Friday, November 06, 2009

Violence Breeds Violence

A very tragic event took place yesterday at Fort Hood, Texas where a soldier (a Major and a psychiatrist) killed 12 fellow soldiers and wounded another 30. One's heart goes out to the wounded, the dead and their families. It is bad enough that these soldiers get killed in the war theatre, it is all the more tragic that it happened at their own base in the home country.

However, it makes another issue very obvious, that violence breeds violence. The US indeed is a very violent society. And let us dispel the myth that it undertakes wars to spread democracy. It is actually spreading violence which is having its impact on the home territory. It took violence to Afghanistan which has become more violent than it was after former Soviet invasion; now that violence has spread to neighbouring Pakistan. Democracy in Afghanistan is very doubtful but violence indeed is for real. The same is true for Iraq. Violence has tremendously increased since the invasion of Iraq and it has spread into the whole Middle East. There must be a way to end this cycle of violence.

A good start will be to end these wars. The soldiers who are going to come back may suffer from PTSD and violence in society will continue by some for sometime to come; but with proper treatment it can be minimized. Of course violence in general in society continues which needs to be controlled.

A new kind of violence came on the horizon after Obama was elected President. The teabaggers and birthers are inciting violence. The outcome will be very undesirable. Especially gun totting teabbagers are indeed dangerous. This dangerous movement must be nipped in the bud. Then there are businesses who survive on violence and wars, such businesses who produce weapons. Efforts must be made that they find some other kind of business. Green energy business maybe the one to go into. Currently it is a very sad situation in the US and around the world. Americans approved two wars started by Bush at the cost of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars but have taken up arms to defeat healthcare reform. Will it get anymore ironic? There sure is a need for cultural change.

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  1. Say what you want about American Society, but it's hard to say that they "brought" violence to Afghanistan, anymore than you can say Canadians brought palm trees to Florida.

    We didn't do much to get rid of the palm trees in Florida, some of our snow birds may even have watered and fertilized the darn things, but Florida wasn't exactly a palm tree free society before Canadians arrived there.

    Just the same, your point is taken.

  2. Part one:

    Fish, I heard people comparing apples to oranges but this is a new one. Comparing violence to palm trees. Good one. Ok I understand your analogy.

    Let us take Afghanistan first. If you read my post carefully I did say there was violence there already. Remember the invasion by then Soviets. That did cause violence but Americans trained and funded Afghans (who became Taliban later) and also funded and trained Arab fighters (who became Al Queda later). These were America’s Jihadist cheered by Americans. Now it is alleged that 9/11 was brought on by Al Queda. There were better ways of getting hold of Al-Queda. Bush family was doing business with Bin Laden family(and probably still does) and had chummy relations with Saudis. A pressure from Bin Laden family, from Saudis and a pressure from Pakistan on Taliban would have been much better way to get hold of Al-Queda operatives. Instead Bush chose to invade Afghanistan. Result Al-Queda is nowhere to be seen in Afghanistan and has spread its tentacles across the globe. Violence in Afghanistan has doubled, quadrupled and even higher. Violence spilled over into Pakistan. Swat Valley and Waziristan were relatively very peaceful areas of the region. Not anymore. Moreover dangerous violence has spread into the interior of Pakistan. Bombing on schools, mosques, hotels in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, Rawalpindi, Lahore and southern most city of Karachi on regular basis and it is ongoing. So what did America and NATO achieved. Lot more violence both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Democracy is an illusion there but violence is a reality. By the way Taliban had no interest beyond Afghanistan before the US invasion and now they are spread into Pakistan.

    Now lets look at Iraq. Bush wanted to be a conqueror. Saddam was a CIA man and lived in exile in Egypt before he became president of Iraq with the help of CIA I believe. Then in 1980 he was encouraged (and funded) to invade Iran to get even with Iran for American hostage taking. That war went on for a decade and over 100 thousands Iranians were killed and similar number of Iraqis especially Shiites who did not want to fight Shiites in Iran. Killing of Shiites by Saddam later became mass murder according to justifiers of war with Iraq along with WMD. We all know about WMD bull. Now have things improved in Iraq since invasion? Of course not. Violence has become the way of life and it has spread into Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East. Again democracy is an illusion but violence is the main and obvious outcome.

  3. Part 2

    As far the fellow killing soldiers at Ford Hood turns out is a tortured soul. He dealt with people who suffered from PTSD and somewhere along the line he lost it too. Now a lot is being made of he being Muslim. Mass killing has been unfortunately a pattern in US for a while,
    “April 3, 2009: A 41-year-old man opened fire at an immigrant community center in Binghamton, New York, killing 11 immigrants and two workers. Jiverly Wong, a Vietnamese immigrant and a former student at the center, killed himself as police rushed to the scene.
    March 10, 2009: Michael McLendon, 28, killed 10 people, including his mother, four other relatives and the wife and child of a local sheriff's deputy, across two rural Alabama counties. He then committed suicide.
    Feb. 14, 2008: Former student Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, fatally shooting five students and wounding 18 others before committing suicide.
    Dec. 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert A. Hawkins opened fire with a rifle in Omaha, Neb., at a Von Maur store in the Westroads Mall, killing eight people before taking his own life. Five more people were wounded, two critically.
    April 16, 2007: Cho Seung-Hui, 23, fatally shot 32 people in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, then killed himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
    Feb. 12, 2007: 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic killed five and wounded four at the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was then shot and killed by police.
    Oct. 2, 2006: Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, shot to death five girls at West Nickel Mines Amish School in Pennsylvania, then killed himself.
    March 21, 2005: 16-year-old student Jeffrey Weise killed nine people, including his grandfather and his grandfather's companion at home, and then five fellow students, a teacher and a security guard at Red Lake High School in Red Lake, Minnesota, before killing himself. Seven students were wounded.
    March 12, 2005: Terry Ratzmann, 44, gunned down members of his congregation as they worshipped at the Brookfield Sheraton in Brookfield, Wisconsin, slaying seven and wounding four before killing himself.
    July 29, 1999: Former day trader Mark Barton, 44, killed nine people in shootings at two Atlanta, Georgia, brokerage offices, then committed suicide.
    April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before committing suicide in the school's library."

    Do we need any more examples that US is a very violent society and exporting violence. We need to put an end to it. If you read my blog regularly, which I believe you do, then you know that I am against violence period. Violence never resolves anything other than it breeds more violence.