BY SAM FIELDS
The biggest scam world leaders perpetuate is that their lives are more valuable than ours.
That ancient concept plays out especially loud and clear when leaders want to start war.
Soldiers and civilians die in the millions without a mention in the newspaper. But let some honcho or his family get wacked and we should be expect to go to war.
In 1914, if Serb nationalist Gravilo Princip had killed twenty folks waiting to see Archduke Franz Ferdinand, I doubt much would have happened beyond arrest, trial and punishment. But since he killed the Archduke, and Mrs. Archduke, we got WW I with over 16 million dead and even more wounded.
Maybe we should reconsider that business model?
I thought about this the other day when Israeli jets, justifiably responding to Gaza launched missiles, killed some Hamas military muckety-muck whose name I do not even care to lookup.
Everyone in Gaza has gone into an uproar. Simply put, if he was involved in starting the latest round of missiles he got what he deserved. His life is worth less than the dozens collaterally killed in this latest skirmish.
Understand my position. I think Israel has been 98% wrong on the West bank and 98% right in Gaza.
Gaza and the West Bank are for all practical purposes two separate countries with two governments. Gaza Palestinians, have leadership that wants conflict to distract from domestic failures. The West Bank Palestinians want independence from Israeli occupation. The former is wrong, while the latter is right.
It is for this reason I wouldn’t shed a tear if some pissed-off Arab from the West Bank snuffed Netanyahu, while I would feel bad if that same guy killed some innocent folks in Tel Aviv.
It seems to me the best thing for world peace would be to adopt waging war by the “Chess” model rather than the current “Exodus/Pharaoh” model.
Allow me to explain.
The goal in Chess is simple and straightforward. End the game (war) by killing the King. To that end, you can and should take out as many of his important supporters as you can. Dead pawns are not as desirable as dead knights, bishops, rooks etc. Take out the guys at the top to quickly end the conflict.
The “Pharaoh/Exodus” model says that the King is inviolate. If you don’t like what he is doing, send plagues, bad weather, disease and The Angel of Death to murder innocent children. Anything but killing the actual bad guy. He’s too important. He’s special.
It’s the rule that the modern world generally abides by.
Guess who wrote that rule?
To this day there are large numbers of Russians mourn the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. They don’t give a whit about how the Tsar’s totalitarian, incompetent mismanagement of Russia sent millions to their graves…not to mention slave labor camps.
Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette should be seen as two out of thousands executed in the Reign of Terror and not “special victims”. Arguably, their lives were less valuable since it was their greed and totalitarian regime that set The Revolution and its excesses in motion.
Why are the lives of the Romanovs and the Bourbons thought more valuable than any other family?
If it was understood that in war the honchos were fair game, leaders might think before sending other people’s families to fight.
I wonder if Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice would have been so quick to send us to Iraq if they were exposed to legal killing under the Chess rules of the game.
You want to send others to war? The rules should provide that you and yours have some skin in the game.
It might make leaders think twice or even three times.