Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Nazis and Taliban

Julian Shaw Julian Shaw" <julian@jlshaw.co.uk
Fri, 9 Aug 2002 23:48:10 +0100

Yes you have a point. All countries do to a large degree act only in their
own best interest. But there are some things which just are not right. I
certainly would be the last person to defend the barbaric acts of the
British Empire, that is something we all want to move away from. But I think
that in Europe now there is definitely a move towards thinking more
progressively, a development of a social conscience.

I presume with your question you mean as a response to 9/11. I think some
people might have got the impression that I was against intervention in
Afghanistan. Far from it. The Taliban needed removing. I was all for the US
and the UK doing something about it and I'm sure much misery has been spared
for the people of Afghanistan (although it is always sad when innocent
people die - estimates of 5,000 civilians died in Afghanistan during the
bombing!). My point would be why did it take 3000 Americans to die before
the US saw how evil the Taliban was? How many thousands were the Taliban
killing every year? Did the American President lose sleep over that? Indeed
as we have seen so many times the US were happy to help religious fanatics
as long as the weren't pointing their guns at other Americans. Sad but true.

And now there is a war on terror. Well of course a war on terror is a good
idea. But is the US making things better or worse? The war on terror in many
countries has turned into a war on freedom. The amount of times I have heard
in the last 9 months that Governments all around the world are changing laws
to suppress "terrorists" who are probably mostly legitimate political
groups. Anyone who disagrees with the Government can be classed as a
terrorist. Does the US (or any western government) care about this? And will
it make friends with Saudi Arabia, a country with one of the most
oppressive, hard line regimes imaginable, just so that it is better placed
to attack Iraq.

Something to chew on...

Julian Lewis Shaw
Man, Myth or Monkey? Find out:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cheryl H" <ooiiilllss@hotmail.com>
To: <julian@jlshaw.co.uk>; <powderworks@cs.colorado.edu>
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 10:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Powderworks] Nazis and Taliban

> What countries don't act in their own best interests??  ie, Apartheid -
> that done on behalf of the people of South Africa?  Were the Conquistadors
> acting in the best interests of Native Americans (North AND South) by
> raping, pillaging and stripping the land of its precious metals silver and
> gold?  The Europeans came to this country to benefit whom?  Are we
> to follow the examples lead by the British Empire?
> We are ALL accountable for our actions.  Instead of criticizing us for
> we've done wrong, I'd like to second Scott Williams and ask how you would
> handle it.
> Cheryl
> From: "Julian Shaw" <julian@monkeyfamily.freeserve.co.uk>
> Reply-To: "Julian Shaw" <julian@jlshaw.co.uk>
> To: "'powderworks'" <powderworks@cs.colorado.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Powderworks] Nazis and Taliban
> Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 19:44:40 +0100
> I think the term Nazi is a particularly offensive one to use and I
> wouldn't use it as the US has often stood up for minority groups and the
> oppressed. But the truth is that the US as a world player always acts in
> it's best interest and very rarely in the interest of others. Does the US
> give a toss about climate change? No of course not as long as the money
> keeps pouring in so America can get richer and the economy can keep on
> growing! Another example - International Criminal Court. Why wouldn't the
> sign up? Because it's not in it's best interest. Well of course not -
> many other countries could see that people need to be accountable! But the
> US seems to have got away with it anyway and got in with the proviso that
> it's troops on peace keeping missions can't ever be charged with anything.
> Errr very magnanimous of the US indeed! Just a couple of big
examples -there
> are many others.
> I think it's sad that the US gets singled out so much - there are many
> hundreds of worse governments in the world. The problem is they are
> run by dictators. As the leader of the free world the US should be setting
> an example and I think that is why the US gets bashed so much - because
> people think of  the US government as hypocrites when it talks of
> and is at the same time pushing it's weight around so it can get things
> own way.
> Julian Lewis Shaw
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