The Tragedy of Lee Rigby

If the British media were to examine and describe the gruesome details of the final moments of each and every one of the millions of innocent men, women and children murdered by British soldiers in foreign lands in just the last decade with the same depth of emotion and moral outrage as they currently are with murdered British soldier Lee Rigby, then they would probably need several lifetimes and certainly years of psychotherapy as a result.

Contrary to popular belief Lee Rigby died a victim, not a hero. He was a victim of the delusions and lies of other men – politicians and army generals. Men who believed that dropping bombs and firing missiles on foreign lands, actions they knew would kill many innocent people, was not only heroic but necessary to maintain our ‘freedoms’; men who believed that they could achieve a greater-good by first committing terrible evil; men who believed it was their duty to save the world and therefore their right to decide who lives and who dies; men who believed they were more than men.

Lee Rigby, like thousands of other young men and women, trusted those in positions of authority over him, his superiors and his parents, to tell him the truth and admit when they didn’t know. But they didn’t, they injected their falsehoods into his brain and thus he accepted a false choice as true: drop bombs in foreign lands or everyone you love will be killed and the free world destroyed. He accepted this evil disguised as good into his heart and made it his life’s purpose. Eventually, albeit in very unusual circumstances for a soldier, it cost a wife her husband, a son his father, and him everything.

No man who takes or contributes to a course of action that he knows will lead to the deaths of innocent people can possibly die a hero when he had the freedom to choose his actions. Every soldier has the freedom to choose; they can fire to miss, they can go AWOL, they can not enlist in the first place. There are many ways a man can die a hero, but being a soldier that participates in military aggressions that lead to the deaths of millions isn’t one of them.

The emergence of random murders of innocent people (and the continued threat of it) by religious psychopaths acting, as they believe, on behalf of all those killed by British soldiers, is one of the most disastrous effects on peaceful society of the British army’s military aggressions in the middle east over the last decade. Lee Rigby’s death is tragically ironic because it was this very consequence that led to his death. He became a soldier in the belief that this was the only way to protect everyone he loved and everything he loved about life, but doing so only resulted in him losing everyone he loved and his own life; it only achieved the opposite, as is almost always the way when violence is chosen as a means to an end.

The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan would make us all safer, we were told, they would reduce the threat to our way of life it was claimed. But as subsequent successful (for lack of a better term) and unsucessful terrorist attacks have shown we’re all in more danger now than we’ve ever been. This fact is now being used as a justification for increasing government powers to monitor people’s communications and web activity, which has probably been happening for years already anyway. Thus appears the all too familiar pattern of trying to solve a problem caused by government action with more government action by a bigger, more pervasive government. What promises to break or at least interrupt this vicious cycle is the government’s impending bankruptcy. Thank goodness for basic laws of economics because if the government truly had unlimited resources our future would indeed be a hopeless one. 

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