Saturday, June 24, 2006

Carrots And Sticks: An Eye For An Eye Works In Both Directions

I've been working very hard to be a good father. My children are very young (4 and 2 years old). I'm enrolled in a parenting course - at the behest of my spouse. The main thrust of this course is to change styles of communicating with our children from negative to positive such that we are able to elicit good behavior and cooperation and listening and powerful, open communication by using a better carrot rather than stronger sticks. This led me to a whole mess of questions for the blogisphere to cogitate this weekend.

No run this AM as it's my rest day, but I have been ruminating over this concept for a few days. Answer any or all questions that you like in a comment below:
  1. What is it that is so very wrong about this pre-emptive war strategy to defeat terrorism?

  2. Might it not be that we are using the wrong device?

  3. An eye for an eye is easy to use as justification for using a bigger stick, but doesn't that slogan work both ways, and for all parties at either end of the stick?

  4. If we are always threatening a bigger stick, might not our enemies seek to trump our stick with a more grizzly and gruesome set of weapons all of their own invention (read, IEDs, or the "Hey, let's kidnap with intent to drill into GIs heads" strategy)?

  5. So, really, it might be that the war and fear mongering driven W, Rove and Co. administration is approaching the whole "war on terror" in the wrong way. In fact, shouldn't we be seeking a better carrot rather than a stronger stick?

  6. Moreover, if the existing carrot is rotten to the core, and we present a rotten carrot while threatening the stick, what does that get us: a) an end to the war on terror, or b) an indefinite, endless conflict that breeds only more pissed off and motivated terrorists?

  7. If we were to spend as much capital on building a better carrot rather than wielding a bigger stick, what would that carrot look and feel like?

  8. Would a better carrot be a swifter way to peace, that is, if peace is truly the objective?
I look forward to reading your comments. Blog on all.


pissed off patricia said...

Perhaps if we set a good example we wouldn't have half the world or more hating our guts.

Whether it's being a parent or being a world leader, setting good examples is the best way to get good results.

That's my two cents and you'll probably want to give me one cent in change. Seeing as how I have never been a parent or a world leader, but I believe it works just the same. :)

Anonymous said...

The hand you cannot bite, kiss it. - Arab proverb

What did Saddam do better?

Saddam's government functioned at a lower level of violence. While we may not like his incentives, they were more effective than ours. Half Saddam's population, the female half, had better prospects than today appear likely.

Why did Saddam do it better?

Saddam understood better with whom he was dealing. He spoke the language. He knew the history and customs.

Where did George W. Bush go for advice? 'God, the father,' not his father, George H W Bush, who didn't invade Iraq though he had many more troops on the ground.

We are the hand the Iraqis can bite.

Anonymous said...

What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

A 'How-to' train animals article.

Advice that works on any species.

Anonymous said...

War's Iraqi Death Toll Tops 50,000
June 25, 2006
By Louise Roug and Doug Smith / Times Staff Writers
BAGHDAD — At least 50,000 Iraqis have died violently since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to statistics from the Baghdad morgue, the Iraqi Health Ministry and other agencies — a toll 20,000 higher than previously acknowledged by the Bush administration.