Class Warfare Blog

May 22, 2017

Terrorism: A Battle Between Good and Evil?

Filed under: History,Morality,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 1:13 pm
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Recently President Trump characterized the terrorism surrounding the disputes between the West and Muslim countries this way: “This is a battle between good and evil.” I guess I should confess that I do not believe there are such things as good and evil, other than as amorphous words we use to vaguely describe how we feel about events.

And terrorism is not such a battle, terrorism is a tool used by the weak against the strong, just like guerrilla warfare. In the American Revolutionary War, we Americans used Guerrilla warfare because we were weak and England was strong. You use the tools you have.

Terrorism is not something used by the strong. Strong entities use overwhelming force (Shock and awe, baby! Shock and awe.) and even brutality to impress their will. This is not an option for weaker countries or weaker groups. So, they use terrorism and guerrilla warfare to intimidate and dissuade. The Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War was a clear indication of the threat that no one could be safe anywhere in the country, a brilliant tactic by a weaker country against a more powerful one. “You have B-52 bombers, Agent Orange, and Vulcan cannons; we have soldiers with a rifle and a few rounds of ammunition and you will never be safe.”

So, is terrorism a “battle between good and evil”?


Actually, anyone who uses that phrase, “a battle between good and evil,” is being manipulatory and disingenuous. They are trying to lay the mantle of “good” on their shoulders and the mantle of “evil” on the other guy’s. They are inviting simplistic thinking in the extreme. Me good, you bad; that kind of thinking.

When you hear that phrase, hold on to your wallet and back away; the person uttering it is not to be trusted.

June 7, 2013

We Are Becoming That Which We Despise

Filed under: Politics,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 6:40 am
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I grew up during the Cold War. People called those they didn’t like a “communist” as an epithet. We despised totalitarian regimes because of their lack of freedoms, because of their abuses, of their spying on their own citizens, of their willingness to “disappear” people, to whisk them off to Gulags.

We have become just like those “enemies” we despised.

And for what?

Our government says that if they didn’t rendition people, if they didn’t spy on us, if they didn’t assassinate people, it would put us “at risk.”

And I say, “So effing what?”

Do they also say that because of our government’s actions, they are radicalizing more and more people, thus increasing our risk? Do they also say that absolute safety is impossible? Do they also say “there are other ways?” No, they do not as that would undermine their actions.

I live in the city of Chicago. It is highly racially segregated. The South Side and the North Side are quite different racially. What would be people’s reactions if the police were to start patrolling the South Side and shooting any young black man who looked like a gangbanger … because of the “risk” of crime and mayhem they might commit on the North Side? How do you expect those who live on the South Side to react to this?

We have something called “due process” in this country. Often the police say things like “our hands are tied because no crime has been committed,” indicating they can’t act based on vague threats, they need evidence of a crime first. This is one of our cherished freedoms.

This is what we are eschewing in the face we turn to the world. Those freedoms are for us, not for you.

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