From the September 2007 Idaho Observer:
Of Dogs and men: An exercise in logic
Of Dogs and men: An exercise in logic
Way back in 2004, President Bush publicly stated that America’s sons and daughters were dying for a "noble cause." Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, asked the commander-in-chief to describe that noble cause. His refusal (or inability) to answer transformed a grieving mother into one of the most committed anti-war activists this country has ever produced. Since the operative word is "noble" and mass murdering innocent men, women and children, destroying private property without cause and polluting forever the land, air and water of a nation is not commonly associated with the word "noble," then what word does accurately describe the cause for which America’s sons and daughters are dying? What if it can be demonstrated that the death of each soldier puts between $300 million and $6 billion into the pockets of Iraq war sponsors and benefactors? What word would you use in place of "noble?"
By Of Dogs and men: An exercise in logic
Make your judgment about justice, fairness, and morality of Story One and Story Two.
Story One: In the dogfighting recently played up in the news, groups of individuals have trained dogs to fight to the death. In preparation for the actual battle, the dogs are trained, well fed, and cared for. They are groomed to be ready instantaneously to respond to the command to fight viciously and to the death. The combatants have no inkling of the real reasons they are pitted against one another.
They do not question their superiors’ commands. Their training prepares them to attack and, utilizing the best of their abilities, kill the selected enemy. In the mind of the combatants is only one thought: "Kill him before he kills me."
The sponsors of the conflicts are unconcerned for the welfare of the dogs in the fight. If death results, or injuries leading to death, it is of no consequence. The dogs can be replaced. The purpose of the fight is excitement and economic gain. The sponsors feel no pain. They and their "friends" reap money regardless of the outcome. The death of each fighting dog represents from $20,000 to $100,000 for the sponsors and benefactors.
Federal elite impose six years in prison and $350,000 fines for sponsors in Story One.
Story Two: On a larger scale, individuals identifying themselves as "government," train young men to battle against a selected enemy. Their training prepares them to be swift, efficient and deadly. They are equipped and groomed to be ready instantaneously for the command to kill. They are taught they are fighting for a cause that is bigger than self; the cause is worth dying for; and individual lives are expendable in the big picture.
In the minds of the combatants is only one thought: "Kill the enemy before he kills me."
The sponsors are insensitive to the individual, whether his life is forfeited in the conflict, or he be maimed for life. Many parents encourage their sons and daughters to participate, and boast of their fighting and dying for the cause.
The death of each U.S. soldier statistically averaged, represents from $300 million to $6 billion in profits into the pockets of the sponsors and benefactors over the lifetime of the U.S. proposed Iraq oil contract.1
There are no prison terms or fines for the elite who expect to share the $18 trillion.
The reasons for fighting in Story Two are concealed from soldiers via patriotic rhetoric. They are indoctrinated to obey orders without question and without hesitation. Recall the lines from THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, by Alfred Lord Tennyson:
"...Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do or die:
"Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred..."
Compare the Stories: There is a great deal of similarity in Story One and Story Two. If the principles supporting the punishing of the sponsors in Story One are valid, based upon whatever universal rules apply in society as to the treatment of dogs, how can one justify the actions of the sponsors in Story Two where human beings are involved?
The elite tell us the treatment of the combatants in Story One is inhumane, yet they wholeheartedly support and sponsor the treatment of the combatants in Story Two.
Rules of behavior are necessary for any society to function. However there are those who consider themselves the "elite" and feel they don’t have to obey rules. The misguided football quarterback in Story One obviously felt like he was one of the elite who could scorn the rules—rules were for only the common folk.
The elite who direct the policy of this country are also guilty of believing themselves so elite they do not have to obey society’s moral laws. They are so entrenched and so successful with their propagandizing which has transpired over several generations that they go practically unchallenged.
The Reason For Wars: Charles Lindbergh, Sr., a congressman from Minnesota (1907 - 1917), challenged those elite who sat in the seats of power of government. He wrote a book, entitled, "Why is Your Country at War?" The book distinctly pointed the finger at those very elite. The point he drove home in his book was that, if you took the corporate profit motive out of war, our nation could enjoy perpetual peace. He cited figures revealing the obscene increase in profits of those corporations receiving contracts to manufacture war materials. Immediately after his book was published in 1917, those elite confiscated the book plates and the printed copies, and destroyed them. Some 300 copies already distributed in Lindbergh’s congressional district in Minnesota survived.
The elite passed out contracts in 1917 to favored corporations, and the profits flowed in by tens of millions of dollars.
The elite also passed out contracts for the Iraq War and profits are flowing in by tens of billions of dollars annually, and are projected to total $18 trillion!
Senator Byrd of West Virginia, commented about sponsors of Story One: "How inhuman! How inhuman! How sadistic!... Shame. Shame, Shame! Hundreds of thousands of dollars are often at stake..."2
Oh, that he and the other U.S. senators had the same compassion for their fellow human beings as they seem to have for dogs!
1. James Paul, Iraq Oil Bonanza: Estimating Future Profits, (1/28/04, www.globalpolicy.org based upon estimates of $600 billion to $9 trillion at $31 bbl oil; therefore $62 bbl oil projects to $1.2 trillion to $18 trillion.
2. Senator Robert Byrd August 7, 2007, U.S. Senate (IMC Winnipeg) in response to the dog fighting scandal involving Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.
Chalon Harris is the author of, "Alaskan Bush Pilot," a colorful recounting of his 28-year career in the skies over Alaska. Today Chalon and his wife Karla, among other things, tend to some of the best blueberry bushes in north Idaho.
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