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An Obsession With Weapons of War, Destruction

Final Call.com, Commentary , Ashahed M. Muhammad Posted: Mar 31, 2009

Some watch television to be entertained. Others use television as a learning tool, to gather information about things happening in the world.

Recently, while flipping between news channels, I stopped on The Military Channel. I have to admit that I am fascinated by the Top 10 shows on the channel appearing each week in which military experts rate the worlds tremendously devastating weapons of war.

Week after week, The Top 10 Fighting Vehicles, The Top 10 Combat Rifles the The Top 10 Warships, The Top 10 Tanks, The Top 10 Submarines, The Top 10 Bombers are discussed with such reverence, and technical specificity, for some, it may be easy to forget that these machines are actually used to terminate the lives of others.

Typically demonstrative of the multimedia world in which we now live, viewers are directed to the channels website to become even more deeply acquainted with the terrible tools for waging war.

For example, you are invited to Meet the M-107 a high-powered assault rifle. A brief introduction of the weapon reads, Snipers are often called on to take out large scale targets like vehicles and communications installations. And theres not much that does that better than the M-107 50 cal sniper rifle. The Army has even said that leaders and scouts observed the 50 cal round take a psychological toll on enemy combatants who saw destruction of the target thanks to the M-107.

One click of the mouse takes you to a high-resolution image and detailed diagram of the weapons intricacies.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that more advanced weapons are created and designed to more efficiently kill people. This is easily observable and surely not news to anyone aware of the global military dominance of the U.S.

Regrettably, in many cases, innocent women and children are often caught up in territorial disputes and other conflicts they know nothing about. We are witnessing this in many placesespecially on the continent of Africa.

There should be concern with the worlds attitude towards violence, the use of weapons and the treatment of the deaths of those perceived as enemies. All of this has a psychological effect on Americas youthof all racesand has created the violent culture we live in today.

You may recall the MySpace digital image of 20-year-old Daniel Cowart of Tennessee holding a semiautomatic rifle. He was one of the two self-described White supremacists arrested for planning to assassinate President Barack H. Obama and aiming to carry out a murderous rampage on dozens of defenseless Blacks last year.

Recent news reports say the man responsible for the Feb.14, 2008 massacre at Northern Illinois University, identified in reports as 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak, fired shots from a Remington 870 shotgun, and three handguns, a 9 mm Glock, a 9 mm Sig Sauer, and a .380 Hi-Point. He killed five, wounded 18, then killed himself. He reportedly had a strange fascination and idolized a fictitious serial killer in the horror film SAW. He reportedly studied the 1999 shootings in Columbine and the Virginia Tech shootings in which Seung-Hui Cho (also choosing vengeance and using guns) on April 16, 2007 killed 32 people before finally killing himself.

Just a few days ago, in Alabama, a 28-year-old former police officer went on a shooting rampage killing 10, including an 18-month old child, and then himself. He used an AK-47.

On the international scene, the hyper-aggressive military government in Israel mercilessly slaughteredby their own admissionhundreds of civilians during a murderous assault on the people of Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu of the Right Wing Likud Party in Israel is the prime minister designate after the recently held elections. In an interview on Al-Jazeera during the Gaza Assault, I listened as Bibi Netanyahu responded with a straight face as he was sternly questioned regarding Israels disproportionate use of force against the people of Gaza. We are demonstrating restraint, said Mr. Netanyahu, If we werent we would carpet bomb Gaza.

The names of the weapons manifest their menacing roles: the Stealth Bomber and The Predator, which is an earlier model unmanned aerial drone whose development predated the MQ-9, which is called The Reaper. Its use brought protests after recent strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan that killed civilians.

According to the Air Force, The Reaper is used for long distance and high altitude surveillance. It is also armed with deadly Hellfire missiles. Why is a drone armed with missiles? Although its main stated mission is collecting intelligence through aerial surveillance, it also fires at selected targets via remote control.

However, there is a problem. A human pilot can use VFR (visual flight rules) and his own common sense to determine whether he is actually engaging the enemy or innocent people.

An unmanned aerial drone is only able to project infrared images back to a ground-based pilot. Once the missiles are engaged and fired, they dont know the difference between a terrorist weapons convoy in motion on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, or an innocent nomadic group of civilians travelling in search of food in a desperate attempt to preserve their lives.

According to a recent report by the United Nations, some 2,100 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2008, which represents a 40 percent rise from the previous year, including 455 who died in air strikes. According to the group Iraq Body Count (iraqbodycount.net) civilian deaths in the war in Iraq range between 90,670 and 98,992. Those deaths would be described by military officials as collateral damage.

Illustrative of the point, again, using The Military Channel as an example, on the website there is posted a Sniper Quiz inviting website visitors to Prove what you know about the soldiers who live by the maxim: One shot. One kill. Another game asks the provocative question What Kind of Gun are You? After answering a series of questions, you will then find out.

Death is not a game. The decision to take life is a serious one, and should only be done in cases of self-defense, never in the posture of an aggressor.

In the Holy Quran, Surah 2:190 it reads Fight with those who fight against you in the way of Allah, but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors.

Also in the Holy Quran it reads in Surah 8:61: And, if the enemy inclines towards peace, you should also incline towards it, and trust in Allah. Certainly, He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Americas leaders and citizens should know that taking life should be avoided. The violence at the top is manifesting itself throughout America and the society has not learned there is a better way.

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