The Big Picture

Deborah Venable



About half of us are worried and following the posturing of India and Pakistan supposedly over the issue of Kashmir.  That’s half of us in America.  As for the area immediately surrounding the site of hostilities and the rest of America, we find a questionable attitude of concern for the big picture.  If I had to guess, I would suppose that even the Russians are perhaps concerned.  Given their proximity and their political interests, they should be.  If anything could take attention away from the war on terrorism in today’s world climate, the possibility of all out nuclear war between two countries that have been in a fist-to-cuff for some time now has that ability.


But the battle for Kashmir is steeped in terrorism, just as practically every other battle in the world is now.  The other component embroiled in this and most other issues for concern is that of a religious compulsion to bring about these conflicts.  Radical Muslims all over the world are making their move, and they are doing so with little or no restraint from world powers.  If the situation in India and Pakistan had to be boiled down to only one bone of contention, that bone would be religion – not necessarily the more assumed reason of real estate.  In actuality, the fight for land is always secondary to that of religious superiority. 


Looking at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan back in the late seventies, it can be argued that religion had nothing to do with that battle; however, that is totally dependent on the fact that one doesn’t look at communism as a sort of religion.  In fact, philosophically, communism more resembles a religion than a form of government.  The driving force behind the Soviet invasion was the fear that the Communist regime would be undermined by a growing unrest with Islamic fundamentalists, both in Afghanistan and within some of the Soviet’s central Asian provinces.  There were most certainly caveats to controlling Afghanistan other than just maintaining a Communist regime there, but that does appear to be the main reason for the invasion.


As an aside to this discussion, let us all remember who was president when the tempers were boiling in the Afghanistan pot of Communism vs. Islamic fundamentalism.  The peanut farmer obviously did not have a good handle on the situation of looking at the big picture then – just as he certainly doesn’t now – given his latest activities.  Remember also that the U.S. Ambassador was murdered in Kabul in February of 1979. 


After the history of a string of overthrows and murders, leading to a patchwork pattern of Afghan leaders, it isn’t hard to understand why we cannot really count on any one power in Afghanistan being able to maintain control for any length of time.  The “conquering Americans” who have some idyllic wish for the “freed” peoples of Afghanistan to kiss our feet and emerge victorious in their fight against evil are being very naïve at best.  The best thing we could do, would be to take what we want and get out, like any other wise and conquering army would do.  If it is right-of-way to oil, or strategic defensive bases, then for God’s sake why call it “peacekeeping” or “nation building”?  We will always be at a disadvantage in that part of the world for two reasons:


            We are not there to fight a religious war and that is what drives all those conflicts.

We are more aware of the ramifications of war that could turn to weapons of mass destruction than the stone-age mentality that rules those cultures.  Our “punches” will always be pulled, while predictions of their actions will be a dangerous guessing game.


While our attentions are so obviously distracted from our own battlegrounds, we will continue to place ourselves in harm’s way.  What “battlegrounds” you might ask?  The philosophical, religious, and cultural battles that Americans were once immune to have now taken on an importance second to none for the sake of us and the rest of the world.  For depending on who emerges victorious in these battles, the cause of freedom could be lost for all.  As we fight for our cultural, moral, and sovereign lives, against our own power elite and disgruntled masses that would see us in lockstep to big government and academic enlightenment agendas, the Islamic fundamentalists are taking advantage of the ignorance and naivety that disarms us, laughing behind our backs at our vulnerability and loosing the ever terrible threats of terrorism, which endangers us all. 


How our president can sound so direct and so sincere in his pledge to fight world-wide terrorism, yet capitulate to the home-grown variety of political terrorists and their bogus environmental agendas, is pure fodder for religious hatred and cultural disrespect the world over.  American dollars of influence find their way into pockets all over the world at the cost of our peace of mind and our own security.  Religious fanatics, including the communist religion, do not respect our handouts.  The hand that feeds dependence on a country as supposedly hated as ours will surely be bitten off eventually.  Everything that goes on in the world is not in our control, but too many will not see it.  We would have far more control (read that “security”) if we lead by example and used our wealth to preserve our own sovereignty.  It would seem that our leaders do not see it that way.


So, should we be worried about the impending disaster that might await the Asian world if India and Pakistan carry out their nuclear capabilities in this latest war?  You bet we should!  The al-Qaida terrorist network probably has as much to do with the escalation of tempers there as anyone else – and we have declared al-Qaida as our enemy.  Terrorists all over the world have been bating anyone who might rise to take the bait to start a huge war that will claim millions of lives.  These people have no respect for or understanding of human life.  They follow a religious philosophy that depends on death and destruction for its legitimacy, yet they underestimate the results of nuclear war.  While India’s religion is predominately Hindu, that is just an umbrella name for a variety of competing religions, any one of which could have radical offshoots.  The land of Kashmir is an excuse for a religious war.  That is the long and short of it. 


Interesting choice of Donald Rumsfeld to carry a message of “peace” to the border war under discussion – and very telling at the same time – this has caused some speculation without confirmation.  Questions without answers as to why our Secretary of Defense would be dispatched to “carry a message of peace” to the troubled region, leave little doubt that there is a significance of some kind behind it.  Why him?  Perhaps because he truly likes his job and it shows.  He likes being responsible for the defense of America and he carries certain sternness and patriarchal credibility that Colin Powell and others just can’t quite muster.  He is probably the most credible source of information on the potential devastation of nuclear war, as well as one of the most persuasive deterrents against any course of action that endangers Americans.  Sometimes it would do the heart good to be a fly on the wall during the delivery of the Secretary’s “message of peace,” wouldn’t it? 


The only message of peace that needs to be conveyed to those who would wage a terrible religious war or promote ongoing terror threats all over the world is this:


May the Lord forgive you, for you know not what you do.  The meeting between you Him may be arranged sooner than you think – and have results you cannot imagine.  Learn of life and how to live it.  Stop planning death and expect to reap from it.  Learn to honor your gods without using them to justify your own human weaknesses.  Learn to appreciate the big picture and accept the tiny dot in it that you represent.  The Artist of the earth had better plans for it than you can possibly understand until you are able to recognize the only Master when you see Him. 


Oh terrorists of the world, and you small-minded religious bigots, cast off your philosophies of domination and leave the real peace lovers to their business of being free, individual human beings.      


As for the would be antagonists of freedom in America, get your nose out of everyone else’s business long enough to consider that perhaps you need to seek independence from your power trip and discover the joy of living your life.  Ride off into the wilderness and paint your own big picture – then try to sell the idea to your own sanity that your concerns are important enough to risk losing the whole canvas for the tiny dot that you represent on it.  You are not a master and will never be, but there are worse things to be than a struggling artist in a beautiful world.



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