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BS: Teenager stoned: A Story, which beggars belief

CarolC 10 Nov 08 - 06:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 08 - 06:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Nov 08 - 05:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 08 - 08:10 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 06:51 PM
paula t 09 Nov 08 - 06:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 08 - 02:51 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 02:37 PM
heric 09 Nov 08 - 02:36 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 02:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 08 - 01:48 PM
heric 09 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 01:34 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 01:27 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 01:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 08 - 01:24 PM
pdq 09 Nov 08 - 12:40 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,heric 09 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM
CarolC 09 Nov 08 - 11:45 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Nov 08 - 07:29 AM
alanabit 09 Nov 08 - 04:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Nov 08 - 08:07 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 08 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 08 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,heric 08 Nov 08 - 05:33 PM
CarolC 08 Nov 08 - 04:28 PM
pdq 08 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM
CarolC 08 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM
alanabit 08 Nov 08 - 03:37 PM
CarolC 08 Nov 08 - 03:32 PM
heric 08 Nov 08 - 02:55 PM
jacqui.c 08 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM
Big Mick 08 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM
CarolC 08 Nov 08 - 09:01 AM
artbrooks 08 Nov 08 - 08:56 AM
CarolC 08 Nov 08 - 08:07 AM
CarolC 08 Nov 08 - 07:34 AM
alanabit 08 Nov 08 - 07:23 AM
George Papavgeris 08 Nov 08 - 05:08 AM
alanabit 08 Nov 08 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,heric 07 Nov 08 - 10:26 PM
M.Ted 07 Nov 08 - 09:13 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Nov 08 - 02:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,TIA 07 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,TIA 07 Nov 08 - 11:18 AM
CarolC 07 Nov 08 - 09:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 08:59 AM
jacqui.c 07 Nov 08 - 08:05 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:17 PM

Here is a discussion about ways things like this can be prevented. Basically, the speakers are advocating for strengthening the International Criminal Court. One of them points out that when warlords and militias such as the one that was responsible for the stoning see that they are vulnerable to being prosecuted by the international court, they do moderate their behavior...

http://fora.tv/2008/10/17/International_Law_and_Justice_The_Darfur_Case


If the court was impartial, it would also have the effect of moderating the behavior of governments as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:05 PM

There's a phenomenon frequently reported about gangs, where carrying out a killing is a kind of ritual requirement for new members, or where joint involvement in a killing is a way of binding members together. And there have been plenty of examples where something analogous can be seen in larger communities and societies.

For example, one way of thinking of The Terror in the French Revolution was that it a kind of blood sacrifice, a burning of bridges - "there's no going back now - we are all implicated."

I wonder whether this can be seen as one of the root causes for the kind of brutality we've been talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 05:35 AM

Please feel free to repeat your earlier thoughts ad nauseum, paula t, if you can't think of anything else worth saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 08:10 PM

Why this happened, and why this kind of thing happens surely is the point. That does not mean we should forget the terrible thing that happened to this girl.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 06:51 PM

The thread originator requested that we discuss causes. That's what we're doing.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: paula t
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 06:28 PM

You have gone away from the point that a little girl was murdered a few days ago. It doesn't matter what the finer meanings and interpretations are .


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 02:51 PM

"...ways in which our own actions contribute to the breakdown of societal structures and societal norms in other parts of the world."

I took that as meaning we should do this whoever and wherever we are. Not just citizens of the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 02:37 PM

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: heric
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 02:36 PM

Just teasing.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 02:23 PM

I'll repeat what I said...

"If we don't recognize the extent to which we contribute to these things"

I don't know why that would be interpreted to mean that we are responsible for every state that has ever failed.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:48 PM

Surely some states, somewhere, must have failed before 1776? Obviously.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: heric
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM

Surely some states, somewhere, must have failed before 1776?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:34 PM

I think it's very important for us to examine ways in which our own actions contribute to the breakdown of societal structures and societal norms in other parts of the world. If we don't recognize the extent to which we contribute to these things, we will never correct our behavior and we will continue to do it. Clearly, this is no longer sustainable (on top of the fact that it is simply wrong for us to continue to do these things).


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:27 PM

Crossposted with the poster before this post.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:26 PM

That's actually not true. The Islamists in Iran arose because Iran's fledgling democracy was destroyed and the Shah reinstalled and propped up by the US. They were in the process of building a democracy in that country, and they had a totalitarian dictatorship imposed on them from the outside. The rise of Islamism in that country was a response to that.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban arose because of the complete destruction of Afghan societal structures and the civil infrastructure because of the US and Soviet Union fighting a proxy war in that country. In the wake of that war, the Taliban arose in answer to the total breakdown of all societal structures and the resulting total chaos there.

al Qaeda seeks to remove Western forces from Muslim countries, and their numbers are increased every time Western military aggression results in destruction and death in Muslim countries. They are a response to outside interference, not the other way around.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 01:24 PM

"...the ones who destroy societal structure and kill people who get in the way of their agenda" But not the only ones who do that - that's a very good summary of what was done to Iraq. And it had the same kind of results, in terms of inter-communal terror and kangaroo court repression and killing.

However I don't think arguing about the reasons for a particular collapse of a society is the best way to drift this thread. The reasons why society can break down are many - not just war, but also war, natural disaster of various sorts, or even economic meltdown, and I'm sure there are other causes we could think of.

When the structures of society break down it doesn't always happen that these kind of nightmares of human abuse occur. Human beings seem to have an instinct for setting up some system of order in disasters. Many times, and I believe most times, the result is very impressive, with people reinventing ways of making sure that things that need to be done are done, and that vulnerable people are looked after. But sometime it goes badly wrong, and a system of repression and terror emerges. And sometimes you get both happening intertwined with each other.

The puzzle is, what are the factors that decide which of these outcomes arise, when things fall apart and the centre cannot hold. And it's important to think about this kind of things, after all, we have no guarantee it won't happen to us.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: pdq
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 12:40 PM

"...militant Islamists. Those are the kind of people who take advantage of breakdowns in societal structures and societal norms in order to accomplish their agendas"

No, they are the ones who destroy societal structure and kill people who get in the way of their agenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 12:35 PM

From what I read, the people who were cheering were militant Islamists. Those are the kind of people who take advantage of breakdowns in societal structures and societal norms in order to accomplish their agendas. They are the kind of people who are assisted when outside forces cause civilizing influences in their countries to break down.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM

Which doesn't, however, explain the cheering tributes to the Bali bombers at their funerals in Indonesia yesterday.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 11:45 AM

The Pol Pot and Hitler situations actually do have something in common with the Somalia situation, though, whether or not we would put the label of "failed state" on their countries.. In each case, the societal structures and societal norms that had been in place, that provided a civilizing effect in those countries, had been broken down by outside forces. In the case of Hitler, the punitive measures that had been placed on Germany after WWI, combined with the market crash and the world wide depression caused economic and social chaos in that country, and Hitler rose to power offering the Germans a way out of that chaos. In Cambodia, the US bombings of that country assisted Pol Pot in his rise to power because they deprived King Sihanouk of his main appeal to his people, which was that he had kept them out of the war. This resulted in driving more and more people to the side of Pol Pot, and was eventually responsible for causing Sihanouk to be removed from power.

In all of these cases, as in Somalia, the people at the bottom found themselves in desperate circumstances, and they had to make some hard choices. Accept an intolerable status quo, or put their faith in people who offer solutions, but who turn out to be as bad as or worse than those who represent the status quo.

I agree with those who have been saying that most of us really have no way of knowing what life is like for people in such circumstances, and it's not possible to know how we, ourselves, would behave if we should ever find ourselves facing such choices.

I think the more accurate way to label the sort of country that would be the most at risk for things like this to happen, would be not so much "failed state", as countries experiencing a breakdown in societal structures and societal norms.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 07:29 AM

And when Amnesty say that, they mean a graver danger than from even the most execrable dictatorships.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 04:21 AM

I would call a "failed state" one in which there was no coherent central authority. Amnesty International has said in some reports that this constitutes the gravest current danger to human rights. It would appear to be the case in Somalia.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:07 PM

Is 'failed state' a technical term?
I'm not sure what it means.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM

Somewhere in all this we perhaps need to reflect that different cultures are at different points along the "civilisation" curve. Three centuries ago there were public executions in Britain. Four centuries ago people were taken down from the gallows while still fully conscious, diesmbowelled and quartered. About 150 years ago Dickens described public executions in the states and how blacks were beaten and tormented in ways that no self-respecting individual in the US now would ever treat an animal. He was accustomed to different values.

Barbaric lynchings were still rife in some American states when the US in most other respects had reached a level of civilisation far, far in advance of where Somalia is now. Some of the state executions in the US even in present times, usually performed in front of invited audiences, have been of a nature that would sicken many in Scandinavia and western Europe in much the way that Mick (and you're not the only one, Mick) have been sickened by the Somalia execution.

For centuries in India, the Hindu Brahmans required women to throw themselves on their husbands' funeral pyres or live out their widowhoods as slaves bereft of all human rights. Millions accepted suttee without question down the centuries, and when the British Empire banned it, women as well as men protested. Any mudcatter who thinks that he or she would have been the one to out against such entrenched abuse of women is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Mick's post seemed out of place among the contributions around it. I would have thought there was little left to say about our horror at what happened in one specific outrage in Somalia. But anyone who wants to continue repeating it is of course free to do so. Others here have moved on from that to reflect on why these things happen and why setimes they even attract an element of popular support. Those who do not want to join this part of the discussion are under no obligation. Why should it bug them if others do? We are not likely to find answers if no-one is allowed to ask questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 05:50 PM

"far more likely to happen in a failed state.

I'm not sure if that is true. Hitler's Germany and Pol Pot's Cambodia were not failed states, in the sense that far from being places where there had been a breakdown of all central authority, the centre was very much in command.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 05:33 PM

All right, then. You seem to be assembling a mountain of facts suggestive of what McGrath speculated upon from the outset: An extreme abuse of power being used to intimidate and subjugate the civilians. (This was also the scenario in the Kite Runner, for its fictionalized stadium stoning.)

The facts are extremely hard to come by. I have no idea where you got yours, but they are certainly plausible.




(pdq I couldn't begin to guess at how international geopolitics is really played. I was just thinking that if people were looking to solutions and prevention, that was the only theoretical start I could come up with.)


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 04:28 PM

I agree that it wasn't an attempt at "justice".   The minimum standards for justice under Sharia law were not met. There weren't enough witnesses, and the men involved were not punished. From what I've been reading, there was a more moderate Islamic group who were keeping things under control there until the US bombed that area, after which the people who control the area now took over. Apparently, the previous group were tolerated by the local people because they were perceived to be better than the chaos that existed there before that. Sounds just like how the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. But this new group apparently doesn't have the support of the local people, so they have to resort to brutal shows of force in order to get people to submit to their "authority". I think the stoning was one such show of force.

Another thing that complicates the situation is that the rebels are perceived to be fighting an occupation. The Somalis don't like being under Ethiopian occupation, so much of the conflict at the present time is an effort to eject the occupation. This makes it difficult to stop people from providing the rebels with various kinds of support.

I think one of the worst parts of the dilemma the local people face is that they either have to resign themselves to being tortured, raped, and killed by the Ethiopian occupiers, or they have to submit to being tortured, raped and killed by the rebels who are trying to eject the Ethiopians. They're in an impossible situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: pdq
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM

"We do have the power of UN intervention in a failed state."

Please cite even one good example. Asking the United States to do the work and bear the cost, in money and lives, does not count as a UN intervention, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM

On the subject of UN intervention in a failed state, I think that the first thing we (the US) needs to do is to stop doing things that have the result of destabilizing the country. What is happening in Somalia is a resource war. We are competing with other powers for the resources in that country, and we are contributing to the destabilization there in our efforts to gain control of the resources. Just as we have done and continue to do in other countries. As long as we continue to do this, the UN hasn't got a chance at any kind of intervention.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:37 PM

I don't think that this story involves justice. It concerns the lowest type of human behaviour rationalised as justice. It is very human to rationalise all kinds of cruelty as being "justice" or "in the interests of the rest of society" or whatever. It is particularly likely to happen when we ignore our natural compassion and kindness and suppress it in favour of bogus "morality". And yes, I agree that it is far more likely to happen in a failed state.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:32 PM

Clearly there is at least one evilminded person in the Mudcqat who is disposed to ALWAYS assume the worst about me, for some reason that I really can't comprehend, without EVER bothering to find out if their nasty, evilminded, dirty assumptions have any basis whatever in reality.

I don't know why this person has this vendetta that they feel they need to wage against me, but as I've said before, it says far more about them then it does about me.

Someone without such a dirty, nasty, evilminded agenda, might have realized that my post is entirely in keeping with what is being discussed in this thread, and it is entirely reasonable for me to have said what I did in keeping with the discussion.

For those who don't have dirty, nasty, evilminded agendas and personal vendettas against me, they won't have any trouble understanding why what I posted is appropriate to the discussion. For those who do, I will explain.

We have been discussing (at the request of the thread originator) how societies and groups of people can get to the point where they allow horrible things to be done in their midst, or in their names. We can look at our own society if we want to find answers to how this can happen. How does our government (those of us in the US) get away with doing things like what it did with the Ethiopians in Somalia? How do we get to the point where things like that happen, and the people of the country don't even know it's being done (by our government)? And when we do know about it, how is our government able to continue doing those things without being stopped by us?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: heric
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 02:55 PM

This story does not involve rage. It involves the application of justice.

I believe that some people are trying to restore or acknowledge the basic human dignity of the people involved in this event, pointing out that humans end up in such situations, not just some humans in some places. That is fine, and I agree with that. These people do live in a failed state. But the attempts so far are based on a false premise: Rage.

This was a calculated punishment by the authorities, such as they are, and they justified what they were doing as correct and just, to media representatives.

No matter how much I have read, or been aware of other human atrocities, this type of event has distinguishing characteristics. When my parents took me to a stadium, we watched people playing baseball. Trying to articulate the meaning of this event leads to classic, extreme cognitive dissonance:

"Happens all over." "Take religion out of it." " . . . lynchings." " . . . . Nazis."   "American government . . . ."

Back to the beginning: I do not think we have the capacity or imagination to put ourselves into that event.

We do have the power of UN intervention in a failed state.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: jacqui.c
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM

I wonder about those of you who seem to angered, shocked, outraged, though, because, as literate, educated adults, none of this should be new to you--

OK, so we've heard before it in many forms, involving many different countries, religions etc. That doesn't make it any less sickening when it happens again and, IMHO, if we stop being angered, shocked and outraged we have lost an essential part of our own humanity.

We need to continue to feel those emotions and maybe, one day, one or more of us may get to the point of saying 'enough'.

And then, maybe, we might try to make a difference.

Right now I feel a little bit guilty that there are people suffering this type of abomination and I'm not doing anything to stop it.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM

..... and the agenda driven folks win again. This thread has completely drifted away from the little girl. Nice job. You are a pro at hijacking, I will give you that. As for me, I remain outraged that these crude thugs have gotten away with murder. And I find anyone that defends the "law" under which this is justified to be the worst examples of humanity extant. I am not suggesting anyone here justifies it, but anyone who does not has chosen to abet it by not denouncing the act for what it is.

And mourning the cruelty of the act, once it is brought to our attention, as well as public pronouncement of sorrow for the little lost one, is not inappropriate. It is the most appropriate thing to do.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 09:01 AM

Yes, I'm sure many people were aware of the Ethiopian incursion, but I don't think most people are aware of the US involvement and backing of that incursion. Which was my point.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: artbrooks
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:56 AM

Since I read the "main stream media" almost constantly (the AP feed, cnn.com and abcnews.go.com), I was very aware of the Ethiopian incursion into Somalia in 2006 and 2007. I don't watch television and our local newspaper doesn't do much with international news, go I really can't speak about other potential sources.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:07 AM

One thing I find quite striking, and it's something that I've only just now become aware of myself, is that while the whole world now knows about the stoning of this 13 year old girl, people in the US are largely unaware that in 2007, the US government sponsored (using the Ethiopian government and military as proxies) a war on Somalia that resulted in the deaths of more Somalis than were killed in Lebanon during the recent war there. Here is some background...

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/15479

How is it that our media is effective enough to be able to make sure the world is aware of the stoning, while neglecting to inform us of the US government's involvement in an invasion and occupation of Somalia by Ethiopia, resulting in the deaths (and also torture and rape) of thousands of civilians? And why do we stand for it?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 07:34 AM

I think, to the above list, needs to be added resources. A lot of the strife that results in a breakdown of societal structures and societal norms in places like Somalia (and Sudan, Congo, Iraq, etc.) arises out of a competition for valuable resources.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 07:23 AM

I have no problem with any of that George. And indeed, I am more than happy to get religion out of the equation.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 05:08 AM

Alan, if we re-phrase your last line into
"I don't think it is wildly inaccurate to suggest that we hear of these sort of outbreaks less frequently from Turkey (or Egypt, the Emirates etc) than we do from Somalia. There must be a reason for that."
then it takes religion out of the equation altogether, and we can focus on the other parameters.

I don't know the answer of course, but I am guessing that it lies in a multiplicity of parameters, though one might reasonably group them into the following, beginning with the individual "potential perpetrator" of such an act, and the various effects on him/her from:

a) The collection of interests,pressures or causes leading one to rage (examples: insulting one's family, one's belief in a system to live by, threat to personal well-being etc)
b) The collection of inhibitors instilled into one by parental (and other) teaching, societal impact on an individual's beliefs, education, fear of repercussion etc
c) The individual's beliefs regarding the sanctity of life, both one's own and everyone else's; by extension also the individual's belief in various human rights.
d) The individual's thresholds within which the above three operate.
e) The impact on all of the above by mob mentality.

Looking at the list above, it's one hell of a recipe to get right - and many ways to get it wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:54 AM

Your point is taken Ted. But surely it is necessary is to ask ourselves: "In what conditions are these outbreaks of simmering rage less likely to explode?" We are all opponents of war, cruelty, violence, rape and injustice etc. We also know that these things have been around for as long as there have been humans. However, at certain times and under certain conditions, they have become the norm. Under others, they have become the exception. We should at least be trying to identify what makes these catastrophes less likely.
I don't think it is wildly inaccurate to suggest that we hear of these sort of outbreaks less frequently from Norway than we do from Somalia. There must be a reason for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 10:26 PM

A good percentage of people above are blurring rage with the philosophy of law, when the two concepts should be separated by a wide chasm.


Rage may be endemic to the human condition, but legal philosophy is highly reflective of a culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:13 PM

I have on occasion, looked into the eyes of some of my fellow "Westerners", and, also on occasion, have seen a brutal, simmering rage. In a few instances, I have seen it explode, and have heard of it exploding in many more instances.

For this reason, I am not surprised when I hear that a man has been dragged to death behind a truck because of his sexual orientation. I am not surprised when a teenage girl lures a boy to a secluded place by promising to have sex with him, then watches while her friends beat him to death with hammers and a hatchet. And I am not surprised when I read the our history of brutal lynchings, some more horrible than the stoning in question here.

I tend to cry when I hear about suffering. As a scrupulous student of history, I have shed tears, at one time or another, for people in every historical age, and in every part of the world. And will likely continue to do so.

I wonder about those of you who seem to angered, shocked, outraged, though, because, as literate, educated adults, none of this should be new to you--


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:38 PM

Thanks TIA. As someone who was a virulent critic of Ratzinger during his many years in charge of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (successor body to the inquisition) I have to say he has surprised me several times since becoming the boss - not least in this initiative to improve relations with Islam.

It's a difficult thing to do, because there is no central authority on the muslim side that can speak for the whole of that religion. In this case the Vatican has been in discussion with the 138 muslim scholars who challenged him some time ago. But at least when mighty religions like these come face to face there is the always the possibility that they will begin to see merit in opposing positions and that the zealots on both sides will be undermined by consensus and compromise.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:32 PM

Here is the text of "The Catholic-Muslim Joint Declaration."

Here is the website of A Common Word, a document put together by "138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals (who) have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam." This was part of the preparation for the Catholic-Muslim Joint Declaration.

And here is the official website of "The Amman Message" which addresses a range of issues, and helped prepare the way for A Common Word.

Long complicated documents. But before making of the cuff accusations about how Muslims have failed to speak up when they should it would be advisabkle to read them attentively.

This is all drifting away from wider questions about humanity and inhumanity, but it seemed to me this would be a good place to stash the links for any discussion about Islam as such.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM

Got it. Audio link is here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96735197

Specifically addresses terrorism and violence in the name of God.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:18 AM

FWIW, Muslim leaders have spoken out quite publically just yesterday. Perhaps (unfortunately) not directly about this horrific incident in Somalia, but certainly about human rights and dignity, protection of minorities, and a host of other issues. The joint Catholic-Muslim Declaration that follows a three day meeting between Catholic and Muslim leaders at the Vatican, can be read here:

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=13687&theme=2&size=A

This historic meeting has gotten just about zero mention in the USA press that I typically read. Note where you must go to read anything about it.

I did hear a snippet (on NPR) of a statment by one of the Imams who attended, which specifically denounced "terrorism" and "oppression of women". I would love to find a transcript or audio of the whole bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:23 AM

I meant 'my mistake' about misreading what thread originator said - the part about this thread not being about how the West relates to Islam. I don't for a minute think there was anything wrong with my pointing out what I did about the idea that Muslims don't speak out against these kinds of things, I have no regrets for having posted what I did about that, and I will continue to point out those kinds of things when I see them.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:59 AM

My mistake.

Not really - the diversion started with "But Islam bears some of the blame here, because Islamic religious leaders do not speak out and condemn it." Which prompted Carol, reasonably enough, to question that assumption.
..........................
Sometimes its harder to stand out against small things than against big things. Outright bigotry or brutality has to be built up to in order to be accepted as the norm. Jokes about "PC" can be a good way of doing that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: jacqui.c
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:05 AM

Nicely put Kevin - in every day life it is possible to see this. It is so much easier to go along with the crowd. I've seen cases where a manager in the office was openly derisive of one of his staff and the majority of the rest took his lead. Standing up to that is frightening, and there was no physical threat involved in those situations.

I was always on the outside because I wasn't interested in sport or the TV soaps and said so. That can occasionally be a lonely place and not too comfortable. Think how it would be in a situation such as a dictatorship or a fundamentalist society, where swimming against the stream could endanger your and your family's life.


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