| Sunday, September 21, 2008 - 06:31 am |
Fair enough question, Nix.
To begin with, you are looking at a lifetime of dealing with the consequences of other peoples bullshit.
That is what a military professional does most. Clean up messes made by others.
I got my first taste of the reality of this in the central highlands of South Vietnam long before you were born. Having to come to grips with a dead teenage girl at my feet whose only crime was pushing a bicycle laden with rice down a trail and into my team's kill zone. I killed that child, my young friend. She was the first of too many to die at my hands or my orders. I killed for my country and our way of life. YOUR way of life. She was a pawn lost in the big chess game between competing economic and political theories. I witnessed what true believers on the other side did to those who resisted serving their cause. Can you imagine, Nix, the mentality of an individual who would slaughter a newborn with a machete? I have seen the work of these kind of people. I have had the satisfaction of delivering death to some of them. This was before the age of 20.
I spent another 25 years all over the world seeing things that I wish I could forget. The suffering humans can deliberately inflict upon each other when they don't get their way peacefully.
So when I say extremists, Nix, I have a very clear mental picture of whom I speak and what these people can do when they BELIEVE. It a short path from civilized human being to barbaric arbiter of death. I only hope that you never have to learn the truth of that statement.
When I see my countrymen and others from the greater Western Culture embrace ideologies and follow them blindly, I shudder in fear.
The issues facing us are hardly insurmountable, but too many seek only to serve their narrow self interests and belief systems at the expense of solutions.
Zet asked me earlier why I believed WWIII could result from ill conceived environmental treaties.
Because when national leaders see their power and position threatened by lack of resources disrupting their populations, war frequently follows.
I hate war, Nix. As only someone who knows it intimately can.
This species is on the threshold of uniting in a way never before possible due to the technology of global communication. But will it unite in compromise and mutual understanding or will it fragment into even more militant groups devoted to their ideologies?
Extremists are a threat to civilization. Being willing to listen and moderate ones views is essential to societal survival. Far too many people are not in that categorgy.
Because they are lied to and manipulated by their political leaders, business, religions, and their "news" media.
They are told that these "other" people are the source of their problems and subtly conditioned to hate.
Conservatives vs Liberals
Pro Life vs Pro Choice
Pro Business vs Pro Government
Black Vs White
Old vs Young
East vs West
The list goes on and on and on.
The "truth" of the matter is that we are all human beings trying to make sense of a complicated world. All of the leaders in every facet of our societies have proven over and over again that serve themselves first and see "the people" as only mean to their own ends.
Some in the US government decry oil companies making obscene profits while they collect 4 times that amount in tax revenues from those same companies.
Yet, these oil giants in turn spend 100's of millions in advertising to convince people that change is not needed and, everything will be fine if they are just given more freedom to whatever they choose.
Do you understand my point that there are no "good guys" at this level. Only different flavors of liar.
Your precious Environmentalist leaders push doomsday scenarios based upon half-assed science, yet resist immediate, workable solutions to problems. Nuclear Power, Wind Farms, etc. Yes, Nix. More ecofriendly projects here are tied up in court by suits brought by environmentalists than anything else.
But the other side argues that alternatives are unworkable and push their own bogus data.
This old man is sick to death of "believers" paralyzing our societies with lies. Perhaps it's just my military mindset; but, when action is required, the bullshit must STOP.
If we wish to make the major transitions required by our societies due to the economic consequences of the changing energy situation, compromise is required by all parties.
As always, it isn't our environment that threatens us, but our own stubborn stupidity.
I'm close to the end of my time on this planet, but my kids and grandchildren have to deal with the reality of what extremists are doing to this country and this world.
That thought makes my trigger finger very itchy.