UW-W Professor Emeritus comments on 9/11 and peace

Sept. 17 2014

Well, we’re back to human reality. We have had a generous recess of peace recently.

Space-wise, ISIL [ISIS] is the exposed, sharp-edged ninth part of a larger, non-melting iceberg.

And time-wise, it’ll be a long war. We can perhaps “mow down” ISIL, but surely, such “crabgrass” will sprout back always.

The day 9/11 exploded, I wrote that “it’s our next Pearl Harbor.”  Then I overlooked that for years! (Like Titanic’s captain ignoring iceberg warnings?)

So “welcome” back to a reality not surprising to historians.  The ancients called peace, “bellus interrruptus,” an interruption of—war. Which is permanent until human nature changes.

Only one suggestion.  In our response, we probably should “mirror” the enemy.  Step up (or down) to his level. Even, or especially, if it’s barbaric savagery. In seeking to poison crabgrass, shatter icebergs, let us not flinch from any means necessary. Our enemy doesn’t. Brutal force is the only yardstick he uses, values, or even knows.

Plus, he’d love to see us tangle ourselves in our morehumane standards, inapplicable here. Such restraint could crimp us, tie our hands in responding.  It’s a “jungle” out there—and all around.  Always was and always will be (here beneath heaven). We’ve been fortunate. Let us regain at least our own “meadows” of civilization.

– Brian Kevin Beck
Emeritus Assoc. Prof.
UW-Whitewater

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