Monday, December 9, 2013

Calling People Evil

There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys.
There's only you and me and we just disagree.

Dave Mason

'Good guys and 'bad guys' in the war on terror

The following are lines from the movie Joyeux Noel, but they were taken from an actual sermon given in Westminster Abbey in 1915:   
Christ our Lord said, “Think not that I come to bring peace on earth. I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” The Gospel according to St. Matthew. Well, my brethren, the sword of the Lord is in your hands. You are the very defenders of civilization itself. The forces of good against the forces of evil. For this war is indeed a crusade! A holy war to save the freedom of the world. In truth I tell you: the Germans do not act like us, neither do they think like us, for they are not, like us, children of God. Are those who shell cities populated only by civilians the children of God? Are those who advanced armed hiding behind women and children the children of God? With God’s help, you must kill the Germans, good or bad, young or old. Kill every one of them so that it won’t have to be done again.


James R said...

I'm slightly surprised the U.S. government allows that article to remain on the web.

Big Myk said...

Actually, I just heard David Simon, the creator of the TV show “The Wire,” on NPR's Morning Edition today discuss this very point. He assserts that the reporting on the NSA has been "hyperbolic," and that there is no evidence that information collected by the NSA is being misused to try to thwart free speech.
Surveillance Revelations Give Creative Writers Pause.

More on this from David Simon:
We are shocked, shocked…

James R said...

The NPR piece is nice, especially when David Simon explains this problem has always been, and will always be, a pendulum swing. The government and the people must continue to find the proper ground between protection and coercion. (I'll continue to say this but no one will listen: Forget privacy. It may be important to some people but not nearly as important as freedom from persecution.) The key, as Simon and Azar Nafisi point out, is that it is up to the people to keep the swing of the pendulum from becoming stuck. If one poet is afraid the government is targeting her because of a poem on why someone might become a jihadist, then 10 more should write on the subject, as David Simon says.

The current problem, as shown in the Elizabeth Goltein article, is that, with unaccountable killing of civilians, torture, and targeting "bad guys" the pendulum may have swung to the point where someone reporting government abuse of power or criticism of military operations may be forced to leave the country in fear for their life.

Like Simon says we need writers to step up.