greg (grysar) wrote,
greg
grysar

Orwell and the sword of shame

Interesting article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5570-2001Oct16.html

Shame is one of the most common attacks against Western civilization. Not without reason, though now-a-days, thankfully, our opponents have far more to feel guilty of than we.

Guilt is commonly described to be a western invention, an internalized sense that punishes us when we fail to meet our conscious or unconscious standards. Shame is a far older idea, by which society sanctioned those who broke its standards. Both guilt and shame are exactly as good as the moral system on which they are based. Shame has become an international battlefield, one on which the United States traditionally loses as we don't wield it well. Fortunately, we have a far superior weapon, a free media. However, public diplomacy battle tactics is a much longer discussion.

So, one example to close off with.
The issue of Iraq's starving citizens.
This is solely Saddam's fault. This is not to say, his citizens are being rightfully punished for his actions. Instead it is based on the fact that Iraq has more than sufficient revenue and aid to feed its people. This is shown in Northern Iraq which is not under Saddam's control. It is ridiculous to hold the United States responsible for Saddam's hostage taking in his attempts to rebuild his military and win a propaganda war.

What is reasonable is to request a positive change on our part. How can we get around Saddam to get food to the Iraqi people. Its a key difference, and an argument we need to be making.
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