Hypothetically Speaking

Everybody has a favorite side they love and a “favorite” side they hate. That makes analyzing what is actually going on between the two sides a challenge; however, if you subtract out the names of the antagonists from the story, you can analyze some rather interesting behavior patterns.

Take revenge for example. We all understand the word, but if you break it down into its component parts you get “re” and “venge”. “Re” means to do something again. “Venge” comes from the Latin word “vindicare” which means to avenge. We don’t really need the root “re” in “revenge”.  “Venge” should be adequate. If we insist on adding the “re”, we should say “re-re-re-re-…(ad infinitum)…-venge”.

This is how it works: let’s say R(n) is an instance of Revenge. For instance, R(100) would represent an act of revenge for R(99), some dastardly act perpetrated by the unfriendly side. But R(99) was, in fact, an act of revenge for R(98), something the unfriendly side says the friendly side did to them. Well, the friendlies did R(98) because of R(97), and so on and so forth.

Now, in any case in which revenge is the operative characteristic, the world divides up into two groups: those who are only able to pay attention to the odd-numbered instances of R and those who are only able to pay attention to  the even instances of R, from whence the phrase “to get even with someone” originated. The friendly side will perceive only that R(100) was a justifiable act of revenge for R(99), R(98) was a justifiable act of revenge for R(97), and R(96) was a justifiable act of revenge for R(95), while the unfriendly side will perceive only that R(99) was a justifiable act of revenge for R(98), R(97) was a justifiable act of revenge for R(96), and R(95) was a justifiable act of revenge for R(94), or was it vice-versa?

Speaking hypothetically, let’s assume for the time being that you are:

  1. American
  2. British
  3. or Turkish

Based on your assumption, please choose one of the following scenarios to read:

American News Flash:

1. For the last 10 years or so, Mexico had been firing sporadic missiles into Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, mostly border towns like Tijuana and El Paso. Most of the missiles land in the desert areas, inflicting little if any damage but, from time to time, a missile hits a farm-house, a school, or a church.

2. America develops and deploys an improved version of its Patriot missile defense system. It’s able to intercept and “kill” 80-90% of the incoming missiles and rockets from Mexico.

3. America has warned Mexico time and again that it will respond with deadly force to continued attacks on American soil.

4. Mexico continues its “low-grade” missile strikes against the US southwestern states.

5. A band of thugs cross over the border and kidnap 3 American teenagers. After an intensive search, the kids are found murdered.

6. A group of hot-headed vigilantes cross over the border, kidnap, and murder a Mexican teenager.

7. The Mexicans begin to fire longer range missiles at Kansas, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

8. Canada has also joined the fray, firing artillery and rockets into Michigan and Upper State New York.

9. How should America respond to attacks from weaker opponents?

i.      Ignore them?

ii.      Try to negotiate a peaceful solution?

iii.      Tit for tat proportionate response?

iv.      Shock and Awe disproportionate response?

v.      Level the damn countries?

British News Flash:

1. For the last 10 years or so, Ireland had been firing sporadic missiles into Liverpool, Blackpool, Carlisle, and the Lake District. Most of the missiles land in the rural areas, inflicting little if any damage but, from time to time, a missile hits a farm-house, a school, or a church.

2. Britain develops and deploys an improved version of its missile defense system. It’s able to intercept and “kill” 80-90% of the incoming missiles and rockets from Ireland.

3. Britain has warned Ireland time and again that it will respond with deadly force to continued attacks on British soil.

4. Ireland continues its “low-grade” missile strikes against the UK western towns.

5. A band of thugs cross over the border and kidnap 3 British teenagers. After an intensive search, the kids are found murdered.

6. A group of hot-headed skinheads cross over the border, kidnap, and murder an Irish teenager.

7. The Irish begin to fire longer range missiles at York, Birmingham, and London.

8. France has also joined the fray, firing artillery and rockets into Canterbury and Ipswich.

9. How should Britain respond to attacks from weaker opponents?

i.      Ignore them?

ii.      Try to negotiate a peaceful solution?

iii.      Tit for tat proportionate response?

iv.      Shock and Awe disproportionate response?

v.      Level the damn countries?

Turkish News Flash:

1. For the last 10 years or so, the Kurds had been firing sporadic missiles into Gaziantep, Harran, Mardin, and Adana. Most of the missiles land in uninhabited areas, inflicting little if any damage but, from time to time, a missile hits a farm-house, a school, or a mosque.

2. Turkey develops and deploys an improved version of its missile defense system. It’s able to intercept and “kill” 80-90% of the incoming missiles and rockets from provisional Kurdistan.

3. Turkey has warned the Kurds time and again that it will respond with deadly force to continued attacks on Turkish soil.

4. The Kurds continue their “low-grade” missile strikes against the Turkish southeastern states.

5. A band of thugs cross over the border and kidnap 3 Turkish teenagers. After an intensive search, the kids are found murdered.

6. A group of hot-headed extremists cross over the border, kidnap, and murder a Kurdish teenager.

7. The Kurds begin to fire longer range missiles at Antalya, Ankara, and Istanbul.

8. Kurds from Iran have also joined the fray, firing artillery and rockets into Van and Dogubayazit.

9. How should Turkey respond to attacks from weaker opponents?

i.      Ignore them?

ii.      Try to negotiate a peaceful solution?

iii.      Tit for tat proportionate response?

iv.      Shock and Awe disproportionate response?

v.      Level the damn countries?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Filed under Essays, Dilemmas, & Philosophy, Prose, Uncategorized

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