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"Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

Posted by Mason on 3/22/03 at 19:12 (113933)

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March 22, 2003

Innocents in Uniform
By UWE E. REINHARDT

RINCETON N.J.

CNN recently showed a Marine chaplain admonishing the platoon assembled before him: Pray not only for yourself, he told them, but for your enemies as well. After all, they are just soldiers, like you, doing what they are ordered to do.

What a refreshing departure these words were from what I've been hearing from the civilian sector, where the talk is mainly of minimizing coalition casualties or, in more generous moments, innocent Iraqi civilian casualties as well. I wince every time I hear that kind of talk, especially the reference to innocence. Should not the proper minimum in any war be loss of human life, period - which in this case includes Iraqi soldiers, too?

My earliest childhood memories were forged by war - real war. My family lived near one of the most ferocious battle grounds of the European war theater - the notorious H?rtgen forest, where American and German soldiers fought one another in hand-to-hand combat for more than four months in the fall of 1944. A plaque at one of the military cemeteries in the area notes that more American soldiers died there than in Vietnam, and surely as many or more German soldiers were killed there too.

My family lived opposite a convent that had been converted into a field hospital for the nearby front. I was a small boy then, and watching the ambulances come and go (sometimes peeking curiously into them), I could not help but become witness daily to the horrors of war. Millions of Europeans of my generation, whom many Americans now disparage so contemptuously as pacifists, had a similar experience.

Because we lived so near the Battle of the Bulge and the advancing allied forces, our village was strafed and bombed routinely. One such attack came as my friends and I were playing outside. We ran as the planes approached, taking shelter in the cavernous basement of the convent. There we spied a row of stretchers. On each was a body covered entirely by a blanket. Possibly to overcome our own terror, we dared one another to pull back a blanket on one of the stretchers, to see what a dead man looked like. Someone did. We fell silent instantly as we beheld the serene, waxen face of a very young soldier who could not have been older than 16 or 17.

More than 50 years later, I can still see his face clearly. The shock of it recurs whenever I hear the chirpy anchors on the morning programs (not to mention the hawkish talking heads) prattle on about innocent civilians, as if the number of fallen enemy soldiers did not count. What does 'innocent' mean in the context of war?

I am almost certain that the young German soldier my friends and I saw so many years ago in that convent basement was as innocent as those of us who weren't in uniform. For all we know, he had grown up on a farm somewhere and, while fighting in the trenches, dreamed of his girlfriend and of life as an adult in peaceful times. For all we know, he would have happily quit fighting and joined the allies. (He didn't have much of a choice: some German generals strung up on trees the bodies of young soldiers who had deserted, a powerful warning to their peers.)

Perhaps many of the Iraqi soldiers, too, find themselves where they are because they have no other choice. After all, is not Saddam Hussein a ruthless dictator, and are not some of his generals likely to be as cruel as their Wehrmacht counterparts?

My hope is that Americans can muster the proper decorum that an enterprise as horrible as war demands. There is nothing neat about maiming and killing people with precision bombs from the air or gunfire on the ground - even if they're wearing enemy uniforms. Young lives are snuffed out; parents, siblings and lovers weep, and so should we. We want our troops to win a quick victory, to be sure. As the father of a young Marine officer on the front lines in Iraq, I certainly do. But let us heed that Marine chaplain who, like anyone who has ever witnessed war, knows whereof he speaks. Let us hope and pray for a minimum loss of human life - period.

Uwe E. Reinhardt is a professor of political economy at Princeton University.

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Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

Suzanne D on 3/23/03 at 08:39 (113970)

Dear Mason,

This was a touching story and reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Sound of Music, in which the young boyfriend of Liesel is caught between his love of her family and his new alliance with Hitler. Much innocence and sadness can be found on both sides in any conflict, I would imagine.

May I comment here on your post from a thread above? You stated that 'this board doesn't reflect even your most optimistic general American percentages, though, and certainly not nearly worldwide percentages... Just walking down the typical American Main Street is much more heartening. At least one can find true discussion of the real issues going on, and not just a pat-each-other-on-the-back party. I don't mean any harm. I just don't see much true talking going on, true thinking, true exchanges, and intelligent looking ahead.'

Perhaps it might be helpful to realize that most people came to this site because they were in pain and desperate for help. Many, many have found great information and - even more important - understanding and support. This might appear to an onlooker like a 'pat-yourself-on-the-back-party'. However, the kindness and friendly support here has helped me deal with daily life for the past two years. Many, like me, read a great deal before they hesitantly posted on the social/support board. Here we have found much encouragement and support, and in the meantime have become friends. This is a new kind of relationship, this 'cyber friendship' and as such has no prescedence in expression.

There are some of us who do not want to alienate ourselves from this positive network by engaging in debates over the war. That does not mean we are unthinking individuals. That does not mean we do not care or do not hurt over the pain of others, no matter what country they are from. This forum is not the typical American streetcorner and thus does not reflect such.

I am 'patriotic' and try to teach my young children at school to be thankful for our freedom and proud of our country. I try to teach them to think for themselves and to look forward to the time that they can vote and have a part in our country's laws.

Anyone has the right (thanks to this being a free country!) to express their views here - and as often as they please. I do not choose to label anyone or call them names. I would like to respect each individual and be treated in the same fashion. For me to deride those with a more liberal viewpoint than I hold is wrong, in my belief. So is the opposite: labeling me as un-thinking or hypocritical. It is discouraging to read these types of thoughts. It is not that I don't want newcomers to join or that they don't have a right to post. But if we could refrain from labeling one another and reducing each other to a certain view, I think it would be helpful to us all.

Thank you again for your article you posted above. I appreciated reading it. I wish for you - and everyone - good things and healing for your pain.

Suzanne :-)

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 09:24 (113972)

suzanne, your words would have held more weight for me if you had ever admonished the right wingers for doing and saying far worse to the liberals and independents. maybe you have and i missed it. or maybe, as you stated , if you dared, your 'support' would have dried up, at best.

at any rate, you do not strike me as a war mongering hypocrite. but it does reflect your innate sensitivity that you would not want to be considered to be one. i am certainly not expressing the opinion that everyone here fits that category. just the ones who have vicously attacked their friends for no reason, clamored for war in a disgustingly excited way and then behaved sanctimonious about it all.

since you are really one of the best of the lot left here i thought you deserved a response.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

john h on 3/23/03 at 09:31 (113973)

'Best of the lot left here' how condescending.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 10:08 (113976)

'one of the best of the lot left here' if you are going to quote me a second after i post, at least get it right. i'd rather be condescending than a war mongering hypocrite. but it's comforting to see that a hawk gets the 'gist' of my post.

Re: To mason & pala

Steve P on 3/23/03 at 10:42 (113983)

I'm guessing that you two are in either your teens or twenties, & likely a product of the 'moral relativism' education (as Dr. Ed discussed below) that's so in vogue on US college campuses. It's a fad that will pass one day.

In the mean time, I can assure you that there IS a difference between right and wrong (despite what your history or philosophy prof says).

Stick with us older folks. We'll set you straight.

Re: To mason & pala

pala on 3/23/03 at 10:49 (113985)

i'm 56 and quite pleased that 76 percent of americans know right from wrong and see what is evil. since the other 20 percent do not, don't you think it is time the war protestors were rounded up and placed in re-education camps?. you good folks here would be just the people to set them right.

Re: To mason & pala

Steve P on 3/23/03 at 11:39 (113987)

Not at all, Pala.

But I do think education is the answer.

The 20% should read about the 1.5 to 2.0 million people that Saddam has killed. They should read about the children tortured & mutilated in the presence of their mothers. They should read about his starvation torture. They should read about the countless women raped & beheaded, always without either charges or trial.

They should read about the people whose faces were mutilated for speaking against Saddam's regime. They shoud read about the thousands of Iraqi Kurds gassed to death.....by the first dictator since Hitler to use chemical weapons against his own people.

Yes, I think the education of moral relativists is always a good idea.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

Suzanne D on 3/23/03 at 12:18 (113997)

Hello, Paula. Actually, I did speak up before on this issue in response to a post of yours on February 17.

You wrote, 'just read d thomas. I agree with you nancy. will be interesting to see if any conservatives come here and say talk nice to nancy (and to every one here). i will certainly be disappointed if they don't...'

I posted the following:

Yes, let's continue to remember...
Posted by Suzanne D on 2/17/03 at 22:13 View Thread
Here comes the teacher...:-) 'Boys and girls, let's all remember to talk to one another the way we would want to be spoken to and to treat one another with respect. I think you have all been trying hard and doing a good job for the most part. Let me just remind you to continue.'

How's that, Paula? :-)

I have appreciated the way people have expressed their opinions to one another in a civilized tone throughout the above discussions. Emotions run high on beliefs in politics and religion, and it is easy to be offended. But we are all friends and have helped one another and can agree to disagree.

My mother taught me to respect my teacher each year even if she/he was not my favorite. There could be no griping about any of them at the dinner table; they were our teacher, and we could not talk rudely about them.

She also made a big deal about respecting the president. I remember her crying after Kennedy was elected, but once he was, she said, 'He is our President, and we will give him the respect his office deserves'. She would not call him names or openly criticize him. She was very sad when he was asassinated.

That is how I grew up - which I am sure is different from many of you. I respect honesty and moral character as well as intelligence in a political official and try to vote for whomever I think will lead our nation in the best way. I respect others' rights to choose someone else.

I like to read what others are thinking as I don't believe I have all the answers. I appreciate reading thoughtful comments on issues more than name-calling or the like. I do know that when very emotional about an issue, it is sometimes hard to keep words from conveying those feelings.

I'll end with saying that on this Presidents' Day, I am thankful for the freedom to be able to write what I think and to read others' opinions without censor.

Abraham Lincoln was from 'my neck of the woods'. I have always admired many things about him.

Suzanne :-)
-end of copied post -

The first grade teacher in me keeps jumping out and trying to persuade everyone to get along and work together. I'm sorry if it touched off more controversy this morning.

I am going to TRY to quit writing about getting along and being respectful. I will stick to my classroom for that. It is not my job here.

And I hope - as I wrote to you in response to your last post a few weeks ago - that springtime has come to Atlanta and that you will be able to enjoy the flowers you have talked about in the past.

Suzanne :-)

Re: To mason & pala

pala on 3/23/03 at 14:01 (114005)

am i a moral relativist, steve? and are you and ed not? just wondering. then we can all read about the dictators all over the globe who do the same thing. phew. we got a lot of reading to do, huh?

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 14:17 (114008)

am i a teenage relative moralist suzanne? was it wrong to label me and the war protesters as such.? i would like to see you actually admonish a right wing hawk when specific labels are flung around. until you do, please do not admonish me for labeling some hawks as war mongering hypocrits.

and since you appreciate differing opinions, i would guess you might miss nany n and nancy s and julie. i know i do. not a whole lot of differeing opinions here lately i note. didn't mason just say he is uttlerly fed up and disgusted with the extreme right wing faction of this board and is exiting left? (exiting left, a little joke. nancy s would have gotten it. oh, but wait. she's not here any more. )

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

Suzanne D on 3/23/03 at 14:21 (114010)

Yes, I do miss Nancy S. and Nancy N. and Julie and have e-mailed all three since they have been gone.

I don't want to quarrel with you, Paula.

Suzanne :-)

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 14:24 (114011)

the only reason it's 'nice' here is because all the liberals and independents have left in disgust. leaving the hawks to agree with each other endlessly. when not invoking god. makes me want to up chuck. the instant a differing opinion comes it quickly turns sour. just look at mason's contribution and leave taking.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 14:25 (114012)

ok suzanne. i'm not really quarreling with you here anyway. i'm really addressing the nasty hawks.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 14:37 (114014)

ed i was talking nicely with mason when steve started in with labeling and uncivil talk, ed. go admonish him. go apply your logic and your reason in a fair and decent way . got some more sanctimonious hypocrisy for me today?

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

john h on 3/23/03 at 16:24 (114023)

Pala: you are a great name caller! all your points are lost the moment you lower yourself to name calling. debate ends at that point and you are on a new level.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 16:37 (114028)

i am working my way down to the level of this board since the nancies and julie had to go. so thank you john. practically every post on this board from a conservative to a liberal is name calling. but you just enjoy the high level set here by bgcped today. i'll aspire to reach that as soon as i can. thank you for your encouragement.

Re: For Pala

Sharon W on 3/23/03 at 16:46 (114030)

Welcome back, Pala.

Sharon

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

BGCPed on 3/23/03 at 16:54 (114033)

My sincere thanks for your continued support. I think the other nasty right wingers on here can join me in song ALLLL WE ARE SAAYYYINNNGGGGG IS GIVE WAR A CHANCE

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Steve P on 3/23/03 at 17:06 (114036)

Pala, I'm guessing that you are a moral relativist since you used the term 'war mongering hypocrite' to refer to those of us supporting the liberation. A reasonable clue, I would think.

As for Ed & I, we are anything but relativists. We understand what evil is & what must be done to address it. We're part of the 76%.

Steve

Re: Debate

wendyn on 3/23/03 at 17:31 (114040)

I have yet to see many posts that remotely resemble 'debate' on this board with respect to this war (from either side). I freely admit that I haven't read several of the posts - I skim a lot of the political ones and they're frankly not worth my time and effort to even read.

The notion that if 76% of the population of one country believe something to be right - it must be right, is a pretty sad attempt at justification. I suppose then if 76% of Iraqui's feel that Bush is Satan - it must be right?

The idea that millions of people across the world who oppose the war are misguided and uniformed, is absurd and narrow-minded.

If you want to justify your position, back it up with facts and how you came to the conclusions you so fiercly defend now.

(Copying and pasting from other websites doesn't require any intelligence)

For the record, I'm more in support of the war than against it...just tired of the attitude

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 18:55 (114043)

steve, war mongering hyporcrite, as i've said here repeatedly, does not refer to those who support this war. it refers to those who have spoken excitedly, rabidly for war while viciously attacking their long time friends who differ with their opinions and then invoking god into the mess. but never mind. i've never encountered any two people as moral as you and ed.

Re: Debate

john h on 3/23/03 at 19:06 (114046)

For the most part Wendy a democracy is based on numbers. If a candidate gets more votes he wins and that determines the directon of the nation,state, or city. So if 75% approve of a war it is in fact important. If 75% were against it then it might end in short order. War is messy and a matter of life and death and even survival of nations and civilizations. People should develop an attitude about it one way or the other because it is not going away, Most of us are frozen in our position on this issue and I doubt anyone will change their minds short of something dramatic happening. If we find a lot of weapons of mass destruction or if Saddam starts using such weapons even the French say they will change their minds. Showing the dead Americans and POW's on TV today should rock someones minds. We do not treat POW's like that. Maybe it is just a cultural difference, If you are ever going to feel pationate about anything it should be war. In every war their are protesters against war. I have never seen a protest for war as these people just simply support the government and troops.Even as WWII begin and Hitler was over running Europe many people in the U.S. did not want to get involved. the Canadians were right in the middle of it by the time we came in.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

john h on 3/23/03 at 19:12 (114048)

Paula: you see me as a 'nasty hawk'. I see you as someone I disagree with.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

john h on 3/23/03 at 19:16 (114049)

Paula: I am an obvious Conservative who supports our goals in Iraq. I am also a friend of Julie,Nancy N, and Nancy S. We remain in contact and have mutual respect for each other even though we disagree on certain issues. Liberals or Conservatives do not have to agree on all things or call each other names. I think we have been civil to each other over some years even with our differences of opinion. .

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Mason on 3/23/03 at 19:21 (114050)

That's true. There is an excited, rabid quality to the posts of a few who favor this war, and I think it goes beyond enthusiasm over the so-called liberation. It is quite unnerving to encounter this in a peace-loving country. It is also unnerving to find the term 'moral relativism' thrown around in a freedom-loving country by what I sense are controlling types of people (who often do this in the name of their religion).

Just to set the record straight, Steve P, I am old enough to have teen-age grandchildren. I do a lot of reading and studying, and I know 'evil' when I see it. I also know denial and narrowness of vision when I see them. I have seen them here.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

john h on 3/23/03 at 19:25 (114051)

Paula: You throw around that word 'hawk' rather loosely. What is your definition of a Hawk? have you ever been on a battlefield and carried your dead buddies back? have you ever smelled death or experienced gut wrenching fear? have you ever thought you would surey die tomorrow on a really bad mission? Have you ever been shot? Well, I have! You do not have a clue about war or what the meaning of a Hawk is or what a combat soldier or woman is experiencing. You live in some fantsy world of right and wrong. If you had the slightest clue you would know there is no such thing as a military 'Hawk'. If anyone hates war it is someone that has experienced it. Your word Hawk disgust me and is counter to everything we in the military fight for and that is for freedom of people like you to place your labels with no understanding at all about what war is all about.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 19:39 (114054)

does it disgust you that congress just voted to cut a billion dollars from the veterans, much of it for medical? well john that disgusts me.

take all your hate filled disgust and incoherent rantings and go visit a veteran's hospital john. they could use more volunteers get off your couch right now and go. and then come back here and tell me what is disgusting.

by the way, i have never in fact been on a battle field or any of the things you mentioned. i would prefer that no young person has to do that. i was wondering how many other people here, so brave and eager to send young people to war, have?

Re: Debate

wendyn on 3/23/03 at 19:59 (114055)

Thanks for the lesson in Democracy John - I'm pretty comfortable with the notion that 'the one with the most votes wins'.

If 75% of people in a country approve of a war, that may make it important (as you say) - but that 75% approval doesn't make it _right_ and it won't mean that the rest of the world will think it's right either.

Like I said - you'd find 75% of people in Iraq approving of all kinds of things you don't approve of. Who's right in that case?

If 75% of all Canadians think that there should be world wide gun control, does that mean it should become law where you live? How much influence should 75% of our population have on anyone else? My point is that approval ratings within a country mean very little to the general perception of the rest of the world.

I agree that people should be passionate about war - for or against.

No - people won't change their opinions based on what other people are saying..but they have just as much right to say it as you do. (They are just as certain that they are right as you are certain that you are right)

Perhaps my ire is mostly a reaction to Steve's comment that had something to do with American's always being right. Even if people are supportive of what the US is doing in Iraq - it's that type of arrogance that causes much of the world resentment towards Americans in general.

While the war may (or may not be) right because Saddam is too dangerious and too powerful to go unchecked - this has nothing to do with America being somehow above the rest of the world. It would be just as right (or wrong) if it was being spearheaded by any other country.

Re: "Innocents in Uniform" - a reminder of one small corner of the current world and American dilemma

pala on 3/23/03 at 21:04 (114057)

by the way john, i was never thinking of you when i said nasty hawk. but then again, i never saw such hate pour out of a post of yours before either.

Re: HUH

marie on 3/23/03 at 21:11 (114058)

Wait a minute John. Didn't you just make a crack on another board here about Democrats? I've never called you a name ever. We have disagreed at times and have agreed at times. I enjoy coming to this board. I don't have any reason to call any of you names. I would like to suggest to the conservatives to let the more liberal folks have a conversation on this board without being attacked. Emotions run high on both sides because the simple fact is that we are at war. It does seem some of the folks here have behaved like cats ready to pounce on any comment that is not to your political liking. You are all such brilliant people right, left and in the middle. So maybe we could try to respect each others space. I happen to pray for every soldier, man, woman, and child. I cannot bare the suffering of anyone, it's not part of my make up as a person.

Mason THANK YOU! I loved your story. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there that prays for all soldiers engaged in Battle.

marie

Re: Hey pala!

marie on 3/23/03 at 21:17 (114059)

Nice to have you back. I missed you!!!!!!!

marie

Re: Hey pala!

pala on 3/23/03 at 21:23 (114061)

thanks marie. i have been following your very decent very thoughtful posts for a while now. i am a big fan of yours. your patience here is amazing. i nominate you for sainthood.

Re: Hey pala!

pala on 3/23/03 at 21:24 (114063)

anyone see michael moores acception speech at the oscars. that should burst an aneurism or two here.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 21:29 (114065)

mason, glad to see they have not driven you away, driven you crazy or reduced you to their tactics. none of the above would be true for me at this point, but then you and marie havn't been in this hell hole for as long as i have. at any rate. thank you again for the thoughtful post. the way you express yourself is impressive.

Re: HUH

john h on 3/23/03 at 21:30 (114066)

Marie: I had no comment directed at you. My comment was at Paula for directing the word Hawk to all who would support the war in Iraq. A hawk is a bird of prey. I do not consider myself a bird of prey. If I made a comment about a Deomcrat it was that I have voted for at least three Democratic Presidents.. Paula is very quick and loose to label people and if I seem to resent it I do..

Re: HUH

pala on 3/23/03 at 21:42 (114068)

yet again, i did not say all who support the war are hawks john. and just today i've been quickly labeled a teenage moral relativist and lumped in with dirty smelly anti war protestors. but i see your point. how dare i use the label hawk here. yes john, i'm the one at fault here today. i see it now. so john, how quick are you to resent what is being done to disabled veterans? while your busy resenting, that is.

Re: Hey pala!

marie on 3/23/03 at 21:55 (114070)

Yes, I saw it. I was wondering if anyone was going to do that. Watching the Adrian right now. I am in his corner!

marie

Re: HUH

marie on 3/23/03 at 22:17 (114072)

John this is your post......

I would like everyone to not forget credit card fraud. Today a seller in NYC called me and asked if I had ordered a hard drive to be shipped to Florida. No!!! I have my cards but obviously someone had acquired my card number. I got the card cancelled with only the one charge of $140 on it but I think the seller did not ship the drive so that will be credited back. It had to be some darn liberal democrat that did it. Republicans would never do this. (maybe Nixon).

Now I knew you were joking around and my response was meant to kid along with you. The next thing I know Mike has a nasty comment and so does Kathy. All I am saying is this is an example of what seems like a funny ha ha turns into something mean. They are certainly within their rights to comment no problem with that. Your comment is descriminating and a little judgemental. I don't judge you I accept you for the conservative that you are and respect your views. You are better than this. No your not a bird....ok. Have you ever heard of killing someone with kindness....just a suggestion.

marie

Re: HUH

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/03 at 22:53 (114081)

Marie:

I sort of expected that most took that as a bit of humor on John's part.
Agreeably, the timing did not coincide well with the overall mood and tension of the situation. Mike took it seriously but Kathy realized that the statement was 'toungue in cheek.' John has been a gentlemen in his posts and you have been (is it grammatically corect to use the word gentlewoman?) the equivalent. We have all done a good job 'agreeing to disagree.'

I really don't know what to say about Pala. The issue does not deal with views but attitude and behavior on the board. I wish that I could have said 'Welcome back' to her, but her attitude has not changed. It is an attitude which I would not accept from a conservative nor a liberal.
Ed

Re: more poison pen from Pala

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/03 at 23:04 (114084)

Pala:
Will you be happy if you can turn this board into a cesspool of insults from your warped mind?
John is a highly intelligent and thoughtful poster and a gentleman. Your accusation of 'hate filled disgust and incoherent rantings' is uncalled for and I certainly hope that the liberal posters on this board will find
youyr attitude reprehensible. If you were a conservative and agreed with me on every issue discussed here, I could not accept your attitude and tactics. We have had two good weeks of intelligent discussion and truly wish that I could have welcomed you back. You are obviously trying to disrupt this board. If that is the only reason you are here, then you truly are in need of counseling.
Ed

Re: pala gave me a gift.

marie on 3/23/03 at 23:18 (114093)

I remember I'd had a bad day at work people talking behind my back and such because I had a couple of accomodations and it just got to me. Paula gave me a pep talk about how I needed to toughen up. I needed that. I really needed that! Paula has a strength of character that I admire...I will always know exactly what she thinks. It is her strong will that keeps her interesting and fun. You see Ed, I need the nancys, paula, and Julie. I think maybe your feelings may have been hurt just as their feelings were. I need them to come on the board and just yak about whatever...even if it's something you don't like. Skip over their posts if it bugs ya. The last time I looked this was a social board, I am sad to say it's turned into a anti-social board.

At times all of you have given me your time and patience. No matter what side of war your on......it's been nerve racking on all of us. No one wants to see anyone die. I just want our young people to survive this and come home.

marie

Re: pala gave me a gift.

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:22 (114097)

thank you marie. with all the other liberals and independents gone, or running to the toilet to up chuck constantly, it is good to hear your voice here. i was swinging in the wind all alone here for a long time. i appreciate it.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/03 at 23:30 (114100)

Pala:
I don't know any sane individual posting here (the 'sanity' qualification obviously leaves you out) who has any lust for war. War is something a nation enters with dread and all of those who have fought in a war or have had family members die in a war have a disdain for war greater than your feeble mind could ever fathom. Such individuals view war as an evil that is sometimes necessary to avert a greater evil. It is hard to explain this to someone who cannot distinguish between good and evil and to whom the word 'morality' has no meaning.
Ed

Re: pala gave me a gift.

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:32 (114102)

oh good goddess marie, do you think i hurt ed's feelings the way he hurt the nancyies and julie's feelings? you have given me the greatest gift of the evening. of the year. of the decade.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:43 (114104)

a teenage moral relativist, ed.

Re: pala gave me a gift.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/23/03 at 23:46 (114105)

Marie:
Pala can quote from Mao Tse Tung,s Little Red Book or the Communist Manifesto all day if she wants. She can cut and paste from Mein Kampf if that makes her happy. The personal attacks are a different issue.

I would not accept such attacks on this board coming from an individual of any political persuasion and it would be my hope that you would agree on this. If Pala's goal is nothing other than the disruption of this board since she is too embarassed to admit that she cannot or will not discuss issues then that is something you should object to based on the principles that you have offered here.
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:47 (114106)

well let us count up the insults today ed. an insane, sick, smelly, war protesting teenage moral relativist . and the night is young.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:50 (114107)

a communist insane sick smelly war protesting teenage moral relativist. have i missed any of the insults hurled at me today? you are the disruptive one ed. you disrupted all the good people right off the board. where are they ed? can you name them all ed?

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:53 (114109)

i can cut and paste from mein kampf? what the hell is that supposed to mean. you know darned well i am jewish. is that anti semitism. because i assure you i do not take that lightly.!!

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/23/03 at 23:58 (114110)

what the hell did you mean by that. mein kampf is hitler's outline to exterminate the jews. what in holy hell did you mean by that. ????

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 00:02 (114112)

i want to know what you mean by saying i can cut and paste from mein kampf!! i want you to explain that to me right about now.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 00:29 (114114)

Pala:
How am I supposed to know you are Jewish? Do you know what my religion is?
How does a Jewish person lionize Saddam or take the kind of views you claim to take? Our action has virtually neutralized Saddam's ability to strike Israel with WMD. You think that is wrong? Do you think Saddam should have been allowed to use WMD on Israel? If you are Jewish, you could fool me. You are obviously an anti-Semite.
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 00:31 (114115)

Pala:
You came here to do nothing but levy insults and disrupt this site. What's wrong -- cannot take your own medicine?
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 00:43 (114116)

i've mentioned i am jewish here approximately ten million times. which is the approximate number of jews that were exterminated by hitler, which he outlined in mein kampf.

you need to be very careful right about now ed. i am jewish and you are sounding anti simetic to me. and how dare you imply that i do not support israel, a country in which i am considered to have automatic citizenship. since i have jewish mother. and how dare you say i support saddam because i am a dove.

and how dare you, knowing that i am jewish now, to call me an anti semite. have you lost your mind totally? you knew i was a jew when you said i do not support israel and you knew i was a jew when you said i support saddam hussein.

you have crossed a line here mister. . AND WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN BY SAYING THAT I CAN CUT AND PASTE FROM MEIN KAMPF!

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 00:49 (114117)

i don't believe you did not know i am a jew when you made the mein kampf comment. How on earth could anyone pull that fascist comment out of their hat accidentally?

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 00:54 (114118)

Pala:
I am not going to answer the question you want me to answer. I have never read a post about your religion. Quite frankly, I don't do a search on this site to look into personal details such as religion. You just don't want to get it. Everything to you is about personalities and traits that you would like to assign to personalities.

You have consistently supported issues which are against the interest of the Jewish people so if you are really Jewish as you claim, you fall into the category of individuals some call 'self-hating' Jews. Your politics on this site and your claim to religion are at significant odds. Your amoral outlook and your claim to religion are at odds.
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 00:59 (114120)

Pala:
The same way you could pull the ridiculous comments you have made about me and others. How does it feel?

I truly need to apologize to other posters here for allowing you to get me into this insult contest with you. Answering you, though, seemed to be the only way to call your bluff. Now, how would you like to proceed.
Are you happier now that you have cuased this argument?
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 01:07 (114122)

. . Keep digging yourself deeper into your anti semitic corner ed. i have never supported anything against the jewish people, what the hell are you talking about.

and what the hell do you mean if i am really jewish as i claim. how the heck many people claim they are jewish when they are not.

and what the hell do you mean when you said i can cut and paste from mein kampf? why won't you answer the question ed.

and why are you so familiar with mein kampf? how many non anti semites have ever, in the history of the world, flaunted that book in anyone's face as a taunt. ?

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 01:10 (114123)

how would i like to proceed? i would like to proceed by asking you WHAT THE HELL YOU MEANT WHEN YOU SAID I CAN CUT AND PASTE FROM MEIN KAMPF!

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 01:23 (114127)

Pala:
I hope some of the posters who know me are not flat on their back, hysterical with laughter concerning this exchange. Sorry, but I am going to keep you guessing for a while.
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 01:30 (114128)

what individuals call people like me 'self-hating jews' / they darned well better be other jews because when non jews call jews names with the word jew in it they are called anti semites.

what do you mean i am a self hating jew. what do you mean my politics and my religion are at significant odds. what in holy hell are you saying ed.

i am a jew. i am a dove. i have never said anything against jews. or against israel. i love isreal. what do you know about israel ed, or about the holocaust or about mein kampf?

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 01:31 (114129)

Shalom.
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 01:32 (114130)

How do you feel about the fact that we have made it difficult for Saddam to target Israel with his WMD?
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Mason on 3/24/03 at 01:34 (114131)

If I might, Pala, I'd like to suggest that you forget about insults from this 'healer' and not let him rile you so. His familiarity with Mein Kampf, and his use of it in this context, say more than you yourself can ever say about him. You didn't ask for my advice, but I would let his words stand as their own revelations, if I were you.

I must say, I find it strange that someone would accuse a Jew of being 'self-hating' if that Jew doesn't care for the invasion of an Arab country or, perhaps, any other country. This seems to be what sets those who can think only militarily, politically, and with some kind of self-assumed superiority apart from those who consider and care about the general populations of the many countries in this world.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 01:35 (114132)

Pala:
I am done for tonight. Give it a rest.
Lila tov.
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 01:36 (114133)

this is funny to you and you think to other posters here ed? this is a guessing game. ? this is not funny to me ed. this is quite serious to me.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 01:41 (114134)

thank you mason. again. you are right. let's let that mein kampf statement stand unanswered. the silence is really deafening, as you say. well, for the second night in a row i am grateful to you mason. i am going to take my tired self to bed now and hope i do not dream of nazi sirens in the night. thank you mason.

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Mason on 3/24/03 at 01:43 (114135)

What WMD? There may be some, but we're still waiting to find out, aren't we? I don't know that there aren't any; but do you know that there are?

Re: pala gave me a gift.

marie on 3/24/03 at 08:54 (114152)

Ed
I think we need to have every kind of person on this board. Paula is from NY and she has that wonderful NY cocky attitude. Not every commenton this board has been obnoxious. It is our past experiences and who we are, where we are from that make up an American culture that is unique to our country. My trip to Japan was an eye opening experience for me culturally. Unlike visiting most European countries we have little in common with the Japanese culture...in fact we have a culture of our own that I wasn't even aware of. For instance the debates that have gone on here would never happen in Japan....to offensive. We flew on a Japanese airliner and our group sat together. As the flight went on I began to notice how quiet the folks in back were, all Japanese. In the front the Americans were up and down constantly chattering. Some of the Americans did their aerobic exercises circling the plane even in the middle of the night. The Americans collected in the back and chatted loudly, laughing and carrying on by the restrooms were many people were trying to sleep. You'd think a group of teachers would be a very polite group....not so.
That's when I noticed it not a single Japanese person was up. All were quiet and in their seat even the two year olds were in their seat and quiet. Every time I got seperated from my group I discovered that all I had to do was listen and I would hear them and follow the direction of the noise and that was in Tokyo. We are a loud culture. We put our personal comfort first. We're offensive and don't even know it because it is a cultural norm here. I can tell you that it wa tough for us to be as polite as the Japanese and we were teachers. By the way they seated us in the back of the plane on the way home closer to the restrooms. It is our culture to express ourselves freely without a second thought about who we may offend.....the rest of the world is in awe of that. They don't understand our culture. All of us are guilty on this board because it is our culture. A culture unique to the USA because of our freedoms that we enjoy and sometimes forget to honor. I'm not as liberal as some on this board and I am certainly not as conservative. I will always honor the right to freedom of speech. This is a big country and I love our culture and all those who bring their ideas.

marie

Re: pala gave me a gift.

pala on 3/24/03 at 09:47 (114162)

darned right i'm cocky marie. and keeping this board safe from right wing fascits.and anti semites

Re: pala gave me a gift.

pala on 3/24/03 at 09:48 (114163)

by the way, that was a great stroy. very telling about cutural differences

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 09:55 (114169)

Mason:
Be patient. Did you forget about their use on the Iranians by the Iraqis.

By the way, why do you think the Israelis donned gas masks and built safe rooms in their houses. Do you think that they are paranoid?
Ed

Re: pala gave me a gift.

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/24/03 at 09:56 (114170)

You want the board made safe from people like you?
Ed

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

BGCPed on 3/24/03 at 10:28 (114183)

Yet another post void of logic, fact and reality..............but big on feelings

Re: am i a moral relativist, steve?

pala on 3/24/03 at 10:30 (114184)

are you against mein kampf?

Re: Hey pala!

BGCPed on 3/24/03 at 10:34 (114186)

Yes I almost laughed till I cried. He got it handed back to him.

Re: pala gave me a gift.

Sharon W on 3/24/03 at 10:39 (114189)

Marie,

You made a good point. Cultural differences do mean that what is offensive to one person may seem perfectly normal and acceptable to another. For example, Pala's and Ed's debating styles have both been topics of discussion in this thread (and in others). They seem to be almost diametrically opposed -- yet, as you point out, the mere fact that they ARE debating like this in a public forum would probably offend most Japanese people.

The truth -- everyone is, to a considerable extent, a product of the environment he/she grew up in: that is, one's own culture AND subculture AND ethnicity AND religion AND family. For most of us, these factors determine much of our sense of what is right or wrong, what is appropriate or inappropriate, and what we find offensive or acceptable.

I am an American rural Arizona white mixture from a conservative, mostly Democratic Mormon family. As an adult I don't hold exactly the same political or religious beliefs, but I still agree with many of the basic principles that I learned as a child. To me, calling people names (personally) is disrespectful and wrong, regardless of WHO is doing it -- but criticizing a political group in general terms is OK during a political discussion, so long as the participants in the argument treat each other with MUTUAL respect and consideration. Making an objection or comment on a specific point made during a political statement is also OK in my opinion, as long at it is a legitimate point and not just repetitive and/or inflammatory rhetoric intended to disrupt and disrespect the other person's statement. I feel very strongly that it is important to treat each other with respect and consideration during a political argument, EVEN IF THE OTHER PERSON HAS NOT DONE THE SAME. Treating others with respect means it's important to avoid antagonistic tactics such as ridiculing political leaders that other participants admire or labelling their political views in derisive terms or directing sarcastic sneers at them or implying things about another poster's personal life or their personal preferrences.

To me a 'cocky attitude' that involves taunting others and calling them names is offensive, regardless of where the poster is from. By the same token, a condescending attitude which clearly implies that the other poster is ignorant or stupid or immature or crazy is offensive. To me it is extremely inappropriate and rude to use derisive or sarcastic labels or to post sneering words to others or to imply that someone's political views are indicative of certain preferences in reading material or of a certain marital status or anything else. And I believe that is true REGARDLESS of who 'started' it or whether I agree or disagree with their political viewpoint.

Does that mean I think it is 'wrong' to do such things? In a word, yes. But I realize that mine is not the only viewpoint, and it is obvious that there are many moral codes and points of view represented on this message board. Some here seem to find it perfectly normal and acceptable to call people names (personally) or to imply things about them and their personal lives, or to drop all pretense of civil discussion when they feel that someone else attacked them first.

So be it. We do have the right to freedom of speech in this country, and I wouldn't change that for anything in the world.

Sharon
.

Re: pala gave me a gift.

marie on 3/24/03 at 10:48 (114191)

Sharon,

I love your posts. You always seem to come up with so many good points. I feel that respect is something you GIVE not demand. If everyone gave respect to others we wouldn't have the types of discussions we've had here at this board. Thanks again.

marie