People complain that V for Vendetta glorifies terrorists, promotes anarchy, and touts violence as the solution to the world's problems.
Munich cautions against using retaliation as a means to get justice.
And today I got to thinking back on American history.
In coming to the Americas "we" didn't exactly treat the Native Americans very well. In fact, many of the things "we" did were downright evil. And yet, for the most part, we let those things slide in favor of where we are today. Let's not rock the boat. And since no viable solution seems to exist, we acknowledge the wrongdoing but decide we can't really do anything more.
Then we start getting pushed around by "our" king, and decide we would rather have a say in our taxes and laws. So "we" rebel, employ some guerrilla tactics for a while, do a few public demonstrations, and eventually make enough of a nuisance of ourselves--and kill enough people--that "we" gain "our" freedom.
[Aside: I will now dispense with the "we"s and "our"s. I just wanted to make it clear that I realize that we weren't alive then, so the "we"s are much more in the informal Royal We sense... which, in reality, makes no sense, but I'm doing my best here, people.
If you are lost, please ignore this aside. I'm just reveling in the cleverness of me <smile>]
After that, some upstarts in the lower regions start making a stink about taxes and other stuff, and the upper regions start taking an interest in productivity, manpower, and the unwritten rules of our nation. This leads to war, death, and destruction.
Eventually something happens and a couple tall buildings come down, killing friends, family members, and doing a tremendous amount of harm.
And so I ask:
1. Who are the terrorists?
"V for Vendetta" points out: One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.
2. What are "proper warfare" tactics?
History seems to imply: Whatever was used by the winning side to win.
Which brings us to the quote that goes something like:
He who wins writes the history.
So what's with this horribly simplified--and quite possibly errant--synopsis of American history? Well, today I came across this and this after reading my feed from here (the blog of which I am no longer able to read, so if you're the author, I'd love to be on your "approved reader list" again). There are also several heated threads on the Sonlight Forums discussing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
I've read the threads and considered the comments. I've also heard bits and pieces from "the media." But the only personal experience I have in this area is with a friend of mine who recently visited Israel. He brought me back this shirt:
He said he couldn't believe how poorly the Palestinians were treated and, he admitted, he wasn't too fond of the Israelis he encountered. From the descriptions he gave me of how things were over there, I was happy to wear to the shirt and support people who were mistreated.
At the same time, I realize that terrorists groups are very real in that part of the world. I know Israel has been picked on for a long, long time. I "get" the hatred, especially since I've spent time with a couple guys from my church who had a hard time learning to get along because one is a Jewish background believer and the other is a Muslim background believer. They know the tension and issues first hand.
So, what do we make of all this?
I don't know. And so far, I have yet to talk to someone who really does. But as I look back on history, the world is only black and white if you listen to the history written by the victorious. When those powers are no longer in charge, history tends to be less glowing in their favor.
Just a few musings from my trip around the world via the blogosphere.
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father