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10/11/10

OF BUGS AND MEN, An Essay

By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse

The other day I found a roach in our kitchen and another in the garage. This wasn't the first time that these unwanted insects had found their way into our home. I am personally not bothered much by a few little bugs that crawl under the garage door or through a small rip in the window screen to come in searching for whatever it is they are after. My wife, however, does not feel the same way about these uninvited guests.

I do agree that some intruders are actually quite dangerous and should be seriously reckoned with. Scorpions, black widow or recluse spiders and the like nesting in the garage or under the kitchen sink could cause major problems for the unwary. 

Since we are not all knowledgeable entomologists, I give my wife every right to be squeamish about anything that crawls or slithers across the floor inside our manicured little house. So when I heard her screaming from the driveway that she couldn't enter the house through the garage because she had spotted a huge reptile crawling around, I wasn't surprised.

No, I did not expect to see an alligator flashing its teeth at her - we live in a small town in New Mexico and there are no alligators around here and dinosaurs have long been extinct. Nevertheless, the sight of a four-inch long lizard squirming around inside our home was enough to make her skin crawl. It would have been a waste of time to convince her that the little lizard actually eats the other insects that she objects to, that the cute little creature is actually a pest-control monitor. I chased the lizard out and my wife finally entered the house.

There are, however, other uninvited visitors whose intrusion into our domain is not only tolerated but actually quite welcomed. We love the hummingbirds that come around to feast on the flower nectar in our yard, or the magnificent, agile mule deer that effortlessly clear the five-foot fence around our property on their way to our neighbor's luscious lawn. As a matter of fact, my wife and I would both love to have these animals stay in our backyard. I would personally provide them with food, water and proper shelter, but as long as they could be trained to understand our rules: They must agree to not eat the ornamental flowers and plants, parade and pose for us and our guests as we desire, stay away from doors and windows, and refrain from inviting their extended families to join them in our property.  

The deer, of course, are not going to agree to any of these rules. Our neighbor is thinking of installing an electrified wire on top of his fence to discourage the deer from trespassing into his lawn. I suggested to him that it might be more humane if he'd put some fodder for the deer outside his property in the adjoining park where the deer roam. "Humane!" he said, "But these are animals, not humans. Once they get zapped they'll learn. It's their problem; why should we try to accommodate them? After a moment he looked at me and continued with a smile; "You know, their meat is pretty good, kind of gamey but sweet."

These are animals, not humans, as my neighbor said. Yes, he is absolutely right, animals do not possess our intellectual faculties, are not aware of having "rights" and do not demand to be treated as our equals.  Sure, we have animal activists and nature lovers and environmentally conscious conservationists who are trying to maintain the health and balance of our ecosystems around the planet.  But as our so-called Judeo-Christian tradition has taught us, God only created mankind in His own image, not the beast of burden, the mule deer or the cockroaches. As the Bible says, God made mankind to rule over all else. The rest of His creation was to be at mankind's disposal to benefit from and to preserve for mankind's own pleasure.

Well, that's why when the environmentalists and animal activists see a species of web-footed lizard, a kangaroo rat, a peculiar kind of brine shrimp or snow leopard in danger of extinction, rescue missions get underway. Of course those little critters do us no harm and the magnificent snow leopard or the whale and the rhino are exiting and emotionally pleasing to behold. After all, we are designated as the custodians of the planet, and it is abundantly clear that environmental protection and ecological balance only make sense when mankind's physical and aesthetic interests are served.

This is why cockroaches, bedbugs, killer bees and poison oak are not subject to our protection as are the harmless to us ladybugs and cute harp seal.  

Now, if the undesirables among these critters would manage to keep their distance and not cause problems for us, well, we would likely ignore their presence and allow them to do their own thing in their respective boundaries that we assign them; sort of like reservations or concentration camps, you know.

Naturally, if a hive full of good honey, something that we really crave, is inhabited by Africanized killer bees somewhere, it is within our rights to eradicate the bees to get to that honey. We would much rather have normal "friendly, moderate" honey bees replace the aggressive non-compliant ones; sort of a "regime change" if you know what I mean. If the guardians of those hives do not agree to let us have their honey in exchange for sugar water and molasses, we reserve the right to smoke-em out as necessary and take it by force - and all options remain on the table as to what means we might choose to accomplish the task!

Mind you, I am not complaining about any of this. I am simply pretending I am an observer, a philosopher, as though from another dimension, studying and analyzing how the species that has named itself Homo sapiens behaves. In other words, I intend to elucidate how thing are and definitely not how things ought to be. How things ought to be depends on your personal tastes and objectives, while how things are is not a matter of personal preferences.

You see, in my way of thinking, philosophers do not engage in professing how the social system in a community, a nation or in the world should be. That job is in the domain of ideologues, doctrinarians and politicians. My kind of philosophers do not partake in providing guidance for mankind as to how to behave to achieve salvation. That is the job of theologians. I personally believe that adjectives and adverbs that assign values such as good, bad, desirable or undesirable must either start with the phrase, "In order to...", or end with the phrase, "if we want to accomplish...."

Now, back to the bad bugs; well, what to do?!

There are many ways of dealing with unwanted insects around your house. Depending on the degree of infestation or your personal level of tolerance for the nuisance there are measures ranging from setting small traps near their nesting places and keeping the house clear of edible debris, to harsher measures like calling the professional exterminators, or tenting the whole house for deep penetrating fumigation.

Of course some harmless bugs will perish in the process; we could call it collateral damage, sad but well worth it and quite justified. I hope you are beginning to see where I am headed in this essay.

Fortunately, bugs do not have a United Bugdom or an International Court of Justice that could hear the plight of countless billions of insects whose rights have been violated by the Human Empire. We can thank our God for that! May our God continue to bless us.

This, again, is quite understandable. We humans, we firmly believe, are the supreme species on earth; we dictate the terms and feel blessed that our God created us in His own image and bestowed upon only us a soul and not the subordinate species of life around us.

Again fortunately, other creatures, from the lowly bedbugs to the poisonous jelly fish in the oceans, are not likely to rise up, organize and confront the Master Race in open debate or combat. Sure, even the tiny flee or a roach can and do on occasion resort to terror tactics and cause us discomfort or make us sick. But we usually have medications and antidotes at hand to remedy the problem. In short, we can continue to reign over the subordinate species with a great degree of confidence.

We have also been able to reign over another type of subordinate species. Even though our anthropologists consider them members of the same species as our own, they somehow seem to lack what could best be called that "Real White" whiteness that distinguishes our noble race. This whiteness does not necessarily refer to only the color of skin; it goes far deeper than that. We could simply refer to them as a parallel race or species; parallel but certainly not equal.

As our Real White species began to distance itself from those "Others", and as our technological advances left them in a cloud of dust, we began to notice that, through an accident of nature, much that was of value to us lay in lands occupied by them.

In the initial stages we simply marched in and took what we wanted. Later, after they began to realize what was happening to them, we offered them a choice, the only civilized thing to do: They'd either agree to let us have our way and accept what we give them in return, or face the wrath of the Real White ones. We even attempted to show them the advantages of our Real White civilization so that they could better understand the realities of life and their place in the scheme of things.

In the distant past our ancestors managed to tame the wolf and the wild sheep, cow and goat to create today's domesticated dogs, now man's best friend, and healthy bovine and herd animals that live safely and in greater comfort than their wild predecessors. We take good care of them and they do serve our purpose in perfect harmony. We tried that with the Not-so-Whites, with mixed results.

We brought Black people from wild Africa, offered them food and shelter and steady jobs, but they finally rebelled against us demanding to be treated as our equals - imagine that! We herded the native inhabitants of the New World into reservations to protect them from themselves, yet they blamed us for having treated them as subhuman beasts. In India, we trained the natives to speak our language, play Cricket and Badminton, but they demanded more. Some of them objected to our practice of having our domesticated servants pull our carts as we played polo, even though they had all learned to refer to us as Sahib, meaning owner or master!

From the kindness of our hearts, a peculiarity of the Real White race, we found some candidates among the Not-so-Whites who could be persuaded to be cooperative and play by our rules. We trained them and reintroduced them into their respective countries to become kings and presidents, supported them and provided them with what they needed to rule over their populations effectively and by whatever means they chose. This was clearly a humane alternative to employing brute force in combating non compliance and resistance among the Not-so-White nations. We have been doing similar things with fruit flies and parasitic insects quite successfully.

With these Not-so-White people, however, things are not working out as we expected anymore. Many nations have already rebelled against their designated leaders and replaced them with people who want to take things in their own hands and challenge our authority and supremacy. But much that our civilization needs and indeed depends on still remains in their lands, and we are not about to concede our strategic and economic interests anytime soon.

Being the superior Real White people with superior intellect and the possessors of far superior Judeo-Christian values and ethics, we always prefer peaceful means of achieving our objectives. War, we always say, should remain the very last option, only when all other attempts fail. War hurts and costs too much. If you can control the unwanted pests around your house by simple aerosol sprays you can find at Home Depot, why go through the trouble and expense of tenting your entire house?

Now, how to make the "Others" understand that your way is the right way and what's good for you should be good for them, too:

First you try to seduce them. The Brits did that by introducing the Chinese to the addictive pleasures of opium. It worked for a while. Today, some three quarters of the populations among the Not-so-White nations is comprised of young people. Young people are very susceptible to a variety of temptations and inducements, such as certain peripheral products of our modern civilization; and this vulnerability provides us with great opportunities. No need to go into any detail here.

Second is the covert method, including penetration, espionage, bribery and sabotage to weaken the central command and to encourage dissent and opposition especially by the influential, vocal and high profile groups and individuals among them.

Both these measures force the regime to crack down on dissent and to limit freedoms of actions and expressions, hence violating the principles of human rights, draconian measures that provide us with additional ammo in our global anti regime propaganda.

Third in steps we must adopt when the first two fail to bring about our desired results is the imposition of economic sanctions and embargos in order to accomplish two objectives: One is to limit the defiant regime's capacity to develop the nation's economy and beef up its defenses. Two is to generate even greater hardships among the populations, resulting in ever louder voices of dissatisfaction among the masses, which would help destabilize the regime.

Forth step, when all the foregoing measures fail, is the threat of military action against the defiant regime.

However, while all the above measures are being employed, we should keep face by insisting that diplomacy and negotiations are our preferred venues in settling our differences. Not that we really want to negotiate our differences in a fair and balanced manner as we would amongst ourselves. No; what we actually mean by negotiation is tabling our demands and working on how best our adversary could capitulate and cater to our dictates.

We have reached the last step already. But there seems to be a problem with our plans.

The following newsflash appeared on the internet the other day:
"TEHRAN, Iran (Oct. 3) -- Iran's president Sunday called for U.S. leaders to be "buried" in response to what he says are American threats of military attack against Tehran's nuclear program."

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is known for brash rhetoric in addressing the West, but in a speech Sunday he went a step further using a deeply offensive insult in response to U.S. statements that the military option against Iran is still on the table.

Several top U.S. officials including Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have said in recent months that the military option remains on the table and there is a plan to attack Iran, although a military strike has been described as a bad idea."             

If translated from the Farsi vernacular into its English parallel, he had said something like, To Hell with you and your table, you who have soiled the planet. But the way the newsflash portrayed it, we can picture Mr. Ahmadinejad foaming from the mouth, with a shovel in his hands, digging a symbolic hole to bury America's leaders!

What's with this man who is seemingly immune to our threats, who dares violate the sanctity of the Sacred Cow, the Holocaust issue for example, and clearly discounts the primacy of Israel, the symbol of America in the Middle East? Is he on to something or is he simply a nutcase? Does he really represent the voice of the Not-so-White inferior species? Is he challenging the fact that our Real White civilization is superior to his? Is he expecting, indeed demanding, to be dealt with as our equal? How dare he?!

Maybe the Iranian President feels that it is an insult to his nation to be regarded as a swarm of undesirable bugs to be controlled, contained or exterminated at will. But what gives him the gull or courage to stand up to our threats and not flinch in fear?

Regardless of how our Real White Western media portray him as an illiterate buffoon, the man is surely aware that the Holocaust, for example, did happen. He is questioning the accepted narratives to demonstrate how his regime's chief antagonist, Israel, is using the exaggerated versions of the event to achieve and to maintain its superpower status in the region.

He must also know that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were not staged by the American government to create a pretext to occupy the Middle East. He is perhaps trying to demonstrate that as the American administration is suspicious of Iran's nuclear programs in the absence of any evidence, he could also be suspicious of the accounts of the 9/11 event with no evidence for his conspiracy theory.

The question still remains; why is Mr. Ahmadinejad, indeed the Islamic Republic of Iran's leadership as a whole, so abrasively defiant and confrontational with seemingly no fear of a serious reprisal?

Ahmadinejad would be a fool, which he certainly is not, to doubt America's capability to attack and destroy Iran's infrastructure, turning Iran into another Afghanistan for decades to come. What he also knows is that for several years now all those options have remained on the table, and each time the threats of an attack inched closer to a flashpoint something happened to postpone the fireworks. It all appears as a well-staged scenario.

He must also know something far more important: Not only would a new war front not serve America's best interests, the costs and the subsequent blowback in the region and the world would prove attacking Iran more than "just a bad idea" as Admiral Mullen had remarked, it would be downright catastrophic for all concerned.

So, why these ongoing threats of war against Iran? For my answer to this question I refer you to my humble web site: intellectualdiscourse.com.

If, and this a very significant point, we do want to resolve our mutually antagonistic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which I doubt quite seriously, sanctions, embargos and threats of regime change or military attack will never work.

I say "If", because in my opinion as I have expressed numerous times in my writings, a continuation of tensions, just short of an actual flashpoint, is the objective; and it is working thus far. How long could this delicate balancing act continue before some accident, or intentional accident, tips the applecart?

The Empire of the Real White people is being challenged by heretofore subordinate civilizations that were always regarded as inconsequential or as occasional nuisance that had to be dealt with as we would a swarm of killer bees or stinkbugs. You simply don't "negotiate" with the killer bees to take away their honey, convincing them to leave their hive and to simply go away, allowing you to replace them with your "friendly, cooperative" bees - a "regime change" of sorts!

The underlings are awakening, realizing that the world is indeed leaving the colonial period behind. There are simply too many "equalizers" in today's world that effectively neutralize pure military supremacy or economic hegemony by any superpower. As modern technology, which does not recognize boundaries, neutralizes our lopsided military supremacy, centers of economic power keep shifting away toward the East.
 

Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion. He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at: intellectualdiscourse.com

To avoid repeating the fate of all the former empires of the world, Persian, Mongol, Roman, Ottoman, etc., it might be wise to rethink our position and role in the new world order. To begin, a change of attitude could help a lot. We may have to accept the bitter fact that we may not be left in charge of designing and formulating this new world order to our own hearts' content!

To sweeten that bitter pill, we can still deal with the Bugdom as we have all along, sitting in our comfortable armchair, sipping lemonade and deciding whether to nuke-em or not. And, our motion picture studios and computer games designers can continue to produce ego-satisfying action dramas depicting the Real White people's supremacy over the not-as-White-as-us savages - in the domain of "virtual reality", of course. Remember the pseudo-historical cartoon movie, "300"?

... Payvand News - 10/11/10 ... --



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