Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Give Peace A Chance...

I don't ever expect to look at a newspaper and see a headline that reads "No one was killed yesterday, no one was murdered, tortured, maimed, raped or otherwise harmed." Maybe I'm jaded, maybe I'm realistic. I expect that war and strife will forever be assosciated with humanity. I expect that somewhere people will be starving while "overlords" or "warlords" or someone with some might is stealing their food, meting it out for obedience and favor. I expect that somewhere a government, or a governmental entity is sanctioning the rape and torture of women and children. I expect that somewhere in the world there is a cabal plotting the destruction and murder of large numbers of innocent persons. I expect wars to be waged in the names of gods, of liberties, in the name of revenge, in the name of righteousness. I expect that atrocities will be committed, bodies mutilated, diseases spread.

I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies The Mission, "If might makes right then love has no place in this world." At least that is the side of me that sees the futility in killing. My "greenpeace" side, as it were.

In truth I see no reason to expect that peace will ever exist. I have no reason to believe that human beings will ever get along, or coexist in harmony. People will always develop disagreements. Even persons that love one another will disagree and become angry with each other from time to time. Parents become angry with their children, wives become angry at husbands and so on. That is the inherent nature of the human experience. At times we place demands upon others that they refuse to meet. We then issue ultimatums; either you do this or I do that. When the ultimatums are not met anger and frustration enter the mix. Sometimes anger spurs us on to make decisions that seem logical at the time but are quite irrational. We then give ourselves permission to entertain these thoughts and ultimately act upon them. Thus is the way of governments.

Zealots are a different nature. They are those that proclaim that their way of life is closest to their god and must be followed all others are blasphemy and must die for their ways. These persons care not what lives they destroy, for it is all in the glory of their master. Ah yes, glory. The glory of a mass suicide, or a car-bombing, or the hijacking of an airplane and the ultimate mass murder of those persons who have nothing to do with decision making or the politics involved. Self-righteous murderers are the worst, for they can not be made to see the inherent evil within their acts. And punishing some only strengthens the resolve of the others, yet to let them lie peacefully only allows them to regroup and conspire again. So how do we rid the world of these murderous zealots?

The truth of a war is that it should be brutal, it should be violent, it should take the lives of innocents, it should be ugly. The only war that should be waged is a total war, affecting the lives of everyone involved. A war should be carried out with extreme prejudice, exterminating everyone in it's path. Cameras should be focused upon the carnage, audio recordings made, the slaughter should be recorded, dated and filed. War is a horrible occupation, a horrifying entity, an emotional, cathartic, chaotic event which should be played out for the world to see in hopes that people would identify with the victims and not the victors, that they would empathize with the vanquished and realize that life without war would be best for them and theirs.

Alot of people will misunderstand this, alot of people will think my idea brutish, hawkish and cold. Believe me when I tell you that to sight down the barrel and pull the trigger is a hard task emotionally, when one knows that to squeeze that index finger is to take a life. The one that feels the worst about what he has done is the soldier or Marine who kills his foe. It doesn't happen at that moment of the kill. It may not happen while that soldier or Marine is in the combat zone. Often it happens years later. Often it drives them to the brink of insanity. Do not think that the nightmares of veterans are all about being killed, some of them are of the killing. The ultimate goal of the warrior is to end his war and put down his weapon forever. This too, should be the ultimate goal of those who create the wars, but, as I said earlier, I do not expect this to happen.

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