Thursday, August 03, 2006

To Put it Another Way

Let’s say you have a nine year old son and I have one too. We are neighbors. We look outside and see our kids fighting. They are hitting one another with big pieces of lumber and both are bleeding. Which do we do first? Do we try to figure out a way to keep them from fighting in the future, as they continue to beat the hell out of one another? Or do we stop the fight, get the kids cleaned up, see to their wounds, and then work on a way to stop them from fighting in the future?


Blogger Robert said...

I have told my son that when struck first, beat the snot out of the guy and he will never bother you again. It has worked since the beginning of time....

August 03, 2006 2:36 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

I have two boys, 9 and 7, and they always are hitting, or picking on each other. And they both say "He started it!" To which I reply, it's not important who started it, it's the one who stops it. Two wrongs don't make a right.

August 03, 2006 3:12 AM  
Blogger Michael Bains said...

I got my ass kicked bad by twin puds a grade older than me when I "interrupted" their maulin' of a kid in their class. That was first grade.

Me pops screamed at me for fighting when I got home. The puds took to wompin' on me 'til the 4th time when Dad told me I had to fight back (which I was scared to do cuz he beat us with the belt for fighting...) so I broke one of the twin's nose. They just found someone else to pummel until the Catholic school officials finally figured out that they weren't "fighting back" like they'd been gettin' away with saying, and kicked 'em out of the school. It was hard for the school cuz the kids were black, like about 10% of our classmates, and they didn't want be seen as racist.

I say you break up the fight and you'll find that it might have started innocently enough, but the worse it gets the more likely it is to continue. Stop it for the sake of stopping it first. Then figure out - even if it means giving up something both sides hold dear - how to stop it from starting up again.

August 03, 2006 3:33 AM  
Blogger Yukkione said...

Replace the lumber with stuffed bunnies, and then sit back and laugh at them. Make a video so they can see how silly they were.

August 03, 2006 3:48 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

I have been thinking along the same lines, trying to come up with a good examle. Yours is excellent. Of course, we stop the violence and then deal with the issues. I remember once when my eldest son was involved in a boys fight and as I came across the field, someone yelled out, "Here comes John's Mom, run!" The fight was over. Wish I could do the same now.

August 03, 2006 4:29 AM  
Blogger Walt said...

Yeah, the bunny fighting video. Always a crowd pleaser.

Now if there were a way to get adults to do that.

August 03, 2006 5:42 AM  
Blogger PTCruiser said...

Well, by following the example of my government, I would pull my child out of the fight just long enough to provide him with firearms, then send him back in with guns blazing. Oh, and send out my Secretary of State to do absolutely nothing. Yeah, I think that's the best way to handle any situation.

August 03, 2006 6:01 AM  
Blogger JM said...

Thanks for the straightforward analogy. Apparently it's too much to ask to have our leaders exhibit this much common sense.

August 03, 2006 6:16 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Great analogy. Easy to answer. Apparently too easy.

August 03, 2006 6:22 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

Good analogy. Ideally we would have taught our sons and daughters the value of nonviolence in solving problems but children will be children and sometimes the adults must intervene.

August 03, 2006 6:45 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Well, duh. Brew a pot of coffee and sit down withthe other kid's parents and discuss it while the kids beat each other senseless.

August 03, 2006 6:48 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jeepers, that is a ridiculous analogy. With all due respect, Patricia (and the respect is real – you usually write much better), this posting fails on many fronts. Israel and Lebanon are nine-year-old children?

To Put It Another Way:

Say I move into a new house, with my wife, kids, and pets (Israel). And my new next door neighbor (Lebanon) announces to me and everyone else in the neighborhood that he’s going to wipe me and my entire family off the face of the Earth. Then he and his family members (Hezbollah) proceed to start lobbing small bombs into my yard and onto my house, killing one of the dogs, a few cats, and one or two of my children. I call the police (U.N./previous U.S. administrations) and they come over and give my neighbor money and other benefits if only he’ll stop lobbing bombs into my yard and onto my house, and they insist on a “cease fire” preventing me from defending myself. A few months later, my neighbor starts up again with the bombs. I call the police again, they come and negotiate another cease fire that includes more money and benefits from my neighbor. A few months pass, my neighbor starts up with the bombs again, more of my dogs and cats and children are killed, I call the police again and they come with more money for my neighbor, and another cease fire agreement.

Then I attend one of my cousin’s weddings, but my neighbor sneaks in and blows up a bunch of people there.

Then my neighbor starts up lobbing more bombs into my yard and onto my house, more of my dogs and cats and children are killed.

This time, I’m not going to call the police. I’m going to deal with my neighbor myself. If he decides to try to hide behind the police, or behind his own family, and they are injured or killed, who are you going to blame, me or him?

(This analogy is hardly historically accurate, but it is a lot more accurate (as an analogy) than comparing Israel and Lebanon/Hezbollah to two nine-year-olds.)

August 03, 2006 7:45 AM  
Blogger Robert said... excellent method of conflict resolution.

This is a relatively sophomoric analogy. It is also steeped in moral equivilency. Violence in self defense is not morally equal to violence based on hatred and genocide. However, this example presumes that all violence is equal, and none is justified.

I teach my children jsut as I was taught in law enforcement. Your brain and excellent communication is the most powerful weapon on your toolbelt. But in international realities, just as in the reality of police work, some will not participate in mutually beneficial outcomes. When that happens, the pepper spray, ASP, or firearm must be used. When you must strike, strike as few times as possible, but as hard as possible. The goal is to deliver a blow sufficient to end the conflict quickly. My kids learn the same way. Communicate when possible, negotiate when there is no principle at stake, but when you msut strike, give it your all and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

We would all love a world with no war, but I love my children enough to teach them reality. The reality is that sometimes violence is justified.

August 03, 2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

this example presumes that all violence is equal, and none is justified.

The people who are fostering the violence are also profiting from it. The people who bear the brunt of it are (relatively)innocent and just want to raise their children and live their lives the best they can.

Or do we stop the fight, get the kids cleaned up, see to their wounds, and then work on a way to stop them from fighting in the future?

That would be assuming that the "parents" are intelligent adults - and act like it. It would also be assuming that the point of the whole exercise is peace, when it's obviously to profit on the chaos.

Look at what they do: don't misunderestimate dear "leader of the free world" - he's getting exactly what he wants.

August 03, 2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Blue said...

I love PoP's analogy, but I don't take it literally. Of course the situation with Lebanon/Israel is far more complex than between two fighting kids. It makes no more sense to pay off one kid to leave the other alone than to stand back and watch (or, worse, cheer him on) while he beats the other senseless.

PoP's analogy works quite well for me, purely for the reflection on conflict resolution. IMHO, violence begets violence and does nothing to achieve lasting peace. Striking back in self-defense is one thing, but continuing to pummel the shit out of the perceived bully (and take out the bystanders while you're at it) is just a tad over the top.

August 03, 2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Dawg said...

Well it depends....

Let's say kid 'A' is always coming into the yard of kid 'B' and beating the crap out of him and then leaves only to come back the next day to do it again. All because Kid 'A' wants kid 'B' to move to another neighborhood, or die all together.

Kid 'B' finally gets tired of appeasing kid 'A' and decides to fight back. Of course when you decide to finally look out the window, you see Kid 'A' and 'B' fighting and don't know why.

The real question should be....

Once you know that kid 'A' has been beating the crap out of kid 'B' for all these years while kid 'B' sat back and did nothing about it except to give in to kid 'A', what should you do?

Answer: You let kid 'B' use all that built up frustration and watch as he kicks kid 'A's butt all over that yard.

August 03, 2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger Max Atlas said...

A better analogy:

Let’s suppose that the bully down the street has continually taken your kid’s milk money, but the teachers at school have advised your kid to just let the money go. Every time your kid complains, the teachers tell him just to give him more milk money, and maybe he will stop bullying him.

And then one day, you see your kid and the bully fighting in the street. Your kid is getting the best of the bully. Do you:

A) get your kid off of the bully and tell him to give the bully more milk money or

B) let your kid show the bully that he cannot be pushed around any longer

August 03, 2006 11:21 AM  
Blogger Chancelucky said...

that was nicely put.

August 03, 2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analogy!


August 03, 2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger SecondComingOfBast said...

Neither. You find out who started the fight, and then you whip his little ass good. Then you tell him the other kid has a right to exist, and if he don't like it then if he starts another fight and the other kid beats the living hell out of him you are going to just stand by and watch and cheer him on.

August 03, 2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Do like my mom did to us as we grew up. She used to tell us to go on and fight, but whoever loses, gets the ass whipping. So then you think...Wait just one minute...if they get in a lucky hit, then..oh the hell with that!!!

But dealing with the other kids in the neighborhood, she told us to haul off and beat the living daylights out of them. Bullies don't seem to go after those that fight back, they pick on the weak.

August 03, 2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

I choose what's behind door #2! Break it up before they lose an eye or break a bone and then deal with the lessons when they are seperated and safe. Then have a meeting with the other boys parents and then have a meeting with them all... Teach them that our differences are best not left to warring...

August 03, 2006 5:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I use the nimrod kid that likes to incite other kids to fight as the analogy for this administrations bs in the middle east.

August 03, 2006 6:04 PM  
Blogger Karen McL said...

Unfortunately we can't send any of them to their Rooms for the necessary time-out till they grow up to the age of reason!

And that is the sad part...along with the collateral damages they cause along the way.

August 03, 2006 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. Can't we all just get along?

August 03, 2006 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, we break up the fight, clean the kids up, scold them, send them off to there rooms to think and when cooler heads emerge, we discuss the solution for NO MORE FIGHTING. Not the retribution, but the solution.

August 03, 2006 6:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is what I have been saying for quite some time. It seems like the W, Rove and Co have been suffering from a lack of high quality parenting and good adult supervision for the last five or so years.

this is a good one. I'm going to quote this one PoP. I hope you don't mind if I do.

Blog on sister, blog on all.

August 03, 2006 8:58 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Option #2 for me also...the point of the lesson was there right in front of us.

August 04, 2006 12:04 AM  
Blogger Dawg said...

Karena -

This is all fine when we are talking about kids. But this is the middle-east.

Hezbollah and most all Arab nations want the total destruction of Israel. Period. There is no sending anyone off until cooler heads prevail.

Israel has been taking this crap for so long now it's useless to tell them to cool off. Israel has given their own land away so the Muslims will leave them alone.

Let's be real here people. It's easy to sit back and say 'let them work it out without fighting', but the truth is...sometimes you have to fight and kill the bastards who are trying to kill you.

August 04, 2006 4:53 AM  
Blogger Michael Bains said...

Israel took someone else's land by force, and has created an awesome example of a progressive, middle class nation.

But they did it by force. Regardless of how poorly Palestine was run when it violently became Israel, what are the Palestinians OWED for their loss? They aren't gettin' it back, and Iran and Syria can either acknowledge that Fact, or continue to fund and otherwise support the Hezbollahs and their like.

Stop the violence first. I'm afraid that means more and MUCH greater violence against Iran and Syria since Hezbollah won't stop until those - quite distinct from each other - regimes are convinced to withdraw their support for the destruction of a Now Legal State which they abhor.

It's too bad the US destroyed its influence in Iran by brutally backing the Shah back in the 50's. Democracy was beginning there at the time.

Good luck. Great post and comments.

August 04, 2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

The question that no one asks is this: Since these groups (Hamas and Hezbollah( as well as Syria state that they want a homeland for the Palestinians, why won't Lebanon and Syria carve out a section of THEIR land for them? Israel would throw in the Golan Heights, as it was not included in the international recognized borders, but taken in the '73 war.

This won't happen, of course, because it isn't about land. There is no negotiating, because they want the eradication of judaism, not territory.

Two nine year olds can fight, go to bed and wake up best friends as if it never happened.

August 04, 2006 6:42 AM  
Blogger andi said...

look, whether it has to do with nine-year-olds, a domestic disturbance, or a country at war, POPs point is that you cannot negotiate anything unless you stop the violence first.

you can't negotatie peace between the hatfields and mccoys until they step back for thirty seconds and stop shooting each other.

you can't negotiate anything with anyone while they're busy trying to a) defend themselves or b) kill someone else. they're just too freaking busy with it, you know?

yeah, the situation is a hell of a lot more complex than two nine-year-olds, but the main argument is sound - disarm first, negotiate second.

August 04, 2006 6:58 AM  
Blogger Dawg said...

The negotiations are taking place right now; through warfare.

Robert- good answer to Michael.

Israel did not take the land they have today by force. It was given to them.

August 04, 2006 7:55 AM  
Blogger Human said...

Hi Patty. I wish it was as simple as that.

This current bloodletting just shows how bloodthirsty the Sharonists are. They along with the Bush Regime are the greatest threat to us all. To use an example(which seems to be a trend here)
They are like many a Police Department. Morally unqualified to have any power. Unable to Police their own actions. Unable to control their own violent urges.

Peace. It's possible. Just not with the crazy bastards who are in power now.

Remember Eula Love!

August 04, 2006 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for an awesome post. I quoted it on my blog ( with a link and the note that I'm adding Morning Martini to my RSS feed on the strength of it alone. Keep up the good work!
Harold Henderson

August 04, 2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Andi, your underlying assumption is wrong. The logic of your argument rests on the assumption that there would be a successful negotiation, and that there are reasonable issues where a compromise could be reached. If that were the case, then it would be absolutely correct to stop the violence and force them to a table.

But that isn't going to happen here. The paradigm for he past 50 years has been exactly that...Bad guys strike, good guys respond, referees force bot to a table, good guys conceded/bad guys promise, and then 6 months down the road it happens again.

One must first know what the other wants before entering negotiation. In this case, all they want is the eradication of an entire country and its population. Would you please post ehre exactly what you think the negotiation would be about? Maybe Israel will turn over half its population for death, if they will stop the violence. Absurd, no? Even if they did, then Hezbollah would still attack the ther half.

There can be no negotiation without Hezbollah disbanding and Syria giving up the goal of eliminating Israel.

August 04, 2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger andi said...


The logic of your argument rests on the assumption that there would be a successful negotiation, and that there are reasonable issues where a compromise could be reached.

You're right; it's hard to see how negotiations might proceed when one party is working for the complete eradication of the other party.

My concern is that there are folks involved here who probably couldn't care less one way or another, and the actions of both Israel and Hezbollah have devolved into violence without end.

Real-world, Robert, I'm sure you're more experienced with military actions than I am. And I'm sure you can justify killing in some way - especially if it's to defend yourself and the people you love.

I guess I don't see how the disbanding of Hezbollah or changing Syria's mind about Israeli eradication is going to be served by more killing.

Seems to me that the more people die out there, the more people want to kill someone to avenge them - and they don't care if they die, either. It doesn't seem to be limited to any nationality, gender, age, culture, or religion.

I don't see any kind of a solution to this conflict at all. And that's where I've been about this for a long time. I don't see how we can do much of anything out there to affect Syrian policy, especially because We Don't Talk To Syria. And I sure wish we'd stop pretending to try.

Apologies for blathering on your blog, POP. *stepping back to my own turf*

August 04, 2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger 1138 said...

The first rule is to not make the problem worse.
Joining one of the children in beating the other is no solution.
Yelling obscenities at another parent while demanding they stop their child (while continuing to arm yours) makes the problem worse.

The biggest problem is that these two children are murdering other children in the tantrum they are throwing.

That means stop it, seperate the miscreants (which both ate at this point) and keep them seperated.

It's about time that the world wakes up and realizes that this problem is not going to go away, and that we cannot rely on either of these children to restain themselves.
The world will have to do it for them.

August 04, 2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger oldwhitelady said...

It's time to get out the hose and water them down with cold water. Then, take them to a table, sit them down, and make them both talk. Come to terms that would help BOTH sides. Peace treaty.

August 05, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

OL White Lady put my solution down..and actually LOC presented a good one too....actually many good solutions here...too bad the 1600 Assholes don't read the Blogs- they might learn Something that is pretty damn close to Diplomacy....

August 06, 2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger troutsky said...

Because Robert starts with Good Guy Bad Guy assumptions he destroys any possibility of negotiation, much like Bush's with us or against us mentality.In the real world ,everyone has interests and everyone starts with impossible demands ( such as the destruction of Israel)so that they have room to manuever. Return to 67 borders, surrender Golan Heights, make reparations to refugees. there is your start.

August 06, 2006 8:55 PM  
Blogger Doctor Rick said...

This has NOTHING to do w war.

August 07, 2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger C.S. said...

There will be no negotiations, until the Muslim world accepts Israel's right to exist.

That is the only basis for negotiation.

The palestinians were offered a state when Israel was created. Instead they chose war, and have proven repeatedly in the intervening years they will never accept a state alongside Israel.

For the muslim world it is all or nothing. And, they have no love for the Palestinians. The rest of the muslim world just sits back and makes their lame demands, never trying to put forth any effort to improve the situation in their own back yard.

For Israel, it is about existing.

And, when your very existence is at risk, you do whatever it takes to ensure your survival.

August 08, 2006 3:01 AM  

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