Tue, 18 May 1999 17:09:39 -0700
At 02:07 5/18/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>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.
Have no fear in that regard. I've said everything I have to say on the
>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.
No offense taken here. I was merely responding to overgeneralizations that
cast a wide net over a large number of people who didn't deserve the
characterization they were receiving.
But NATO is not the only player in this game. Talk about dogma, Milosevic
is using a rallying cry that dates back to the the 1300s.
And, again, I challenge you to tell me "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.
In the words of Darth Vader, "Apology accepted, Admiral..." (^_^);
>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.
I face panhandlers every day on my way to and from work. I don't feel
guilty about not giving them money because I know that they'll be back on
the corner tomorrow no matter how much they take in, from me or anyone
else. Giving them money will not change the situation.
Similarly, boycotting Sunkist, Nike and Calvin Klein will not change things
in the Third World. The slaves will continue to labor even if those
companies go out of business altogether, because the slavery will still
exist regardless of the market.
I don't worry about buying the products of slave labor because the
slavemasters have already made their profit long before those products get
>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.
Again, you have no way of knowing how any one of those hundreds feels or
how well they sleep. You know only that they continue to do their jobs
despite what you feel is ample evidence that they should not.
Have you ever considered that the bombing is so sloppy because the pilots
have not had enough sleep?
>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.
As noted above, I'm not offended. But I take exception to your last
sentence here. A list with one voice would be pretty boring, no matter how
pleasant the voice. The GML draws its strength from its diversity.
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