Thursday, March 18, 2004
Monochromatic Thinking

Bob, over at Let It Bleed, has a devastating fisk of Salim Lone ("director of communications for the UN mission in Iraq") and his placing of the blame for the Madrid bombings.

This kind of thing really upsets me. (Not the fisking, the original statements). There are very few things that are certain in this world, but a few are becoming more and more apparent. One: terrorism is real, and it desires the death of Western civilization - not because we have personally or individually slighted them or harmed them, but because our very existence is insufferable. Two: the UN is worthless in combating this threat. Three: the widely Liberal 'international' community desires that we pre-emptively surrender to the terrorists - or at least that we hand off our defense to that corrupt and crooked body of the previous point, so that they can surrender to the terrorists.

And this makes me upset.

People have accused me of seeing things in black & white, of being unable to appreciate the gray areas that are always so prevalent in today's 'modern' society. But that's not true. I fully appreciate the gray areas of life - I live through and with them nearly every day. I have to constantly struggle to balance my thinking and my speech among a great many nuanced positions so that I don't make my friends into my enemies. I understand gray.

But do you know what else I understand?

I understand that, even though a lot of the world is gray, there are parts of it that are monochrome. Basic mathematics is a good example. One plus one does not, and will never, equal three, no matter how much we might want it to. It's simply an undeniable fact (and yes, I've read all about Gödel's work - I'm taking classes on him right now, thanks). The square root of four is always going to be two, even if we fervently wish it to be something else. Another example is that of survival, and my instinct to prolong it. If an attacker is coming at me with a weapon, I'm not going to sit and consider all the nuances of his position. I'm not going to ponder what the 'root causes' of his anger and malice are. I'm either going to defend myself, or I'm going to die. These are black and white situations, with right and wrong solutions, that can be quickly and easily answered.

Another is the current world situation. We are all under threat - from the smallest child to the oldest grandparent, from the most 'peaceful' beatnik to the most 'violent' rifleman - from a malicious force that wants to see us all either cowering before their 'god' or lying beneath their rubble. There is no nuance here. I can see it, plain as day; and just as easily as I can see the keyboard and mouse at my fingertips. But it seems this isn't the case for everyone. There are people so used to searching out areas of gray, who have spent so much of their thinking lives poring over every nuance they could find, that they can no longer step back and see the situation for what it is: life or death.

I'm not going to apologize for choosing life, and for choosing to fight for it in whatever way I can. There are quite a few gray areas in this world and in this life. But this is not one of them.

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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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