A really bad day
Yesterday, man's inhumanity to man raised its ugly head again. In the span of a few hours, we were witnesses to a commercial airline with nearly 300 souls on board being shot down by a surface-to-air missile along the border of Ukraine with all aboard perishing, the invasion of Gaza by thousands of Israeli ground troops accompanied by the shelling of Gaza City by planes, drones and missiles and a bank robbery in California that resulted in three hostages being taken and, after a bullet-riddled chase through three towns, three people were killed including two of the robbers and a hostage while the other two hostages were thrown out of the chased vehicle.
I've lived long enough now to know that the Beatles protest song of the late '60s, 'Give Peace a Chance' will never come to pass. We go through different stages in life and one of those stages is late childhood and early adulthood when we are optimistic about the state of the world and the condition of man. Those young people, of which I was one in the late '60s and early '70s, truly believed that peace was a viable option and, if we would only embrace it, it would win out in the end. But that didn't come to pass. We were careful with our interventions around the world in the decades that followed the Vietnam War but that eventually ended as peace always does and the past two decades have proven that. We've waged war, sometimes without provocation, which is a first for this country and there are many voices in America who want us to go to war again.
As this column is being written, the latest we know about the Malaysian airliner being shot down is that it was a mistake, based on communications intercepted by governmental agencies. Whoever fired the missile thought they were shooting at a Ukrainian transport plane instead of a passenger jet and admitted in that communication that they had screwed up. That doesn't help the almost 300 victims and literally thousands of family and friends who will now suffer that horrific day for the rest of their lives.
Israel and Hamas have been engaged in this blood feud now for decades, each side taking revenge on the other whenever someone is killed and the violence continues to escalate as it almost always does. Our government was convinced they could broker a peace plan between the Israelis and Hamas while Israel was planning its invasion without our knowledge. The Holocaust that happened nearly 80 years ago during World War II is still front and center in the minds of Israelis and, because of that, any slight perpetrated by their enemies has been met with force and will likely continue to be.
In California, three young men who could only be described as crazed, entered a bank literally armed to the teeth. Once the report of the robbery was made, the police responded to it in less than a minute. As a result, the three gunmen took three hostages from the bank.
One of the hostages was a customer who had left her daughter in the car while she went inside for a quick transaction. When her daughter saw what was happening, she texted her dad and told him that the gunmen were driving away with her mom. The mother was subsequently killed in a hail of gunfire. Witnesses said it sounded like a war zone with hundreds of bullets being fired before two of the gunmen were killed and a third was arrested.
All of this happened within a few hours on July 17th, 2014. Even though most of the people in the world are trying to be good and live within the rules that society has created for them, many people aren't. Violent acts such as the ones committed yesterday have been committed since the birth of civilization and will continue to be as long as the world exists.
Too many of us are uncivilized.