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Presence of Strong Nation Serves Peace

January 5, 2014
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Editor, News-Register:

Surprising, what you can learn about from nature - if you pay attention. Take peace, for instance.

Some ranchers here in the Southwest have learned an important lesson about peace from the mountain lions that inhabit the land grazed by their cattle. The lesson they've learned is that if there is a dominant male mountain lion whose territory includes their ranch, it is in their best interest to leave that lion alone even if he kills an occasional calf or colt. Experience has taught these ranchers that an alpha lion enforces a sort of peace and order within his territory. Young males stay away because they know that, if they encounter the alpha within his territory, he will attack them. Perhaps even kill them.

If, on the other hand, the rancher takes offense at having a calf killed by the dominant lion and hunts him down, all of the territory the alpha had ruled and pacified is then open to contest. This attracts all the young males in the area to vie for ascendancy. To sustain the energy to fight and because they leave kills partially consumed to avoid being attacked while they eat them, they make more kills than they would otherwise. In some cases females and kittens become casualties in this melee.

Experienced ranchers know that eliminating the alpha will inadvertently create exactly what they seek to avoid - more predation and more loss of livestock. By trying to create peace, they instead end up creating more war.

In a preserve in Africa, which managers hoped to repopulate with elephants by reintroducing a number of orphaned males and females from other locations, a number of the young males formed into gangs, which began to act in very un-elephant-like ways. Most outrageous of these acts were several instances of attacking, killing, and mutilating adult white rhinoceroses - an endangered species.

Preserve managers were at a loss as to how to deal with this activity until one of them got the idea to import some adult bull elephants and see if that worked. It did. No one knows how the "word" got out to the young males. There was no obvious disciplining of the gang members, but, when the alpha social structure was restored, the young bulls stopped acting like mobsters and stopped killing rhinos.

Considering that, who do you believe nature would recognize as an advocate for peace?

Those on the right, who would sustain the U. S. as alpha - as the established lion/adult bull whose power and mere presence causes lesser powers to defer and keep a low profile in order to avoid triggering a response?

Or would nature dub as "peacemakers" liberals, such as Barack Obama, who apologize for America's exceptionalism and seek to abdicate our position as the world's alpha? As Obama dissembles the U. S. position as the only superpower, what we see happening is exactly what nature has told us would happen. Encouraged, as were the elephant gangs in Africa, by the lack of an alpha presence, humans have been forming gangs and creating political chaos around the world. In Egypt, Syria, Libya, India, Greece, even France, and the U. K. The list grows every day.

What can nature teach us about all of this? She can teach us that the alpha way to peace practiced by dominant lions, adult bull elephants, and even a super power United States, works. Nature has developed, tested, fine-tuned, and applied this lesson via millions of years of evolution, adaptation, and trial and error.

Via that same educational process, nature teaches us that removing the alpha inevitably results in chaos and strife that can only be relieved by the ascension of a new alpha and that trading the old lion for a new one can have its downside.

Without the U. S. who will ascend to alpha status? A resurgent Russia? Communist China? A nuclear Iran? A sharia-enforcing Islamist Caliphate?

How sure a path to peace is that?

Dan Dagget

Sedona, Ariz.

Formerly of St. Clairsville

 
 

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