Spirit of Compromise

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Dr. Bob, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Following the Mexican "war" and addition of new territories (which even the vocally anti-war Whigs were not willing to return to Mexico), the issue facing the nation was the expansion of slavery.

    That discussion, and all of politics, was poisoned NOT because of slavery or the importance of the issue (it WAS important), but because the spirit of compromise and moderation was dead or dying.

    So often we think of "compromise" as evil or demeaning. Must it be so? Couldn't there be some middle ground reached in many of our world conflicts right now?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    [excerpted from an article by Dinesh D'Souza and worth the reading]

    My talk on American foreign policy was followed by a small dinner attended by various luminaries who seem to hang out in Aspen during the summer. At dinner I happened to be sitting next to Queen Noor of Jordan, whose four grown children attend college in the United States, and Margot Pritzker, whose family has a major stake in the Hyatt Hotel chain. To my amusement and delight, a dispute broke out between Queen Noor and Margot Pritzker over the issue of the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

    Queen Noor, who married into the royal family of Jordan, maintained that the wall being constructed by Israel to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out is nothing more than a twenty-first-century version of the Berlin Wall. That point was not entirely persuasive: the Berlin Wall had been constructed to keep people in, while the Israeli wall is being constructed to keep people out. The people being kept locked within the Berlin Wall were good people seeking nothing more than the freedom to travel, the freedom to speak, the freedom to trade, the freedom to live. The people being locked outside the Israeli wall are people who want to blow themselves up and take a bunch of Israelis with them.

    Margot Pritzker indignantly insisted that “nothing is going to stop the wall,” and while the Palestinians should have their own state they are being denied the opportunity not by Israel but by their corrupt and violence-prone leadership. This too is not entirely convincing. Does a people’s right to autonomy depend on the uprightness and incorruptibility of their leaders? If Israel’s leaders turn out to be corrupt and violence-prone (which some people believe about Ariel Sharon) does Israel forfeit its right to statehood? Of course not.

    Clearly the solution to the Middle East problem is to reconcile Israel’s desire for security with the Palestinians’ right to a viable state. Ariel Sharon wants to give them Gaza, which is hardly a viable state, and even that proposal is meeting truculent resistance among Sharon’s Likud supporters. In reality, the only way for the Palestinians to have a viable state is for Israel to concede both the West Bank and Gaza. Once Israel gives that, it has satisfied the legitimate Palestinian claim to autonomy and statehood. Once Israel gives that, it owes the Palestinians nothing.

    In fact, at that point it is both sensible and moral for Israel to say, “Now that we have done this, we are entitled to take all reasonable measures to protect our security within our legitimate borders.” If this requires Israel constructing a fence, to make sure that its cafes and bus routes are no longer visited by suicide-bombers with carnage on their minds, then this is exactly what Israel should do.

    How, then, can we get to this meeting point? Clearly America has to use its political authority to make the parties recognize that in order to have peace, both sides are going to have to give up something. Israel must give up the West Bank and Gaza, and the Palestinians are going to have to give up complaining and accept that Israel is here to stay and has a right to protect itself. The major obstacle to America’s effective involvement in the peace process is that the Sharon government has bamboozled the Bush administration by saying, “You’re fighting terrorists, we’re fighting terrorists. If you expect other countries to help you get rid of al Qaeda terrorists, then you have to help us to get rid of Palestinian terrorists.”

    But terrorism comes in different varieties. However difficult it is to draw a bright line, there is a distinction between terrorism of the 9/11 stripe, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. One is terrorism pure and simple, the other involves a war for national liberation. The dispute over Palestine is a land dispute in which neither party is completely right, and therefore the Palestinian claim to land and autonomy cannot be dismissed by chanting “terrorism.” Rather, compromise of some sort is both necessary and just.

    Dinesh D'Souza , Aspen Institute
     
  3. mioque

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    "So often we think of "compromise" as evil or demeaning. Must it be so?"
    "
    I hope not, the whole system of government in my country is build on the spirit of compromise. Now I'm not particularly proud of my country (although I sometimes pretend to be a Dutch patriot around here to get on the nerves of the US section of the Baptist Board), but if compromise is evil life will start to go downhill fast overhere.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    But we fundamentalists have taken our doctrinal position as NON-NEGOTIABLE. My way or the highway.

    We carry that zealous no-compromising spirit of doctrine (where it is a GOOD thing) into areas like politics, and it is devastating.
     
  5. Melanie

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    I agree with Dr Bob. Even though my Catholicism is very important in my life and pretty fundamental.

    I believe mixing religion with politics has the devil rubbing his hands with glee because politics will debase religion and we as people are much worse off. State must be seperate from the Church!
     

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