18 May 2009

We Don't Talk To Terrorists

"I read that members of the GOP are angry with president Obama for shaking hands with Hugo Chavez. Please. Do we have to hate everyone all the time?...'We don’t talk to terrorists.'...I’m sick of it. I want all leaders of all countries to talk to each other all the time. " Henry Rollins

In March 2009, while visiting my parents in the Swamp, my father and I had a discussion that soon escalated into a mild argument. Surprise. Surprise. His stance stood firm on the side of, "We don't talk to terrorists!!!" Mine is the polar opposite.

The discussument (disscussion + argument) veered on to the path of "enhanced interrogation" (a.k.a TORTURE) of detainees. My father's viewpoint is that the "terrorists" should be tortured because "they" are torturing our soldiers. My viewpoint is that even if our soldiers are being tortured, it doesn't make it right and that we must lead by example.

"Oh, that's BULLSHIT!" is the response I always get from my father.

"Dad? You can't really think that way?" I replied in an elevated voice, but truly hurt that my father carries such hate. I can see it eating him. Consuming him.

"HELL YES I DO!" I could see his blood pressure rising. Not good for a man who had a quintuple by-pass in December 2008.

My reaction? Usually we get into an all out fight, but this time, I took a deep breath and said peacefully,
"Maybe it's time to think differently?"


I closed my eyes and took a deeper breath and responded, "Well, dad, it seems the way it has been done all this time ain't working. I love you, and your way of thinking is archaic. Our generation is here now, and this is how we want to do things. Maybe it's time to let go and try something new. We have to lead by example. If we want to stop war, we can't act in war. If we want to stop hate, we can't act in hate."

And surprisingly, he calmed down and said, "Well," pause, pause, pause. I could see his brain ticking, his eyes reflecting, and his heart aching to let go of the hate. "Well, maybe you're right."

I didn't want to fight with my father. So I didn't. I simply led by example.

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