copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
On November 8, 2004, Artist and Political Essayist Andrew Wahl, penned his thoughts on “Might.” Then, the current war in Iraq may have been on his mind. Fiscal policies that ruled in favor of the wealthy could have evoked his visual essay. Way back then, religious factions, each of which was ready to deem the others wrong, were engaged in combat. That thought, coupled with the rest, may have brought this toon to be. Today, all these realities remain true.
Four and five years ago, bombs blasted abroad. Bullets whizzed past the heads of innocent mothers, fathers, sons, and Iraqi daughters. The same is true today. Had the acclaimed Andrew Wahl sketched the same political cartoon in 1996, it would have been no less accurate.
Then, a Democrat reigned in the White House. Nonetheless, innocent Iraqis were victims of the American Superpower. Sanctions were put in place. The “mighty” United States government gave no money or aid to children who starved in the streets of the Middle Eastern nation. Americans offered no medicine to the ill or injured young ones who would ultimately die in their homeland, Iraq. It seemed the sentiment of sanguine Americans was, “Might makes right.”
In the 1990s, then Secretary of State, Madeline Albright spoke to this truth on 60 Minutes. When Reporter Lesley Stahl asked of the more than half-million Arab children left to die in Iraq, the American Ambassador declared; “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”
Worth can be a woeful venture. There was a time, when the rich certainly thought, what they may do to increase their income was right. The affluent had the might. Profits, made persons more powerful.
Years ago, the Puget Sound Business Journal published an article titled, As the rich prosper, low-income jobs multiply. In April 2008, Peter Gillespie, a Toronto Star Journalist opined, Rich prosper, as society suffers. Yet, while that was true then, ultimately many learned, when money is seen as the “might” many fall.
More recently, as the economy crumbled worldwide more realized, the rich lose more. Surely dollars do not deliver the might countless believed they would.
Perhaps, devotion to a deity is the source of greater supremacy. Pious persons often deem they or those who follow the will of the Lord are the mightiest. Moral ethics can be the only omnipotent guide. However, Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, a minister, lawyer, and author cautions religions may be killing us. For the writer Thomas, the proverb, “Be fruitful and multiply,” from the book of Genesis, has caused the planet much harm. Three hundred (300) million individuals in the United States and more than 6 billion abroad, he says, may be our global doom.
Cleric Thomas sites scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as reason for grave concerns. He notes, the might of virtuous copulation has created a population too vast to be supported by natural resources.
Other observers of the holiest warn religious war may be our disastrous destiny. These battles raged when Artist Andrew Wahl wrote of might, just as they did centuries ago. Religious Wars never resolve the question, who is the mightiest. Today, the tide has not turned. The seas have yet to part. Peace, anywhere in the world is still threatened by religious differences. One only needs to consider the Middle East. In 2008, Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, reflect as he might today. There must be a The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War, or the many foolish fights for control.
Might each of share and care rather than rule militarily. Might mankind realize money is not the power. Might we ponder moral efficacy does not eliminate Earthly resources; nor do the ethical kill their brethren? Might is more than dominance. The mightiest live, let live and love.
References for right, might, and reason . . .
- “We Think the Price Is Worth It,” Media uncurious about Iraq policy’s effects- there or here. By Rahul Mahaja. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. November/December 2001
- Irony of Capitalism in Crisis: The rich lose more, but the poor and middle class suffer . . . and we need more government inter. By Lloyd Sakazaki. BestWaytoInvest. 2009
- As the rich prosper, low-income jobs multiply.
- Rich prosper, society suffers. By Peter Gillespie. Toronto Star. April 28, 2008
- ‘Might our religion be killing us?’ By Oliver “Buzz” Thomas. USA Today. April 21, 2008
- Population Finder. U.S. Census Bureau.
- U.S. and World Population Clocks – POPClocks. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.
- Climate Change. British Broadcasting Company. March 30, 2007
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- Religious Wars. Time. October 13, 1924
- The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War, By Zbigniew Brzezinski. Washington Post. ?Sunday, March 30, 2008; B03