Feelings, nothing more than feelings.

When I post something here it is 95% feelings. I have never claimed to be a pundit. The new commenter here, Solid, makes it pretty obvious that my writing still needs tons of work. I respect his opinion but I think that along with others that commented on that post, they missed the objective of what I was trying to do.

I made that post to express my frustration and to make people think. For some people it did just that, it made them think, but for others it made them hold onto their ideals like a teddy bear that helps them sleep at night.

I am not an expert in politics or foreign policy, but I do know a couple of things.

1. Even before 9-11 the world has hated that America tries to police the world.

Solid had a great point, in the current global technological and scientific state, the world is our backyard. If you have not seen the movie by the South Park guys Team America, you should. It is funny and satirical, but in there is the message that it will be impossible to police the world.

Terrorism is not a country, a religion or even a group of people; Terrorism is an idea. Terrorism cannot be stopped in the sense that every single time you kill a terrorist, someone else is going to take up whatever cause that person was fighting.

2. Doing nothing is not the answer.

I believe the current war is a waste of resources for this country, beyond just the loss of human life in both sides. Do I think those terrorists that are beheading people should be exterminated? ABSOLUTELY!

The way we are fighting this was makes us look pretty stupid. It is almost like Vietnam did not happen and we did not learn that fighting a war in someone else’s turf is a very taxing campaign.

Our goal should be to protect our country, making sure that the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies do the best they can do to stop 9-11 from every happening again. 9-11 could have been prevented, the signs were there, but a lot of people dropped the ball. I can only hope that we are doing a better job of identifying and stopping threats now.

Everyone that has posted seems to forget that at the moment we are fighting in Iraq not to topple a regime, or to stop some terrorist from attacking the US, but to stabilize a young democracy plagued by sectarian violence.

The whole country is in the verge or civil war, or in the middle of it, depending on who you ask. We went to Afghanistan to take down Al Qaeda and Osama, and we did an excellent job at killing a lot of Al Qaeda’s forces as well as toppling the Taliban, but don’t tell me that the country is now a secure place where democracy is flourishing.

I agree with taking action, but taking on the job of making the Middle East a place for democracy and freedom is as stupid as the Christian missionaries that try to convert Asians from religions that they have practiced for thousands of years. Can you convert some people? Of course. Can you convert everyone? NO. Just like supporting the war will never be 100%.

As to what should we do to stop terrorism? I don’t know, that is what my post was all about. I am confused as to what the objective of this “war on terror” is. I do know that what we are doing right now is not accomplishing what people are being lead to believe. We are not safer because we are in Iraq right now. We are a little safer because we have killed a lot of Al Qaeda people who are our enemy, but we are far from having the world free from terrorism. As long as there is an Israel, there will be unrest in the Middle East, and the extreme Islamist terrorism will still be alive. Just keep in mind that those are just one of the many kind of terrorist there are, the Islamic Fascist like Bush is calling them now.

Medicine will tell you that treating the cause of illness is more important than fighting the symptoms. If you don’t stop the cause the symptoms are not going to go away on their own. Terrorism is caused by many things like hunger, poverty, oppression, radicalism and ignorance. What should we keep on trying to do then?

I think that bringing freedom to a group of people and stopping terrorism are two different goals. I agree that a free society has a better chance of not being a hot bed for terrorism, but it is not guaranteed. Don’t forget the Unabomber, don’t forget Timothy McVeigh, they had nothing to do with Islam or the Middle East but they were still terrorists.

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Related Posts
9-11 Five Years Later – What sparked this post.
Understanding Violence – How I view violence.

28 Responses to Feelings, nothing more than feelings.

  1. Very well said!

  2. > The way we are fighting this was makes us look pretty stupid. It is almost like Vietnam did not happen
    > and we did not learn that fighting a war in someone else’s turf is a very taxing campaign.
    This is possibly because you misunderstand the goal. There are several justifications for the war in Iraq but there are only 2 viable forms of success. The first is that we kill all who pose a threat. Since terrorists hide among civilians, we would basically have to kill every living soul in Iraq to be sure we got em all. If that is our desired outcome then yes we are doing it very stupidly. As Sun Tzu said famously in “The Art of War”, a better method of victory is to make your enemy your friend. By doing so, you eliminate an adversary and add an ally with one stroke. This is our method in Iraq. The goal is not to remove all terrorism in Iraq. The goal was to remove sadaam whose government was friendly with terrorist and openly hostile to the US and replace it with a government that is based on freedom and is hostile toward terrorism. Now the obvious question is “Is Iraq’s new government hostile to terrorism?” Maybe. Maybe not.

    > Our goal should be to protect our country, making sure that the FBI, CIA and other intelligence
    > agencies do the best they can do to stop 9-11 from every happening again. 9-11 could have been
    > prevented, the signs were there, but a lot of people dropped the ball.
    I guess by this statement then that you are a supporter of Bush’s foreign wiretap program? The problem with relying on the FBI and CIA is that now you are no longer proactive. You have to wait for a threat to manifest itself and then you react. This kind of response to terrorism is what allowed 9/11 to happen. 9/11 didn’t happen because no one was paying attention. It happened because terrorist were trying to conceal what they were doing and succeeded. That will always be their MO.

    > The whole country is in the verge or civil war, or in the middle of it, depending on who you ask.
    The problem with your perspective is that it begins when you were born. Let’s not forget that the US had the same problems after the revolutionary war. Arguably not to the extent that Iraq is going thru it. But we did not have Iran on our border sending in thousands of terrorist and sabators a day either. Another problem with your perspective is YOU ARE NOT THERE. I have talked with many servicemen who are coming back from Iraq. Unfortunately the stories they are telling me are not sensational enough to make the news. Headline we will never see out of CNN: “45 Bagdad citizens applied for business licenses today” and “The average GPA in Bagdad schools is 2.8″ or “The Bagdad Stock exchange just reported its 300th day of growth in its index”. These kinds of things are happening but they are not in the news.

    > I agree with taking action, but taking on the job of making the Middle East a place for democracy
    > and freedom is as stupid as the Christian missionaries that try to convert Asians from religions that
    > they have practiced for thousands of years. Can you convert some people? Of course. Can you
    > convert everyone? NO. Just like supporting the war will never be 100%.
    Neither is campagn against domestic abuse but you don’t stop trying.

    > Terrorism is caused by many things like hunger, poverty, oppression, radicalism and ignorance.
    > What should we keep on trying to do then?
    Well in this case, terrorism is being caused by a culture whose hallmarks include subjugation of women, slavery, honor killings, beheading infedels, rape, murder and aquisisition of power thru brutality. How do you change a culture you ask? I’m glad you asked. Freedom. Look at what it has done to Japan. If you go to Tokyo, it looks like manhattan in Neon. We can change the culture if we are committed. But it won’t happen if we sit and “gee this is really hard I wanna quit” all day long.

    > Don’t forget the Unabomber, don’t forget Timothy McVeigh, they had nothing to do with Islam or the
    > Middle East but they were still terrorists.
    Also don’t forget that these 2 examples (out of hundreds) are Individuals who acted almost entirely alone and were not funded by any international Hate mongers. They were motivated by confusion and insanity. The terrorist we fight in the middle east are very organized with huge funding and support structures. They actively RECRUIT other like minded individuals and channel their hate very forcefully into their plots.
    -Solid

  3. Solid,

    You bring up some very valid points and I like the way you think. You are one of the only people, besides my friend Travis, that knows how to debate a point.

    Intelligence agencies are not reactive at all. They do not sit and wait until something happens; they learn and move to stop things before they happen. I believe that a well placed Delta Force hit is a lot more effective than our current military engagement in Iraq in fighting terrorism.

    You bring up Japan as an example of a place that changed culturally because we brought them freedom? I would have to investigate this subject a lot more because I am not an expert. What I do know is that Japan has been a society that has been able to change dramatically through history… but again, they do not even want to remember or at times acknowledge the atrocities they committed in the past. Japan might be full of neon, but the culture of the country is something extremely complex that not everyone understands or even gets a chance to get a good glance at.

    >>Well in this case, terrorism is being caused by a culture whose hallmarks include subjugation of women, slavery, honor killings, beheading infidels, rape, murder and acquisition of power thru brutality.

    Those things that you are describing here are not part of a “culture.” Those are the tenants of some of the extreme Islamism that want to follow their scripture that way. Remember the bible also has it share of violence, subjugation and slavery. If we decide that anyone that believes in Islam is part of such culture, then we are no better than them. You cannot condemn a whole group of people to die by generalizing them by religion, which is something called genocide.

  4. > Intelligence agencies are not reactive at all. They do not sit and wait until something happens; they
    > learn and move to stop things before they happen. I believe that a well placed Delta Force hit is a lot
    > more effective than our current military engagement in Iraq in fighting terrorism.
    I respectfully disagree. Intelligence agencies have to wait for information before they can react. The enemy is trying to conceal that information. So by deductive reasoning, we must assume that some information that our intelligence agencies require will be hidden or disguised so that it will not be factored into the analasis. This kind of sit and wait philosophy will always put us at least one step behind. BTW I don’t know if you are aware of this but by law the FBI and CIA cannot share information and neither has jurisdiction in the other’s domain. On top of that the FBI is extremely limited by it role as a domestic law enforcement agency. You cannot send a law enforcment agency to deal with a military or para-military problem.

    > Japan
    Japan’s history for the last 200 years is very interesting. Prior to WW2, Japan had a very totalitarian style of government. After WW2, the US cultivated a relationship with Japan that has allowed the export of Western Idealogy. Particularly we exported our capitalistic economy which found fertile ground in a culture who prides itself on hard work. 2 key industries have changed Japan more than any others: Steel and electronics. Both are industries that the US had a great deal of influence on.

    > Those things that you are describing here are not part of a “culture.” Those are the tenants of some
    > of the extreme Islamism that want to follow their scripture that way.
    6 of one… You cannot divorce a religion from a culture when it represents over 95 % of a population. On top of that, their religion is what has blocked their culture from modernizing with the rest of the world.

    > Remember the bible also has
    > it share of violence, subjugation and slavery. If we decide that anyone that believes in Islam is
    > part of such culture, then we are no better than them. You cannot condemn a whole group of
    > people to die by generalizing them by religion, which is something called genocide.
    Now you are stepping into an arena that I happen to know a great deal about. Try not to interpret Biblical references to such acts as Biblical support. I have studied Biblical references to slavery and women’s rights to a great extent and I can explain it if you wish to truely discuss it. But don’t sit and say “Mommy jonny did it too” or “he started it”. That is a truely weak argument.
    -Solid

  5. >>BTW I don’t know if you are aware of this but by law the FBI and CIA cannot share information and neither has jurisdiction in the other’s domain. On top of that the FBI is extremely limited by it role as a domestic law enforcement agency. You cannot send a law enforcment agency to deal with a military or para-military problem.

    Point take, then lets create a new agency with a military arm what will be our counter terrorism force instead of using our military.

    >>Now you are stepping into an arena that I happen to know a great deal about. Try not to interpret Biblical references to such acts as Biblical support. I have studied Biblical references to slavery and women’s rights to a great extent and I can explain it if you wish to truely discuss it. But don’t sit and say “Mommy jonny did it too” or “he started it”. That is a truely weak argument.

    I am not a Theology or Bible buff by any means even though I do know quite about some Christian religions both Protestant and Catholic. My point is that just as some extremist interpret the Quran to be a violent book, which in reality is not, the bible can be taken the same way.

  6. > Point take, then lets create a new agency with a military arm what will be our counter terrorism
    > force instead of using our military.
    Ok. But why? We already have the military.

    > My point is that just as some extremist interpret the Quran to be a violent book, which in reality is not, > the bible can be taken the same way.
    When Jerry Falwell leads an army of blue-haired bingo jockeys onto a boeing 747, then we can talk. No rational person could be convinced that the Bible is morally equivalent to the Quran.
    Quran:
    THEN SLAY THE IDOLATERS WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM, AND TAKE THEM CAPTIVES AND BESIEGE THEM AND LIE IN WAIT FOR THEM IN EVERY AMBUSH, then if they repent and keep up prayer [become believers] and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them (9:5)

    Bible:
    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20

    I assume the differences are clear enough.
    -Solid

  7. >Ok. But why? We already have the military.

    Because I believe that we are using a hammer to put a screw through a wall. We are using the wrong too.

    >I assume the differences are clear enough.

    If we are going to start comparing verses, lets try to use the Old Testament instead of the new. But I feel that we are way too far away from each other in thinking here. You see the Quran as a book of hate and the bible as a book of love… they are both holly books in different religions… in the end both written by man.

  8. You see the Quran as a book of hate and the bible as a book of love… they are both holly books in different religions… in the end both written by man.

    Excellent point.

    I’ve got a news flash for everyone: Muslims see the Quran as a book of love, and the Christian bible as a book of hate.

    Any passage from, as an example, the Christian bible can be taken out of context and used as justification for something. The same would hold true for any holy book, be it any of the books read by JWs, Mormons, etc. It’s the extremists of each religious order that interpret their respective holy book, and often times take passages/ideals out of context, to fit their agenda that ruin the party for everyone.

  9. If you don’t stop the cause the symptoms are not going to go away on their own. Terrorism is caused by many things like hunger, poverty, oppression, radicalism and ignorance. What should we keep on trying to do then?

    How did the Romans keep their citizens from revolting for so long in the horrid conditions they lived in?

    Bread and circuses, my friends. Bread and circuses.

  10. > If we are going to start comparing verses, lets try to use the Old Testament instead of the new.
    Why? Old testament is the least relevant. In order to understand the Bible, you have to be intimately familiar with the concept of dispensationalism, history and culture of Israel, political climate of the era as well as geography of the region. But go ahead hit me with your best shot. I may be able to teach you why you are confused. Logtar, you have my email. email me
    -Solid

  11. Daniel,
    Don’t mix causes with symptoms. Hunger, poverty, radicalism and ignorance are all symptoms not causes. All of these symptoms can be traced back to A) lack of freedom B) Lack of self reliance.
    Hunger is caused by not having food. Not having food is caused by not having money(poverty) to get food. poverty is caused by lack of ambition and/or lack of opportunities. Lack of opportunities is cause by lack of freedom.
    Radicalism is caused when bitterness, anger, ego, ignorance and ideology find a host in hopeless individual looking for answers. Since we don’t have all the answers, let’s give them hope. Give them the oportunity to determine their own destinies and you will elimate radicalism.
    Ignorance too has its roots in lack of oportunities and ambition.
    All of these all elements of a culture. When I studied anthropology at a local university, I learned something very interesting. There is a relationship between all of the elements in a society and its religion. If you can change those elements, then you can influence the religion.
    -Solid

  12. Solid,

    I wasn’t mixing “causes with symptoms”. What I did was explain that in the past governments have kept their peasants under control by tossing them loaves of bread and letting them watch people kill each other in an arena. Did I say it was a perfect or ideal system? Nope. The point I was trying to illustrate is even the horrible Roman government were able to throw their people a bone now and then to keep them from falling dead into the dusty streets and kept morale at an acceptable low.

    Let’s look at hunger. When someone’s hungry it’s typically because they can’t purchase food. Why can’t they buy food? No money.

    Why no money? No job to earn an income.

    Why no job? Nobody is hiring, industry is lacking, economy sucks.

    Who is given the task of trying to maintain a healthy economy for their country? The government.

    What is a government that doesn’t provide what it’s obligated to for it’s people? A bad one.

    Starvation, yes is caused by a lack of money to purchase food. Someone who does not own their own land, does not own seeds to plant, the climate lacks adequate moisture to grow crops, etc. needs help. And that’s when the government needs to step in and help where it can. When that very government is, instead of helping their starving people, hijacking and stealing the Red Cross supply trucks, confiscating bags of food and letting little children die slow, painful, horrible deaths… something needs to be done. yes, it’s these types of situtations that lead to desperation and can in turn lead people to other forms of hope, like terrorism, theft, etc.

    Talk about cause and effect? A hungry man watching his loved ones waste away will do anything, claim any ideology, join any group, shoulder any burden that will give his family hope. Even if it means rallying against a group of people he has no problem with, if his “employers” will feed him and his family. These things will and do happen when religion is not even in the equation.

  13. The objective should be to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice for the crimes he has committed against our country and its people–not just 9/11 but the other terror attacks he’s spearheaded.

    I don’t feel much safer than I did five years ago..if anything I feel scared that the exact same thing could happen again. And like it was five years ago, it will happen when we least expect it…

  14. >”A hungry man watching his loved ones waste away will do anything, claim any ideology, join any group, shoulder any burden that will give his family hope. Even if it means rallying against a group of people he has no problem with, if his “employers” will feed him and his family.”

    Job didn’t.

  15. Daniel,
    > The point I was trying to illustrate is even the horrible Roman government were able to throw their
    > people a bone now and then to keep them from falling dead into the dusty streets and kept morale
    > at an acceptable low.
    What are you talking about??? Rome was the first republic in history. Rome was the greatest society ever until our Founding Fathers started this little experiment back in 1776. Rome successfully integrated hundreds of societies and cultures into its own. Created engineering marvels that were not fully understood untill the Renasaince. They successully managed an empire using an elected Senate. They managed to fund their government out of a complicated tax structure that was tiered at the various levels of locality that allowed each province to be nearly autonomous. Rome developed a detailed and organized legal system, whose framework became the basis for that of the United States. It was not untill about 100 AD untill Rome started having problems of corruption in the Senate. And Rome only started falling apart when the senate started trying to consolidate power. I wouldn’t go running around calling things “horrible” unless you truely understand its context.

    I’d also like to point out that it is not the government’s responsibility to maintain a healthy economy. In a free society, government would not influence the economy at all. The only involvment that Government should have in business is the settling and enforcement of contracts as well as providing a legal framework to allow one citizen to seek compensation for failure to comply with the terms of a contract.

    > And that’s when the government needs to step in and help where it can.
    hahahah That reminds me of that old joke “Hello I’m from the government. I’m here to help.” In most of the Middle east, their problems are too much government. Government tells them how to act, how to dress, when to pray, what they can eat and taxes the pants off em to boot. That is a formula for poverty. A good example is Louisianna. Louisianna, specifically New Orleans, has more government subsidy per capita than any other area of the country and yet they are still in the highest poverty areas of the country.

    > Talk about cause and effect? A hungry man watching his loved ones waste away will do anything,
    > claim any ideology, join any group, shoulder any burden that will give his family hope. Even if it
    > means rallying against a group of people he has no problem with, if his “employers” will feed him
    > and his family. These things will and do happen when religion is not even in the equation.
    So the ultimate cause here is opressive government. Which is exaclty why we are in Iraq.
    -Solid

  16. Solid,

    Did you forget how Rome built its empire? Through MURDER or tons of people… yea, Rome was a pretty horrible civilization… there is nothing to understand. The Greeks were a little better, but all civilizations in history have had dark sides. Like uncle Ben says in Spiderman, with Great power…

    Alright man, what do you propose in Iraq… that we stay the course? The military is already calling for help because they are overspent. Even if the draft was instituted today we would not have the number of people required to be effetive in Iraq.

  17. Candy – You’re right. Job didn’t. But I highly doubt any of us would have the fortitude and will power to go through what Job did.

    Not to nit-pick – but Job’s government wasn’t causing him to lose his sheep to a fire from God, they didn’t cover his entire body with painful sores, steal his camels, kill his servants, cause a desert wind storm to collapse the older brother’s house killing his offspring, nor did his government allow Satan to have his will with Job, with the exception of taking his life. Shall I keep going? Or have I made my point that Job’s plight was obviously caused by something OTHER than an evil government?

    He-man ain’t got nothing on Job!

  18. Solid –

    What are you talking about??? Rome was the first republic in history. Rome was the greatest society ever until our Founding Fathers started this little experiment back in 1776.

    “Greatest” is a relative term. I think we can all agree that Rome was the most IMPRESSIVE society ever until our FF’s.

    Rome successfully integrated hundreds of societies and cultures into its own.

    And how did they do that? Through slavery, intimidation, extreme classism, and so forth. Oh yeah, how did they GET those other cultures in the first place? By invading and conquering other nations, many of whom history tells us did absolutely nothing to justify the wrath of the Roman Empire.

    You brought up a ton of accomplishments of the Roman empire. and that’s superb. But the debate here is not over whether or not the Romans accomplished a lot. One cannot deny that they were a brutal, oppressive, war-mongering Empire. Anyone who disagrees with me (and history) on that point is simply living in their own magical world of happiness.

    It was not untill about 100 AD untill Rome started having problems of corruption in the Senate. And Rome only started falling apart when the senate started trying to consolidate power. I wouldn’t go running around calling things “horrible” unless you truely understand its context.

    So you’re saying that because a government is stable, that means they were just, fair and ruled over their people properly? You, sir, make me giggle like a little schoolgirl. Several cities in the US have strong, stable local governments, but their crime rate is through the roof – and to most sane, realistic people a stable government is a failure when it doesn’t look after its people.

    I’d also like to point out that it is not the government’s responsibility to maintain a healthy economy.

    The role of a goverment in its economy depends upon the type of government it is to begin with. The role of government in the economy of Marxist communism is vastly different from that of what the U.S. has.

  19. Didn’t anybody ever tell you never to discuss religion or politics?

    I’ll tell ya what, you’re original post did get under my skin. It’s not something that I really expected from you. In fact, I am very thankful that Solid came in here and laid down a good argument with you. I agree with many of the arguments he posted because for the most part, they’re written with facts rather than feelings. And frankly, I don’t think I could have given you as solid of an argument because I consider you a very close friend and brother. I just didn’t have the heart to ship your tail back to Colombia. Ha.

    Anyway, if history proves us anything, it is that democracy does prevail over the long run. Japan, Germany, and even Russia now. It’s taken them years, but the world contains more democracies now than any time in history. Iraq will get there. Maybe it will take 30 years. But Iraq is not Vietnam.

    We’re a society of instant gratification. But we can’t take our eyes off the goal. The greatest country in the world took 12 years after the war to create a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. We the people, cannot and will not give up.

  20. Travis,

    You know the real reason you did not say anything is because you know I can kick your ass. Its ok though, you have way more beatings in store for other reasons.

    Solid did have some solid arguments, but all of you seem to forget that all I was trying to do was make people think, question and analize the situation. I still think most of you did nothing but hold on even tighter, which is ok if that is what you are confortable with. I will not ever give up on America, I love this country and that is why I became a citizen.

  21. “and to most sane, realistic people a stable government is a failure when it doesn’t look after its people”

    The people do not belong to its government. The government belongs to its people.

  22. The people do not belong to its government. The government belongs to its people.

    I completely agree. Unfortunately that’s an ideological mantra that holds no substance in the real world because reciting it will not force real-world change.

    But going on that philosophy, if a government refuses to bow to the people, does not respect them as human beings and “belong” to the people, then you end up with a government that cares not what it’s people think, let alone about their well being – even though doing so would in turn benefit the government.

    It’s a vicious catch-22. The bottom line is that the governments typically are the ones that have the most resources and ability to prevent its people from starving to death. And when they don’t do anything, the people they’re charged with serving are the ones who are forced to choose between starvation/poverty/sickness/whatever or acts of desperation that only perpetuate their society’s plight, be that terrorism, thievery, homicide, etc.

  23. “if a government refuses to bow to the people, does not respect them as human beings and “belong” to the people, then you end up with a government that cares not what it’s people think, let alone about their well being – even though doing so would in turn benefit the government.”

    That is why we vote. If we don’t like it, change looms in the next election. You see, that’s the beauty of a democracy/republic. There is always hope.

    “governments typically are the ones that have the most resources and ability to prevent its people from starving to death.”

    What ever happened to personal responsibility and accountability? People seem to have gotten so dependent all of the sudden. To me, if you are planning on the government for anything, you are in trouble to start with.

  24. What ever happened to personal responsibility and accountability? People seem to have gotten so dependent all of the sudden. To me, if you are planning on the government for anything, you are in trouble to start with.

    Did I ever advocate that the government had to take care of our every whim? Did I say people needed to be “dependent” on their government? No, I didn’t.

  25. Daniel – No, you’re right, you didn’t specifically say those words. Now, is that what I get out of reading a few of your comments…? Well, yes. Plus, it’s one of those things that has been on my mind as of late anyway.

    But I’m glad you didn’t say that, and I’m glad that you combated it and corrected me…. I wasn’t sure, and now I am.

  26. > Did you forget how Rome built its empire? Through MURDER or tons of people…
    Actually, I believe the word you are looking for is conquer. Rome did not have the largest citizen population ot the era by killing it’s tax base. It expanded its terrority by proving that it had the might to do so. Like it or not, this is the nature of human interaction. How else does a nation expand it’s territory? The fact is that there is a finite amount of land resources and as a nation grows so does it’s land requirements. As far as it’s morality, Rome was the most “fair” government of its time. Their legal system protected land rights and allowed the practice of native religions, even provided an avenue to challenge government action. In most cases, when Rome conquered an area it simply left the current government in place as an extension of Rome’s authority. Compared to its contemporaries, Rome was like Disney Land.

    The bottom line is that the governments typically are the ones that have the most resources and ability to prevent its people from starving to death.
    I’d like to point out that government has NO RESOURCES. Government by its nature has no ability to produce. Therefore it possesses no wealth. The only resources government has is that which it takes from the citizenry in the form of taxes. Government is, in essence, a parasite that feeds on the individual achievements and wealth of its population. Relying on government to provide you with anything means it is depriving someone of the value it is providing to you.

    Unfortunately that’s an ideological mantra that holds no substance in the real world because reciting it will not force real-world change.
    This is an interesting concept. Q) Who gives government the power to restrict free action? A) Those being restricted. This concept is called Authority based on Consent of the Governed. At birth we recognize our parents as supreme authorities. As we grow, our minds begin to understand that people, left unrestricted, are prone to acting freely, restricted only by the limits of their own might. Meaning if a person has the power to kill, rape, steal, etc, he will do so unless restricted by some higher authority. As individuals, we recognize the necesity to relinquish some freedom, in order to provide a framework for oppressors to be judged. Government is that framework. We select (elect) members of the population to arbitrate the public interaction between individuals. The ultimate limits of that power are based on what the population as whole is willing to give up. Simply stated, government has supreme authority to curtail freedom up until the point that it is challenged (and defeated) by the citizens. Take, for example, an instance where 2 consenting adults are engaged in some form of intimacy. Government is morally justified in punishing them for that unless they challenge the authority. Then the population must decide if the government does in fact have authority over that part of someone’s life. This priciple is part of British common law and was included in the basic priciples of our legal system in 49 of the 50 states (Louisianna is based on the Napoleanic Code which I am not extremely familiar with). The authority of the government is valid only if you recognize it. If you submit to paying taxes then you recognize the governments authority to take some portion of your wealth. If you allow yourself to be incarcerated, the you recognize the government’s authority to prohibit whatever action you were incarcerated for. The power of government will unravel when it’s citizenry would rather die than submit to the consequences of that authority. Our Founding Fathers understood this and rallied a continent based on these principles.

    For more information on this concept feel free to read the philisophical writings of John Locke.
    -Solid
    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
    - Thomas Jefferson

  27. I’d like to point out that government has NO RESOURCES. Government by its nature has no ability to produce. Therefore it possesses no wealth.

    I don’t deny that many governments, in and of them do not have a huge treasury to handle every issue that may arise. However, consider this: An individual, or representative from a group of citizens will, if heard at all, be taken much less seriously than a member of a country’s government when pleading to the U.N. for humanitarian aid. This is just one example of a route a government can take to help their people if they lack the necessary resources to do it on their own. Go to the diplomatic community. It’s been done before.

    All the theories and philosophies on government do not change the fact that a government, once in place, regardless of whether they were elected democratically or not, has the power to do what it wants. If it wants to brutalize its people and deprive them of humanitarian aid, they only need resist opposition until its own people become too weak and discouraged to continue on the coup. And what then? (Rhetorical question)

    Thomas Jefferson also said:

    “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” –Thomas Jefferson to Maryland Republicans, 1809.

    “The happiness and prosperity of our citizens… is the only legitimate object of government and the first duty of governors.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811.

  28. Solid wrote, “I’d also like to point out that it is not the government’s responsibility to maintain a healthy economy.”

    Doesn’t it all depend on the type of government? In a communist state it is the role of government to equitably distribute resources. Part of that is maintaining a healthy economy. Under communism it is literally the governments job to *actively manage* the economy

    Solid also wrote, “In a free society, government would not influence the economy at all. The only involvment that Government should have in business is the settling and enforcement of contracts as well as providing a legal framework to allow one citizen to seek compensation for failure to comply with the terms of a contract.”

    This is the belief of Minarchism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minarchism). It is not the belief of Western society in general and such a government would not serve its people well. Quite simply, a dead person cannot sue for compensation.

    Also, a government without strict environmental and energy policies (and enforcement) is doomed to destroy its natural resources. These things do have an impact on the economy and it should be noted that the lack of these types of laws and regulations would hinder economic growth.

    There are other problems with a severely minimalistic government, but I have not the time to entertain them now.

    -Riskable
    http://www.riskable.com
    “I have a license to kill -9″

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