Love and only love will break it down

I’m trying to get back to normal somehow. I turned off the TV when I heard the news of children being taken to “ground zero” to be swabbed for DNA tests to identify the body parts of their parents. It’s just too much. I told myself that I wasn’t going to write about it any more for a while. I’m so sick of the hate. There have been a couple of good essays that cropped up that I want to link to, however.

First up, Ian McEwan’s Only Love and then Oblivion talks about what we should be concentrating on right now. I’m so tired of the liberal sniping; it makes me embarrassed to be a liberal. I know the history, you’re not telling me anything I don’t know. Keep your hate, ignorance, flag-waving, and government-trashing to yourself right now. That just fuels the anger, and makes the unseen enemy win.

Then, Metagrrrl’s post of an essay by Vikram Singh was heartening, because it isn’t about the present, or past blame, but about the future. That’s where the focus should shift. All the nations of the world need to come to the table, and we in the United States should be hoping for reason to prevail rather than brute force in order to revive civilization.

Before political discussion was shut down (and rightly so) on the C-18L literature mailing list, the comparison was made to the situation facing Thomas Jefferson’s efforts, in allegiance with the UK, to shut down piracy on the high seas. Massive fleets sailed to the trouble spots, and the threat was quelled in the early 18th century. In that case, it worked and the world became a better and safer place. I hope that happens this time, but like everyone else, I have my doubts. But it’s a far more valid comparison than the Pearl Harbor analogy. Like the piracy problem, this is an international problem in need of international solutions.

I put on Roy Harper’s Unknown Soldier.

And I cry in my sleep
For all the hungry children
And the unbelieving sheep

We’re not at war, any more than Jefferson was at war with pirates. It saddens me that the national rhetoric is so damn imprecise. The machine geared up from the first day into this jingoistic hatred. The only thing we have to fight it is love. I hope we learn from this, but like everyone, I’m not so sure.