Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bomb Them Back to the Stone Age

I'm always perplexed when people devise beliefs that run counter to human nature. They look at some global issue and treat it as if sterile robots are the main players. They somehow forget -- or ignore -- the fact that people don't behave in such and such a manner during the routine episodes and encounters of our lives.

One such example is encapsulated in a phrase I hear all too often: The way we're going to achieve peace in the Middle East is to bomb the "terrorists" back to the Stone Age.

Violence and strong arm tactics never achieve a LASTING peace. To be certain, one can achieve the illusion of peace, but resentment, revenge and hatred are almost always seething just below the surface. These volatile emotions may not come bubbling up in the present generation, but, sooner or later, they WILL see the light of day.

If you don't believe the above assertion, I ask that you step back to take a look at the routine emotions and behaviors displayed by you and others in the course of daily life. Here are but two examples.
  • You and a colleague are both trying to secure the same promotion. Your colleague, not you, gets tabbed for the position. More often than not, most of us will believe it's because our colleague manipulated the system to his/her advantage and we didn't get a fair shake. A lot of people in this situation will develop a grudge against the promoted colleague and will go out of their way to undermine and embarrass them.
  • Two or more people offer an idea or strategy for their group to follow (church, social club, nonprofit advocacy organization, business, etc.) All of these individuals compete against each other to curry the favor of the majority or the key decision-makers. Typically, one person is more aggressive than the others and so it's their idea or strategy that wins out. The "losers" tend to bear a grudge and wait for the day when they can put so-and -so in his/her place.
Both of the examples cited above clearly illustrate that most of us don't take kindly to being strong-armed. When we believe others have been overly-aggressive or mean and vengeful toward us, a natural response is to want to pay them back in spades. We look for every opportunity possible to get our revenge.

If we then extrapolate everyday experience to the world of foreign policy, it becomes quite clear that bombing our adversaries "back to the Stone Age" will not net the ultimate result our "leaders" so desire. All it really does is create more determined enemies; people whose sole purpose in life is to ensure we pay in blood ten times over.

Far worse, it creates a perpetual cycle. Each time one side strikes, the other feels victimized and so plots out their revenge. They strike and now the other side views themselves as the victims and plots out their revenge. And it just goes on and on and on...


  1. Well said. I consider myself a Taoist, I recently made a post in my very random blog about my world view. I'm so glad I've found your blog, I simply googled "Taoist Blog" lucky me! ^_^ Keep up the good work!

  2. I saw a bumper sticker in Bend a year or so ago that kinda sez it all: Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth and soon we're all blind and toothless.

    I couldn't agree more.....

    Cousin Robin in OR.

  3. This is why I never believe it when someone says "such and such war was necessary" or "we solved that with war" or "but the war SOLVED this", etc. when in reality war "solved" NOTHING at all. Nothing at all! No war is necessary, as that implies that it made things better after it was done, but that is not the case. No war solves anything.

  4. It is certainly interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.
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