Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do or die, but don't apologize

She asked him why people didn't like her and I had a ready answer. When you have an open wound, she pours lemon juice all over it and grinds salt into the violated and raw tissues with too much vigor. She's abrasive and rude, arrogant and insensitive. Why would anyone like her?

There are some people who will know the person I'm talking about, but I won't name her.She's not unique by any standards. There are lots of people like her. These are the people you are nice to, give a break and then have to finally give up on when you realize they have no desire to get to know you or be nice to you. They are oblivious to the world around them except when it suits them. Call them by whatever label -- users, predators, liars, cheats, con artists, grifters -- but they are pretty easy to spot and it's best to stay away from them.

Then there are people just like them with the same goals, to part you from your family, your money and everything you work for, but they are much subtler. They let you think that when you help them out it's your idea while they pile on the drama and pretend to be embarrassed when you empty your savings and take out loans to help them. These predators are the worst because they play on your emotions and good nature. They pretend to be your friend, lover or even spouse when all they want is to bleed you dry. Call them vampires, but they are simply amoral predators, and more often than not narcissists.

It's the same way with countries, but at least it changes depending on who is at the helm. Take for instance the battles between Mexico and the United States. Americans, frontiersmen and statesmen, pushed out west from Plymouth Rock and over the Mississippi River to extend the boundaries of America by manifest destiny; governments, local and national, call it eminent domain, the right to take land from the owner and use it for the common good. In plain and simple terms, it is war. It's how the U.S. ended up with California and Texas and all land claimed by indigenous people and Mexico. It's ours now. America owns it.

There were atrocities committed, but no one apologized for it. That is the price of war. Two sides fighting until one of them comes out ahead because they were smarter, had more sophisticated weapons or outlasted their opponents. It's how colonists won their freedom from the British and established this country and it's how this country has continued to grow beyond its continental borders. It's all about predators. Sometimes it's about protecting what you've won by right of combat or purchase. America gained a lot of land by outright purchase from Spain and France, for starters. However, now that we own and live on the land, you won't see anyone offering to give it back or standing by and allowing world opinion or other countries coerce us into giving it back no matter what means we used to get the land. Not going to happen, at least not here. Israel is another situation altogether.

Through several wars since 1948 when the major powers partitioned the Middle East to give the Jews a homeland, America, Britain and other European countries have bullied, lobbied, coerced and shamed Israel into giving back the land they won by force of arms after being attacked. They gained a little land and, in the aftermath of an unsettled peace, began building and rebuilding, creating wealth and prosperity where before there was only desert and desolation. Nothing grew, but the Jews know how to make the most out of what they have, and they did.

Once again Israel is being coerced into giving up more of its small parcel of land to their enemies, people whose only aim is to destroy Israel as a sovereign state and wipe it's people off the face of the Earth, and the U.S. is spearheading the campaign, forcing on Israel an untenable solution. The price of cooperation is high; Israel loses a big chunk of land they made bloom in the desert to terrorists who have no desire -- or need -- to build anything. The U.S. and the world powers have pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the Palestinian economy, but where are the roads, schools, hospitals and infrastructure to maintain their society? They don't exist. The people live in poverty at the point of terrorist guns and are used as shields while the terrorists continue to lob missiles and wage war with Israel, and still the U.S. and the world pump more money into the black hole of terrorism and death, throwing good money after bad, money earned and paid by American taxpayers, all in the name of peace. There will never be peace, but the Jews already knew that. Too bad the rest of the world, and the current U.S. president haven't figured that out. Instead BO has decided to put pressure on Israel to give up its land yet again, land they paid for in blood.

Americans would never stand for that, and yet those who govern us have taken a "do as I say, not as I do" stance in a rush to play nice with the Arab countries while bowing low before them and apologizing for being the strongest power in the world. As Spike said in the fourth season of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, "You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying, 'I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it.' The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story."

Time to face the truth, people. War isn't pretty and you can't change the past nor can you bargain your way into the hearts and minds of men. Instead of apologizing for the past, especially when you're the winner, it's better to acknowledge the truth. We came. We saw. We conquered. People died and got hurt. Atrocities were committed on both sides. Time to move on and do it differently the next time, but be ready to fight -- and support your allies because you might just need them again. In the end, there are predators and victims, but a wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf. At least in the animal world, wolves don't feed other wolves to a bigger predator or apologize for being wolves. It's not their nature.

That is all. Disperse.

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