‘Tit-for-tat’ leads to annihilationWhip the whole world.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Whip the whole world.
I heard that phrase from a neighbor in my youth on the farm.
“We can whip the whole wide world,” Ole would express loudly.
Ole thought we could.
Ole never served in the military, but was very proud of our country.
Farmers in that Dunn County hilly farm community called Punkin Center would say Ole has had a few beers again.
Why was our valley called “Punkin Center?” Because farmers who grew pumpkins on the hillsides wouldn’t have to walk up and carry pumpkins down. A good shot — one the NRA would be proud of — could sit down by a barn with a 22-gauge and clip those vines so the pumpkins would roll down to the barn.
The phrase about whipping the world came back to me recently, although Ole is long gone.
I think he would be happy if he were alive today to see how our military keeps adding troops in many world countries and retaining nuclear bombs — in large numbers — when we are trying for worldwide reductions. There’s weaponry galore and more than Army, Air Force and Marines can utilize.
A claim is made that stopping some of this military preparation would put too many people out of work.
In the meantime, our infrastructure is deteriorating and being ignored for a lack of funds.
Conservatives say government is too big. They want more budget money going to private contractors evidently overlooking more military privatization. Contracts have been let without bids.
We want to keep a substantial military. We call it “defense” and don’t want to be defenseless.
World citizens noting our continual spread of involvement wonder what we are worried about; our homeland doesn’t appear to be receiving any damage. They can’t understand why we are so aggressive and far afield, and still calling it defense.
We have killed a number of Muslims including Osama Bin Laden himself. The unfortunate part is collateral damage. Many individuals — women and children — have been killed in this unintentional collateral classification. We haven’t stopped with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yemen has been added to the list for our drone invasions. We do our best to determine if in fact they are al Qaeda, but as the old saying goes: “Accidents happen.”
What if it were the other way around and a few of our malcontents were intent on suicide bombing one of their major cities, killing anywhere near the 3,000 mark as happened in New York City? How would we respond? Is everything fair in love and war really the right way when it does create more suicide bombers? Can that be a winning proposition in the long run? Have we sufficiently attempted negotiations?
For the good of the U.S.A., we better give it a real try.
My personal judgment is that we can go on tit-for-tat, but we can’t tell other nations how they should run their countries and call it “nation building.” Can we truly build other nations? We claim democracy where the people theoretically decide.
We need to do better nation building at home. We could cut back on telling other nations how to should run their countries and maybe do less of our recent revealed government surveillance that we don’t want even known by government decision-makers.
Our local poet, Bud Brand, wrote a poem he titled “Annihilation.”
Devastation and destruction
Will be the end result
When man destroys all life itself
By fighting, wars and tumult.
Can all mankind be so damn blind
To sell out to the czars?
Cannot they see that combat leads
To nightmares ... bloodshed ... scars?
World peace must be preserved dear friends,
If ever there be bliss,
For if war mongers have their way
None would be left to read this.
Are we on our way?
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at bernie3024@