#1132- Dick Bernard: The Spymasters, and related.

Last night we watched what I’d consider a must-watch two hour special on CBS’ 48 Hours: “The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs“. If you missed it, I think you can watch it on-line here. Ordinarily these are shown free for a very limited amount of time.
Succinctly, we live in a complicated world. The constant effort, on all sides, is to try to reduce everything to the simplest of terms. If you watch this program reflectively, rather than strictly judgmentally, it will cause you to think.
Towards the end of the program we were reminded that in the 15 years since 9-11-01 there have been 45 deaths due to terrorism in the United States (an average of three per year in our population of over 300,000,000); on the other hand, radical Islamic terrorism and its dangers have spread dramatically. We see this, of course, mostly in TV images of ISIS these days. But even here, there are only a limited number of merchants of terror.
Fear of Terror is exploitable, as we see most everyday in our political conversation. It is used to keep people psychologically on edge, by so doing keeping them more susceptible to manipulation.
Back in the winter of 2016, I set about trying to define a bit how the face of war has changed. It exists in this single page graphic: War Deaths U.S.002.
Here is the same data pictorially (click to enlarge).
Human Cost of War001
We are in a time of change, and in my opinion it is change for the better, though we will never rid the planet of evil. And the nature of news – we see it every single day – is to focus on the tragedies, the evil, the polarization of one person, one group, against another.
But a shift is happening.
By no means is it obvious, but it is happening. People of good will, which is the vast majority of us, simply have to take the bait and be, as Gandhi said so clearly, “the change we wish to see in the world”. But to do this we need to change our own behaviors, so easily leveraged by those who seek to elevate war above peace for their own reasons.
For one instance, yesterdays e-mail brought a rather remarkable commentary from a long-time peace activist in Israel, Uri Avnery. Avnery is a 92-year Israeli Jew with credentials. His comments are, I feel, pretty remarkable. You can read that here.
I thought the e-mail fascinating, and sent it to our near 90-year old friend, who grew up in a largely Catholic town in Nazi Germany and still has many relatives and contacts in her home country.
Her response: “The email on Uri Avery’s Observations gives insights to what is going on in Israel.
I believe it was Bastian, my German relative, who sometime ago remarked about the great number of Jews from Israel that come to Germany, want to live there, and seek German citizenship. Bastian stated also that these new immigrants could not live any longer with what was going on in Israel.
I was doubtful, I thought they may have been drawn by the free education and the lack of inflation that is taking place in Israel.
I went on the internet tonight and checked Jews moving back to Germany and I got quite a choice. To me surprising and interesting.
My niece Manuela … is most outspoken and angry about the fact that Germany is still paying Israel 3 billion a year for the Holocaust. She says, “My generation wasn’t even born when that took place. The young Jews that come here like us, so let it rest. There are enough monuments here — we will never forget.”
Israel should think about what it is doing to the Palestinians. As long as they take the land and freedom from the Palestinians there will never be peace.”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.