Sunday, October 07, 2007

the war...

October the 2nd was the fifth anniversary of my father’s death.

Some things illicit a pause. Some things forcefully realign priorities. I cannot even yet imagine a world without my father in it – good, bad, or otherwise. There still remains this gasping grief, this yawning void that leaves me fearfully unfettered.

Watching Ken Burns’ “The War” – it is framed by my understanding of this sort of unassuagable grief. Burns does a fair job communicating the horrors of war – even that “good” war – a war that it was required we take up the challenge. Of course we cannot help but put that war next to this one and those other wars that we have fought since that “good” war’s ending.

The lesson… there’s always a lesson… maybe we can never learn it… the lesson though of this look back… no matter how just, how “good” we were, the horrors and the excesses cannot be excised. Our hands can never be made clean, our consciences spotless, when undertaking war… It is always a great evil. How great then must be the evil that war is lesser-than that we should go to kill and be killed?

Why are we at war? Why are we in Iraq? Not I think for some phantom terrorist that might have been given refuge there – Not I think for some over-riding fear of its despot ruler – but perhaps because that some of our leaders thought we could turn it toward our own ends. A Middle-Eastern country ready to turn to the Western way of doing things. A “ready-made” ally that merely required a freeing from its own fetters to free it and its people to see as “we” see -- and with enough oil to insure the strength of the American economy for generations to come. A dominion theory like that we saw in Vietnam – but instead of a fall to communism taking with it neighbors – a fall to democracy taking Middle-Eastern neighbors along the same path as the forcefully converted Iraq.

And so we sit here… hanging in the balance… Our environment being eaten away by a culture powered by fossil fuels; our economy held hostage by imported oil; and our reason directed by a politically-crafted distortion of a Judeo-Christian ethic…

In World War II we understood the risks of our failure… What are the risks now if we fail to meet the challenge before us? If we were willing then to redefine our everyday lives… to go without to help limit the suffering of at least our own soldiers… to accept the limits of what our culture, society, … economy could sustain … why can we not see those limits now and address them with the same understanding?

Friday, September 14, 2007

the good fight...

The following is excerpted from a televised speech Jimmy Carter delivered on April 18, 1977. –When considered in the context of the Iraq war and the ongoing difficulties in the Middle East and the growing issues caused by global warming, it is remarkable Carter’s foresight and disappointing that we did not heed then what could have saved us so much now. I have to wonder when I watch documentaries dealing with World War II - "we" were fighting the good fight then... weren't we? We would have done anything. We were fighting for our lives. We were fighting to save the world. Now, like an addict or an alcoholic we just can't bring ourselves to see the problem. The only way the fighting ends in the Middle East is if there is nothing to fight over. The only way to save our environment is to actually make the hard choices. I for one will take my ration card now:

Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.

It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century.

We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.

Two days from now, I will present my energy proposals to the Congress. Its members will be my partners and they have already given me a great deal of valuable advice. Many of these proposals will be unpopular. Some will cause you to put up with inconveniences and to make sacrifices.

The most important thing about these proposals is that the alternative may be a national catastrophe. Further delay can affect our strength and our power as a nation.

Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern. This difficult effort will be the "moral equivalent of war" -- except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

coming soon...

I've been away... (mentally at least)... new posts coming soon

Thursday, March 01, 2007

a buck a song...

  • boy's death

  • Put your money where your mouth is... We spend billions on Iraq... billions... we're protecting our future right? We're making for a better world... We're insuring our security...

    How many people a day in the US die from lack of medical care... pre-emptive and all of that...? What's the reality on the ground? How much good will could we have bought with billions? How many could we educate?

    and then there's my own democratic party... How many of you guys voted to support the war because it was political suicide not too?

    Is there an American leader who has the political backbone to do what's right because it's right?

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    now that I think of it...

    It is all linked...

    The oil:

    our love of the car... our increasing obesity... the environment... war.

    There is one root to our ills,

    and there are those whose wealth and power are tied to it...

    who would keep us bond as well.