Brothers and sisters,
I will start my weekly sermon by quoting Thomas Jefferson who said:
“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading”.
This quote by way, was sent to me by Bart Zachofsky who is a fine “connaisseur » of “bons mots”.
I believe that most of the world’s problems stem from early indoctrination. That is, teaching a person or a group to uncritically accept a set of (often-outrageous) beliefs.
This technique works best with young children, but not children only.
All absolute rulers are adepts at this manipulation and start brainwashing their progeny at a very early age.
To name just a few, the Nazis, the Communists, the Khmer Rouges, the Papists, the Salafis, the Polygamists, the Taliban etc… all started indoctrinating their children the minute they stopped breastfeeding.
What is taught at such a vulnerable age has lasting effects and consequences.
I remember seeing pictures of young German children dressed in Nazi uniforms enthusiastically saluting the Führer.
Similarly, I saw a few days ago, a picture of a young Palestinian child wearing a military uniform and clutching a submachine gun.
To stop this infernal cycle you need to reprogram these genetically modified toddlers.
Here is my idea on how to quell these deadly epidemics.
First, lure unsuspecting children (with instead of virgins, promises of iPads, XBoxes and sugary stuff) to robust democracies.
Teach them to develop critical thinking instead of spewing stale dogmas and parachute them in their countries of origin to plant and spread the seeds of rational thinking.
Why couldn’t after all the Afghans educate their women and enjoy a Lady Gaga of their own?
My seemingly crazy idea stems from a 1974 French movie called “Les Chinois a Paris » (Chinese in Paris).
In this movie, the Chinese invade France and take over the country.
For a while everything goes swimmingly, but soon the young Chinese conscripts become enamored with the decadent French lifestyle, and to the horror of their leaders, start to question and stray from the sacrosanct Communist dogmas.
The Chinese hierarchy fearing greater damage hastily withdraws its troops and sends them home.
But it is too late. The returning soldiers infected with the capitalistic virus of free thinking, contaminate in turn the Chinese population who start clamoring for justice and an end to communist rule.
This scenario by the way is not that far-fetched. It was successfully implemented in 1917 when Germany smuggled a certain Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) back into Russia.
The aim of this operation was to weaken Tsarist resistance by planting revolutionary unrest among the Russian troops.
It worked, and shortly after, the Russian Revolution took flight and Tsarist Russia ceased to exist.
So let’s start enticing children from rigidly authoritarian countries and put them in places where they are taught the concept of freethinking, religious freedom, gender equality and the benefits of peace.
Then, on a moonless night, parachute them back where they came from to disseminate the Good Word.
We all can dream, can’t we?