Featured Column
Week of 2.13.2006
The insanity!
          War is hell!
          War is terrible!
          How can anyone send their country’s young men (and lately, young women) to the battlefields, knowing that a substantial percentage of them will never return to their mothers, fathers, wives and children?
          The insanity, the cruelty of sending our vital youth out to protect a few acres of soil! The lunacy of having our children armed with guns and bombs and directed to kill for the sake of proving that our god is better than our opponent’s god. 
          It’s all craziness!
          But, if the human race is bent on perpetuating wars and killing, then those in charge ought to clean up their acts and behave like minimally-civilized creatures.
          If there have to be wars let’s do them right.
          First, all combatants should be dressed in a style that clearly denotes them as enemies of the other side. Distinctive helmets, well-fitting uniforms, utilitarian, but attractive boots should be the style. Each side should have a specific color of uniform. The helmets are an important accessory. There should be no mistaking one side’s helmets for the other. A nice floral design on one side’s helmet and perhaps a nice, pleasant solid color on the other’s. One side should consider mauve as their basic color.
          Every effort should be made to carefully distinguish one group of gladiators from another. Nobody engaged in killing should be allowed to wear civilian clothing. It’s important that the right people kill the correct adversary. Combatants should be absolutely sure about the people they want to kill.
           Anyone caught engaging in a war wearing a disguise or ordinary civilian clothing will be tried before a tribunal and, if found guilty, shot until dead by 6 men wearing proper uniforms.
          Only men or women in uniform will be allowed to carry firearms, fire rockets, shoot machine guns or set off explosives. 
          Strictly forbidden will be any act of murder or butchery towards civilians. The carrying and detonation of explosives attached to one’s body is banned. Anyone caught setting off explosives in the presence of civilians will be tried and shot until dead by 6 men wearing the proper military uniforms. If a negligible amount of body parts remain after a suicide bomb attack then the 6 men in military uniform will fire 6 ceremonial shots in the air and the case will be closed.
          In the event of a battle in which both sides have sustained an equal amount of fatalities and injuries after 7 days of warfare, then a general of at least 3 stars must have a duel with his counterpart on the other side – using muskets. Whichever side’s general remains standing at the end of the duel is declared the war’s winner and all combatants must remove their uniforms and return to civilian wear – and peace will be declared and a moratorium on wars between the two sides will in effect for a minimum of 10 years.
          All wars based on religious differences or over disputes on which is the real god will be fought by men no younger than 70-years of age. Each army must consist of men of the indicated clergy with titles consisting of ayatollahs, caliphs, imams, lamas, priests, rabbis and popes. Followers of L. Ron Hubbard are eligible for battles as long as they are past the age of 70.
          Only sticks, stones and name-calling will be allowed in religious-based warfare.
          Disputes between Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jewish and Islam can also be settled by having the leader of one of the combatant religions standing on the top of a small mountain, opposing the leader of his enemy religion, who shall stand on the top of another small mountain no further than 200 meters or 29 cubits away. After a coin toss the winning religious leader gets to yell across the small valley, “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” three times. Then his opponent shall yell, “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” three times. Following this action each priest, caliph, imam or rabbi gets to throw twelve stones at the other leader. First one to get struck by a stone loses and the war is over and the losing side must worship the winner’s god for a period of ten years.
          In an effort to avoid warfare between nations or religions the United Nations will form an Expeditionary Force, which will be clothed in distinctive and stylish camouflage uniforms suitable for limited warfare and informal cocktail parties. Each member of the United Nations Expeditionary Force must be capable of reciting, “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” three times in succession without error.
          High profile ethnic and religious conflicts, such as that between the Israelis and the Palestinians will be resolved by having the leader of each country sit down together in a small room in a neutral location, such as Phil’s Motel in Cleveland, Ohio. There, the two leaders, Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and Ehud Olmert of Israel will share a dinner consisting of matzo ball soup and lamb kebob. Following the dinner the two will play one game of gin rummy. The winner earns the right to declare his god the best and most powerful god for a decade. Following the dinner and the card game the two leaders will pose for a photograph shaking hands and smiling at each other.
          I’m proposing that a summit meeting be held amongst the leading religious leaders of our time. The meeting will include ayatollahs, caliphs, imams, priests, prophets, rabbis, popes and a representative of Scientology not named Tom Cruise.
          The assembly of the world’s leading religious leaders will also meet at Phil’s Motel in Cleveland and the group will continue meeting until each leader has guaranteed that their armies will turn their guns and swords into ploughshares or I-Pods. The meeting will conclude with a prayer service over the tomb of L. Ron Hubbard.
          And if you’re thinking that all of this is an unreasonable, illogical and irresponsible way to look at world peace and the avoidance of wars and large scale murder, just watch your 6:00 news tonight.
War be damned
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
Ron Cruger