Wednesday, August 31, 2005

All we are saying...is give me my fifteen minutes

I realize that there’s a war going on. On one side you have a country hell-bent on democracy and freedom and safety and security, and on the other, a rag-tag bunch of lunatics who think that their invisible man will give them a bunch of raisins if they kill anyone who even so much as talks about another invisible man. Gee, it’s really difficult to decide which horse to bet on there.

Let’s be honest here, war is a good thing for it decides irrevocably where mere words have failed miserably. Diplomacy is good for, say, high school debate teams, and union negotiations. On the other hand, only a lightning bolt from above (or thermonuclear warhead) can sway the minds of those who murder and torture thousands of innocent people, especially in the name of invisible people. There are those who say “two wrongs don’t make a right”, but most likely they were the ones beaten up for their lunch money in school. Lex Talionis, my tye-dyed friends, an eye for an eye – that is the very definition of true justice. Sanctions and fines don’t work; they lead to further injustice. I always found it mildly amusing that after WWI, Germany was fined 132 billion Marks for “loss and damages”, and the subsequent depression caused by the fine unwittingly led to Hitler’s rise to power.

In any case, this is not about the logic of war, or an argument for or against it. What I’d like to focus on, however, is the fringe society created out of the growing frustration of simply being ignorant of the terms and concepts of war. From Boston to Budapest, you can’t swing your arms without hitting some unemployed college student or baby-boomer looking to relive his Woodstock days prancing around with a sign and screaming "Bush Lied!" through a mouthful of veggie burger. Even if I concede the fact that protests are sometimes warranted, in the case of this war, they are a complete waste of time. Why? For the simple reason that the majority of people have absolutely no idea why we are at war. Go outside and ask a dozen people why there is a War in Iraq. Go ahead, I’ll wait...

Ok, back? What did they tell you? Oil? American Imperialism? Revenge? Some sinister conspiracy plot involving the Rosicrucians and Halliburton? I’d by willing to wager a golden fiddle that not one person you asked is aware of the true cause behind the war. And yet, those same ignorant people will be the first ones to shout and cry and scream and throw rocks at police officers. How can people act so vehemently against something they don’t understand?

There are a few reasons of course, but all of which point to human nature and the idea of mob mentality. Young, idealistic humans who are convinced that they can make the world a better place get caught up in the frenzy of denouncing anything that woulf imperil their ideals. And it doesn’t matter which issue is at stake: The environment, gun control, civil rights, animal cruelty, war. The result is the same – thousands of frustrated people marching en masse complaining because things aren’t going the way that they had hoped for. They don’t actively do anything about it, mind you, they just complain. And protest, and boycott, and chant. And the world continues in spite of their protestations.

If anti-war people weren’t so readily dismissed by those in power, I think it would be amusing to give them one hour of airtime on a major TV network in order to disseminate their plan to rectify the ills in the middle east. Admit it, you’d love to watch Rainbow Mudslide Smith Jr. stammer through some convoluted speech and then throw up her hands in a fit of anger. Without their placards and slogans, these people bring nothing to the table, and consequently, should not be mocked or ridiculed or hassled, but quietly ignored, but not without a wry smile planted firmly on the lips.

The protest group du jour, the one camping out near President Bush’s property in Crawford, Texas and led by media-magnet Cindy Sheehan, has been the subject of much attention over the last few weeks. In case you’ve been living under a rock Ms. Sheehan is the mother of a soldier (Casey Sheehan) who was killed in Iraq, which, naturally, gives her complete authority and expertise into the war machine. She believes that the war is unnecessary and that if she is given just one hour to speak to the President, she is convinced that he will see the error of his ways. Admirable, but naïve.

Check out this heartwrenching picture of Ms. Sheehan clutching a pole.

For one thing, 1800 soldiers or so have died in Iraq since the operations have begun in March, 2003. That works out to be 62 a month. During peacetime, 75 soldiers are killed each month in accidents, suicides and what have you. Peacetime. That means when lunatics aren’t running around ululating with pipe bombs strapped to their thighs, 75 American soldiers still die from something other than natural causes. So statistically (and hence, logically) 1800 soldiers killed in 30 months AT WAR is more than acceptable.

Click here for more Peacetime Casualty rates.

I suppose on some level it’s sad when someone is killed, whether by accident or aggression, but let’s examine the truth – every single person will die. It’s called Cartesian Certitude. How and when we are to pass on is another matter, but lifestyle choices and employment must be factored into the equation. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a Sunday School teacher is less likely to be killed at work than a police officer. And even though I don’t have the statistics in front of me, I can safely assume that being a soldier on active assignment during a time of war isn’t exactly a safe endeavor.

So my question is this, Ms. Teary Eyed Sheehan: Where were you when your son decided to sign up for the military in the first place? If you were such a pacifist, not to mention caring mother, where were your protestations when he sauntered down to the local Army recruiting tent in May 2000?

What’s most interesting to me is that in an interview given to Mark Knoller of CBS she referred to the Iraqi terrorists as “freedom fighters”. In another video, she drives around in a bus labeled “Impeachment Tour”. She said “only some of the people in Iraq are victims, the war won’t affect the others.” She has mentioned that “Iraq was never a terrorist state.” She claims “President Bush has killed her oldest son.” (Not a terrorist, mind you, but the President. Those are some pretty serious allegations.) Before a protest march, her question to her clingers-on of “Are we going to go peacefully?” was met with derisive cheers, laughter, and a cry of “We’ll try”. One of her followers keeps chanting, “stop contaminating the troops”, referring to the military’s use of depleted uranium. Another says that the UN treaty prohibits preemptive wars (it doesn’t), but fails to acknowledge that the reason for the war in the first place was because Iraq violated multiple UN treaties. The Crawford police tell them they are allowed to protest off the road, but not in the road, and yet, there they are, walking on the road. And when they are told to follow the rules, her disciples respond by yelling at the officers, calling them fascists and challenging their authority. View it all here:

Cindy Movie

(Be warned, there’s lots of angry cursing and bad guitar strumming on that site.)

Throughout the whole video, she keeps demanding an answer to the question “Why did my son die," but she is not satisfied by any answer the administration has to give. I wish I could point out to this poor woman that no person in any level of the government owes her anything. Her son, being of legal age and sound mind and body, made a decision to join the military, served admirably (Volunteering for his ill-fated mission. Keep that in mind. He was NOT ordered to serve in the mission in which he was killed, he VOLUNTEERED), and died honorably. At best, her situation is a family heartbreak. Period. But once the cameras are turned on, and the interview has started, her agenda spews forth like evil bile.

Hmm. Grieving mother, or opportunistic political activist?

Mendacious Mortal.

1 Comments:

Blogger Harry said...

Interesting post. I didn't know about the peacetime military death stats. If you havn't done so already, go read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. You will like it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:00:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home