I'm reading a really good book called The Forever War by war corespondent Dexter Filkins, who has reported on wars for the New York Times since Afghanistan back when the Soviets were just leaving and the country was then torn apart by factions of fighting Warlords. Then the Taliban came in to join the fun in the mid 1990's along with major funding and support from some wealthy Saudi Arabian terrorist leader named Osama bin Laden who was searching around for a home base for his little posse of bad boys named Al-Qaeda. He found it...
I'm only a quarter of the way through this book but I know a lot of this history already. Afghanistan is a hard country, with a hard history and hard people. It's truly fascinating how all of their history came about and how we (United States) are now fighting another of the "ENDLESS" series of wars that have been fought there...truly since the beginning of recorded history.
I strongly believe that folks that get all fired up about these wars and have so many strong opinions, especially those with no backgrouns at all in warfare or international interaction start with a book like this one and begin educating themselves. Most of the truly good war reporters really don't take a side...they just report what they see. What Filkins has the ability to see and write about is really remarkable.
The first thing I always seem to re-learn when I get into a study like this one is that in life in general but particularly in war...NOTHING is black and white, nothing should be taken for granted and THERE ARE NO RULES! That is the way the enemies of America have seen it and have conducted themselves going back to the Great War when the Germans unleashed Poison Gas on the French, British and Canadians soldiers at the Battle of 2nd Ypres, Belgium in 1915. The Japanese absolutely fought without any mercy during the Second World War and that trend was followed the Chinese in Korea, The North Vietnamese/Viet Cong in Vietnam and so on until the Gulf War/War on Terror. Folks, the Terrorists got our attention by flying planes loaded with passengers and fuel into the World Trade Center and Pentagon...what rule of war were they following there?
We need to realize that even if we stop fighting everywhere in the world, pack up our military and come home, never to fight again that someone will just keep on killing the innocent and taking over defenseless countries. It is a sad fact but it's an unavoidable one if you look at the situation realistically. As I've said before I would love a peaceful world but I've yet to hear an actual proposal as how we are to achieve it. Just laying down our arms is a recipe for genocide...Why are we still not understanding this simple, indisputable fact to this day and getting of wicket all tied up in a knot because "the Taliban isn't fighting fair"! Really?! I just can't understand that point of view...
I guess I see the world in a much different way...I have always looked at it as the world and not just looked at the United States role in it. Which is vital to international stability. But I get really frightened when I hear people in power, whether it's in our government or someone else's say all we have to do is leave Iraq, leave Afghanistan, stop messing around in the Middle East or Africa and everything will turn peaceful and be alright.
It won't...why? Because human beings inhabit the earth and wherever you have US (human beings), you have Greed and the Desire for Power/Control and that will never ever change. What happened when we left Viet Nam? The North took control and brutally rules that country to this day...they murdered thousands of their countryman who were "untrustworthy" in their eyes. Actually, those people were a threat to their dictatorship so they eliminated them and their families...and their neighbors...and their friends....Same with China after WWII. Shoot, our own Allies, The Soviet Union in WWII never gave back the countries (Poland for example) the drove the Germans out of at the end of the War. They killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people, some their very OWN countryman who had fought the Germans for 4 years while trying to purge out their "undesirables".
I am not trying to convince anyone of anything tonight with this blog post, nope there isn't enough time or room. What I am saying though is READ about it. Look up the history of Afghanistan...look up what has happened in Iraq the last 500 years. Same with all the countries in the Balkans. You think all that nastiness in the former Yugoslavia started in the 1990's? Try going back some 500 years to find out what started that whole mess. And we think we are going to fix it by having a meeting at the United Nations, ACH! What a bunch of Hooey that is!
People will ask, "well are you pro-war or anti-war?'...Which I find kind of an odd question. What I am is Pro-Survival in a world full of people that want to kill, blow up, control, hurt and rape me and YOU plus everybody else! I know sounds reactionary but honestly, it is the truth...READ about it. I pray for a peaceful world everyday. I just don't think that closing my eyes and pretending all will be well isn't realistic. Not when everyone of these countries of the world where there is fighting going on has people waiting in the wings to take control... VIOLENTLY. It is the way it is...simple as that.
I think the best thing we can do is educate ourselves before we speak out....lets not be fooled by people who have reason to fool us. That includes Conservative TV and Radio Commentators who are all about POWER themselves. Lets not take FOX News word for it any more then CNN's word for it or even our own governments word for it. Educate yourself and take YOUR own word for it. That is the message tonight: Think for YOURSELVES! That is my position, here endeth the lesson...