Well worth reading…an excellent comment in The New Yorker:
Wars, especially unwarranted and sleazy ones, always have unintended consequences. Take the unnecessary (except for those profiting) gifting of democracy in Iraq.
I am certain that the geniuses—all of whom surely claim to be good Christians carrying out the work of “their” god—thought up and marketed (even if they did a poor job and the lies became transparent) this folly, did not intend for Iraqi Christians to be persecuted and driven from their homes.
Well, guess what happened. News reports indicate that Christians have been given the choice of forced conversion to Islam, payment of “protection” money, or leaving the country. Very few remain.
Congratulations, neocons and people in power at the time, you have done a great service to your religion. At least, you all made money off the deal and can enjoy a nice life far away from the mess and suffering you caused.
The most worthless time of my life was the year and one half that I spent as an Army officer at Fort Hood,Texas. That said, I did learn a few things.
I learned the reality about the military, that my prejudices about Texas were valid, that my dream to marry a oil heiress was stupid, that I missed real trees, and much more. At the time, the only firearms I saw were hanging in the rear window of pick-up trucks. The gates to Fort Hood had guards, but they waved in any car with a sticker on the bumper and saluted those with a blue one. I do not recall any crime. Many were angry about the (senseless) war in Vietnam (Don't agree? read the true history, starting in 1918), but I do not recall any violence.
Times have changed. Guns have taken over American culture and being on an Army base does not guarantee safety. Perhaps, it is even more dangerous. Of course, the headlines about the latest shooting in Texas scream “not terror related”, as if this means anything, especially to the dead or wounded and their families. This is a different kind of terror: that of pickling the brains of Americans with fear about ghosts. This is the direct result of a needless war in a country that has oil and another needless war in a country that has devoured invading armies for centuries. These primitive tribes even made the “greatest nation god ever created” look like fools. Millions suffered--and continue to suffer--so that a few could profit. Now, many of the geniuses that brought us the never-ending “war on terror” are writing books and still blathering garbage of talk shows.
Now, they are trying to stir things up in Ukraine. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little war in Europe? That would be easier than one again Muslims...and just as profitable.
I have written about how much I hate hypocrisy. I do not know enough to take sides in the squabble over Ukraine, but all parties are guilty of something and of being hypocrites.
Others have questioned in the media how the United States and the United Kingdom can criticize Russia over the Crimea. Up to now, Russia has done nothing, beyond military exercises across the border and behind-the-scenes finagling. There is a valid contract between Ukraine and Russia allowing Russian troops in the country. Until now, I believe that they have behaved well. Man, being a bad animal, has a few bad apples in every crowd.
The United States, who always touts self-determination, invaded Iraq on trumped up accusations. No one mentioned anything about protecting ethnic populations. England invaded Ireland and annexed a part into the United Kingdom (without referendum), not to protect ethnic Englishmen, but to safeguard the property of the aristocracy, who had plundered the country and owned large landholdings. These are merely two examples of fairly standard practices.
Now, these two nations are criticizing the people of Crimea for holding a referendum on self-determination and Russia for something that country has not done. And, both warn of consequences. Only the little guy will suffer, such as the people of Iraq or the soldiers that died were wounded.
I just watched a BBC program--The Spies Who Fooled The World--about intelligence used to justify the unnecessary war in Iraq. Most of it was made up, distorted, or misinterpreted. The war was based on lies, because someone wanted to go to war.
If you want to become angry--if you are not already--at how politicians lied to the public and sent humans to die is needless war. Key learning is that politicians can get away with whatever they want to do, regardless of dishonesty and regardless of how many suffer, if they wave a flag in people’s faces and rant about “security”. The world might be a safer place with less “spies”.
The below article is not for everyone: only those interested in military history and the military. Since military history of the United States is a major theme of national history, I tend to find such articles to be enlightening. People that only watch the news do not gain a clear understanding of how wars actually unfold. Only afterwards, when forensic writers go over the tea leaves, does the “true story” come out. Of course, one must be able to ignore or see through the hagiography of most biographies of key players. Some are excellent and give a good picture of the man and the times, such as World War 2 generals George Marshall’s or Vinegar Joe Stilwell’s.
One key conclusion from this article is that not only politicians blundered in Iraq and Afghanistan...
_ The big news lately is the “end” of the Iraq war. Although less destructive to the ranks of the military (one will never know the civilian toll), it ranks up there with World War One in the stupid war category.
Iraq now resembles a southern US community, which has been hit by a fierce tornado. Death and destruction was unexpected, unnecessary, and unavoidable. Although the storm has departed, the people of Iraq are not safe from further devastation. The US Government, like Mother Nature, is unpredictable. The US occupation did little good, if any, for the average citizen, much as a tornado does little for residents of any unlucky community. Of course, many made a lot of money...and that is what wars are for.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.