Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sometimes, you see evil

This image is from Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009 in Haaretz. Warning, its only the tip of the iceberg as to what you'll find in this story about a print shop that does work for members of IDF units.

Sometimes, you see evil. Its just right there in front of you.

Evil comes when people forget to treat other people as people. Evil comes when minds get so twisted by thoughts, dreams, ideology, greed, or anything else, that they forget that others are people just like them with their own loves and hopes and dreams. Evil can only occur when the mind has become so twisted that it thinks of others as some object or name, but never other human beings.

Listen to soldiers talk, and you always hear the most violent, racist demeaning language used to describe those they kill. Both the military command and the soldiers themselves know that this is the only way they can commit the evil that they commit.

In a war, it goes both ways. I'm sure one could easily find evil people on the Arab side that talk in racist terms about Jews, and easily justify to themselves the launching of rockets aimed at mothers and children, or the bombing of a pizza parlor or an ice cream shop.

Awhile back, I printed a famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr about violence. Since it applies here, let me requote it here.
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. . . Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. . . . Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; Only love can do that." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Among the killers, among those who believe in evil, the myth is that killing can always settle the fight. The myth is that one can kill all of one's enemy, thus achieving peace. It never works that way.

Or to put it another way. The soldier that made this t-shirt probably believes he is defending the security of his country. And its easy for the soldier in the middle of the battle to think of only how many kills he is racking up, much like the dwarf and the elf did in the Lord of the Rings movies. But, someone in charge needs to be smart enough to realize that if this sniper fulfills his evil dreams, there would be others outraged by the death of a pregnant young woman and her child that will never see the light. Her husband, her father, her brothers would all know the shock of this. Maybe that young child that would never be already has an older brother who just lost both a mother and sibling.

What are the odds that these people might walk into a pizza parlor in Israel with explosives strapped to their chest? The snipers 'two kills' for one bullet would very likely lead to more exploding pizza parlors and ice cream shops and more attempts to launch missiles to try to hit other mothers and children.

Violence always begets more violence. Dr. King was right about that. In war, there is no 'security'. In war, someone is always trying to find a way to do harm to you. And, often times they will succeed.

The only 'security' comes from peace.

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