Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Does Revenge Work?

"I don't get mad, I get even" is a common phrase. But there is no "get even," only more anger and heartache as people seek revenge against one another as a long history of human misery teaches anyone willing to learn the lessons of mankind.

Ultimately, revenge brings the seeker no pleasure, only fear, frustration and anger, and it offers the original perpetrator of a wrong, a sense of justification as revenge turns into retribution.

For example, on May 1st, 2011 as revenge for 9/11 the U.S. murdered Osama bin Laden. In the U.S. at first there was widespread jubilation, as people proudly proclaimed "We got (killed) him." But his victims and their families were no better off and with time, the jubilation ended, as the U.S. expanded its endless "War on Terror," killing ever more people.

Long before killing Osama bin Laden, in response to 9/11 the U.S. invaded and occupied Afghanistan over the actions of a few fanatics and did the same in Iraq, which had no part in 9/11. The result? 9/11 killed nearly 3,000 people and the U.S.'s actions have cost hundreds of thousands of men, women and children their lives.

Meanwhile the U.S. is rapidly expanding and deploying its death squads in answer to the numerous enemies its brutal actions have caused as it now fights many undeclared and endless wars for the first time in its history.

Instead of revenge for 9/11, which came in reaction to the U.S. creating a military base in the Muslim holy land of Saudi Arabia, which the U.S. did as a result of its first Iraq War, consider what the result could have been if the U.S. had offered aid to the desperately poor people that were to become its enemy.

And think how much better off the the American people and people all over the Middle East would have been had the U.S. not saught revenge for 9/11 but pursued individual arrests and accountability through justice for the handful of perpetrators.

Instead, all revenge has brought is madness and murder of which there is no end in sight.


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