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Mitch SMith


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Syria: What is the core principle?

I have a friend who is a Syrian ex-pat.
He runs a grocery store in my town and I meet him almost every day.
When the Syrian conflict started getting bad I asked him about it. He said:

"We have a saying - when elephants fight, the grass is killed".

He went on to say: "I have a brother in a town that is at risk .. I plan to go in through Turkey and get him out of there." .. He has not been able to do that yet. And he explained to me the factional power that most Syrians understand .. the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Alawi .. but there are also Druze, Coptics etc etc..

And now, the USA wants to throw bombs to destroy critical infrastructure - regardless of who gets killed in the process.

This is a subject that is so complex that no one can really know what is happening.

My question to the TED community is this:

What is the basic principle?

My friend alludes to elephants and grass .. that seems basic.

Is there any other reliable abstract to be had?


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  • Sep 17 2013: Mitch, again no reply button, but here it is.

    Your use of labels is interesting, a bit confusing also.
    If your comfortable great. Because you are right.

    The wild west had law and order.
    Today that has morphed into enforcement and order.

    Laws and Justice must be purchased, and are.

    A sad thing to watch, but I wouldn't have missed this show
    for all the tea in China.

    My one regret, -- I might not live to see the final act.
    ...It will be a dozy... Coming soon to theatres near you...
    • thumb
      Sep 17 2013: Yeah,

      The rot goes right into the words we use .. so you gotta re-define words. before talking - otherwise no one has a clue what you are trying to give.

      Laws and justice turn into excuses and justifications if you let them.

      I've found out a few things that might help my friends.

      1. We are fools to believe that we can have a single global community-of-man. People are tribal .. it's not rational, but there are physical limitations to how many people you can live with. And those limits are simply the size of our brains - big, but not big enough for that. So what do you do? . I'd suggest we get real about our limitations.

      2. Most what we were raised to believe is crap. So we just got along as best we could with what everyone else believed - we had no choice. But now we do.

      3. There is a small window of enlightenment given us by .. the wild .. the internet - until it gets screwed-down like every other wild thing. We get a chance to understand that screwing down the wild screws everything - and we can get some kind of manual going so that the young learn first how to recognise a "screwer" - and stop them from doing the old tricks .. and this is old - this goes back maybe 10 thousand years. It's a lot to take-on, but if you get out of the mud, you can run faster than anyone.

      Glad you are feeling the wind . .nice isn't it?

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