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Vengeance: Is it Really the Way?

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It was Heraclitus who said, “It is difficult to fight against anger, for a man will buy vengeance with his soul. ”  It’s this buying of vengeance with one’s soul which is so disturbing. To give up one’s soul to something totally undeserving is a frightening thing to do.

At the heart of all civilized society lies the powerful and ethical principle of coexistence. The wisdom and the skill needed to live out this principle, particularly in an age of gathering and unfolding globilisation, is immense. Humanity’s very future depends on it.

Terrorism, in whatever form, always seeks ultimately to annihilate this principle. Over and over again its very nature has proved its inability to live in peaceful coexistence with others. All it does is sow hatred and murderous violence, too often prompting inflated and overblown response from those who should know better.

Is extermination the only way to deal with these fanatics? Obviously not, because such action goes against the very heart of the stated ethic.  True justice is always expressed in bringing the perpetrators before the courts of law, to be sentenced to suffer the consequences of trying to breach the very principles they hate and which we hold dear.

Fighting terrorism with terrorism can never be the answer. To do that is to destroy the very principles on which our civilisation is built; to do that would mean giving up our souls for that which we could never believe in. Perhaps this is naive, but is there any other way? I don’t think so.

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About Don Scrooby

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Don –

    Was it vengeance? IMO it was not. It was justice.

    That said, I’m strongly opposed to the death penalty…but in this case, it was necessary. Allowing him to speak another word in public (as he would on trial) would have resulted in more American deaths. As I said, not vengeance, but justice carried out as a matter of necessity.

  • zingzing

    “Allowing him to speak another word in public (as he would on trial) would have resulted in more American deaths.”

    media blackout? i dunno… this was an assassination, no matter how you try to wiggle around in the rather undeclared, make believe “war on terror” lingo.

    i can understand you not wanting to give him a soapbox, but hell… if we’re going to keep our heads above the water in this rather dubious situation we’ve got ourselves in (we’ve killed more of them than they will ever kill of us), we’ve got to hold ourselves to a higher standard. and that means putting people on trial for their crimes.

    if he was armed and presented a serious threat to the almost 80 people who came after him, and if his death was a product of self defense, fine. but if there was a chance for us to take him alive and live up to our ideals of ourselves as a fair and just people, he shouldn’t be dead right now, he should be in a cage.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    A leader’s strength isn’t in the weapons he holds in his hands…it’s in his voice. By killing him, we removed his ability to ever again wield his most effective weapon. He killed enough of us. It was time for him to go.

  • Don Scrooby

    Thanks Glen. As I have come to understand justice and the due process of law, the death of Bin Laden has aspects to it that make me feel deeply uncomfortable. I’m only too aware that this discomfort could be interpreted as being insensitive to the immense pain this man caused. I’m also aware of the complexity of the event and its impact on what we understand to be justice. But I cannot help but feel this deep sense of unease about it all.

  • zingzing

    well, at the time of his killing, had he been holding a weapon in his hands, it would have been a little more dangerous than his (undoubtedly earth-shattering) voice.

    but that’s not really the point. he hadn’t really been speaking all that much over the past few years anyway. according to the documents found at the compound, he was planning many projects, however. it would have been much more difficult for him to have planned and coordinated projects from inside a prison cell.

    so his strength wasn’t his voice anymore. it was his brain. it would have been enough to cut off access to the outside world… rather than allowing the outside world sudden access to his leaking brains.

    and i’ll reiterate that, if we are the good guys in this, which is a totally subjective thing at this point, i think we should prove that by holding ourselves to a much higher standard. that includes holding to our beliefs (such as habeas corpus) and our humanity.

  • Don Scrooby

    I think zingzing’s last paragraph does it for me.

  • Clavos

    The question is:

    ARE you the good guys?

  • zingzing

    you do have a habit of excusing yourself from certain parties when you want to, clavos.

    is the us “the good guys”? from over here, it may appear that way to many. from over there, it may appear that the us is not to many. if i’m a part of the united states, then i say we’re doing a good job of evening the moral scale with those that the united states would say is “the bad guys.”

  • Clavos

    Gringolandia: Disneyland writ large.

  • Clavos

    you do have a habit of excusing yourself from certain parties when you want to, clavos.

    I’m Mexican, zing…

  • zingzing

    when you want to be, clavos. the convenient mexican.

  • zingzing

    besides if your mother was born in nyc, and you share your father’s surname (an assumption on my part), which is not the most mexican of names, and you have voted in any presidential or congressional races in the past dozen years, and you have us citizenship (dual or not), you share as much responsibility for what the united states does in this supposed “war on terror” as i do… which is very little, but you are a part of “us” and “we” whether you care for it or acknowledge it or not.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I think Clavos needs to submit a long-form birth certificate so he can prove he’s not Serbian….

  • Clavos

    but you are a part of “us” and “we” whether you care for it or acknowledge it or not.

    I’m not, zing, I don’t have to be — it’s a matter of choice — I have that luxury because I legally am entitled to both and the fact is, I’m nothing like my parents; they were gringos and I’m not. By choice.

  • Don Scrooby

    Hell guys, let’s stick to the point.

  • zingzing

    “I’m not, zing, I don’t have to be — it’s a matter of choice”

    then i’m not either. now we’re both not part of it. yay! THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! look, world! not part of it because we say so!

    you should make a list of times of day you are american and times of day you are mexican, so we can get used to the schedule. also, what major american and mexican holidays do you celebrate? if they clash, which one gets preference? or do you have like a mexican morning and an american evening or vice-versa in such instances? are there any such instances? i dunno.

    anyway, your whimsical nationality is fine by me, but you certainly turn it off and on according to whims that no one really cares about. and dual citizenship does not mean you are legally entitled to the luxury of having a choice. it means you are both. if you don’t want to be an american gringo, mr white, you may want to ditch your american citizenship, address and voting privileges. THAT would be making a choice.

    that shit up there? that’s just silly.

  • Clavos

    you may want to ditch your american citizenship, address and voting privileges.

    I’ve thought about that…

  • zingzing

    if you paid your taxes this year, you made the choice to fund such activities. or, you could say, you made the choice to have a gun pointed at your head.

  • Clavos

    Haven’t paid ‘em yet. As I usually do, I took the extension…