A Choice of Evils
Because I feel the need to speak my mind.
Got a choice between hate and love, death and saving people, war and peace.
Gotta make the choice.
Before I start into this, I have read a lot about how we need to support our leaders, and show patriotism. I agree with that to a limited degree. I still hold this was not an attack on America as much as an attack on civilization. As such, I won't be covering my site in flags or selling "God Bless America" shirts but doing what I feel I do best. Writing about events of the day and trying to make some sense of it all. Part of being an American is to dissent, question and provoke, which is why the First Amendment of our Constitution is about being able to speak freely. To follow unquestioningly is not Patriotic, but merely an abdication of our duty as a citizen.
I shall continue to serve the state by opposing its excesses and questioning its decisions. With that said...
While we reel in shock from this horrid tragedy, try and imagine that people in Ireland have put up with this for decades. They don't have fancy graphics or 6 news networks to name it for them, so they just call it "The Troubles." Israel has dealt with it on a near daily basis since their inception. The Palestinians deal with it daily under the guise of "military actions". Other countries do as well, the Congo, El Salvador, Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines just to name a few off the top of my head.
Can't get your mind around that? Think it's not the same? Fell that they are too different from us to make to leap? Fine. For over 2 years, England dealt with this during World War II. Buzz bombs, German planes and air raid sirens going off every night. They're about as close to being like the US as any country other than Canada, and they lived with it for two straight years.
Me? I am disgusted by all the war talk. "Let's bomb them back to the Stone Age." Afghanistan IS in the Stone Age. They are suffering from years of war under the Soviets, years of Civil War and a land that can't produce enough food for its own people. And the only aid they get is money from our government to fight drugs. We kind of forgot to help the rebels there try to overthrow the Taliban, just like we kind of forgot to help the Kurds overthrow Saddam Hussien in Iraq once we got the oil flowing again. We do that, you know. Tell people to rise up and take back their freedom, then forget to help them do it because it might cost some money that a Senator would rather spend on a pet project a contributor to his campaign told him to approve.
We wouldn't get the terrorists anyway; they aren't as dumb as our criminals are. They hide, they don't use technology and they are fanatically devoted to their cause. You see, this attack and war is for the oldest and saddest of all reasons: Our God is better than your God. And while we say our God is the one in the bible, that's not the one they are fighting. They are fighting the God of the Green. The dollar. The unwavering march of the US economy, which helps you if you have oil or something else we want and ignores you or puts you to work if we don't.
"America's New War" CNN screams 24/7. But this was a terrorist...who felt that he was striking back against innocent people being killed in his land. He has declared war on the United States three years ago, but we were too busy with Monica and Gary Condit and Survivor and all the other Important things that were in the "news" for the past three years. He also declared war on anyone who is the US's allies, we just didn't pay any attention to his declaration. Sure, he blew up a couple of embassies, but they were in countries we can't pronounce filled with brown people, so it was just a blip on the National radar. Don't believe me? Ask yourself which of our embassies were bombed three years and try to answer without looking it up on the Internet. You were probably too busy thinking about how you were making money in the stock market. Or how you needed to drive an extra mile or so to get to the gas station selling gas five cents a gallon less. Or wondering if this pair of jeans made you look fat. Or which juice box would be harder for Billy to spill in the back of the mini-van.
Please don't take understanding why someone did something as apologizing for it. There are a LOT of people who have legitimate gripes against the US, and they don't have much in the way of power to get us to listen. They don't cross that line...the line between life and death. The line between being civilized and being an animal gone mad. Once you kill an innocent, no matter your justification, you are in the wrong. Period.
So, we're going to blow up innocent people in apartment buildings and hospitals and the like...but we won't call them innocent people, we'll call them "Collateral Damage". We'll see it long distance on TV and think how much it looks like Metal Gear Solid on Playstation 2, distancing ourselves from what we are doing. Adding to the count of the innocents.
Again, I think we should get justice. Operation Infinite Justice is a stupid name, and implies all the wrong things, since justice can't be infinite. Unless you're Moslem, then only Allah can mete out Infinite Justice. Thankfully, someone pulled the Bush team aside and let them know this, even though it shows a profound misunderstanding of the world in which they live. Kind of like when he called the fight against terrorism a "Crusade" which has bad connotations for countries who were invaded during the Crusades.
What we can do can only be Justice, the proper punishment for crimes that gives a message to others who would do it that they will pay for their actions. It won't be, though. It will be vengeance. And, like with the Gulf War, we'll most likely miss our target, declare victory and spend years putting out the fires of their vengeance.
Going to war isn't justice, it's a bunch of Bushies playing Gulf War again since they all got so famous the last time.
Let's send in people to get the terrorists, bring them here, put them on trial and then dump them in the main prison population with people who know what they did. How much have we paid for the elite troops that Tom Clancy writes about, are held up as The Best In The World at going anywhere, infiltrating anything and coming back to the USA? Isn't it time we dropped them into the places these terrorists are and had them bring the bastards back here for trial?
They'd last about an hour in the shower room. Or someone would Dahmer them. Or get a shiv in the lunch line. Or grow old, forgotten and ignored, their revolutionary rhetoric grown cold.
But war? That will justify what they did by making it the war they want. They Don't Call it terrorism. They call it a war. This is a Jihad...a Holy War, and people fight Holy Wars to the last body used as a shield.
I watched Apocalypse Now a couple of weekends ago weekend and it was the ultimate antidote to the call for war we hear from every rooftop for me. I have read a LOT about how the Soviets tried to do the same thing we're talking about doing, and it destroyed the Soviet Union. To go to war against fanatics on their home turf is never a good idea. We can't just drop bombs from the sky and knock out their high tech, since they barely have phones and next to no electricity. We can't shut down their supply lines because they have no supplies. We would have to send in troops, battle it out on the ground and FIND the people who do this in land they've been fighting in for at least 2 decades. The Government may tell us that a war would be long, bloody and brutal, but isn't that what they said about Iraq? And didn't we declare "War" on drugs, poverty, AIDS, Cancer, school violence, information leaks on who's sleeping with who in the White House and anything else that scared us?
Trust me. We are so far removed from war that we can't grasp it anymore. We were horrified by movies that showed a sanitized version of war with fictional characters. The real thing will be much different than what we're used to. There won't be trading cards, like the Gulf "War", and it won't be over in a month or two. At the beginning of the Civil War, people took picnic lunches to battlefields, thinking it would be a nice diversion, and it would all be put down swimmingly. At the end, the country was so traumatized that some wounds STILL haven't healed. And let's not even get into Vietnam.
We have to remember (or learn) that WE CREATED THESE PEOPLE. We trained them, we paid them, and we used them to fight The Commies. Osama bin Laudin got all of his military and terrorist training from us in our zeal to fight Russia through surrogates in Afghanistan. And damn us that we trained him so well.
Just like Russia is being attacked by the "freedom fighters" they trained and created during the Cold War in their own country. But we didn't pay any attention when Russia asked us to join in a worldwide fight against this kind of terrorism, because they are Russians and they probably deserved it. You can't trust them anyway, right?
Now we are asking them to join with us, and Russian leader Putin's response was a simple, "What took you so long?"
I thought about it a lot last night. There are two ways to fight an enemy. Become the enemy and be bigger, stronger and nastier than the enemy (which worked in W.W.II, W.W.I, the Civil War) or become the opposite of the enemy, like Vietnam did to us, or we did to England.
They don't see people as human beings, but tools and targets. Want the Taliban to hand over bin Laden? Do it the way we got Milosevich, tell them "You're hungry, you're sick, you're falling apart. We have aid. If you want it, do what we need." They kill innocents? We send in our overpaid elite troops that are supposed to be able to get in to anything and have them take out the terrorist camps and bug out, leaving innocent civilians at home not knowing they were even invaded. They say their God demands blood? We show that our God demands compassion and we keep giving blood, time and money to those who've fallen.
Yeah, it doesn't serve the primal animal need to lash out when hurt, but in the end, it will keep this from happening again.
But if we DO go to war, let's not do a half-assed job like we did in the Gulf War. That just leaves angry people with access to terrorists. We did the full Monty in W.W.II and there aren't a lot of German terrorists trying to get revenge...but the half-assed job we did in 1991 left a LOT of terrorists with state money and lifetimes to get revenge.
Let's not leave any vultures to come to roost, either way. Because no matter how much defense we have, it only takes one madman to change the world for the worse.
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