heiko rudolph

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musings: the beauty of our weapons

I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons(1) Loenard Cohen )

W hat do I tell the little girl, who lies bleeding in the field with half her leg blown off ?

“You should've listened to the warnings, don't you know about the minefields ? There are signs everywhere.”

Or do I explain that: “really its nothing personal against YOU my dear, but it had to be done you see, to stop the spread of ‘them'.

It was a worthwhile cause, there simply wasn't any other way..... you are dying for a noble cause...”.

Or perhaps I tell her: “the world is a better place because of that war... sorry you have to suffer for now... Trust me, you are too young to understand the complicated politics, but it was all for the best... ”.


Military weapons are designed to kill, to destroy human beings.

Of course we hope those weapons are never going to be used, - ever ! And we tell ourselves that we will only use them in case someone else ‘ starts first' – to defend ourselves against ‘them', meaning: ‘the evil bad enemy'.

In fact military weapons are produced to keep us ‘safe' from all the other countries and people who also have weapons - to keep THEM-selves safe, from us and everyone else who has similar kinds of weapons – and so on... and so on...


Every country in the whole world tells its people that same story, with some local variations.


I hope those weapons will just stay there, gather dust and be forgotten... but I have my doubts...


When I think of those weapons, and hear about them, I see dead bodies lying in the streets. I see dead children, and ruined buildings. That is the purpose these weapons are made for, that is what they are designed to do, to kill and destroy. At least let's be honest to that degree.


In the end a fight between countries is just a bigger version of a fight between two people (like me and my friend, or girl/friend). As in all fights: at the height of the battle, it seems that I'm fighting for my life, its all very very serious. But then a week later I wonder at how we behaved, and I might even apologize to my partner.

Look at history and see how many countries which killed each others citizens, are now trading partners, are now ‘friends' again. At the time it was all so important, but now, no one wants to know about it.

Well, except those who have missing arms, legs, eyes, and shattered minds. But other than that, those wars do not matter anymore if you live in Australia or any rich country.

The Vietnam war finished over 30 years ago. Over 300 people die every year from landmines laid in that war, and thousands become cripples, - this is still happening, now, this week, this year, next year and for many decades to come.



What do I tell the child born deformed ? I'm sorry you have to spend your entire life drooling from a deformed face and walking like a crab.

You see: There was this disagreement about who would run your country. The big guys could not agree about who would do the best job, about who would be best for the people.

So they all got lots of people behind them and killed each other to see who would get to run the country. Each of them told the people they were the best person for the job.

And then some of the people had the clever idea of treating people like weeds and kill them using poisons.

And well, some of the poison did this to you....

Hope you understand now...

Its all for the glory of the cause, it was all for the best, trust me... and don't bother me, - in fact stay out of the public eye and stay hidden, you embarrass me.... "


This is not some hypothetical scenario, those things are happening now... if you don't know where, ask me...


For those reason, I do not work in military research.

I know I share the common responsibility of paying taxes that fund weapons, and I accept that as my part in living, but to actively deliberately assist in the development of weapons systems – to lend my mind and energy to making better killing machines ? - I have to say ‘No'.


I understand that there is in people a sense of wanting to really do something to defend their tribe, their women and their children. And that is a good desire in itself. But to channel that protective urge to set one country against another is too much..

I prefer to apply my protective urge to all of humanity.


I think of it like this: A lot of money, a lot of human energy is spent on defence. Enough money and energy to change the whole planet – to get rid of slums and sweatshops, to give education to every child on the planet and to get rid of common killers pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and malnutrition which make up 7 of every 10 childhood deaths in the poorer countries of the world (2).


I have known about these facts for a long time. But I tend to just accept that nothing can be done. I tell myself that: “I'm only one person and I don't count, its all of ‘them' out there who are doing it. If it was up to me this would not happen.”

In short: “its all too hard”.

Is it really ?


Future discussion threads: how do I in daily life behave in a way that causes and supports war ? do I use my power of authority as a Lecturer to just squash objections from students, to just shut them up ? What power politics do I play at work ? how do I defend myself if attacked ? do I try to destroy my ‘opponent' ?

  The core motivator behind war is fear. Fear of others, but in the end it is fear of myself, it is the fear of others whom I cannot trust, and I cannot trust them because of the darkness in ME – I am not a ONE with others, I am not at ONE with myself... thus the fear...

Ultimately the fear of one country of another, and the arming itself to the teeth is an expression of things inside all of us (3), an insecurity and a fear that we all have inside us. It lives inside me as much as in anyone. Not working for defence/military is only a small gesture. The deeper issues have a far greater impact.

Gandhi , ... others...


Ground Zero Nagasaki

Dedicated in tribute to Leonard Cohen , especially for his song:

First We Take Manhattan

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I don't like your fashion business mister
And I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I'd really like to live beside you, baby ...

And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night, now I'm ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I am guided

Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it's Father's Day and everybody's wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin


1) Leonard Cohen , “First we take Manhattan”.

2) Seven out of 10 childhood deaths in developing countries can be attributed to just five main causes, or a combination of them: pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and malnutrition. Around the world, three out of every four children who seek healthcare are suffering from at least one of these conditions. - REDUCING MORTALITY FROM MAJOR CHILDHOOD KILLER DISEASES, WHO, Fact Sheet No. 180, September 1997

3) Microcosm – Macrocosm principle, as above so below, as inside so outside, etc...

Heiko Rudolph is a Lecturer, who was asked about working in defence/military related research, - a lot of funding is available in that area.

Related sites:    Paulo Coelho www.warriorofthelight.com/

last updated on: 31 March, 2008
© 2006heiko rudolph
'dance me to the children that are asking to be born....'    Leonard Cohen