So the hand wringing, as expected, has started, but to me, as callous as it may sound, this reminds me of Macbeth’s wailing after Duncan’s murder. No, Americans were not directly involved in the Paris mayhem and while it may be fit and proper to call it a tragedy, a great tragedy, and refer to the victims as innocents, and offer condolences, sincere condolences, but didn’t the US know that this would happen. With all their snoops and all their secretive high tech listening devices or just plain common sense – no need for Ivy League grads here – they must have known that the US, and their friends by association, will reap what the US has sown. The chickens always come home to roost. In today’s interconnected world, is anybody really innocent of the crimes of others?In the “new normal” are not we are all guilty by association?
And how is this tragedy different from the bloodletting of the Rohingyas in Burma at the hands of the oh so peaceful Buddhist Monks which continued until their blood lust was satiated; or the recent killing of the Syrian refugees in their camps in Iran or those in Yemen and of the tragedy of the bombings of the Hospitals run by Medicine Sans Frontier. Oh, thosewere overtaken by fresh tragedies occurring daily. You want my empathy on the Paris tragedy? Answer me this, why is the handwringing so muted when the tragedy befalls the others?
I am no Sufi saint living in a cave or a Monk chanting mantras on a hill top. Neither do I think that wearing flowers on your head and singing “let it be” is going to solve these problems. I live in the real world and face real issues on a daily basis that restricts my rights to free movement, association and even to transfer funds. And I loudly proclaim from my anthill that there has to be an understanding, a realization of inclusiveness as opposed to divisiveness at the top of the food chain. A continued pursuit of the ideology of “either you are with us or against us”would be an endorsement of Einstein’s definition of madness.
The killings at Paris are the ones before or those to come after – one does not have to be clairvoyant or prescient to realize that Paris is not the last, there will be more.Our actions for God, King and Country – and you can through in Honor there as well – predicate that there will be more. Ask the CIA, they will tell you. But these are mere eruptions of a disease which has a long history. As long as the world is divided between mine and thine and one feels that one is entitled, no, not merely entitled, but has been granted a God given right, to protect one’s way of life, even if it means proactively destroying the ‘other’ and his way of life, either through proxies or by direct intervention, such eruptions will not only continue but become bigger and more horrific because both sides have the tools of war and the merchants of death are raking it in big time. The great progress in the world of cyberspace has acted as a leveler of sorts between the haves and the have-nots in the world of murder and mayhem.
The fires of Baghdad have not been extinguished, they are merely smoldering and now the flames are lapping atthe walls of Damascus and who knows where they will flare up next – Tehran, Riyadh.It is not anybody’s guess. People are hard at work in the basement at Langley.
It is good to be security conscious, to lock your door and close your windows and switch on the security system because it is a tough neighborhood but when with fostering regime change at will no longer gives an adrenalin rush and a desire to change the political map of a region based on the perceived fear – no real, credible threat, no clear and present danger nor actionable intelligence – that in decades to come that region might pose a threat, becomes a be all and the end all of a nation’s raison raison d’être,then that is not just being just paranoid, that is certified madness.
If I live in a mansion I will always be afraid that the kids from the slum nearby will throw stones at my pride and joy and disrupt my way of life. Rather than putting barbed wires around the slum or using overpowering force to raze the slum, the wiser option would be to improve the slum so that its dwellers too will have something to cherish, treasure and protect.
The onus is on those who have the bigger guns, the better firepower and enough weapons of mass destruction to destroy the world several times over; they have to make the first move.
Until then wait for the next wringing of hands.