|P is for Practical|
As a Bhuddist, (not claiming to be a Good One mind you) I look to the example of His Holiness the Dali Llama for guidance & example in the ways of compassion. From this view I agree with you & look with pride as he lead the migration away from the battle forced on them by Mao.
As an American, I look back at the same events with horror & shame. We turned our backs as 2 million Tibetans were raped & slaughtered in the streets at the hands of the Chinese army.
We did nothing then, and what has it gained? China has annexed Tibet. If we had done nothing in the time of the the invasion of Kuwait, it would still be part of Iraq now.
With compassion, we can try to see what is the reason behind the hatred so that we may ease the suffering which is the real problem, that causes hate.
You mentioned the IRA. I am of Irish decent. (Raised Catholic, got over it...) I do not agree with the fact that Ireland is considered part of Britan. It was annexed in the same way, by a greed-riddled government. The people have suffered ever since. Britan should peacefully restore autonomy to the nation of Ireland. That would ease the suffering & stop the hatred.
The problems that are arising now are of ancient origin, but of somewhat recent exacerbation. Isreal was created in the last century to give a homeland to Jews. Pakistan was created to give a homeland to Muslims. These were created by the rest of the world's "superpowers" to dump their problems into a chunk of desert & forget about them.
I am neither for nor against Isreal. I have observed that the land which they were given was already occupied by people, who happened to be Muslims. Muslims living under a theocracy which is not their own will never be treated fairly. As a Bhuddist I would not expect to be treated fairly there either, being "Goy".
I picked out Isreal & Pakistan specifically because they are so diametrically opposed to each other & because they are both nuclear powers.
The idea of using atomics of any kind in the Middle East is laughable. Afganistan & Iraq are each about the size of Texas, roughly. ONE nuclear detonation would poison the entire area with fallout. (What they are doing running detonation tests is beyond me.)
But I stop laughing when I realized that those weapons are not there for security against each other, but rather against the USA & Russia.
Unfortunately it seems that we are running headlong into a clash with Afghanistan, since the Taliban is 'harboring' Bin Laden. I have to say that this action is no shock, since he was a key figure in the battle against the invading U.S.S.R. he is a national war hero there. Sadly, however, his own vehement "holy" cruisade against America & other non-believers has little to do with the poor starving people of Afghanistan; a nation with the greatest refugee problem in the world, where 1/3 of the population is close to starvation.
Not that I think Bin Laden is a perlmonk, nor do I think he would read this, but I think that he himself could avoid this conflict by redressing his ways & reasserting what is left of his own personal fortune away from weapons & guerrilla training programs, and towards the efforts of feeding his people and giving them some kind of economic hope for the future. By his own statements, if he were to surrender himself willingly afterwards, he would still have his proclaimed belief in the protection of Allah, and might think of himself as a martyr. (hey believe anything you want pal...)
Sadly, Afghanistan is very like Tibet at this time. They have something like 2 main roads in the entire country. Like in Vietnam, where the plan was to 'blast them back to the stone age' these are a people who are not very far out of the stone age yet.
But that is to their advantage & they know it well.
War is won in the Will. You must remove the Will to fight & the war will evaporate. Of course, how we do this? That's the real question.
Whatever the future holds though, we must learn from the mistakes of history. "Don't turn your back others or they will turn on you."
I am noticably conflicted. My religion prevents me from any feelings towards others except compassion & occasionally pity. But my culture cries out for action! Kudos to G.W. Bush for having restraint thus far. Reciprocity IS a deadly game to get into. If you read Bin Laden's rederick, available at pbs.org,you will see that is what his current cruisade is all about. There is a transcript of an interview with him in 1996. In there he uses the term 'reciprocity' over & over again as justification. It would be unwise to play his game by his rules...