Saturday, October 17, 2009

Through The Eyes Of My Enemy

by The Usual Suspect

I think I have the answer for a question that has bothered me since the beginning of my deployment. "What are these guys REALLY fighting us for?"

Now it's simple. The cycle of violence. I look at my own people as if they were my enemy, "just in case". It's like meeting Death, and Death turning out to be a very intriguing person. The kind that you aren't finished talking to. Conversation isn't over. Death is out of my life right now, and like a fool, I'm looking for my Weird New Friend. Like understanding it will somehow remove you from the human condition.

Life and Death. The elusive paradox. It's this huge mystery. And when it gets in your head, it stays, because you can't answer the questions your mind throws at you, not for sure. Are you going to get cancer? Diabetes? Fail to look both ways before crossing the street? Choke on a Mentos while shrugging a bank robbery off?

Death. It's final. There's no rebuttal, no appeals. It's a threshold for man. We can cause it, but after that, fuck, we don't know. We have a few ideas, but we're still killing the people who think otherwise, not because God told us to do so, but because it WORKS. Kill someone and they will never wrong anyone else again. Kill someone and they'll never stab you in the back. Kill kill kill. Shove that other life form off the mortal coil. No matter what you believe, you know that killing gets shit done, CONCLUSIVELY. Guard yourself, you who would fall in love with the premise of killing. There's always someone who's willing to kill you while believing that what they are doing is right. And because it's in our blood. Yes, yours.

When you aren't the same color, the same religion, and speakers of the same language, it is so easy to simplify. Unconditional hate is SIMPLE. Killing is SIMPLE. Complicate situations with emotions and empathy, and then our justifications for trying to kill each other start to fall apart. Then everything is just too confusing.

And both of us are saying, "They've murdered so many of us, we can never let them get away with it. I understand the way things work, in the simplest terms. Nothing can stop me now."

The point is, all the confusion, the uncertainty, the hesitation, the guilt, everything, it all goes away when you just SIMPLIFY everything. And revenge....the need for revenge is like the withdrawal, the addiction, without ever touching the drug. "I'd sell my SOUL for one more shot at that motherfucker."

When a society is in a state of chaos, the people revert to their basic programming. My guess is that the mind does the same thing.


lorraine said...

You are something else Suspect. Wait until you are a lot older and facing it on a daily basis. I do - I'm still working with the closure fairy every day. People I know, people I don't - whatever - they all follow obediently when the reaper calls. I wish you would write everyday - it is like a present every time I look an find your head space on the page. Love you lots and lots. stay sane or insane - which ever works best - and stay safe no matter what. love lorraine.

Liz said...

You might think Chris Hedges' book "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" is interesting. He's a war correspondent, but with a degree from divinity school. And just really smart and interesting in general.

I agree with Lorraine, I love it when you write.

bigD said...

Hi Suspect,
I don't know if I've entered your world, or you have entered mine. But, I sure as hell can't seem to find the answers to all the questions about death and why people have to die, why we have to kill one another when all each of us wants to do is live. On the other hand, I think I can understand how anger from loss drives the need for revenge and an eye for an eye! There are days of late when I think I would sell my soul to make some people pay. For most of us, we don't know when or how death will come, we only know it WILL come one day. Others are suddenly made aware in no uncertain terms, "you have X number of days, weeks, months until you will be dead from...(insert terminal diagnosis of choice). Is this knowledge a blessing or a curse? Is it better to know when your time will be up? I think for most humans our basic programming is to fight for life. We all want to live and death is not an option we want to entertain. If we know it is coming, we fight it to the bitter end. And I guess that is why killing one another goes against that basic wiring. Everything we want for ourselves and those we love is to live some kind of quality life. Death is final. There are no "do-overs!" Emotions and empathy do complicate the situation and make killing another person much more difficult. When we realize that our enemies are only humans just like us, is it wrong to question the purpose in snuffing the life out of one another? Society is in chaos and there are no simple solutions for this chaos. Certainly history has shown that killing one another is not a great solution. Sorry for the rambling, not sure where I am trying to go with this.
It is late and my mind has been boggled by five hours of baseball. God(s) bless you Ryan.
P.S. - Yankees win! :p

Anonymous said...

Suspect, I'm sorry you are going through all this.
On the other hand, it's making you work like hell to stay on top of it. Don't give up, and do keep telling us about it. You're going to be ok, and you're ok now. z

Pattie Matheson said...

Atta boy, great insights!

And, IMHO the spark for the cycle of violence is fear.


membrain said...

"Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back."

Al Swearengen

The Usual Suspect said...


Anonymous said...

Membrain and Suspect are testosterone surfing. Or male-bonding. Or something. z