Last month the community of Englewood, New Jersey banned Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from going forward with plans to set up a tent to stay in at a Libyan-owned estate in the upscale community located a few minutes drive north of Manhattan.
Gadhafi, or Khadafy, as some news media call him, is scheduled to be in New York City for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and wanted to stay on an estate the Libyan government owns in Englewood. But the city, in an admirable show of backbone, banned him from coming to town.
It seems that folks in Englewood remember Libya’s involvement in terrorist acts in the past, including the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, which killed 259 people on board the aircraft, as well as eleven on the ground. The dead included 189 Americans, 32 of them New Jersey residents.
Englewood isn’t as forgiving as the United States government when it comes to embracing murderers, just because somebody else has taken the front seat on the Bad Guy Bus.
You know about the Bad Guy Bus, right? For as long as I can remember, and way before my time, the Bad Guy Bus was making regular stops, carrying all sorts of bloodthirsty thugs into the headlines.
Some of history’s most notorious figures have ridden the Bad Guy Bus. Most recently Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were its passengers, but before that it was Gadhafi, and prior to him it was Ayatollah Khomeini. And let us not forget Manuel Noriega, Idi Amin, and Ho Chi Minh.
The Bad Guy Bus has been around a long time. Nikita Kruschev, Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, and Kaiser Wilhelm all rode in on the Bad Guy Bus. They occupied our nightmares and our headlines until the bus moved on, and then came around the block again, carrying a brand new bad guy.
I applaud the folks in Englewood. They have long memories, in a world where the sins of the past seem to be forgotten within a month or two. It almost seems that as soon as we find somebody new to hate, we forget all about the bad things that were done to us in the past.
Not my dad’s generation. He saw firsthand the atrocities the Japanese committed in the Philippines during World War II, and he hated anything Japanese to his dying day. One of my uncles helped liberate survivors from the Dachau concentration camp, and he has never forgiven the German people for what happened there. Tell him that not all Germans were a part of the Nazi reign of terror, and he’ll tell you that none of them put a stop to it, either. Right or wrong, those men had long memories.
Is that right or wrong? Should we forgive and forget and make nice the day the bullets stop flying? Or should we nurse our hate and exact our revenge? Oh, we can’t do that. I forgot, we’re the Good Guys.
Most of those bad guys of the past are gone now, except Castro, Gadhafi and Bin Laden. But rest assured that we’ll never run out of bad guys. The Bad Guy Bus never runs out of fuel, or of bullies, thugs, and killers.
Tags: Adolf Hitler, atrocities, Ayatollah Khomeini, Benito Mussolini, bloodthirsty thugs, bombing of Pan Am flight 103, Dachau concentration camp, Englewood, Fidel Castro, German people, Ho Chi Minh, Idi Amin, Japanese, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, Joseph Stalin, Kaiser Wilhelm, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Lockerbie Scotland, Manhattan, Manuel Noriega, Nazi reign of terror, New Jersey, New York City, Nikita Kruschev, Osama Bin Laden, Philippines, Saddam Hussein, terrorist acts, United States government, World War II