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"An Eye for an Eye..."

My blog is always open to friends who want to post guest entries. I have a good friend from Australia, Katie, who's upset and has plenty to say in the wake of the re-election of President Bush (and I certainly can't blame her).

"An eye for an eye would make the whole world go blind" (Gandhi)

Whilst many of us hoped that Kerry would now be president, and that with his presidency, a level of sanity would return to American foreign policy. However -- Bush is now in -- and all of us, even those of us who live outside the US, have a responsibility to try and prevent the global tragedy that we all fear is on the horizon.

Edmund Burke said -- "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Sitting back now -- and waiting for the worst to happen, will ensure that the worst happens.

What is really concerning is that both 'sides' of the 'war on terror' appear to be operating under the misapprehension that by inflicting harm on the other side, that the other side will say "Oh -- I see how we have wronged you, we won't do that again".

In his recent video tape -- Bin Laden stated that he attacked the twin towers in New York as a result of the US's attack of two towers in Lebanon in '82. He stated that the 9/11 attack was so that Americans would "taste what we tasted and they stop killing our women and children". His reasoning appears to have been -- once they understand how they have hurt us they will "stop killing". Using similar logic -- Bush has gone into Afghanistan and Iraq. This logic is at best childish and simplistic.

As Gandhi said "An eye for an eye would make the whole world go blind". We're already starting to see this. Three thousand Americans were killed in the 9/11 attack -- a major tragedy. But over twice that number of Iraqis are killed every month now in Iraq.

All of us that live in democracies need to recognise that with the freedom that we have comes a responsibility. A responsibility for the actions of the nations that we live in. Even if we didn't vote for Bush -- if we stay silent now -- and let the worst continue to unfold -- then we are equally responsible.

So what do concerned citizens of democracies do to stop the worst from happening? We continue to speak out. We continue to look for ways to change public opinion. We recognise that living in a democracy means that we have the right to a say not just by voting once every few years -- but by making our voices heard.

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Comments

I agree with the main thrust of this, even if I don't agree with every detail.

It would appear that Osama bin Laden wants to hurt us so that we'll behave in a manner suitable to him. Whether he's trying to hurt us so that we simply want to make the pain stop, or trying to hurt us so that we understand his pain, is hard to say.

I would say, though, that the Bush Administration isn't trying to "hurt" bin Laden and other terrorists so that they'll stop trying to hurt us. The Bush Administration is trying to exterminate terrorists. The problem with this strategy is that, as can be seen with the Palestinians and now with the Iraqis, there is an effectively limitless supply of terrorists -- and we seem to be doing a good job of seeding the ground to grow more of them. More on this in a future blog entry.

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