Tuesday, September 19, 2006

History repeats

I worry about the rhetoric that's being splattered through the airwaves these days, especially the stuff that is spewing out of the right-wing, GOP cheerleading squad (i.e. Limbaugh, Hannity, et al), to wit: We're entitled to torture, maim, mutilate and murder Muslims because that's what terrorists do to us."
Well, have we all forgotten that we're proud of America because she adheres to the notion of honor based in truth, uprightness, compassion and fairness. At least that's the America I know and love.
Seems to me that the guiding principle of limiting one's actions based on only doing something you would do in broad daylight in front of everyone holds water, you know.
So this bulls$@# about justifying torture-as-revenge is just that, bullsh@#! And to say it's to extract valuable information from terrorists is, for the most part, a fallacy. Check it out!
As a nation, I am most proud that we Americans hold ourselves to a higher standard than those of brutes, dictators, slavish cretins and morons. During WWII we didn't put Germans in ovens, though Germans did just that to others. We didn't behead (as policy) Japanese soldiers, though the Japanese beheaded our soldiers. We have placed a heavier responsibility upon our shoulders in the hopes that our children and their children would further the human race's intellectual, moral, political and spiritual growth and create a better world for everyone – well, at least for Americans. Right?
So I'm a bit frightened by the Nazi-like, hate mongering that seems to be de rigueur on right-wing talk radio these days. G. Gordon Liddy calls Muslims murderers and rag-heads, Limbaugh implies that all Muslims are terrorists and Islam is an evil religion and his cronies mindlessly follow suit. The words that are being carelessly slung about today are designed to propagate hatred of Muslims. And it's EXACTLY like the Nazi propaganda machine that created an anti-Jewish movement based on lies and fallacies. EXACTLY like that!
The only difference is, now it's Muslims who are the targeted group.
And if we non-Muslim peoples allow that kind of rhetoric to stand unchallenged, if we declare a de facto war on Muslims, we may find ourselves on the losing end of the spear, if you get my drift. And even if we were to succeed in destroying, or at least tamping down to a whisper, the Muslim population, what would we really have in the end?
I submit that we will wind up with a festering wound that will poison us all.
Ultimately, we must be precise in our rhetoric and propaganda against terrorists. It's terrorists that we're angry with and terrorists that we want to defeat. And while it's true that many, if not most, terrorists today are Muslims, it's not true that all terrorists are Muslims. And it's certainly not true that Islam is a threat to the world, though many
If Islam's practitioners and believers practiced the religion as it's written, the world would be a more peaceful place.
But, like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and whatever religion you can name, there are those who hijack religion for their own deceitful purposes. Most despots have used religion to some extent to elevate their agenda to one of acceptability. At present, it seems to me that many greedy, power-hungry Muslims have hijacked the religion of Islam for their own terrible vision of the world. Their fear is so over-powering that it rules every tenet, every law, every rule they impose upon their subjects. Dictators – fascists – cannot thrive in a democracy and that's why fascists fight so fiercely to destroy democracy wherever they find it.
Osama bin Laden's call to Muslims to return to the world of the thirteenth Century caliphate is obviously sad, pitiable cry for escape from the modern world and its complex, egalitarian social trend. And it is doomed to fail, although I realize it must be resisted. But that resistance must not be simply violent. Resistance against ideas must be expressed with ideas. And in the marketplace of ideas, peace and harmony trumps fear and violence every time. Only the select few madmen (and women) who would enslave people to do their bidding are willing to bet everything on a failed dream like the caliphate.
But I digress.
People, beware of the simple solution, the call to arms without a clearly laid out plan, the scream for revenge without a willingness to accept the consequences of that action. And trust me on this; every action has consequences. Evil cannot be defeated by evil. Get it?