Re: A culture of war

Richard Manning (
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 10:13:20 -0500

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Linell Davis wrote:

> It is the tone of the list that troubles me. Few people seem to be
> interested in gaining information and insights from others. They just
> want to fight. I doubt that anyone is persuaded by anything that is
> posted. It is all verbal combat. To me, make love not war, is just as
> relevant today as it ever was. The anti-war movement needs to come home
> and dwell among ordinary folk and intellectuals alike.


> I sit here listening to the Voice of America and resist falling into
> despair over the combativeness of American culture at all levels. The US
> government has to show force in dealing with Iraq. People have to take
> sides for or against Clinton in the latest political soap opera. Or just
> say they find the fight boring. It is so easy to get people to fight
> with one another. The legal system is adversarial. It chooses a winner
> rather than seeking truth. It assigns blame to one party, rather than
> distributing it justly.

A quite excellent commentary on whether one begins ANYTHING from a
presumption of trust or mistrust. The American ethos usually demands one
start with mistrust; historically so, but dominating post-WW II and,
especially, since our Indochina, et. al. invasions of weaker peoples.

I am able to second Davis' comments on the noted societal and personal
differences, not only with the regard the Chinese but also several other
nationalities with whom I have lived and worked. After leaving Vietnam
in 1967 - being quite disenchanted with the deceptions, paranoia and
hypocrisies guiding our civilian and military leadership - I have worked
in Asia over 10 years and Europe over 15 years.

In the Sixties there was a combative spirit, clearly, but also a
dialectic on learning "what's going on?". Davis' comments should be
mediated on for they are important. And Wright's little dispute,
resolved in a quite unreasonable fashion herein, well prove Davis' main

Must our educated people continue to become more and more closeminded,
parochial and combative as has our elected officials and bureaucrats????

richard manning