Saturday, April 28, 2007

An E-mail Correspondence of Personal Note

I have been involved as of late in an ongoing debate with an several individuals on the University Communication system. The following is an excerpt of one of my responses:

To **

(Comments in red refer to earlier e-mail challenges from **)

I was hoping that by this stage in our correspondence that you would have progressed beyond the Bush-bashing fixation that seems to have afflicted many on this board. Clearly I am wrong on this particular account. I was reflecting recently on our ongoing discussion and I believe that the primary difference between us is that I see the War on a Terror as a truism that must be won. Just as history has shown us already that the war against Fascism and Communism were necessary fights. You appear to be more ambivalent about the concept if not entirely skeptical. This is a critical difference and in your e-mails I can see how it permeates your thought.

In a way this saddens me as I was looking forward to us reaching a middle ground but your decision to use images from sites that vilifies Israel while conveniently downplaying suicide bombings, International Arab hostility to Israel (indeed the Israeli-Palestinian issue is much more than its name implies and has always been so) and contemporary Muslim Anti-Semitism is disturbing. As one who favours a two-state solution I find that your choice of pandering to such obvious propaganda disappointing. In short I expected more from you than a rehashing of the anti-Israel bile that has become so common these days.

Now you accuse me of not seeing the perspective of others. While it is tempting to resort to the analogy of the ‘kettle calling the pot black’ I will take a different stance to this suggestion. I believe that right leaners like myself (as you call us) are closer to the Kohlbergian Apex (he believes that right leaners fall short of this goal) than our accusers – as we seek to extend the benefits that we enjoy to others. That is why I support the overthrow of the Taliban and that is why I agree with toppling of Sadaam Hussein's regime (although I oppose the methodology and the timing of the action). It is also the reason why I take issue with emerging dictators such as Hugo Chavez when they hide behind a cloak of populism and Anti-American rhetoric to systematically undermine the freedom of their people. On this level my views seem to put me in contrast with the so-calle d left – who seem to oppose all solutions that are not framed by socialist or post-socialist discourse. I am however also in disagreement with the Paleo-Conservatives who are still trapped by the mind meld of isolation.

I cannot tell you how a four year old thinks or whether they see Osama Bin Laden as being more worthy than Abraham Lincoln (he asked me to think about this point). I believe though that over time – with the spread of democracy – the reality will improve. Yes the current situation is very difficult right now but I believe we (the West) must resist the temptation to appease totalitarianism and intolerance (a trap we have fallen into before). While I am not certain whether the life of a four year old boy in Baghdad is better at this particular point in time than it once was on (I do know that it is better for girls in Afghanistan) - I have understood from looking at both sides that it is not as grim as your Cassandra like outlook seems to indicate.


As for the ‘Impeach Bush’ site (he referenced this earlier), I again would exercise personal caution - despite the Bells and Whistles – it too falls into the paradigm of downplaying the War on Terror – for the sake of political expediency.

Best Wishes
Gavin
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