Talk:Stephen Venner

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{{WikiProject Military history|class=start|British=yes|Biography=yesno}


Venner[edit]

I've put Venner's words back. He _definitely_ said "some of the methods". To _me_, that would imply that (he thinks) other methods of killing are honourable. I disagree - I don't think one can honourably and acceptably kill people, Taliban or European etc. But our opinions make no odds - we have to put in what is true; what he DID say, as far as we can tell. Cheers for all your help...

Alexandermacpherson (talk) 13:27, 15 December 2009 (UTC) AlexanderMacpherson I added "potentially killing British troops". Although I agree the popular reading of his words was quite reasonable, as far as I can tell he did not refer explicitly to the killing of British troops; and this is an article about a living person.

Fair do's then. He seems to have taken a British perspective, as if his work involves "preferential" compassion, depending on one's origin.
This is not consistent with his choice of religion - we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord.

A fullsome quotation can be found {1} in the blog version of the original Telegraph article. My personal opinion is that his words were extraordinarily crass, not least because of the treatment the Talibs meet out to their own compatriots.

Venner may not have meant what people read into his comments, but like the second-in-command of the Church of England, he/we all should take responsibility for how his/our words are heard by people not privvy to his/our lines of thinking.

{1} http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jonathanwynne-jones/100019844/bishop-venner-is-cowardly-to-blame-the-telegraph-for-his-comments-about-the-taliban/

Indeed. He seems to have combined a bit of "Taliban bashing", with a measure of "Good Samaritian". He's in a difficult spot, because he has to love and forgive his enemies, while exhorting others to kill as many of them as possible. It makes no sense at all, actually.


Alexandermacpherson (talk) 15:58, 16 December 2009 (UTC) Compassion is a personal virtue which should only be offered by the victim or wronged party. Charity applies here. It would be wrong to take pleasure in killing or calling for mass killing - which is good, as neither did I say that nor is it military policy.

It is arrant nonsense to compare groups which are potentially targetting civilians, or perpetrating grostesque acts of domestic violence, with the individuals fighting them or individuals who never have killed/tortured others. Being "equal in the eyes of the Lord" is not the same as being given a free-card to kill civilians who had no part in the creation of their misfortune. In this case, the Good Samaritan should interpose himself between the perpetrator and victims - as British troops are arguably doing.

There is an inherent hypocrisy in sitting in the security of the West, as we do, and claiming to oppose war when the state security apparatus and most powerful military known to history are prepared to do violence to keep it this way.

The Good Samaritan[edit]

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus makes it clear that there is always good, even in our enemies. Venner seems to have ignored this, and bowed to populist pressure. If one believes the words of Our Lord, then one must admore what is good about the Taliban, such as their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty. Their methods of killing enemies are unacceptable, but that is the nature of warfare. They kill us, but we kill more of them.

Alexandermacpherson (talk) 13:47, 15 December 2009 (UTC) I always have taken this parable to be about the virtue of charity, and acceptance of other social groups. The Samaritan was not travelling from Mount Gerizon for a bit of sectarian violence in Jerusalem, he was simply going about his business as was the man.

The religious aspect of the Taleban's approach is an austere system which involves physical violence for minor transgressions, and is accompanied by blood-curdling secular violence.

Yes, but I bet they don't have any trouble with binge-drinking yobbos!

Venner did not refer to Afghans in general, or even to Pashtun nationalists... he referred explicitly to the Talibs.

"They" includes any number of different ethnic and religious confessional groups, often at conflict amongst themselves. "They" kill more of "them" than we do, and quite often outwith any military context.

Remember the one in the parable about other social groups not being less deserving of respect as us.