22 July 2014

The word ‘defense’ is confused

I am a noun.  Check your online dictionary and you’ll find that I am a useful noun.  Indeed, I am a necessary noun in these times of arrogance and aggression and not just originating from verbal (meaning ‘from verb’) quarters.  That’s always been the case, come to think of it.   But these are aggressive days of the missile kind.  In such a reality my worth naturally is enhanced.  It’s best to get a hang of who I am so let’s go with definitions.

Defense. The act of defending against attack, danger or injury.  A means or method of defending or protecting.  In sports it refers to the act or an instance of defending a championship against a challenger.   In law it is an argument in support or justification of something.  There’s a serious element to it too: It refers to the military, governmental, and industrial complex, especially as it authorizes and manages weaponry production. 

There is an antonym too.  Well, antonyms, really: harm, injury, capitulation, flight, hurt, betrayal, desertion and surrender.

I am a noun that is confused.  Here’s my confusion.  Just the other day some morons decided it was fun or expedient to harm some people.  The idiots were associated with the Palestinian organization called Hamas and the victims were citizens of Israel.  That set the ball rolling.  I was thrown this way and that, up and down. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride since then.  Since then it’s all been about me.  The noun.  Defense. 

People have used my name like they never have before. Well, not really, for whenever someone wants to justify any kind of aggression they pick me as a kind of shield.  It’s the same with words like democracy, peace, justice and freedom.  Lots of crimes including those against humanity have been committed in our names.  But these days it’s all about me.  Defense. 

A man called Benjamin Netanyahu has, in my name, vowed to ‘do whatever is necessary’.  Now ‘whatever necessary’ is a codeword for unleashing anything from bullet to chemical weapons, noxious and poisonous gases and even the atom bomb, history is full of examples.  Netanyahu’s pals in Washington have more or less endorsed the man’s position.  Again in my name.  Defense.

Now for my confusion.  In my name things have been done that harmful and injurious.  People have been killed in my name.  The death count has passed 200 I heard.  That’s ‘defense’?  That’s me?  I can’t recognize myself in the mirror, sorry in the text voice-cut transcripts, any more.  Who am I?

Then, if that weren’t enough, outfits people by those who make their living peddling peace, justice, freedom, rights and such, people who abhor and cry and scream against violence, injury, conflict etc., are to be brought under an authority set up in my name.  A ministry in fact.  The Ministry of Defense.  Not in Israel, but here in Sri Lanka. 

Is that to defend those valiant and ‘blameless’ people from the horrors of this world?  Or is it to defend the ministry and whatever it stands for FROM those same people? Is it something that’s neither or something that is made of bits of both?  Whatever it is, I am confused.  I am defense.  I feel defenseless.   

*All this in a parallel universe