Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Win a War Without Weapons

No one needs major firepower, supersonic aircraft or mountains of munitions to win a war. Of course, I mean not only wars in distant countries, but the wars that too many people are trying to win with armaments or hatred right here within the United States. Agreed, that means just about every war that is now on-going around the world, but the two most virulent of wars are the ones that are centered around religious beliefs and ethnic superiority or white privilege, as it is currently being called.

"White privilege" is the latest buzz word that is setting off the media motormouths and firing up the talk shows that pull in their many "expert" consultants. White privileges is seen all around the world and those who do not fit into this group are marginalized, left without work, education or the hope for a future. We see it right here in the United States.

Forget the fact that the media consultants do not really specialize in the actual topic of white privilege but that seems to be irrelevant to the producers. They still, in fact, get psychologist and psychiatrist mixed up no matter how many times we try to help them see the big distinction; prescription pad, no prescription pad basically.

They also schedule professionals who specialize in substance abuse disorders to talk about ethnic hatred. Far fetched? I think so. We do not have those wonderful Johnny Carson "Carnac the Magnificent" hats that give us special powers to read the contents of sealed envelopes. Oh, well, let's just suppose we do have super powers and leave it at that. Some people actually do believe psychologists and psychiatrists know about everything and can speak knowledgeably about any topic. One word here? Rubbish.

Why did we not stop believing that wars are to be fought with guns and only bloodshed can bring about peace? How many bodies do we need to count in order to come to some agreement that it's enough to be called a victory? Or do we just keep on throwing more money into our defense budgets to pay for planes that don't fly, tanks that can't do what we thought they could and just keep throwing good people onto the barricades to suffer and die or come home terribly wounded both mentally and physically?

Then, who pays the bills for all that carnage? You and I are asked to contribute to the many charitable causes to help these people who have been all but abandoned in their hour of need by the very politicians who cravenly sent them to fight. And let's not forget the graft we pay to politicians (in the form of legal goodies), governments who are our "friends" and the support we give to drug producers, the homes we buy for those without morals and who will lend a hand at a price. It's open-check-book diplomacy and I don't believe it's a state secret.

How do we win the two wars I mentioned previously? These are not wars requiring weapons, not if you consider words and dialog weapons. Where are those in government who haven't been corrupted by the lobbyists and who see that talking to each other, working together and helping bring about better understanding and respect for religious and cultural differences can be a potent "weapon?"

We have no quarrel with anyone who is Muslim or Jew or Hindu or Buddhist or Christian. These are all religions built on a concept of goodness and forgiveness, charity and love. They have contributed mightily to the world culture we have come to know and about which too many are still ignorant. Read who the prophets are in all these religions and what they preached and the distortions currently being foisted around now become so much drek. Read some of the literature of the Middle Ages and the situation between the Christians and the Muslims in Spain. Read what the great religious intellectuals of their time said about living together in this world with others.

Words are the way to peace, but too many petty men and women don't want to take that road because it denies them the adventure of gaining power from fear. They would oppress anyone who did not think as they did. It's a horrible repeat of something we've seen over the centuries and just another example of the venality that is so prevalent right now.

Psychologists over the years have run dozens of experiments showing how to get people to work together, even those who are at odds with each other, when danger presents itself. Read Sherif et al. classic Robber's Cave and then read more. The answers are there but we refuse to use them.

You could read some works on brainwashing, too, because that seems to be in evidence these days. Political thought control is in full swing right now as Presidential aspirations poke through and sometimes I feel as though I'm living in a prison. What happens in prison? The prisoners are controlled by keeping the various groups fighting against each other so they can never launch a concerted effort for change to the prison. Sounds like politics, doesn't it?

Even the world leaders' march in Paris recently has been seen as disingenuous. Those in the front line have not been proponents of a free press and jailed or tried to intimidate those who wish for an intelligent dialog between parties. It suits their needs, not those of the rest of us. Bombs and firepower have been their answer to dissent as have secret prisons and torture been ours. It is not a proud history that we have written. When the real history books are written 20 years from now there will be many horrified readers, but will they see the need to work for change? Or will the same old venality persist? Money, fame and power are more tantalizing than the mythical snake who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Do we need guns and explosives? Evil people do because their purpose is to gain incredible power through brutality, but peace and religious understanding? No, that's not for them. They don't even understand their own religion and the writing of the prophets, but they use religion as their standard. No, I don't believe those involved in the Inquisition were good, religious people, either. They got power through torture, didn't they?

When true intellect proves dangerous to a power play, intellect is refuted as the work of some dark force to be whipped out. How do they do it? Of course, children must be blown up in marketplaces and whole towns slaughtered. The media stands silently by in many instances as they have in Nigeria. They don't even try to use words.