Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm sure those of you not...

....living in a bubble, saw the president's speech last night, or heard about it, or know what it was about, because it was about as well kept a secret as any in this town...

I've been mulling over an appropriate response. I think regardless of whether you supported the war from the beginning or not and regardless of whether you still think it's the way to go or not, the one thing we can all agree on is that the troops we have out in the various combat zones (and here I refer not only to Iraq, but the others around the world... anybody remember Afghanistan?) are the ones getting the short end of the stick.

So before I get up on my soapbox and rant, let me take a moment to encourage you all -- especially those of you who think a magnetic ribbon on your enormous, gas-guzzling SUV somehow means you've done your part -- to check out AnySolider.com (and before I hear about it, there's a separate domain for each branch of the service, so AnyMarine.com, etc. But they're all interconnected, so try to remember AnySoldier.com). It's a charity that MLW and I decided to support this year, and it's somewhat addictive. As the site will tell you, it's not about "stuff" or money, it's about showing the men and women who are out there getting shot at and blown up simply by virtue of wearing the uniform, that some of us folks over here... well, care. And I think we should -- beyond the stupid magnets. It's not their fault they're over there. So, that's AnySoldier.com. Do your part.

And now our regularly scheduled program, already in progress...

The following poem(?) was originally broadcast on CBS News on March 15, 1971 (yes, I know I was a staggering month old, and already watching tv news...) -- the SALT disarmament talks (look it up, kids -- that's what the Internet is for...) were going on at the time. I came across it by way of a 10th grade history teacher, the late Mr. Keiber. It was something I hung on to. Eventually, I took the mimographed copy (yep, I'm old) and typed it in and sent it around several times in college. Sadly, I believe it to be a message that is still relevant. It's by CBS newsman Charles Osgood.

The family of man was once at war with the family that lived in the cave next door. And they fought that way for many a year until they learned to conquer hate and fear... and teamed their forces that they might meet the looming presence across the street. And the looming presence became a war that was even worse than the war before. And they fought that way for many a year till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and combined their armies to go put down the evil force from the other town. With that evil force, they fought a war that was even worse than the one before... and they fought that way for many a year till they learned to conquer hate and fear.

And when it was done they knelt down to pray... but some men worshipped in a heathen way. And religious difference became a war that was even worse than the war before. And they fought that way for many a year till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and built great navies that they might free the captive peoples across the sea. And with ships and guns, they fought a war that was even worse than the war before. And they fought that way for many a year, till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and nations prospered and empires too, and the size and scope of the conflicts grew. And conflicting interests produced a war that was even worse than the wars before. And they fought that way for many a year, till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and built defenses to guard their shores... and they fought a war to end all wars. And the war they fought to end all war, was even worse than the war before... and they fought that way for many a year, till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and they counted down and set the stage... and they gave the world the Atomic Age.

And if there comes an atomic war, it will be far worse than the wars before. There's an ancient, deadly pattern burned...and the question is... HAS THE FAMILY LEARNED??

My hat's off to Charles Osgood. He hit the nail right on the head. And I think we all know the answer.

Now, what are you going to do about it?

1 comment:

Jado said...

Two of my brothers spent time in The Big Sandbox (as they call it), and both of them say the same thing - the Iraqis aren't used to doing things for themselves in a positive way. So when we try to explain that they need to start running their own security/utilities/government, it's like if someone were to tell an average American that he needed to start forging his own steel. How DOES one contract for a delivery of iron ore, anyway?

So, if we can stop the violence long enough for the Iraqis to learn what they need to do and how to do it, there's a chance it can work.

Of course, this should have been the idea in 2003, and the Staggering Genius in the White House hasn't shown a big streak of competence as of yet, so I personally give the scheme about a 30% chance of success, totally predicated on the extreme competence of the military overwhelming the extreme INcompetence of the Executive branch.

If it contimues until after 2008, I give it an extra 10%, cause the Staggering Genius is the biggest impediment to success we have.

Well, him and Iran.