Recently Jeff asked a question in response to the US air strike that killed Al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: “What the hell is the point of all this?” There are a number of possible answers to this far reaching question, including:
- There’s oil in them there hills, Dubya!
- We’re Imperialists who will take advantage of any third world country’s resources because we can
- They hit us first
- al-Zarqawi was a cold-blooded killer who deserved it
- War is good for the American economy… Always has been
- They’re gonna kill us unless we kill them first
- We’re humans and we’ve been fighting since the beginning of time
That last one really struck me when I was touring the Chicago Art Institute yesterday. A couple times as I was maneuvering around to see all I wanted to see, I happened to walk through a long section filled primarily with medieval body armor. Rows and rows of it. Point is, we’ve been at war forever (well, some evidence suggests since 35,000BC) and probably will as long as humans exist. We’re flawed. We’ll try to talk it out for a while, but then we get to a point when the sticks and stones start flying. I don’t have an answer except to say that if we teach our children to treat each other with mutual respect, resolve conflict peacefully and embrace the differences in people and their beliefs, then maybe in 35,006 our descendants will have evolved enough to have figured it out.