Postmodern classic?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Are we looking at the same thing?

I love columns like this: full of outrage at the supposed 'neocon' agenda and it's fruitless militarism. Look at these cherrypicked examples of the 'futility' of fighting those barbaric terrorists- an unnamed Israeli military official who says 'There is no military solution to this. Israel is under no illusion of defeating Hezbollah as a military foe.' A few logical hops and skips, then conclusion: the US is doomed to defeat in Iraq, just stop fighting. The money line is that America and Israel are 'trapped in the same kind of war, which they can't afford to lose but don't know how to win'.

I feel so much stupider after reading this trollop. Not only is it absolute circular post-modern pacifistic nonsense, but of the illusion that somehow you can stand aside and watch dispassionately like it doesn't affect you. (Angry run-on sentence alert) I see one of the major problems with the modern perception of war is exactly this kind of schizophrenic outlook: the media outlets of the day can give you previously unimagined up-close access to the action of fighting and it's grisly immediate details, but all the while maintaining the fundamental surreal detachment from this while you are observing back in the wealth and comfort of your convenient abode of choice.

Take this conclusion- 'can't afford to lose but don't know how to win'. This contradictory conclusion is exemplified by his statements in the 5th paragraph that ' war, it's not enough to justify, you also have to win.' The Islamic fundies have some good justifications in the moral relativistic sense too, y'know! We must be just the same as them! Now, it's pretty clear already that this guy thinks Iraq was a mistake, detailing the missteps the neocon Bush administration took to get us here. Fair one! What is your solution then? This, from the second coming of Napoleon (I assume!) that we are reading at the moment, who sees fit to lecture us on the way we fight our wars, doesn't see fit to condescend to teach us how to change our ways so we can win these otherwise 'unaffordable' losses. Well, fucking thanks for sharing then.

Hmmm... maybe I'm not fit to come back yet. Still need to learn a little bit of moderation, I think. I don't want to read more of this- wasting my time and yours, but I can't help myself! I really wonder why have these people so divorced themselves from the horrible realities of the world and the way we do war? If they do value things, like the values we hold dear that help us support our representative system of democratic government and the society supporting that with diverse religions and businesses, then shouldn't they be defended? And for certain places in the world, like the one I'm in at the moment, some harsh words from rich diplomats in New York doesn't really faze them.

I would love to see one of these guys explain to us how Israel made peace with Egypt and Jordan (hint- diplomacy wasn't the driving factor) and why it seems they can't with the 'Palestinians', or why Iran is so dangerous now (see Jimmy Carter, '79), and how the situation has changed in the intervening years. Actually, no, I wouldn't. Has there been any effective diplomacy without corresponding military action since Nixon's visit to China? Even that took place within the context of Vietnam, so maybe what I'm saying is something different. While I believe diplomacy can be effective, the modern perception of ceasefires and 'peacekeeping' (stifled laughs) has been poisonous to any longterm improvements in the state of the world. That's one of the major deficiencies I've seen here, it's almost as if the State department is trying to ignore this country/area and it'll just go away! If not, those military folks will just deal with it. That could be unfair, but that's how it seems at times and I wonder if there's anything to it.

So then we must win and I think the way to do that- since holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya' hasn't seemed to work so far- must be the second best alternative, which is the determination to destroy and humiliate your enemy while assisting your friends.


  • As I read your posts (which I do fairly regular)I am always impressed with your writing style. I get the feeling that you are a very intellectual person who has a very analytical mind. Your sentence structure and word choice are always interesting to me. Example: "while maintaining the fundamental surreal detachment from this while you are observing back in the wealth and comfort of your convenient abode of choice." Sometimes the beauty of your writing distracts me from your meaning. Being a simple Okie who relates to more of the Hemingway style of writing - simple sentences - I often have to reread your posts to get your point. Then when you write something like, "Well, fucking thanks for sharing then" I may think it is a bit crude, but I totally get the picture and definitely know which side of the fence you are on.

    And you are right-on with this post. Where do these people get their ideas? What world do they live in? Logic must not be something taught in today's schools. I recently had a run-in with someone I called Ignorokie whose views of war were so far removed from reality that my husband had to remove me from the vicinity before I attacked the man.

    Over at, Buck has had similar thoughts as you. He also has some great links in his recent posts on similar subjects. Thanks for your great post. Thanks for your service to our country. Hang in there and stay safe.

    By Blogger Bag Blog, at 4:45 PM  

  • You're safe in saying that it's crude, someone might normally blame the person for writing such crap, but that's not my way. I'm trying to channel my frustration into a more constructive process, although I sometimes don't hit it.

    Yeah, my sentence structure and word choice do need some work, don't they? Kind of mungs up my points. And this post was rather off the cuff in that way... for which I must apologize to my readers (except for the Manxome, haha). I do aim for that Zen/Stoic simplicity ideal with a brevity of words, but fall way short. If being a 'simple Okie' means being intelligible, then we need much more of that.

    I do check Buck as well, followed him from a link on your blog. And I'm sure my family would reprimand you for blatantly feeding my ego with these compliments, you're just egging me on. Thanks for coming by.

    By Blogger sunguh5307, at 11:30 AM  

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