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The Rat Hole

The Rat Hole
We see this pathetic figure

the one with the wild, frightened eyes of a rat in a trap, dirty, perhaps lice-ridden, this Saddam Hussein, this once feared despot who has tortured and killed and terrorized nations and horded untold riches for himself. Today we could pass him on the street with a begging bowl and he would blend in unnoticed in a culture of homeless lost souls. Indeed, he is one.

We can learn something here. This was a man of terrible power. Saddam Hussein had choices. From the wealth of oil he could have built a paradise for his people. He could have chosen to educate the children of Iraq and create unimagined opportunities for their parents. Instead he stole the nation’s wealth and murdered and terrorized the innocent. Where he could have become the beloved father of his county his choices consumed him, transformed him, and ultimately revealed him for what he became3⁄4a soulless man found in a six foot deep dirt hole with no better credentials for his space on this earth than a rat in its own hole.

Power loves itself and seeks more of it.

As the most powerful nation in the history of the world we also have choices. We have the power to dominate and intimidate, to attack and destroy, to subjugate the people of this world for our own gain and to force the ideals of imperialism both here and abroad. Indeed, we have the same choices as were offered Saddam Hussein. At last, we are defined by how we use our power.

Power often stands in the way of learning. Wisdom revealed by simple lessons is hard to see for leaders wearing the blinders of power. But we, too, have choices. We can relieve much of the suffering in this world and promote the potential of the species, or we can, following the example of Saddam, horde our power and exercise it for our own aggrandizement. We can build great palaces of worldly wealth and gather immense armies to protect it or we can join the brotherhood of man and seek a lasting peace founded on love and justice.

In making these choices ought we not remember that rat holes come in all sizes?


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