Something To Protect

The current US administration is a good example of having something to protect.

Yesterday, a mentally ill person ran off an airplane before takeoff, and the airmarshals followed and shot and killed him. He ran away from the plane, showing every sign of being troubled and in a bad shape, and they still found it right to kill him.

To add insult to injury, the US government (Scott McLellan) says that the airmarshal did the right thing by shooting and killing him. This is just one of many examples of the current administration following a strategy of never, not under any circumstances, admitting that what they do was wrong.

Air marshals knew man was mentally ill before opening fire

· Wife tried to warn agents as husband ran down aisle
· Doubts over claim that man said he had bomb

The wife of a passenger shot dead after apparently claiming he was carrying a bomb on a plane desperately tried to tell air marshals her husband was mentally ill and had not taken his medication before they opened fire, killing him.Passengers on board the American Airlines jetliner at Miami airport described seeing Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, run from his seat and down the aisle with his screaming wife and an undercover air marshal wearing a Hawaiian shirt in close pursuit.

“She was chasing after him,” Alan Tirpak, another passenger on board, told CNN. “She was just saying her husband was sick, her husband was sick.” After following him part of the way down the aisle the woman returned to her seat saying she needed to get his bags. “She just kept saying the same thing over and over, and that’s when we heard the shots.” […]

[Source: The Guardian]

Officials Say Air Marshals Did Right Thing

The White House said Thursday that two federal air marshals appeared to have acted properly when they shot and killed an agitated passenger who claimed to have a bomb in his backpack. [This is a claim by the air marshals. No passenger, including those sitting next to him, heard him say anything to that effect.]

No bomb was found, and authorities later said Rigoberto Alpizar, the passenger killed Wednesday at the Miami airport, was not a terrorist. Witnesses said his wife had frantically tried to explain that he was mentally ill and had not taken his medication. […]

[Source: Associated Press]

This reflects an attitude which may bring deep suffering both to those engaging in it, and also to the hundreds of thousands injured directly or indirectly by their actions (through the so called “war on terrorism” only designed to further the US goals of strenghtening their economic, cultural and military dominance around the world).

On the one hand, it is obviously a very conscious (and cynical) strategy: deny everything, portray anyone saying otherwise as unpatriotic, and try to wear out your opponent. On the other hand, it is an example of having something to protect. To being deeply identified with a particular view and not allowing oneself or others to question it.

And if something brings deep suffering, this is it.

We are identified with a particular abstraction, and see the “opposite” as an other, a threat and a disturbance. Life, beying beyond and including all polarities, naturally will throw up situations which are not aligned with our attachment. And this brings up a great deal of suffering for us, which we may deal with in any number of ways, including denial and making others wrong.

Suffering is life’s way of telling us that our view is more narrow than life itself. If we listen, we can allow ourselves to melt into it and find a new fluidity in our views. If we resist, the suffering will deepen and continue.

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