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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a
nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a
"Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed
considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense
initiatives more successful? Can such an application of
science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable,
necessary or impossible?
Read Debates, a new
Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published
(4362 previous messages)
- 06:46am Sep 18, 2002 EST (#
4363 of 4365)
"" History of Oppression
Since the founding of the modern Turkish republic, in 1923,
the authorities have tried to wipe out the distinct identity
of the Kurds, Turkey's largest minority. Until a change in
legislation, in 1991, the use of Kurdish was totally banned in
numerous situations, such as speaking or singing in public,
Kurds live in neighboring parts of Iran, Iraq, and Syria,
where they have also suffered repression, with the exception
of a portion of Iraq that Kurds control with the help of the
United Nations. Yet only Turkey, home to the largest Kurdish
population, has gone to great lengths to eradicate the Kurds'
Today officials sometimes try to justify the ban on the use
of Kurdish in education by claiming the language is too
primitive. According to Nurset Aras, a professor of medicine
and rector of the University of Ankara, "Kurdish is not a true
language. It is not adequate for academic education."
Linguists dismiss the notion. Indeed, Kurdish has a
literary tradition that goes back at least three and a half
centuries. Mem û Zîn, the names of two lovers, is an epic
story of tragic love written by the Kurdish poet and Muslim
scholar Ehmedî Xanî at the end of the 17th century. It is
considered one of the greatest classics of Kurdish literature.
..... According to Amnesty International, Mürsel Sargut, a
19-year-old literature student at Istanbul University who was
arrested last November 30, was tortured while in police
custody. He was allegedly stripped and sprayed with
pressurized water and then raped with a nightstick by police
after he refused to "confess" ....
Before the European
Union will invite Turkey to join, it is demanding "respect and
protection of minorities, including the right to have
education and broadcasting in their own language," says
Jean-Christophe Filori, the spokesman on enlargement issues
for the European Commission, the executive body of the
European Union. But Turkey has shown "no flexibility on the
education issue," he says.
- 07:42am Sep 18, 2002 EST (#
4364 of 4365)
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click
"rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for
on this thread.
A Road Map for Iraq http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/18/opinion/18WED1.html
If Washington is serious about working with
other nations to restrain Iraq, it can't expect to dictate
every move to the U.N.
Lemon Fizzes on the Banks of the Euphrates By
MAUREEN DOWD http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/18/opinion/18DOWD.html
In just a few days, the Iraq crisis went
from Saddam having a noose around his neck to W. being bound
by multilateral macramé.
Iraq, Upside Down By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/18/opinion/18FRIE.html
If we don't find some way to help Arab
nations, their young, angry radicals will blow us up long
before Saddam ever does.
We have to find ways to understand, and better control,
human craziness - and a lot of ugliness that goes with it. To
help Arab nations, as Friedman suggests - we've got to
understand much better what they're stumped about - and what
we're stumped about, too.
We're falling short as human beings - and it is partly a
moral failing - but partly a logical failing, too. We're not
facing some obvious facts. Whether we're all children
of God, or only part of nature - we're built as we are, and
have the strengths and weaknesses we have - for better and for
We're human beings - and in fact, we're animals - special
animals. If we acknowledged that - a lot could sort out. We
aren't "blank slates." And we have to do the best we can. If
we had better hearts, we'd do better. But often, we'd do a lot
better if we just faced facts more often.
We have a lot to be proud of, some things to be ashamed of
- and a lot where we'd do better if we'd just be a little bit
more discipined and more careful. When facts can be
established beyond any reasonable doubt -- and plenty
of facts can be - - we should face them - and our cultures
should accomodate them.
Not to do so paralyzes us. Doing so would cost
The technical problems with establishing facts are a
lot less difficult than they used to be.
The moral problems ought not be so hard, either, with a
little courage. We're not blank slates. If we acknowledged
that - we could preserve and accentuate everything we have
that is good - and screw up less often and less severely.
- - -
Messes like the current problems in Iraq would be far less
likely to happen if we did so - and would resolve more easily.
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