X-Message-Number: 20042
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 15:27:33 -0700
From: Olaf Henny <>
Subject: James Swayze On Life Under Totalitarian Governments
References: <>

In Message #20036 James Swayze <>
wrote in part:
Subject: Spinal repair, Dresden, if I met a talking light

>"That said, I think it was unwise for the author of this article to include

>Dresden as "innocent" and "dying through no fault of their own" and especially 
>in the same sentence juxtaposing it to the victims of the holocaust. Many have
>tried to make out the firebombing of Dresden as an Allied atrocity because

>200,000 lost their lives there in one fell swoop. I wonder how those apologists

>compare and value the six million holocaust lives lost compared to the 200,000?

James, I usually respect your thoughts and opinions, but in this
case you are spouting folly.

If the present US government attacked civilian targets in Saudi
Arabia and caused, say, 30 or 40 casualties, would you also say,
that this was not an atrocity, because a number of Saudis were
involved in the killing of 2,500 Americans and about 300 other
nationals (including some Arabs, I suspect)?  If so, where does
the limit lie?  You killed 100 of ours, so I kill 99 of yours and
still maintain my halo?

>People have to be held accountable for the actions of their government. Right 
>there is great concern for the innocent civilians of Iraq living under the
>oppression of Saddam Hussein. Innocent? Look at some point one has to get to a
>moral absolute.

You have obviously not lived under a totalitarian government.  I
have lived under two, the Nazis and the Communists; three if you
count the Shah of Iran, but he was relatively benign.  So I
forgive you your naivete in assuming, that you do have a choice.

>We tend to cut some slack for those held at gun point and so
>called "forced to" commit atrocities under orders of their superiors. Baloney!

>There is such a thing as a personal moral absolute. I don't care if a luger was
>pointed at my head, in some similar situation, I would not gun down innocent
>people just to save my own life. I would know it was fundamentally wrong. If I

>did not realize it as fundamentally wrong I am still not therefore excluded 
>personal responsibility. Some things are known fundamentally, instinctually.

I am sure some people of your moral fortitute have done that.
The trigger of the "Luger" was pulled and then it was pointed at
the next head.  Sooner or later there was somebody who would find
it extremely difficult to live with that conscious, but live he
would, and none of the heroics of his predecessors made the
slightest bit of difference to the victims, except that it reduced the
number of potential opponents to the killing and the regime has been

>Likewise the non Jewish people of Germany were not innocent victims of their
>government, "dying through no fault of their own". They put that government in

Ahhhgh come on, which planet have you just droped in from?  A new
party assumes power, controls all the military and police forces,
dissolves parliament, which has in the past decade been woefully
ineffective and brings the country from the lowest living
standard among technologically advanced nations to the highest
within six years.  At which stage do you intervene successfully?
Do you even *want* to intervene?

>No matter how dangerous to oppose that government once it was established
>it should still have been opposed and opposed widely. Instead the "innocent"

>Dresdens closed their eyes to the atrocities of their government while 
>economic prosperity at the least level and super racedom at the worst level!

>The same goes for the citizens of Iraq. They are responsible for the government
>they allow to rule over them. If they all stood in opposition that government
>would soon disappear.

There are a number of high ranking Iraqi army officers, "who
stood in opposition"; -- guess who disappeared?

>Look, Extropes listen up and listen good! Go read Howard
>Bloom's excerpt from his "The Lucipher Principle--A Scientific Expedition Into

>The Forces Of History" http://www.howardbloom.net/islam.htm. Islam is THE 
>threat to our technological paradise dreams. The Quran does not allow, not one

>single bit, for the existence of anyone non moslem. It plainly instructs 
>to actively kill infidels, especially Jews, Christians and Atheists. ...

I have lived in Islamic countries for about 5 years (4 1/2 in Iran
and1/2 in Turkey and travelled in addition in Iraq, Syria,
Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt).  In Iran, at least, I spoke the
language fluently and had all kinds of discussions.  I found the
general population very tolerant toward my (assumed)
Christianity.  That changed, when I told them, that I was not.
"Oh no you should be a Christian!" was the general reaction.  So
don t confuse a bunch of fanatics with the general population.

>... .  All the

>real, imminent and serious threats of weapons of mass destruction in the hands 

>Saddam "Insane" aside for the moment, something has to be done to stem the tide
>of radical terrorist ludditism that goes by the name of Fundamentalist Islam.
>Does making a clear statement in Iraq work to this end? ...

People who oppose technological progress are in the eyes of the
general population no more weird, than people who think they can
be frozen and later revived.

If we want to be tolerated, we have to be tolerant ourselves.

>...Enough said.



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