I thought I had raccoon problems. Then I read Catherine Gildiner's harrowing tale in the August issue of Reader's Digest. Now, I have seen just what messy eaters raccoons are, but ripping off a fellow species' leg and chucking it on the patio table as leftovers for the humans, takes the cake. The sheer vicious mindlessness of raccoon combat, where the combatants are only interested in who the victor is, no matter the consequences, reminds me of the Middle East. Violence has become the objective, especially when Al Quaeda announces with great glee how they will conflagrate the whole world because Israel rose up, fed up with the constant flea bites of Hezbollah and Hamas rockets, the build-up of rockets on the Lebanon border, and took the bait of the kidnappings, which bait was designed to stop the moderates and to induce a war whose goal is to shove Israel into the sea. The only problem with all of this is that if they succeed, there will be no planet. The conflict will rise to the levels of that fight that so disturbed Catherine's neighbours, they were still white knuckling it the next day.
These people who listen to the devil, while pretending to fight for God, do not care about their individual lives. Each life serves only to further their community's ends; the end, as I understand it, though it seems to be an ever-widening one, is to annihilate Israel, and now the West. Since each life has no value per se, except to serve the community, and since there is a perpetual influx of young men willing to be fired up, the community in effect becomes immortal. How then does a society which values each individual life, is not a coherent entity with one mad mind, win a war with an immortal?
The press conference that George Bush and Tony Blair held today, though filled with hopeful, noble ideas, is bringing us into this fray. The world is becoming embroiled in the mad mess of the Middle East. Yet as much as I think they're a bit naive and I see WWIII on the horizon, we, in fact, have already been dragged in by Al Quaeda -- yesterday. They are no longer satisfied with targetting the six previously named countries. Now they want the entire world. It is the evil of Hitler all over again, except this time not furthered by an efficient war machine fuelled by youth corps, but by individuals hiding amongst those who just want to get on with their lives and live in peace with their fellow humans. One could in fact argue WWII never ended; the evil that lived in Hitler flew out of his dying body and looked for willing spirits to settle into and grow until once again strong enough to unleash madness on the whole world, only this time it can also use weapons that can kill all life on the planet.
If Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda succeed, they will in fact lose. Because if they push Israel into the sea, it will only be because they have used nuclear weapons and only to such an extent that human life everywhere will cease to exist, including themselves. But listening to what some have said, I think they're too stupid to think through the consequences of their actions. But then hatred, evil hatred has them firmly in its grip, just like the raccoons in Toronto's backyards.