Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Insurgency is a Natural Reaction

The insurgency in Iraq is a natural reaction to us attacking them. I have personal experience of this. When I lived in New Vrindaban, a spiritual farm community in West Virginia, attacks such as assault and shootings and were frequent, because this community was considered by the local bigots as a cult, instead of a bona-fide religion. It was a peaceful spiritual community, however, the members believed fervently that the helpless (i.e., women, children, and animals, were to be protected with one's life. I heard a story about how a couple of rednecks were harrasing one of the women, and there was an immediate and enthusiastic call to arms and chase. Devotees grabbed sticks, bats, chains, anything that could be used as a weapon. Tapah Punja, who had a club foot, ran limping to catch a ride in pursuit, but his friend yelled out, half joking, "no cripples!" The assailants were run off the road into a ditch after a high speed chase by Kuladri, our temple president, and Bimbadhara, 6'4", who was in the car behind him, picked up a huge boulder and smashed their windsheild. They two men were promptly beaten to a pulp. This violent response seems to be even more natural when the participants happen to be staunchly religious.

In Iraq, innocent family members are being killed, men are being tortured, and children are being raped in front of their parents. Of course there is going to be a violent reaction. Indeed, 45 percent of the population think that the insurgency against coalition forces is completely justified. We have also seen that even a cartoon that mocks the leader of a religious group can result in worldwide violence. Radical religon becomes popular when secular politicians cannnot protect it's citizens. Note the democratically elected Hamas in the Middle East, and the rise of the Mulas in Iran. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "When the law is lax, private vengence comes in."