The Shell Game, or "Head for the Basement Dorothy!"
SH recently posted A response to a “friend” on My Free Thoughts. The post was a response to an accusation of anti-Semitism leveled because of posts that were critical of Israel’s .... um ... foreign policy. In the post, SH quotes these lines from the accusing comment:
“Life is not fair. I think there are things you would do to protect those YOU love, that would be against many of our principles.... Israel need to fight back to survive.”
I thought about this, and commented:
A fuckwit starts shooting out the window of his apartment building, across the border into Israel. In a civilized country like France or Germany, the local police would respond and shut the fuckwit down. In the West Bank, other fuckwits start dancing in the street and cheering fuckwit #1 on. The Israelis respond by firing a missile at the apartment building, blowing up people that are not shooting guns along with fuckwit #1. Who is right? Nobody. Both governments are to blame because this is uncivilized, and no one is keeping the peace or really doing any kind of job protecting their citizens. Next week, the pissed off brother of one of the innocent victims picks up a gun, gets an earfull of hate from whatever source, and so it goes.
Bonus question: Was above pissed-off-brother Arab, Israeli, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or just some poor slob that got sucked in by a jabbering hate monger?
I agree that it's almost like this but with the addition that the "fuckwit" you describe whom starts shooting "first", might not be simply an idiot or someone who has nothing better to do. It might be someone who was driven to a state of desperation by the conditions imposed on him by others. I don't think that most people who take up arms do it because they are bored and are looking for adventures. I think a lot of times they have legitimate, at least in their eyes, grievances that they think they will get corrected in such a violent manner. I think it is a mistake to see people like that as simply crazy. I strongly believe that majority of the people in the world would prefer quiet and peaceful life to any kind of war and conflict. Unfortunately, and for various reasons, they have some very strange and often very misguided ideas on how to get to that peaceful world they desire.
I read that, and my brain started firing like a pinball machine. I literally had one of those “Where do I start?” moments. First, a point of clarification. A “fuckwit” in my lexicon, is a person who is addled in their thinking as a result of external forces. Their head has been messed with in some way. This could be the result of indoctrination into an exclusionist ideology, through propaganda, or through operant conditioning. They might have had their heads filled with hate by words, or by being backed into a corner until the feral defenses kick in, turning them into a suicidal maniac. Such a person has been fucked in the head, and is fucked in the head. A far cry from a nitwit; I did not mean to imply that my hypothetical shooter was simple-minded.
I’m glad to see that SH puts the word “first” in quotes. I did not mean to imply that this shooter started anything either. He is, in the scenario above, nearing his personal end in a long chain of causality that will continue ad nauseum long after he is atomized and forgotten. And now we come two phrases that I would like to look at a little more closely:
“It might be someone who was driven to a state of desperation by the conditions imposed on him by others.”, and “I think a lot of times they have legitimate, at least in their eyes, grievances that they think they will get corrected in such a violent manner.”
I know first hand that a person can feel that their back is against the wall, and lash out in frustration and anger. I know humiliation. I know there are many self-destructive roads one can take when the point of all caring has been passed, or anger overwhelms the mind’s ability to reason. Perhaps I don’t know, or can’t imagine, the depths of humiliation and frustration experienced by a proud grown man who is treated like a prisoner day after day as he crosses the border to go to work. Still, what makes my shooter different from his neighbor who suffers under the same offensive treatment? I think there is a third party that has been nurturing the victim mentality or the siege mentality in my shooter. A cowardly little bastard that winds up others to do his dirty work. Someone who has a way with words. Someone who paints endless pictures of how perfect EVERYTHING would be if it weren’t for those stinking OTHER PEOPLE.
Let’s call this third party "The Agitator" to strip off any religious or political affiliations. The profile of an agitator is, that he is someone in authority who will use any means at his disposal to promote his agenda. He usually has some kind of fertile ground in which to start a meme or memes on a path of seemingly endless reiteration. He will use slogans, catch phrases, scriptures, or quote legal precedent to bolster his authority. Warning: The agitator’s agenda might not be what it appears to be. In the specific case of the Islamic gone Postal above, our Agitator(s) had a few more weapons in their arsenal. They were able to convince my shooter that his life here on Earth could be nothing more than endless crap, and they convinced him his reward awaits in Candyland-In-The-Sky.
Make no mistake, my shooter is a victim. He is the victim of aggressive and conflicting ideologies. He is also his own victim, for accepting the role of victim that was offered to him. He is the victim of organized crime, and the organized greed that supplied the weapons. He is not, however, the victim of the other victims he is shooting at.
So what is the real objective here? Did the political movement that set this shooter on the course of self-destruction expect that his efforts, and the efforts of those like him would cause the enemy to retreat? Or, did they expect the exact outcome that recent events have brought us; reprisals. The Israeli Government’s response to attacks like this is predictable. The objective is to cause international outrage as the Israeli army cuts a swath through any civilians that get in their way. The strategy includes civilian casualties as a means to an end, “sacrificing” lives that in no way volunteered or supported the movement. More victims. Too bad they never got a chance to fully enjoy their role as victims, or perhaps they were lucky?