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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Outrage over nothing, and nothing over an outrage


Life on this planet fights to survive. It's a war that's been going on for three and a half billion years. At this point in the planet's history, humanity has evolved to the pinnacle of efficient fighting. We don't very often actually have to even go to war anymore to achieve our objectives. We don't even have to snarl or growl anymore to signal that there is a point of contention. We humans don't have to say a single solitary word. We leave others to read a thousand bad intentions in our silence.

In the news today I read two things that jumped out at me. The first was a complaint from those who hadn't been wronged, made against one who had never wronged them. China and North Korea are angry because the Prime Minister of Japan visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Japan. That made me snort in puzzled confusion. Next I read about how 72 year old Warren Weinstein released a video wondering how long he'd be held captive. This captive in ill health with heart problems and asthma, how long would he be held like a captured pawn in the long-standing cold-war between the civilized world and the Islamic barbarians who wish only to see that world's destruction?
Within hours of the visit, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency warned that the “provocative move would drag Japan’s already-fragile relations with neighboring countries into an abyss.”

South Korea called it “deplorable and outrageous,” while the U.S. Embassy in Japan, in a statement, said it “is disappointed that Japan‘s leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan’s neighbors.”
Much turmoil and malice can be read into the silence of a certain traveling PM on this most momentous of anniversaries, conveying a fourth dimensional explosion of ill will. Or maybe he was just honoring his ancestors who died long ago. I wonder whether Japan and Germany would be similarly outraged if President Obama traveled to Arlington on September 2nd or May 7th?

I'm sick and tired of it! I'm sick and tired to death of the descendants of one tribe holding a decades—if not centuries—long grudge at some other tribe who never in their entire lives did anything hostile to these aggrieved complaining jackasses who apparently have nothing better to do than complain. If my neighbor got mad at me and called a press conference every time I walked in my own backyard, at some point I'd start finding all kinds of things that needed doing in that old backyard. Why? Why on earth, you ask, would I want to make my neighbors angry? Well, the truth is I don't. But it is my backyard. I feel like that's the very definition of freedom. The freedom to enjoy the use of my own property whenever and however I want to, regardless of the umbrage and resentment that complaining grudge holders might feel about it.

I bet most people feel like the Prime Minister of Japan and I do. When somebody starts tailgating me even though the passing lane is wide open, it kind of get's me a little mad, a little stubborn. I'm not going to go faster; just the opposite in fact. When people start blaming me for things that happened to their ancestors, trying to make me feel guilty about it it get's me a little mad, a little stubborn. I'm not going to feel guilty about it; just the opposite in fact.

In a similar vein and understanding human nature as I do, it's quite obvious that Al-Qaeda will never voluntarily release Weinstein. The more we complain and show our anger about it, the more truculently they will parade him about, like he might be some contentious lolly-pop with which one child teases another who can only scream his envy. Equally obvious is the fact that Pakistan could secure that forced release if they really wanted to. They know where he is. They know the force required to rescue him, and yet they do nothing. We pay them billions of dollars a year in aid and in gratitude for that largesse, we are repaid only with passive-aggressive silence.
"Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here," [Warren Weinstein] said. "And now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten."
A passive response to this provocation would be to simply cut off every penny to truculent uncooperative Pakistan. Let them howl their outrage. Let them scream their vengeance. The almost inconceivable hypocrisy of claiming that America will not negotiate with terrorists, while simultaneously writing billion dollar checks to Pakistan leaves an American who cares about justice and loyalty nearly breathless in stunned outrage.

Sadly for Weinstein and his family and friends it seems that Obama has decided to let time itself remove this particular embattled pawn from the board. To Obama we're all merely pawns. Maybe you said something against him and now you're an IRS or NSA target. Maybe you wanted to start a 501c nonprofit and you had the temerity to put the words "tea" and "party" together in your charter. Too bad for you little pawn. Maybe you live on the southern border and you resent the incursion of illegal immigrants smuggling drugs and weapons into your neighborhood. Lock your doors and pray little pawn. Maybe Ambassador Stevens felt like he was more than another pawn in Obama's game. Maybe he thought he was actually a player in his own right as he headed that embassy in Benghazi. He was wrong.

One thing is absolute and certain. Umbrage, posturing, growling, and snarling doesn't usually accomplish very much. Action is necessary to right injustice. Definite and certain consequences are now required. This administration has grown ever more out of control as consequences have been waived or held in abeyance for year after year after year. When oh God when will the guilty pay for their crimes? The way it has been going so far, we won't see justice in this life.

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