Before the November elections I was fed up with all the rhetoric flying around whether that was on the legacy media or the blogs. Certainly I was fed up with what the elected folks in DC were saying. I’d had it. Stopped posting here and had almost slipped into a worst case mentality…buy up the all the ammo you can and just wait. I chuckled at myself but all the rhetoric was just numbing me to everything.
Then the elections came and I realized that alot of people had become numb to th e constant stream of vitriol from both sides. Those quiet folks out there either sat out the election or voted for change of any flavor. Kick the bums out and let a new crop of bums give it a turn. Well…I’m no fan of the new bums either. Whittle’s note prodded me back to the keyboard and into the public forum of the debate. I did set out some ground rules for myself as a small concession to the winners of the elections. They are:
1) All the labels I have slapped on Americans over the past few years are hereby revoked. Senator Durbin is once again Senator Durbin in my book. The NY Times is once again the NY Times. Etc. Etc. Etc.(this does NOT apply to non-Americans…the French are still weasels and the barbarians are still barbarians)
2) Clean slate is the order of the day…Grace is a wonderful thing…whatever is in the past is in the past…whatever wrongs I feel may have been done (whether I was right or wrong) are forgotten. Gonna give everyone a clean shot again
3) …this is the hard one and it’s a hat tip to some friends…with my various news readings I will endeavor to read the moderate and left leaning blogs as well. I gave up on them about 2 years ago along with the NY Times.
I was immediately met with the following from a friend:
If I had decided not to be naturalized as a US citizen, would I be a barbarian because of the fact that my family comes from a heavily-Muslim part of the Philippines and I’m brown? If you feel comfortable saying these things outside of keyboard blustering–straight up, to my face, to my family’s face, to my husband’s face–then at least you’ve got real brass ones. If not, then leave such derogatory remarks out of it. It neither elevates my opinion of you or of our intelligence. (Just my $0.02.)
So…I had define my usage of the term barbarian. I knew my friend here was stretching my meaning significantly. My shot at the French was just that…a shot. I’m an American. We’re PAID to take shots at the French! My friend’s thoughts on my use of the term barbarian is another thing altogether. My definition is as follows:
Claiming as an article of faith the destruction of another country. Claiming killing of innocents as a proper method of achieving the destruction of another country. Claiming as your ultimate goal the take over of a continent(dare I say the world) and forcing the population to your ideas or be killed. I don’t think the Philippine people in general fall into any of those ideas.
I don’t think the average Iraqi or the average Muslim agrees with any of the above yet I am continually charged with whitewashing an entire race of people. Is there ANYTHING in the above that points to a particular race claiming they agree with the statements? No. In fact I go out of my way to exclude the Philippine People from the statements. I have nothing against Muslims in general…only those who would as soon cut my head off than look at me. That situation is sure to place me against ANYONE regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or hair style.
Moving on alittle bit, in response to my post yesterday I get this from another member of our “Soggy Bottom Brain Trust”:
Whoa! Just finished reading this after my last reply. So I see you’ve come around to the “kill ’em all, it’s the only way to be sure” train of thought.
Um…no…that’s not at all what I said. My friend here went on to say that the US was perpetrating the killing of innocents which makes us just as bad as the barbarians(in his defense, we agree this is a semantic struggle…he fully understands that we are fighting barbarians…no idea what he thinks barbarians are but we’ll get to that…). I drag out my old friend Webster’s Dictionary:
Main Entry: per·pe·trate
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -trat·ed; -trat·ing
Etymology: Latin perpetratus, past participle of perpetrare, from per- through + patrare to accomplish, from pater father — more at FATHER
1 : to bring about or carry out (as a crime or deception) : COMMIT
2 : to produce, perform, or execute (something likened to a crime) perpetrate a pun>
So no…we, the US, are NOT perpetrating the killing of innocents. These deaths are incidental to our killing of the barbarians. We will mourn the loss of the innocents and give them better treatment than many people in America would get at our best hospitals. Webster’s says about “incidental”:
1 : in an incidental manner : not intentionally
of some of his statements is incidentally hilarious — John Lahr>
2 : by way of interjection or digression : by the way
having a good teacher…–still living, incidentally — John Fischer>
Meanwhile…the barbarians blow an Iraqi Police post…they kill what they consider to be the badguys and blowup another group of children. They, the barbarians, celebrate the deaths of the kids claiming it furthers their cause.
That is a very distinct difference in what we do versus them. But, since we are already looking in Websters, let’s right to the nut of the matter. Websters says this about barbarian:
Etymology: Latin barbarus — more at BARBAROUS
1 : of or relating to a land, culture, or people alien and usually believed to be inferior to another land, culture, or people
2 : lacking refinement, learning, or artistic or literary culture
so…first we have the etymology pointing to Barbarous…more on that in a second…second we have “people alien and usually believed to be inferior to another land, culture, or people”. Yep, I believe these
PEOPLE to be ALIEN to the regularly Iraqi and INFERIOR to the regular Iraqis…now let’s look at Barbarous
Etymology: Latin barbarus, from Greek barbaros foreign, ignorant
1 a : UNCIVILIZED b : lacking culture or refinement : PHILISTINE
2 : characterized by the occurrence of barbarisms < barbarous language>
3 : mercilessly harsh or cruel < barbarous crimes>
synonym see FIERCE
Here we have UNCIVILIZED. Is it not out of line to say that Civilized behavior does not include driving truck bombs into markets? The second definition fits(Nick Berg comes to mind…Daniel Pearle as well ***GRAPHIC VIDEOS***). The third definition certainly fits and there is no doubt about the synonym.
My friends seem to be stuck on a perception that I am labelling based on a faith or race and I simply am not. I’m labelling based on behavior…you know…the whole “content of their character” bit.
yep…I think the BEHAVIOR of the individuals committing the acts making the news in Iraq meets with this definition. Therefore they are Barbarians. Individuals folks…not all Sunnis in Iraq. Not all Shiites in Iraq. Not all $Diety_Followers_by_name in Iraq. Not all $Race_of_choice in Iraq.
Will they argue that these individuals are “civilized”? Are not “mercilessly harsh or cruel”?
Go here for examples barbarians and examples of Muslims…see if you can spot them.