowledge that we're all in this together. That we need each other. And that I think we share more things in common than not, including our opposition to these wars and the entire notion of war as a way to solve disputes. Each time I post a comment I feel that my wagon get's closer to yours and those of everyone else.

DTF,
Mental gymnastics are my way of winnowing out my own impurities on a real time basis. It's not easy to write them out as they occur for all to see. But if there is any semblance of safety here, then that's why I'm willing to leave it here. Chrysalis? Maybe. I hope so.

7/24/2006 3:19 pm  
Anonymous Janet said...

Thank you Nanette and NLStPaul. You have no idea how happy it makes me to think I can make someone laugh outloud :) I used to do that alot on an old hockey site. People said they liked me alot because of how I cracked them up. They'd come in so unhappy and I'd make games or even use self-deprecating humor, anything to make the community giggle. Then.. my son became seriously ill and almost died due to lack of dentists willing to work on him... lack of healthcare before and I had started this journey into peace and politics.

I had to walk away from the hate that began to rain down on me there. I had always been "real" and "open", but the room was comprised of political and enviro apathetics, church ladies... the highest order of hypocrites I'd ever seen. They'd take pain killers for razor burn! And announce that anyone using mother nature should be in prison. One celebrated when her "bastard step son" finally turned 18. She swore not another penny would be given to him and he'd better not expect them to help with college. So now he's a Marine. And she's "A Proud USMC Mom"... I had to "respect" her pride and grief....

I left. I lost people who I thought were friends... and this journey has allowed me to learn what friendship means. It doesn't always mean forever... but it should mean something. Don't even get me started about my family. To them, I should have been shot in the head in public while in DC.

I thought long and hard before joining CodePink or any group. I had for a long time been doing "one woman protests" in a redneck community where the risk was very high. While gearing up for DC I saw that most had a group, most had a "tribe", most were not alone. I'm a social butterfly, I like to make people laugh, I like to talk and listen... but the peace protests for me ... had been about just what I could do. What I could risk, what I could I think of. I wanted a group to work with. People who would at least... no I was coming to an event and want to know that I got home safely.

There are so many groups I could have joined up with... but in my own way with risk and humor ... as a dear pink pointed out to me recently... I had been doing "one woman pink protests" all along.

As to the recent pummeling... I haven't recieved as much as most here in this thread or elsewhere.

I'm just pissed off that... people can get so upset about labels while there are children being burned into the fucking pavement.

That instead of talking abotu how to save these children ... we're talking about what it means to be "American".... that there are actually mental midgets who look for some wormhole to exact their hatred on another. My gawd... I was pointed out because of a fucking color and for being in a group of women who invite anyone to join in their march. Hell, we've had people off the street join us, grandpas in wheelchairs with their 5 year old grandchild on their lap, homeless people, men with seeing eye dogs... teens, dads with kids...

I hear the same shit from the people on the street. They holler, "get a job, loser", "no one cares, go home!" or... "bitches need to get fucked". ... yeah I don't diary it all... I just can't. ...

And here I am... again talking about me and justifying myself and what I do... instead of "WHAT CAN WE DO?" WHAT WORKS? HOW CAN WE STOP THIS? WHAT ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES? ARE YOU SAFE? HOW DO YOU STAY SAFE?

I'm so tired.

And thanks... I'm still the same person who wnats to make others laugh... it's a way for me to regroup, relax as well. But nowadays I am being true to me and my loved ones. And a part of that whole picture is that I am political.

So many holler that freedom isn't free and Paine wrote that the price of freedom is vigiliance.

Not whether or not a person wears red, white and blue on certain holidays...

This peacement movement is called for what it is ... a journey. A political one as well as a personal one. I don't have all the answers because I haven't even learned or realized alot of the questions. Each day we have to grow, evolve, learn...

And one thing I've always carried with me... is that life, for me, is about living, loving, learning and laughing... and I think that falls pretty much into my idea of Peace.

Thanks for allowing me to rant, and heal here.

No Nannete, I'm not going away. But I do think I need to stay away from some areas because it's one thing to get reamed out on a blog... it's another to get reamed out on the street, in a parking lot while picking up ice cream for the kids, *my car has a CodePink, Women for Peace bumpersticker and that attracts alot of "commentary" and then get is again on a blog.

As in the street... it'll have to be even more so on this "connecting tubes :D"

"Do not Engage" :)

7/24/2006 6:19 pm  
Anonymous Janet said...

PS, I'll do my best to try and keep you laughing because it keeps me laughing, too :)

7/24/2006 6:30 pm  
Blogger NLinStPaul said...

Janet,
Be funny - or
Be pissed - or
Be strong - or
Be hurt - or...
Just know that no matter what -

Be you!!!

I just wanted you to know what your humor has meant to me. It is a gift to be funny (thats coming from someone who didn't get the gene, but loves to laugh).

7/24/2006 7:38 pm  
Blogger catnip said...

Thanks super and I join with others who are grateful to be privy to your mental gymnastics as you try to work out such difficult issues.

And thanks, Janet, for posting some of your history about how you arrived where you are. ((hugs))

Scribe, I hope your fix for your cataracts works out and it's good to know that you'll still use your voice online despite the difficulties.

I don't have anything philosophical to contribute to the conversation right now. Just gratitude. That's all.

7/24/2006 8:33 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Janet, the experiences you have been through, both with other people, and your own internal growth, is exactly the kind of thing that will help other people work their own way through it.

There is no doubt in my mind that supersoling's brave and generous sharing of his own process has been beyond invaluable to other people who have been struggling, and your own struggle, your own story, will do the same.

When you put all this very personal and intimate "mental gymnastics" out there for earth residents, that in itself is an Act of Resistance.

And thank you for bringing up the topic of "engagement." This is another aspect of the recent cyber-events we all witnessed, or were in some way part of, I am not a big fan of "meta," but I do have a sort of rant about engagement running around my head, and I still feel bad that I did not include in the guidelines that there are some venues on which one should not participate, and those venues will be different for every person. LOL I will hit send now and save it all for the rant, but not before I commit upon you a large hug!

7/25/2006 4:37 am  
Anonymous Janet said...

Thanks you guys. I feel kinda weird.. because I'm no role model or special. I have a hard time with that. Mostly because my friends in CodePink Portland do so much more. But it hard to have a young family and do this as they tell me. Most are either young or their kids are out of the home. So I try not to flog myself when I have to bail out of a meeting or march last minute. Burning candles at both ends will wear ya out so I have to take time and not beat myself over it.

Ayways.. what I want to share is that I woke up today (TUE) very ANGRY. At first I thought it stimmed from insult and I started to self flog "how can I be insulted while kids are dying..." But the anger is due growing pains.

I shared with RubDMC in BT that RiverBends recent words of outrage at the attrocities and how she now lays that blame at the feet of troops... cause they are the ones there doing it... has impacted me greatly and ... let me paste.
----
There was an incident at a vigil near a base, regarding Lt. Watada that has cemented, seared her words into me and I think I'm changing because of them. Some might say for the worse.

But a woman got out of her car and was livid, just LIVID because she felt her husband was a hero, he had to go, his duty was to take care of their family. Did we want her children to suffer?

Finally she was escorted... not ARRESTED as we all had been warned for blocking traffic.

But a woman told me this... Even the engineers who drove the trains into the concentration camps had families to look after. Didn't make any of it right or lessen any of the blame. Nor did it justify it.

And I wonder, more. Are our families more precious? Are our children more worthy of a life...? For me... all children are our children. ALL.

For Bush and Rice... children, ALL children are just pawns, to be used and abused. Even ours. All except their own.

Sorry for rambling.. call it growing pains. I guess.
----

Growing pains. Some might call it belly button bedazzlement... but I feel a huge, urgent shift in myself coming up.

Last night there was a post between me and another regardint Lt. Watada and the UCMJ. Yes, he broke a law regarding refusing to fight this illegal war. He and Jeff Patterson spout of codes and by lawas and laws of the land, Nuremburg Tribunal all that shit that eludes me. But what woke me up in a fit of anger was that a military wife, a friend, was trying to tell me how it all worked... I fear my response, even done while breathing, while after a wait... may still come off as harsh. But... it's my perspective.

The law... the military.... the "war". Don't tell me how it works.
It doesn't work. It's all broken!

I woke up remembering hearing an interview by Susan Smith who is the lawyer for Suzanne Swift the woman who was sexually assaulted, harrassed and intimidated... Anyways she's from Seattle and this is what she does... military rank rapies. And she says it's in the 100,000K of rapes.

It's bad for Watada to speak out that Bush is wrong. That's what he's charged with... Speaking out. A charge that hasn't been done since 1965. But the same military brass look away when it's own are raped, harrassed, intimidated.

Many in uniform say that Watada is a coward... but entire units look away and remain silent when a 14 yr girl is being raped by one of their own??

I'm angry. For many reasons... but my anger drives me. My angry times lead me to a resolve, a new journey.

Don't tell me how it works... because it's broken and I think many who are clinging on to the "support the troops no matter what"... are trying to protect themselves from the sheer nightmare of what they are a part of.

Even the engineer of the trains to death camps could have spoken out... should have spoken out.

I'm sorry but I don't see how anyone can be a hero in an illegal war.

Do I spit on the troops? Hell, no. That's hate. But I spit on all wars.

I defy them any justification.

Just following orders = We must support the troops no matter what.

7/25/2006 6:37 pm  
Blogger dove said...

"But I spit on all wars.
I defy them any justification."

Janet, Brava.
Nothing more to say really, just brava.

7/25/2006 10:01 pm  
Blogger DuctapeFatwa said...

Janet. maybe it is just your Miep Gies gene "doing what it do."

:)

And yes, as dove says, Brava!

7/25/2006 10:37 pm  
Anonymous Arcturus said...

Beautiful post, DtF! I'm feeling rather speechless by events, but umm, wow.

As far as booman, I guess I've been sort of amused to watch his moral compass spin out of control, searching a grail of a lodestone to latch onto. But I've been good & stayed away from teh fray.

The only thing I can respond with is the final line of a poem I once sent ya:

how'd they get across?

7/26/2006 4:17 am  
Blogger James said...

Janet, you're not the only one to spit on wars. I may not exactly be a pacifist (I probably veer closer into Malcom X territory), but I tend to view wars as largely perpetrated by elites who typically avoid much in the way of suffering, while those who do suffer are the civilians who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time & those sods unfortunate enough to get drafted or "volunteered" into doing their respective rulers' bidding.

Pointing out such realities inevitably gets one accused of being "Anti-American" (or a variation on that theme such as "America Hater") or of being "privileged" (something that strikes me as odd given the general populist vibe that a lot of anti-war folks tend to dig on). Even "tolerant" liberals can't seem to resist the urge to shout "traitor" or decry "hate speech" as they go spewing plenty of "hate" of their own.

Go figure.

7/26/2006 8:10 am  
Blogger Janet said...

When one door closes, mostly slammed in yer face...

Another one opens. Thanks for the kind words and support through this very strange couple of weeks.

7/31/2006 9:36 pm  

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