Monday, April 2, 2007

British hostage crisis

I just read a good piece on the British hostage crisis. It's neither a hawkish cry for retribution nor a dovish appeal to capitulation, which means there is actually some interesting information available to help you draw your own conclusions on the correct course of action.

This is one of those situations that truly test a nation’s leadership. So much is at stake and the costs, of action or inaction, could be astronomical. Citizens are screaming, and rightly so, for some sort of action. The whole world is watching and, as usual, they are divided into camps. One camp will denounce Blair as a warmonger, and a Bush stooge, if he takes a hard line. The other camp will denounce him as a spineless weakling if he does anything other than take a hard line.

It's not exactly the note Blair wanted to end his prime ministership on I suppose. But then, this is what leaders are there for. They are there to lead. They are there to make the tough and many times unpopular decisions. No matter what he does it will be unpopular with a lot of people.

Bush is a great example of that unpopularity: there is no way that Bush could ever make everyone happy in such a polarized world and thus he has never attempted to do so. Does that make him a good leader? I think in a way it does. History alone will tell us whether his decisions worked out for the best (assuming that history doesn't get rewritten by those with an opposing agenda).

"Do the right thing” we shout, when what we mean is "do what fits my agenda". I'd suggest that we really think about our agenda's. Think about what they really mean in the world we actually live in. This is not a social experiment where we play around with cultures, nations and people like so many chess pieces. This is a world of flesh and blood where your agenda (be it right-wing or left-wing) is going to get that flesh wounded and that blood spilled.

Conflict is inevitable. Even if we attain the utopia of the Federation, there will still be Romulan's and Klingon's intent on spoiling the party. As long as this earth lasts blood will be spilled; that appears to be the price the earth exacts from its inhabitants. That doesn't mean we have to like it, nor does it mean we have to take it lying down. It means we stand in the face of the beast and make every drop count for something.

The age-old struggle against tyranny and oppression goes on whether we choose to see it or not and it will go on until human nature no longer contains the seeds of selfishness, greed and a lust for power. Our agenda's mean nothing if they deny this fact. They hold no value if they remain ignorant of the human ability to be inhuman. It has been said that freedom is not free and I believe it to be true. The price of freedom is, and always has been, measured in blood.

Honor the blood of the fallen. Do not hastily add to its flow. Count the cost very carefully. Pray that you don't live to see the times of testing, but if you are tested do not be found wanting. What is it you stand for? No matter the intentions what are the actual results of your agendas? This requires wisdom. This requires courage. This requires strength. This requires that we stand, against all odds, against all hope, stand.

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