I woke up this morning at the end of a dream in which I was campaigning for high office. (President?).  John McCain was in the audience.  He seemed pleased.  Maybe he was just laughing at me.  I seemed to be quite eloquent.  Well, hey, it was my dream.  Yesterday was election day here.  I guess that’s the connection.  You know you’re old when your dreams are about politics.

Somewhere in my speech I said, “I love my country.  I’d die for my country!”  I wondered about that.  It is so easy to say.  Sounds good, specially at a political rally.  But what I actually know about the armed conflicts to which we have sent young men and women to die is this: It was seldom to protect the American homeland or way of life.  It was for politics as usual.  It was to defend our right to be right.  Oh we wrapped it all in flags and blew the bugle.  That has to be done to keep impressing the children so they will continue to die for the American Way. Every war time death is a tragic death.  It is a symbol of human failure.  

Now we are in another war half way around the world fighting a people who for millennia have battened down in a tribal mentality and have hated anyone who does not believe as they do.  Now they have modern weapons, a will to use them and a unified goal: annihilate the west. (I wonder if they think we want to do the same to them?)

Is it really true that if we kill enough of them we will win?  Then how does that distinguish us from them.  They say their god is great and is on their side.  We ask our god to go with us into battle to preserve the American Way which, of course is godly.  I’m not sure I see much difference there except for a cultural twist or two.  They kill in their god’s name and we kill in our god’s name.  They do have that virgin thing in Paradise.  That does have it’s possibilities.  Singing hymns at the feet of Jesus never did inspire much courage in me.

I don’t know.  There has to be a better way to do this.  Killing each other does not solve a thing.  The problems persist.  Even when bona fide tyrants have to be put down, and this is the justification for our present endeavor, one must continue to live by the sword.  We will not be able to just leave them in peace, planting black eyed peas in stead of poppies and constructing an American style free and democratic way of life.

We have become proficient in the art of building war machines.  That’s the history, and unless something changes in our method, unless we find a way to talk to each other, that is to be the future as well.

1 Comment

  1. Well said.I always thought the virgin thing was cool too.It was probably in the Bible at one time but those yahoo’s back in the day probably took it out along with Jesus’s wife Mary Magdalene and the 20 or so years of his life that seem to be missing.Those jerks.

Leave a Reply