Saturday, January 27, 2007

I've seen the future, baby

All of the big foreign policy questions of our time have been rendered irrelevant. They have all been answered. And the answer is always the same. No matter the question, the answer, it seems, is murder.

In the latest example, we learn that our government has targeted Iranians in Iraq. They are to be murdered on sight with no pretense of a trial. This is just another small detail in our strategic vision for victory in Iraq. We are not exactly sure what that strategic vision is, but we plan to achieve by murder, mass murder. The fact that our murder spree hasn’t achieved its goals, whatever they may be, is not seen as evidence that murder is not a good strategy. It is evidence that we have not murdered enough.

Dr. chuckling will now don his white lab coat and speculate that those who see murder as the answer to all of the questions are simply projecting their own fears and insecurities onto humanity in general. Many have noted that those who advocate the loudest for murder are not the ones who will go out and commit it themselves. The Bush’s, the Cheney’s, the blog nutzi’s, are all cowards in their personal lives. There is no way in hell that they will fight their own war. There is no principle for which they would fight. They kid themselves that they are brave by sending other people of to kill.

Dr. chuckling believes that because they are such craven cowards afraid of losing their own lives, they assume that everyone is just like them. In their back brains, they cannot imagine that anyone would sacrifice themselves for the sake of an idea. And they cannot imagine that anyone would fight against overwhelming odds.

It probably goes back to the playground. Because the George W. Bush’s, the Dick Cheney’s, the blog nutzi’s, the pundit class, and most of the rest of the “murder is the answer for everything crowd” did not fight back when they were bullied in their youth, they believe that others will not fight back when they are likewise bullied by the armies we command. They do not, and probably cannot understand that for many people, an idea can be more valuable than their life. The idea may be religious. It may be nationalistic. It may be simply self-respect.

Had these cowards been more observant on their playgrounds they could have learned. Many kids did not consent to being bullied. Many kids fought back. They fought back knowing they would get hurt. Knowing they would lose. And when those kids fought back, the social dynamic changed. The bully would win every fight, but he would also be hurt. And the other kids rooted for the kid that took the punishment. They respected him. And if it went on too long, they ganged up on the bully. Eventually, the bully backed off.

Unfortunately, that same playground dynamic we see in Iraq and elsewhere plays out with weapons and mass murder. The end will be the same. The bully will be hurt and withdraw. The death and destruction, however, are real.

It would be bad enough if the pathology of murder as the answer to all questions were limited to the nut cases in the White House, but it now envelopes our entire culture. Every day the news reports our intention to kill people without any kind of legal arrest or trial. It is so commonplace that no one even disputes the strategy. Not on moral grounds. Not on practical grounds. Murder, baby. The fix-it for all our problems. Never mind that it’s the cause.