|11 May 2004 @ 23:47, by Jack Carlson|
I'm not even going to provide one single link to a story on the subject. Unless you live in a cave on an isolated island with no connection to anyone, you know about today's news regarding the beheading of an American civilian in retaliation for our humiliation of imprisoned enemy combatants.
Torture of prisoners is as ancient a practice as the human race itself. We are a violent and dangerous animal. War is often perceived as an chance to "get even" with those people who have angered us, attacked us or invaded our territory. After several thousand years, humans decided to, for some unexplained reason, apply rules to a behavior that had, up until then, been pure chaos.
At some point someone decided that while you could still throw a rock at your enemy's head, you could only do so if he had a rock as well. You know how rules work. Once you pass the first one, it's all over. The rules begin to fly. So now, in our modern time, we have rules for nearly every situation in which a person may find themselves once combat begins. That is...situations we've already encountered and know about. Iraq is showing us we still aren't prepared for every possible threat, neither the military nor the U.S. So far in our history, every major conflict we've been a part of has been more technologically advanced than the last one. Sometimes in only minor ways, often in major areas like weapons, protection and training.
So now we have the most technologically advanced military on the planet...pitted against 16th century religious fanatics. If we want to look to history, one close analogy is the British in Africa during the Zulu Wars. But in our situation, the dichotomy is even greater. "Look, we can see in the dark" we boast. "We'll just kill you during the day, then", they reply. "You must play by the rules" we insist. "We don't accept your rules, nor do we grant you the right to make up the rules. We've got our own."
And that's the rub. In all things, your view of reality is only valid toward the world outside yourself if the world out there accepts your version of things. Wars are fought because at least two large groups of people don't agree on some vital (we would hope) matter of international concern. Allies are made of those who view reality most like we do. Enemies are those with whom we share few if any beliefs. War is also a period of national desperation. "We'll do anything to win" should be many a nation's motto. Not ours, however. We've got rules.
So how does one "team" with rules play against another "team" playing with other rules. Both sets of rules are laughable to the other side. But their rules allow them to do things that our rules don't...over-react and kill people in 16th century ways. Granted, these are people who still stone people to death. They're not living in our century in many ways. How do we tame these kinds of humans? All our modern technology isn't going to help us, not if we continue playing by our rules.
Meanwhile, at home, the public is beginning to ask some hard questions. And that's good. War is the greatest threat to world stability there is, greater than natural disasters. If one side decides that the ultimate weapon is the best solution, they could render the entire planet uninhabitable by any living thing. At every moment during a war someone ought to be questioning the need for it. War should never last very long...not with the weapons available these days. Brutal, savage acts like the one today make many people want to know, "can we win this conflict quickly, before we have to resort to the horrible weapons, and if not, what do we have to do to win?". This military isn't the same one I served in. And the mood of the public is shifting. There is no time to make this an issue to be decided after the next election, or in any other way make it a political chess piece. Humans are being killed in methods similar to those we went to Iraq to prevent. And now we're the victims.
Regardless of your political position, you should be provided an acceptable accounting of what this conflict is costing us, and whether or not we can win, following the course we've established. Then you can make an informed decision. The military needs to get it's training and chain of command problems fixed yesterday. And the politicians need to quit talking and make the hard decisions based on our expressed desires.
15 May 2004 @ 01:16 by shawa : Hi
Just wanted to put a comment in here. Thanks for posting this.
15 May 2004 @ 02:07 by : Well said
15 May 2004 @ 04:01 by jmarc : well thought
but i disagree that using the ultimate weapon would make the planet uninhabitable. The ultimate weapon has been tested 100s of times in the atmosphere by numerous nations,and although the effects aren't pretty, they do eventually disapate and the earth rolls on. The situation now though, that is what makes the earth uninhabitable.
22 Oct 2004 @ 09:47 by : Jack...
Humans are capable of much much more. The war just may be 'inter-planetary' and maybe, just maybe, humanity is not the cause of all the 'chaos?' Ever think of that?
cf., (And read the 'online book' if you've the time.)
10 Apr 2006 @ 22:48 by bond-007 : gosh what honesty we know here2peace
we used our own weapons of mass destruction towards another country that used theres against us one of us was closed to ending the world. Now we are in a different era same process but controling another country either for oil or
for placing politics of constructing another government like ours. but the turth was what laid behind Iran was only lies to get in Iraq to control it of it's oil
and doing humanly wrong with Arbu Grib did we gain anything by this conduct. I still feel peace can be prospered if power is willing to untighten it's grip an unlosen it's guard some. and start talking not use control. If President Geaoge could change is imange of having ppl hating but change to be a better person then being a scourge in his won country of not taking health care away from Indian resovations that need the medical care. for certain things. I am picking on him but not being dishonest but he is not the force behind peace but the eney of the world that American men and women that fight his war.
May peace be up on us and change take place, its the ppl in government that we all vote for to make things better what has been saying that congress controls the president not the president contolling congress
10 Apr 2006 @ 22:56 by bond-007 : George Bush
I had spelled the first name of the president wrong >Geaoge< to bad I feel he did not use Bill Clinton progress of being a well like president instead of being a war Hawk..........
this my last comment here
Since I am living in another country