It was a headline in the September 29, 2015 New York Times online edition:
At the U.N., Obama States His Case for Fighting ISIS With Ideas
I couldn’t read the entire article or watch the full accompanying video clip. Mainly because I couldn’t help the laughter that started bubbling up as my mind leapt to an analogous situation from an old Hollywood classic…the Sigourney Weaver movie ‘Aliens.’
The futuristic marine toughies, armed to the teeth with a frightening array of weaponry…looking all muscled and fierce…were doing a cautious, battle-ready walk-through, looking for the enemy.
Despite their firepower, they were on the adrenaline edge, their reflexes primed for attack. Because their adversaries had demonstrated how little value human life had for them. Chitinous exoskeletons and acidic saliva rendered these creatures virtually indestructible.
The marines were deep in enemy territory…
…and that’s when it happened.
The command post observing this foray realized that firing powerful weapons could ignite a catastrophic explosion. Chagrined, the man in charge communicated to the soldiers that no guns could be fired. Absolutely none. No matter the provocation.
Disbelieving looks were exchanged among the troops about to engage the enemy. And that’s when one particularly cocky enlistee responded…
“What are we supposed to use? Harsh language?!?”
And so, I’m really sorry to find myself laughing at the NY Times headline. Because so much consistent hate has been spewed by ISIS…just like the acid-laced saliva of the Hollywood creations that would give no quarter to any member of the human race…they’ve made it so abundantly clear that they will not rest until Western culture is obliterated from the face of the planet…that fighting them with ideas is, well, unthinkable.
I keep seeing the old news footage of laughter and celebration from that side of the globe when thousands of Americans were killed on 9/11.
I keep hearing the vows they spat that there would never be common ground between our cultures.
And, as much as I respect anyone who attains the office of President of the United States, I can’t quell the slightly hysterical giggling at that NYT headline.
And the frisson of fear that we’ll be standing naked and vulnerable with only ideas to shield us from the acid.