Old Men Send Young Men off to Kill and to Die.

By Dr David Laing Dawson

No one has been able to satisfactorily explain why HAMAS (or the Ayatollah) chose this moment to attack, and attack in such a way that hell would be unleashed as a response. Similarly, why did Putin order an invasion that would, predictably, cost hundreds of thousands of lives and (almost) world-wide condemnation.

I suspect, in part, the answer lies in totalitarian regimes run by aging men, men who retain power and leadership through fear and intimidation and the vilification of an enemy; and who’s armies are comprised of restless young men.

How long can that work without a demonstration? Without action? Two years? Five years? Seven years? For Russia, history indicates two years, tops. Maybe less in the Middle East.

The young men are aging as well. Their willingness to believe their elders, their adolescent sense of immortality and invulnerability are waning. They might even be wondering about loved ones, family, settling down, having children, and they may even be developing some empathy for others, that is for others unlike themselves. (It can start to happen about age 24.)

How long can they be kept on the bench, fired up, preparing, chanting, threatening, training?

I watched a video of boys and young men building a tire fire in the middle of a busy thoroughfare. They fetched tires, pushed them, rolled them, kicked them toward the fire, retrieved them when they rolled back and tried again as the fire grew. From their movements, actions, exclamations they might just as well have been playing a volleyball or soccer game. Wish that they were. (We humans do have a long history of sporting contests, in enlightened times, replacing war.)

But my point is that any social organization, culture, country, built on hatred of another, totalitarian in nature, theocratic or secular, lead by aging men, must at sometime unleash their young males, provide them with action, before they grow older and wiser.

The answer, eventually: Democracies with strict term limits for leaders (leaning right, center, or left), a dying out of primitive religions and old men dreaming of glory, and, and more women in positions of power.

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