Khashoggi's killing

Applying the Dharma to social justice issues – race, religion, sexuality and identity
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Bundokji
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Khashoggi's killing

Post by Bundokji » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:35 am

Earlier today, Saudi Arabia confessed the killing of the Journalist. The coming few days might reveal a lot of details about the circumstances led to his killing and whether his body we dismembered as per previous speculations about the incident.

The west, especially the US will be facing a dilemma. On the one hand, it has interests and historical relations with the kingdom. On the other hand, the US waged war in the Middle East in the past under shiny slogans such as defending democracy and human rights. The US is imposing sanctions against Iran using the same slogans and relying to the Saudis to contain the influence of Iran.

What are your views on the incident? What would constitute justice in this case? Would this help end the war on Yemen and the blockade against Qatar?
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

Dan74
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Dan74 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:57 pm

I've followed this story closely, partly because it is such a human story and such a barbaric act by a head of state.

According to the US law, anyone who orders a murder is a murderer. So the question becomes, are they willing to sell weapons to a murderer, shake his hand, roll out the red carpet?

This is an opportunity for people around the world to say 'no more.' No more killing dissidents, no more silencing dissent, no more selling weapons to murderous regimes.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by lyndon taylor » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:15 pm

Since when have arms sellers been concerned about innocent civilians???
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk.

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fwiw
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by fwiw » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:04 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:57 pm
are they willing to sell weapons to a murderer, shake his hand, roll out the red carpet?
Of course they are. The only question is how bad of a PR nightmare it is now. Maybe they'll just fund another couple Hollywood movies disseminating the idea that it's the necessary thing to do and that anyone who is opposed to it is just being stupid or immature
... in my opinion

Dan74
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Dan74 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:43 pm

Here's something we can all help with:
Dear Western Allies.jpg
Dear Western Allies.jpg (822.95 KiB) Viewed 2285 times

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fwiw
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by fwiw » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:27 pm

What is this?
... in my opinion

Bundokji
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Bundokji » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:17 am

This is what the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir had to say about the incident on Fox News earlier today



At 2:18 the reporter asked him why it took the Saudis 18 days to admit that Khashoggi was killed, he advised the reporter that he might want to look back at the issue of Abu Ghraib prison (when footage was leaked showing US soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners in Iraq) and how long it took the US government to issue a report on what happened.

The above made me think about how this whole issue is related to our ideas of justice and justification (i am not an English native speaker but the two words seem to share the same root). Almost in every debate either between nations or individuals, we have the tendency to explain/justify our actions by linking them to similar situations faced by others. So, from what the Saudi minister said, there are two aspects to our idea of justice here and how we tackle it:

1- On the one hand, killing a journalist without a fair trial is unjust
2- On the other hand, to use double standards to judge the Saudis (by the US) seems to be equally unjust and not fair

The second point has been acknowledged and emphasized in religions and has implications on us as activist:

For example, the Buddha said:
Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one's own acts, done and undone.
Easily seen is the fault of others, but one's own fault is difficult to see. Like chaff one winnows another's faults, but hides one's own, even as a crafty fowler hides behind sham branches.
Also Jesus taught
"Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
The last quote by Jesus was used by Trump's campaign to justify his behavior/scandals with women during the last US elections

If we take all the above into consideration, do you think:

1- The above explains why many Buddhists do not believe in activism
2- What degree of mental purity is required before one is ready to try to fix the world
3- How long does it take to consider our dark past to be no longer relevant to our present actions and feel justified to criticize others for mistakes we have previously done
4- Or is it that our attempt to fix the world help us see our own hypocrisy and becomes a way of self improvement? But if this is the case, would not be reactive leading to more suffering?
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

chownah
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by chownah » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:36 am

When I look at "all of the above" what I see is just another parable illustrating what I have been saying about governments in general for a very long time: "Government is coersive by nature". If you start with this knowledge then it is not surprising that both the US gov't and the saudi gov't are coersive....in response to someone pointing his out one just gives a :shrug: .......but don't let the sad fact that gov't's are coercive by nature stop you from pointing out instances of coerscion and condemning that coersion whenever it rises to the level of needing to be condemned.
chownah

Bundokji
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Bundokji » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:37 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:36 am
When I look at "all of the above" what I see is just another parable illustrating what I have been saying about governments in general for a very long time: "Government is coersive by nature". If you start with this knowledge then it is not surprising that both the US gov't and the saudi gov't are coersive....in response to someone pointing his out one just gives a :shrug: .......but don't let the sad fact that gov't's are coercive by nature stop you from pointing out instances of coerscion and condemning that coersion whenever it rises to the level of needing to be condemned.
chownah
Thanks chownah,

To what extent do you think we are responsible of the coercive nature of governments? Do you agree with Thomas Hobbes's views?

'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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fwiw
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by fwiw » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:53 am

Bundokji wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:17 am
he advised the reporter that he might want to look back at the issue of Abu Ghraib prison (when footage was leaked showing US soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners in Iraq) and how long it took the US government to issue a report on what happened.
That is called whataboutism
Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument,[1][2][3] which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.[4][5][6] When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would often be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.[7][8][9]

The term "whataboutery" has been used in Britain and Ireland since the period of the Troubles (conflict) in Northern Ireland.[10][11][12] Lexicographers date the first appearance of the variant whataboutism to the 1990s[1][10] or 1970s,[13] while other historians state that during the Cold War, Western officials referred to the Soviet propaganda strategy by that term.[7][14] The tactic saw a resurgence in post-Soviet Russia, relating to human rights violations committed by, and criticisms of, the Russian government.[7][15][16] The technique received new attention during Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine.[17][18] Usage of the tactic extended to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.[19][20][21]

The Guardian deemed whataboutism, as used in Russia, "practically a national ideology".[22] Journalist Julia Ioffe wrote that "Anyone who has ever studied the Soviet Union" was aware of the technique, citing the Soviet rejoinder to criticism, And you are lynching Negroes, as a "classic" example of the tactic.[23] Writing for Bloomberg News, Leonid Bershidsky called whataboutism a "Russian tradition",[24] while The New Yorker described the technique as "a strategy of false moral equivalences".[25] Jill Dougherty called whataboutism a "sacred Russian tactic",[26][27] and compared it to the pot calling the kettle black.
... in my opinion

chownah
Posts: 501
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by chownah » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:54 am

Bundokji wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:37 am
chownah wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:36 am
When I look at "all of the above" what I see is just another parable illustrating what I have been saying about governments in general for a very long time: "Government is coersive by nature". If you start with this knowledge then it is not surprising that both the US gov't and the saudi gov't are coersive....in response to someone pointing his out one just gives a :shrug: .......but don't let the sad fact that gov't's are coercive by nature stop you from pointing out instances of coerscion and condemning that coersion whenever it rises to the level of needing to be condemned.
chownah
Thanks chownah,

To what extent do you think we are responsible of the coercive nature of governments? Do you agree with Thomas Hobbes's views?

I am quite often willing to discuss this but this thread is about the killing and not about theories of gov't.
chownah

Bundokji
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Bundokji » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:26 pm

fwiw wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:53 am
Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument,[1][2][3] which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.[4][5][6] When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would often be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.[7][8][9]

The term "whataboutery" has been used in Britain and Ireland since the period of the Troubles (conflict) in Northern Ireland.[10][11][12] Lexicographers date the first appearance of the variant whataboutism to the 1990s[1][10] or 1970s,[13] while other historians state that during the Cold War, Western officials referred to the Soviet propaganda strategy by that term.[7][14] The tactic saw a resurgence in post-Soviet Russia, relating to human rights violations committed by, and criticisms of, the Russian government.[7][15][16] The technique received new attention during Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine.[17][18] Usage of the tactic extended to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.[19][20][21]

The Guardian deemed whataboutism, as used in Russia, "practically a national ideology".[22] Journalist Julia Ioffe wrote that "Anyone who has ever studied the Soviet Union" was aware of the technique, citing the Soviet rejoinder to criticism, And you are lynching Negroes, as a "classic" example of the tactic.[23] Writing for Bloomberg News, Leonid Bershidsky called whataboutism a "Russian tradition",[24] while The New Yorker described the technique as "a strategy of false moral equivalences".[25] Jill Dougherty called whataboutism a "sacred Russian tactic",[26][27] and compared it to the pot calling the kettle black.
It is indeed a logical fallacy from a deductive reasoning point of view because deductive reasoning is based on isolating/defining/confining cases being investigated (hence certainty can only be found in it, not in the real world). However, in real life situations, people don't rely solely on deductive reasoning to reach the truth especially when justice is introduced to the equation.

The case in hand has legal and moral aspects which are different but very intertwined in my opinion. For example, it is a regular procedure in almost all countries to have a special and strict criteria for appointing judges, that is, to have an impeccable/clean history. The criteria is less strict when it comes to other jobs. The appointment of Brett Kavanaugh for the supreme court in the US went through a lot of internal debate publicly and at the senate when his behavior when he was a teen ager (decades ago) was put into question.

In order for you to judge me, and for me to accept it and be cooperative, i need to recognize your legal and moral authority to do so. If you judge me on something you personally do, then i would naturally consider this to be unfair, which makes sense. At the end of the day, the idea of fairness or justice is based on the assumption that people are equal before the law whether this law is legal or moral.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

Dan74
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Dan74 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:30 pm

It's not only whataboutism, they are just not comparable instances. al-Jubeir is a very experienced spin-doctor for a regime that operate with a very different mindset to Western expectations. Does anyone really believe a word that man says? Look at his dead eyes, for goddsake… one sacrifices a lot to do work like this.

Bundokji
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Bundokji » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:54 am

Dan74 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:30 pm
It's not only whataboutism, they are just not comparable instances. al-Jubeir is a very experienced spin-doctor for a regime that operate with a very different mindset to Western expectations. Does anyone really believe a word that man says? Look at his dead eyes, for goddsake… one sacrifices a lot to do work like this.
Talking about his dead eyes, i think Al-Jubeir is quite alive and vibrant when you compare him to the previous foreign minister :rofl:

'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

Bundokji
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Re: Khashoggi's killing

Post by Bundokji » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:14 pm

'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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