Joe's Online Philosophy
A Short Essay on the U.S. Role in the World and the War in Iraq
A Short Essay on the U.S. Role in the World and the War in Iraq
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Globalization and the Population Bomb
The Essence of Society -- A Division of Labor
The Social Contract and You
Morality, Ethics and the Social Contract
Truth, Fairness and Justice
"Extreme" Anything is Usually Bad for One's Health
Organized Religion -- Is It Really Necessary?
Pure Democracy -- Not "Representative" Government Nor Anarchy
Globalization -- The Last Stage of Cultural Evolution
The Physical Science Behind Economic Systems
Ethical Science and Technology

In brief...

First let me send you a little story I just received that pretty much says it all:

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her
kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?

He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and
him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. Finally, when the
second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried
when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She
looked and sure enough, they were.

It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on.
She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots
off, then back on the right feet.

He then announced, "These aren't my boots."

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why
didn't you say so?" like she wanted to. Once again she struggled to
help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.

No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, "They're my
brother's boots. My Mom made me wear 'em."

Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up
the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.
Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"

He said, "I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots."

Her trial starts next month.

Once you have finished laughing about the sad state of affairs in the "Iraqi classroom" we have tried to be the teacher of, the Iraqi "nation" is much too fractious and divided to really become a peaceful place for a long time.... look at what happened in Lebanon, Bosnia and now Afghanistan.  My best guess on this entire "Arab versus 'us' " situation is that we will have to keep exerting some threat to Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the "Arab countries" (including non-Arab terrorist supporting regimes like North Korea and Somalia) for a long time while also offering some rewards for them.  This is simply a counterbalancing force we are going to exert since they have threatened us for a long time both with economic and more violent actions on their part.  A classical "carrot and stick" approach. 
As their populations begin to experience and learn from the outside world more and the information available flows in from there, and as their populations and societies become more educated and less repressed by their respective governments, there will grow a greater understanding (note I do not use the word "appreciation") of what they are becoming.  It will take at least 2 generations (40-50 years) before they will truly embrace a democratic society and throw off the yolks of theocracy, monarchy and dictatorships.  Of course that means we will have to remain a strong and controlling interest in the worst of those countries until their populations catch up with the program.  We would never remain there as "conquerors", but only as "stabilizers", "guides" and "teachers". 
I have talked with a number of people from around the world, including the directly affected countries.  The only way we will ultimately succeed is to keep the clan chiefs, would-be dictators, imams, ayatollahs and other religious leaders from usurping the leadership in these restive, uncivilized or destabilized areas.  A definite part of this picture HAS to be finding or forcing a lasting peace between Israel and the rest of those countries.  WMDs are going to be part of it too.  They do need elimination BUT not before Israel can guarantee its own security and the new democratic governments have some authority that is conferred from the peoples of those countries. 
The Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, PLF, Al-Queda and all the rest will HAVE to be permanently disposed of... and most probably in a very UNpretty fashion too.  Those die-hards will need to be "terminated with extreme prejudice". In the situation that we have already been committed to and that GWB has undertaken, it's like the little boy who grabbed a tiger by the tail.  Now, he can't let go.  If he does he will be eaten.  I was never a supporter of GWB and won't be in the future.  But this one action of his I do agree with, even though I believe he has done it for the wrong reasons and will ultimately take advantage of it. 
I view our world situation as being virtually in the same state as it was in the middle of the 1930s.  We and the European countries made fatal mistakes of appeasement and isolationism then when faced with the specter of Adolph Hitler and company.  That lack of decisiveness and our collective temerity directly lead to WW2 and the Holocaust.  Now, we are in the same threat level.  At least when a majority of the countries who make up the so-called "United Nations" lack the spine to call a spade a spade, we have the capability and determination to deal with it while it is still "in its infancy" and able to be nipped in the bud. 
I would bet dollars to donuts that GWB II had a sitdown with his dad, GHWB sometime before this all was decided and the senior Bush told his son "Look I made several mistakes that I don't want you to repeat.  First, I should never have waited around that long before pushing for military action in the U.N.  If the other countries were not ready to make hard decisions, then I should have gone it alone or with just a few close allies.  Also, I should never have left Saddam in power.  We should have cleaned out the chicken coop of those wolves and rebuilt it starting in 1990 or '91.  If the other countries were unwilling to make those committments, the U.N. should have become an irrelevant institution then and we should have removed ourselves from it and set up a replacement organization to deal with those questions."  That is what I think is the gist of this "father-to-son" talk would have been.  He also may have apologized to his son for passing the problem inadvertently down to him for a solution.
As a means of giving you my overall perspective, I am for a pure form of democracy, a strict Consitutionalist, and NOT a militant person.  But I am a Maccabbean in my responses to external threats and defense reflexes.  Also I have been of the opinion for almost 50 years that with the planet being a single global environment, there was NO way that individual countries, economies, legal systems, ethnicity, racialism, and cultures could maintain individuality.  In the early years, we did not have the word "globalism" coined.  But that is what I concluded would have to happen over the long haul.  And that would imply a "world government" at some point in the evolution of civilization.  Now what forces would be present and how would this government come into existence, that I did not know.  But from the 18th naturalist and philosopher, Thomas Malthus, the certainty of this evolution was all but guaranteed.  He predicted that after civilization grew to a maximum size that the space and raw resources could support, there would be an ever-increasing deathrate due to many causes, such as war, famine, plague, and our own poisonous byproducts.  It has all been playing out before us at least through the last 150 years.  The ONLY solution to survive this inevitable biological law that applies to ALL species, is to be able to plan and control our civilization so that we prevent our world population from outstripping the earth's natural resources that it subsists on.  And a single goverment is the only instrument that I can see that can erase national boundaries and give everyone a new point of view.  The world's peoples need to think in terms of "us", not "us versus them".  Group distinctions have got to go. 
Religion too has to be taken out of any governance equation.  It has too long a history as the cause of wars and more deaths than any other reasons.  I would also like to see religion fall by the wayside because it is my opinion that religion is the antithesis of education, logical thinking, common sense reasoning, and real knowledge.  And it can and is too subject to becoming the tool of those seeking power over others through superstitious behavior, guilt-casting, promises of afterlives, and fear-mongering. 
If people did accept that there were better ways to explore their world and the universe than to look into the printed pages of religious texts written centuries ago by people living in the dark ages, then religion would lose its power and people would truly become educated and relatively immune from tyranny.  They could be more readily taught a strong work ethic and a set of universally accepted moral and ethical values. They would also become more global in their attitudes and that is the key, IMHO (in my humble opinion).  Just as there is a teaching of neo-Naziism from one generation to another, and a cycle of violence that has lost its beginning and has no natural end, there is also an endless cycle of ignorance that is passed on from one generation to another through the institution of religion.  If that cycle is finally broken, the world will have a real chance to become a peaceful and global community.  Without those steps, we will be condemned to endlessly relive the mistakes of our past.
-- Joseph H. Guth, Norfolk, VA, April 19, 2003 --

P.S.  This set of opinions was based on the lies, exaggerations, misinformation and deceptions of the Bush administration regarding the alliances, state of military capabilities and false connections of the Iraqi government and the 9-11 attacks on the United States.  Yes, even I  was taken in by the corruption and falsehoods since none of the general public was privy to more accurate  intelligence.  My opinions have evolved since this writing.   J.H.G. (7/31/07)

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