digitaldiscipline: (Default)
It was no accident that medieval rulers often inscribed Ultima Ratio Regum ("The last argument of Kings") on their cannon; violence should only be pursued when diplomacy fails.

That said, I have had a minor epiphany while cogitating upon this morning's terrorist attacks (regardless of perpetrator, unless a truly tinfoil-hat scenario, such as the US being behind them in order to disrupt G8 because it was going to proceed in ways the administration is distasteful of, that sort of thing).

Rafe's First Law of Diplomacy
The speed at which violence is deemed the best course of action is inversely proportional to the true power of those deciding to pursue that course.

Terrorists, of whatever stripe, seem to have a penchant for shooting first, if they bother to ask questions at all. Historically, governments have not gone to war unless their leader(s) are asshats, or they were goaded or provoked by asshattery on the part of some lesser power. The current administration in the United States, I think, illustrates the former portion of this, and I think that many of us can agree that, as a consequence, our standing as THE pre-eminent world power has suffered because of the excessive and profligate use of "lead diplomacy," to coin a phrase.

I am an advocate of lex talionis ("An eye for an eye") when it comes to matters where the other guy hit you first. You get to hit back, and -then- the matter of whether or not a second volley is warranted comes up for discussion.

I personally feel that turning the other cheek is simply giving your opponent a fresh target, and much prefer responding with a sharp knee to the groin. Is this the most rational and constructive response? That's open for debate.

I suspect that the majority of the dozens of people killed this morning had nothing whatsoever to do with whatever agenda is being pushed, or whatever grievance was being aired. As such, while state-sized vengeance is not necessarily the appropriate response, excising those people responsible for planning and executing these acts from the collective known as "humanity" in a very public, very complete fashion should at least give future asshats pause.

The downside to, metaphorically speaking, beating the living fuck out of the guy who raped your sister, is that anyone who thinks it's okay to do something like that once probably hangs out with people who think it's okay to do it more than once, and they'll say, "Dude, they kicked his ass, let's go get 'im!"

As I've said previously elsewhere, these attacks have nothing behind them but blind hatred, and the wish to do evil, no matter the internal justifications (be it religion, oppression, ad infinitum).

Trying to be The Good Guy is a no-win situation in this case - either you ignore the offense, in which case it happens again, or you strike back, in which case it happens again. I do not know if there's a way to prevent it from happening again, other than eradicating every person who thinks it's the best way to operate, or find some way to communicate with them (in a way that they will understand), that this is not the type of behavior civilized people engage in.

The flaw in that argument, of course, is when "they" have no interest in being (or being considered) civilized, and simply wish to do evil against those they hate.

If these were suicide attacks, I think that the parties who organized and financed them should get to enjoy a trinitrotoluene vest experience, albeit in the middle of a very large, very vacant parking lot.
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digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
Obviously, a lot of people are unhappy with the [potential/beginning] activity in Iraq, the mideast, and the Oval Office in general. To you I make a suggestion [how far my tongue may or may not be in my cheek is left as an exercize for the reader]:

Let President Bush have his campaign, or at least get it well underway, then assassinate him, if he's that onerous.

[Note: This statement could, in theory, be considered seditious, were it not hypothetical. Don't say I never go out on a limb for y'all. :-/]


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