jan loomis

licensed massaage therapist and body worker, AAMFT

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Outlaw war. It is challenging is to know that there are people in power who act as if they are heartless.

It is my belief that most people are good, caring individuals. What I see as the problem are the propaganda machines. Every nation has them. We are all to some degree susceptible to their influence. What I believe this nation should do is cease and desist all actions that involve invasion of another country. We should bring our forces home and have a requirement that each person is responsible only for defending his/her own property. And that if someone aggresses against you, you have the right to defend yourself. I suspect that this would stop war once and for all to a great extent. I suspect that this would also encourage people to find other means to settle their differences than a resort to violence.

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    Apr 21 2011: Just an aside.

    The world is punishing Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for the Iraq war. It is not a very severe punishment. But these three are afraid to travel the world since they may be arrested in many places they might go.
  • Apr 21 2011: As a Buddhist, I despise war and all of the suffering and anguish it causes. An end to war would be a beautiful thing, but to expect it to actually happen is idiotic and naive. If a country does not believe in eliminating war, how will you make them? Mandates from the UN? Sanctions? As long as one country does not believe in 'Outlawing War' then it is never going to happen no matter how much your country wants it. Tell me something; do you believe Al Qeada can be convinced to outlaw war? Seek an end to violence, but blanket statements like 'Outlaw War' are worse than useless.
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      • Apr 21 2011: I believe in it, but I don't put that faith above reality. In fact, one of the first tenets of Buddhism is that you take what is said and decide for yourself what is correct and what is not. I do not believe in war and I do my best in life to cause no harm or suffering where I can. When I can I do my best to help anyone out. That does not mean that I bury my head in the sand and pretend everyone in the world wants the same thing I do. Some people will cause violence no matter how much you want to be friends with them. Not particularly Al Qeada here, but there will always be someone who wants to stand a little higher than their fellows. People will always feel their viewpoint is superior to that of others and will try to impose that viewpoint on them.

        Edit: I wanted to clarify more what I wrote above. Buddhism is not a religion per se', and faith is not particularly a part of it. Buddhism is the search for knowledge within yourself through meditation. It is the effort to remove suffering (or more accurately, anguish, anger, grief, dissatisfaction...) from your life and replace it with calm and peace and the knowledge of the true nature of existence.. It is not some eternal quest to cure the world's ills, though it would be nice.
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      Apr 21 2011: al-Qaeda is an outlaw organization. They are violating international laws. They are being sought out and punished for doing so.

      Why not do the same to all violators of the international laws against aggression?
      • Apr 22 2011: Because punishment does not cure violence. In fact, I would say punishment is more likely to cause it. You can punish Al Qeada all day long. You can give them sanctions, seize their assets, hunt them like dogs. It won't work. How long has the US been dealing with these guys? 20 years? 25? At least since Bush 1.0. Where has it gotten us? What has punishing them done to change their ways? It may be cliche and 'The Dark Knight' is nowhere near among my favorite movies, but they did say one thing that made sense. 'Some people just want to watch the world burn.'
  • Apr 20 2011: I think outlawing war is curing the symptom but not the disease. The actual diseases are poverty, lack of free speech and transparent governments, and lack of good education. If we cure them war will be gone.

    And I also think that every students should be taught about logical fallacies, so they realize how easily the human mind can come up to wrong conclusions, and debate, propaganda, and PR techniques, so they realize how easily the human can be controlled and therefore can counteract accordingly. If we do that there would be no more war mongering politicians anymore; or at least nobody would listen to them.

    Though the downside would be that the news will be so much more boring then.
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      Apr 23 2011: .Irun,
      If ending war is dependent upon ‘curing’ impoverishment; then wars will continue to be fought.

      You are imaging the impossible; a constant utopian liberal democratic state with a limitless sustained abundance of resources; where elites are willing to permanently provide the antidote to poverty, oppression, ignorance and corrupt government. You imagine elites who will share forever, even when the once ‘limitless abundance of their economic system’ begins to falter. History shows us that when resources become depleted, self-interest takes over.

      Some of today’s wealthy countries (elites), have for the past 50 years, due to an unprecedented opportunity to exploit the world’s resources, been willing to share generously.

      Today, these wealthy nations are running into economic trouble... as a result, less sharing is going on. Elites successfully lobby government to withdraw funding from education, medical care and helping the poor. Factually, more citizens are becoming poorer in these wealthy countries
      This argument is terribly pessimistic and I hate it; however, the sweep of human history, shows the rise and fall of civilizations, many of which measured up to your utopian view for a time; a little bit of time. 50 years is just a little bit of time.

      I’ve experienced much opportunity during this unprecedented wealth. It was a window of opportunity that is closing on us. It may be opening up for others in the world, but only for a short time.
  • Apr 18 2011: I am quoting Hermann Goering (High ranking Nazi at the Nuremberg Trials)
    "Naturally the common people don't want war.Whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."
    If we delve deep into the anatomy of Iraq and Afgan wars, we can still see the same mechanism. Wars were predicated on fear. (Pseudo) leaders manage to alienate people from one side of globe from people on other side of globe. I still believe there must be more wars, but wars should not be fought with weapon but with education. Education is the most powerful tool against hatred. It increases our circle of empathy and fight ignorance.
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      Apr 18 2011: Great quote.

      A sidenote - The ancient Romans never considered themselves an aggressive power. They believed that all their wars were defensive wars waged in response to external threats.
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      Apr 19 2011: Exactly, exceptionally put, and great quote
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    Apr 26 2011: The very concept of a law is rooted in war. For there to be a law that has meaning, there must be enforcement, for there to be en...force...ment, there must be force. Now, an coalition of the powerful could sign a treaty and outlaw war... but if rogue states began fighting, what would those powers do? Impose toothless economic sanctions? Call them bad names? Or destroy their military capacity in a "police action?"

    As for everyone defending their own property and minding their own business, that's the utopia of anarchism that forgets the natural tendency of us humans to form associations- businesses, churches, motorcycle gangs, fight clubs, dojos, schools, community groups, etc. There will always be the self-interested who will associate to use force to acquire what they want. And there must always be those who will band together to defend life, liberty, property and happiness.

    I think rather than outlawing war, we all just need to develop a bias for peace. Before we know the facts, to go into a room ready to argue for peace, and give those who want war a damn hard time getting one. I believe in the concept of just war, but I also believe that they are far fewer in history than people who remember them fondly might like to think.
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    Apr 18 2011: I think the best we can hope for is that vehicles such as TED, FB and Twitter will bring people to an understanding on their own to realise that the world is full of peaceful people who are misguided by a few into thinking we are all enemies.
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    Apr 21 2011: Revett: Thank you, you’re fascinating too! Just like you, I’ve not talked with GW about his secrets. I’ll quote someone who does know George and whose comments support my thesis. His name is Mickey Herskowitz, a Texas journalist who co-authored GW’s book A Charge to Keep. He also wrote the AUTHORIED biography of Bush’s grandfather, at the invitation of Bush’s father. The family TRUSTED him. Herskowitz says Bush admitted that he was actually hoping to find an excuse to invade Iraq. I’ll quote:
    “He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999, leaning in a little to make sure I could hear him properly. “It was on his mind.” GW said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander in chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait, and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade . . . if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed, and I’m going to have a successful presidency.’ Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow”
    Regarding GW’s instructions from god, do you consider Bob Woodward a more plausible source? GW told Woodward that after giving the order to invade in Iraq he prayed "that our troops be safe, be protected by the Almighty". "I was praying for strength to do the Lord's will. "I'm surely not going to justify war based upon God. Understand that. Nevertheless, in my case, I pray that I will be as good a messenger of His will as possible. And then of course, I pray for forgiveness."
    Woodward asked GW if he had asked his father for advice on what to do. GW replied that his earthly father was "the wrong father to appeal to for advice ... there is a higher father that I appeal to".
  • Apr 20 2011: While it is peachy in theory, outlawing war would be completely useless. Rogue states aren't going to sincerely agree nor comply to that for a minute.

    To build on what Irun Siregar said, so long as poverty, and the lack of resources and a good education, exists I don't think we can't seriously expect everyone to drop their swords simultaneously.
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      • Apr 20 2011: I agree. I wasn't thinking clearly, lol. Greed is also part of it, it is in human nature, and with greed comes violence.
      • Apr 20 2011: Mark, I believe, and I really hope I'm right on this one, desire for dominance and lack of tolerance is not our default state. At least not for most of us. Evolutionary speaking, a species wouldn't succeed as a social organism if all its members are aggressive. And since we are the most social species there is I assume innate aggressiveness are only reserved for few individuals, just enough to drive the species forward without destroying it completely (at least as of now).

        That's why I said in my other post that we need to educate people about logical fallacies and propaganda techniques and such. These aggressive individuals are good at exploiting those techniques, and because of that they can reach powerful positions a lot of times for their own gains. They can move people emotionally and even convince people logically, even when they're dead wrong. And they're our presidents, CEOs, and military generals.

        We need to get these aggressive individuals, necessary as they might be, under control. So when they're aggressive and intolerance about fighting poverty people can back them up, and they start to talk trash and use logical fallacies for their own gain, people will realize it and swiftly kick them out of office.
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    Apr 19 2011: Simply by suggesting the idea (outlaw war) will make more people consider what are the causes of war.

    Internet is making this a fashion of asking, questioning, and suggesting what it takes for peace to become a reality rather than fantasy thoughts.

    First step like, for anything, especially for change is education.

    Spread the argument of war not being a human value but a national value as many here have declared.

    Great thread.
  • Apr 19 2011: So you find incontroverrtible evidence that nation A is arming and gearing up to invade nation B. Would A have any right to attack B in this case? Would that be aggression or self defence? Should they wait until the bombs start dropping before doing anything "defensive"? What if the evidence were strong but not incontrovertible? When George Bush -- everybody's favourite whipping boy -- invaded Iraq, every single western nation and every single intelligence agency in the western world believed Saddam -- who had a history of being a rather unpleasant fellow -- had WMDs, and in addition he had flouted numerous UN resolutions that nobody except the US seemed prepared to do anything about. ("Stop thief, or I'll tell you to stop again!") But every peacenik today retroactively complains that it was an act of aggression "for oil" because no WMDs were found. That's the problem with wars: 20/20 hindsight makes everybody an expert.

    Yes, settling all disputes rationally and peacefully would be wonderful. Dream on.
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      Apr 19 2011: Revett: I don't think the war was primarily about oil (secondarily yes).

      The primary motivation was to extend western hegemony under the rubric of "making the world safe for democracy". As long as Saddam was a faithful client of the US, fighting the Iranians and kowtowing to american demands, there was no problem with Saddam. After the Iran-Contra affair, in which the US sold arms to the Iranians to be used against the Iraqis, Saddam refused to deal more with the US. Then he was there a problem.

      Another instance of violence breeding violence. And another argument in favor of avoiding war.
      • Apr 19 2011: Tim: I wasn't trying to justify the Iraq war, I was just trying to make the point that at the time decisions can be hard to make because all the facts are rarely available, but later on those decisions are easy to criticize. And in the same way, it is easy to say that the US should not, in retrospect, have supported such and such a dictator, but at the time it likely made a lot of sense. It is rarely black and white.

        I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to make those decisions, whether about Iraq, Afghanistan, or, right now, Iran.
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          Apr 20 2011: Mark: i would like to add that even if a country indeed has wmd, it still isn't enough reason for military intervention. north korea, pakistan and russia also have wmd, and i would not say they are overly friendly to the usa. suppose iraq or iran also has. so what? what will it do with it? attack the usa? c'mon, be serious. sell to terrorists? and north korea or pakistan won't?
        • Apr 21 2011: Revett, I don't think anyone is quite addressing your question. My answer would be that if only hindsight is 20/20, we need to be far more careful than we are about the choice to start killing people. Violence has never solved problems without creating a lot more. We need to think more creatively. One friend of mine suggested that instead of spending billions of dollars to destroy the Libyan air force, we should just offer a million dollars to every pilot who defects with his plane. With people defecting of their own accord, that incentive could have pretty well eliminated the whole air force (200 planes) at a fraction of the cost and without firing a single shot. Now we are into another Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam -- hundreds of thousands of lives being lost, so that later we can shake our heads and say "hindsight is 20/20," as if that will bring back any of the lost lives. I don't know if the million-dollar incentive would have worked, but you can be pretty sure that the current course of action is going to leave thousands more people dead (if we are lucky enough to keep it to that number) and probably solve nothing.
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          Apr 21 2011: @Johnson Tao: isn't it a highly cynical remark? what if i say: breaking into a house when the owners are at home is risky. so i have to break into the house before they arrive home. does it validate breaking in?
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          Apr 21 2011: Johnson, i'm very happy with my outsider perspective, when it comes to invading countries. the only reason i could ever consider the mindset of such a person is to learn how to prevent such things from happening.

          (edit: typo fixed)
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          Apr 22 2011: Johnson, it was not clear to me that you are not presenting your own viewpoint, but mocking the government.

          i believe doing the "right" thing is not the problem. i'm very much OK with this mindset. the problem is if someone wants to beat it into others, instead of teaching it to them.
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          Apr 23 2011: teaching means presenting information in a form that is appropriate for ingestion. so this is the how. present information in the most (mentally) available form.
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        Apr 21 2011: 'The Bush administration used fabricated evidence for WMD's to justify the Iraq War. It was a crafted political rationale that has been revealed to be a contrivance. This lie had a powerful effect on U.S. (and allied) psyches...it was believed...the fact that this assertion was taken on faith ishorrifying.

        This loaded, highly charged rationale was a fallacy; and it may be that the true reason is more frightening. An argument has been made that GW had personal reasons for starting the war. George said that “god told him to end the tyranny in Iraq”. Yes, god told him to take out Saddam? Why only Saddam? There are lots of other bad guys out there. But God, expressly singled out Saddam for GW.

        As an atheist, I view this inner voice as ‘unconscious’ motivation that had bubbled up into GW'sconsciousness... a voice which had its genesis in GW’s relationship with his father. GW thought he was the ‘black sheep’ of the family. He needed to prove that he was better and stronger than his father and... he would prove this by doing something his father had refused to do; GW would take out Saddam.

        George Bush Sr. did not invade Iraq. He knew it would make a mess and he was right.

        I agree with Tim, the war was not primarily about oil;WMD's or‘making the world safe for democracy’ either. The primary motivation was, horror of horrors, GW’s feeling of inferiority .

        I mean GW was pretty convincing for a very long time. He fooled everyone.
        • Apr 21 2011: Well, Alicia, that's a fascinating psychological evaluation of George Bush. How many personal sessions did you have to spend with him to reach those conclusions?

          Your contention that GWB said that God had told him to invade Iraq was made by a dubious Palestinian politician following a joint Israeli/Palestinian meeting that GWB attended, and was later denied by Bush himself, the official Palestinian delegation, and everybody else at the meeting.

          Gosh, I never thought I'd find myself defending George Bush, of all people, but you and so many others here jump to such black and white conclusions about him and the Iraq war that sometimes it is positively scary. Do you always have all the facts available to you when you make decisions? A dog runs out in front of your car as you drive through a school zone. Quick! Do you brake and hit the dog or swerve and risk hitting kids? Ah, too late -- now you've had time to think about it. But a president of the US has to make life and death decisions almost every day. For better or worse, he relies on his advisors who sometimes turn out in retrospect to be wrong. Like you, me, and everybody else, he uses his own biases, experiences, and beliefs to make decisions based on input from those around him. It upsets me when, much later on, armchair presidents make perfect calls in hindsight and while so doing vilify the poor sod who had to make the real call in real time.
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      • Apr 19 2011: Johnson: What are those videos supposed to illustrate? So we have a tendency to self-justify our feelings? So what? So McNamara argues that war should be proportional? I could equally argue that the quickest and most humane way to end a war is to be hugely and convincingly disproportional. And are we really expected to believe every conspiracy theory that comes along with regard to the "true" reasons for invading Iraq? Unless we can get George W. Bush on this forum to explain the reasons as he saw them, I think we'd best just accept that he presumably did what he thought was right at the time. Maybe he was wrong, but I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

        Anyway, as I said to Tim, the intent wasn't to justify Iraq it was to illustrate the difficulty of making life or death decisions with incomplete facts.
      • Apr 20 2011: Johnson: Evidently you were in the White House with George Bush when the decisions regarding Iraq were made. I wasn't, so I bow to your superior knowledge of the facts surrounding that decision.

        With regard to your second post above: I had nothing to do with the residential school act, nothing to do with the Indian Act, nothing to do with incarceration of Japanese Canadians during WWII, nothing to do with the Chinese head tax, and nothing to do with legislation regarding homosexuality, so these things neither keep me awake at night nor occupy a lot of my thoughts. I prefer to expend my efforts on things I have some control over.

        BTW, my point about disproportionality is that sometimes the quickest and most humane way to end a situation that nobody wanted in the first place is to use such massively overwhelming force that the conflicts ends. Right. Now. The alternative could be drawn-out hostilities forever.
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          Apr 22 2011: Comment: Revett: That's nonsense about Bush making the decision in 2003. The decision was made long before (read the signatures):


          And, as I noted before the motivation was hegemony (read the signatures here also):


          The PNAC (Project for the New American Century) was intent on taking advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union and dominate the world stage. Quote:

          "As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?"

          9/11 was just an excuse to invade Iraq.
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    Apr 18 2011: correction: nations don't have propaganda machines. states have.
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        Apr 19 2011: i agree, i was not precise enough. not only states have propaganda machines, but also companies, churches and any kind of organizations.

        but nations don't have propaganda machines. that's my point actually. nations, races, genders, interest groups don't have. nations never wage wars. nations never hate. nations don't exist as an actor, as a quasi-person, like organizations do.
  • Apr 18 2011: hi am from suda and i clouldnt agree with u more we here suffer from us goverment policies and stubied thinking the way america leaders act gonna and will get them alot of damge u r seeing it for ur self in the economy over there every one i know of hate the us and wish to do something against because of u interfiring in our country under the cover of human rights
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      Apr 19 2011: Azamm: I'm curious about your opinion of the NATO actions in Libya.

      Do you think the NATO countries should have stayed out?