Monday, March 18, 2013

The Chavez Lesson




I haven’t written much lately.  Truth is, I have been writing other things.  Which is why I haven’t been writing here that often.  I’ve been more interested in reading, tinkering with old incomplete stories, writing letters to various folks, and making various home-art in photoshop.

That being said, I did have to share this one thought.  Well with me, it’s always more than one thought, but you knew that already.

Many people in the west laugh at the ridiculous claim by President Hugo Chavez that his cancer was caused by poison given to him by his enemies.  It is ridiculous.  And funny.

But maybe not.

Not that I agree for one second that someone would go through the trouble of given Chavez cancer when there are so many other ways to take someone out without blame or suspicion.  It would take a lot of persuasion for me to ever believe that there is even a possibility of that.

However, imagine if you did not know that you had a 1 in 2 chance of getting cancer, and after getting cancer you noticed that your country’s citizens were facing a huge epidemic of cancer.  Why, wouldn’t you think that perhaps it was an attack?  It is easier to personify dangers – mark them as an intelligent, aggressive offensive by a human enemy who you are competing with.

I can’t tell you how many times the random thought that the amount of cancer in this country is a result of testing and negligence by our own government.  Paranoia crazy thoughts, that is – but I am not immune to such thoughts when the reality is so ridiculous.  When the reality is there are 500,000 (U.S. citizen’s alone) who will die this year from cancer and we do not consider the research on Cancer as an act of defense, or its continual occurrence in our citizens as an act of war.

But here’s another thought on Chavez.  Politicians and leaders have been known to understand the idea of saying what needs to be said to move people into action for your cause.  Is it so far-fetched that Chavez used the fear and anger his country has of western civilizations (particularly the U.S.) to justify moving large amounts of his resources into fighting cancer dead on?  Even if it was considered defense and foreign policy?

I don’t.

I also don’t think that is what happened.  But I think it is more plausible than most things.  Either way, it is a great example.  What if we had reason to believe that terrorists were using cancer, not anthrax or atomic bombs, to attack the U.S.?  How quickly would we INSIST that some of the trillion dollars spent on defense be ear-marked for cancer treatment, prevention, and eradication?  And why?  Because then it would be 500,000 people dying a year at the hand of a known and hated enemy.  An enemy we will never meet, but have been pushed to hate every day of our lives. 

Who knows – maybe Chavez understood that more than most.  Or maybe he was just a paranoid leader who didn’t realize that he fell victim to a disease that, here in the U.S., is tied for first as the number one killer.

Either way, it’s pretty pathetic that we as a country don’t understand that.  We rather laugh at the silly enemy of the U.S. We rather chuckle at the humorous small nation leader that dares to stand up to our might, than learn what his story teaches us.  

How tall we are to look over the shoulders of the world, barely realizing its there.  We are like a giant swatting at flies, only to disregard the sword in our chest.  And we laugh at others.  Good for us.

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