Thursday, March 22, 2007

The perfect moral example

I'm not as contemplative as neo-neocon in her post, The ivory tower: Clean hands and leading by example.

And I'm in an ornery mood so when someone said they used to look up to us, I said this:


Never believe someone who says they used to look up to the United States.

It’s a sure tip-off that they’re trying to sell you something, namely, their approval. What coin for that approval (an approval the US has never had before in our history) why, the coin for that approval is to tolerate violence and evil.

You want to know what American principles are? Read some Westerns. Violent literature filled with violent men. What virtues? Honesty. Bravery. Individuals standing for what is right even when it means facing their sure death. Defending the weak. Pulling your own weight and prefering not to accept help on the one hand, offering help, even to the point of self-sacrifice on the other. Bullies are reviled. Personal responsibility for deafeating them, lauded. Leaving others in the way of desperate, evil men, reviled.

And on, and on.

A national mythos, or a set of principles, of ideals NEVER represent the truth of things. They’re goals. They’re something to shoot for.

Our American mythos, the picture we have in our head (to borrow something Ymarsakar said elsewhere) cheers when the taunt of “then you’ll be just as bad as me” is delivered, and the hero says, “No, I’m much worse.”

Maybe it’s a child-like view of morality but it is not comprimised in the least when the good guys are willing to do the hard work of bringing some serious hurt to the sort of depraved evil that puts children into a car to get it through a US military check point and then blows up the car with the children still in it.

It’s not moral by any fashion to equivocate that sort of behavior, that sort of depravity, to *anything* that our side has done.

We’re big and bad and scary.

And that’s a good thing.

Because someone OTHER THAN the evil bastards who saw off the heads of journalists and evicerate female aid workers and routinely execute anyone they take a disliking to, gas markets, hide behind children and kill them, needs to be.

The fact that it’s distasteful is just too freaking bad. People who don’t like it maybe ought to move somewhere and live the way you insist on leaving other people living. Do your perfect moral exampling there, if they let you live long enough.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Heralder said...

I had a conversation a while back with an Israeli army officer over drinks. I was see-sawing over U.S. actions in the middle east and he said to me:

"The U.S. is a powerful country...you shouldn't be ashamed of that."

Of course that alone doesn't address the usage of said power, but in context of our conversation it made sense; that we shouldn't be afraid to step forward and do something, to use strength to reslove issues.

That's what it takes sometimes, other times not, obviously.

The primary malfunction in the call for inaction from other countries is two-fold.

One is, in my opinion that any show of physical strength by the most powerful country, regardless of what it's end result is, (or even intended end result) is "unfair".
This is where the label of "freedom fighter" instead of "terrorist" comes into play. You're standing up to the bully, the strongest kid on the playground, and that in of itself is heroic. Nevermind the nature of the cause or how many markets you blow up to get there.

Secondly, I strongly believe that its rooted in jealousy. The critics wish to level the playing field.

The "used to look up to you" mantra gets me real cynical, because I don't believe it has ever been true.

This brings me to your mention of Westerns. I haven't seen a real good one lately, but I liked the protagonist in 'Open Range'.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Jack L. Love said...

Hello Synova. You say we are big, bad and scary. I understand big and scary. What about bad? Let us leave the generalities behind. Do you approve of our people using WATERBOARDING? That is as good a litmus test as any, in my opinion. jack

10:08 AM  
Blogger Synova said...

It's not, Jack.

Not a good litmus test.

The reason why it's not, it's that I am equally against locking people up.

There are all sorts of things that are perfectly ordinary that I feel should not be done to people. Locking someone up is horrible. I've had my movements limited by others and it wears on a person. Just as slavery is an abomination no matter how comfortable it is, locking people up is an abomination even if they are treated well.

So let's leave generalities behind. Do you approve of locking people up?

Or shall we *really* leave generalities behind and say that, if I found someone raping my daughter I would approve of (and probably do it myself) castration with a rusty knife. That is, if I didn't kill him or maim him in some other way first.

Shall we *really* leave generalities behind and say that I believe the frat-house humiliations of Abu Ghraib are worse than aggressive interrogation techniques up to and including waterboarding simply because they were meanness for meanness sake and nothing else. Sick people just having "fun". Nothing can excuse that.

So your litmus test misses something vitally important. But does it miss it on purpose or by accident?

Is it ever not wrong to lock someone up?

Is it ever not wrong to kill someone?

Is it ever not wrong to make someone believe that they are about to die?

Let's leave the generalities behind, Jack.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Synova,

Sorry I did not see your reply on Blackfive until today. So I wrote a reply there. I figured if I posted it on you site you could reply if you wanted (from your blog I can guess you are out of high school):

Synova,

Lol. You must be in high school or younger?

The primary role of women in the military is: "on their backs or on their knees".
Obviously, they have some other jobs that they can do between acts.

Does that help? Maybe you can ask your parents what that means....

It is no different today than it has been for the last 4000 years. (Although "rape, pillage and plunder" was the term used then).

The Japanese called them "comfort women" when they conscripted the 200,000 in the 1930s for the Imperial Army.

When you deploy with women; your own soldiers, sailors, marines etc... are less like to "rape and pillage" the local women when they have their own women on the bases and ships. Nothing makes the locals want to kill you more then raping / being accused of raping a local girl.

Ask the Japanese how much they like the Marines in Okinawa? An accusation of rape / rape will stay in the paper for a year ++++.
If a military member rapes another military member, who knows? Or cares? It is held internal to the base and she is paid off with disability if she complains loud enough.

It is a lot easier to control VD (again ask your parents what VD is). If one of your "comfort women" gets a VD you can send her back to the states before she contaminates everyone and pay her off with disability. This is as an important an issue as any. AIDS was huge scare for the military and it why we bring our women everywhere now. VD is now and has always been a major concern for military commanders.
(FYI - I saw this when I was deployed to CENTCOM. A female picked up HEP-B, we were worried about losing 20% of our squadron. She had multiple partners and so did many of the men. We ended up just losing a few personnel).
As for Awards, please... they give them away like "candy on Halloween" during wartime, with rare exceptions ie...Medal of Honor etc.

Do you want me to provide a list of ridiculous awards I have seen during this war? Especially to women, if you can keep the women happy then they do accuse you of sexual harassment etc....

3:56 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Do you approve of our people using WATERBOARDING?

The sheiks are lucky they're in with Americans that will go only with waterboarding. You don't want to know what I came up with for them.

Lol. You must be in high school or younger?

That sort of gives you a hint of the rest, just by itself, eh Synova?

7:16 AM  
Blogger Synova said...

Lol. You must be in high school or younger?

That sort of gives you a hint of the rest, just by itself, eh Synova?

== Heh, yeah. ;-)

I'd already replied to the guy at Blackfive so I didn't bother here.

7:25 PM  

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