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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Karma, Fate or Destiny

              Karma?, Fate? or Destiny?

      Is it karma, fate or destiny if a person survives a nuclear bomb attack, only to be bombed again three days later and survive again?  Sounds unbelievable but supposedly there were 165 such people in Japan.  One of the best known survivors and recognized by the Japanese government as having done so is Tsutomo Yamaguchi.  He was working in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped there. Having survived though injured he returned to his hometown of Nagasaki in time to be there for the bomb attack there.  A British comedy show in 2010 called him the unluckiest man who ever lived.  That has to be a matter of perspective.  While his ear drums were ruptured, and he was temporarily blinded and seriously burnt on one side of the upper half of his body.  He had had two children by his wife, who was also a survivor of the Nagasaki blast and lived to the age of 93.  He ultimately died of stomach cancer and had other nuclear related health issues.  The article I read on him said he lived an otherwise healthy life until his death on January 4, 2010.

    While we are speaking of Japan, long term survivors seem to be the norm not the exception.  Another famous Japanese survivor was Hiroo Onoda who was still fighting World War II until he finally surrendered after twenty-nine years in the jungles on the island of Lubang in the Philippines.  He and his men(all of whom had died or surrendered) had killed 30 people and wounded 100 over the years. The Philippine government pardoned him for his war crimes. He surrendered March 9, 1974.  After surrendering he returned to Japan and could not adjust to the changes. He moved to Brazil in 1984 and died January 16, 2014 at the age of 91. So he spent almost forty years as the last known fighter of World War II. You can Google more details on both these stories.

    As time goes on there are many stories of survival that happened by strange circumstances on 9/11.  Just as there are many stories of heroic deaths.  I was in Bayonne, NJ unloading that morning and saw the first plane hit. Rather than block traffic I left and headed to Bloomsbury, NJ.  Trying to find out the details I tuned in a local NYC radio station.  The announcer reported he had been advised to leave the building as he was in the other tower.  He said he was going to keep reporting as long as he could.  Shortly later the station I was listening to went dead. It was not till I reached the truck stop that I found out that his decision had probably cost him his life. I don’t know his name, but he is one victim I can relate too.

    It may sound strange but while many lost friends because of 9/11, I made one.  Shortly after 9/11 many Americans were ready to kill anybody that looked like and Arab or a Muslim.  One of the drivers from my company was/is a Sikh.  Sikh’s wear turbans and to the most Americans that automatically meant Muslim.  There is an irony to that as many Muslims don’t get along with Sikh’s.  One day when we were unloading at the same place I met Arminder, he is an Indian(like from India) Sikh, he related to me how he had been persecuted and threatened many times since 9/11.  Anyhow we hit it off and often traveled together in the time we worked together after 9/11.

     In January 2004 I had the Big One. I had died technically but they bought me back which explains my fascination with survivors.  The government cancelled my CDL(Commercial Driver’s License) and basically put me out of business.  It has been ten years since I quit driving but Arminder has been my steadfast friend during that time.

     Another survivor story I like is from my time in Vietnam.  I did not see it happen but had it related to me by somebody who was there.  A platoon of the 101st,(about 40 men) were taking a lunch break on the side of a hill overlooking a rice paddy.  While they were eating a Vietnamese with a pouch over his shoulder came walking through the rice paddy on a line parallel to their position.  One of the men was assigned to shoot the courier and he missed.  The courier started high stepping across the paddy.  Suddenly all forty people were shooting at him and the water around him started churning like a washer from all the rounds.  He really started moving then.  The guy that told me about it said it was almost as if he were running on the water. Finally he chucked the pouch and started running like an Olympian.  He finally made it to the wood line on the other end of the field. When they sent people down to recover the pouch they found he was definitely a courier.  They never found the courier so it is assumed he survived the ordeal.

    Not all stories are about survivors though.  A squad of the 101st were on patrol and moving along a stream.  Suddenly they heard sounds of people laughing and cutting up.  The stream went over a cliff making a waterfall, and at the base of the waterfall was a horseshoe shaped gorge. about twenty Vietnamese were bathing and relaxing.  The Americans formed a half moon arch around the top and each took two grenades and on signal pitched them into the gorge. There were a few shouts as the grenades started going off.  A moment later only silence.  All the Vietnamese were dead.

      The events of 9/11 showed me that it is not just in the military that a person’s fate can change in a moment.  Life is fleeting at best and its ultimate path is known to none.  The attack of 9/11 may have been by people in civilian clothes, but it was a well-planned and methodical destruction of human life.  The reality of radical Islam was shown to America.  The question is how do we respond to it and more important how do we overcome it? Is it Satanical?

  The only viable solution I see is to convince the world of the evil it is facing.  It is not hard to show. Then there has to be a consequence for fomenting or tolerating evil.  South Africa was forced to abandon apartheid with sanctions. The whole world needs to turn its back on any and all nations tolerating and advocating radical Islam. Where do all their guns and ammunition come from? How can they travel with immunity unless someone enables them? There are a lot of questions.  The world needs to step up and cut off the supply lines of evil.  No army travels without logistics.  Even the 9/11 terrorists had people providing them means to do what they did.  They did not do it as an out of pocket expense. Even if they did it required someone else to line their pockets with the means.


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