Posted by: JDM..... | February 10, 2010

I know it’s ugly…

…but please & thank you won’t cut it here

The news item disclosed that a former inmate at Guantanamo, arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of being involved with al Qaeda terror plots, had been subjected to such extreme treatments as sleep deprivation, threats, and having his genitals sliced with a scalpel.

I’m as appalled by “man’s inhumanity to man” as the next guy, but before breaking out the hankies and getting your britches in a stitch, let’s drop back and take a look at this ugly scene in its entirety. Focusing on a cat’s ass doesn’t make for a very cute kitten.

Not that world terrorism from any angle could be mistaken for a kitten, but I recall sitting in front of a television set not too many years ago and watching the buildings containing several thousand innocent Americans collapse into a dead quiet mountain of twisted steel, broken concrete, shattered glass, blood, guts, and body fragments the size of a pencil eraser. I recall seeing the pictures of a US Pentagon shattered and smoking, and black hole in the ground in Pennsylvania that had once been a couple of hundred American citizens going about their daily lives. I remember viral internet videos of American and British civilians working in the Middle East, blindfolded and on their knees, as their heads were summarily hacked off by masked animals in turbans too cowardly to show their faces and identities. Over and over I am reminded that there are tens of thousands of men and women hiding in the shadows of the world like cockroaches whose sole purpose in life is to maim and destroy all who do not share their religious views. Funding their efforts in no small part with heroin trafficking and the like, they gloat that they walk among us openly by blending in, and periodically announce from their caves and other hiding places that they will not go away and will not rest until everyone else is dead and gone.

I read of a massive firestorm in the Western United States and am reminded that the hundreds of firefighters risking their lives to combat it don’t do so by lining up and spitting on it. In fact, sometimes the only way to stop its progress is to intentionally and surgically ignite backfires. Sometimes one has to fight fire with fire. Traditional Western values and accepted methods of waging conflicts, while impressive and frightening on the traditional battlefield aren’t quite enough when it comes to this kind of conflict. This kind of “war” can’t be won by lining up and firing bullets and bombs at a distant target. The enemy values no human life, including his own, and hides behind women and babies to wage his brand of violence.

This war must, by the enemy’s own choosing be fought surgically and often in a manner we find repulsive and unsettling. The enemy has brilliantly designed it that way, using our own values and sense of right and wrong as an effective weapon against us.

No, I have no desire to prosecute those who bend our own rules and violate our understanding of what is good and proper in this fight, and I don’t support those who call for such “justice”, though I understand and share their angst. I think of the men of my generation, raised by WW II veterans celebrating the Fourth of July and idolizing the image of “GI Joe” and the like, sent to rice paddies a half a world a way where they met an unknown kind of enemy and had to shoot children begging for chocolates because their fellows had learned the hard way that half the time the cute little kids were wrapped in high explosives. Bullet holes often heal. Broken minds and spirits never do.

In this strange and ugly war against those who hide among us or in dark caverns seeking opportunities to kill, maim, and destroy in the name of some misbegotten and obscene “god”, I have learned that I must accept that winning means survival, not just taking home a trophy or stealing someone else’s real estate, and that the process will breed no heroes or action figures for kids to play with. More likely than not it will breed spiritual wounds and the kind of inner death that never heals for many, but these men and women do what they know they must do regardless.

I’m sorry when an innocent is frightened, insulted, or even pushed around a bit because of this ugly fight. But the truly innocent would better serve themselves and humanity as a whole if they would forgo the theatre of righteous indignity to hunt down their brethren who belie the values of their own creed and endanger the tranquility of their own people with their evil violence. At least they are alive. At least they are not shredded bits of meat and bone scattered across the landscape or headless corpses thrown into some gutter in the night.


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