Sunday, January 9, 2005


“I know it’s too late to turn aside. I know there’s not much point now in hoping. If I were a knight of Rohan, capable of great deeds, but I’m not. I’m a hobbit and I know I can’t save Middle Earth. I just want to help my friends; Frodo, Sam, Pippin. More than anything I wish I could see them again.  Merry Brandybuck in Return of the King.

Merry the hobbit got left behind with the forces of Rohan. He isn’t supposed to be with King Theodens’ troops, Neither is Eowyn, Theoden’s niece when you come to it. But, they there they are. Each has their own reasons for being where they aren’t supposed to be.  This scene is included in the extended version of the film It’s one of many scenes that deal with hope or the loss of it. In this instance the characters ride into a battle that they have little hope of winning but for reasons other than the hope of victory. Some of the reasons include friendship, personal honor, and the honoring of old alliances.

Peter Jackson has been accused of warmongering. I have a feeling that the viewers see in the film what they bring with them. I have a tendency to flip it. If we can understand  that those we sympathize with and admire are capable of such sacrifices why can’t we understand that others can do the same thing.

Our government has stated that the “insurgents” in Iraq are opposing us because they hate our way of life. There may be some who feel that way, but I think the motives of many of them are much simpler. Their leaders appeal to their identities as Sunnies, Shiites, or Kurds. They remind them of friends, family members or tribal members who have made the same sacrifices. Until we try to understand why those in opposition prefer to die for their cause rather than to live for it we don’t have a snowballs’ chance in Hell in July of getting out of Iraq with our military or our honor, personal or national, intact.  Since those making policy on our side show about the same interest in understanding the opposition as that snowball’s chances, I’m not holding out much hope myself right now.


mlraminiak said...

Damn alerts aren't working.  I just found this entry.
The biggest problem with this administration is that they can't see "the enemy" as human beings like any themselves.  They can't empathize with these people.  Why, that would be weakness!  That would be unpatriotic!  That would be "siding with the enemy."  But until they figure out how to get inside these people's heads and understand their REAL motivations, instead of assigning them motivations that we have created out of our paranoid, nationalistic, xenophobic minds---you are right.  We have little hope of extricating ourselves with a positive outcome for any of the principles involved.  Lisa  :-]

chasingmoksha said...

Ditto what Lisa said.  I always ask people here in California what would they do if a foreign country came and took over.  Would they submit or become an insurgent?  I do not see why so many people do not get it.