Posts Tagged ‘Idi Amin’

I can’t put my finger on it, but the whole day just seemed odd. I love my new job and I am slowly getting organized. I picked up a few groceries after work and drove home – it seemed like the world was in slow motion, and I’m loving that. I am fully enjoying the lack of two daily deadlines and the sense of panic that comes with them. Life is small town slow, and I love small towns.

I don’t think that is why the day felt “off”.

I tried to take a nap after dinner and all I could think of was the troubling headline I’d read before I left home this morning: 2,000 dead in northern Nigeria. There were other headlines: the unrest in Paris after the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo; the recovery of the black box from AirAsia’s Flight QZ85o1; girls being used as suicide bombers in the troubled Middle East; and the tirades on Facebook for or against gun control.

My mind raced through the centuries. History, as I recall it, has always been rather bleak and depressing. History fascinates me: the ability of human beings to survive human beings.

The Khans were amongst the worst. I’m fuzzy on the details (note to self: read up on Ghengis and the klan), but I recall reading a passage in James Michener’s Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan about the scenes where thousands of human skulls were piled up as a record of Ghenghis Khan’s bloody conquest of the Asian continent. I read that back when I read everything James Michener. It starts out with a beheading in a public square.

There was Pol Pot, who is barely even mentioned in current histories, but who reigned terror in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge. He was known to have murdered at least 3,000,000.

Idi Amin, Hitler, Manifest Destiny, the practice of genocide against aboriginals in Australia. The Norse raiding the shores of Ireland and Scotland. The Romans. Constantine. The Bible has passages where God told the Israelites to erase certain races of people from the earth (they disobeyed and allowed survivors, bringing God’s wrath down on them). Cain murdered Abel over a technicality that Cain failed to observe.

We have a bloody history.

As a Highly Sensitive Person (not saying other people aren’t sensitive!), I have a tendency to put myself in the position of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and forced to carry explosives into a public market. I empathize with the victims and plan how to be a survivor.

Taking a step back, when I first started homeschooling, I did so because I did not trust what government schools were teaching our children about history. Government schools were not teaching history: how many times can you cross the continent in a covered wagon and celebrate Oregon’s very existence while ignoring the American Civil War or the very Revolution that created the United States of America? And what about that French Revolution?

I told my children that if it ever came to it, the first people a despot will seek to kill and destroy are the educated, the artists, the journalists, and those who have learned to think for themselves.

Thinking about it, that is exactly what bothers me: the despots have reached out and murdered the artists and the journalists. What happened at the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo was the front line in a war against a war against a modern-day Ghengis Khan’s army. They have reached out and killed the intellectuals, the artists, the journalists.

Don’t think for yourself. Don’t have a biting sense of humor. Don’t mock their form of government.

This is not a war against a religion. The religion – Islam – has managed to peacefully co-exist (more or less) with other major religions for centuries. The last recorded war against Islam was the Crusades (which was also a war against the Jews). Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism – these have all brought the arts, literature, the sciences, and mathematics to us. We now have a single-minded faction that seeks to undermine and destroy all of that beauty.

Why? Don’t these people read history? For the Americans who have converted and traveled to Iran to join some jihadist army: did you not read about General George S. Custer? Adolf Hitler? Anyone take note of where the Khans are now in the historical time line of things?

George Santayana. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

The problem is: they condemn everyone around them to repeat it. It doesn’t end well for the despots. It doesn’t end well for tens of thousands, if not millions, of people.

I don’t believe we can sit in a circle and sing “Kumbaya” to end this war. I do believe that the only answer is a full-out hammer-on-the-head sort of answer (that’s my Norse ancestors speaking). Bury them. Blast them off the face of the Earth. They aren’t going to listen to the Voice of Reason.

Don’t get me wrong: I am a pacifist. I puke at the idea of someone punching another human being. I spanked my kids and cried afterward. I was sorry I never read anything about kind child rearing before I had kids (and I am doubly sorry that I did not know I suffered from clinical depression which made me angry).

The biggest problem with my approach to this pestilence called “radical” Islam (I prefer to call it “misguided”) is this: the number of innocent lives that will be lost. That bothers me. No one should be collateral damage.

On the other hand… I have trained myself to react/respond to personal threat by going full-out psycho woman. Maybe Mama Bear is the only response we can offer. I don’t know, but I know it disturbs me that we seem to be tied to civility in our response to a very uncivil war.

I wish I knew the answers. I also wish it didn’t haunt me in to my working hours.

I wish for the 1960’s and the Cold War. So much for that.


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