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Who was Cassandra?


  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.

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October 25, 2011

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Beth, I heard that religious leaders in Libya had decided that Qadaffi was not a Muslim and so decided not to bury him Islamically, I agree with the Egyptian scholars on the matter though...http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/454436-unburied-gaddafi-divides-muslim-scholars.html

Thanks for that, Khadija.

An interesting take on the photos, media, and western doublethink at The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/25/dead-gaddafi-photos-war-hell

I know that he was cruel and, i think, insane, but I was horrified by the images of his death. I discussed this with an Egyptian colleague who reminded me of blood feuds and tribal conflict but he, too, was disgusted.

At at times like this, after the west has intervened I can't help remembering Rumsfield's words when asked why America had not 'finished off' Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War and replied to the effect that it would have created a power vacuum and who knew what would fill it...

I pretty much agree with the Guardian piece you link to, Beth. I agree with you about the Iliad, but millenia later remarkably little serious thinking has been done about alternatives to war, has it? We haven't a clue, really, about how to do better. I'm saddened by the seemingly inevitable replacement of nationalist dictatorships in Arab countries by radical Islamist governments. And what followed the revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is not a lot better in many ways. We seemingly haven't a clue about what to do with freedom, how to live a better life... Getting off topic. Getting depressed. I do appreciate your eloquent words. All this needs saying, even if we don't have answers. I've been thinking about how the anticapitalist protesters in Western countries are so criticised for not having a clear agenda, and how the difficulty of not having an immediate answer makes us just back away from the difficult questions - humankind as victims of our own energy and efficiency?

Oddly enough, despite the 20th century, researchers say that we are much more peaceful than we used to be, we humans. Which is a rather terrific (in the sense of horrifying) thought.

I think individuals do know how to do better. But the tyranny of groups seems impossible to abolish. As does the hatred between them.

Marly, I agree with you about individuals and groups. And, yes, I know they say that about the 20th century - it's kind of mind-boggling isn't it?

Yes--I refused to watch. Nor my kids.

Beth, I had exactly the same thoughts about the triumphalism of most of the media and barbaric photos of the dead and wounded Gadaffi. And the hypocrisy of politics in general with more and more revelations emerging about dirty dealings right,left and center. Has anything really changed in human behaviour since 'barbarian' days, apart from technology, medical advances etc? Are torturers, dictators, warmongers, politicians, profiteers etc any different now than they were then? Are the good and the wise better and wiser now than they were then? I don't know. I doubt it. Do good and evil evolve, becoming more good and more evil? Or do they stay more or less the same, forever?

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