|14A066 Slaughter of Innocents by Jim Davies, 12/24/2014
There is a daily drumbeat of news of killings, shootings and bombings. It's only too easy to shut them out of mind, to get on with one's own life in one's own corner of the world and pretend they don't happen.
But they do, and in every instance one or more human being is imposing his will upon other human beings, to the ultimate extent of robbing his victim of life; that is, they are governing him absolutely. There was a profound line towards the end of the Clint Eastwood movie "Unforgiven", after the three heroes had avenged a young lady by killing those who cut her face; one says to another "When you kill a man, you take everything he has."
I'm not sure why, but the massacre of school children in Peshawar on December 16th affected me more than others in recent memory. School kids, uniformed, exploring knowledge and on the cusp of life; suddenly attacked and cut down by seven heavily armed thugs intent on killing as many of them as possible, so as to cause pain to their parents, most of whom were members of the Pakistani army. Then they blew themselves up. Here's a moving account of it by Danial Ahmed, called A Black Day for Paksitan. I say it was a black day for the human race. From his account:
"This female teacher was burned alive in front of her students. They were forced to watch her burn to her death. Afterwards the inhumane terrorists shot the students in their eyes."
The nature of murder is an obscene act of govern-ment, but in this case there was an overtone of religion; it's often so. Pakistan is Muslim, but that comes in at least two varieties, and here one was "causing pain" to the other. The Pakistani Muslims I've met are gentle people. Hard to think of them killing children, as the other sort does. Ahmed quotes a Muslim scholar, Muhammed Tahir ul Qadri: "Terrorists who... kill peaceful people are criminals who are destined to suffer the torments of hell." So it would be a mistake to brand all Muslims with the Taliban brush, and I hope to see many more echo Dr Qadri - preferably, without resort to the myth of everlasting flames.
The characteristic of these seven killers, therefore, was that they were 100% dedicated to the cause of changing political power - putting their gang in charge - because they were convinced that was the will of their god; so much so that, having killed about 20 teenagers each, they ended their own lives too. Politics and religion; a deadly mix.
We are not as those other men... are we? Well, take the 1960s. "Hey, hey, LBJ; how many kids have you killed today?" he was asked in anti Vietnam war rallies. The answer was that over ten years, Johnson (who racked it up) and Nixon (who wound it down) killed about 57,000 Americans, 18 years old and up; about 15 a day. "Fifteen," LBJ might have replied, had he been honest. Then we should count the Vietnamese, often younger yet; estimates run at around a million. That's another 274 a day. Say, around 284 total; just twice what the Taliban thugs achieved in Peshawar, but every day for 3,650 days. By that count, the FedGov is 7,300 times more lethal than the Taliban.
Or take the 1940s. FDR sent over 400,000 young Americans to die in WW-2, in a period of four years; that's also a daily rate of just about twice the number killed in Peshawar. Then WW-1, and the War to Prevent Secession, and on and on. Government is a massive slaughter system; on two awful days alone in 1945, that modest haberdasher from Kansas ordered action that killed a quarter million Japanese men, women and children; about sixty thousand of those were 18 or younger. No, we are not as other men; the people we elect (if we vote!) are far, far worse.
That's with one qualifier; the murderers in D.C. and their hired hit-men in the military do not, as a rule, look their victims in the eye, see that they are unarmed, and kill them anyway on purpose. It's done more remotely, with greater detachment; or it's done when the adversary is also armed, under a comparable scheme designed by his commanders. Mass murder, in other words, has in our sophisticated world been sanitized. Truman's buck stopped on his desk, but he didn't ride in Enola Gay above Hiroshima and watch through a telescope as his victims were vaporized or deprived of their skins. It wasn't up-close and personal. Peshawar was. Maybe that's what makes it so horrible.
Government is the root of all this horror; the culprits are either in one, or want to be in one, and they are frequently either motivated by religion or use religion to "justify" the slaughters. When the exponential growth of TOLFA has shown everyone the nature of government and liberty, and conveyed the nature of rational ethics, government will cease for want of willing employees and each will grasp that every other fellow human being is of value to him, or her. While gaining that rational understanding, most graduates will see the folly of religion also, hence the twin roots of this evil will vanish. That is the prospect we can look forward to, in the coming zero government society.