Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Seemingly Endless Cycle

It is well war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
Robert E. Lee

My entire life we have had one war or another. I'm weary. But our leaders are not, so here we go, escalating the conflict in Afghanistan.

Somehow I think the atmosphere of Washington D.C. stifles reasoned thought. No one has been successful in that region, going all the way back to Alexander. Believing additional soldiers will turn an area of rival tribes into a cohesive country we can have treaties and diplomacy with is as reasonable as believing reindeer really do fly.

More lives, more money and probably no way to pay other than borrowing (Americans have decided we don't believe in taxation for anything. The nation is on a very large Chinese credit card). I imagine we will be bogged down there for years to come.

Which means we will continue the battle domestically. We don't have money to care for our population or our infrastructure. We lack the political will to do something about it. We are in a decline, but don't know it. Because we have military might we become confused. We believe we are powerful. We are. We can blow up the earth a hundred times over. But we can't stop 45,000 people dying each year because they don't have insurance and therefore lack access to medical care.

We close schools, let go police, allow roads and bridges to crumble. Universities raise tuition to a level that keeps large segments of the population off their campuses. We have created a "Do you want fries with that" economy. But we can borrow money and fight wars. While we have 38 million people on food stamps.

So President Obama has just bought himself a war. The mess is now his to own. He will, I believe, regret it. I know I do.


  1. An all too sad synopsis of what is happening. Sad and scarey.

  2. These people should read history. The story is in the history. No~one, but no~one, has come out of Afghanistan smelling pretty. That being the case only a full blown idiot would attempt it. That being said our idiot pollies are likely to follow yours into the mess. And we elected these fools to run our countries. Heaven help us!

  3. I just can't wrap my head around this. One of the few advantages to living in dirtville is being so far removed from mainstream everything. I can't avoid this no matter how hard I try. I am frightened. I am so very, very sad.

  4. Husband tells me that in the history of the world there has only been 20 years total where there hasn't been a war somewhere. Man's inhumanity to man is unthinkable. I don't wonder God decided to destroy earth a couple of times....I pray for peace for you Sandra, peace in the midst of chaos and loss and cold weather. Blessings on you my friend. (I took a pic of a metal horse sculpture for you on my last trip. Will post soon.)

  5. Jennifer, it is indeed sad. I was hopeful in Obama. Not so much anymore. Where is the "urgency of now"?

    Bonnie, i have been, believe it or not, an optimist throughout my life. I grumble and complain, but I have always thought through work and will things will turn out in the end. I'm mostly saddened because I think I am losing that belief.

    Ganeida, you know history just keeps repeating itself. Humanity has not got the capacity to retain long-term information.

    gsc, I am with you, I'm very sad. I heard yesterday that 55 came home in a box in Nov. from Afghanistan. 55 lives whose promise will not be fulfilled. The cost of these occupations is great, how many Iraq and Afghanistan lives have been lost in this misguided mess.

    Debra, I will not quibble with his figure. I have no doubt he is right. You know, a country's priorities can be measured by how it budgets its money. We have a very large military budget. Not so large for the people who are in the line of fire, but really large for the instruments of destruction and for the people who implement them.

  6. do you really mean reindeer can't fly? say it isn't so...

    i think we're witnessing the decline of the american empire. it must have looked similar in the waning days of the roman empire. but as you quite rightly say, we don't really know it yet.

    i have to admit that i expected better of obama. especially after 9 meetings on the subject, including one on the tarmac right here in copenhagen. he didn't even need to look at the entire spectrum of history to know that fighting for afghanistan doesn't work: just look back to the decade it didn't work for the soviets...

  7. julochka, my sentiments exactly.

  8. Come visit me, I have a post for you! http://magnificentdebra.blogspot.com/2009/12/sum-is-greater-than-its-parts.html

  9. well said - very well said. Yet, I am sure the twist will be made by the administration that he is just doing what has to be done to deal with the mess that was handed him on arrival. mmmhmmmm. I for one don't buy crap.

    Sad that we are allowing ourselves to turn into a third world country

  10. True about war. There will always be war until a time when the punishment is worse than the reward or possible gain.

    Since our government chooses to lie to us, spend out money foolishly and we as a people elect the weakest, simplest and least experienced among us we are going down it seems. This government wants to take the power from the people. There has not been any administration in the history of this country that held the constitution in lower regard. Shame on us for voting the way we do. The definition of a fool is someone who repeatedly does the same action and expects different results. Anyone alive during Carter that put this government in power, beginning in 06 fits the bill.
    Good post.

  11. I'm anti war, but do believe if Bush had finished the first war (Afgh)instead of losing sight and going into Iraq things could have been very different. As it is, I fear we are saddled with Bush's 2 wars for some time to come. I also believe whomever followed Bush would be stuck with Iraq and Afghan. They aren't problems that are going to go away, and if we pull out; things will only worsen. Everyone speaks of history, history tells us that we Americans have pulled out and not finished the job other times in history...that cost many people lives and our world respect.

    I don't like being there, but I don't believe we have a choice. The military people I know have felt for some time more was needed. They say if we're there, give us enough men to do something.


  12. Wow 38 million people on food stamps is tragic, that's almost double the population of Australia.

    The American government likes to see themselves as a force to be reckoned with. They like the power and think they the good guys fixing the problems. Yet they do nothing to actively resolve issue. Flexing muscle has never solved issues before so it puzzles me they still think it will work.


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