Oh! Bomb-uh…Change I can’t Believe…

2009 December 1

by Roy W. Bakos

I am issuing a challenge to all of our readers and to readers and thinkers everywhere: define “victory in Afghanistan.”

I might be able to get behind this thing if I had any idea of what we are fighting for or trying to do in Afghanistan.  I thought we were there to disrupt the bases used by al Qaeda and arrest, or “git” as our former cowboy-in-chief used to say, the bad guys responsible for the attacks of September 11th and bring them to justice.  This, I do not have a problem with.

30,000 troops at a cost of $300,000,000,000 (300 billion dollars) over 18 months?  I think that I just figured out how to pay for the public option in the Health Care reform bill(s) without cutting medicare.  How many lives lost, on all sides (because there are way more than just two here) will be enough before we see our folly in the region?

Let’s get back to the mission…a quick strike force that searches for and finds al Qaeda operatives and arrests them and brings them to trial.  This force could also be used to disrupt their training bases in the region as well.  Pressure the Pakistanis (deny some aid anyone) to arrest and turn over members of al Qaeda.  Get the bad guys and come home.  Help the people of the region when asked and use the nice Army Corps of Engineers to do so.  Worked in Europe after WWII and would work here as well (and would help to supply jobs for our ailing economy).  Bridges not bombs; schools not tanks; and a big sword (the 6th fleet and the rapid strike force) to back this up if we are asked to help by a legitimate government there.  Anything else is simply misguided.

(thanks to my good friend Deb for the phonetics in the title.  See her work at www.artvoice.com)

8 Responses leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009

    Thanks Roy!

  2. Jego permalink
    December 2, 2009

    I think victory would be recalling all troops from all bases from all countries and withdrawing from the UN.

    But since we’re not going to do that, All hail the Peace Candidate!

    Yes we can,

    Jego

  3. Roy permalink
    December 2, 2009

    Everything but the withdrawal from the U.N. Jego…

  4. Jego permalink
    December 5, 2009

    What’s the UN do for us?

    Don’t wear the shiny ideology helmet. What does the UN do for us that we couldn’t do without them?

  5. December 6, 2009

    Blue helmets are much more peaceful and fancy looking and they have a really excellent flag.

    I like the UN much more in theory of what it could be rather than what it is (much like the way I “like” our government as well) and I think that having a body that at least attempts to solve problems by evading conflict, monitoring elections, and helping to feed the poorest kids in the world is OK by me…although I will admit that I do have big problems with sovereignty issues and the way the thing is administrated overall.

    I guess what the UN does for us the most is provide a conscience and an exposure to other worldviews that we normally would not have and it provides a forum for the airing of grievances that would have before, fallen on deaf ears.

    Feeling rather fuzzy and nice on this cold and sunny Sunday but I am hardened and ready for your retort…

  6. Jego permalink
    December 8, 2009

    Dude, parse that last comment of yours.

    Here’s a paraphrase: “I like what the UN could be, but not what it is. I think the existence of a group that tries to solve problems (even if it doesn’t do very well) by evading conflict, monitoring elections and feeding the hungry is OK. I think it’s OK even if it’s administered poorly and being a member makes some big sovereignty confusions. What the UN does is provide a conscience, an exposure to other worldviews and a forum for the airing of grievances that would have fallen on deaf ears before.”

    Is that fair? Here’s another way to say it: :”Good intentions should be rewarded with joining the group that has the good intentions–even if the group doesn’t do a good job. The intentions are what’s important–important enough that even if joining that group means we have to overturn our own laws, we have to be a member of the group because good intentions are important and we can’t find out what people are saying otherwise and we don’t have a good conscience without being a good member of that group.” I think that’s still a fair way to put it–tell me if you disagree.

    And here’s what I really think you’re saying: “There is a UN and we’re in it and we have been for a long time. Therefore, there should be a UN and we should be in it. Even if it sucks.” With maybe a dash of “The interests of nations such as Kiribati are equal in importance to the interests of the United States; both are nations.”

    Is that fair to say so far?

  7. Roy permalink
    December 10, 2009

    Jego,
    Paragraph #1 (”Here’s a paraphrase: “I like what the UN could be, but not what it is…”) is pretty right on as far as paraphrases go. I would like to see it administered better and I would like to settle the sovereignty issues. Since I am feeling much more MLK today rather than Malcolm X, I believe that the UN will exist even if we were to pull out and the only way to make it better, and in the same way, the world better, is to engage.
    The rest of the response is not really accurate as far as my beliefs. I do believe that “national interest” should oftentimes be replaced by “human interest” and also that most of the time these two should be and are one and the same. What do people in Kiribati want? Shelter, safety, a means to feed themselves and their loved ones, heat when it is cold and cool when it is hot, to be safe in one’s own existence, the basic life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness stuff. The problems always arise, on a local, national, or international level when “my” liberty conflicts with “another’s” idea of such. This is where we must try to eliminate conflict before it starts and understand that what we want, for the most part is to be left to achieve the above with minimal outside interference. The UN is a start at providing some sort of arena where these potential conflicts can be worked out before we see the mass carnage of international warfare like in WWI and WWII.
    Maybe we are not so far apart after all with the exception that you seem to be able to trust people to do the right thing without any kind of guidance (like government or the UN) than I do (and I do not mean guidance in a paternalistic way, just some sort of mediator that prevents us from infringing on each other’s Liberty before we are forced to defend it with force). Reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich at age 13 and then the Lord of the Flies at age 15 after years of the Bible and viewing the famous photo of white kids at a lynching in 1950 has fucked up the “trust large groups of humans to do the right thing” part of my brain.

  8. Roy permalink
    December 10, 2009

    If we can’t have government or the UN, can we at least have some kind of Rodenberry inspired Prime Directive?

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