Tuesday, October 23, 2007

U.S. Double Standards for Friend/Foe

By Ivan Eland
October 24, 2007

The administration fears that an enraged Turkish ally, already threatening to invade northern Iraq in order to suppress armed Turkish Kurd rebels seeking refuge there, will also cut off U.S. access to Turkish air bases and roads used to re-supply U.S. forces in Iraq.

Read on.


Brother Billy said...

In looking at our own past sins dispassionately, we could start by condemning and apologizing for our genocide against Native Americans -- certainly one of the larger scale and more effective ones in history . That would be a good step to take before we condemn any other countries. It could help our credibility a tad.

As for the Armenian genocide resolution, the Republican controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 40-7 in favor in 2000. At that time, President Clinton made precisely the same complaints about it as Bush has now. Speaker Hastert agreed with Clinton and kept the bill from going to the House floor.

Bush also used the words "subjected to a genocidal campaign" to describe the Armenians. This was while he was a candidate in 2000 and wanted to thank a couple of his Armenian-American campaign contributors. I'm surprised none of the Democrats brought that up -- his letter is reproduced on the Armenian National Committee website. It got a few mentions in the media, but not a big play.

In 1981, President Reagan also called it genocide in a proclamation on the Holocaust.

Double standards abound. Pragmatism makes for moral inconsistency. Since pragmatism is often necessary, it would go over better if everyone stopped pretending to take the moral high ground.

imnoman said...

As a Zen poet and grad student of research psychology, this is something I've been writing about a lot lately.

This is an attribute of binary thinking. No one is immune from it. The answer is to realize our sovereign indivisibility from within. No one can deny you a freedom that arises from within.

Binary thinking is the psychophysiology behind the infamous "Us vs. Them" effect. It's just our brains playing tricks on our minds. We imagine steep and deep divides between our cellves and our groups that aren't really there. We terrorize ourselves, we fear our own shadows. Then we retaliate by sending "superior" firepower into that illusory gap, and are amazed when we kill women and children and the elderly, as if killing young men was ok. Or we make plans to store radioactive waste under Yucca Mountain for 50,000 years--no shit, that's what the Department of Energy says they are planning to do. But there simply is no Away where things disappear after we throw them 'away.'

By imagining our selves to be absolutely divided at some point one from another and from our environment, we cut our selves in two and then wage war on our other half.

Naomi Klein's recent book, The Shock Doctrine, is a brilliant illumination of this MO. They can't implement their "Shock Therapy" measures democratically, so they've done it by force. With torture and economic shock therapy, the goal is to terrify people into a state of complete openness to imprinting, like a hatchling. They then impose themselves as false gods on our psyches, our souls, against our will. They’re not trying to “win hearts and minds,” they’re trying to machine them, to manufacture our consent.

Conversely, Art speaks directly to the heart. In a cosmos of atomized egos misconceived as Newtonian billiard balls in absolutely empty space (as opposed to patterns of energy in Einsteinian fields), a mechanical model prevails to explain how things are put together from the outside when in fact we are unfolding from within. The mechanical model makes a Frankenstein’s monster of Mother Earth; implodes our psyches into quantum singularities of pain (making cosmic pinheads of us all); and promotes the pimping of this monster instead of husbanding our Mother.

So, dear reader, before you get to feeling all self-righteous, please note that we all share the assumption of an atomized self: we think we exist apart from that which gives rise to us. This is where research psychology meets Buddhism meets politics.

The binary, Divide-and-Conquer-ratio-making-mind is stringing out this line of words you are reading right here right now. Please note that, by the nature of drawing a line, 3 things seem to appear: Side A, a Line (of data, pixels, words, and reasoning), and Side B. They appear in a field that begins and remains _indivisible_.

That's us. That's We, the indivisible People. We find our common ground in the spaces in between.

So when a child asks, "What's that?" the Upanishads answer, Tat tvam asi, Thou art that. And guess what? That loves that! Compassion is the proper basis of Being, not competition.

Darwinian competition is a misconception of the cosmos in mechanistic, Newtonian terms. It's outdated. Robert Oppenheimer warned the APA, in 1955, not to base psychology on an outdated physics (Newtonian mechanics), but we did it anyway.

We all bow down at the alter of the ego. We enshrine a false division at the very center of our Being. Then we go to war with our other half.

This is the dynamic that, as we Buddhists say, powers the wheel of samsara, the vicious cycle of being 'torn' between pairs of opposites (good vs. evil, Democrat vs. Republican, Us vs. Them, inside vs. outside). If you can name it, it has to have an opposite.

So, by the nature of binary thinking, 'this' and 'that,' 'good' and 'evil,' 'Us' and 'Them' arise mutually.

Almost all of us,with the possible exception of my man, Kucinich, practice the politics of reifying the ghosts of binary thinking and then going to war in that illusory landscape.

Meet the new Boss
Same as the old Boss
--The Who

This is the juggernaut that chases us all. Thing is, you don't outrun juggernauts, you simply sidestep them.