Chien Ting Chin (chinc@sten.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 18 May 1999 02:07:21 -0400 (EDT)


There's worthy debate to follow. But first thing first, there's a
misunderstand, and I want to clear that up before I rebut your arguments.
This is turning into a flame war and I want to drowse it.

On Mon, 17 May 1999, -Z- wrote:
> You know *one* that I can see -- me.

I salute you for your heart!

> But don't bad-mouth
> the men and women under his command who are doing their sworn duty in the
> face of tremendous physical, mental and emotional hardship.

I sincerely apologize if you take my comments personally. I do believe
that most rank and file soldiers are more than worthy human beings, who
are willing to risk their lives for a good cause. I do believe there are
many courageous souls in the lower ranks of the NATO forces. I am really
complaining that the higher command structures and the idiotic dogma are
not sending these brave soldiers to do what's right, the right way.

In fact, I am not even pissing on Bill. I happen to like him (in a
overall marginal way :) What I am pissing on is a bit more abstract...
But that's not the point. The point is I do not mean to insult you or any
other rank and file NATO soldiers.

> I'm here to tell you that everyone involved has a fully-operational
> conscience and, for the most part, a solid moral compass. Everyone of them
> has taken an oath to protect and defend, asked themselves the hard
> questions and come up an answer with which they can live. I know. I've
> been there and done that.

Yes, I understand your frustration at my comment. It will take a bit of
explanation. The general idea is "dilution of conscience". It's
something that I am guilty of too: when I buy Sunkiss oranges or Calvin
Klein underwears or Nike shoes I know full well that I enjoy the high
quality at a great price because slave labour were use in their
manufacture. Yet my guilt is diluted, because everyone around me is also
buying Sunkiss, Nike and Calvin Klein. My guilt in enslaving a bunch of
Mexican, Chinese and Malayesians is shared between 26 million Canadian and
250 million American consumers who also have functional conscience. And I
don't loose a lot of sleep over it.

Likewise, the bombs that were droped in the wrong spots were not the
responsibilty of any single person. The direct responsibilty alone
may number hundreds. So none of those hundreds loose a lot of sleep
over those fatal mistakes either.

You likely do not agree with my way of thinking. And I will not retract
my original accusation. But please accept this: what I accuse NATO
soldiers of, I also accuse the world of, myself included. And I accept it
is unfair to expect NATO soldiers to rise to a higher standard than is
common in the the Western world.

I just read my original comment that excited your rage, I admit that the
tone was too strong and needs explanation. Please also accept this
admission: I agree, without reserve, with everything you said that I
quoted in this post.

If you accept my apology, I will get back to the debate. If you don't, I
will shut up. The GML needs you a lot more than it needs me.

CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble

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