You’re in the playground at school.
Mostly the other kids are getting along okay, some minor arguments and scuffles, nothing major. Usually the big kids sort of the problems when a fight breaks out, there’s only one school yard so everyone needs to get along. Over time you notice that the big kids have a lot of power over the small kids, they’re a bit like a police force, sorting out disputes and breaking up fights. They’re not always good though. They let others join their gang but, but not others, and you can’t work out why.
There seem to be some rules but they don’t make much sense. One day in the playground you notice the big kids storm over to a bunch of little kids. There’s an argument about how the little kids are planning some kind of prank. The big kids break them up and separate them. Make them look foolish and ruin their fun.
From your point of view that doesn’t look much like peace keeping, and as the days go on you realise the big kids aren’t so much stopping the fighting as secretly initiating it then making a profit by stealing the others kids toys and candy.
You spot another kid like you, sat on his own, minding his own business.
He makes a few comments about the big kids being bullies and that you should watch out or they’ll come after you soon. What for? You haven’t done anything wrong. But you can see the way the big kids look at you, as if daring you to do something wrong, give them a chance and they’ll lay the law of the playground on you.
One day you watch your lonesome friend get accosted by the big kids. They take his candy away and make him cry. You realise the kid was right, they’re not helping but bullying. You realise you need to protect yourself. And why not? The big kids have a gang and fists and nasty words. They could hurt you. So you make sure to keep your candy hidden and your fists ready, just in case.
What gives the big kids the right to push their ideas and rules on you? And if they do you have every right to be scared and want to protect yourself. If they can use their fists then you can use yours, then everyone would be equal, it would be a fair fight.
Only you realise it won’t be. The big kids meet you at the school gates and threaten to beat you if you don’t share your candy with them. They say if you hand it over they’ll leave you alone. They’ve done it before to plenty of other kids and you’re next.
You push them off and hurry into the playground.
Why do they do that to the other kids? And why do it to you? You’re not hurting anyone. In fact you would have gladly shared your candy if they had just asked politely, and maybe everyone could have swapped bits of candy with each other. Pretty soon all the kids would be happy again, and the playground would be a safe place.
But it isn’t going to happen. Every day you see some kid with a black eye, crying in the corner. But at the same time you see gangs of kids having fun and ruling the school with nasty looks, spiteful words and fists that hurt.
So you sit in the playground and wait.
You know the fight is coming.
The bullies are constantly looking at you, almost daring you to share your candy with anyone except them. You promise yourself that when they finally come and try to hurt you, you’re gonna make them pay for it. You’re not afraid of them. They’re going to get a surprise if they hurt you.
When they hurt you.
They’ll get what’s coming to them. And the rest of the playground will see you weren’t the one in the wrong. You have very little candy and only two fists. You’ll be standing up to bullies that have ruled the playground for so long that all the other kids have grown used to it. They march all over the playground as if the teachers have appointed them guardians of the school.
The big kids aren’t peacekeepers but, tyrants, thieves and frightened little bullies.
You hate bullies.
And one day you’ll stand up to them.
You’ve got Nukes. I’m scared of you. Think I’ll get me some Nukes too.
I read the newspapers and watch the news on TV. I check in every day on the net to see what’s going on in the world. In the last few years, wait, let’s say 20 years to be on the safe side, I’ve watched many conflicts around the world. It’s terrible stuff. I don’t claim to understand every single facet of international politics but I get the idea of how things work and can form my own opinions on why they work.
I don’t believe every shred of what the news tells my eyes and ears. I take things with a pinch of salt, as my Nan says. Call it cynicism if you prefer, though as I’ve said before I don’t buy into conspiracy theories despite the fun to be had.
I am somewhat baffled at the behaviour of certain nations on this tiny fragile planet, or playground, and how they seem to think they know what’s best for everyone.
It seems that the US and UN have a lot of power and thrive on ramming it in the faces of others. Take the war of terror in Iraq, based on none existent weapons of mass destruction. I’m not questioning the soldiers who died, they did their job with honour and bravery.
I question the reasons for going to war in the first place. The big kids wanted to take some candy from the little kid, Iraq, because another kid ruined their toys and blamed on someone else. Without any evidence the big kids decide to hurt Iraq. They knew that at some point the candy shop was going to close and they needed to make damn sure the playground continued to have a constant supply of candy. The big kids needed to put on a show of power and keep the rest of the kids towing the line.
I have questions.
So many questions.
I feel intense anger at what I see these supposedly peaceful nations doing to other countries just because they say they can. I know I’m simplifying everything here, and there are always countless factors that go into international politics, but if I’m making it simple then it’s a given that other nations who feel persecuted may see things just as simply.
And when things get that simple, well, the BIG RED BUTTON is always so inviting.
Iran insists its nuclear program is for power only. But the US or UN, call it what you will – big kids in the playground, the bullies – they don’t like that. Ooh, Iran is a rogue state, unstable, wrong, bad, evil…and so on. We must do everything in our power to stop them having any candy and make doubly sure they don’t learn how to use their fists as well.
Couple that with the fact that there’s a huge reservoir of hatred toward anyone who vaguely looks Muslim. Tommy Lee Jones in MiB said “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” I watched a whole load of videos on YouTube where the common idiot on the street in America and the UK are openly racist about someone who might fit what the media portrays as a terrorist. And that is how fear is generated.
A wise man once said:
Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
If I was Iran, sat in the playground, I’d be scared shitless by the other countries with their vast armies and nuclear weapons.
Holy shit, I had better get me some of those weapons so I can defend myself just in case they come after me. And why not? I can’t remember the exact words spoke by the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but it went along the lines of: “Attack us and we’ll make you very, very sorry.”
And why not? If say, Australia, suddenly launched an attack on India or France, they’d have every right to punch them in the face and defend themselves. Can’t we see things from Iran’s point of view? Every other powerful nation has a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons and armies that march all over the plane without question or apology. Iran must be scared. It doesn’t matter if they’re making nuclear weapons, or plan to, they have the right to defend their country.
Okay, I understand that the international community is worried that Iran may sell their nukes to other countries or allow their uranium to get “lost” somewhere. But the same can be said for any country with that kind of terrifying capability.
What gives the Big Kids the right to impose their morals, laws and ethics on other kids?
I’ll tell you.
Violence has brought an end to every single conflict since the dawn of time.
It doesn’t matter what form in comes in, physical, mental, intimidation, subtle hints, gestures, reading between the lines. Whatever. It boils down to this: If you don’t do what I say I’ll hit you with my fists, big stick, club, gun, bomb, army, nuclear weapons, until you give in.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but if you look at how the big kids are currently acting in the playground, how they march about, giving others orders, hitting, stealing candy, starting fights, never being blamed…and so on, doesn’t it remind you of another bunch of bullies from 67 years ago? Not out right obviously, but it seems similar.
Instead the US wants to put a Starbucks on every corner in the Middle East, a GAP in every market and in exchange they’ll get the right to suck the oil out of those countries to keep the world economy ticking along a little while longer.
The world runs on oil. Everything else is irrelevant. Without it we’re screwed.
So in the end the big kid wants something, big kid uses force to get it.
I could list a range of links here but the internet being what it is, there’s little chance of adding any credibility to my argument. Try Googling: “how many countries have nuclear weapons” or “what happens when the oil runs out” and you’ll find answers and probably more questions too.
Not exactly a cheery topic for my Inspirational Monday Post!
This post was supposed to be about my novel, The Range, and how happy I am that I’ve started the edit on the next draft. It’s going awesomely by the way! But when I got home from work I saw the news articles below and had to write something about it:
Iran Starts Uranium Enrichment Underground, at Voice of America:
And this article at The Independent:
Reckless talk of war with Iran makes confrontation a probability.
And so after my long-winded rant (I really needed to get it out of my system for a while!) I’d to end this post on a happy note so I’ll leave you with a nice picture of fluffy bunnies!
Cute, right? Yeah, you know they’re cute!