Jaha: Dear America: Really, I'm more patriotic than you think, please don't let the nappy hair and leather jackets fool you (I'm a poet and...well that's another story) anyway, we seem awfully quick to label others terrorists but what are we calling ourselves when we go around the world (really, the whole world) killing others ...(actually killing, not just possibly attempting to)?
Scott: Counterpoint. Touché. But.... (friendly debate) Am I any less a murderer because my weapon fails to fire?
Breathe: I feel you. But if you follow that Nigerian brother's trail, he was a terrorist. Most of our acts in America are terrorist acts too. We all just need more YOGA lol.
Jaha: Say I am 6 feet tall and the bully on the playground. I push and push and push and push...when you push back, you are still a pusher, yes, but what else are you going to do?
Scott: Second. We (you, I, and those before and after us) live under the blanket of protection our brand of "terrorism" provides. And we are free to criticize it publicly thanks to the sacrifices of my brothers and sisters who voluntarily put ourselves in harm's way.
Respected point. I'm that same bully who fed you when you were hungry, clothed you when you were naked, and defended you from your hostile neighbors.
I DO respect your position, but the scenery's all grey.
Although misguided on occassion.
Jaha: But it's not on occassion. Give me an example where it was guided properly?Also, please know, I have great respect for my brothers and sisters and fathers and cousins who put themselves in harms way. I don't want them dying for????
Scott, do you work for the white house? It's not grey. I'm an artist. I live off of knowing my colors.
Jeri: Scott, so do you agree America is a terrorist country too but since it's run as a democracy it's OK?
Scott: Maybe not in recent events were we "innocent"...WWII was clearly a case where we were justified in the use of our Military force.
And while I clearly understand the brutality of this country's imposition, I challenge ANY OF YOU to reject it's benefits.
Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan had within their power the military capability to determine the fate of all of us yet unborn had the U.S. not entered the Arena. The world we live in 70 years later is a byproduct of the will never to be at the mercy of another World Power. It ain't pretty, but where would you rather be?
Jaha: Me personally, I wouldn't want to live in any other country but this county. True. I'm not saying that there aren't many many many many benefits to living in this country. That's another link and a separate point. Because there are benefits to living here doesn't say that we aren't wrong for many of the acts that we do. And PS, you went all the way back to WWII?
Scott: Sisters, I'm an artist too (not a visual one), and I respect your viewpoints and will even defend your right to have them, but it's known and accepted that the lifestyles we all enjoy are paid with very ugly wages.
Jaha: Again, let it be said, let it be known, I'm not saying that it is not to our benefit and protection that we have a military force. I am very thankful. Why is it that when anyone charges America with doing any wrong, someone brings up the right? If you give me space to praise America, give me space to charge America. Also, we are now the world power you were speaking against.
Scott, no one disagrees with you. Yes, the lifestyles we all enjoy are paid with very ugly wages. We enjoy certain benefits at the expense of someone else. Perhaps those are the ugly wages you speak of. My "thing" about this conversation with you is that I don't feel like I am being heard. I keep giving you your point on the benefits of living in America, not that this conversation was even about America's benefits, but I am saying that we too freely put labels on others who are often defending themselves against us. My question again, if we are killing others around the world, when others defend themselves why are they the ONLY terrorists? No, I'm not rooting for a war on our soil. I'm saying that when you watch the news there is such a one sided point of view given that it makes it too easy for us to look at them and never at us.
Scott: This dialogue contains a fair amount of agreement on both sides. Your point is understood and respected and has validity. In our analogies, even the "bully" will have his day. Every "empire" before ours has fallen and we're no exception. The "bully" to some is "big brother" to others, and is still expected to protect homself at any cost. All in all, if given no other choice, I'll be aggressor rather than victim.
Jaha: And there you go. The milartistic world view of the world citizen. That's my thing. There is always a victim and an aggressor even when there doesn't have to be a victim and an aggressor. We can play.
Thank you so much for this conversation. Really. We are artists and what else is art about? This is not cue to shut down discussion. Let's keep it up in our music, poetry, theater, blogs, conversations, classes.
Msadiki: Scott, you're arguing an ugly point ... just because "we" as Americans (North ) benefit from war waging doesn't ever justify this greater notion of National Security Interest or Manifest Destiny ...just because it sounds good, and "we" grew up hearing these principles, doesn't preclude that the actions taken to realize them, is correct, no matter what the so-called benefits are!!! Because the deeper historical underpinning of the notion of "Manifest Destiny", rest squarely on the notion and practice of both White Supremacy/Racism and a backward Christian determinism, if held up to any real critic, could only be ultimately enforced at the barrel of a gun ...no matter how well the lie is constructed, it's still at it's heart manipulation and the "selling of an "air-sandwich"!!!
Scott: Msadiki, Respectfully, let's make it clear. I'm not "justifying" nor am I validating our country's criminal behavior. My ancestors were stolen from the same continent yours were. I have been, as a former US serviceman an instrument of its will... Voluntarily. I have been in harm's way in uniform and have seen war firsthand. Have you? I don't defend evil of any kind, but I reserve the right to defend my homeland and the people I care about regardless of my Nation's ills. That's all I'm saying. Better or worse.
Jaha, I've always enjoyed the fruit of your mind. It's one of the many things that's beautiful about you. Many times our opposing opinions are the byproducts of our unique experiences but that doesn't mean we can't have heartfelt respectful verbal intercourse. In the end, it's our relationships as friends, co-artists and lovers of life that sustain us.
I value and appreciate you.
Msadiki: I hear you Scott !!! I don't agree all that America thinks acts and does should ever be determined using what we ultimately gain ( trinkets ) , as a barometer. I know that you aren't arguing that/this point completely either, however, to say or to suggest that in the name of "near perfect blankets of protection", or the notion that the " ... See Morelifestyle we enjoy is paid for by ugly wages", needs to be thoroughly debaed and discussed to assess it's contemporary accuracy and need as a analytical position we usse to determine our "might" and right as Americans ( Military included ). //\\ Given a REAL choice in-the-matter, I would venture that a fairly large number of North Americans would op out of the methods used to accrue these benefits we enjoy. Why, because the "blow-back" is too hideous and great !!!! Further,because American history isn't taught, running the gamut of the lengthy set of atrocities it took historically to be the so-called world single super-power, then ultimately what that non-action translates to is lack of understanding and a ultimate misuse of energy ( Military ). So, given all this then , again, we have a big job as Americans , because when bombs start going off on our shores, we can attempt to bomb the world to pieces , but we won't bomb it into to peace!!! Again, the very notion and practice of a Manifest Destiny , built on the utter lie, the notion of White Supremacy, must be re-examined or, we'll all fall under the weight of global mistrust , a clear mistrust because of our ignorance and arrogrance....most of the out-side world understands this, and knows that in a lot of ways "WE" are a paper tiger!!! Guns don't make us strong, making war isn't righteous, there are however some universal principles that can and should guide "our" hand. "truth doesn't need to be validated by ignorance" !!! ~