Holy Moly, Birds Without Wings

I recently finished a book by Louis de Bernieres called Birds Without Wings. I will occasionally quote from the book and let the author make his own comments about the stupidity and futility of war and the role of religion in this stupidity.

p. 131: “He was possessed…and, like all who have such beautiful visions, his were predicated on the absolute belief that his own people and his own religion and his own way of life were superior to others and should therefore have their way. Such people…even those…insignificant…are the motor of history, which is finally nothing but a sorry edifice constructed from hacked flesh in the name of great ideas.”

p. 151: “…it is one of the greatest curses of religion that it takes only the very slightest twist of a knife tip in the cloth of a shirt to turn neighbours who have loved each other into bitter enemies.”

Gandhi said “Where there is love, there is life; hatred leads to destruction.”

Da Crusader George W. Bush, seems to be on a “crusade”, he even used that word after 9/11 (oops); his aides said that was naughty. Some people, especially some in this part of the world, might slightly misunderstand what he meant. (I just have a hard time liking this guy…)

Birds Without Wings addresses clearly George W. Bush’s Holy War against the Iraqui people and “against terrorism”. Are we sure it just ain’t about the money?

Ya gotta love the sheer moxy of this guy, he wants to wage a war against who? what? A war against Bin Laden I would understand, against the Taliban for harboring him I understand but which “terrorism” is GW waging war against? The state terrorism of dictatorial African despots? Muhbarak in Egypt? Saddam Hussein? (whoops he gave up without a fight I think, if so, then isn’t the war against terrorism over?) Who is this war against?

Unfortunately Bush has a lot of people fooled…

Again, from de Bernieres:
p. 299: Holy War? “…if a war can be holy, then God cannot. At best, a war can only be necessary.”

p. 330: “I will say now that I doubt if there is any such thing as a holy war, because war is unholy by nature, just as a dog is a dog by nature, and I will say now…that in my opinion there is no god either…if there was a God He would have prevented all these evil things.”

What about murder?
George Carlin, a comedian in the US, tells us that murder is not against the law, it is against the law to violate the monopoly the state, your government, has on murder. Only the state can legally murder.

“…the State claims and exercises the monopoly of crime… It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien.”
– Albert Jay Nock, On Doing the Right Thing, and Other Essays (1928).

Murder according to Webster is “the crime of unlawfully killing a person…” Get that, it says “unlawfully” However, even though it is not unlawful, war, all wrapped up in flags and legal jargon, is still murder. War waged for any reason is murder, executions are murder, they kill people, let us never forget that for a moment. No one has the right to kill for any reason, and especially not the state.

If we citizens allow the state to continue to exercise its legal murders (executions, extra-judicial assassinations, and wars, especially when it does so in our name (the people), then we continue to violate the precepts of all organized religions. All of them.

Gandhi said “an eye for an eye makes us all blind.” Those of you who say that the scriptures say it is OK to go out and take a life in vengeance by quoting “an eye for an eye” keep in mind that these same scriptures say “To me belongeth vengeance”, this is the Big Guy speaking. That means vengeance is not yours to wage, nor the state, nor any “legally constituted” body of folks lying around thinking up reasons to stay in power…

Nope, none of ya… Not even you!

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