Since I started writing Warriors Workers Whiners and Weasels, I’ve noticed that, as a culture, we have recently been confronted with an abundance of particularly heinous Weasels operating on a large scale. They range from the white-collar thugs who ran Enron and WorldCom and robbed thousands of unsuspecting people of their life savings while pillaging their companies, to the most dangerous kind of Weasels who periodically rise to haunt mankind – namely, the terrorists who killed thousands of people on September 11th and who continue to plague the world by killing innocent people in the name of fanaticism.
Although I would never dare equate the run-of-the-mill nasty folks each of us may encounter in our daily lives with the kind of individuals who randomly slaughter innocent people, both are Weasels of different degrees. History is filled with the unfortunate rise of social, religious, political, and military Weasels—individuals and groups who cause tremendous pain to the masses and who temporarily stall society in its tracks, as we all attempt to deal with actions that are almost impossible for us to comprehend. Instead of channeling their energies to change the problems they complain about, they instead focus on harming others in retribution.
In their fanaticism, they exhibit typical cowardly Weasel tendencies, although on a much larger and more dangerous scale than the con men and creeps that we more commonly encounter. They are blind to the concerns of others, and they justify any action they may decide to take. They whine about the injustice they perceive is heaped on them, and they use it to explain their immoral and criminal behavior. Yet despite their pontifications, they refuse to take responsibility for the havoc they wreak.
As Americans, we have been raised to loudly proclaim the superiority of our political system over less free and forthcoming governments, which made the terrorists’ actions all the more baffling. They feel strongly enough about their cause that they commit suicide while murdering thousands, seemingly with no regret, yet they are so cowardly that they refuse to publicly acknowledge their actions. Although the atrocities of other groups and governments are not often more tolerable, as a culture, we at least find it more palatable to have enemies who have the courage of their convictions to publicly identify themselves.