Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today's MOZEN: A Matter of Perspective

F LoBuono (photo AP)
I heard the screaming roar coming from the direction of the river long before I saw them. I looked up and over to the source of the sound to see 8 French Alpha fighter jets, zooming down river, trailing a huge A400 Airbus. The site gave me the impression of a bunch of peregrine falcons pursuing a fat goose! It was certainly unexpected and awe inspiring. They were fast and furious - sharp as flying razor blades. I read afterward that it was done to commemorate the United States' entry into WWI and celebrate the tight bond between America and France.

It was one of those serendipitous moments that can bring a smile to your face. It did to mine - certainly not something you see every day. But, then I started to think about it from a different perspective. I realized that while it might bring pride and joy to some, it could trigger fear and anxiety in others. For those of us at the top of the food chain, if you will, there is shock and awe in their presence. They represent the powerful tools we use to keep us not only safe, but also in charge. Woe to those who lie beneath that thunder when it is meant to destroy instead of merely show off. Yes, it should strike fear into the hearts of our enemies. It's meant to.

But, how about those without any political power - the poor innocents who after an air raid conducted by one of these modern marvels are often referred to by the rather innocuous therm of collateral damage - like the children of Syria? When we look up to witness those fighter planes, we are filled with pride and awe. A Syrian child might experience the same scenario as a moment of abject terror. To them, there is no place to hide from these spectacular machines that represent the height of human technological achievement. They represent not pride or power but death from above.

The irony was not lost on me. Some countries are fortunate enough to have the ability to fly million dollar war planes simply to celebrate, while others struggle just to remain whole and viable. Something just ain't right about that.

The world is a strange place, indeed.

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