Comments: P.S. ravings

What would you do as teacher in this case, Deftsman? Censor all letters that don't meet a certain ideological standard? I think it says something for U.S. education that we don't do that. I checked out the "objectionable content" at the link and all I could make out was that there are some kids who have different views than their government. Is this so objectionable? Is it so awful that kids are worried about civilian casualities? The site had a bunch of nonsense about the views being leftwing academic propaganda. If grade-schoolers are now reading Chomsky or Das Kapital, Bush's No Child Left Behind is working wonders! Just a few years ago, half of the young tykes couldn't write their own names. As for the ideological deviations, perhaps we need to start a Bush Youth Corp and dress the younguns in freshly pressed brown shirts with identical American flags sown across the front. We can then instill some patriotic views in their bosoms before they get to uppity and start thinkin' for themselves.

Posted by Karlo at February 23, 2005 07:16 PM

And the part about how some grade-schooler's letter might ruin morale was a real hoot. You've got people sitting out in the Iraqi sun and dust getting shot at, people flipping them off or throwing rocks at them all day, and they're going to all pack their bags and leave because of the questioning of some little grade-schooler.

Posted by Karlo at February 23, 2005 07:18 PM

Karlo, that's not the point and I'm sure you know it. These guys aren't ready to pack their bags and leave because of some sarcastic, uninformed little 6th graders. But if you have ever been lonely, homesick, far from family and friends, you understand how much something like that cuts at your heart.

Haven't you ever felt strongly about something or someone, felt you were doing the right thing for them, felt as though you were doing the best that you could do under bad circumstances or conditions, only to have it thrown back at you as "not good enough" or completely wrong? Haven't you ever loved something or someone deeply enough to lay down your life for him, her or it, only to be rebuffed cruelly by the very thing or person you loved enough to make that sacrifice? The cruelties of love feel the same, whether it's a hostile, ungrateful lover or a hostile, ungrateful populace.

Sure, you can look at it as "big macho soldiers too sensitive to what little kids say" but you can also look at it "snarky know-it-all pre-teens try to act like they have a clue" as well.

I'm sure even Marx had days when the cruelties and lack of understanding within his own circle were unbearable.

Posted by Mamamontezz at February 25, 2005 04:53 AM

Instead of being upset about such letters, I would see them as an opportunity for dialogue. As for motivations, I know from personal experience that many of the soldiers in Iraq in elsewhere believe in what they're doing. But the same could be said of the "insurgents." I'm sure they have bad days too when they are angry with the local population for not giving them adequate support. One conservative meme seems to be that we should all band together like members of a tightknit tribe. Personally, I feel like the world has enough tightknit tribes. Instead of true-believers, it could use a more independent thinkers who feel little loyalty to tribes or nations.

Posted by Karlo at February 28, 2005 03:22 PM

"Instead of true-believers, it could use a more independent thinkers who feel little loyalty to tribes or nations."

You know Karlo, Stalin had a term for those who had no loyalty to their nation, he called them "useful idiots".

While dissent within the nation is good, indeed it's necessary to ensure non-stagnation of the body politique, such as occurring in Europe right now. Politics ends at the borders edge, from there, a united front is best for the security of the people.

At any time in history, when any group lost the basic cohesion to form a stable society, (ie when there was no longer loyalty to the society) that society has been destroyed by the groups that had maintained that cohesiveness.

"I'm sure they ("insurgents") have bad days too when they are angry with the local population for not giving them adequate support."

Yes they do Karlo, and take note of how they treat with those that "do not give them adequate support". WE have discussions and debates, THEY just put the dissenting population up against the wall and shoot them.

Dissent and discussion can only occur among people that have respect for others opinions and viewpoints. The "insurgents" idiology precludes any such differences and works to stamp them out, and preferably in the most brutal manner possible, to discourage further dissent in the future.

Posted by delftsman3 at February 28, 2005 06:15 PM
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