Saturday, April 14, 2012

War Games

Facebook. That wonderful social network we are so accustomed to and with which we have a marvelous love-hate relationship with. We dislike the fact that it is constantly changing and forcing us to change with it. We are frequently saying that we will go somewhere else but we never do because we are addicted to it. Through Facebook we have reached out beyond what was possible only ten years ago. I have friends from all corners of the world that, if it weren’t for Facebook, I would have never have had the pleasure of knowing since our paths would have never crossed. We share ideas, ideals, our pain and suffering; we mobilize and organize thousands of people with the stroke of a key: “Share.” If the world before Facebook was a handkerchief, now is a cotton swab!

It was through Facebook that I came across a picture of a sign carried in one of the many anti-war protests that took place throughout our country. The sign read “Why is there always money for war but not for education.” Everyone was commenting on it, as it is typical in this forum and I was no different. But, as I was replying I had an epiphany, sort of. For the first time in my life the answer to that question was crystal clear to me and the answer to that question is so translucent, so obvious that I am amazed no one had mentioned it before, at least not that I know. It is true that if you want to hide something, hide it in plain view…

This is a ballistic nation; I think we all know that. This is a country infatuated with guns and weaponry and obsessed with war. We call everything a war: War on Poverty; War on Drugs; War on Terror; War on Illiteracy and as of late, War on Women. It could have had a more positive effect if we would have said, for example, “Eradicate Poverty Now” but we prefer “war,” we use it tirelessly and it has become an everyday noun that we associate with a worthy cause.

Since the beginning of this country, we have always been ready to lend a helping hand to other nations and engage in their wars or we engage in our own and request their help. It is also known that we have fought these wars not necessarily because of altruistic reasons – but because the country where these wars were taking place had something we wanted. That occurs even to this day whether the wars we are fighting are our own or those of our allies.

Hopefully, we are in agreement so far. You may question what does that lengthy explanation have to do with education? A lot actually, in my opinion, everything. A ballistic nation needs soldiers to fight those wars, a peon willing to risk his or her life.

For a ballistic country, such as ours, wars are far more important than lives and education. A country that is always at war doesn’t need their populace to have access to free higher education; the more educated a person is, the less likely he will engage in wars and that certainly would work against a ballistic government. However, it serves the government well if the youth is sufficiently educated to crave to learn more, to wish for a better future, a future that it’s beyond reach. That is precisely what the government needs and that is why this country doesn’t invest in education as much as they do in wars. How do you think they incite young, ambitious and idealistic individuals to enlist? What is the only thing they offer the youth if they enlist? An education. That is why the government invests more in wars and not education. Education is the only bait they have for others to fight their war games.

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