Saturday, August 05, 2006

Barney and Swamp Castle

Father: One day lad all of this will all be yours.

Son: What? The curtains?

Father: Not the curtains lad, All that you can see stretched over the hills and valleys of this land; this will be your kingdom.

Son: But mother ...

Father: Father, Father! I'm your Father

Son: But Father! I don't want any of that.

Father: Listen! I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I first started here all I had was swamp. All the kings said I was daft to build a castle in a swamp but I built it all the same just to show em. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp so I built a third one. That burned down, fell over and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up."

(The fourth one probably stayed up because it had a solid foundation, namely the ruins of the previous three.)

You cannot buid a substantial building in a swamp unless you do one of two things. You have to drain the swamp or you have to sink an adequate foundation into the bottom of the swamp. Then you can build on it.

We all know of Barney, the purple dinosaur and his "I love you! You love me!" and la la la. He is built on the premise that peace can exist only if people decide not fight but just get along. Sadly it does not work that way. Building peace on that foundation is like building a castle in the middle of a swamp. It has no foundation.

Peace must have a foundation and the foundation of peace is respect. Respect can come in a number of ways. You can like and appreciate each other; such a relationship would rarely include a fight. You may dislike them, even intensely, but you recognize their rights and give them their space, so long as they give you yours as well. Or it may be a respect born of fear. Peace can exist so long as one of these three conditions exist. If you try to build peace without the foundation of one form of respect or another, you are just building a castle in the middle of a swamp.

The Jihadists do not like us. That respect does not exist.

They do not fear us. That respect does not exist.

They will not give us or Israel our space because they consider both illegitimate. They will not give us our space because they believe all space belongs to them so that form of respect does not exist.

We cannot make them like us (and the Barneyites who think we can are living in a la-la land) and their core beliefs require that they not recognize our rights. If we want peace with them, we have no choice but to make it a peace based on their fear of us, until they can grow up as a society to the point of recognizing the rights of others.

I, for one, would love to live in Barney's world of everyone just getting along, but it's not going to happen. Furthermore, I am not going to waste resources building a palace of peace in the swamp of disrespect. If we want peace we must either drain the swamp or force a solid foundation into it. Otherwise peace is a fool's errand.

8 Comments:

Blogger Lone Pony said...

I agree with you on all but one issue. I think they do fear us a little. After all, they're the ones hiding. I would like to see you expound a bit on what you mean by "drain the swamp or force a solid foundation into it."

3:31 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I meant we have the choice of forcing them to change or eliminating them. I would rather create a change in them, but that takes time and may cost more lives.

3:34 PM  
Blogger gawfer said...

I think hiding from us does not indicate fear, it indicates their desire to inflict as much harm as possible before being sent on to their 72 virgins...

3:37 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I don't agree with you on this. The reason being that we need thier oil and they know it. They are going to give to us in the keester whenever they feel like it because we have proven that we are impotent. We have proven that we don't have the stomach to resort to thier level of barbarism. We can't get a handle on Iraq, so Iran knows that we are no threat. This is why they are pushing thier nuclear agenda. Israel is also afraid of looking bad in the media, so they are exercising restraint and not simply killing everyone and evrything in Lebanon, which means that they will never completely defeat Hezballah. War on this level only works if you are ready to prove that you are going to take off the gloves and just kill them all (including women and children). When the Romans finally destroyed Hanibal and the Carthiginians, they killed all of the men, and the women and children were sold as slaves. After torching Carthage, they plowed the ground and sowed salt into the furroghs so that the land would never be worth anything for a thousand years. So unless you want to do this, we will fail to acheive a victory militarily. The harder we try, the worse it will get. We have Iraqis backing Hezballah, and they are supposed to be on our side? I for one am tired of all of this war and death with no end in sight that is not bringing us any closer to the stated goals of our fearless leader. We will have a religious theocracy in Iraq just like in Iran, and American blood and treasure has been squandered to acheive this dubious result. In Lebanon, we will see more useless killing and in Israel the only real solution is for them to keep building that wall and throw out every Palestinian on thier side of it. If they still lob rockets over it, then the gloves must come off and that's the way it will have to be. In the final analysis, this confrontation with the Arabs has achvieved nothing but further alienating us and squandering of treasure that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back. Where are the real leaders in this country?

4:49 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

tim
you made it clear that you think Bush is screwing up in the ME, but you didn't explain how I am wrong in why peace is not going to be obtained the way many peaceniks think we should (ie just make nice and get along).

5:59 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I think you analogy is correct and I also believe it to be brilliant. Kudos, Shoprat! Peace is absolutely not going to be obtained by making nice with these people; anyone thinking so has a few screws loose.

Once Alberta gets going in Canada we aren't going to be dependent on Iranian Oil at all, and if Bush is able to get the drilling going on again here, we may not have to be dependent on Canada either; but I would much rather be dependent on Canada than on Iran.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

SR- Killing so many of them until they "fear" us can only be done by using nuclear weapons. To quote a certain Viet Nam soldier:"the only way to save the villiage was to destroy it" thereby also destroying the oil that we covet so much.
Respect never comes from the barrel of a gun, only contempt. The harder we try to subdue them with force, the worse this will spiral out of control.As a Christian, are you "okay" with 100 people a day dying in Iraq since we showed up? Do you really support this wanton death and destruction in our name? And for what purpose? To install a Shi-ite theocracy that will tell us to jam it a few months after we leave?

Gayle- Obviously, I am totally misinformed about the current energy situation in the world. Canada is our #1 oil supplier, but they just don't have what it takes to supply our ever increasing energy demands. If what you say is true, why, our energy problems are solved and therefore we need not worry at all about the Mid-East. Just take our football and play with somebody else! (Personally, I think your position that Canada can replace the Mid-East oil is dubious at best).

12:10 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Tim
I do not like the war one bit, but I don't see any other options. Sometimes there is no good answer.

Have you ever visited the blog Iraq the Model? I suggest you take time to follow it over the next few days.

http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

See what some Iraqis are saying.

12:46 PM  

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