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Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1374
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Curious to see what kind of response this article brings.

Where is the West?
By Thomas Sowell
Thursday, November 9, 2006

European nations protesting Saddam Hussein's death sentence, as they protested against forcing secrets out of captured terrorists, should tell us all we need to know about the internal degeneration of western society, where so many confuse squeamishness with morality.

Two generations of being insulated from the reality of the international jungle, of not having to defend their own survival because they have been living under the protection of the American nuclear umbrella, have allowed too many Europeans to grow soft and indulge themselves in illusions about brutal realities and dangers.

The very means of their salvation have been demonized for decades in anti-nuclear movements and protesters calling themselves "anti-war." But there is a huge difference between being anti-war in words and being anti-war in deeds.

How many times, in its thousands of years of history, has Europe gone 60 years without a major war, as it has since World War II? That peace has been due to American nuclear weapons, which was all that could deter the Soviet Union's armies from marching right across Europe to the Atlantic Ocean.

Having overwhelming military force on your side, and letting your enemies know that you have the guts to use it, is being genuinely anti-war. Chamberlain's appeasement brought on World War II and Reagan's military buildup ended the Cold War.

The famous Roman peace of ancient times did not come from negotiations, cease-fires, or pretty talk. It came from the Roman Empire's crushing defeat and annihilation of Carthage, which served as a warning to anyone else who might have had any bright ideas about messing with Rome.

Only after the Roman Empire began to lose its own internal cohesion, patriotism and fighting spirit over the centuries did it begin to succumb to its external enemies and finally collapse.

That seems to be where western civilization is heading today.

Internal cohesion? Not only does much of today's generation in western societies have a "do your own thing" attitude, defying rules and flouting authority are glorified and Balkanization through "multiculturalism" has become dogma.

Patriotism? Not only is patriotism disdained, the very basis for pride in one's country and culture is systematically undermined in our educational institutions at all levels.

The achievements of western civilization are buried in histories that portray every human sin found here as if they were peculiarities of the west.

The classic example is slavery, which existed all over the world for thousands of years and yet is incessantly depicted as if it was a peculiarity of Europeans enslaving Africans. Barbary pirates alone brought twice as many enslaved Europeans to North Africa as there were Africans brought in bondage to the United States and the American colonies from which it was formed.

How many schools and colleges are going to teach that, going against political correctness and undermining white guilt?

How many people have any inkling that it was precisely western civilization which eventually turned against slavery and began stamping it out when non-western societies still saw nothing wrong with it?

How can a generation be expected to fight for the survival of a culture or a civilization that has been trashed in its own institutions, taught to tolerate even the intolerance of other cultures brought into its own midst, and conditioned to regard any instinct to fight for its own survival as being a "cowboy"?

Western nations that show any signs of standing up for self-preservation are rare exceptions. The United States and Israel are the only western nations which have no choice but to rely on self-defense -- and both are demonized, not only by our enemies but also by many in other western nations.

Australia recently told its Muslim population that, if they want to live under Islamic law, then they should leave Australia. That makes three western nations that have not yet completely succumbed to the corrosive and suicidal trends of our times.

If and when we all succumb, will the epitaph of western civilization say that we had the power to annihilate our enemies but were so paralyzed by confusion that we ended up being annihilated ourselves?
 

Phil Lapp
Junior Member
Username: Phil_lapp

Post Number: 37
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 02:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am not inclined to agree with the overall premise that violence and the threat of violence creates peace. Perhaps peace is too lofty a goal. I suppose that author views lack of war as a pragmatic goal. I would think as humans we can do better.

That said, I have no patience for religious zealots, and generally like Australia's reaction. I wish the US would do the same with Christians.
 

Mike A.
Member
Username: Mike_a

Post Number: 199
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 04:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but he seems to be advocating the use of nuclear weapons and military power to annihilate Islam before it destroys the US. That's all fine and everything even though it's a crazy idea, but then he claims to be "anti-war."
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1377
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 04:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, that's hardly what he is saying. He is saying the threat of getting your a$$ kicked by a more powerful country tends to make countries behave better.

The only problem with that theory is when you have people who don't think rationally and think they can take on the "Great Satan". We have the ability to end this thing in Iraq right now, but we obviously don't want to take it to a Hiroshima level. Maybe now with Rummy going we'll be able to admit that we need more troops there and we can go in, take care of business, and get out faster. But who knows what will happen for sure.
 

Tom Callen
New Member
Username: Tc2642

Post Number: 14
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 04:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He does seem to be coming from the realist camp of International relations (si vis pacem para bellum),

I think this article is quite oversimplified, one could also put down the fact that the creation of the European Union has also stopped war between the major European partners (in fact, the major reason why it was set up).

I would also disagree about Reagan "ending" the Cold War, without Gorbachev it may still have continued to this day.

And he also seems to be taking the viewpoint that Islam want's to destroy the West, while some of the more radical Wahabbist/salafist elements do want this, this is not true for the vast majority.

His solution seems to be keep on fighting, or enlarge the conflict in the Middle East (probably not the best plan at the moment), and I can't really see many people wanting to wage a war of annihilation against people who he believes to be barbarians.

Lastly, one of the main facts why Europeans are rather wary of war in general is because of two world wars which cost approx 60 million lives in a 30 year period.

(Message edited by TC2642 on November 09, 2006)
 

Tom Callen
New Member
Username: Tc2642

Post Number: 15
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 04:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In reply to your second post mike, I would agree, you do need more troops, but for any kind of sucessful counter-insurgency to work they would have to be there for the long haul, not yeats but rather decades. I'm afraid there's no short term solution fix that I can see, Northern Ireland is a prime example, and that was in a 1st world country with at most (on the IRA side at least) 500 active members, In Iraq we are probably talking of about 10,000+. The threat of force(i.e. we will bomb you back into the stone age) doesn't work with insurgency.

I am reading an excellent book at the moment called 'Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife' by John Nagl, comparing British and American counterinsurgency, well worth a look if you are interested in this type of thing.
 

Mike A.
Member
Username: Mike_a

Post Number: 201
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 04:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doesn't "more powerful country" mean a military force with nuclear weapons? To threaten Islamic countries will not make them behave but only grow their force and weapons in response.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 6016
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 05:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have to admit, once he invoked the fall of the Roman Empire as an analogy, I stopped giving him any credence at all.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1378
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 05:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, I would say his point about Reagan is if he wasn't in power at the time for the US then who knows where we would be today. We needed someone with some big ones to stand up for us.

Sowell is a level headed man. He's not sounding the alarm and saying all of Islam wants the US annihilated, he is referring to the radical element within Islam.

Mike, yes, it means a large military with nuclear weapons. It doesn't mean using them, but the threat of using them.

I wouldn't be so sure about Islamic countries not behaving even with a threat of a nuclear response. Why do you think Israel still exists today? If they didn't have their own nuclear weapons as well as the backing of ours I am convinced they would have been wiped off the map a long time ago.
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1379
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I have to admit, once he invoked the fall of the Roman Empire as an analogy, I stopped giving him any credence at all."

Please explain Denny, I'm not following you on that one. Seriously.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3650
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 05:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

" Maybe now with Rummy going we'll be able to admit that we need more troops there and we can go in, take care of business, and get out faster."

I don't think that we have many more troops to send and with an insurgency (really more like a resistance), there is no guarantee that the business will be taken care of. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite is more likely the case.

Bush has really stepped in it and we will suffer a long time for his error.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 6017
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 05:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, once someone starts using buzz word, scare tactic analogies, I start to wonder if there's any logic to their point. That's how I see his reference.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1381
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Denny, does anyone who talks about politics ever not use buzz words or scare tactics to some extent to prove their point? When does it cross the line from talking about history to being a scare tactic?
 

Bob Wall
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 468
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 08:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Denny,

Sowell is using legitimate analogies between the fall of the Roman Empire and what is happening with America and Western Civilization right now. The Barbarians are not only at the gate, but they have taken up residence and they are demanding the rights and privileges of citizenship. Choose to ignore history if you will, but remember:

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
--George Santayana
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Bruce Revor
New Member
Username: Brevor

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 01:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Phil said:
"That said, I have no patience for religious zealots, and generally like Australia's reaction. I wish the US would do the same with Christians."

Phil you have it backwards, remember grade school history the first people coming to America left Europe for that very reason they wanted religious freedom. thats why they left Europe and came HERE!
They based their laws on biblical principals. However they were smart enough to create a separation between the church and government as to not create another government that recognised ONE particular religious group as the official state religion. I think telling them to leave is like a non-smoker walking into a smoke filled bar and demanding that everyone else put out their cigaretts.

}
 

Jake Isaacs
Intermediate Member
Username: Jake

Post Number: 370
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 02:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Phil you have it backwards, remember grade school history the first people coming to America left Europe for that very reason they wanted religious freedom. thats why they left Europe and came HERE!"

That's the problem with relying only on grade school history. Early America was hardly a happy pilgrims and Indians sharing pumpkin pie and making hand outline construction paper turkeys kind of place.

If you're talking about the Puritans (earlier settlements were more for economic and/or military conquest) your statement is almost correct. Except that they wanted the freedom to practice their ultra-harsh fundamentalist version of Christianity and banish or kill anyone who disagreed. Not too popular in the old country.

To say they wanted a separation of church and state is blatantly incorrect, as is the notion that they wanted any other religion around. Several of the early New England colonies were started by people who were booted from Massachusetts for wanting freedom of religion.

(Message edited by jake on November 10, 2006)
 

Bob Wall
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 472
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Before we spin off on a tangent about who did what, The landing at Plymouth Rock and the Continental Congress were roughly 150 years apart. Many different ideals and influences contributed to our Constitution.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Phil Lapp
Junior Member
Username: Phil_lapp

Post Number: 39
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 01:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bruce,

Your point about the founding fathers as christians who were seeking religious freedom is not universally accepted. Although they did say, "one nation under god" they also said "we hold these truths to be self-evident" a concept very much at odds with religion and very much in line with 18th century philosophy that was atheistic.

My recent readings have surmized that under our current delineations, many of those leaders would be considered atheists.

I prefer to say that they were seeking freedom from religion.
 

brewer of beer
Junior Member
Username: Brewbeer22

Post Number: 44
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rome was very successful during its expansion of power because it integrated the ideas and cultures that were incorporated into it; Greece is a prime example. IMO, the decline of Rome didn't happen until it began to impose its will/culture/religion on those it ruled over. This is the true “Roman” lesson for western society, if we choose to learn it.

Actually the two words "under God" were added to the pledge about 60 years ago, IIRC. In God We Trust may be closer to the point. Jews, Muslims and Christians all believe/worship the same God, the God Abraham (according to tradition). I find it interesting that although the faiths practiced by these groups are founded on the same principals, some individuals (false prophets) from each have been very successful in dividing Believers by creatively using words (of hate).

For the folks advocating "peace" through strength, this proposition is fundamentally anti-Christian, as prophets through time including Jesus have been paraphrased as saying "those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword" and "the meek shall inherit the earth". The teachings of the prophets (including Jesus) indicate that only through love, inclusion and acceptance, will humanity achieve peace (as Christians believe, "heaven on earth"), although through much of history up into modernity Christianity has repeatedly failed to practice what was taught by the person who inspired the religion.

If humanity would open its eyes and see, we would note that history is chock full of this repeated example. Peace through strength is an illusion; a convenient, catchy slogan, an infectious idea, created by and for the forces of darkness: Satan.

Our recent election is just another example of this historically repeated refrain: Those who would impose their will on others are (eventually) vanquished, if not destroyed.

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