Sunday, December 13, 2015

What Would We Do About 'Radical Hare Krishna Terrorists'?

'Hare Krishna Comin' To Get You...
Gonna knock you right on the head'*
Sometimes, to get a particular political point across, resorting to the theatre of the (absolute) absurd might help to reveal the root of the problem faced and perhaps, once the problem is soberly faced, a policy or solution can be formulated to win.

So let's wonder out loud how America or any civilized western country should or would respond to a threat posed by another disaffected and deluded sect of a religion who have gone off the rails against peace and resorted to violence:

The Hare Krishnas.

Some of the most peaceful people the world has ever known, the Hare Krishnas, although they used to be pretty annoying at any airport you used to walk through before they were banned from hanging out there.

(See? Even with peaceful believers such as the Hare Krishnas, government took action to 'protect' innocent citizens from being accosted by strangers who said they were just 'exercising their right to freely speak and freely worship'. 'Freedom of speech' and 'freedom of religion' in America doesn't mean you have to listen to them or worship with them if you don't want to, plain and simple as that)

Let's start by assuming that for some reason, a group of disaffected Hare Krishna believers start to blame the United States and its Judeo-Christian, Puritan, free enterprise capitalist culture and history for all the world's problems as well as theirs.

Somehow, in their reading of the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, they find obscure lines or quatrains that seem to indicate that they should engage in violent warfare against the infidels who are not believers. They come to the conclusion that instead of 'loving' other people into the faith and giving them flowers at the airports and giving them a positive reason to join with them, the best thing to do is to kill them and rid the earth of scum like them forever.

Let's call this disaffected disgruntled violent sect the 'Hairy Krushers' (HK for short) since that is a catchy phrase the news media could use with abandon to help further the cause by publicizing each and every action widely.

The HKers start issuing press releases and making videos calling 'America The Great Satan' and blaming us for all the harm and damage the world has ever known. They make it pretty to clear to anyone who is paying any attention that they intend to strike and do harm to American citizens soon and often.

'We declare war on The United States of America! We will fight to our deaths to win!' they say on their videos made for wide distribution on the internet.

Other peace-loving Hare Krishna leaders say they have badly misinterpreted the Bhagavad Gita. However, since they are a peace-loving sort, they have no intention of engaging in any sort of opposition against the belligerent Hare Krishnas in any way, shape, fashion or form.

'You'll have to do it if you want to get rid of them, not us!' the Hare Krishna leaders tell the US Secretary of State at the time. 'Besides, they are so violent and dangerous that we fear for our lives that they are going to come after us and slaughter us for being infidels to the 'true' faith as well! They really scare us!'

Despite hundreds of gun laws in (pick your state or city), these disaffected Hare Krishnas, steal some semi-automatic weapons or have a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend in the sect who gives them an arsenal of guns as a way to renounce his own wayward ways and asks them to dispose of them properly for him.

They don't.

Instead, since they are already in the United States and don't have to worry about passing through customs with valid passports and visa, they make plans to murder as many innocent people as possible so they pick out 3 of the most vulnerable places to attack simultaneously: a senior citizens center, a mental institution with disabled children and adults and, in a place that will surely directly affect millions of Americans who love animals, a large veterinarian clinic during an adoption day for rescued pit bulls who have been saved from Michael Vick's farm.

Despite multiple warnings by the HKers and despite electronic surveillance and monitoring of the HKers for months, the HKers go ahead with their threat of violence and pull off a mass murder in one day unlike any the world has seen since Mithradates of Pontus killed 80,000+ Roman citizens in 88 BC. **

What do we do now?

There are those who would espouse doing basically nothing. 'Until they actually commit an atrocity, we have to respect their privacy, freedom or speech and religious beliefs no matter how much we disagree with them. We must respect our sacred American values' say some well-meaning civil libertarians.

The relatives and friends of those slaughtered victims would disagree in all respects most likely.

There are those like Donald Trump who may say: 'Round up very Hare Krishna in America and ship them out of the country Send them back to whatever country they came from!' even though Hare Krishnas are all over the world nowadays.

Neither of these extremes seem to make much sense to us. One is totally naive and devoid of any consideration of the real-world and how bad people act. James Madison said it best in Federalist 51:
'If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is no doubt the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions'
Even Hare Krishnas are no 'angels', are they?

Perhaps the most over-arching American 'value' that gets overlooked when many civil libertarians start talking about 1st Amendment freedoms guaranteed to all of us is the 'value' we place on living in peace free from being mass-murdered in our homes, workplace or houses of worship in the first place. Reasonable people can see and hear and watch what violent jihadists are doing today and come to the reasonable conclusion that these people really want to kill and injure as many Americans as they can.

It stands to reason that we should be able to take any precaution or pre-emptive actions, with reasonable cause of course, to protect the lives of 310 million citizens from a few hundred or thousand terrorists dedicated to killing us, isn't it?

The second approach as enunciated by Mr. Trump is misguided because it presumes that everyone of a particular faith is guilty, if for no other reason than by association through a common faith. If that were true, then every antebellum Christian believer in the North would have been held responsible for the actions of the Southern plantation owners who believed slavery was scriptural, even though the abolitionist movement started in the Northern Christian churches which led to the bloody conflict that eventually ended slavery in 1865.

What are some practical things we could do?

For one thing, we can take action against suspects who have clearly announced their intention to do harm to Americans since there clearly is a 'probable cause' to assume they are about to do violence.

The Socialist French government, post-Paris Attacks, has taken swift, deliberate and definitive action to clear out the nests of Islamist terrorists in France. They 'have raided 2,235 homes and buildings, taken 232 people into custody, and seized 334 weapons – 34 of which were war-grade - since the brutal attacks on 13 November that saw 130 people killed in the French capital' (per The Independent)

They have also shut down 3 mosques that were suspected of being hives of terrorist activity and planning. When places of worship become bunkers to conduct war, the line between 'freedom of religion' and 'becoming a danger to society' has been breached and must be dealt with as France has done.

If Bernie Sanders has come out and said he approves of the way the French Socialists have dealt with this threat, we haven't see it yet.

The other thing that can be done is to see the moderate, modern Muslim community and religious and civic leaders come out in public to renounce Islamist terrorism in a forceful way. Hossein Askari, Economist, Professor of Business and International Affairs at GW University and a writer on Middle East Economies and Islamic economics and finance, has written a piece for the Huffington Post 'Muslims--Take Back Your Religion that essentially asks peaceful Muslims to do whatever it takes to refute and renounce the violence perpetrated by others in the name of Islam.

As crazy as it sounds to even imagine the Hare Krishnas spawning a violent streak among some of its followers, it is a helpful exercise nonetheless because it takes the current political tension out of the debate and focuses on the issues that matter: the safety of the American people from domestic and foreign attack.

When every elected official in The White House, Congress or the US Senate takes the following oath of office, they are not just 'defending and protecting' the US Constitution from foreign and domestic attacks, they are taking the oath to protect us as US citizens. We should all remember that.

'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.'

* with apologies to John Lennon.
Lyrics to 'Instant Karma'
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin' to do
It's up to you, yeah you

Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin'
Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see
Laughin' at fools like me
Who in the hell d'you think you are
A super star
Well, right you are

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Ev'ryone come on

Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Ev'ryone you meet
Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When you're ev'rywhere
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Come on and on and on on on
Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
On and on and on on and on

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

** go get 'The Poison King' by Adrienne Mayor and read about how King Mithradates basically invented asymmetrical guerrilla warfare and was the biggest pain to the Roman Empire for decades 

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