I have been putting off writing about this for a while, mostly because to write the way I want requires a substantial amount of research, and frankly, even as I type these words, I haven’t put the time in that I would like.
However, I remind myself that I am not a columnist, a news reporter, or anyone who needs to be as thorough as I would like to be, so I write my thoughts anyway.
If you have ever read interviews with German civilians who were alive during the Holocaust they will tell you that it was driven by an extreme minority, and the vast majority of the population just kind of went along with things. It was heavily driven by 2 entities… 1) a government built by a charismatic, crazy leader and 2) the church, which was not at all independent from government. The movement was driven by a few and followed by many.
Pay careful attention to the sentiment coming from Middle Eastern governments regarding the recent mobs, riots, destruction and killing that has gone on in multiple countries in that region. It ranges from apologetic of the action but understanding of feelings behind it, to condemnation of events that are being called “an attack on the nation of Islam.”
So let me summarize… you have an organized, idealistic group of extremists who value their ideals over human life. They have weapons, and their governments and churches range somewhere between understanding and downright supportive of their actions.
Nazi Germany created a fictitious enemy (Jews) with a fictitious agenda (taking over the world before the Aryans did) so that they could unite their people in a fictitious war, with the very real goal of wiping a nation of people from the planet.
Militant Muslims have created a fictitious enemy (America) with a fictitious agenda (waging war on their version of god and the prophet).
Let’s switch gears for a minute (yes, I know that was abrupt) and look at some of the other factors playing out in the world.
The US is having some pretty extreme arguments with China, who is also on the verge of war with Japan over a group of islands that they are both claiming ownership of.
Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, which could change the entire dynamic of the Middle Eastern conflict.
The leaders of Egypt and Greece have shown to be disconnected with the reality of the rest of the world.
Did I mention that half of Americans, including the Republican nominee for President, would prefer that we default on our financial obligations? Because that’s what not raising the debt ceiling means. Economists from both sides of the isle agree that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, our nation’s economy would (notice, I didn’t say “could”) crumble, and the ripple effect across the world could be disastrous. But that’s another topic.
The bottom line here is that the entire world is poised on the verge of military conflict, and the “map” of how we got here is so confusing and convoluted that I doubt you could point the finger at one, or even a handful of “guilty parties.” Yet, everyone is so focused on proving that their way of life, their political agenda, and in many cases their religion, is “right.”
When we look back at World War 2, Nazi Germany in general, the American Civil War, etc, we ask ourselves “how did we get here?” We promise ourselves we won’t make the same mistakes again, mistakes that lead somewhere between 50million and 70million human lives lost needlessly. We say that next time, we will find a way to avoid this sort of tragedy,
And yet, we’re doing it all over again.
I don’t have the answers to our problem. But I do know that we can’t continue down this road. At some point, somebody is going to say “enough is enough.” Maybe it will be when Iran crosses the line in the sand that Obama has not yet drawn. Maybe it will be when China wipes the island of Japan off the face of the Earth. Maybe it will be when one religious group in the Middle East decides to categorically eliminate the other. Yehuda Bauer, a well respected holocaust historian, believes that if either the Israelis and the Palestinians become more powerful than the other, this will happen. In fact, he would argue that there is already intent, but both sides lack the ability to overpower the other.
I’m not trying to write so that people will start feeling dismal about our future. I’m pretty sure this blog only has 3-5 readers anyway. I’m writing so that hopefully, we start thinking about the long term impact of our little political squabbles. That we, as a country, are in a position to help us avert world war 3, because of our size and economic resources. But we’ll never do our part if we keep up this partisan bickering and treat elections like we used to treat class president elections in high school. There are much more important issues at hand right now than who can marry who, whether medical care is socialized, and how much we pay for gas. That is, if you consider the prospect of losing 70million lives to be more important than a man’s right to marry another man.
My thoughts are not well organized, but I hope that by writing this, I paint a picture that I think many in the world are not seeing.