With respect for the violence of governments

I have noticed occasional displays of contempt for the patterns of violence by governments. People may feel personal guilt in regard to how their favorite government has established “temporary” military bases in places like Japan or Germany or Cuba (at Guantanamo Bay), but then many decades later the bases remain very active.

Maybe people could be embarrassed that they believed a campaign promise that the certain bases would be closed “soon.” Or maybe they just are terrified about a specific policy of violence that may endanger them (and thus are inviting social validation of their concerns or condemnations).

Some people who protest government violence also may go so far as to say that “all religions promote peace and love.” Maybe they are not familiar with the slaying of Goliath by David (King David) or the slaughter of the Midianites ordered by Moses (as he was commanded to do… as recorded in the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapter 31, verses 1 & 2).

Long before the Crusades or the first Holy Inquisition, the Hebrew tribes were famous for their violence (which I understand was their intention). Not only did they frequently execute and maim their own members (similar to what is still common in certain Muslim cultures), but they massacred civilians (of enemy tribes) and enslaved their captives / prisoners of war. See the passages below for some specifics.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+31

I have also occasionally referenced (on facebook etc) the ancient Hebrew scripture of Ecclessiastes in which it is clearly stated that “there is time for love and for hate, for peace and for war, for killing and for healing, for sowing and for reaping.” Thousands of years of history indicate that Hebrews, Christians, and Muslims have lived by those verses (along with the followers of many other religious traditions).

Incidentally, I used to frequently attend Quaker meetings, which is a religious congregation that includes a very high concentration of “conscientious objectors.” It is one thing to say “I would rather stay away from the danger zone.” It is quite a distinct thing to condemn some government policy from a distance. It is another thing altogether to march down to the local police department and demand that they change their policy. If you are interested in changing the way that a government conducts it’s operations of violence, you can sue them in their courts, but you can expect “significant opposition.”

I don’t think I have ever publicly mentioned on facebook that in the late 1990s I reported an incident to the Department of Justice regarding misconduct in a correctional facility where I worked. The very short version of the story is that I was very disappointed with the apparent lack of attention to the matter by the DOJ. After some routine personal contact with specific DOJ officials, I had expected that after I reported it, they would have been more attentive to the case than they were (as far as I know).

However, perhaps when the case involves a complaint against someone well-connected, a lack of interest in the matter would be predictable. The complaint that I made was apparently one of several made against a particular bureaucrat, but I am not aware of any disciplinary action against him ever being implemented.

The reported abuses did not result in compensation to the victims/ plaintiffs. No actual lawsuits were filed, but that is no surprise to me either as of now.

Governing systems govern or regulate. Governments regulate. They regulate violence and abuse. They protect it (or reward it) in some cases and punish it in others.

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