Pollyanna Politics

Getting a little political here at revision99.

This was originally intended to be mainly a political blog, but I got sidetracked somehow. I guess I realized early on that since I didn’t have a real news organization behind me, I couldn’t get inside information. I couldn’t get invited to press conferences by the President or anyone else, and I didn’t have a staff to research anything. In the absence of those capabilities, I have nothing but my opinions, which, it turns out, are a dime a dozen, and of no compelling interest.

Thus freed from having to rant about the government and its insane policies, I was able to turn to more mundane – and fun – topics, like sex, bondage, animals and technology. Some day, however, I intend to make good on my promise to post something that tries to make sense out of the current political climate in the United States in light of the apparent shift to the Right that has manifested itself recently. Some day. In the mean time I need to do a short follow-up on yesterday’s post. This is more politics, folks. Turn it off now if you were looking for sex.

Yesterday I was thinking about the army. The troops, as they are usually called these days, on bumper stickers and in Congress. I don’t support them.

There. I said it. I don’t support The Troops. Oh, I love them like my own brothers and sisters, and my heart goes out to them, and I don’t want any of them to get hurt or killed, and I want them to come home and be with their families, or get back to their jobs or farms or drug habits, whatever it is they want. I wish they weren’t in some far-away desert country where they don’t speak the language, the food is rotten and everybody they see might be sizing them up for a suicide bomb attack. Most of all I weep for the ones who lose their arms and legs, or their minds.

But God damnit, when they do their military jobs, when they drive their armored vehicles, read their radar screens, fire their weapons, conduct their house-to-house searches, when they are soldiering, they are doing the work of the devil. Our troops are in somebody else’s country, somebody who was not a threat to this country, and there are a hundred thousand dead Iraqis because of this. Can we stipulate that this is just wrong?

You might be thinking that our army is merely following orders, and you can’t blame them for that. In light of the monstrous horrors of the 20th century committed by people following orders, do you really want to use that argument again?

Look, I’m not trying to say that any of this mess is the fault of any individual soldier. But when you sign up for an organization that wears armor and carries machine guns as part of its dress code, you have to know that somebody is going to get shot. Maybe you don’t expect that a loco presidente is going to take you adventuring to exciting foreign ports o’ call, but if your training involves the killing of human beings, well, you just gotta figure there might be some killing in store.

Maybe you’ve seen the bumper sticker that asks “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” I know life is much more complicated than that, but I still ask myself, what if…? What if people just didn’t participate in these wars we keep having? After all, it’s just Joe Sixpack shooting Mohammed Hookah Bowl. Guys like George Bush and Saddam Hussein don’t take any chances with their asses, so why should we be so eager to enlist?

At this point it would be pretty easy to bury me in arguments about why we need an army, why everyone needs an army, how freedom isn’t free, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, we can be pacifists, but what if the other guy wants to fight? etc. I’m not claiming I have practical answers to these points. I’m just sadly looking at a world that is increasingly armed and dangerous, and wondering if there’s anything at all we can do to make it better.

OK. That’s all the politics for now. Next week I’ll get back to sex.

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11 Replies to “Pollyanna Politics”

  1. Thinking for yourself again, Larry, you controversial MoFo, you.

    It’s the old argument based on the framing of the words and who owns them. The war-mongerers own the phrase, “Support the troops.” They’ve turned it into an either or as they cut veterans benefits and place them in harm’s way.

    How about “Love the troops, bring them home.”

    Then again, these are the same people who think that the use of a tactical nuke in a surgical strike is OK. Thank god they’re not doctors or they’d kill the patient to get rid of the cancer.

  2. I’m sorry to say that we CAN’T just stipulate that this is wrong, Larry. America can kill a hundred thousand people and tell the rest of the planet, “Go fuck yourselves!” We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.

    Don’t peek and see if you can guess who said the following before you get to the bottom of the paragraph:

    “Why of course the people don’t want war… It is the leaders…who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along…all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Goering, Hermann

  3. Kung Pow Pig — Who owns the words, indeed? We have not protected them, and now the nutcase Right has taken them from us.

    rednaked — Just my outsider hopes, Babe. (Come for the politics, stay for the sex.)

    Ron — I will endeavor not to be that pessimistic. BTW, I didn’t peek, and I couldn’t guess.

  4. “sex, bondage, animals and technology”

    You should try a post that combines them all, then throw a little politics in the mix. It could be your new blog theme

  5. blue — Sometimes I wait, sometimes I agitate. Life is endless, life is short…

    L — A mixture such as you suggest might explode.

    MPH — I believe your many conservative friends will find my blog much to their liking. Please invite them.

    Red — Yes, I get the idea. I have a number of ideas now…

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