When have you last seen a Beast of Terror teaching a child to kill?   Perhaps you did and didn't notice?   What about the child the parent was screaming at in the stroller?   Or the one the mother grabbed and cut through his or her heart with a statement such as:  "Mind me or else!," and then twisted the child's arm or shook it violently?    What about he parent who didn't care who his or her children hung out with?    Are you sure you haven't seen a Beast of Terror teaching a child to kill?  


Sunday--December 22, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 466
The Beast of Terror Teaches Children How To Kill For Fun

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 22--The prosecutors in the Washington D.C. sniper shooting case are having trouble killing the Beast of Terror who taught a child how to kill.  In their vainglorious attempt to impart the death penalty to Svengali Sniper John Muhammad, they're running into a legal snag that could cost them them their taste of blood.  It seems the "father" Beast of Terror didn't pull the trigger.   Evidence points to his Child of Terror, Muhammad's teenager "stepson," as the guy who pulled the trigger and killed for killing's sake.
         Virginia law allows the death penalty under conventional law if evidence points that the killer squeezed the trigger--if he or she was the main force behind the death of a victim.    However, the new anti-terrorism law--not yet tested under appeal--allows for the death penalty for the mastermind behind the death of Terrorism victims.
          In a rush to judgment, prosecutors took the case against John Muhammad, 41,and Lee Malvo, 17,to the Virginia jurisdiction on the grounds they could secure the death penalty.  In Maryland, the death penalty is not an option under traditional law.

Lee Malvo after a hearing in Fairfax, Virginia on Dec.

         The move was to place John Muhammad's, the older man's head in the noose.  Forensic evidence suggests the 24-year-senior to the young Lee Malvo taught him how to fire the weapon with such deadly accuracy that the teenager was the shooter and Muhammad drove the car.
        The 1990 blue Chevy Caprice used in the slayings was fitted with a special shooting dock in the trunk designed for Malvo who is 5 feet 5 inches tall.  Hard evidence from the crime scenes points to the 17-year-old as the shooter.  It includes hair linked by DNA to Malvo, conversations with Fairfax police detectives, fingerprints near where a shot was fired outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School, and saliva found on a grape stem near where Conrad E. Johnson, a bus driver, was killed in Aspen Hill, Md., on Oct 22.
        The older Muhammad who is 6-1, would barely fit in the makeshift shooting dock in the trunk.  Also, video tape recovered from a security camera near Home Depot in Falls Church, Va. indicates John Muhammad was driving not shooting.
        Also, witnesses in Seattle, Washington confirm that Muhammad was teaching teenage Malvo how to shoot up to a year before the sniper rampage, perhaps honing his skills to be the "trigger man" while Muhammad managed the escape routes.
        What makes these frustrating facts poignant is the rush we have as a society to "kill" the cause of Terror.   It is similar to the CIA's recent Predator attack on a suspected al-Qaeda leader in Yemen in which five men in a car on a lonely stretch of desert were blown into oblivion as part of a murder sanction granted from the White House to "kill" Terrorism.

Dragons' Breath confronting Saddam Hussein

          Our fiery Dragon's Breath upon Saddam Hussein, and our hunger to blow him to oblivion and all his Republican Guards, is yet another example.    Plus, the ongoing hunt to kill Osama bin Laden and the "hit list" of seven top al-Qaeda leaders who have earmarked for death without trial, are further examples of America's use of death as a means to cleanse the blood of Nine Eleven.
         The sniper case proves one point--the blood of the fathers are visited upon the children.
         Another way of saying it is that the Beast of Terror likes to teach its children to kill.
         Killing to stop killing is oxymoronic.  
         Our efforts to find a way to "kill" John Mohammad have led us to the cul de sac of Terrorism's great paradox--that Terrorism breeds Terrorism.   No matter how righteous we might be in our intentions to get an "eye for an eye," the eye we are seeking to pluck in the sniper case will come from a teenager, trained to kill by his defacto "father," a criminal Svengali who trained his protégé's trigger finger to do the killing for him, and thus, may avoid the death penalty in Virginia should the new anti-terrorism "mastermind law" fail to meet Constitutional scrutiny.    Standard Virginia law requires the death penalty for the one who pulled the trigger, not the one who taught the person to pull it.
         Daily, though, in lesser degrees of violence, children are being trained to "kill" by their parents--the John Muhammad's of Terrorism.   These are the parents who buy their children guns to play with, or toys of "mass destruction" which teach a child how to "kill the enemy."   While on the surface such toys and games may seem harmless enough, and considered "macho" by some parents,  a child may be learning how to be a Lee Malvo.  He or she is learning how to "kill for fun," and is being tacitly rewarded by the parent, grandparent or guardian for "destroying life" with weapons--even if they are G.I. Joes.

Child's 'toy' combat gear

         Killing is killing.
        A five-year-old boy playing "army" in the living room of a home and blowing up people right and left with bullets and bombs is engraining in his or her malleable, innocent soul, the affirmation of the "right to kill."  This training feeds his Beast of Terror and awakens in the child the primal instinct to inflict casual slaughter on anyone who opposes him.
       Swords and toy guns, and other "weapons of mass destruction" promulgate the same deadly attitude that led Lee Malvo to fall under the Beast of Terror's shadow, and seek the approval of his mentor, John Muhammad, who taught the boy how to shoot to kill, and, to justify such killing as retaliation against crimes of injustice.
       Children seek to gain the approval of their parents.  Every child begs to be loved and appreciated, and all will follow the path they believe will bring them respect in their parents' or guardians' eyes.   Being loved is the prime motivation of any child, and if killing even toys is a quick route to that destination, then a child seeking approval will become a Saddam Hussein overnight.
       Recently, a cartoon in The New Yorker struck me with its cold reality.  It illustrated parents walking into a child's room littered with toy soldiers and toy weapons.  The figures of violence and destruction littered the child's room.   Standing at the doorway as the child played "kill the bad guys" the parents stated:  "Okay, Saddam, we need a list of all your weapons of mass destruction."
      I found nothing humorous in the cartoon, and hope the author was being sardonic.   Yet, the cartoon symbolizes the Complacency of parents in feeding their Children's Beast of Terror, and in promoting the child to become a "stone cold killer."
       I became one.   As a child I played with guns and knives and was encouraged to learn to "kill."   My thirst for destruction to maximize my "manhood" led me to join the Marine Corps and learn how to be a professional killer, and then deposited me in Vietnam where I could kill almost anything that moved with impunity under the "free fire zone" concept.   My travels through death led me to witness torture and murder of other human beings with same nonplus attitude I had about swatting a mosquito or smashing a rat with the heel of my jungle boot.   Only after the smoke was cleared and the stench of burning human flesh from the villages we torched began to haunt me did I realize I was teaching my Child of Vigilance how to become a Beast of Terror--and I did it all to seek the approval of society, to become a "man among men," not unlike the Terrorists who smashed their plane into the World Trade Center seeking a "greater glorification" of themselves.

Klingon Warrior fights to kill

         Just the other evening while working on my computer I flicked on the television and one of the Star Trek generation television shows was being broadcast on a rerun channel.  In this show, the Klingon warrior had been crippled by an alien attack, and while he might recover a majority of his ability to move about, he would be physically maimed the rest of his life.   In true Klingon fashion, he called for his best friend, the commander of the Star Ship Enterprise, to give him the honor of a warrior's death.  The Klingon wanted to die with honor rather than live a life as cripple.   If he couldn't fight to kill, if he couldn't serve his Klingon's higher purpose, then he was of no value.
        The commander agreed reluctantly to the ceremony, but demanded the Klingon use his own son as the source of the ceremony.  The Klingon's son was half human and half Klingon--and his father asked him to bring him a "suicide" knife so he could end his life and die with "honor."   The son refused.   In a subplot, one of the doctors aboard had an experimental system of treatment she employed to save the Klingon's life--as well as his ability to move freely and kill with oiled ease.  Thus, the world was saved.
         Star Trek shows are full of moral messages.  The one here was clear--"Will you teach your child to be a killer?"
         I think a great deal about our society.  I think about children being trained to become Terrorists, killers, at such early ages by their parents who either purchase them weapons of mass destruction, or, who allow their precious little ones to receive gifts such as guns and swords or violence-based toys and computer games from others.
         Then there are there all the video games that employ the "kill the bad guy" theme to win one level after another.    The video games feed the child's Beast of Terror, making it want to consume as much death and destruction as possible during its more formative years.

Vigilant Parent playing non-violent videogames

        Then there is the news media, perhaps the ultimate source of Terror Feeding.  Headlines scream Terror to the child in both paper and audio video formats.  A child hears the radio, sees the television, and can often read the simple words blaring out at 72 or 144 point type on news stands.   The majority of the news is all about human ugliness, human violence, human destruction.   Unedited, unmanaged, unexplained, the ozone of ugly news seeps into the child's pores, an elixir for the Beast of Terror within, intoxicating the Beast's sense of lust and power to put the child's finger on the trigger of the Beast's sniper rifle.
          Now take the living room of the home.   Here, the child witnesses the behavior of the parents.  He or she sees how a mother speaks to a father, or a father to a mother, in tones either of love or hate, or kindness or embitterment, of violence or vigilance.  
          Children sponge up the conversations of the parents, listening to how they talk about others.  If their tongues are sharp and slice other human beings to shreds, then children learn to demean others as their parents did, and to use their tongues as carving knives to slice at the core of other human beings' race, color, creed, political convictions--all trying to, as Lee Malvo--win the respect and admiration of their "parents."

Sharp-Tongued Beast

          I've always been impressed with adage that comes from an ancient Asian saying:  "If you want to know what a child will be like when he or she grows up, follow him or her home."
         A family that lives under the roof of constant Emotional or Physical Terrorism, a home in constant cross-fire where words and flesh fly with anger and range, where victimization seems to be the order of the day, or where Fear  Intimidation and Complacency seem to grow as rabidly as fungus in a damp forest, will surely breed a Child of Terror rather than a Child of Vigilance.
         One can almost be assured that Lee Malvo came from such a home, just as John Muhammad did, or Saddam Hussein, or Osama bin Laden, or Trent Lott, or Martha Stewart, or Donald Rumsfeld or even George Bush.
        I came from one of those homes.   Inside me is a Beast of Terror so frightening I have often thought of putting a gun to my head to kill it, fearful it might escape my control one day and injure those I love the most.   It has taken me years and years to try and manage that Beast, to try and uncover and identify the Beast so that I know when he awakens, and can feel his reptilian belly slithering across my soul, awakening to the demons of the world whose sirens scream for his presence.
       I am also aware the Beast of Terror rests inside my two grandson's souls, and my granddaughter's, and that only through Vigilant training and respect for the Beast Within can I provide leadership to teach my genetic offspring to manage and control the Beasts Within.
       My grandchildren do not have guns or weapons to play with.  They have Rescue Heroes.   They use the same energy another child might to learn to save not take lives.   When they slip and play "killing games" they are instructed there are other games to play.  The other night when I was watching the kids, age 6 and 4, and their cousin, 3, and they were playing Peter Pan trying to "kill" Captain Hook, I suggested they use the word "erase" rather than "kill," and they did.
         It was a small alteration of a brutal reality, but one appropriate for their ages.  As a Sentinel of Vigilance I know they know deep in their primal souls how to kill, to maim, to murder.   All of us do.  Our roots as human beings rest in the most violent of animal instincts, for the most meek mother, the most intimidated, weakest human can turn into a raging banshee of Terror in the blink of an eye if the right set of circumstances are present--such as someone threatening her child or home.    We bottle up the horror of our Beast, but we cannot rid ourselves of it. Sometimes it works to our benefit--especially to protect our children from harm.

Marines trained to kill

        My vision of Terror-Management is not Pollyannaish.   I am the very first to admit the bloodthirstiness of human beings, for I have seen what a weapon put in a young man's hands can do to turn him into an instant killer.   I have walked with young men in the jungles who came from nice, quiet peaceful homes but when given a gun and license to kill, turn into Beasts of Terror who froth at the mouth to kill.    Killing comes easy.  Vigilance to not kill takes effort.
       The case with Lee Malvo is symptomatic not just of a young boy seeking approval of an older man--a father image--but also of a greater illness in our society.    That illness is that Terrorism against Terrorism nullifies Terrorism.
      Translated, it means if you kill one of me, then I kill ten of you, and because I am bigger and stronger, and can kill more of you than you can kill of me, I should win.  Peace should be declared.  That's the signal our children are getting from the White House over Iraq.   Kill Hussein!  Kill Hussein!  Kill Hussein!
       We have all accepted and sanctioned the assassination of Terrorists when we didn't rise up in revolt over the murders in Yemen by the CIA that hit the front pages.  Why should we blink an eye over targeting Hussein?  Why should we tell our children our country is on the wrong track, and that killing others without a clear and present danger we all agree to and accept as part of the protection of our children's children's children when we can sit back in our armchairs and say:  "That's outside my reach.  Nobody will listen to me, so I'll just go along with everyone else on this issue and hope the war is over quickly."

Boy Killing

        How horrible such a thought is.
        How ugly a message to our children to sit back and do nothing, or worse, to agree without question the actions of our government.
        In Lee Malvo's case, a mini-version of the Saddam Hussein issue, we are running into snags.
        The guy we wanted to hang--the pseudo parent--is now getting off Scot free, at least from being the trigger man.   He's escaped prime liability and responsibility, kid of like Osama ducking into a cave and hiding while his henchmen get blown to bits.
        I've long been an advocate that any time a child is charged or convicted of a crime, that parallel indictments should automatically be issued to his or her parents, for the child is nothing more than the radiance of the parents, despite all their refusals to accept responsibility for their child's behavior.
        Lee Malvo and John Muhammad's mothers and fathers should also be on trial.
        So should Osama bin Laden's and Hussein's mother father.
        And Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush's.  And Martha Stewart's.
        To stop Terrorism at the roots, we must stop Parental Complacency.  We must stop trying to chop off the Head of Terrorism and look down beneath the soil to the roots of it.
        Somewhere, back in the development of the child, parents endorsed Terroristic behavior.   They allowed their children to become gods, let them elect violence over Vigilance.
        It's time for that to stop.
        It's time for all parents to become Parents of Vigilance, and to replace Fear with Courage, Conviction in the place of Intimidation, and Right Actions where Complacency once ruled.
        If not, there will be many more Lee Malvo's running around.


Dec. 21--A Good Day To Visit A Graveyard

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