I hate war - I think it makes us all despair and feel hopeless. But sometimes, war is a necessary thing. That doesn't make it a good thing. I think as I've grown older, I've come to understand that some things may not be good, but they are necessary.
The war in Afghanistan (emphasis on the "in" because it's not a war with Afghanistan) is the war we should have been fighting since 2001. The US currently has 36,000 troops there....remember, this is the place that harbors al-Qaeda, and should have been the focus of our supposed "war on terror." By comparison, the US has over 140,000 troops in Iraq.
Sadly, those we are fighting are ones who will deliberately bivouac with civilians in order to try and use them as shields against attack. I wouldn't want to be in any world leader's shoes, who had to deal with the undeniable fact that in order to get to the enemy, they were going to have to kill innocents. I don't know how anyone lives with that.
I don't think I'm saying this well at all.
Yes, I know it's difficult.
I don't have anything like a coherent case to mount against the war in Afghanistan- I just know what I read in the papers- which is mainly that the West is losing- just as the Russians lost.
And I have a thing about the bombing of civilian areas. I don't see how- morally- they differ from those attacks against ourselves which we characterise as "terrorism".
2009-01-29 12:08 pm (UTC)
This is a typical response from someone who only has the American mainstream media as a source of information / propaganda.
I've read that Obama's mentor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has admitted to funding and training what later became known as Al-Quaeda. His son Mark was a campaign advisor for Obama, his other son Ian foreign policy advisor to the McCain campaign, and his daughter Mika reported the campaign for MSNBC. How about looking into that?
Obama has been silent to the Israeli attrocities committed against the Gazans, and talked about bombing Pakistan even during his campaign, so don't expect any difference between Obama and Bush in this respect, apart from an improvement in "marketing". For instance the Guantanamo closure PR event. The war is far from necessary, unless occupation and mass killing is justified when it leads to control of oil supplies and huge war profiteering. The commenter should also know that bombing all of the muslim world only leads to increased hatred of America and their aims of world hegemony, and therefore further terrorist retribution.
2009-01-29 12:11 pm (UTC)
The comment above this was a response to ArielStarShadow, not Tony
I like swimming at the beach. It's a real wrench to visit the seaside and not go in the water, even in winter.
But I've been so cold for the last couple of weeks that the idea of lying and toasting myself is quite appealing.
It's a long time since I actually swam in the sea- but I almost always take my shoes and socks off and wade in.
It's a "tonic" wine so it must be doing themn good.
Lucky you. I'm up and out of the house by 7.15am, whether I'm awake or not. However, 47 weeks of doing that buys me a week or two of being somewhere warm, and although I'm not a sunbather, people have been telling my I look "healthy" since my sojourn down under.
But are you actually any healthier- or is the tan just a fashion accessory?
I was a lot less tired when I got back. I'm trying to be in bed by 10pm on school nights to stop myself fading back to "Zombie".
The salary comes at a price!
Did you see, by the way, how one of Obama's first actions as President was to authorise an airstrike on a village in the tribal areas of Pakistan- one of those strikes that almost always kills civilians?
And do you think he just did it without thought? Just "Let's see, I think I'll authorize this airstrike just because I can?" I hate war, and I would rather that there was never any such thing anywhere.
The airstrikes were authorised under a covert programme approved by Obama, according to a senior US official. It was a dramatic signal in the president’s first week of office that there will be no respite in the hunt for Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
No, that doesn't mean I agree. Not in the least. And you're so right about the ghosts following him around. Hopefully he will amassed less at the end of his term than Bush did.
Of course we don't know what the briefing was or how he was advised or what the objectives were...
That's sad. I suppose it's to do with climate and the kind of apples you can grow.
"But these are only boys and I will never know / How men can see the wisdom in a war"
That Michael Newton book looks interesting. I'll have a look at it. I firmly believe in reincarnation, myself, and the law of Karma. The way the Buddhists describe the time between death and rebirth sounds really "right" to me. It'll be interesting to see how Newton's work squares with all that.
Yes, do have a look. His findings confirmed and added detail to my existing beliefs.
Wasn't Dr Watson of the Sherlock Holmes books wounded while fighting in Afghanistan? And then I remember reading The Wolf of Kabul
in the Rover and Wizard
comic (yes, I did read boys' comics!) in the mid 60s. Googling tells me that those stories were set in the 1930s. So it seems Britain was embroiled there for many years on what was then India's North West Frontier. As you say the Russians bogged down there for ages and now the Americans.
Why does anyone bother? You've thing they'd have learned by now that fighting there is hopeless.
That's right. The North West Frontier was a constant thorn in the side of the Empire. If Tony Blair had grown up reading things like the Wolf of Kabul he'd have thought twice about taking the British army back there.
Talking about being in fighting shape, did you know that the average age of seamen on board Nelson's Victory was 22? No, neither did I. Sailors in movies are always crusty old dogs (played by well-loved character actors) but when you think of all the shining up ropes they had to do and the heavy-lifting and the fighting you realise that can't have been the case.
It doesn't surprise me; the press gangs focused on young men, and a lot of British tars during that period were pressed men.
If you read contemporary literature, sailors (as opposed to officers) did stay active into their 40s and 50s unless they became disabled, but that was usually only in non-military contexts --- ie fishermen, etc. The naval sailors apparently retired earlier. Their officers, by contrast, remained on active duty until sometimes well past modern retirement age. Jane Austen's brother Rear Admiral Charles died on board his naval vessel of cholera at the age of 73, and was in active service at the time of his death.
I derived this snippet of information from a report in Current Archaeology on a dig at The Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich. Basically they'd been digging up dead sailors. They found- on the whole- that early 19th century sailors were a hardy bunch- many of them surviving serious trauma- the loss of limbs etc- to live to a ripe old age.