The Prime Directive

In his autobiography Bugles and a Tiger (©1948), Lieutenant Colonel John Masters writes of being stationed along what is now the Pakistan / Afghanistan border and confronting some of the same problems in the Post-WWI era that still plague us today:

The government also tried to remove the conditions that made the Parthan such an awkward element in the Indian pattern. Its efforts never met with much success. Consent is part of democracy, and it was neither easy nor, perhaps, right to force the Parthans to attend school, give up vendettas, and become peaceful farmers, when the old bloodthirsty ways constituted for them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Pathans preferred to keep to the ancient traditions and take the consequences; that is, to be left in peace– to fight.

I’m conflicted.

I want a more peaceful world, and I’ve always believed that people would choose a peaceful life if they could, but what if they don’t?  Don’t people have a right to choose for themselves the life they lead?

My answer here is “I don’t know.”

I wish I had a better one.


One thought on “The Prime Directive

  1. …it is always arrogant to assume that one’s state of being is universal… the things that make for contentment in one society is not necessarily contentment in another…


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