Monday, December 15, 2014

Our total war.

There was a logic to war once. Then Adolf Hitler hypnotized a majority of voters, and millions of Germans turned a blind eye to the slaughter of millions of "undesirables" - the mentally ill, communists, homosexuals and Jews. Since Hitler's suicide, the concept of total war has undergone several evolutions depending on the area and the mental stability of the people involved. Between 1945 and 1989, more money was spent building an arsenal that would rival all others for its destructive power than at any time in human history.

Adults whose faculties we presume were intact postulated theories that would define their paranoia as rational logic. They bandied about big words with a calmness that hid their utter lunacy. How else do you explain how, during the Cold War, men would design "war plans" that would lay to waste hundreds of millions of lives at the push of a button? Now we have tinged this sort of madness with religious fanaticism, forgetting the terrible crimes committed in the name of deities during the Dark Ages.

This poison is now spreading abroad in the land in Kenya. It is being spread by stupidity, ignorance, poverty and unemployment. It is being spread by religious fanatics of doubtful sanity who have spent a lifetime of paranoia fantasising about their path to heavenly glory. Many of them are intelligent, in the way idiot savants are intelligent, but their tunnel-visioned focus on their narrow religio-political goals blind them to the madness of it all.

This is their version of total war, without the war machines of the United States or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea. In Kenya's bandit-riven frontier-lands are to be found these mad men, living in a past that never was, pursuing goals that cannot be attained. Some of them live under the dangerous delusion that the female gender was put on this earth, (a) to be subjugated, (b) to be sexually exploited and (c) to be enslaved. Some others still live under the violent rules of natural selection favoured during times of famine and spend millions of man hours every year plotting with fellow mad men to build up militia of barely-literate young men, dubbed "warriors", to raid the villages of the unprepared, to loot, pillage, plunder and engage in rapine, with great fervour and to see it as the natural order of things.

But the worst of the lot are the men who believe with the passion of a toddler that they have the ear of the Almighty Himself. They have taken to holy scripture, written for a time and place that they can hardly identify with, and they have taken these written words to be absolutely true, infallible even. They have read and re-read the words hundreds of thousands of times, they have compared the events depicted in scripture and they have drawn conclusions that should scare the devil out of all of us. Because of their passion, because of their charisma, because of their convictions, they have put under their sway thousands of impressionable, barely-literate, unemployed and unemployable young men, and persuaded these men to kill in the name of divine glory. 

Blood soaks our beaches, highways and mud-tracks because one man with an insidiously evil interpretation of the words of another man, who lived thousands of years before him according to holy legend, has access to thousands of young men through the tools of modern communication that have made human commerce the most profitable in all of history with the sole goal of killing millions in the name of a god. No matter how many guns you buy, no matter how many Land Cruisers you deploy, no matter how many telephones you tap, no matter how many email, social media or internet chat rooms you hack, no matter how many radical preachers you murder, all it takes is a farmer with a hundred pigs to build a fuel-oil/fertilizer bomb like the one that demolished the United States Embassy in 1998, after being inspired by words on a page about a god no one has seen written in an obscure dialect a thousand years ago by a man who would not have imagined that the bloodshed he glorified would be magnified a million-fold by missiles, tanks, fighter-bombers and mad men.

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