Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death of Osama Bin Ladin and One Man's View

Somehow, I think it is fitting that I was out of it while this “news event” was taking place. It seems to solidify a different perspective that I have from others around me that started on September 11th 2001. It seems to spark this gulf that exists in the way I see the world, and the way that the Media's America is portrayed. It speaks to the sickness that is eating at the heart of a honest American Soul.

On 9/11, I was deep in the backcountry of Glacier Peak Wilderness. I was there with a good friend of mine, John Solo while we did a 4 day traverse of the northern slopes of that mountain. It was the high times of the bloom and the views of the Mountains and Valleys seemed to sign to a man of the true nature of the world. Having spent the previous day arduously climbing the endless switchbacks of Vista Ridge from the Suiattle River Bridge, we sat overlooking the views. That day we passed many travelers and thru-hikers, sharing stories of their experiences, getting in touch with our fellow kindered spirits that walked these trails. This was humanity at it's best, sharing experiences, sharing food, and sharing knowledge of the trail ahead.

The only odd thing about this day, was there were no airplanes. John and I had watched the contrails of a jet double back on their path, returning to Canadian Airspace. I remember causually turning to John, and mentioning a Joke, “They must have forgotten the Boyd's Coffee..” A pop culture pun on an old tv commercial. It was when we came back that I noticed how nuts my fellow American's had become. Flags at half mass, mourners, and that low drum-beat of patriotism and revenge reverberating from a country in the grips of fear and seeking revenge. As the days went by, and the press and politicians stoked those Drums, we jumped into two wars of “revenge”. Our natural reaction was like that of a wounded cat, strike out with full claws while licking your wound.

That mentality, allowed us to be tricked and lead in wrong directions. People don't seem to remember that now. But I remember it from those days. A disturbed feeling of what my fellow American's were feeling, and the large gulf that existed between me and them. For me, the viewpoint was that we were seeing the reaction of, “man's-inhumanity to fellow man.” Look to the sources of how we got there and the reaction that was released. There was more to be gained out of this then just rote revenge and lashing out. For a large part most of us did, but there was still the odd justification for extending ourselves out into two wars in the name of crushing Al-Queda.

The root of crushing Al-Queida lay in the simple act of changing the world that those people lived in. In many cases, those who would follow Bin Ladin's words were those that had seen the hard knocks of the world, how the crushing weight of poverty, lack of opportunity, and shear hippocritial propaganda of the commercial state dealt with there life which was far different from those of us that lived in the crystal palace of western civilization. You don't have to go across the world to find places where these people are from. They might not have the zeal of far off lands and foreign names, but they lay here in our slums and ghettos as Gang's. People trying to find meaning and make sense of a world that they have fallen off from. The key as we later learned in Iraq and Afghanistan was not in military might, but by improving the lives and social connections of the people in these places. That was the way of real change.

Yesterday, as I was getting an examination by the doctor for an Accident I was in Sunday, I was asked a series of cognitive questions to test how I had fared from a concussion by the steering wheel of my late Ford Ranger. He asked me, “what is today's date?” “What important event happened yesterday?” I looked at him and thought it was odd that he should said that. I said, it was May Day, celebration of people and spring. He said, “No... We got Osama...” There was a sort of satisfied look on his face. I had not felt nausea till then, even though I had been in a vehicle accident. There in the face of what I thought was an intelligent man, was that old septor of revenge. I wanted to tell him, we hadn’t got anyone, he got us... He let lose a dragon, and gave the example he needed to wage his war.. We had not changed, and there was still more for us yet to learn about ourselves before we could accept the problems with our own society, let alone one on distant shores hunkered down in the mountains of Pakistan..

Osama Bin Ladin maybe dead, but people are still suffering without hope. There are still places where the disillusioned are looking for answers and, extreme men can be swayed to fight rather then build. Until, we change that, until we look at why this place in the human heart exist, there will be no peace, from them or ourselves... And more then technology or materialism, this is one of the most important things we can do with our country in these times.. Personally, I think it starts with turning off the media and getting to know your neighbor, one person at a time..

Just a thought,

– Ridgewalker

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