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View Diary: Innocent Chechen Refugees, Used as Pawns, Then and Now (a history lesson) (52 comments)

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  •  I didn't take his criticism seriously. I don't (7+ / 0-)

    put myself in a defensive position so easily.  He didn't realize that he voluntarily stepped forward and revealed himself as that sort of person.  When I hear people ranting about violent Islam, hateful Muslims, they're really talking about themselves.  The descriptions they use apply to them as much as anyone.  Sometimes I ask them to tell me how they're any different than the people they're describing.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:50:44 PM PDT

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    •  Given the extreme provocation (8+ / 0-)

      of British and American political manipulations in the Middle East since WWI, it's remarkable how little terrorism we've actually encountered from Muslim (or Christian) Middle Easterners. Can you imagine what havoc we would have unleashed over there if say, Iran had ever succeeded in somehow putting a President in office here who was compliant with their interests? Or, let's say, what would happen if a single attack from an Iraqi jet fighter had ever been made on American soil? We've bombed the crap out of Muslims for more than 20 years now, since 10 years before 9/11 no less. Why do they hate us, we're asked? What's amazing is how little the vast majority of Muslims actually do.    

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:22:27 PM PDT

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    •  I found your (0+ / 0-)

      characterization of Americans to be a bit hyperbolic myself. Does that make me "one of those people" too?

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:26:37 AM PDT

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      •  Only you know. / (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:07:14 AM PDT

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        •  You tell me... (0+ / 0-)

          Does not thinking Americans are all hateful bigots make me a bigot? If I don't agree that Americans are "not normal humans" am I wrong? You made these broad brush statements. Do you stand by them?

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:13:58 AM PDT

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          •  I'm an American too. (0+ / 0-)

            I hate to think that my writing needs an instruction manual.  It says no blame and no excuses right near the top.  It's an invitation for each reader to reflect on himself.  

            If a Muslim commits an act of violence, I hear peope say Muslims are violent.  If an American commits an act of violence, does it mean Americans are violent.  No.  Of course not.  If an American makes a bigoted statement, does it mean all Americans are bigoted?  Again, no.

            The piece is about the way we apply labels to others as we try to understand them but we don't look at ourselves the same way.  We're very nuanced and forgiving of ourselves.  We have reasons and justifications.  We're righteous and entitled.  I think all people see themselves that way, more or less.  But let's not think about others for a moment.  What if we considered other people as generously and forgiving as we are to ourselves?  In a sense, the opposite of bigotry.  The realization that other people aren't different, they're the same.  

            What I'm saying has been around for a couple of thousand years.  It's not a new idea.  A lot of Americans even claim a nominal allegiance to this kind of thought.  

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 12:26:45 PM PDT

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            •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

              if you're trying to encourage people to reflect on themselves by saying this

              the generous hosts turned out to be hateful bigots little better than the ones left behind
              and this
              If Americans could feel the suffering of other people, and if they reacted the way that normal humans do when another suffers
              you're doing it wrong. It makes you sound like a stereotype, with the "America is eeevil" tone that the right loves to attribute to us. I do understand what you're saying, but your rather smug dismissal of heybuddy's criticism struck me the wrong way. He has a valid point.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 06:22:06 AM PDT

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              •  I am holding out my hand to you like a sibling and (0+ / 0-)

                I am no better or worse than anyone.  I don't hear anyone saying what I've said and I think that gives it value.  I'm taking the risk of preaching in a way and that's what it sounds like sometimes, no matter who does it.  Either it rings true, or false.  If people didn't listen to someone say "Judge not" 2000 years ago, they surely won't listen to the likes of me.  But I'm just that foolish to say it anyway.  
                You can think of me as a friend.  It's up to you.  

                There is no existence without doubt.

                by Mark Lippman on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 01:48:56 PM PDT

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    •  yeah, the thing's been trying to make trouble (0+ / 0-)

      for about three or four weeks now. he took similar umbrage to a comment of mine that took a similar tack to your final paragraph.

      at one point he remarked to me:

      "Hating America is so 2007"

      which pretty much identifies him as clearly as if he had used "Democrat" as an adjective.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:26:34 PM PDT

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      •  No matter what I write, there will always be (0+ / 0-)

        incoming verbal assaults.  Not because the content is offensive. It's because people are looking for conflict.  Is that normal human behavior?  Do we have conventions that we observe when we make an initial contact with another human?  The venue doesn't excuse hostility as an introduction.  But we don't see ourselves and the behavior becomes normalized.  We condition ourselves to accept it.  

        Defining other people is habitual.  Demonizing them.  Wrapping them in whatever identity we can imagine.  What about ourselves?  We don't see ourselves and maybe we don't want to.  Not too clearly at least.  Nothing comparable to the way others are judged.

        And so that one suggestion that could make readers compare themselves for a moment is uncomfortable.  This diary isn't primarily about what the Russians did, or the Chechens did, or what the bombers did.  It's about the role of the US.  What we did through our representative leaders.  Here too, our actions are invisible.  

        I hear people saying the FBI screwed up because it didn't heed a heads up warning that came in from Russia.  Because Russia is looking out for us?  What we should have done would have made the Chechens' refugee status a sham.  Not just the Tsarnaevs.  There are others in the US too.  If I was one of them, I'd want an answer about that.  That's just how unconscious some Americans can be about themselves.  

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:10:34 PM PDT

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        •  People just have a hard time being (0+ / 0-)

          remotely rational, or even thoughtful, about their own tribes; and of course, we all belong to different scales of tribe, and the smaller the scale gets, the less rational we become. Thus, the Tsarnaevs' mother quite clearly really believes that her sons were simply incapable of such an act, and that the whole thing is just some sort of weird hoax, put on by who knows whom?

          Meanwhile, the same wingnut wackos who believe that the US government is a constant force of limitless evil here at home, simultaneously get all hot and bothered if anyone suggests that the same Eebil Federal Gubmint is doing, you know, anything wrong, ever, anywhere else to anyone else. It's about as bizarre as human behavior gets.

          Hilariously, I for the first time today learned that OMG ERIC HOLDER SAYS HOMESCHOOLING IS NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT!!!! What actually happened, of course, is that the federal government's lawyers argued in court that people shouldn't be granted political asylum for violating their home country's schooling laws, because, you know, the right to homeschool doesn't really come up to the same level as the right to freedom of conscience. Nonetheless, the wingnuttery are sure that as soon as he confiscates their guns, he's going to come drag their kids off to those gubmint indoctrination camps.

          I wonder what they'd say if a million chinese citizens showed up demanding asylum because the chinese government won't let them own AR-15s.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:42:18 PM PDT

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          •  Political asylum has only been given to a short (0+ / 0-)

            list of people over the last five decades.  People who would be persecuted in their home country because they represent a political challenge to the regime in charge might be given political asylum.  A home schooling snag doesn't rise to that level.  Requiring juveniles to attend accredited schools doesn't threaten their safety for refugee status either.  

            Eric Holder is very popular with the right wing.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:56:55 AM PDT

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