By Craig Funston
I follow news religiously (just an expression, Maurice), a fact I don’t know whether I’m ashamed of or proud of. My source is generally the Internet, followed by the radio (usually on the way to work). Newspapers are great source, too, but only if free, along with a doughnut and coffee. And bringing up the rear would be the usual water cooler gossip.
So if you have a computer, car, cafe, or cooler, you’ll be as informed as I am.
So I don’t need to list the ongoing travesties that are plaguing our poor planet on a daily basis. You have the same news sources that I have. Name your country, name your crisis. Right now, I’m thinking of the ISIS campaign of mayhem, atrocities, and savagery—and that’s before their lunch on any given day.
I actually refuse to follow that stuff anymore, it’s so horrific.
Let’s all take a deep breath, or the emotional equivalent, and ask ourselves a simple question (and if it’s that simple, I may know the answer): Have things ever been any worse in the history of mankind?
Looks like I probably need a simpler question, because I don’t know the answer. And I haven’t been around since the origin of mankind—no matter how old I look–so I can’t speak to that very accurately. But I can guess, and you can guess along with me.
Let’s start with the name game, say, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin, and Pol Pot. Great; now let’s pull in some countries where lots of mayhem, atrocities, and savagery have happened, places like the Congo, Armenia, China, and the Sudan—just for starters.
Notice how I cleverly didn’t use the same countries as the listed dictators? This is how bad it is.
Now on to wars: Can we at least reference ones that we should all be familiar with—Boer, WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and Iraqi? Again, notice how I have avoided duplicating the dictators, with the countries, now with the wars themselves? This is not good.
ISIS is a rogue movement and needs to be eradicated in no uncertain terms. There appears to be no respect for international law, no response to political compromise, and no reserve of moral scruples. Throw a venomous religion into the mix, and you have trouble.
But is the long war on the infidels (ie., non-Muslims) the worst attack on any section of humanity we have ever experienced? Well, let me respond with a series of questions myself:
Worse than the death march in Bataan? Worse than Hitler’s gas chambers? Worse than the Soviet Gulag? Worse than the millions that perished under Mao? Worse than the Armenian genocide, thanks to the Turks? Worse than Syrians versus Syrians?
And that’s only the past 100 years or so. If we dabbled in the history covering, say, the colonization of the so-called New World, the numbers would shoot up exponentially.
I’ll stop here. Do your own historical research beyond what I’m saying, please. You will tally up millions upon millions that suffered mayhem, atrocities, and savagery—and ultimately, death–at the hands of (drum roll, please) their own people.
These are not “evil American” wars. These are not even white man-inspired wars. Nor are these the results of the British or Protestant so-called bigotry. There’s a lot of historical tripe and groundless blame being peddled today in wannabe academic circles.
The debacle of ISIS grief is a drop in the bucket when compared to even one of these dictators, countries, or wars. The difference, in my opinion, is not the graphic, grisly nature of their barbarianism; the difference is in the media exposure.
There was little in the way of media exposure in the wake of the dictators, countries, and wars of the past 100 years that even comes close to what we are seeing today. Re-stated: What ISIS is doing is evil, very evil, but no more evil than any one of the other flashpoints of vulgar dictatorships, imploding countries, or senseless wars.
ISIS just appears to be worse than these other tragedies. We have seen the odd clip of an old war here and a genocide there, but not much else. Too bad: We have a planet that has flowed with human blood for centuries, something we should never forget. Somehow, no picture means no issue; and many pictures means bigger issues.
I am sickened by what little I see first thing in the morning on my news stroll. But I believe I would have been ten times (hundred times?) more sickened had I seen the excesses of (pick your dictator, your country, your war) in the past 100 years.
Maybe, just maybe, the worst weapon in war these days is the Smartphone.
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