Why Do Ethnic Groups Fight?


It's the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War. Looking at Iraq and your own region, why do ethnic and religious groups fight each other? And what is the solution?

Posted by Amar C. Bakshi on March 20, 2007 10:58 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (83)

Jacob JOZEVZ On: Islamic religious MAFIOSAs Int'l, exposed, 2007 :

Hello World:

My Dad was a ZIONIST (Secular Minded or Realist).

My Dad helped create "The STATE of ISRAEL" & other things.

My Dad Was in the "HAGANNA" (Partisans or Underground) who defended against the ARIB AXIS of 1948 in her infancy.

Praise ECLAT and the Warriors (Macabees) of what is now IDF.

But Today Israel is a "Miracle ITSELF." Very Modern, Highly SECULAR, Has 20 plus ATOMIC BOMBS and are there to stay until ECLAT's "SPACE-SHIP-EARTH" and or Grandma-Sun is no more. Ya Ya.

Note: 2nd or Next to the so-called un "Glorios Koran" the "ARAB" NATIONs (Not Persians, Turks et al) also prefer reading "PROTOCOL on the ELDERS of ZION" [Similar Title]. Most SYRIANs for example swear by that false and OLD song of a book.

Reality check: Like the THIRD REICH or 4th reich finally got their coveted United Europe;

The ZIONISTS (Movement & participants, like my Dad & but not like ME) got their United Israel so to speak.

Muslims really believe that Zionists caused the 911 INCIDENT & OTHER GREAT CONSPIRACYS and like taking over the Universe too.

As a son of a blue blooded ZIONISTS (they are Hebrews [Not Biblical scripture Believers] and hence and not "Jews" in that sense.

In other wods, To be "A Jew" or "A christian or "A Islam" or "A Buddah" or "A Hinduist", is to believe in ALL those Sciptures or Suras via those religious business men concoted as HUMATES & not G-d(s. A Neo-Zionist like me, will NEVER kill nor DIE for such Ancient Pre-Apocalyptic belief SYSTEM(s).

For a Neo-Zionist: HEURISTICS is what we are all about! Not your forced (Direct or indirect) brain massaging of a Belief, Faith or Religion as if True & Holy? Please: Discard your religious Symbols, includes advertising your faith by how you dress.

The Old [Preapocalyptic] faiths (Jew, Christ Muslim etc..) are for small CHILDREN & shame on you adults beliving in such hypocracy in this MODERN WORLD & the Spaceforth age & futureBound thinkers like, Yes Neo-Zionists and not your G-dly POISON! TRhis is the Crux of a Zionist Thinker. Ya Ya!

Thus: the ZIONIST got what they hoped, dreamed, died, killed, and more.... And got a NATION in Soverignty etccccc. So no one is going to take over the world except the MUSLIMS.

There style is to say "Jews and or Americans" [Conspiracys] did this or that ..... And then to Blaim Game their ignorance out of their jealousy's and inferior complex's.


REMEMBER: Just because ISLAM, now has the ATOMIC BOMBS (Pakistan (Sunni's) , NOT IRAN (Shia's) does not make them MODERN & Intelligent as a whole nor majority.

The Question: And Let, not just the Bibles be witness, but let HISTORY BE OUR JURY, in ythe FACT that; One Pound of ISRAELi BRAIN is worth or equal to 100 pounds of Palestinian [Arab]Brains! Ya Ya :-).

All this, fact, not hot air, is ALL SELF EVIDENT A TRUTH TODAY on Space-Ship Earth via reality .

Note: Israel also sent it's own satellites into Low orbit.

And Israeli's do not throw rocks. They actually move them and create Paradises out of them & of deserts! What do the Bedouins want?

Your technology to use against you (us,) your money, your Wife, even kids. And if you give an inch they will want a mile.

This is the Arabian Psych. It's in their hot blood. example & self evident proof: As you know today, the "two-types" of SHIA & SUNNI Muslums kill each other. And the two types of Jews LOVE & Hugg one Another. (KOHAN (Moses's Inheritence )& JUDAH (King David). ya Ya!

Note: They are mostly & Genetically inferior and are thus "Copy-Cats" of your beliefs Systems & more!

hence you can take a bedouin out of the Desert but you cannot take the Desert mentality out of Him or Her. Ya Ya!

I'm getting sick see you all later. SHOLOM!

SECULAR MIND: By Jacob Jozefs et al :

Jacob Jozefs: ISRAELI APOLOGY TO ALL PALESTINIAN PEOPLE :
Wa Salam & Sholom.

Greeting Brothers and Sisters.


The S.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. to most of the Mid East (Internal/External Conflicts) POLLUTION is E.V.O.l.u.t.i.o.n. and NOT REVO.lution! See what I see Brothers & Sisters here on Space-Ship Momma Tellus?

I am a "SABRA" and my Father (expired) was in the HAGANA (The Resistence) up to 1955 (When our Prophet Albert Einstein died.

You see my dear Humates, my Father was very upset with Menachin Bahgen from the URGOON faction. So your infighting is the same CHARRA (s..t).

But the beautiful thing is that there is, In Shalah, HOPE. Please do not squander, by infighting and disrespect for each other which is equal to HUMANITY.

PALISTINE NEEDS A BRIDGE & TUNNEL AUTHORITY instead. They need to connect both end through this mechanism so GAZA & West BANK will be linked as one. So here is my gift to you.

behold: This is the main focus and priority. The will be Jobs, Commerce, Happy people, Economic growth. And best of all your own chance to prove yourselves not to the world, but to and among yourselves as a [secular} UNITED PALESTINE.

So Please Brothers and Sisters give peace a chance and your selves as a National & Soveriegnty!

I;m attaching something for your critique if any. Please let keep intouch. SHOOKRON. PEACE HUGGS KISSES HANDSHAKE L/o/v/e/ for neighbors & U.N. et al. GOOD LUCK!

jACOB jOZEVZ lIFE iS bEAUTIFUL iNDEED. hELLO wORLD lOVE hUGGS kISSS sholom! :

SECRET: The "DUE-TO-BE" is where ECLAT contemplates WHAT TO DO NEXT. All this mysterious work takes place in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Dimension. This place is EXCLUSIVE TO G-D ITSELF. Now, this 5th Dimension is the very place or spot where our known "Visible Light Spectrum" emanates from and this is also the very INTERFACE ,where Lord G-d ITSELF, bridges our REALITY of IT through us. Important: IT is the here, the now & the thereafter where LIFE/Birth is ITSELF released . And where Death Returns!

Hence, We & the Microbial do coexist and of course we are BORN, LIVE & DIE as Carbon Life-Forms, only in the 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th dimensions NOW! This is your NEW PHILOSOPHY. Praise THE LORD! Eeeee Haaaa. Holy No Man. :-).

Roberto :

I think, all problems in the east middle are the religius, because the knoledge in the people history is based in saint land, 2000 years ago Joshua told us, in this place born a new civilitation, the catholic church, has been power in the world by the vatican bank.

Salamon :

Came accross an interesting article most important to this issue:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article2387832.ece

This article points to another reason why war is fought [sometimes by others than the group, who gives the reason] a vulnerable class of society is scared SH*TLESS, due to the faith/poltics encouraged scaremongering. Is it not ENLIGHTENING that the students in a repressive society ask DANGEROUS QUESTIONS, while in the LAND OF THE FREE [USA] the students are scared, and do not ask dangerous questions.

Perhaps this article points to the reason why even after 4 years of expensive, bloody, endless war there are still approximately 30% of the USA wants to continue the war,

A sad note on USA society's so called future leaders. Mr. Ignatius should investigate this sociological pathalogy.

Dave! :

AMviennaVA
"Many interesting comments. But I think the answer is relatively simple: People fight for Land and its resources: those who want it fight to get it; those who lose it, fight to gain it."
If it were only that simple. 9-11 had little to do with land. In most wars, acquiring land is just a byproduct of the reasons for fighting. It's peoples beliefs in certain things (like certain religions or political ideas) and non-beliefs in other things (like a pluralistic society or democracy). The battles resulting from the Cold War were more about the ideas than actually wanting the land. Same with WWII, US revolution, civil war. It's the ideas that are the problem. The US, for instance, believes in individuals personal freedoms. Those countries that are communist don't. Those ideas are incompatible, with each side believing they are right.

Jacob Josevz. Good Culture yet Bad religion :

Greetings & Hello World:

Dear Brother & Sisters on Space Ship Tellus & elsewhere; ATTENTION ALL HANDS:

There is nothing like a good Philosophy right? So:

LET HISTORY BE OUR JURY!

Before you start please say, “Thank You my Holy heart Beat. Praise SOURCE ONE. Peace n Love to ALL MANKIND”. Note: To “Pray” means to SPEAK to G-d and to “Meditate” is to LISTEN to the Lord. So Happy every Day folks. :-)'

P.R.E.A.M.B.L.E:
Today, the struggles and infighting over a name for IT (G-d) will slowly but surely go POOF-TIME, and then and only then will there be Genuine F.R.E.E.D.O.M of THOUGHT on SPACE-SHIP MOTHER EARTH and beyond for HAPPYNESS, WORLD PEACE, HEALING OF THE NATIONS, VERY LONG LIVES, ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT in GRIDARIAN DEMOCRACY via the Global VOTARY ASSOCIATION(S) and enjoyment via our FUTURE BOUND MINDS and for our SPACE FORTH ACTIVITIES & beyond.

The JOKTAN ( a/k/a us, United) Hebrews [SECULAR THINKERS W/ FUTURE MINDS]
Vs..
PELIG (a/k/a they, Divided) Hebrews [ANCIENT THINKERS W/BACKWARD MINDS]


(((((((((((((((THERE IS A MIRACLE IN OUR GENESIS)))))))))))))))

(1) In the Beginning of the DUE TO BE: (Utero)

ECLAT said, In my TRANSFINITY (reality) Let there be TEMPERATURE (Time) and, let therein and thereof, Space Forth ALL my PHOTONS (Light), and G-d saw that this was RIGHTEOUS.

(2) Then ECLAT said, let there be my HOLY HEART BEAT, so that I may spread thyself in ALL the lights and in ALL places via my vibrations as testament of my eternal LOVE .

(3) And ECLAT said, Unto my ether, I Command there be scattered from my abode ALL my 127 ATOMICS, and ECLAT saw that this was pure as the matter of TRUTH.

(4) Then ECLAT said, Let there be my ETERNITY AVOIDING LONLINESS so that I may Create, Destroy, and Recreate again and again ALL the Inanimate things, and the Almighty saw that this was indeed GOOD. THEN:

(5) ECLAT said, Let there be a UNIVERSE and my CONSTITUTION therein and thereof , as thou LAWS OF THY NATURE, and transcribe forever my Clauses so that thee creature may always know that nothing shall be external their Dominion nor can anyone escape my BRILLIANCE BURSTING FORTH. (Space Expansion from Absolute HEAT towards Absolute COLD) THEN:

(6)ECLAT said, Let there be TRANSFINITY (Reality) so that ALL may form via my 9 Dimensions, as thyself, and ECLAT was HAPPY. THEN:

(7)ECLAT said, Let there be my MAGMATRICULATION so that out of this WARMTH there may arise LIFE forms via thy CHEMISTRY so that I will adjoin, move about and EVOLVE into a variety lot as my ANIMATE creatures, and they shall have my Inanimate things as objects within their temporary WORLD for them to enjoy, at my WILL so they may know me as thy SELF.

ALL this CHEMISTRY (draw/erase/redraw) took 4.98 Billion LIGHT YEARS of HUMATE time to create..

SECRET: The "DUE-TO-BE" is where ECLAT contemplates WHAT TO DO NEXT. All this mysterious work takes place in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Dimension. This place is EXCLUSIVE TO G-D ITSELF. Now, this 5th Dimension is the very place or spot where our known "Visible Light Spectrum" emanates from and this is also the very INTERFACE ,where Lord G-d ITSELF, bridges our REALITY of IT through us. Important: IT is the here, the now & the thereafter where LIFE/Birth is ITSELF released . And where Death Returns!

Hence, We & the Microbial do coexist and of course we are BORN, LIVE & DIE as Carbon Life-Forms, only in the 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th dimensions NOW! This is your NEW PHILOSOPHY. Praise THE LORD! Eeeee Haaaa. Holy No Man. :-).

“life is a Miracle & there is Zero Sin about being born in IT. Did You know, There is Life in Light?

(((((((((((((((((((WE NEVER DIE)))))))))))))) Just be Good In This LIFE FORM. PEACE/LOVE.

AND THIS IS THE BEGGINING OF THE END FOLKS! :-)' CooooooooL

Lets WALLASHALLOHM!

KarenM :

Virtually all wars are about some combination of a fight over resources, the vanity of self-aggrandizing leaders, and promotion of the interests of powerful elites. Religion and ethnicity serve the same function for warmongers that alcohol serves for a wife-beater. They cloud the judgement, encourage sloppy, uncritical thinking, and enable behavior that would be unthinkable if the individual were evaluating the situation rationally. I don't know what the solution is, but getting religion completely out of government would be a good start.

DKC :

Salamon, re: war crimes

Well, the Pentagon taking advise from an architect of ethnic cleansing should be disturbing...

http://neretvariver.blogspot.com/2007/03/veljko-kadijevi-former-yugoslav-general.html

And:

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/03/22/europe/EU-GEN-Croatia-War-Crimes.php

If it's true, we'll probably see a divided Iraq.

AMviennaVA :

Many interesting comments. But I think the answer is relatively simple: People fight for Land and its resources: those who want it fight to get it; those who lose it, fight to gain it.

Johnie2x :

It would be easier to express,what are not the solutions. (i.e.)Militarism,Arrogance,and disdain, for the opinions, of the world at large,than to honestly express that, which may really ameliorate, the quagmire, into which this illegitimate administration, has plunged the world . Obviously the honest debate of concerns, of all parties, involved, is manditory. To think this mislead administration has the hubris to foist such an arrogant policy onto the world stage,is almost to much to comprehend. It's morally irresponsible, and a humanitarian failing, of immeasurable proportions. GOD HELP US;the sooner, the better.

LoudVoice :

I am sure my comment will be deleted but here goes: The US will not be able to talk to palestinians becasue any congressman/senator that supports talking to them will not be elected next time over, MONEY from new york 'people' will go to their plitical opponents and the meda attack machine will go on full swing. Ask former congressman Paul Findley 'They dare to speak out'.
The palestinians want their freedom and they want US help to get there, what they dont understand is
the US has to gain its freedom first.

Truth or Dare :

I am sure my comment will be deleted but here goes: The US will not be able to talk to palestinians becasue any congressman/senator that supports talking to them will not be elected next time over, MONEY from new york 'people' will go to their plitical opponents and the meda attack machine will go on full swing. Ask former congressman Paul Findley 'They dare to speak out'.
The palestinians want their freedom and they want US help to get there, what they dont understand is
the US has to gain its freedom first.

Anonymous :

I have read and searched thou a lot of the comments before posting this. The feelings expressed are truly genuine. As are those of the panelist.

However, it one very critical thing seems to be missing. Certianly in light of the fact this discussion is being held shows that man has gotten very little from his idea of hoe to live in peace.

If everyone wants to know why humans fight you need only go to the very many "claim" to be a "guide" in their lives. I used quotes to separate how many say one thing but turn to doing something that contradicts their very claims.

Yes, men fought in "Bible Times" as one panelist put it. It seems this is somehow written to give us an understanding but it leaves out the true "why" this fighting and bloodshed occurs.

If its your claim that you "believe" in the Bible, then look at the Ecclesiastes 8:9. This has been true from the time Adam and Eve choose to rebel against God. Genesis 3:1-19

Take note too of the instigator of that murderous lie that they both followed. Satan now holds sway of the entire earth. Its it any wonder that people are doing and have done some of the most horrible things to one another? 2 Corinthians 4:4

Consider this...even though humans have progressed from the Jesus time they are still agitated and glutted with grief and pain at their own hands. We can send electronic messages to one another while we travel from one spot to another, fly to far away places in record times and even our cars are highly sophisticated computers on wheels and yet we all are still in fear of each other because of the way a person looks, talks and believes and this leads to hatred, injustice and murder.

And what of Religion? Its interesting to note how Jesus looked at his own people who wad been in a covenant relationship with God to uphold this ways. John 8:42-47

And very simple test to prove your beliefs are even stated by Jesus himself..."By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit" Mathew 7:16-18

Today men are displaying exactly what was foretold in the Bible..."But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. 2 timothy 3:1-5

These attitude permeates every structure of human society today. Each time you turn on the news you see a glimps of this in some way shape and form.

And try not to resort to what is listed as a warning to us all..."For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning." 2 Peter 3:3-4.

Note that beside the sad behaviors mentioned above, Jesus also spoke of another "sign" that would tell us something very important...

"And in answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads YOU; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. YOU are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that YOU are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet.

For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.

"Then people will deliver YOU up to tribulation and will kill YOU, and YOU will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name. Then, also, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come."

This is where we all are right now. So it should not come as a suprise to any of us that those who again, "claim" they follow such higher tenents as the found in the Bible but belie that claim with their actions.

But regardless of this higher forces are at work. Fist, Satan is the one who instigate this "air" (Ephesians 2:2). So no matter how many debatres, laws or wars to stop wars man have, Satan is the one behind the cause of much of mans suffering.

Second, because man has chosen to either totally ignore God's ways or has watered down his word, humans fall victim to their own mismanagement of their lives and this frequently turns men to kill others in personal, racial, social and international crimes like war and terrorism.

third, established religion has NOT done anything to help man live lives free from this. In fact the very opposite is true as it, especially the more popular religions, are implicated in mass bloodshed through mankind's existence. It favored crusades, inquisitions, injustice upon the masses, immorality, slavery, both World Wars, civil strife and unrest, genocides just to name a few.

Imagine if those who practices religion actually followed 2 of the most important cammands uttered by Jesus?
"And one of them, versed in the Law, asked, testing him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets." Mathew 22:35-40

Even if that fails to drive the point home the one of the most famous illustrations Jesus gave us is of the "good Samaritan". An illustration showing how men who wanted to serve God as they "claimed" should treat their fellow men. Luke 10:29-37.

How many wars would be fought if those were truly followed?

Forth and finally, God has purposed that man WILL live in peace. The very fact that his word the Bible Has survived and in massive quantities to this day shows that he will indeed make sure that those of us who long to be peaceable with our fellow man will, sometime very soon (remember the signs mentioned above) see that as a reality.

The Bible lays out for us the theme of God's kingdom ruling vs those of humans, (which was never the purpose to begin with) in his word.

A book that many "claim" to believe in and follow but that each of us can go to and then actually PROVE the right way to worship God for ourselves.

Bob G. :

The first part of your question, i.e., "Why do ethnic and religious groups.." makes the second part "..fight?" redundant. An identification with any one group to the exclusion of others entails the possibility, and often likelihood, of relegating the other to a supposedly inferior ethnic, or moral, etc. level. I believe that human conflict arose before any major religious or ethnic development, and is an essential part of the human condition. It does "pigyback" on religion and ethnicity, though, giving the "lizard brain" a chance to express itself through socially-sanctioned violence. Movements that are aware of the tendency to violence in group identification, and that make the conscious effort to transcend sectarian division, have a chance of producing human beings operating at a higher level. I think that trans-national religions such as Buddhism, and super-national political movements such as the European Union have the best shot at developing our potential as real human beings, and not just members of a "tribe".

Donna Saggia :

The real question is, Why do the rich kill? It was Bush and his oligarchic friends who fomented this war, and it is the rich who are profiteering from it. Religion and ethnicity are symbols, but the rich are the key to the underlying violence and corruption in this world.

Tom Wonacott :

Zoltan


For once, I completely agree with you. Even questions that avoid the US, for example, Chinese foreign policy, end up being a discussion on the US.

There is much to learn from the rest of the world. Here's to hoping PG listens.

silence dogood :

Postage-sized dots of land.

Subject "a" says his Holy Book entitles his people to a certain piece of land "for all of his generations." Subject "b" says, "no, my different Holy Book says that my people and my generations are entitled to the same plot."

A person who worships in spirit and in truth does not need a particular tract of land and some faiths could be practiced for a lifetime, without a pilgrimage, on the moon.

A former Professor once answered the question with one word, "Nationalism." Her expansion of that word was echoed in John Lennon's song Imagine, in which it is suggested that all of the world's resources be distributed to all of the world's people.

Biblical Christianity does not require any piece of land, any pilgrimages and any annual rituals - only a moment-by-moment faith in the Perfect Resurrected One and two Great Commandments - the first being vertical.

Mark Hamblett :

It is simple: man fights man because he is man.

It has been that way since the earliest hominids began walking upright. There is an innate need to dominate, it seems. Before religion it was tribal affiliation that was the sticking point. If you had two groups of people that had no religion, and were identical in look, with the exception of hair color, they would use that as an excuse to fight.

The real question is: Can man overcome what appears to be trait buried in his genes.

I am sorry for the masculine, but the word person didn't seem to fit my purpose here.

Zoltan :

This is becoming tiring: the only questions asked in PostGlobal are about the USA: "are we great ?", "why do they hate us ?", "will the rest of the world forgive us about Iraq ?", "how is my belly button looking ?", "Is Russia stronger than the USA ?"

Aren't you interested in really GLOBAL questions ? Like:

"How are the industrialized countries going to survive without cheap fossil sources of energy ?"

"Should mankind build more nuclear reactors to face global warming ?"

"Why is Africa always such a poor continent ?"

"Should mankind explore the Moon and build there a permanent base ?"

"Is parliamentary democracy as the West has known for 2 centuries still a good political system ?"


There is no shortage of interesting questions.

ishmael :

There is an actual God of war called Aries,
it is interesting, He says man "needs" Him.

But not anymore, it would seem we're past that.

Did you know 30 percent of war victims are children?
Also another large percentage are women.
What does this tell you? What does it tell you that this isnt even known about generally speaking? Its true, check it out.

"War will end when leaders cease to act like children"- some quote I remember..
Also, I for one refuse to participate in any group that allows genocide. This is why I have dropped out of the human race a while ago. I do not wish to dirty myself so.

Michael Eure :

The solution is to realize that we are all ONE and what we do to others we do also unto ourselves.

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India. :

Read the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's "Identity and Violence - The Illusion of Destiny", and you would understand why people fight in the name of religion, region, ethnicity, etc. ... The solution is to be aware of, adopt, believe in and be comfortable with our multiple identities: ... e.g., a person can be an Indian, a Hindu, a literate, a fan of cricket, an admirer of Shashi Tharoor's works, respect Ratan Tata, love Formula One (Michael Schumacher !), from New Delhi, have brownish-green eyes, a firm believer in an individual's rights, a leo, ... etc. etc. and be a human being at the core! ... Simple :)

hvrds :

It was Charles Darwin who noticed that similar species would evolve at varying phases.

Our closest relatives in nature the chimpanzees also exhibit the same differing phases in evolution.

However there is only one creature on this planet that has the creative ability to change his environment for better or for worse. The evolution of the human condition has seen the transitions of societal formats. Tribal communities into fedual communties into capitalist communties (urban). All pushed forward by technological change which were pushed forward by challenges to human survival. The camel in the desert to the elephants in South Asia to the horses used by the Mongol hordes, to the space shuttle. Man evolving to show his supposed mastery over nature (and other men).

Economics,politics and culture are all part of human social formats. Religion is part of evolving culture.

In todays world where rapid advances in communciation have shown most of the worlds populations that life can be better the planet is in for interesting times.

The late Pope said it best. "El pobre no pueden esperar" The poor cannot wait. Where 18% of the worlds population consume 80% of the worlds resources, the 80% is slowly realizing it and it wants it share.

World views are clashing and as the speed of information is traveling at light speed. However understanding of what one knows becomes problematical.

Human power to animal power to a carbon based economy and who knows what comes next?

Dilithium crystals and the Starship Enterprise and its prime directive not to interfere with planets that are lower on the evolutionary ladder.

But that was science fiction wasn't it.

Her Lao :

Fighting/killing is part of the very nature of what it means to being a creature. One of the earliest developments in the genesis of life is mobility --- a move towards light and/or food source.

All organisms need light and/or food source; we therefore all inch our way toward those goals. Overcrowding caused mobility acceleration: the faster developers got to the food source before and grew and develop even faster and stronger.

This still is the most superseding part of our make-up, as a species. Evolution and time don't change this "repitlian" drive to move faster, to grow bigger and stronger (and "smarter"), to seek better and more food and space. Nor does the extremely recent development of symbolic expressions (e.g., language and the myriad things that oral and written language is able to impart us as a species).

Indeed, language (including what's called reason) was invented and used, to a very great degree, mostly as interpretive tools to "explain" and to rationalize away our competitive and violent-based nature... What we call "ethics" and "morality" are, for the most part, accidental features of symbolic expressions, very much like arts, mathematics, etc.

Superstitious beliefs like religions were invented to give hope to the hopeless and weak. They were also stories to explain why some are naturally stronger/masters and others weaker/slaves. They serve as soothing balms, on the one hand, and scare-tactics, on the other, to achieve social consensus.

Ultimately and paradoxically competition, war, violence, and death --- including germs, bacteria, viruses, and other deadly diseases and how they play their roles --- are integral parts of what we call the cycle of life: all are necessary for the functionality of the various ecosystems as well as for life itself, from the atomic/molecular level, to the cellular/organelle level, to the human/animal level, and finally to the stellar level....

This is not a silly attempt at "philosophy"; it is a mere observation of what people like to call "reality."

(Escapism is not found only on the "silver screen;" it is also found in what we call "rationality," a trick we all --- WE ALL --- use when we get up on our soap respective soap boxes and moralize and intellectualize and explain away and "justify" our purpose for being the way we are, and why others, especially the "bad guys," are the way they are, and if they'd just listen to us, we're all be happy...

Her Lao

Tom Wonacott :

PG

A major split occurred in Islam over a thousand years ago. "Sunnis and Shias differ in doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organisation".

The violence between Sunnis and Shias predates Saddam's rule in Iraq, but Saddam's rule magnified the Muslim split and relegated Shia Muslims to second class citizens even though they represented the majority of the population.


Saddam ruthlessly tortured, murdered and oppressed the Shias (and Kurds) during his twenty(+) year rein of terror. During the “oil for food” program, the Sunnis preferentially received more food, thus the Shias were burdened with a higher percentage of deaths due to the International sanctions. The US encouraged the Shia to revolt after the Gulf War and then watched as Saddam crushed the rebellion killing thousands of Shia (and Kurds) in the process.

When the US invaded in 2003, the Shia (and Kurds) were liberated from the oppression of Saddam's rule. The Shia and Kurds welcomed the overthrow of Saddam, although the Shia (rightfully) are against the US occupation of their country. Over eight million Iraqis voted in three elections to elect a government that is ruled primarily by the MAJORITY Shia Muslims. The Shia, RIGHTFULLY, have been placed in the position of ruling the country. There are only two countries in the world with a majority Shia population - Iran and Iraq.

Is the US responsible for the violence that we see in Iraq on a day to day basis? EMPHATICALLY NO. The US is caught, just as the average Iraqi citizen, in the middle of a regional conflict pitting Shia and Sunni interest. Iraq has become the regional flash point for this conflict. The violence between Sunnis and Shias has the mark of a decades or centuries old rivalry (sometimes deadly) fueled by Saddam's severe oppression, torture and genocidal murder of the Shias. There is a large (regional, in my opinion) resistance to the new Shia rule in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni countries such as Egypt and Jordan are alarmed by the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East. They are also concerned over Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, and have threatened to begin their own nuclear program. Clearly the Sunni ruled countries are supporting the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Iran is supplying arms and finances to Sadr and other militias to counter the Sunnis. The recent attacks on Shia pilgrims in Iraq was carried out by SAUDIS. The Shia marched defiantly in the face of these brutal attacks.

“…More than 115 people were killed in Iraq Tuesday when two suicide bombers blew themselves up among pilgrims making their way to a holy city for one of the most important days on the Shia Muslim calendar…”

Finally, whoever believes that the US invaded on a divide and conquer strategy is not viewing the region correctly. In fact, divide and conquer was exactly the strategy of Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda leader in Iraq who planned his attacks against Shia Muslims to start a civil war. After the invasion, the US has been unable to control the surge in violence between the different Muslim factions. The civil war is clearly not in the interest of the US.

The typical, average, market dwelling Iraqi citizen has born the brunt of the violence from Sunni insurgents and Shia death squads.

m singh :

Yes why do they fight. This is something the British learned of the weakness that some communities have for each other. The British used this tool to go on their conquest of the world by getting the different ethnic groups to fight with each other and then go on to conquer the nations. Example: In India beef and pork are things that are religious for Hindus and Muslims. Getting the story spread that the bullets were greased with pork and beef resulted in a mutiny. Who helped to quell the mutiny were the Sikhs, of which I belong to. I am not proud of what the Sikhs did in this instant. Is this all being repeated now too by the world powers, something that has been learned from the British? I am sure this will be a good debate.

T.M. :

For next week, why not pose as your topic The Nature of Free Will in the Hopeless or maybe The Origins of Consciousness? What presumption for two pop journalists to choose such a topic in such a forum. Daddy having left you a box of new pencils and some ribbons from St. Albans does not make of you a philosopher. Mr. Ignatius, write another potboiler (the remainder tables are in need of books to stack as bookends) and Mr. Zakaria, save your right-wing blather for the aged Sunday morning viewers.

SN :

To add to my earlier comment. Human conflicts are inevitable. They cannot be completely eliminated only managed from getting out of control.

SN :

Religion is like any other "ism" that soceities use to organize themselves in a hierarchy and differentiate themselves from the "Other". It is the inherent duality in human nature that searches for commonality with fellow human beings as well differences in order to maintain its own self.

m singh :

Yes why do they fight. This is something the British learned of the weakness that some communities have for each other. The British used this tool to go on their conquest of the world by getting the different ethnic groups to fight with each other and then go on to conquer the nations. Example: In India beef and pork are things that are religious for Hindus and Muslims. Getting the story spread that the bullets were greased with pork and beef resulted in a mutiny. Who helped to quell the mutiny were the Sikhs, of which I belong to. I am not proud of what the Sikhs did in this instant. Is this all being repeated now too by the world powers, something that has been learned from the British? I am sure this will be a good debate.

m singh :

Yes why do they fight. This is something the British learned of the weakness that some communities have for each other. The British used this tool to go on their conquest of the world by getting the different ethnic groups to fight with each other and then go on to conquer the nations. Example: In India beef and pork are things that are religious for Hindus and Muslims. Getting the story spread that the bullets were greased with pork and beef resulted in a mutiny. Who helped to quell the mutiny were the Sikhs, of which I belong to. I am not proud of what the Sikhs did in this instant. Is this all being repeated now too by the world powers, something that has been learned from the British? I am sure this will be a good debate.

M Singh :

Yes why do they fight. This is something the British learned of the weakness that some communities have for each other. The British used this tool to go on their conquest of the world by getting the different ethnic groups to fight with each other and then go on to conquer the nations. Example: In India beef and pork are things that are religious for Hindus and Muslims. Getting the story spread that the bullets were greased with pork and beef resulted in a mutiny. Who helped to quell the mutiny were the Sikhs, of which I belong to. I am not proud of what the Sikhs did in this instant. Is this all being repeated now too by the world powers, something that has been learned from the British? I am sure this will be a good debate.

M Singh :

Yes why do they fight. This is something the British learned of the weakness that some communities have for each other. The British used this tool to go on their conquest of the world by getting the different ethnic groups to fight with each other and then go on to conquer the nations. Example: In India beef and pork are things that are religious for Hindus and Muslims. Getting the story spread that the bullets were greased with pork and beef resulted in a mutiny. Who helped to quell the mutiny were the Sikhs, of which I belong to. I am not proud of what the Sikhs did in this instant. Is this all being repeated now too by the world powers, something that has been learned from the British? I am sure this will be a good debate.

swlewis :

All higher order social behavior is taught and learned. The cultural norms and attitudes that define religous and ethnic groups are not innate. Hate groups do not exist in a state of nature. While it is true that in primitive societies a competition for scarce resources may have created a social need for self defense and offense, not all societies created feuds lasting millenia. I am not sure why. Once you are programmed with your tribe or cultures beliefs, you will act accordingly. Sunni and Shia, Christian, Jew, western capitalist and soviet communist all were programmed to know and respect their beliefs, hold them to be the best, recognize contrary belief as a threat, and be willing in many cases to defend your way of life to the death. The Iraq war was created through the spread of fear of terrorists, the threat to the american way of life. After 9-11 this was easy to use to scare people. When leaders choose to manipulate the beliefs of their followers, to spread fear, and fan flames of us vs them, the programming takes over. Rationality will not be a useful appeal to people who believe that they can die as a martyr for such a culturally or religiously noble cause. If you can go to paradise by killing someone defined as your enemy, you can not be reasoned with. the programming is complete. Laws against murder and other violent crimes do not stop all such transgression. But they do help to keep a lid on many individual conflicts that in many lawless areas escalate to death. Ironically it seems that the only conflict that contained itself was during the Cold War with Mutually Assured Destruction. It seems that when two somewhat rational actors end up in a standoff, they refrain from conflict. The problem with religious fanatics is they believe they will be better off in their afterlife, and find it reasonable to die for the cause. It is not clear whether a nuclear conflagration in the middle east would settle things, or simply escalate further. Bottom line, if you cant deprogram people from this nonesense, there is no solution.

brian mcc :

A local psych prof proposed the question: what is a terrorist and the mindset they have? At the end of her discourse it was evident from a scholarly point of view, there is no conscensus. It doesn't make sense, from one suicide killer another is born as if ancestral. As if a land was claimed from conflict. Take N Ireland, a history I know well, from my ancestors. Imagine the hatred in Gaza, Iraq or the Irish counties of Ulster...Spring and summer bring a season of the apprentice, the passing of tradition from old to young. Will the Orange parades march this year again without significant violence? The IRA ceasfire seems to be holding, the guns are silent as a new devolved unity is to be given the chance of overdue civility. I do not condone violence of any sort, my weapon of choice is a pen or pencil. Could this perhaps be the mindset of any terrorist: I am young and ignorant, we do not worship the same God and having been called upon by a higher power, I divorce myself from my religion. Turning around, taking you by the hand and escorting the both of us to hell for the occupation of my country, my ancestors...
For those of us older and educated, and wiser, we comprehend the causes of all wars. After all, it is better to live longer than to die young.

brian mcc :

A local psych prof proposed the question: what is a terrorist and the mindset they have? At the end of her discourse it was evident from a scholarly point of view, there is no conscensus. It doesn't make sense, from one suicide killer another is born as if ancestral. As if a land was claimed from conflict. Take N Ireland, a history I know well, from my ancestors. Imagine the hatred in Gaza, Iraq or the Irish counties of Ulster...Spring and summer bring a season of the apprentice, the passing of tradition from old to young. Will the Orange parades march this year again without significant violence? The IRA ceasfire seems to be holding, the guns are silent as a new devolved unity is to be given the chance of overdue civility. I do not condone violence of any sort, my weapon of choice is a pen or pencil. Could this perhaps be the mindset of any terrorist: I am young and ignorant, we do not worship the same God and having been called upon by a higher power, I divorce myself from my religion. Turning around, taking you by the hand and escorting the both of us to hell for the occupation of my country, my ancestors...
For those of us older and educated, and wiser, we comprehend the causes of all wars. After all, it is better to live longer than to die young.

brian mcc :

A local psych prof asked the question: what is a terrorist, and what motivates them...? She pondered the mindset and at the end of her article, from a scholarly point of view, there is no conscensus. It doesn't make sense but it is happening as if for every 1 suicide killer another is born...as if something happened to an ancestor. A land was claimed from a war. Take N. Ireland for example, a story I know well, from my ancestors. Imagine the level of hatred in Gaza, in Iraq, in the Irish counties of Ulster. Spring and summer bring another season of the apprentice, a torch is passed from the old to the young, will this years Orange parades pass without significant violence? The IRA ceasefire seems to be holding, the guns are silent while a historic peace process takes form in a devolved unity. I personally renounce violence of any sort, my weapon of choice is a pen or pencil. But I understand the mindset, from my ancestors: I am young and ignorant and we do no worship the same God, as I am called upon by a higher power and divorce myself from my religion. Turning around, taking you by the hand, and if necessary, escort you to hell for occupying my country, my ancestors...
For those of us older and educated, and wiser, the cause of all war is...It is better to live longer than to die young.

BZ :

None of the comments posted thus far have pointed out the obvious but disturbing truth: humans like war and find it exciting. The ordinary, boring business of making a living is swept away and the individual can feel fully accepted as a member of the armed forces. It doesn't matter if you're kind of dumb, or clumsy, or unlucky in love or money. You're accepted, period. No wonder soldiers report that it wasn't love of country or flag or conquest or glory that kept them fighting: it was the love of their buddies, whom they felt closer to than it's possible for anyone else to understand. In the Spring of 1864, the 3 year draft period of many of the veteran Union soldiers was expiring and there was nothing the government could do to stop it. Thousands of them went home, but by the end of the year they drifted back into the army. (As a result some of the Union forces assembled in the Spring of 1865 were crack outfits filled with seasoned veterans.) They did it because they didn't want to let their buddies down, and because civilian life is mundane by contrast with the experience of living in the moment in a war. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "We have shared the incommunicable experience of war. We have felt -- we still feel -- the passion of life to its top. In our youths, our hearts were touched with fire."

ORL :

Doug writes: "I honestly believe that the solution to most problems is economic prosperity. Prosperity breeds contentment."

Does not seem to have worked with greedy imperial Great Britain... Neither with European colonial countries, all of them the most economically prosperous at the time.

Does not seem to have worked with the imperial United States of America, arguably the most prosperous society in the history of mankind, yet the most discontented, the most insecure, the most violent, the most agressive, the most dangerous (refer to previous conversation on PostGlobal) in the world.

What is interesting here is NOT to criticize and indict any particular nation. That is not the point at all. This is not an exercise in anti-americanism.

The interesting question is rather: WHY? WHY is economic prosperity apparently not at all a/the solution to ethnic and religious strife?

May there be other causes over and above money and riches, after all?

BZ :

Since ancient times three theories have been advanced as to why humans fight wars:

1. To gain power and help unify the nation.
2. Because powerful factions want to get rich.
3. Because war is basic to our nature.

None of these theories are capable of explaining every war. For instance, none of the European leaders wanted to fight WW I. Many regimes which initiate wars end up being toppled and sometimes the leaders do not survive; there are better and less uncertain ways of consolidating power than fighting wars. Similarly, the prospect of gaining wealth is iffy. Saying that war is basic to our nature is an empty tautology explaining nothing.

Just because X was an outcome of the war, it doesn't follow that the war was begun as a deliberate effort to achieve X.

Furthermore, the reasons why the war was begun tend to be quite different from the reasons why it is continued. Once a war is underway people tend to lose interest in why it began. All they care about is not-losing, which they fear as an annihilation, the end of history. In the actual event things seldom work out that way, but during the war people do not reason in the same way as during peacetime.

ORL :

Volt Rare writes: "Human beings continue to behave like animals..."

Animals do not naturally behave like human beings conduct themselves. We need a better explanation than that, and one that does not keep disparaging animals.

BZ :

Let's be clear about something here: there are important differences between the motives for murder and war. Murder is perhaps the ultimate assertion of the individual self. War, on the other hand, the self is submerged into the group -- war is a collective act. Thus, framing the question as "why do humans kill" mixes together these two very different psychological drives.

For a good treatment of this subject, see LeShan, L., The Psychology of War. New York: Helios Press, 2002.

Fisch, BN, Germany :

Well, interests, why do they US kill innocent Iraqis?

Matthew Riddell :

I think that people fight because they want power. like refering to wars, why war? because they want to see who is more powerful.

kennytal :

all this killing just so western oil countries get their 30 year oil contracts?

Trivedi :

The key cause of conflict is that some (not all) religions believe that theirs is the only right way and others are in error. That is why they feel compellled to proselytize. I emphasize that not all religions do this. Among the major ones only two do this. So let us not blame all religions. If we can say like Mahatma Gandhi that all major religions are right then most of the fighting will disappear. But can one make a Pope or an Ayatollah accept this?

russell :

Let's not kid ourselves. We are a modern industrial society, and we have intitutional killing in the death penalty and military. We don't have to look at warring tribes, but ourselves. We spend vast resources killing people in large numbers on a daily basis. It is a profitable and respectable enterprise. One could say our whole economy is based on it. Do you seriously beleive that a disadvantaged peasant blowing up himself or a car makes more difference than the influential powerful billionares? Where should we really direct our urge to reform? Thank you for reading this post.

Volt Rare :

Human tribes have always fought each other since the dawn of time, and even before then because it is characteristic of our animal ancestors.

Pack animals of genetic/family relation form social groups and fight other packs in order to gain or defend hunting terrority. Male animals of the same species fight each other for mates and territory.

Human beings continue to behave like animals because as a civillization, our efforts at introspection and self understanding have not risen above our animal natures.

Recent science has shown a phenomenon where the brain makes a decision or preference and the conscious mind makes a rationalization in order to explain it.

MRI/PET scans are not required to explain such obvious human nature when a man committs an act of dishonesty or violence and tries to morally or rationally justify it to himself or to his friends.

If people haven't "got it" yet due to recent events, just look at the Iraq invasion example. Masses of people, perhaps the majority of American voters have eagerly supported invasion of another country, with the consequence of killing or disfiguring 100,000's of people. The reasons that punctured the justifications where always there, but as a group, all that was needed was a justification in order to rationalize an emotional, tribalistic urge for revenge (albiet, grossly misplaced).

GW Bush and the neo-cons eagerly exploited the collective unconscious of the group, tapping deep primeval group urges for terrority, domination, and revenge. Don't be surprised to think it couldn't have happened before, a look at history shows that true motivations for territory, domination of land and other peoples, and revenge has been a continuous theme of human warfare. However, in the past such motivations weren't as well papered over with sophisticated rationalizations.

As a semi-religious person, I would say that the spark of God is within us and this gives us the divinely given potential (logic, reason, knowledge, compassion, wisdom, self-awareness) to rise above our beastial nature.

However, some manifestations of religion & political thought have instead encouraged human social groups to dumb-down their own independent moral/ethical/logical reasoning ability and have instead encouraged tribalistic thinking and blind obedience to demogogues spouting illogical propaganda and shallow platitudes.

Perhaps as a human species we can pass the tests that mark us as truly civillized. We could avoid self-annhiliation by allowing reason and civility to triumph over our animal urges to fight and seek domination. Perhaps we could also, as a group, strategize ahead in time, much farther than a herd of grazing animals, to exercise willpower and plan ahead on how we need to restrain ourselves and our greed for glitter, in order to safely steward our environment.

Doug :

The instinct to dominate another human being, intellectually, economically, or spiritually, is hard to ignore. My own children exercise this behavior in microcosm. There is a strong desire to be in control in all of us. When you feel deprived, or threatened with deprivation, the instinct is to fight back.

Throughout history, we can find examples of this behavior on large and small scales. In modern times, economic prosperity has lead in many cases to a diminishment of inherent violence within a given society, but the instinct to fight and kill for what we want or need lies very near the surface. One only needs to look at the chaos of New Orleans following hurricane Katrina to see an example of how quickly our own civilized notions fall away.
Iraq demonstrates perfectly this principal. Shia and Sunni, held in check by a more dominant power (Saddam), lived in harmony until the status quo was broken. In the face of perceived grievances (Sunni minority dominance under Saddam), and a marked reduction of economic resources, the instinct to impose ones views, or protect yourself from such violence with proactive acts of your own, should easily have been predicted.
I honestly believe that the solution to most problems is economic prosperity. Prosperity breeds contentment. Unfortunately, that is a very high standard to meet and/or provide. I have no solution, and a doubt there will be one anytime soon. There will always be those who have, and those who have not. Until that dichotomy is solved, we humans will continue to be a violent lot.

Againstfodder :

We as a civilized society recognize that there are killing fields all over the world. Young men are the most common fodder more so than child soldiers or female fodder.

Young men who have not started their families or who have no economic resources or who have no stake are the best fodder in these destructive wars.

As a civilized society we came up with a Social Security program that solved the problem of poverty among old people. Can we not think of a Youth security plan that will reward young men/women to start families, develop a stake in their societies and start up the ladder of economic success?

Sean :

Humans so easily dispatch one another because of where they put religion and ethnicity in the hierarchy of their social associations. At some point, it became more important to be a devotee of a certain religion or a member of a certain ethnic group, rather than simply a human -- an association that is universal. If people could see that their common humanity is the most fundamental bond, and not some supernatural mythological nonsense or some wholly man-made social grouping, all of us would live in a better, safer place.

Ray, Wappingers Falls, NY :

The question is strange in the context of Iraq, and the Shuni/Shia civil war that started after USA deliberately destroyed a stable govt which had kept the place together (by force if necessary). Under Saddam Iraqis were not blown-up going to attend school or buy food at local markets!! The implicit bias is to say look at these savage muslims and how they are killing each other! My genearl comments are: nothing can compete with the brutality of white people in mass murders: whether it was the slave-factories and concentration camps run by German thugs WWII, indiscriminate fire-bombing of large cities in Geramany and Japan carried out by US/England, followed by a massacar of more than 400,000 Japanese civilans killed by the only use of atom bombs to date by USA (all during the brief 5-year of WWII).. The cause of WWII was nothing but control of Asian and African colonies mostly under British rule at that time (which was to control cheap labor and acccess to resources).
Regarding religion, as a hindu I can only point out neither hinduism or buddhism has a concept of forced conversion, and has never waged warfare and killed hundreds of thousands of people in colonial conquests as the muslims and christians have done since the dawn of these two religions.

L.A. Mahoney :

We fight and kill each other because we are nothing more than a species of ape with limited self-awareness.

MikeB :

BobL-VA - I detest Bush because I think he is a treasonous coward and a thoughless clod who has all but destroyed this country. He reminds me of the shallow bullies I knew in college, you know, the ones that ran the fraternity houses, did anything to get elected, but once there didn't have the slightest idea of what they were supposed to do. So some meely little swine would put ideas in the tiny little heads and the idiots would run with them. That IS Bush and Cheney.

Today it appeas that Musharraf is on the way out in Pakistan. He WILL be replaced with someone who loathes the United States. He may even be replaced by one of the religious parties that advocate attacking us. And, this is a country that is armed with nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Forget Iran! What the heck is our idiot President going to so about that self created donnybrook? Not much. He can't. He and his corporate buddies have made such a mess of things that we will be very lucky if we don't self destruct, and never mind the nuclear armed newly created enemies compliments of Bush's foreign policy blunders. Beyond this, Bush's economic policies have resulted in the loss of millions of jobs due to outsourcing and replacing American workers with cheap foreign guest workers. Both political parties are so obviously grasping for Bill Gate's money that they are actually competing with each other to provide even more H1B visa's. This is just plain sickening when you realize that, once they get them, these corporations use those visas to get rid of older American workers, people with family and thuerefore higher benefit costs. As of today, the debt owned by foreign investors totals more than five trillion dollars. This figure is more than the combined budgets of the federal and every state and every municipality in this country. ANd, as of late lat year, the international bond market switched from the dollar to the Euro and there is movement right now to move the price of oil away from the dollar to gold. This has started an exit of foreign capital from this country. It has also started an exit of corporation, and especially multinational corporations, to offshore locations. Our future, a a country, is one of bankruptcy, both governemtn and person, rising crime and social ills, third world status, and rot. Bush will go down in history, not just as the bumbling fool who misled us into Iraq, but as the murderer of the Amercian Dream. THAT, Bob, is why I detest Bush and Cheney even more than you. He robbed me and my children and this country of it's future.

de teodoru :


As students of the Iraq War and even as opponents of
Bush policy, we may be now finding ourselves in a
concrete moral dilemma, so ably raised by UPI's Pamela
Hess, just back from Iraq, and many soldiers in
Baghdad.

I have been working on a book in which I argue that
Nixon's Indochina policy had as a goal the same as
Eisenhower: to protect Thailand-- Indochina was only
the "cork in the bottle" that, if lost, would result
in Chinese troops pouring into Thailand through
Indochina. Otherwise, for both Ike and Nixon, Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia had no other strategic value. After
his visit to China, Nixon was confident that when
China realizes that the US had no intentions to
establish permanent bases in SE Asia because of his
withdrawal from Indochina, China would willingly stop
Hanoi's march on Thailand. Of course, no matter how
"realist brilliant" one might consider this policy, we
are all left with Cambodia on our conscience. For it
was under China's protection that Pol Pot massacred
one third of Cambodia's population as
"counter-revolutionaries," though China did block
Hanoi's moves westward.

I bring this up because, despite the cynical politics
of the neocons and Cheney & Co., I know for a fact
that the fate of Cambodia haunts GW Bush since faced
with the Baker proposals, as well as many Pentagon
officials dealing with Iraq. This was not always the
case. But the Baker-Hamilton Commission forced the
issue by putting before the Gates Pentagon the fate of
Iraqis, should the US withdraw.

There is intelligence indicating that Zarqawi planned
the al-Askari Mosque multi-suicide explosions in order
to prevent any prospects for Sunni-Shia rapprochement.
The polarization was a major success. Like none of his
prior efforts, it led to a self-perpetuating
tit-for-tat mutual massacre between Sunni insurgents
and Mahdi Army Shiites such as never existed before:


http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/middle_east___north_africa/iraq_iran_gulf/52_the_next_iraqi_war_sectarianism_and_civil_conflict.pdf

The struggle was incompetently dealt with by both the
Maliki and US governments and many have argued for US
withdrawal because the Iraq War has morphed into a
"civil war" in which Americans are dying propping up a
government that is infiltrated by one side, also by
Iran and unable to deal with the insurgents.

I had often argues that President Bush should have
offered a date certain for US withdrawal in his State
of the Union speech, no matter how distant that date,
so as to make clear to Iraqis that we have no imperial
designs on their country. I also argued that Gen.
Petraeus has no unique skills to offer, nor any
understanding of the situation that should inspire
confidence; on the contrary, I sited some of his
writings to suggest sloganistic superficiality. And
yet-- as tenuous as it may be-- since he took command,
there is an undeniable decrease in killings in Baghdad
to consider after the "surge" began.

That real issue is extremely well, and emotionally
too, brought forth by Pamela Hess (UPI correspondent
in Iraq since the beginning of the war) in an
interview she did last weekend with Brian Lamb on
C-Span:

http://12.170.145.161/Search/advanced.asp?AdvancedQueryText=hess+pamela&StartDateMonth=&StartDateYear=&EndDateMonth=&EndDateYear=&Series=&ProgramIssue=&QueryType=&QueryTextOptions=&ResultCount=10&SortBy=bestmatch


...then at that site chose third item, her interview
with Brian Lamb for 3/9/07 for video/audio.

I received numerous communications from several
National Guard soldiers in Baghdad that also speak to
this issue. They all say, as one put it: "sure I want
to get back to my wife and kids, but we allowed so
many criminals to get armed and engage in a back and
forth killing spree, that I could never face my wife
and kids if I allow all these Iraqi wives and kids to
be needless innocent victims of all these criminals,
whatever their alleged motives." Needless to say, this
hearkens me back to my 1970s experiences in Cambodia
and to the guilt that goes with Nixon's success in
protecting Thailand at Cambodia's expense. I shared
her tears as Ms. Hess broke down in the interview
while arguing to Mr. Lamb that the issue *NOW* is NOT
how we got involved, as debate in Congress, but how
are we to protect the innocents?

I would be most grateful for the more clearheaded
perspectives of others on this list who might not be
as haunted as I am by our amoral abandonment of
Cambodia as myself. I can neither doubt Ms. Hess's
sincerity, nor her testimony. Nor can I be sure that
Bush's concern for the helpless civilians is behind
the surge. One thing is sure: the issue of our Iraq
War has now turned into a deep issue of moral
responsibility for any decision we make on pulling
out.

Daniel E. Teodoru


BobL-VA :

MikeB,

It's hard for me to believe, but you think less of Bush then I do. I didn't think that was possible.

twstroud :

it's a living.

frank collins :

well as far as islam goes they do it because the koran commands it. convert or die. i dont see that in the old or new testaments. and while people have, as individuals, tried to force their religion on others only the koran DMEANDS it.

seajay14 :

When we are kids the bonding with others begins and that is ususally with our neighbors whom we have much in common . We identify with them and not in the same manner with others and it grows from there . When we sense others offend us , or 'our kind', we will offend them back .
Then there are others who seem to behave from gratuitious selfishness alone, they want more power, money an/or land with no justfiable claim to it.
Maybe on second thought it is partly genetic .

Vedapushpa-Bangalore-India :


At this juncture of human history the world over - the true or valid rationale for the ethnic or religious groupings which are the historio-geographic and theo-philosophical counts respectively - have both got awfully distorted by undue mix-up with the wider economic and political factors per se.

As such - both ethnic identity and authonomy claims and religious identity claims have become unduly complex and hence the unresolved and unchecked quarrels and fierce fights amongst them.

The only solution for this mamady is that - the polity should confine its operations and functioning to just State economic revenue collection and fair disbursements and internal and external security concerns of the State in their absolute terms.

Once the 'bonafide and honest civic identity' gets insisted upon as the only criterion that the government ought to concern itself with - then the rest of the sections of any society - the ethnic and the religious in particular - will duly organize their intra-group and inter-group functionings in terms of their particular socio-cultural values with due mutual regard and respect.

Vedapushpa

Josh :

I think while some of the above comments are spot on, they all ignore one of the fundamental issues in any ethnic or religious conflict: economics.

The fact is that people who are doing better this year than they were last year are far less likely to fight or indeed to see cleavages between themselves and others.

In a certain sense, this explains why Northern Ireland has calmed (the Good Friday accords and the disarmament of the IRA are critical as well, of course). It explains why Greek Cypriots are tearing down the dividing barriers between them and Turkish Cypriots. EU accession has been good for Cyprus.

Economics also explain part of the sad state of affairs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the Palestinians can overcome their own demographics and create jobs for their citizens, it will go a long way to quelling some of the anger and infighting. Think of the period of calm in the mid-1990s when the two econonmies were linked by both labor and capital.

But of course economics can't solve everything. And the other posters on this page are right to point out that some people will never accept the "others" in their societies. That is our sad human reality.

jeksfcusa :

Ignorance is the reason that they fight each other and their shallow and hollow mindset has been that way since as children they listened to the first fanatic thay ran into. By virtue that they have nothing they feel that, in their collective ignorance, they may be able to better themselves if they can rid the world of all infidels. Unfortunaately they cannot tlruly recognise that they themselves are the INFIDEL. The western world would be better to just let them fight it out amongst themselves. Offer no aid or assistance keep the bleeding heart Liberals out of the area and any westerner that goes in to "Try to Help them" goes in at their own risk with no orther help than that that they recieve from their Liberal friends. If they get executed to bad. Any of their ilk that demonstrates against the west in the west we just book them passage on the next flight and allow them to protest where the trouble is at hand.
The world would be better off without them anyway.

SE :

There are a lot of reasons why people fight each other. There is no one ultimate reason why people start conflicts (other then, perhaps, the selfish, evil nature of man). Each situation one can think of will probably have a different reason for why the conflict broke out.
But since our conversation obviously deals with Iraq, I think that is what we must concentrate on.
Now, I take a very Burkean view of society, and I believe it is correct. Edmund Burke says that society is essentially organic, and changes in very organic ways. This is why I oppose revolution. It changes things to fast, and more then often results in "reigns of Terror" (as in the case of the French Revolution). Burke's main thesis is that society is held together by many things, such as prejudice (as in, deeply held beliefs), historical views, etc, etc. Uprooting these deeply held beliefs, or institutions, or whatever tears the fabric of society.
This is why I oppose regime change, and why I think this view explains what is happening in Iraq. Iraq was held together by a variety of reasons, religious and ethnic, and by the state. The state maybe most notably. My government, America, came in and uprooted what held society together. It was, obvious what would happen. The US government knew it, but they did it anyways, and now try and lay all the blame on Iraq's religious factions. Ultimately, its America's fault that Iraq is in pieces.
There is no easy way to solve this problem. Most Iraqi's hate us, so us being there is only going to make the issues worse, and maximize the violence and civil war. At the very least, we can get our money, and our troops out of the chaos. There is a lot of regional interest in Iraq, so no one is going to let it turn into a regional war. Iran already has the Iraqi government in its hands , so no matter what time we choose to leave Iraq, its a given that it will be an ally to Iran. Chaos may continue to reign for some time, but everyone knows this thing will resolve itself somehow, even if Iraq has to become three separate countries (which might actually be best).
The main point though is that society is held together fragilely, and force only destroys that fabric. Obviously, Iraq has a higher tension between its members then lot of other places, making it only that much dumber to think peace could be attained through force.

salamon :

THE QUESTION: It's the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War. Looking at Iraq and your own region, why do ethnic and religious groups fight each other? And what is the solution?

The answer with respect to the history of the world, or that of the USA is basicly economic philosophy and or desire to rule stemming from whatever culture the group has - for RULING has GREAT ECONOMIC BENEFIT for the RULER and his GROUP.

The USA since the arrival of Europeans [or before with the Asian immigrants a.k.a. as NATIVES] had an almost continuos state of WAR. The Natives were fighting in the pre-agricultural area to protect the hunting grounds, and later if was the protection of the well developed agricultural societies from invaders/raiders - who came to "enjoy" the fruit of others' labour. The White invadors of NA, done their best to eliminate the natives [in Newfoundland/Canada they managed 100% "SUCCESS"]. Then the various civil and interstate wars, with the USA coming out as a united entity made up of parts aquired by WAR. When the dust settled, and they gave up on large scale blood letting, the WAR GAMES changed into POLITICAL GAMES, with the same objective:

economic supremacy of one group over the other - whether for philosophical reasons [robber barons versus the masses] or for religious reasons [fundamentalist against those accepting science] or views on how to strengthen the state [invasion of numerous countries, largest being Vietnmam and IRaq]. THIS WAR IS GOING ON WITH MONEY AS THE weapon of choice [we cal it K-street, election finance, and other terms all camoflaging an interest of one group over that of the OTHER].


Irag is the same. The security of the person [economic, or of life] was destroyed by the INVADER, first destroying the infrastructure via bombing, then destroying the state via the PROCONSUL, then playing one side against all others [different ones being in favour as timne goes by] to destroy any semblence of remaining unity of society. So the remaining small groups fight for survival, which takes the following basic steps [as all historical evidence shows in other cases] of

first attacking the COLLABORATORS of the invaders [that is the police, the interpreter, the servant of the invader],

second attacking those who are put in power by the INVADER, for the subjected segment of society is knows and is fully aware that in a broken society, the POWER ELITE will look after itself, at the EXPENSE OF THE OTHER [as in the USA the monied elite wants tax cuts, and service cuts as the rich does not NEED GOVERNMENT AID IN FINACING HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION etc].

There is no solution to this fighting - whether by armaments or by buying political cover, Iraq and USA respectively [though same appllies to most seriously uneven societies], for insuring self and clan survival is an EVOLUTIONARY IMPERATIVE.

There are ways to reduce the fighting, when a society is rich enough abd magnanimous enough to reduce the effort to insure reasonable survival for most [e.g. social democratic nations, such as Sweden or the EU; where the latter is a WORK IN PROGRESS.

In My opinion the blood letting will decrease asap the USA [and its war criminal allies] leave IRAQ. Without doubt the two main powers in the region, the Saudis and the Iranians will work together to stabilize the shattered country. Possibly, there will be a major OIL shock to pay for all the costs involved in rebuilding IRAQ. It is doubtful that the USA will pay, for being the SUPERPOWER it is above INTERNATIONAL LAW/ HUMAN Rights etc, as far as she is concerned. It is possible that China and Russia will put serious moneys into play - they have it, the USA does not, and for this service they will reap the benefit of good relations with the Muslim world in General and IRAQ/IRAn/SAUDI ARABIA in particular.

peledad :

Religions are the basis of most of the fighting, urged on by their "leaders" who want to gain power and rule supreme. It is an extension of tribalism, which operates where religion is not the governing force.
There is no current solution for man's greed, lust for power, wish to dominate others and impose their particular policy. Mankind will find its own solution through destruction of the planet via our own activities or perhaps a meteor will eliminate life so it can start again and repeat the cycle with a better end result.
One would hope that somewhere in the universe a life form has developed without man's typical mindset, where a superior mind has found a way to live without conflict, which seems to be an inherent part of our life on earth.
Conflict exists on all levels of human society and its many subdivisions, nations, provinces, tribes and belief groups, with each having its own beliefs and certainty of being right; the religious basis is the worst of it. They do not even say that "my god is better than your god", because if they thought about it they would realize it could not be true. Only the sheer lust for power seems without deception, but cannot succeed, because it suppresses all under it.

daniel :

It's the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war. Looking at Iraq and your own region, why is it ethnic and religious groups fight each other? And what is the solution?

This question is not of interest to me at the moment but perhaps I can answer it better than I can by reflecting on it by relating what I am working on at the moment:

Why is it man insists he is morally superior to animal and plant life?

The argument for man being morally superior to animal and plant life is often founded on the observation that man is intelligent and has choice and animals and plants are instinctive and therefore cannot be capable of morality.

It seems absurd to blame a predator for his actions if he operates by instinct and it is just as ludicrous to praise the morality of a sheep.

But my belief is that although the above argument is perfectly logical it misses the greater logic that by arguing so the human race misses out on many opportunities to morally compare itself to possible states of itself and possible states of being in general.

Furthermore I believe there is a reluctance to consider animals and plants capable of morality because of course humans necessarily must feed.

Although it is true animals and plants are instinctive and incapable of reflecting on their actions humans should consider that many animals and plants certainly seem morally superior to humans. In other words we should not blame instinctive predators but we should take note that many species seem morally superior even without the powers of reflection of humans.

In fact the human race has never separated itself from animal and plant life when contemplating morality. We still consider Christ the lamb of God and speak of the gentleness of rabbits and the loyalty of dogs, etc. And of course on flags we have predator animals and we have the American eagle and the Russian bear, etc.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that man seems a predator species in transition to becoming a prey species--or he is capitalizing on the best of both predator and prey.

Man is not so focused as predator animals on the outside and with the will to just hunt down prey, but neither is he a prey species fleeing and reproducing out of control. He is somewhere in the middle with morality oscillating between predator and prey and we can see that although he is a predator animal he is also not so far from the behavior of rams which butt heads within their species and flee predators.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that murder/suicide is something of the human race in transition from being a predator species to the rituals of rams headbutting and being a prey species. When rams headbutt they are simultaneously "murdering" each other and "committing suicide" in that they come to an agreement before things get too bad. In general the human race is moving toward being a prey species but with the challenge of needing to keep reproduction under control. Much of human evil just the messy transition between deciding to be either a predator or prey species? A note of hope.

In general although humans must feed on animal and plant life there should be an immense respect for such life because often such life is something of what the human race is transitioning into. --The human race as prey species or even plant without however reproducing out of control.

But for now the process is quite unconscious and man although speaking of the gentleness of rabbits etc. is reluctant to speak of such species as moral examples because humans must feed...It becomes quite a dilemma when we recognize we are feeding on precisely the types of animals we must in a sense become to solve our social problems.

Therefore in sum the human race although intelligent and deserving for this reason to speak of itself as morally superior to animal and plant life must achieve a higher logic and admit that morality can be quite divorced from intelligence and that many species--often precisely the ones we feed upon--are morally superior to humans. We must be respectful in our feeding and work on imitating prey species without however reproducing out of control. In a sense our predator instinct must be transformed into the self-regulation of our species. If we are not willing to follow this procedure and insist our intelligence does make us morally superior (as it now "is") we risk just continuing to feed on all life (being predators) while simultaneously imitating the worst of prey species, which is once again reproducing out of control.

This is something of an indirect answer to the question posed, but it is the only answer I am interested in at the moment.

Zathras :

This is a question for the ages, and such questions tend not to be ones we can answer. We are left to attempt to take each quarrel on its own terms, and do what we can to limit the damage it causes.

There is a problem, now, in this regard -- namely that the wide availability of personal firearms and sophisticated means of organizing the logistics and movement of armed men often means that force has become an option for resolving ethnic and religious tensions. Where one side is organized and armed and another is not (as in Darfur now, Congo until recently, or Bosnia in the mid-1990s) or one side is committed to striking the other's civilians even at the risk of exposing its own to retaliation (as in Iraq today) the loss of life can be out of all proportion to the original grievances feuding ethnic groups had with one another. Violence once begun is like a rock rolling downhill.

In some cultures this is not such a serious problem, for whatever reason. We can't ignore the evidence, though, that certain cultures at their current stage of development can if given the means be exceptionally dangerous -- most especially to those among their neighbors who are least able to defend themselves. As the Anfal and Darfur demonstrate, they can in some cases be as dangerous today as the adherents of the last century's malignant European ideologies were for many decades.

We will not find answers to this in any general consideration of why ethnic and religious groups quarrel. The better course is to focus specifically on the quarrels posing the greatest threat to human life, face squarely the reasons they do, and seek to limit the damage in ways that address those reasons. This will sometimes mean we need to consider the proximate causes of ethnic tension, but more often it will require us to recognize that responsibility for the worst human disasters resulting from such tension is not a two-way street.

Elisabeth Ham :

I believe the continual fighting and/or friction between groups occurs for much the same reason that people, esp. young vulnerable people, are drawn toward gangs, toward fundamentist chuches or mosques, nationalism "USA USA", and similar groupings. Generally people who are confortable and secure in their lives and choices do not need to have strong leaders, father figures, to think for them, tell them what they should do and think.
They can enjoy others like themselves or very different but do not need the group think. All the continual bickering and fighting is more of and attempt to validate identity.

AMviennaVA :

Mary C. : Very well put. In the case of the Middle East, I summarize it as 'End the Occupation'.

Jacob Jozevs :

GENTLEMEN: The Solution to ALL this Polution is EVOLUTION. but sometimes it takes a REVOLUTION. Ofcourse PEACE is golden but hard to come bye when contemplating today's state of (political, Economica, military et... affairs). NOW, Consider that the JEWISH TRIBES among us Internationaly have KOHANs and LEVITES. The former are descendent and given control of the TABERNACLE and the latter are decsendent and given the Blessings of preservation via KING DAVID. They have ASHKA-NAZI, ORTHRODOX, LIBERALS, REFORMED and you name it. BUT: These peace lovin brothers n Sisters do not kill themselves of who got what INHERITANCE or RIGHTS to what ever UN-Holy yet SUNNi's n SHIA are a curse and shame to Mohammad and to ALL the MORALITY that is supposed to be written in them SCRIPTURE n SURAS. The ABRAHAMIC RELIGIOUS INFIGHTING is about "Jealousy, Money, Power, Control,SEXUAL GUILT STORYS and terrorism and JIHAD. Remember the PASS-OVER LINE STORY? The SARA PROSTITUTION STORYS, THE HAGA REJECTION STORY, THE DRUNKEN NOAH STORY, ADAM GIVEN BIRTH TO EAVE STORY..... Wait I did not exampled the KORAN. NOTE: The HINDU & BUDDAHs are no-Different either. So the SECULAR MINDED is winning the war of the un-holy words of Men/women who are IMMORTAL and nothing HOLY! Whats up Doc?

Jacob Jozevz :

GENTLEMEN: The Solution to ALL this Polution is EVOLUTION. but sometimes it takes a REVOLUTION. Ofcourse PEACE is golden but hard to come bye when contemplating today's state of (political, Economica, military et... affairs). NOW, Consider that the JEWISH TRIBES among us Internationaly have KOHANs and LEVITES. The former are descendent and given control of the TABERNACLE and the latter are decsendent and given the Blessings of preservation via KING DAVID. They have ASHKA-NAZI, ORTHRODOX, LIBERALS, REFORMED and you name it. BUT: These peace lovin brothers n Sisters do not kill themselves of who got what INHERITANCE or RIGHTS to what ever UN-Holy yet SUNNi's n SHIA are a curse and shame to Mohammad and to ALL the MORALITY that is supposed to be written in them SCRIPTURE n SURAS. The ABRAHAMIC RELIGIOUS INFIGHTING is about "Jealousy, Money, Power, Control,SEXUAL GUILT STORYS and terrorism and JIHAD. Remember the PASS-OVER LINE STORY? The SARA PROSTITUTION STORYS, THE HAGA REJECTION STORY, THE DRUNKEN NOAH STORY, ADAM GIVEN BIRTH TO EAVE STORY..... Wait I did not exampled the KORAN. NOTE: The HINDU & BUDDAHs are no-Different either. So the SECULAR MINDED is winning the war of the un-holy words of Men/women who are IMMORTAL and nothing HOLY! Whats up Doc?

Mary C. :

Well, THRH, I can't comment about Iraq or Israel or even Cain and Abel, but the reason the Irish fought the English is because the English invaded their country and seized their lands. They kept fighting the English--univited occupiers to the indigenous Irish-- not because they liked to fight them but rather because they wanted to get shod of them. In 1921 they succeeded and the English went home; thereafter the Irish did not fight the English anymore.

(Northern Ireland is a different matter.)

Anonymous :

Why do we have religious and ethnic fighting?

Because we have belief systems that encourage us to fight.

All religions (and even non-religions!) have defined approaches to morality; their adherents are encouraged to see history through a certain lens. They wind up seeing current events through that same lens. Especially if they are die-hard believers who refuse to stand back and take a nuanced, critical look at their beliefs.

Ethnic prejudices work the same way. In the US, for example, black slaves and poor whites intermingled for a long pre-Revolutionary period. Then, white Southern planters realized the threat of the slaves and whites teaming up out of self-interest. The solution? Make the whites resent the blacks, see them as inferiors. Again, many people couldn't look critically at this new system; they assumed it was as old as the human race and somehow "natural."

Remember: The Koran sees Jews and Christians as fellow monotheists, "people of the book!" And Roman slaves were often Caucasians from the Balkans! There are countless other examples showing how "systems" of belief repeatedly change and reverse themselves.

The solution to religious/ethnic fighting is multi-faceted knowledge of your beliefs, and the ability to analyze them dispassionately and honestly.

J. Harry Sutherland :

The religious right fight each other because they despartly need attention. There are 32 Baptist churches in my county. Some as close as across the street from each other. How can these so-called Christians support a war that has proven to be a killing ground for American soldiers? I just can't believe God approves of the mass murder going on in Iraq. The administration relies on the ignorant and uninformed to support their tactics. I don't think right wingers can read or listen to both sides of anything. Their thoughts are formed by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Uneducated people fill these quasi churches and hear opinions that support the current administration. It is sad that we can't get along together and stop bickering.

Yousuf Hashmi :

An Indian saying is that the fight is for three things (zan, zar, zameen) Women, Money, and Land.

The war between groups of people is always for the resources. In the war humans, being an intelligent species knows that if they are alone they will be eliminated. Therefore they unite on basis of race, religion, language and tribes etc.

To avoid the confrontation and loss of lives wise peoples developed the system of law and justice. So the resources are distributed by some formulae and disputes can be solved peacefully.

on those regions were the justice prevails and law is enforced we never hear any clashes between ethnic groups. And the regions with weak governments, less resources and un- fair distribution of wealth witness riots,fightings and killings.

We take the example of Iraq. In Nineties I visited Baghdad, . Midnight alone I walked on the street with out any fear. I am a Sunni by sect but I visited all Shia shrines and prayed inside according to my faith. No body even looked at me. These things are now I believe impossible to imagine.

In Afghanistan we see a continuous fighting between different ethnic groups. If you see the broader picture , last 30 years they are changing their loyalties with the time and regrouping frequently. Although all of them are Muslims but different interests making them the enemies of each other.

In Karachi we saw bitter ethnic riots between Indian migrants (Mohajirs) and Sindhis, Punjabis and Pathans. The problem was eliminated after MQM the party representing Mohajirs got due share in power.

Recently there were riots in France. when the root of the problem explored same basic elements were found.


In palestine if Israel start spending same amount of revenues as for Israeli territory, I am sure the disturbances will be eleminated.

If the standard of living of a palestine boy and Israeli boy will be different then the root cause of problem will remain. only a spark will be needed to spread the disturbance.

To summarise if we want to eleminate the clashes between different groups we have to enforce the law , provide basic ameneties to all individual and treat them equally.

ORL :

Ethnic and religious groups oppose each other mainly because of lack of respect and intolerance, i.e. not accepting others as they are, and not accepting to live with them as they are. Amongst the sources of intolerance are: 1. lust for power, accompanied by the desire to dominate others; 2. fear: to lose one's identity, one's faith, one's convictions, one's culture, one's dear ones, one's life, at the hands of others. More often than not,lack of respect and intolerance generate hate, and conflicts. With conflicts appear offence, humiliation, resentment, revenge, demonization and prejudice. Ultimately, war, civil and/or religious, may ensue.

The solution can only come from the groups themselves. The most humane, the most moral elements in those groups, those that have the greatest credibility and influence, must rise and serve as intermediaries for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. The longer opposition between groups have lasted, the deeper and bitter the divisions and conflicts, the longer it will take to mend. Yet it can be done and peaceful coexistence can be long lasting. But amongst groups with a long history of conflicts between them, peaceful coexistence always remains precarious. Hence the need to strengthen the ties between them (more particularly in the youth), through increased knowledge, mutual understanding, sharing and multiple experiences of togetherness with common goals. Hopefully, that is how, with time, friendship and love (come to exist multi-ethnic and interreligious marriages) will replace hate, resentment and the need for revenge.

To conclude on Iraq, what is never a solution, what is never even helpful... is 1. to encourage and exploit opposition between ethnic and religious groups, 2. to create and increase animosity between them, 3. to generate conflicts between them for political and economic purposes, 4. to be instrumental in ensuring a civil and/or religious war exists between them, so one's hegemonic goals are met. To act like so presupposes one "not wanting a solution", which makes one asking the question "what is the solution?" a wee bit... shall we say... at best... disingenuous?

Lao Tsu: "You win the world by leaving alone."

thrh :

The simple answer is "ethnocentrism." My way is right, yours is wrong. So I'm going to kill you.

It always worked for our forefathers!

thrh :

Forgot about the solution. Simple. More Weapons of Mass Destruction, made cheap and readily available.

It's called American Foreign Policy, if less selective.

thrh :

Why did the Irish fight one another, and also the English, for so many centuries and generations? The English and the Scots and the Irish and the Welsh? The old expression, "familiarity breeds contempt" comes into play, especially given the recent revelations about genaeology in the British Isles. Most of the people there, whatever their nationality, share around 70-80% of their genetic heritage.

Likewise the Israelis and the Palestinians.

It isn't genetics, or even nationality. It's picking a quarrel with your brother, and following through over the centuries.

MikeB :

George Bush announced tonight that he will resist Congressional subpeona's for Harriet Miers, Karl Rove, or any other present or former member of his administration. This is obstruction of justice, a felony. Remove him from office! With this empty gasbag gone and Cheney, too, there will be no reason to stay in Iraq for one more second. The sole reason we are mired down there is to salvage the sorry politcial historical footnote of this incompetent failure, coward, and treasonous excuse for a president. Mr. Bush is a disgrace. Congress, end our long national nightmare and rid us of this stain.

Dave! :

Why do ethnic and religious groups fight each other? A good question. Perhaps one should also ask why, in other places, ethnic and religious groups don't fight each other? I think that part of it has to do with the type of country you are in. If you are in a democratic country that believes in liberty, freedom, individual rights and the rule of law, there seems to be substantially less fighting amongst various groups. If you live in a dictatorship or a non-democratic country where the rights of the individual don't exist, it creates animosities with people feeling, rightly so, that they are not getting a fair shake. The other part to this is the belief system of the ethnic or religious group. If your group believes that it is OK to blow yourself up along with all the innocent "other group" people you can find, then it is not going to get along well with others, again creating animosities.

The solution? I don't know that there is one. You can start with separation of church and state, democracy, rule of law and true belief in individual freedoms. But when you get to the beliefs of various ethnic and religious groups, it really comes down to members questioning some the the radical aspects of their group. If people can justify suicide bombings, then there is no hope.

Salamon :

TOM W:
War Crimes and USA

Article almost same on http://www.washtimes.com/world/20070318-121749-6686r.htm

This is a rightwing USA publication as you well know

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