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September 21, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Our sense of ethics is not shared

Another view?

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Ken Anderson concluded his Sept. 19 letter, “A bad turn doesn’t deserve another,” with what he intended as hypothetical questions:

“But what would happen if an American leader did the same thing, retaliating against a group of people in the Middle East and harming those who were not connected to the original group of attackers on our embassies? Does one immoral, unethical and illegal act deserve like behavior?”

I submit that the people of Iraq would not consider those questions to be hypothetical. In fact, I would say that we (or, rather, our embassy and military personnel) are receiving the answer firsthand: a resounding “Yes!”

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  1. One can disagree with the US invasion of Iraq and many people do, but that is not 'the' cause of our problems in the Middle East.

    The 'cause' is made up of many things. Some of them are: Our support of Israel; our freedoms, which allow for the criticism of religion; our decadent ways that lack moral and ethical clarity; the fact that we are not an Islamic nation; our presence as infidels in Islamic nations, etc, etc.

    This letter again employs backward logic. The letter writer doesn't like the war in Iraq and therefore it is the cause for the embassy attack and murders in Libya. No... the causes are what I said above and the attack in Iraq just 'adds' to them.

    Bottom line: This is a clash of cultures and belief systems and a single event is not going to change that fact.

    Michael

  2. "A US Commander-in-Chief should never send American troops to fight on foreign soil unless and until he/she has walked the battlefield of the American dead and injured."

    CarmineD

  3. Repression by governments or religions does not mean there are not people who want democracy and freedom.

    Unfortunately, we see the worst splashed across our TV screens, often without regard to the people who work for freedom and justice in their repressive lands.

    To forget that in giving so much attention to the forces that seek such attention, is doing those who seek freedom a disservice and isn't supportive of their efforts.

    If true freedom is ever to come to the people in the Middle East, it must be encouraged and supported by the U.S. through education of our own citizens first.

    Supporting democratic efforts through recognition and respect of the people who seek freedom from repression is an important step toward understanding and supporting the efforts of sincere people.

  4. "Does one immoral, unethical and illegal act deserve like behavior?"

    Bacon -- boiled down, what's moral and/or ethical is little more than an opinion, often slanted to the advantage of the opiner. The difference between legal and illegal is far too often just the whim of a judge.

    "...our freedoms, which allow for the criticism of religion..."

    wtplv -- much to agree with in your post. I disagree with this point, though I understand its spirit -- the Founders' wisdom is again proven by protecting, not allowing, freedom of conscience, speech, and their penumbras.

    "Repression by governments or religions does not mean there are not people who want democracy and freedom."

    peacelily -- excellent point. I'd take it to the next level by pointing out repression is all around us here as our own government at every level imposes a police state on We the People. And when religion is too involved with governing -- strike that, RULING -- any people, that's what gave us the Dark Ages.

    The conquering hawks among us forget or ignore we are the invaders in those countries at issue here. Invaders are naturally fought to expulsion.

    "The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion." -- Arthur C. Clarke, 1999, from "God, Science, and Delusion: A Chat With Arthur C. Clarke" in Free Inquiry magazine

  5. KillerB: Like behavior or similar would go a long way to turning this around. Perhaps not absolutely ensuring our safety but a long way in the direction of making "them" think twice before attacking an American.

  6. The only sure way to determine if a conflict between Islam and Western civilization can be avoided is for us to leave them alone and stop interfering in their affairs. If we do that, and we are still attacked and a large group of people in the Middle East still support terrorism against Western nations, then unless we surrender, a conflict cannot be avoided.

    I think we should try to find out. Let's take away the reasons they put forth for hating us and see what happens. While we find out, the money we use to alternately help and fight these nations could be better used at home.

    Michael

  7. "Perhaps not absolutely ensuring our safety but a long way in the direction of making "them" think twice before attacking an American."

    Roslenda -- what you're mentioning is the fear factor. Fear is good when applied to outside threats, but not when it's directed against We the People. Unfortunately that's exactly how we're being ruled currently.

    "Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams "Thoughts on Government" (1776)

  8. I was one of those persons that thought the Iraq was was needless and a tragic mishap.

    Even though we may argue forever over whether we were right or wrong for invading Iraq.The biggest problem we face is the government of Iraq could care less how much blood and treasure we spent for the liberation of their country (Iraq) They proved this by refusing to help pay for the war effort from oil sales.Hate for America may never end in that part of the world.Our values don't align with theirs.

  9. "Some of you seem to be deluding yourself as to the nature of the threat that jihadism poses. Jihadism requires the expansion of Islam around the world and the subjugation or extermination of all heretics (non-jihadist Moslems) and non-believers (Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, etc)."

    NLV-Indep -- you are obviously ignoring the history of christianity and its similar dogma demanding "the subjugation or extermination of all heretics." Considering the near-win of several militant christian candidates for the Republican presidential nomination and their vow to govern our republic by biblical principles -- well, who's really deluded into opining how close America is to imposing those same "values" on the rest of the world by military threat?

    "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." -- Luke 19.27

  10. Michael, et all,

    I wasn't as clear as I should have been.

    The main point revolves around this question in the original letter: "But what would happen if an American leader did the same thing, retaliating against a group of people in the Middle East and harming those who were not connected to the original group of attackers on our embassies?"

    It is my contention that we did exactly that following 9/11 when we invaded Iraq. Contrary to what the original letter writer wanted to assert, we do not stand on the moral high ground here.

    Our original retaliation against Afghanistan was justified, expected, and indeed demanded by the events on that day. The followup elsewhere, and especially our "exporting democracy" was decidedly NOT! If we stick to simple, brutal revenge against the appropriate target and go no further we will receive more respect than we get now.

  11. Of course our sense of ethics is not shared by Islam. The last I checked, their invisible dictator was in disagreement with our invisible dictator.

    The violent protesters have been organized by professionals. They are obviously of a religious nature because you only have this type of violent outrage when some part of the religion is perceived as being insulted. You'd never see this kind of outrage over the loss of a Muslim life (lives). But if you burn one Qur'an, thousands must die.

    I would imagine that Muslims are growing weary of the violence now. Besides, all the burning and breaking has done nothing but destroy their own communities and sunken most western public opinion towards them to new lows.

    France found the grapes to publish drawings of Muhammad in one of their newspapers. Perhaps they too sense the Muslims are getting tired. A Fatwa has already been issued against me based on my name alone so I don't mind speculating that Islam might collapse and destroy itself should a bunch of sky writing planes collude and draw a picture of Muhammad in the sky over any city in the middle east.

    Lastly, we all know that most Muslims are peaceful and really good people. The ones that have access to education will excel. Why is their voice muted during this discussion? My guess is because the ultra religious ones feel that God has given them the right and made it their duty to kill those who speak out against them. And when a radical Muslim says they're going to kill you, they generally mean it.

  12. How much do we spend (waste) and how many Americans do we sacrifice for whatever portion of their populace that would prefer a different government, not necessarily "democracy"? Ya think we can drop some bombs, kill half the population and suddenly their culture has changed and they've become our clones?