Friday, October 21, 2011

Qaddafi Is Dead (by Ragean)

Qaddafi is dead. I have mixed feelings about this statement.

The first report I had of this fact was via an email update from I read the article (written by Julie Mason) associated with it and this statement became etched in my mind:

“The death of the flamboyant, deadly Qaddafi provides a welcome, definitive outcome for US leaders.”

It was the word “welcome” that struck me.

Next I followed a link provided on Twitter from Brit Comedian/Writer/Actor, Simon Pegg, which led me to this statement from a book written by Martin Luther King, Jr., called “The Strength to Love”:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says ‘Love your enemies,’ he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

A comment was associated with this quote from Dr King’s book that really says it all:

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives; but, I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”

This statement was written by an English Teacher by the name of Jessica Dovey. Ms. Dovey is a middle-class, American English Teacher. Yes, you read that correctly – an English Teacher. (I bring this specifically to your attention to support a side-comment that most American Teacher’s are underpaid!)

When asked about this statement, which was written after the death of Osama bin Laden, Ms. Dovey further stated:

“I just felt incredibly uneasy after reading the news and watching my newsfeed fill up with shouts of ‘Hooray! The witch is dead!’ I think we should begin thinking about why we are at war in the first place. Is it for revenge? For many, yes. That won’t solve the problem, though, for reasons that were so eloquently stated by Martin Luther King, Jr., himself. What we are looking for is an end to terrorism, right? I don’t know how to create peace, or hope, but I know in my heart that hate isn’t going to get us anywhere. I know that this terrorist is dead, but I know that his ideas are not dead, and that the lies and hatred that fuel them are fires that are fanned by our approach to the situation.”

Further research and reading brought me to a blog writer that pretty much summed it up for me:

“I believe that in the 21st Century, military force and violence is not an effective means of achieving political change. This is less a moral position than it is a political one. Political movements that assume a military orientation tend to be subsumed by battle plan, military exigencies and military order. They lose connection to their principal goal of building a movement and speaking for and to the interests of their constituents. Additionally, the ‘collateral damage’ resultant from the direct engagement of the Imperial militaries tends to fall hardest upon those already oppressed. Imperialism in the 21st Century has refined the tactic of drawing out the battle in which the conflict itself becomes a further weapon of oppression as it becomes the justification for still further oppression. Ours is to evade this cycle rather than to engage it directly.

“I do not begrudge the right of Nations to self-determination up to and including necessary acts of self-defense against Imperialism. I think that most of the greatest political mistakes and State crimes of the 20th Century involved various attempts to manipulate or interfere militarily or otherwise with the natural historical development of Independent Nation States. I think that it should be obvious enough to most people now that these mistakes and crimes carried over into the beginning of the 21st century and are at the root of the situation…at the present time. Rawlin's View (emphasis mine)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not questioning the courage, strength and great sacrifice of our Military men and women. They, unfortunately, are the tool that I feel is being used in the political-economic conflicts that continue to plague mankind. And to reiterate something that I stated in my very first blog, this is MY opinion, to which I am entitled under the Bill of Rights. You may or may not agree with me, which is also your right; and I will defend anyone’s right to their own beliefs.

Again a repeat from my first attempt at blogging: Let’s try to stop the repetition of history and write it anew. Let’s create a world of love, tolerance and respect for all mankind. Let’s stop fighting wars to make other Governments believe or behave as we want them to do. Let’s change the way other Countries feel about America. Let’s change the way Americans feel about other Americans.

And just to show the somewhat ironic side of this story, a tweet I received this morning from Australian Comedian/Musician/Activist, Tim Minchin:

“Bloodied corpse on front of newspapers clearly visible to passing kids. I get in trouble for saying ‘bastard’ on the radio. Funny.”

1 comment:

Laurie Tannehill said...

It's interesting, Reg. I had very similar thoughts when I saw Quaddafi's corpse all over the TV this morning. I thought "do we really need to see this?". We have become a very vindictive culture, so confident in our own superiority that we can be perfectly comfortable in the violent death of another.

Don't get me wrong... I do believe that there are some people who are too dangerous to walk the face of this earth and Quaddafi subjugated millions of his countrymen. That doesn't mean, though, that they should be killed out of hand and we certainly shouldn't be happy about it.

If we reduce ourselves to the tactics of our enemies are we really any better than them? It's the climate of democracy that makes our system superior. As someone pointed out to me recently when I was conflicted over another very public death, every person deserves due process.