Grey Wolf Line Between
Terrorism & Vigilance
ZERO PLUS 1215 D AYS,--New York, NY, Sunday,
January 8, 2005--Terrorism
and Vigilance are at odds in Montana and Wyoming. While the
war in Iraq rages as America struggles to install the first
free election in that country's modern history, another battle
between "insurgents" and "American troops"
is underway in two of this nation's notable western states.
At the center of the tsunami
storm over who has the right of ownership to the land is the
It was hoped the wolves
would kill and feed on game such as these deer in Idaho
Wolves and ranchers have
never gotten along well. Wolves like to eat what ranchers manage,
such as cattle and sheep.
This combat between humans
and wolves isn't new. It started in 1631 when colonists trying
to tame North America declared war on the wolves. That battle
of who was in charge of the land raged to the point where wolves
reached the state of extinction.
In the 1930's and 1940's,
the noted animal conservationist Aldo Leopold called for the
protection of wild creatures under what he called "land
ethics," a proposal that humans and wild beasts have somewhat
equal rights, and the wholesale slaughter of a species was wrong.
In 1973 America passed the
Endangered Species Act. The wolves were on it.
protected by the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973
Yellowstone Park, one of
the world's great natural wonders, was virtually without wolves.
The Fish and Game department "reintroduced" about
20 grey wolves into Yellowstone Park, which is in the wolves
feeding range of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, in 1995. It was
hoped the wolves would thrive and that an abundance of game--deer
and elk--would serve as their feeding source.
The wolves prospered. Today,
there are more than 500. A mature wolf weighs between 50 and
100 pounds and its ranging territory extends from twenty to
two-hundred miles, depending on the density of food. Despite
the deer and elk in Yellowstone, the ranchers' lambs and cattle
offered a tasty tidbit.
As the insurgents are in
Iraq, to a farmer a wolf is a threat. Killing a lamb or cow
is like planting a bomb under the farmer's house. Not only does
the dead livestock cost the rancher the price of that animal,
but also all its future offspring.
Back in the "old days"
a rancher spotting a wolf on or about his or her land would
"lock and load" and fire at will. No one gave his
"right to kill" a second thought. Essentially, the
wolf was part of the rancher's "free fire zone." He
was a "known Terrorist."
Similarly to the American
troops in Iraq, the right to shoot a Terrorist running at you
with a bomb strapped around his or her waist can be likened
to the right of the rancher to protect "his" land
from the ravages of the "Beast of Wolf Terror."
Stiff penalties were imposed
for "killing a wolf," but the problem of their attacks
were minimal due to the strangulation of the wolf population
over prior decades.
One could say by killing
all the Terrorists that Terrorism waned from the rancher's viewpoint.
The repopulation of Yellowstone
brought Terrorism back to the rancher's doorstep. Only this
time the rancher was hobbled from protecting himself and his
holds up one of the sheep killed by wolves preying on
Under the Fish and Game
guidelines for shooting a wolf near a rancher's herd, the wolf
had to have "his teeth in" the animal. Following the
letter of the law, a rancher had to wait until his livestock
was attacked before reacting. This would be similar to American
troops in Iraq being required to hold their fire until at least
one American was killed by the enemy. Then, and only then could
they open fire.
In thirty days, the old
rule of "teeth in" the livestock is being relaxed.
The new ruling allows the rancher to shoot if he "believes"
the wolf is in the process of an attack.
Obviously, this is a bit
absurd. A wolf by nature is in a constant state of attack. It
is a Sentinel of Vigilance in that sense, poised always to leap
and rush after a meal. Even when a wolf sleeps it has its ears
cocked. If an overweight rabbit were to hop by a pack of sleeping
wolves, odds are it wouldn't make it to its destination.
In combat, the Rules of
Engagement always seem blurred. At what point do you have the
right to fire upon what you think is the enemy. Personally,
I have trouble with that distinction. A veteran of more than
100 combat missions in Vietnam, I discovered the more combat
you engagein, the the quicker your trigger finger. Many times
in a guerrilla war such as Vietnam or Iraq, the difference between
a civilian and combatant is not how they dress or appear. A
child or woman can run towards you yelling for help and have
a bomb strapped around his or her chest, or be carrying a satchel
charge. You become edgy about waiting too long to fire, especially
if you've witnessed what appears as an innocent suddenly turn
into a Terrorist and blow up your buddies because they mistook
or misread the enemy as a civilian.
So it is with the wolves
in Montana and Idaho.
the new ruling a rancher can "think" a wolf
is about to attack and justify killing it
Now, a rancher can "think"
the wolf is about to attack and justify killing it.
Before the new ruling, he
or she had to produce evidence of teeth marks in the carcass
or body of the livestock. Now, he can simply say: "Yup,
that old wolf was about to rip out my prize bull's neck."
The grey wolf line between
Terrorism and Vigilance brings up countless issues of the "ethics
of war." For example, at what point does "interrogation"
become "torture?" When does the act of "combat"
become a "war crime?"
Some might say the grey
wolf has a right to the land that supercedes human rights. The
evolutionary roots of the wolf trace back some 50
million years. The grey wolf as a species is more than one
million years old, and came to North America 700,000 years ago.
Modern homo sapiens evolved
years ago. Scientists thought North America became a home
for humankind some 13,000 years ago, but modern data suggests
it was 50,000 years ago.
This begs the question:
"Who has first right to the land?"
A just-released grey wolf
leaps into the wilds of Central Idaho on Jan. 14, 1995
Evolution is all about the
survival of the strongest. America, as a nation, has incredible
strength in relation to the rest of the world. It is the dominant
alpha "wolf" of the global pack of nations.
In Iraq, it is fighting
for the rights of that nation to be free. The other "wolf
nations" don't all agree it is America's role to roam the
world as a Sentinel of Vigilance, sniffing and shoving its snout
into the affairs of others. Many nations look at America as
the ranchers in Montana and Idaho look at the wolf--a threat
to the stability of their livestock. s
If America can tell Iraq
how to govern itself, will it then impose its will on other
nations because America doesn't like the way they do things?
That's the thinking of non-alpha wolf nations. They see America
as putting its sovereignty into a state of extinction, for when
other nations impose themselves on fellow nations, the balance
of power for all is in jeopardy.
Or, is it?
In the truest sense, the
grey wolves are protecting the land for their children. A wolf
has between 2-11 pups. It is a creature famous for its protection
of its offspring. All the wolves in a pack, male and female,
protect the pups. Legend and lore of children being raised by
wolves is endless.
great Roman Seal is of Romulus and Remus, suckling from
their mother-wolf who grew up to found the Great Roman
To History of Wolves)
The great Roman state's
symbol is of two children suckling a mother wolf. In the legend,
Romulus and Remus were twin brothers. A great king feared the
two children would threaten his rule of the land and threw them
into the Tiber River to drown. But the children floated ashore.
A she-wolf saw them, and instead of killing them, suckled them
and kept them alive until a king's shepherd found them. They
grew up to found the Great Roman Empire.
The grey wolf's dilemma
isn't an easy one to judge. He is a Terrorist to some and a
Sentinel of Natural Vigilance to others.
America is not unlike the
grey wolf in that respect. To nations who oppose America's role
in Iraq, the U.S. is a Terrorist. To those who believe someone
must protect the children of the world from the threats of Terrorism,
as the she-wolf did Romulus and Remus, America is a Sentinel
of Vigilance serving to insure the rights of children from tyranny
As an observer and lover
of animals, I am on the grey wolf's side. But, if I were a rancher
concerned with the welfare of my livestock, and thought of them
in terms of "children," I might see the wolf as a
Regardless of which side
you chose to stand for, there is a grey line between Vigilance
and Terrorism. In this case, it is the grey wolf.
line is we are doing the right thing by being in Iraq
and the grey wolf has the right to feed its pups
In America's case, the grey
line comes down to the bottom line intent of our presence in
Iraq. If we are truly there to support and free the children
and future children of that land from the hand of oppression
and tyranny, then we are doing the right thing despite all the
I like to think that is
Just as I like to think
the grey wolf has the right to feed its children.
are needed to support the VigilanceVoice. Send $1
or more, either through PayPal below, or in cash or check. You can also
help by investing in a local ad in your community paper promoting the
Principles of Vigilance and how to overcome
Go to Donation Page
For More Information