Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Jordanian Pilot

I did not watch the video, but this picture says enough.  It brings to mind medieval punishments -- drawing and quartering, evisceration, burning, heads on pikes.  People regarding perceived enemies as the "other" and then killing them, just because they can.

A quick canvass of the last century:   More than than 50 million Russians perished under Stalin; Mao's Great Leap Forward left at least 45 million Chinese dead by killing and starvation.  Nazis in first-world Europe systematically slaughtered 6 million Jews and 5 million Christians, Roma, mentally challenged and otherwise unlucky persons; the Khmer Rouge murdered an estimated 2.4 million Cambodians, and 800,000 Rwandans were hacked to death by their countrymen in a scant 100 days.  There were many other, "lesser" genocides with victims numbering only in the hundreds of thousands.

Now, in a ghastly 21st century twist, killers use modern media to display their savagery.  Their war pornography attracts alienated young people too stupid to recognize grave moral depravity. The failure of Western and Islamic cultures to raise children with basic human values makes us complicit in the whole grisly business.

There are other terrorist groups out there.  They are killing uncounted thousands of anonymous people whose lives were important to their families and their communities.  We did not protect them, and we do not know enough about them to mourn them properly.  They are simply "victims."

The enterprise of civilization is a deeply flawed endeavor.

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