Monday, March 12, 2007

Why Do They Hate Us?

Even though conflict is big on television, not all wars infiltrate our consciousness. Where the United States or its (economic?) allies or (economic?) interests are not involved, war does not seem to exist for us. The Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University in Sweden report that on average 9 minor armed conflicts (where the number of deaths does not exceed 1000 during the course of the conflict), 12 intermediate armed conflicts (where the number of deaths exceeds 1000, but is fewer than 1000 in any given year), and 13 wars (with more than 1000 deaths a year) go on at all times somewhere in the world.

In the year 2000, war took the lives of 168,000 Africans, 65,000 Asians, 39,000 “middle-easterners,” 37,000 Europeans, and 2,000 Central and South Americans. At the same time, American arms manufacturers were making it possible for war to be the “booming business” that it is. Forty of the top one hundred arms-producing companies in the world are American companies with profits totaling $664 billion dollars in 1999. Over $93 billion of that profit comes from the manufacture and sale of weapons, more than the profit of the other 60 companies combined (US$64 billion). Is this not something Americans should know about?

Meanwhile, those in the less technologically developed world who are not dying in warfare are likely to be dying of disease or starvation. While the life expectancy of the average American was about 75 years in 2001, it was 65 for the Indonesian, 64 for the Russian, 45 for the Afghan, 39 for the Zambian, and 38 for the Rwandan and the Mozambiquan. While an American baby has 99.4% of survival after birth, the infant mortality rate is 2% for the Russian, 10% for the Ethiopian, almost 15% for the Afghan, and nearly 20% for the Angolan.

And while much of the “third world” believes that we care little for their welfare, many more question our motivations even less kindly. They believe we are more interested in exploiting their natural resources for our benefit, and exploiting their people for their cheap labor.

If terrorism is evil — and it is — this is terror’s recruiting station.


Anonymous said...

Didn't most of this update come from your book-in-progress?

Dr. Fallon said...

Anonymous (is that your real name?)--

Why, yes. The last chapter of my work-in-progress is titled "In the Dark: Mass Ignorance in an Age of Information." This chapter was the inspiration for this blog.

Would you mind my asking how you know this? I'm a bit astounded...Do I know you, or you me?

Anonymous said...

Either I'm psychic and I can read your mind...
or I'm a former DU student who read your incomplete work for your class taught to senior students last semester. I liked your blog in class and I check in once in a while; hence my past contributions in form of web links.
Don't worry, I don't have your work-in-progress on my computer; I just remember those last few paragraphs from reading your book.
Hope that clears things up.

Anonymous said...

I noticed you link to Noam Chomsky, do you believe in his insane theories?


Dr. Fallon said...


That's rather broad, isn't it?

Which "insane theories" are you referring to?

Chomsky has generated a lot of ideas over the last half century or so; some of them rock solid, some of them -- at the very least -- empirically valid, some of them difficult to justify on the basis of evidence.

Have you ever actually read any of Chomsky's work?

Or are you taking your cue on Chomsky's "insane theories" from some right-wing hate radio nutjob?

Dr. Fallon said...

Mind-reading, psychic, DU alum--


This is a friendly place (sometimes) so feel free to use at least part of a name. Anonymity is so -- well -- anonymous.

I'm glad you check in and gratified that you read my manuscript seriously enough to remeber it six months later.

Come ack again, yes?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, I always come back once in a while when you update.
As for my would probably remember me. I'm that one guy in class that talked more than I should...can you guess my name?


They hate us because they see that we are behaving in a feeble fashion. We are destroyong our nations with our "liberal ideals".

The solutions are very simple really.

Dr. Fallon said...

Our nation IS a "liberal ideal."

What is destroying our nation are idiots who say we have to turn our back on our core values.

They hate us because, from their perspective, we appear to hate them.

And there is no simple solution, moron.

Have a nice day!!!

bloodyears said...

if you are a professor with a book coming out, why do you seem to resort to so many juvenialle ad hominem attacks on people who have a view different than yours? i read a post of yours on another blog about the one campaign in which you refuted none of the bloggers arguments but proceeded to call him a boy and told him to grow up. what do you do when you find out someone hates you? what is your solution?

Dr. Fallon said...

"if you are a professor with a book coming out, why do you seem to resort to so many juvenialle ad hominem attacks on people who have a view different than yours?"

I don't. You don't know what an ad hominem attack is. Classic ad hominems are used in lieu of a reasoned response to an argument. Basically, when you can't refute an argument, you attack the person who made the argument in the hope you will damage that person's credibility with the audience.

Arguments of composed of propositions. Propositions are a specific type of statement -- one that is either true or false, and can be demonstrated to be so through evidence.

If you're referring to the post above by some guy who calls himself "King," that is not an ad hominem. He did not argue, because he did not put forth propositions. He was making categorical statements based not on evidence but on myth ('we're destroying our nation by such and such"). This is what is known as an enthymeme, and a skewed one at that.

In order to "argue" that I'd have to accept his false proposition that our nation is, indeed, being destroyed.

Sorry. Not going to play that game. And when he follows that up with the statement, "The solutions are very simple really," well, again I'm sorry. That is a moronic statement and I feel no compulsion to treat it like an argument.

If YOU tell me that pod people are inhabiting the bodies of Democrats, I'm not going to argue respectfully with you, either. I'm going to call you a moron.

"i read a post of yours on another blog about the one campaign"

Where was that? I don't remember ever discussing the one campaign with anyone. Give me specifics. You have a URL?

"in which you refuted none of the bloggers arguments but proceeded to call him a boy and told him to grow up."

I tell a lot of people (mostly trolls and lurking provocateurs) to grow up. I do this when they have nothing to say, but they get really pissy because I tell them they have nothing to say. They think they are "arguing" when all they're doing is spouting unsupportable bullshit propaganda. I tell them that they're spouting unsupportable bullshit propaganda, and they whine, "ad hominem!!!"

You have to have an argument before I can make an ad hominem attack on you. Otherwise, you're merely spouting bullshit, and I'm merely insulting you.

Deal with it.

"what do you do when you find out someone hates you? what is your solution?"

Complex question. It depends. In general, I try to make whatever is wrong right. Is it a stranger, or someone who was once close? How far should I go to make amends? Is the source of the hatred a real wrong, or just a perceived one? Can I fix it? Is the responsibility for fixing it mine alone, or is it shared?

There are others who hate for no good reason. I try to keep my distance. If circumstances allow.