One of the regular readers of the Blue State Journal main site sent me a touching little story about a nine-year-old who asks his father why people go to war. The father asks the child to imagine their house and yard as the United States, and the child himself as President Bush. Next door there is a man who is beating his wife. The kid says he’ll call the police, and the father says, “yeah, the UN is the police and they’re not going to help,” noting that they always say they should stay out of it. Then the neighbor kills his own children. None of the other neighbors are willing to help either. Then the neighbor basically goes on a rampage, and the story describes him going to the old lady’s house next door, setting it (and her) on fire, killing her, etc. The kid closes the blinds and pretends it’s not happening. When the knock comes at his own door, the kid becomes the tasmanian devil, eager to protect his own family. Here’s the next part, taken directly from the story, just to show the kind of prose this little gem is written in:
I see a tear roll down my husband’s cheek and he grabs our son to his chest and hugs him tight, and says… “It’s too late to fight him, he’s too strong and he’s already at YOUR front door son…..you should have stopped him BEFORE he killed his wife, and his children and the old lady across the way.
The moral of the story, of course, is that you have to do what is right, no matter what the cost. One of the last quotes says, “When good men stand by and let evil happen son, that is the greatest EVIL of all.”
Evidently the greatest evil right now is 3/4 of this country sitting back and letting 1/4 put an administration in office that some countries view as being more dangerous than Saddam’s. It would be very nice to think that every relationship in the world can be summarized by a simple fairy tale. The right-wing neo-cons are very good at this game. They realize that people of every education level can understand and react to black-and-white arguments stated in very simple terms. Nuance and enlightment, accordingly, come only with education and curiosity. Given that most neo-cons have neither of these, I present the following story for their benefit.
Imagine that your house and your yard are Iraq and that you are a private citizen with a spouse, children, and a couple pets. You go to work every day and you try to strike out a living for your loved ones, and try to enjoy your family, and your little bit of the world that you have for yourself. The leader of your country is a horrible person who cares little about his people, but life has been continuing despite this oppression, and the world community is aware of your struggle and has sent policemen into your country to make sure that he doesn’t get out of hand again. He is being watched under a microscope.
Suddenly, the big bully who owns the giant house across the street bursts into your yard and kicks out the policemen. He says they’re not doing a good enough job and that he’s going to take care of the problem himself. Your neighbors complain, but they know if they speak too loudly, he can make life very difficult for them. Plus, they know he’s not going to listen. They’ve dealt with his family before.
A few months ago, you happened to see into his back yard. He has a lot of children. His extended family inhabit most of the block across the street. Some of his and his family’s children appear very well off. They drive nice cars, they have take-out from fancy restaurants coming in all the time, and they are very healthy. You also notice that some of his family seems to be very very poor. In fact, he doesn’t even allow them to go to the hospital when they’re sick. Especially the children. There are rumors that there is a great divide in his family and that the well off members of the family have basically stolen a lot of money from other members of the family. You have also heard that when one member of the family killed another, they had a party and hanged the guy who did it. This is common practice. Strange, since he’s always in the front yard with a beer in his hand, talking to god about how much he loves him and how life is so precious. Something is very wrong with this guy. But here he is coming into your yard, knocking on the door of your leader, saying he’s going to kill him. You think it’s a little extreme, but maybe some good will come of it if he has to pay some price?
So just as the bully is grabbing your leader, he notices there’s a few tankfuls of gasoline in your leader’s yard. He was selling what he had left so his people could eat at least. This bully and his family have the largest cars in the city, and you’re not surprised when he brings in a few trucks while he’s there to haul off the tanks. Next thing you know, your friends are fighting the bully, for all they have left is the gasoline. Without it, they’re not sure what they will do for food. So what does the bully do? He kills 300,000 of your people and demolishes your side of the street. Now that he’s seen the gasoline, he wants it. In fact, he discovers more gasoline in underground tanks a couple doors down from you. He builds a pipeline from these tanks to his house and his rich friends’ houses.
Meanwhile, your house is demolished and you have no electricity, no running water. Your friends are getting sick. And you are getting sick and tired of being pushed around by this asshole.
Not only that, but your leader wasn’t the only one in town with a superiority complex. Oh no… There’s Kor on the next block who has holed himself up in his house, threatening everyone in a 2-block radius with a bomb. Then there’s Ira on the other side who is threatening to BUY a bomb so he can do the same thing. Then there’s Darf, who has gone on some kind of crazy rampage and has killed off members of his own FAMILY.
If this bully thinks it’s so important to be the world cop, why has he let these guys run amok? You go to ask him, but he’s busy rigging up a giant hose that runs from the gas tank to his SUV. He smiles at you and says, “go away little kid, before you get hurt.”