History Is A Hanging Judge
I watched President Obama's address to the NY Democratic Party. Whew, this guy is good. If you think otherwise, I challenge you to become a regular visitor to whitehouse.gov, and CSPAN. Unlike any other President since JFK, who was my Commander-in-Chief when I was a marine in another lifetime, and whose every press conference I watched, I have been paying a lot of attention to President Obama, and following his speaking engagements, watching them in their entirety.
I also follow congressional committee hearings, and so on. As well, I have a lifetime habit of reading news from all over--New York to New Orleans to LA to Pakistan and beyond. What Obama has accomplished legislatively (and in tone) during the course of his first nine months hasn't been seen since the early days of FDR. If he lives out two terms, a lot of long-term festering problems in this country should be out of the way, perhaps once and for all. As for health care, this first reform is only a halting first step. Everybody will benefit when there is a single-payer public option, inevitable like the tide, because more people will be in the system. The system will rise to the challenge. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Additionally, if we don't get going faster on alternative energy and energy saving, the consequences--already inevitably disastrous--will be an irreversible calamity. The planet is faced with so many urgent, man-made problems as to seem insurmountable.
And they are, until we think not.
But I am a strong dissenter on both wars, been calling for us to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan since before we went. Military confrontation has only increased our foes and driven them to devise and buy better weapons. War is a big lie, and everybody in this one is lying his ass off. War is corruption. It's the biggest business and the dirtiest game.
I am not-at-all-happy with his Afghanistan-Pakistan War. I won't let him off the hook on it. I criticize it as severely as I criticized the policies of Mr. Bush. The truth is the truth. The war is immoral, and it cannot be won in the traditional military sense: there will be no victory; it will end in defeat for all.
Hundreds of thousands dead in these wars and millions injured physically and psychologically; immeasurable damage to the minds of children, condemning yet another generation to a stumped, mutated existence both materially and culturally. People have no idea, for example, of the priceless art works and historical artifacts, attesting to a peoples' past, which have been destroyed or stolen during these useless wars.
A whole Iraqi marshland eco-system inhabited for millennia was drained and the people murdered, imprisoned, and run off; it will probably never be restored, and a way of life is gone. It is as if someone came in and dried up the swamps of south Louisiana and ran all the Cajuns off.
Bombing near Basra in southern Iraq during both Bush wars endangered and damaged Ur, the oldest city on earth, buried for centuries and still in process of excavation. Think of it. A city that probably named the planet. Urth. To me, it translates: Ours.
Unbelievable waste and senseless brutality in Afghanistan since the 1950s against a largely-innocent population; homes of centuries destroyed; orchards bombed; irrigation destroyed; transportation systems crippled; already-hobbled agriculture wrecked and converted to opium-heroin poppy cultivation; tribal traditions and customs destroyed and elders murdered; millions of unexploded landmines; a million displaced to other countries; whole generations deprived of adequate education; declining general health of a whole region due to war. It is absolutely unbelievable. I thought I had seen it all, gazing at the horror of Vietnam, but this one in its own way is just as bad. It only lacks B-52 carpet-bombing and 500,000 troops. If you are missing a sense of outrage, and for a portrait of horror that can drive you mad, look at the damage done to Afghanistan alone by Soviet and American Cold War rivalry, which set all this fundamentalist reaction off. You can Google it. It’s a crime. A war crime. A violation of all international laws. Who should go to the dock for it? Who should pay to repair it all?
Them and us.
The only way to win in Afghanistan is to stop killing people and undertake more serious rebuilding of that which Russia and we destroyed or caused to be destroyed. Taliban and al Qaeda are reactionary entities using revolutionary methods; they have reacted to our bad behavior with their own. No matter how hard we fight, they will outlast us in their own countries. The longer we fight, the louder their cries for revenge.
History is a hanging judge. Sooner or later, Court will be in session, and necks will stretch.
My wonderful landlord, Gary; no hanging judge.