As we move towards becoming a more empathetic society, certain regrettable characteristics must be directly addressed. The eye for an eye sorts would have us believe that we are opting for weakness, regardless of our efforts to establish fairness and equality. The paradoxical ferocity of our impulse for justice would seem to belie these fears, but they still remain in the minds of many. Unless we honestly take stock of how each of us is negatively impacted by a noxious undercurrent of violence, we will only be treating secondary symptoms of a larger disease. In the end, it doesn’t really matter how many degrees separate our complicity.
Dec 16 2010
Jul 12 2010
I am and have always been a vocal proponent of therapy, medication, and introspection. All three in tandem have proven to be invaluable to my own understanding of self, as well as an effective treatment plan. I am not the only person who has reaped great benefit from them, too. Recent developments, however, have given me a greater understanding of the limitations of each of these methods of attaining mental health. By this I mean that a friend recently pointed out once again my infamous difficulty in setting adequate boundaries for myself and alongside it, unintentionally exhausting people with my need to constantly reach out.
Jun 06 2009
I make it point to visit Obsidian Wings daily, and hilzoy is a favorite of mine, because she’s pretty darn thoughtful, but something was seriously off kilter today in her post about Obama’s Cairo speech.
This bit from Obama’s speech also struck me as very strong:
“Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.”
The normal criticism of Palestinian violence is moral. That is as it should be, and Obama does not slight that: “That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.” But that criticism leaves open the possibility of framing the debate over Palestinian violence as one of principle versus effectiveness. As long as it is framed that way, one can understand (though not agree with) Palestinians who say: you’d think differently if you didn’t have a state; if it was your land that was constantly being seized, and your pregnant wife who had to wait for hours at a checkpoint to see a doctor. You’d put aside your principles and do what works.
That’s why it’s immensely important to say, clearly, that violence is not just wrong, but ineffective.
It’s not so much that I agree or disagree with the double-barreled blast of “morality AND effectiveness” lines of argument. It’s kind of like the torture debate: it’s not only immoral; it plain doesn’t work reliably. Blam! Blam! You dead! Rhetorically speaking. That’s fine.
The part of the argument that indicates a severe case of hemi-neglect (when a brain-damaged patient can easily lift one arm on command, but when asked to lift they other, they say, “What other?”), was when she suggested:
This bit from Obama’s speech also struck me as very strong.
Oct 06 2007
Cross-Posted from Daily Kos
The UN Security Council met Friday in New York to receive a report from Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari.
Speaking in diplomatic but clear terms, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Gambari denounced the situation in Myanmar warning that sanctions could follow if Myanmar failed to respond quickly and appropriately, urging the Junta to meet with political opposition. Speaking in guardedly optimistic terms, Gambari indicated the Junta was prepared to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.
Oct 04 2007
Cross-posted from DailyKos
Make a Difference – Make Yourself Heard – Hit The Icon – Do It Now
The aim is to bring attention to the cause of the Burmese people by channeling global internet traffic for one day to one site to register protest.
Given the role of bloggers in reporting on the situation, international media attention is now focused on the power of blogs so we politely request your support of this action without fail.