7.27.2008

What were you thinking? Violence and Peace



Anyone who clings to the historically untrue - and thoroughly immoral - doctrine that violence never settles anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee ...




Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history

than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is

wishful thinking at its worst.

Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid

for it with their
lives and freedom.
(Robert A. Heinlein)






Here are a couple of though experiments we can try in the privacy of our own minds:

You are a decent sort. Not perfect. You have credit card debt, spend more on luxuries than you should, have a one drink too many some days, been known to fudge on your taxes...but overall, you're a decent sort. At work you shine--inventive, productive. Some folks like you for your straightforward opinions, others think you're a loud opinionated boor. Mixed reviews.

There you are, in all your mixed glory and

1. You are happily joggin' through your city park's nature trail and see a man holding a puppy by its ears, beating the hell out of the wee creature. You.....[fill in the blank]....

2. You are happily joggin' through your city park's nature trail and see a man sodomizing a five year old boy. You.....[fill in the blank]....

3. You are happily joggin' through your city park's nature trail and see a woman snatching the purse of crippled lady in a wheel chair. You....[fill in the blank]....

4. You are a city commissioner and uncover a city official who has used her position to threaten neighbors into giving her "protection" money and favors. You....[fill in the blanks]...

5. You are a little league coach and see a boy's father physically roughing up another child on the team because his own son lost a position to this child. You...[fill in blanks]...

6. You are a devoted mother. Your children, 6 and 9, are normal, they are not perfect, but you've raised them to be fair, show respect for others, not to litter, watch out for smaller children and don't kick puppies. You believe in tolerance and understanding. No one wants to grow up to be a "bad person." Next door is a older bully and her lawyer dad who does pro-bono work for Greenpeace. This kid picks on the smaller children, puts matches to the tail of your kid's kitty, throws rocks at your car window as you drive down the street. On several occasions you mention her behavior to her father who says his kid thinks you are a mean spirited nut. He reminds you that he is a lawyer. You suggest the acting out behavior is a symptom of something deeper, an emotional need, perhaps more parental attention? He reminds you he is a lawyer.
You feel sorry for the kid--you have her in for juice and cookies, she takes more than her share of the cookies, you offer her the whole bag. She takes it. And steals you child's favorite teddy bear on her way home.

You suggest a healthy outlet for her belligerence, like mud-wrestling, her dad reminds you he is a lawyer. The day comes when this kid hangs your kid's kitty from the tree at your doorway. You're sure you can discuss this like two adults, so you call the parent, he reminds you that he is a lawyer. Next day, your daughter's bike is hanging from the tree, bent spokes and all. You call the bully's dad over, he says too bad your kid is such a poor cyclist, and reminds you, he is a lawyer.It dawns on you that her aggression is growing. Why? You wonder? Could it be that no one ever stops her, and aggression is paying dividends?

You hear shrieks one afternoon a few days later and run outside to find the bully has climbed your fence and tied your six year old to his swing and is using him for target practice with her base ball. You.....[fill in the blanks].....

Every individual understands that there may come a time --that is not chosen--that will require of him a physical intervention or even violence to stop an unjust violence.

Nations know this too.



It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, not the politician,
who has given us the right to vote.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
(Charles M. Province)

10 comments:

NYD said...

I understand and agree with the point you are making. But if you are going to use violence you have to do it quickly effectively and to a degree that matches the offence.

You don't bludgeon the child for spilling the milk.

When did the search for formerly C.I.A.supported Osama Bin Ladin become a illegal kidnapping and execution.

If we walked into Iraq did our business and left then most folks wouldn't complain, (like the first time.) yet when you enter into a fray unprepared and without the proper equipment to protect the valiant men and women who put there asses on the line then people are about to complain.

Mix that with taking away civil liberties at home and you have the makings of a future fascist government.

The Troll said...

My favorite misunderstood bit of History is Ghandi's allegedly "peaceful" revolt in India. To this day, you have the historically ignorant wax poetic at the mere mention of his name.

FACTS:

1) There was a LOT of violence involved in India kicking out the Brits.

2) There was a clear-and-present threat of TREMENDOUS violence if the Brits didn't leave.

3) Once the Brits entered the war against Socialist Germany, they knew they could NOT muster the forces necessary to put down what Ghandi and everyone else conceded would be increased violence and force against them in India.

4) THAT is why India was able to achieve independence without a complete blood-bath. Not because ONE of their leaders, Ghandi, was somewhat hesitant to endorse violent measures. Other leaders of the Independence Movement were not so reticent.

iamnot said...

I was worried about you, posting those pictures of the heros of the left....

If any of those things happened, I'd go inside and dial the police. You know, it's really the government's job to protect me and those around me.

:-)

Aunty Belle said...

NYD, we agrees mor'n ya might think.

I does push fer gittin' thangs done once ya decide to go in--best fer all involved. Yep. I wish't we'd had more pop & equipment when we went in.

But it ain't no movie script, and the bad folks doan play by the rules.

As fer the CIA supported Osama--sure--it made sense then...not ideal, but real. The US and Brits also supported Russia during WWII. Does that make us wrong to have opposed them by sundown on VE Day? I reckon we gotta take note how situations change. Allies ebb and flow accordin' to opportunities perceived. That we originally aided OBL against Russians doan make him a sweet boy, or us two-timers fer fryin' his fanny now.


But on the matter of civil liberties at home--I hear ya! However, it ain't Uncle Sam whose nose is in yore tent. It is private for profit folks like AXIOM burrowing away in the backwoods of Arkansas sellin' to others the precise locations of your freckles.
The technology is there to make this THE TOMORROW FILE.

Troll -man, thas' a good piece of history. Folks fergit-- no peace is ever achieved peacefully.

IAMNOT, heh...youse alwys pullin a wry smile outa' me.

Ever'body, Aunty ain't no mean Mammy Yocum wif a shotgun fer the answer to ever flea bite. But dang it, lettin' the thugs of the world rampage at will--thas' our own fault, I feel responsible fer the genocides whar' we coulda, but din't...SUDAN ?

Honey said...

Very thought provoking... you made a good point. As a mother, I do promote tolerance, respect and understanding for others but when ya' start messin' with my kids, you're now tanglin' with momma bear.

prince of regret said...

re: cia supported bin laden.

once you had a lovely wife and you were good partners. you even bought her a lovely mercedes and tiffany ring. then things went south. and you still have to watch her drive around town in that car wearing that ring drinking and partying with a bunch of trash. and damnif she dont still have your last name!

its a drag allright!

NYD said...

Prince. Point well made and taken, yet that still doesn't explain why the focus was taken off the lanky leader of Al Qaeda and placed on the ridiculously transparent target of Hussein? The post September 11 rhetoric has more holes in it than a slice of Loney Tunes Swiss Cheese.

But I an getting off topic.

Aunty Belle said...

.......Honey,
howdy--an' welcome. Yep, SUgar, when it comes to defendin' our children the dynamics change. Makes it eassier to see how a nation can be pushed into defcon 4.

...Prince of Regret

heh heh..uh-huh. Puts it into perspective. Welcome to the Back Porch--come often.

....NYD
On thang about it that gets to me is that we make a deal out of 9-11, but the real start of this particular offensive began in the 80s...meanin' that our ineffectual response made the bully bolder.

GenX said...

Great commentary Aunty Belle, very refreshing.

My two cents:

A people who can't muster the will to defend themselves are a people who are destined to be slaves.

Aunty Belle said...

Welcome aboard GenX!

Perhaps one of the problems with modern American imagination is that we simply have no concept of what we look like as slaves--our current slavery is to comfort and pleasure and that does not look too bad unless one slides into addiction.

What we cannot seem to grasp is that our slave mentality is being prepared for us--once one gives into a reliance on government for all the goodies, the idea of self-reliance disappears. We are arrogant if we think that those of stronger will and determination will not use that flaccidity to turn us into serfs.