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Posts Tagged ‘war’

Recently a high profile Saudi dissident went visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He never returned. What excuses the Riyadh government gave became curioser and curioser but no body. Here is another that defies explanation. Enlightenment in Europe as a principle would separate State from Religion. Afterall when the Pope of the Holy See in 800 AD endorsed the Divine Rights of kings it was Religion legitimizing the rule of one bandit king and his family the exclusive rights to plunder the state finances with impunity. After much bloodletting and religious wars the beacon of enlightenment succeeded in throwing light into dark recesses of man who would publicly establish a principle but see to that something far different takes control over the rest of the proceedings. That is history for you, in capsule.
Is our mind that complex? Wars for instance was not sought out as the ape ancestor had nothing to complain of than hunting and gathering on an unwritten principle: share and share alike.

Evolution can explain why humans exhibit aggression because it is a primal emotion like any other, experts say. Dogs have it and apes also show it. Emotions are to be handled and for a social animal like man, nature provides them a safety valve in context of other life forms. Members in the same group come to learn very early there is safety in numbers. Maternal instincts of mother and suckling baby in need, forge a bond held more secure on account of the genetic push. Emotions of a mother and her infant, both benefit by emotions. Emotions can run the gamut of aggression and fear when threatened by outsiders. Evolution has primed primates and men to express appropriately so the survival of each group is in the best interest of each member and also a collective responsibility. Think of brain as a muscle that is well toned by constant use. Bodily exercise and mental agility benefit from constant use. Body and Mind as one. Think of members of the same group with same goals and sharing of genes as one organism.
Man, given his tool making capacity, has relied on channeling his emotions in the ways he whittled a piece of flint to serve his every day needs. By breaking it off he might hone the edge as sharp as a surgeon’s knife. In making that fine artifact, he has dissipated his bad emotions as well as found a new thrill of making a useful tool.
Somewhere along the line it became a lethal weapon and a weapon of war.
The same evolution that made man separate jumped the realm of biology found a new use for the tool, his handiwork.
Primal emotions when given expression consciously make even a piece of bamboo or flint as weapons of war. The use of weapons may date back well before the rise of humanity, given evidence that even our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, can use spears to hunt other primates. Man, as a social animal can rationalize his nature, his need to give vent to pent up aggression. Only he did not account for the destructive force he would unleash in evolving a simple weapon as a flint knife to the nuclear bomb that may wipe off all life from the face of the Earth. How did a flint as a tool to fell animals in hunt or skin the hides of animals or carve piece of wood became a weapon to murder? Blame it on his nature.

Biologists speak of ‘norms of reaction,’ which are patterned responses to environmental circumstances. For example, some male insects are more likely to guard their mates when there are fewer females in the population, hence fewer other mating opportunities. Natural selection didn’t just shape a fixed behavior, it shaped the norm of reaction — the nature of the response,”
In humans a bad idea when he can think rationally on it brings many advantages. Increasing his supply of food at the cost of one who is weaker is one way of doing it. Annexing a territory from a weak tyrant is worth the while of a chieftain if he has a superior force. He reckons that his success would silence others and make his position more secure. It must have come handy when others would take the same path to aggrandize themselves.
‘Just as compassion for your offspring increases your genes’ chance of survival, violent tendencies may have been similarly useful for some species’ observed biologist David Carrier, of the University of Utah(2012),” Humans certainly rank among the most violent of species.” In true nature-nurture fashion, though some kind of genetic preprogramming for violence, may exist in humans as a result of our evolution. The west has long felt as champions of liberty and free speech but when dissidents simply disappear in broad daylight it ought to warn all how a thin veneer of decency has coated modern man. It must sit oddly where civilization is on every body’s lips while civility is cut out from his heart.

Now in a very divided America evangelicals have come in droves to support President Trump. What excuse they have? They embrace Trump the policymaker, despite being uneasy about Trump as a man, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a prominent evangelical activist group. What kind of family Mr. Perkins has in mind, I wonder? When he supports a system the head of the family is fated to spend most of his waking hours into drudgery to the neglect of his family sounds hypocritical. He is more like the Popes of yore giving a thorough whitewashing of men whose moral turpitude knows no bounds. Never mind religion has a way of rationalizing Satan when he comes in the form of mammon. This is what Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell Jr. and their ilk want to see in public life.
Benny

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A frightful sight was the knight astride a horse caparisoned with silver buckles and headpiece of gold. The beast knew his fame alright. His flaring nostrils and sleek body armor plated gave a terrible aspect, and flanks catching shafts of light from infernal regions he emerged, made all who saw him shudder. The rider whose visor was down held his shield loosely and sat as if born to ride didn’t stir.
He let his steed make his paces.
The animal at last spoke. He said,’ O Knight of Thousand Wars have we not covered ourselves in glory?’
War said,’ None dared hold ground before us.’ The horse said,’ Isn’t time then we called it a day and rested from our bloody business?’
War would have but there were three other horses closely in heels. The horses bearing knights named Plague Famine just paused till Knight Death caught up with them. Seeing this infernal sight of nags of the most loathsome aspect Knight War patted his horse by the mane and said,’From where are these coming?’
The war horse shrugged off saying that these were ever on heels the day they set out to conquer.
War had to agree that they would not be able to alight for the fear of being trampled to death by them.

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When Libya’s dictator for more than four decades fell victim to the Arab Spring, Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s influence didn’t end. It is now contributing to increased attacks by rebel groups, the arming of terrorists and a hunger crisis in other parts of Africa.
“This is a setback for the international community which has invested so much money in the past decade in democracy, peace, and security in Africa,” said Dr. Mehari Taddele Maru at the Institute for Security Studies based in Pretoria, South Africa.
After Gadhafi’s fall, thousands of his soldiers left the country with stockpiles of weapons, including machine guns, ammunition, and shoulder-fired missiles. Maru says at least 2,000 of them were mercenaries who returned to their native countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Nigeria. . Many have already returned to fighting.
In the West African country of Mali, when ethnic Taureg fighters returned from Libya well armed, it encouraged Taureg separatists to launch a new rebellion against the government in January. While Gadhafi’s weapons were no match for the NATO forces that came to the rescue of Libyan revolutionaries, they were far superior to the weapons of the impoverished Malian army. A mutiny by Mali’s out-gunned and frustrated soldiers turned into a coup d’etat when they stormed the Presidential Palace in March, erasing more than two decades of democratic rule.
In the chaos that has ensued after the coup, Taureg separatists in Mali have had more success than ever before. On Sunday they seized the last government holdout in the north, the legendary town of Timbuktu. There is now concern a Taureg victory in Mali could inspire another rebellion in neighboring Niger.
“The Tauregs in Niger got funding from Gadhafi. The government of Niger has been able to negotiate with them for peace, but for how long? That is questionable,” said Maru.
Gadhafi’s fighters and weapons also streamed into other nearby countries in the Sahel region bordering the Sahara desert. It is an area where a major Al-Qaeda affiliate has announced it acquired thousands of Gadhafi’s weapons.( Abc News of April3,2012)
This is a classic example of Cluster Principle I wrote in a number of posts in the past. West helping the rebels was part self interest, part idealism and in keeping with democratic traditions of the west. But it often cuts into the interests of the west ( as in the case of Iraq) and it underpins inversion principle. Cluster principle explains how this is brought about.
benny

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Once upon a time Chicken Little was walking along the village lane and saw a gaggle of geese going in a file. He crossed the lane in order to see them better. One goose stepped smartly and stepped on his little toe and it hurt. He flapped his tiny wings and was all astir. ‘This must be war!’ Chicken Little was certain. He ran to tell his Mama. But Mother Hen said geese were not on warpath. Chicken Little didn’t like to be proved wrong. So he asked, ‘How can you be sure of what I have seen, Mama?’ Mother Hen knew that she had to come up with a better answer to silence him. ‘It is common knowledge, Chicken Little,’ Mother Hen giving him an indulgent look said, ‘Had you laid as many eggs as I have, you will know you have been shooting your mouth.’ Chicken Little stood his ground and said, ‘But I felt its brutal thrust, yes I did.’ Chicken Little still staring at the scratch said,’ The goose-stepping marauders are on the war path.’ Mother Hen shooed him to attend to his supper and sleep off. Chicken Little did as he was told.
Later in the evening when the rooster came home Mother Hen lost no time in telling the news. ‘Order for mobilization has gone out. Geese have been given their marching orders.’
The Rooster said, ‘Is my comb all in order, Dearie?’
‘You are not getting mixed up in any of this?’
‘Sure I am,’ The Rooster crowed, ‘A war comes and I cannot let it go by.’
The rooster already saw himself as a Field Marshall. Mother Hen cackled in frustration. But Mr. Cock-a-lock said firmly, ‘I do not ask why I was given such colors when I cut a figure in a fight.’ Without so much as a good bye he preened himself and made a right about turn to face his imaginary enemies. Mother Hen ran a little behind him telling, ‘Go There shall be drumbeats and trumpets blaring as you march off. But when you return there shall be none.’
The rooster stopped dead in his tracks and looking at Mother Hen he said, ‘Lay your eggs if that cheer you up but leave the war to me.’ Without waiting to hear reason the Rooster merely marched on promising not to come back without covering himself in glory. On the way he met Porky who just had wallowed in mud and was feeling frisky. Porky saw Rooster and hollered, ‘What is the tearing hurry, Mr. Cock-a-lock? The Rooster mentioned a war had been declared. ‘How do you know that?’ Porky was not taking things at their face value. He countered it by asking, ‘ Tell me in a way I can understand: why would geese march in formation, goose-stepping across the country if not for war?’
Porky took time to digest this and the Rooster made a turn as though he had his baton already, ‘It is time to cover myself in glory.’ Porky didn’t buy this talk about glory. He grunted to admit,’ I covered myself in mud and let me tell you, and I feel great.’ The Rooster went off all spruced up. On the way he saw a Turkey who said war never appealed to him. The Rooster suggested he could prove his mettle. ‘Only war can take us to the top.’
The Rooster was sure war always ended in great rejoicing. ‘Don’t you wish when the President reads out recipients for Medal for Valor and you are among them?’
Mr. Turkey excused his lack of enthusiasm and said, ‘A war always ends badly for us. There will be thanksgiving and invariably we end on the occasion stuffed with sage. ’
The rooster thought the trouble with the world was they had no stomach for war. ‘There is a war and Mr. Turkey is already reaching wrong conclusions.’ He was certain he would not like to spend company with such fearful fowls.
On the way the rooster saw a fox and asked where the recruiting office was. The Red Fox saw the plump cockerel and said, ‘What a magnificent get up!’ Mr. Cock-a lock felt pleased. He returned the compliment, ‘You look no bad yourself‘
Yes Mr. Fox had his whiskers neatly drawn to a point and his thick tail fluttered, ‘’But are you dressed for the occasion?’
‘I hope I am,’ the rooster said somewhat shaken by the commanding presence of the fox.
‘Mr. Fox,’ the rooster stuttered,’ I ho-ho-hope you don’t think I will shy away when war has been declared?’
‘No, no’ the fox was certain, ‘ but you could do with more medals.’
The rooster crowed, ‘Cock-a doodle doo! That is why I am here to enlist.’
The rooster reminded again the fox where he was to enlist. The fox led him to his den where he asked the rooster to be bound over. ‘Why?’
‘Discipline, discipline. Think of it when your comrade’s life is in your hand. If you don’t have it you put your comrade’s life in danger. Think where this lack of discipline will lead to?’
Mr. Fox was very convincing and the cockerel was sure that the nation’s life was safe in his hands. Thus the cock let himself tied and taken to deeper recesses where he saw heaps of bones chewed clean. Shrugging at the mess the fox observed they were recruits who had no stomach for discipline.
Brightening up Mr. Fox looked at the trussed up cock and said, ‘Have no fear. But I have discipline that is far greater than all they had.’
(reprinted from Elves Bells of Nov.9-’10)
benny

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‘The war in Afghanistan is in danger of becoming a forgotten conflict because of events in Libya and across the Middle East, David Miliband has warned.

The former foreign secretary told the BBC more effort was needed to find a political solution before British and US troops are withdrawn in 2014’.(April,13-BBC news.uk)
How forgotten a war could be? I wanted to find out answer to this myself. So I unearthed the address of my schoolmates, the Ghazni brothers, who came in the eighties to do Engineering. They had scholarship and were in affluent circumstances. Their bulging wallet made all the boys root for them. Moe the Gregarious never lacked friends. Unlike Mohammed, his twin brother Ummer the Moaner just brought motherly instincts out of any girl. Ummer had his harem of weepers who comforted the fatherless boy while Moe threw money around despite a terrible tragedy.
Under occupation he lost many of his relatives. His father and his grandfather were lined up against a mud wall by the Soviet Army for retaliation. They were picked at random and shot. As sop to the outrage the Americans sent many helter-skelter on special grants to study. The twins were beneficiaries of that impersonal windfall. Moe celebrated life in honor of the dead. Ummer felt the loss of his dear ones with all the intensity his sensitive nature could bear. They both felt their loss last time I met them at the turnstile of our adult lives. Ten years ago they had moved over to their hometown in order to add their expertise for the village once again under seige. Five years ago Moe was killed by Taliban because he refused to be cowed down. He despite threats sent his daughter to College and for it he was executed with a bullet at close range. Ummer lost his family impersonally by a drone attack. They were on their way to attend a wedding. It was all a mistake, the news said so. I could get Ummer and asked if the Afghan War was a forgotten war. ‘How can I ever forget the death of my brother, my right hand? How can I forget loss of my wife. My heart is ripped apart?’ Later he said,’ I am part of a growing army of dead,-and the dead never changes opinions’.
For once he was dry eyed and said in the end,’The dead can only think of what made them dead’. No war can be forgotten by those who are in the line of fire. Thinking it over Ummer had run out of tears and it must yet rankle deep within.
benny

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DAMASCUS, Syria – Mohammed Oudeh, the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, died Saturday morning in Damascus, his daughter said. He was 73.
Oudeh was a leader of “Black September,” an offshoot of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group that was established to avenge the 1970 expulsion of Palestinian guerrillas from Jordan.
My title to this post may be misleading to Palestinians. They would term he was a fighter.
Whereas for an Israeli he would be nothing but a terrorist.
“Before Munich, we were simply terrorists. After Munich, at least people started asking who are these terrorists? What do they want,” he said. “Before Munich, nobody had the slightest idea about Palestine.”
So one who plans murder of athletes (for the simple reason they belonged to the state of Israel) is a propagandist and not guilty of murder.
On the flip side of this let us see what Israel set out to do: Oudeh escaped narrowly an attack by Israel’s Mossad spy agency in 1981. He was sitting in a hotel cafe in Warsaw, Poland, when a gunman shot him in his left wrist, chest, stomach and jaw.”It was a Palestinian double agent, recruited by the Mossad. … He was arrested 10 years later, put on trial (by the PLO) and executed.”
In setting a wrong to right with another wrong both Israel and Palestine have merely clouded the moral question. When shall we get to see the truth?
After the last man has been either killed (revenge killing or honor killing, no matter what you call it) truth shall be determined. The angel who walks length and breadth of the globe will count the number of people stoned for adultery,hands cut off for stealing or fried in an electric chair for real or imagined crimes, poisoned or killed by hired assassins for power or for family wealth and ask the Most Glorious seated on the White Throne of Judgment ,’What is the moral of this slaughter house, O Lord?’
What do you think will be the answer?

benny

(ack:AP News-reporter Albert Aji)

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Overheard at the Gehenna.

‘”Whenever I hear war I am losing some millions of souls who would have otherwise made my kingdom resound with their joyous sounds.’

“Oh whenever I hear talks of peace I am winning as many to my kingdom where gnashing of teeth and wailing make my sleep sweeter.”

The first speaker is God who regrets men who have proved too sheep-like to listen to some warmonger on the earth. The second of course is Satan who has created politicians, wolves in lambskins to play peacemakers. These speak of ‘doing the right thing.”

Duty of any religion should be to create man who knows his mind and heart. If he does not know how shall he give the best of his will, actions, emotions and thoughts? He may speak of his holiness but with one whose mind is confused and emotions in turmoil it is like rags. Similarly what kind of  obedience the Master can expect from a servant who is dull of understanding and inconsistent?

Suppose man had the inner courage and character not to fight a war in which he  doesn’t believe or thinks  is immoral, will the warmongers prosper? Those who  do not have the courage of their beliefs( not drawn from some silly babbling of a prophet)  will only blow themselves up like some crack their knuckles not  having anything better to do. Those who cannot believe in themselves will not get it right even if the prophet be from Allah.

benny

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