DOING THE MATH
Greetings to all. I've been away for a while, watching cable news, finishing the semester and hiding from the general insanity that's giving Americans men everywhere a pride boner of hitherto unknown proportions. Don't be surprised to see a spat of January 2004 babies named George. Kicking butt in a war is way better than an urban blackout for a breeding binge.
A while back, Warren from LA wrote to me and said A week ago, you joined much of the media in invoking the specter of Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs and criticized the war plan, as well as Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and so forth.
Now we stand at the gates of Baghdad with 33 confirmed US casualties, contrasted to 100,000 estimated Iraqi dead. Obviously, it's far from over, and the street to street fighting in Baghdad could be gruesome.
But I'm wondering if you have any new thoughts now that much of last week's criticism seems to be have been proven wrong.
So many things wandered my mind after getting this letter that I sent it back and forth to work and home again and again, hoping a proper response would come. I'll dive in now whether I'm ready or not.
Has my opinion changed? No, not much. I'm glad Sadaam is gone and I have a renewed respect for our military. But I still think GWB is an ass who has damaged the US's reputation everywhere except among those who will be voting for him in two years - and really, aren't those the only folks that matter?
As for joining the media and criticizing the war plan, as I saw it, most of the criticizing was done by retired US generals (many of whom changed their tune quicker than a division of Afghan soldiers changes sides under fire). The media was pretty much in the Government's pocket the whole way - throughly engrossed by the opportunity to show pictures from the tank-mounted web-cams. Ugh...so many hours of rolling deserts. Who knew conquering a country could yield such dull footage? Where are the editors when we need them?
Curious how on a percentage basis, more reporters died in this conflict than US soldiers. It makes one wonder if that wasn't the plan all along.
As for 33 confirmed US killed, that's up to 140 or so now, but does the exact number matter? Noooo. This was was a game of ratios. We killed 100,000 or more (according Warren, Fox News and others) and lost less than 150. Sounds like an okay ratio, huh? The strangest thing about that is how it's completely acceptable math to a nation of war supporters. 150? 300? 500? No problem. We probably could have gone as high as 1,000 US dead before folks back home started getting really upset. By then, the media would have found a few grieving parents who didn't think the life of their kid was an acceptable price to pay so that America could kick dictator butt and secure Iraqi oil for future SUV owners. Put a couple of them on the news and the story would have shifted focus fast.
So it's a game of math. The biggest question is which equation can you complete? Some people in US say they love their country and support the troops, but don't support the war. That's an equation that makes most folk's head explode. You can't have it both ways! To be for the troops and for the country you must be for the war!
Of course, many who demand mathematical clarity are quite capable of doing the tortured calculations required to justify killing civilians of a population we're invading in order to free. > Yes, we know we bombed your village and shot your parents when they tried to flee across that bridge, but now you're free! Do the math - isn't that worth it?
I don't think my previous criticism has been proven wrong - Iraq is like Vietnam, only this time, we're the French. GWB thinks we can march around the world to install democracy and then say NO when the "people" consider voting for anti-American zealots. Wrong. The one thing I've learned about countries like Iraq (and Vietnam) is that their people have very long memories. They're still bitter about wars fought centuries ago. They are masters of winning by loosing - fade away, let the invading Army take over, and then slowly bleed them dry over the next 50 years.
I doubt the US will have the focus or stomach to stay in Iraq and try to fix things for very long. Instead, we'll install a weakass puppet government, secure the pipelines, declare success, then high-tail it back to our new giant air bases surrounding the refineries.
BTW - does anyone else but me think ex-General Jay Garner looks and sounds frighteningly like Doonsbury's potentate-in-waiting, Duke?
So do I have new thoughts? Well, I never thought I'd be as scared of American power as I am now. I've been listening to Noam Chomsky lectures on my iPod lately (Shhhhhhhh) and he made an interesting point about "terrorists" - violence works. Violence scares people and helps those who use violence get what they want. But Noam doesn't make the obvious connection - violence works and that's why the US invaded Iraq. It's really true. Now that's going to be the motivator for the US invading Syria or North Korea or Iran. Violence works... and we have an ass-kicking Army to execute our President's desires. Do we really need more reasons than that? Weapons of mass destruction? Human rights violations? A dictatorship? Ha!
The US is ready to wipe the smile off every country that's ever encouraged their population to burn US flags before TV cameras. We are tired of being the doormat of the world my friends, and pay back is a bitch. Get ready 'cause we're coming over.
How do you argue with such logic? I can't. I mean, I try, but...I try. I deal with it whenever my four-year old comes home from school and tells me he had a "time out" because he pushed some other kid. The other little kid was being mean. I tell him that fighting isn't the best way to deal with mean people. Maybe you need to talk to them. Maybe you need to tell the teacher. Maybe you should just be big enough to walk away.
No, violence works. He's learned it by the age of four and half. He'll go far.