Ayatollahs and children

April 11, 2006

Observe the hypocrisy of American ways. Everyone is equal, you say? Yet, one half of Americans can vote, another cannot. One half allowed having firearms, not the other. One half can have the matches, another cannot.

Even worse, no one steps ahead to rectify the injustice. ACLU is mum on the subject. No law suits, no righteously indignant opinion pieces. For once, everyone is in agreement: children are not entitled to what the grown ups are.

Is this because children are small, weak, and dependent that they can be treated like this? Or is there something specific about being a child that makes them ineligible for all grown ups’ rights?

Such is the case indeed: young children have a sense of reality which is so limited and warped that, if given free reign, they will quickly wreck havoc on the world. Give them the matches – and houses will go up in flames; give them the guns – and their parents, sibling and neighbors will be shot dead.

This not because they are terrible monsters, but simply because they did not yet live long enough, have not yet acquired the experience to understand the consequences of their actions – or to understand the implications of the consequences. The house may be burned to cinders, but a good fairy will restore it in no time; mommy and daddy may be… but let’s not proceed.

But what if the rulers of a powerful country have the same warped sense of reality? What if their perception of what is right and what is wrong tells them that it is right to annihilate a neighboring country, and wrong to let it live in peace? What if they are sure that in a nuclear exchange, their dead will be translated into the paradise, to enjoy pure virgins forever and ever, while the adversary’s dead will wind up in hell – and so a nuclear exchange is not just of a great advantage, but is in fact mandated by God? What if their idolatrous Truth commands them to push the nuclear button?

Or, to put it more simply, do Iranian ayatollahs differ from the children? They don’t. Their sense of reality is as warped; they are as innocently ready to do terrible things; their understanding of the consequences is as fanciful.

The only difference is – ayatollahs have beards, children have none; children may want matches, ayatollahs want an atom bomb; children act out of innocence, ayatollahs out of idolatry. But as far as the consequences of actions are concerned, there is no difference whatsoever between the children and the ayatollahs. And just as the former should not be allowed to get a hold of the matches, the letter should not be allowed to get a nuclear bomb.

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