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Thread: Shadow of the Warrior - post WTC

  1. #1
    Excalibor Guest

    Exclamation Shadow of the Warrior - post WTC

    Greetings, Mr. Amdur.

    I've read this article on and I must say I am truly impressed. Not just by what you say in it, but also for it takes a great deal of courage to recognize those feelings anf tell about them to the world.

    I, too, once let anger and wrath to take over my hara, at the brisk of life and death. Actually just of death. Not as close in distance as you, but as close in intent and intensity. It was a frigtening experience, one I am very much ashamed of.

    I concur with you in every and all words. I also think Aikidô was born in an act of dispair against all the darkness within, an act of greatest love for life and good, like some kind of beacon so we can find the light to overcome our inner shadows, the darkness inside.

    Watching today's events in New York and Washington, and Afghanistan, one cannot but wonder how can we overcome these shadows, this madness that is not only inside of ourselves, but also ambushing outside, behind every corner.

    I do think this is what the bugei were created for, or at least where they have evolved, to allow us to fight against this crazyness and pain... I was once said by a man I owe maybe not my life, but definitely my mind and my soul, that we can only change this world for better one by one. This is probably the harshest lesson of them all: all our power, skill and will only allows for fighting and hopefully transforming two people at once, aite and ourselves.

    I am really impressed after readying your article, for it was a reflection of myself, and of my own, continuing struggle to become a sword of life, and for life, despite all odds against this goal, to become a truly human being.

    Thank you for the support, it gives me more strength to keep on fighting my shadows.

    respectfully submitted,

    PS- all my sympathy for those affected by this catastrophe, I still cannot understand it and I don't think I ever will...

    David S. de Lis
    Last edited by Ellis Amdur; 15th September 2001 at 00:08.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Pacific Northwest
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    Mr. de Lis -

    Now that America has received this baptism of blood, I reread my essay myself.

    I believe not only America, but the world has to finally respond to terrorism. The question of whether we embrace the shadows ourselves will be defined by such things as 1) how we treat the Muslim residents (American and foreign) of America 2) if, unlike either the Clintonesque fire cruise missles on Sudan and the hills of Afganistan, in useless gestures or the Kissengereque bomb everything that moves and terrorize them into submission, I truly hope that we will plan, seek out and destroy the actual enemies - both the murderers and their supportive governments. It surely will prove impossible to be absolutely clean in this, but it will be an absolute failure of what we are trying to accomplish if we do not come close. In other words, even a war against terror must have rules of engagement on our side.

    Finally, as for understanding the terror bombing, I think it's quite simple. And not G. Bush's rather silly accusation that they were cowards. The world would be a safe place if they were cowards. We have a naive illusion that courage = good. The terrorists might have been brave men, but they were evil and they were filled with hate. Hate, the urge to destroy, mirrors the drive towards entropy - fundamental disorder in the universe. We humans were born to counter this, in our small way. To create order, to BUILD a world trade center, to create a ballet, to protect our children, AND to commit the kind of RIGHTEOUS violence that the passengers who probably crashed the Pennsylvania plan did, are all manifestations of the fight against hate, against the universe itself winding down. And if the human spirit is eternal, it earns it's eternity through this. And dare I say it, that which is in opposition of hate, is love, in the sense that Ueshiba was groping for.

    The counter to hate is not pacifism. It seems to me, for what little it's worth, that to fight hate, we will have to go to war - and in the process, do as much as possible to not allow war to destroy us.

    With Respect

    Ellis Amdur
    Last edited by Ellis Amdur; 15th September 2001 at 00:35.

  3. #3
    Excalibor Guest

    Default is any war just?

    Mr. Emdur,

    I agree with you in that those crimes shouldn't remain without punishment.

    However, allow me to disagree with your solution.

    Some context first.

    I live in a country where terrorism has been active for the last 33 years, supposedly asking for the "liberation" of the so called Vasque Country. We have suffered brutal assaults and inhuman kidnappings. Despite Spain has enjoyed a rather healthy democracy since 1975 (Constitution approved by referendum in 1978) the perception of these terrorists outside Spain has been as 'independentist freedom fighters' and similar things until just some 6-8 years ago. And international help to deal with known terrorists with extraditions to Spain, so they can be judged by their crimes, is still a recent phenomenum.

    It's hard to read international newspapers, news programs, talking like this when your country is suffering on a montly basis coward bomb attacks, when people is dieing everywhere in the country.

    And it is just another mafia, earning money through terror.

    Terrorism is not unknown in the rest of Europe, either. We are painfully aware of it.

    I know the States have had its share of terrorist attacks, and this last one has been disproportionately savage. But it's hard to think it has been the last drop in the glass. However, such an attack, the way it was performed, and the targets, do not only hurt people's heart, from the outside, the perception is that it has mainly hurt the national pride.

    We are all proud of our countries. We are trained, educated to feel this way. We all are patriots. But the power and projection States has on the whole world makes it specially vulnerable to become target of terrorism. But there are causes that, in the minds of the criminals, justify their actions. I won't fall into topics, but the truth is that in defending its interests, its way of life, the USA have performed many, many, many horrible acts: armed enemies to provoque destabilising wars in South America, Africa and Asia, economic disruption of many countries, and the world has lived on the verge of a nuclear war for years in a struggle against the USSR, not just for self-defense or ideological differences. Another example, the space race was a matter of pride more than scientisfic interest... and the States is one of the few countries not to sign the Ozone treaty. It's something necessary but inconvenient. How come the future is important?

    Now it's not time to think with a wounded ego, it's a time to think with the brain. The attacks on muslins in the States (and even here in Madrid!) are a clear sign that people is not thinking, for Islam is basically a peaceful religion with a bloody past, just like Christianism and most religions and ideologies in the world and History. Civil liberties in the States and in the Internet, and by induction, in the rest of the world, are being severely threatened "by the cause".

    Launching a holy war against terrorism now is as unjust and stupid as the terrorism itself, specially when thousands or millions of innocent people will suffer pain, or even death. Terrorism is not a genetic characteristic we can eliminate by looking for those genes and wiping them up from the face of Earth. Terrorism is a stupid reaction from people that has little else to loose.

    If we want to end with terrorism, we have to work out to end with its causes: economic exploitation of more than 3/4 of humanity and its resources, social umbalance, xenophobia and racism, among many others. Western countries luxury, ambition, life quality... those are things that should be at everybody's reach. There are many millions of people in this planet that don't yet know what a refrigerator is.

    When these reasons to feel exploited, to feel oppressed, are gone, when people is educated to respect each other not as "US" and "THEM" but as "WE ALL", when racism, xenophobia and hate are not needed, because everybody would be able to live a decent life, when the place you have born can be described as "Earth", and religions are a personal matter, not a social manipulation tool, then terrorism won't be necessary anymore.

    This is a giants' task, yes. But we have the power to create giant buildings. Won't we have the power to create truly Human Beings?

    Crying for those dead in a terrorist attack and, at the same time, choosing to ignore those who daily die in power/control/money/religious wars, of thist and hunger, of illness easily treated (but, alas, too expensive, like one or two submarines), of hate crimes, by their religion, color of skin, place of birth or sexuality... I feel we are just prey of hipocrisy, terrible and blind hipocrisy.

    In the mean time, we should locate the terrorists still alive that helped to commit the attack on NY and DC and bring them to Justice, with all guaranties that democratic rules are played (now strictlier than never) and that the true guilty are punished for their crimes (aside note: preferrably not with a death sentence. It's not effective, as these people, as I stated before, have nothing to loose, so it won't be an exemplary punishment, just more martyrs for their cause. It's also an inhuman practice, nobody should have the right to kill anyone, not even by consensus. And in the process, too many innocent people have been legally assasinated, as the recent case of a spanish in Miami demonstrated. On the other hand it does not provide the criminal the opportunity of rehabilitation, of becoming useful for society again). The true guilty, not thousands of innocents. I don't buy "wanted dead or alive" cowboy talk, specially since, if the numerous series and motion pictures that depict the States legal system are right, everybody is innocent until he is proved guilty.

    Vendetta is just food for the masses hurt egos. This is too serious a matter to let our lowest feelings to take over our actions. Anger and hate will do the crimes, but we will be who suffer the consequences... and we will be responsible of all the suffering we create in the process (like we are already creating with all the people that's escaping from Afghanistan for sheer panic, terror).

    I cannot change nothing at teh big scale, but I can try to change things around me, I can try to help people to accept the pain, and feel anger but not to let that anger control their actions, like I did this very same afternoon with a coworker who equates Islam = terrorism and fanatism and holy war.

    For me, this is Aikidô as well.

    I do think pacifism is not the solution. The solution is actively working to create the framework where real, effective solutions to the causes, not to the symptoms, can be applied. War, for me, is not a solution, just a patch to calm our anger.

    There's not such a thing like a just war.

    In the end, everybody can claim they are fighting for freedom, for justice. But it's not freedom for all, justice for all. There are other interests as well, it's not the the Good itself. Kant would have to agree with me in this.

    Going to war is, effectively, to surrender to the shadows inside ourselves.

    We can make better.

    respectfully submitted,

    David S. de Lis

    FEJYDA Aikidô Dept. IAF Spain.

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