Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What a Question?

Here's a piece which asks the question, Does Obama deserve credit for killing Qhadaffi? (I don't care how it's spelled. It's a small mind that can spell a word only one way.)

I try to stay away from moralist positions, but the facts on the ground, or in the air as it were, recently point to a pattern, which if accepted as OK, that is to say no one speaks out against it, makes me again "accepting", the fifth and final stage of grieving,  that I don't have to live forever, and sad for what kind of world my children will have to explain to their children, my grandchildren.  I know, I know, it's a story of doom as long as there have been people to tell the story.

In one of my poems in the collection, The Poet and the Pendulum, I wrote about this. It has to do with the nature of Nature. Nature doesn't care that we shit in our own pew, she'll repair all and anything we manage to
damage in our shitty little time on Her Earth.  In contrast to our Narcissistic view of ourselves, we exist and are only alive for a nano second of geological time, and who knows, Nature's/Creator's time.

I've often wondered about the axiom "fight fire with fire". That can be momentarily appealing ,especially in the abstract in places like Yellowstone National Park, with intentionally set fires as backfires and controlled fires,. as both a short term tactic, and a long term strategy. It upsets me when helpless creatures of Nature are killed in the process and accepted as collateral damage. That's the PETA part of me.

The humanist part of me, a self described agnostic, just makes me sad that human beings, of which I have to sadly admit I am one, haven't ever, still can't and likely won't ever stop killing each other, sometimes seemingly, just for the sport of using new weapons.

On  a more grounded, or elevated, as it were, basis, the justification for killing an enemy seems to rely on what the enemy identification is; if enemy combatant, take him out of circulation by killing him.   So what constitutes an enemy combatant?.  A soldier in the uniform of another country which  is acknowledged by all as an enemy is an easy call. That is so last century though. Our current enemies, those we choose to call them such, aren't likely to be wearing the uniform of any country, but are likely to be the kind who hide behind the "camouflage" of no uniform.  They are what our military leaders call terrorists, so those who promote war somewhere all the time have defined our enemies by coming up with a universal term which is so broad as to defy its vulnerability to challenge.

The Mafia is a terrorist organization, as is any militia, as were those who went up against the English in our own  revolution, shooting from behind trees, initially in their own civvies, not a uniform.  One man's patriot is another man's terrorist. How soon our Neocon/Pentagon/Military/Industrial complex cavemen choose to forget.

But I digress.  My real problem is that moral one, the one I'd prefer not to acknowledge; the practice of our own government, under the guise of protecting us, of setting up a group of human beings who are tasked with identifying individuals who are "our enemies" by some subjective standard, subjective because the standards are outside our own ratified Constitution and its Amendments, and who are targeted for elimination, assassination.  No due process under the Constitution or the Geneva Convention for these bad guys.

The fact that the weapons set loose are now often drones, essentially robots controlled by
star wars trained technicians continents away from their human targets, is not a big surprise.  Killing is killing, assassination is assassination by whatever means.  While it's not a big surprise for me it is a chilling reminder that homo sapiens have always, do now, and will always look for more efficient ,more deadly and less risky, ways of killing those other living beings, whether animals for eating or humans for conquering.

(The spear in the hands of a practiced thrower, compared to the bludgeon in the hands of the one who got up close and personal, (read vulnerable),  might be the earliest known example.)

If there ever were an American Exceptionalism worthy of respect, it existed, historically, during the time when the documents, which we like to remind ourselves are us, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were actually honored, respected and for the most part
became the standards for which and under which we Americans did our best to live.

Those were the times in which we, our American ancestors, chose our leaders when they more or less tried honestly to represent us, their voters. We, as a new nation, who had just thrown off the tyrannical and occupying force of what was then the acknowledged military dominant nation on Earth, tacitly adopted a world view to avoid getting involved in problems all over the world.  

Sadly  that seems to be challenged today, as it eventually has been over recorded history of our species .In  today's edition it's seen by those who have a serious personal financial  interest in maintaining their status,  as behavior of a fringe group, a giving up on "real Americans", and at least a  lack of patriotism, if not the behavior of a traitor.

These are the Neocons, those who stir the pot of tribalism to  create a crisis, to be sure there is always a place to wage war in which they make millions of dollars. Gullible Americans drink the Koolaid that they are being  protected by our military.

So who should get credit for killing Qaddafi?  What a question.  That anyone should get credit for killing another living creature is a sickening cultural meme.


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