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Our condolences to the people of London.

Posted by: Sigurd - Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:55 am
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Our condolences to the people of London. 
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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:38 am
I'm sorry guys, my question was in the spirit of honest inquiry. Rob, what does being a world power and a member of the G8 have to do with anything ... except maybe your citizens are viewed with more inherent worth? Is one grocer from East End worth ten fruit sellers in Basra because Iraq is not on the security council? And as for this ...
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ok doesnt mean that it is alright but the lodon bombings were the first of their kind! in the capital of the greatest country god every made!

They're only the first of their kind in some very narrow particulars about who the bombers were and what motivations they had. London has been bombed before (IRA, WWII, etc). Your last sentence is brings to the surface the jingoist undertone of this thread which prompted my post. I guess you could be joking, and I suppose that it's tough for internet jokes to not fall flat. I'll assume you're joking.

Cowboy, I wasn't concerned about perpetrators per se ... I was talking about victims and just pointing out that we lament the loss of our own far more than we do the loss of others'. If we can not pity theirs then why be shocked when they pitilessly destroy ours.

(The term IED is very context dependent btw ... whether or not you class something as "improvised" depends entirely on your own point of view. You could say that the US military has had to "improvise" hugely in its response to what it labels an "insurgency".)

It's just a weird and surreal part of being a human. We readily accept the deliniation between "them" and "us" even though it is in some respects merely arbitrary.

So, I was just wondering if anyone else had any feeling for the death of a child-care worker in Bagdad, or a delivery man from Kabul, or a starving family in North Korea - or is it that our reserves of pity are so depleted that we only have enough to spare for those who look and act like us.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:41 pm
Oomph. Good post. Assuming your post was made as an honest question, then I'll forgive the perceived tone.

In reply to Dr. Keith's reply to me: In America, we tend to just assume that there's some "Save-the-<insert-your-favorite-group-here>" organization that's already out there (which there basically always is). We also have a phenomenal disaster relief system; i.e. the Red Cross, the Army Corps of Engineers, the SeaBees, the Peace Corps, etc.. [rant]We do damned well care, and we're G.D. sick and tired of our aid, in the form of food, medicine, and money, all going to the assholes at the top, who already have more than they need, instead of going to the people who need it -- all for the simple reason that the guys in charge have guns and the suckers on the bottom don't.[/rant] And when we get pissed enough about it, we do things like Iraq. (Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that about the term IED. Well, the military just has a thing for acronyms.)

[rant v. 2]Personally, I think the situations in places like Iraq and North Korea really suck. And that something needs to be done about it. But the only thing I can come up with is to forcibly remove the badguys from power; and how can you accomplish that when he's willing to send is croneys out to kill hundreds of innocent civilians and blame it on you?[/rant]

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:50 pm
i think ots the same sort of scenario as if someone you know has lost someone in their family you would feel upset because it relates to you more, while if someone else you dont know in a culture miles away from yours dies then it doesnt affect you so you would not go out of your way to condole them

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:34 pm
Did you personally know someone who died in the London tragedy? The corollary of which is to ask if you know someone (not related to the military*) who has died in Iraq?

If you don't know anyone of either category, how do you decide who is worth your grief? Does (e.g.) national pride make the decision for you?

I'm just trying to point out that the "us" vs "them" mentality (which seems to be absent nowhere) is largely responsible for the tragedies at hand. Perpetrating it in any form only serves to worsen the situation. This thread is, in fact, a perpetration of that mentality because of an absence of consideration for the lost lives of others in "the war on terror" merely due to the fact that these others are perceived to be on (or near) "the other side".

So, it needs to be pointed out that while one is capable of empathizing with the English berieved, one should hold similar feelings for the berieved of other nationalities also.

DKH

*I exclude the military deliberately, because military personal have by dint of serving for an armed force implicitly agreed to be placed - to one degree or another - in harms way and accepted the risks inherent in that agreement. Victims, on the other hand, make no such compact with anyone and are thus qualified with the descriptor "innocent".

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:01 pm
From my perspective I felt the loss of life in London more keenly because I live there. Both my brothers work in the areas that were bombed and I travel up to the city occationally.

Which all leads to the obvious conclusion it could have been me or one of my family, this does not apply to Iraq so ( I apologise to those who have lost love ones elsewhere) it had a bigger impact on me than terrorist actions elsewhere.

A while I agree we should hold the same emotions for people everywhere who suffer such atrocities it is not realistic to think that will be the case. Its not really "them and us" or national pride it comes down to "bloody hell that could have been me or mine".

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:51 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
while I agree we should hold the same emotions for people everywhere who suffer such atrocities it is not realistic to think that will be the case. Its not really "them and us" or national pride it comes down to "bloody hell that could have been me or mine".

You're right, it's not realistic. An average human is just not up to the task, must be something built into the biology.

How does one go about winning a "war against terror" anyway?

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:02 pm
Hrm. I think I just raised that point a post ago...

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:34 pm
I agree with Andy Hill - if it's in places you know fairly well (e.g. London) then you have the thought "that could have been me". And the closer to home, the more it strikes you.

My wife was in Paris during the bombings, and she found it difficult because people didn't seem to care about it the same way we did in the UK. I think that this has nothing to do with any negative perception of the Anglo-French relationship, and more to do with how close to home it is.

I often look at the reports and hear of "20 Iraqis killed" and think "wow, that's a lot of people", but realised that if it happened just once in Iraq it would be more newsworthy and more 'compassion-worthy' (in our limited terms), but as people die every day, it ceases to have such a strong impact. If we had suicide bombings every day in Britain or America, it would slowly have less of a news impact, and therefore each event would have less of a personal impact.

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