A Memorial Day Pony-Related Thought · 1:54pm
Last night I slept safe in my bed and awoke after a good night's sleep. I did not fear that, in the night, the enemies of my country would come and destroy my house and kill myself or my wife or any of my loved ones. I take this for granted, as do most Americans. Even though I know better, having extensively studied both military and social history, I tend to assume that peace and law are the norm, war and crime very rare exceptions to the rule.
The truth is that -- to the extent that peace and order are the norm -- this is only because the brave have been willing to fight and subdue those forces which would bring war and crime to our shores and make them normal -- as, indeed, they have been normal for depressingly large numbers of humans during depressingly long periods of history. Read about the Classical Dark Ages -- it's very beautifully discussed in the works of Homer, among dryer and more academic places. Or the Medieval Dark Ages. Or Europe during the World Wars, or Africa and the Middle East right now.
This brings up the point that we are far from safe now, though we are safer than we might otherwise be, because of the brave people in uniform who guard us while we sleep. A new evil -- or simply this generation's version of a very old evil -- is rising in the Mideast and in Africa. It wants to kill or enslave us all. It is willing to burn up as many of the humans running its meme in their brains as it needs to win, and it won't be stopped until we are both able and willing to instead kill the humans who have been the most virulently infected by it.
Its name is radical Islam, and it won't go away just because we whine that it won't play fair and we pick up our toys and go home. It will follow us home, as Europe has already found out but mostly refuses to face, and as America should have realized on 9-11 and maybe is starting to realize again after a score of pinprick terrorist attacks, most recently on a convention in Garland Texas, which might have been worse had not a brave man with a pistol shot straight enough to neutralize the superior arms and armor of his foe by killing the creatures bearing them.
It is in the process of acquiring nuclear missiles. Soon, it will be able to kill not a half-dozen here or a half-dozen there, nor even a few thousand when it gets its hands on some passenger jets, but hundreds of thousands per attack. More, if we're actually stupid enough to let the radical Muslims build up a sizable arsenal. Our best hope there is a sadly-selfish one -- it's far more likely that the first atomic war radical Islam will start will be Iran vs. Israel or Pakistan vs. India, which both will give us warning, and allies who will have flashed-over from rules-of-engagement to kill-em-all mode, and will probably remain in that mode until the end of the war.
We are facing a global war of survival, a true "clash of civilizations" in Huntington's famous term, and it will not end until either their survivors tremble and beg before us, offering concession after concession in return for being allowed to live and practice a safely-watered-down version of what they once considered an invincible Faith; or our survivors tremble and beg before them, hoping for mercy and lives in dhimmitude, which will mean accepting whatever abuse the Faithful choose to dish out to us, whenever they want to, with scant hope of redress -- and virtually no freedom of speech or ability to bear arms. Read up on it -- the social history of non-Muslims under Islam is scarcely secret. Heck, it's playing out right now in Iraq and Syria under ISIS.
The Pony relevance of this?
In the Shadow Wars, the Ponies struggle for survival against a merciless alien foe. They win, and in winning earn the right to live on, to see their civilization live on, and to have a future for their foals. And then time passes. New generations are born. And these new generations don't understand that the peace and prosperity and safety that they take for granted was bought with the blood, sweat and tears of their elders. The veteran Ponies become strange old stallions and mares, who start at loud noises and seem saddened by certain memories, and their children and grandchildren don't know why. Or rather, they know, but don't want to admit it to themselves, because that would mean admitting that the Universe is a dangerous place, and safety can turn to terror in an instant of bad fortune.
Princess Luna is used to this. It's part of why she went mad, over a millennium ago. The generation that fought the Wars, long-lived as never before due to advancing medical technlogy, will learn it.
This scenario required little creativity for me to invent. It's basically a Ponification of what happened to the Greatest Generation, the one that fought World War II -- as should be obvious from the Translation Convention I gave for the titles of Sweetie Belle's hit songs (two of them based on the Andrews Sisters -- the other one cribbed from Robotech, because I just couldn't resist having her be that world's "Lin Minmei"
Ah, well. The Millennials haven't learned the lesson yet, thanks to poor leadership on George W. Bush's part, and close-to-treasonous leadership on Barack H. Obama's part. The lesson will be learned, one way or another. My personal belief is that at the end we will still be standing tall, and it will be the Muslim world in ruins, having to submit to our culture; because we are a damned strong people, and history is littered with the wreckage of would-be global tyrannies who thought we were weak. That applies both to us, and to the British who originally founded our nation.
But we shouldn't get too cocky. There's an even longer history of wrecked civilizations who went down before the mindless will to hate that is the essence of Islam. We will win if we are both smart and brave, but we can lose by being stupid and cowardly. And if we win, as always it will be because the courageous among us would rather die on their feet than live on their knees.
I guess my theory is simply that Love beats Hate. If I didn't believe this, I'd hardly be a fan of My Little Pony, nor would I be writing the Shadow Wars Storyverse.
Hooray for the Harmony!