Tuesday, September 26, 2006

WW III? I Don't Buy It...

and here is why.

We have yet, as an American people been asked to give up anything of real luxury. Sure, oil has gotten kind of pricey. Yes, it's what our entire political landscape is based on right now, but I ask you, dear reader: What have you personally had to sacrifice for your country to fight this war?

We all know someone, or know someone who knows someone, be it a family member, neighbor, friend of a friend (and perhaps even once more removed) who has been in Iraq or Afghanistan. And the thought of losing someone we know, the emotional turmoil and anguish is not something to be taken lightly. War is never pretty, and it is always the soldier and his family who actually are the sacrifice. But what of our lifestyles? Are we truly sacrificing anything?

I know I'm not. This isn't a bad thing, just a fact. But I keep hearing about this war from two very different, but equally bull-headed, factions:
  1. The Christian Fundamentalists who claim it's the "End Times" coming at us full-force as so-called "prophecy" is being fulfilled before our eyes; and
  2. Media Pundits who are claiming we are deep in the midst of War World III with no end in sight.
Now, as to the first group, the Fundies, perhaps there is prophecy being fulfilled; the issue with "prophecy" is that virtually anything can be read into anything and be called a "fulfillment," as it were. If I have a dream about sitting on a bench in a field with my mother staring at a three-legged blue pony with gold hair (an actual dream I had, I shit you not), if thirteen years down the road I'm sitting with my mother on a bench, I could claim this as fulfilled prophecy. Then, if one day, I see a human-interest story about a three-legged pony called Bluebell five years after that, I could also call that fulfilled prophecy. You could claim you had a dream about snorkeling with sting rays, and then you could cry "Wallah!" as you read next week about Steve Irwin's death by sting ray (which, to me personally, seemed very anti-climactic given his track record of being bitten by poisonous snakes and wrestling with crocodiles...), and say prophecy has been fulfilled. Hell, I could claim that when someone betrays me, this was prophesied by the story of Judas betraying Jesus and feel life has come full circle.

I may post more on this later (who ever knew I had so much to say?), but my posts get long enough, wouldn't you agree? :)

But as to the second camp, the Media Pundits: I was watching (and don't ask why cause I have no idea; Rich had control of the remote) Glen Beck on CNN Headline News, who claimed with great certainty that this was WWIII. I willing to concede that perhaps this may be the beginning of what WWIII may be, given especially the tendency of fundamentalist Muslims to get violent when anyone dare call them violent (just ask the pope!) and the increasing violence of jihadists around the world. But until I get a call (or see on the news) that all men ages 18 to 65 are to report for war, that oil will once again be rationed, bread is in short supply, and the price of buying any type of metal at a hardware store will cost an arm and a leg, we are not in WWIII. Maybe the beginnings, but certainly nothing near the violence, the agony, the total world threat yet that both WWI and WWII created, at least in my opinion...

On a related note, Tom had asked me while painting our father's house, if the Army did call me back up (as an honorably discharged soldier) if I would report for duty: Yes. Without a doubt. Would I be happy about it? Certainly not, and would be very vocal about it, both in and out of the ranks. And if they would take me again, as an openly gay man with arthritis rampant in my knees and a complete disagreement over the whole premise of this war, I would go.

I love this country, even if I hate the current direction and the loud-mouthed fundies skewed view of what it should be. But I would fight for their right to be ornery and wrong :)

My only concern is: Would going to Iraq or Afghanistan truly be fighting for America? I'm certainly not sold on that argument, as much as Bush would have us believe it is so, especially given the recent report that I could have told you was true without the intelligence agencies of America! America was in more danger from a turtle infestation than from Saddam Hussein! And while it may be "better" in the small-picture for Saddam to be out of power, the big picture is proving to be more fractured than a Picasso painting! And while I may not be privy to all the "top secret" information that Bush supposedly claims to be dreaming about that gives him the right to treat human beings as dogs, and though I think our interests would be best served in small, concise military movements that would hit cells, bring to justice terrorists, and not involve thousands of soldiers in nation-building, I would still put on my uniform and head out.

Why? Ultimately, it's because the ideals of my country that have called. It never comes down to who sits in the Oval Office, but to us, the citizens. We are the ones who fight daily for freedom by simply expressing our views and exercising our rights. We are the ones who, though hated by the world, show the world why they are still dying to be here. It's not about our flag (so burn it for all I care!), it's not about our Constitution, and it's not about seeing a bald eagle soaring in the sky.

It's about Freedom. The right to be alive. The right to live the life you never asked for in peace and prosperity. To get up in the morning and do whatever the hell you want, and not worry about being arrested because you think Jesus should be in the Oval Office (or at least his incompetent representative); to walk down the street holding the hand of the one you love and not be killed for it (we're still working on that one); to sit and not pledge allegiance to a piece of fabric if you so desire. That is what it means to be free. To stand up for what you believe, and work with your fellow citizens in such a way that allows you all to believe in completely opposite things and still be neighbors; with respect, dignity, and civility.

And while they may not be Americans in Iraq we're fighting for and beside, they deserve freedom. Even though I fundamentally disagree with how Bush went about this whole rigmarole, now that we are there, to leave now would cause more world harm than good (at the given moment; anything can change). Are they in a civil war? If so, we created it, and that's a fact. Do fundamentalist Muslims hate us even more than before? If so, it's because we egged them on. Not that they are even close to being justified in their killing of people, but it's no less true, is it?

The fact remains that if Bush would have paid attention in political science, he would have realized that nation-building isn't the way to go. Economic policies are slower, but way more effective in changing the attitudes of a society. Small, secret military operations to behead cells where they are would have been more effective than full-scale shoot-em-up. Why, if Reagan had followed the Bush policy on what constitutes a threat, the Cold War would have ended a whole lot differently, probably with us giving birth to deformed Americans due to radiation poisoning (if any of us could reproduce after that!!) We would have been pulling down Stalin's statue during a nuclear winter, and global warming would be the least of our problems!

When it comes right down to it, we are stuck there, in a hybridized sequel to both the Cold War and Vietnam. An ideological guerilla war with no end in sight, no strategy worth it's cost in blood, and no goal within scoring distance.

Call me unpatriotic if you will. Call me a hypocrite. Call me a faggot. As an American, that's your right (even if you're wrong!) :)

But don't try to sell me on this WWIII crap. And don't try to tell me that supporting the soldiers means voting Republican or even not criticizing the Dancing Monkey. As a former soldier of our military, I would be proud to fight for the freedom of any people. It wouldn't require lies; falsified intelligence; a C- Yale & Harvard graduate in a suit; or a maniac in a fundamentalist religion. It would only require doing the right thing. Standing up for an Ideal.

You'll know it when we're in WWIII. And that'll be because you will be holding a rifle and building a bomb shelter. And it won't be because Democrats are "weak" on security: it will be because Bush was a bully about it (and not a very good one!) And (even though I didn't mean this to turn into a referendum on idiocy), hope you, my fellow human beings, are paying attention. Bush does not equal what America stands for. We, the citizens, do.

9 comments:

Kelly said...

I certainly hope this wasn't the "gut-busting" post you promised because it sure as hell wasn't funny.

I was surprised when you said you'd still want to serve your country. Wouldn't you have to support the cause and the reason why we were/are at war? After all, you even have an ongoing count of dead soldiers to the left of your page.

Oh, hell, I'm missing Maury* about "I slept with 8 men and they could be my baby's daddy." Now that's hard-hitting issues, man!

;)

*I am kidding about Maury, although I DO think that was an actual show.

Jason Hughes said...

LOL! No, this wasn't the funny one I promised--I said "soon," not next. :)

I would be serving the ideals of our country, which to me is an entirely different reason than as to "why we're there." And as I said, I wouldn't like it, but someone has to clean up George's mess, and I would be one willing to do so.

I hate why we're there. The whole situation is so fucked up, we went in fucked up, and George and Rumsfeld aren't making things any better with their heads in the sand--

I would go because it would be the right thing to do--to try to fix what our so-called leaders screwed up. And maybe I wouldn't be able to change much, but I would try. This, to me, is no longer just about whether we should or should not be in Iraq (and we shouldn't be), but it's about America in ways we never dreamed it would be. Our reputation, our image, our beacon of light that we're supposed to be showing to the world.

We are supposed to be the way to freedom. Right now we are the way of fucking up the world... and nothing we are currently doing is making it any better...

It seems to me by now Maury would have a new thing to talk about on his show. It seems every time I am home and do briefly glance at his show, that's what they're talking about... what the hell?

Dar said...

This fulfilling of prophecy is just like answering prayers. You can miss the mark 10 times, yet hit just once and get your "fulfillment". It is a disturbing mindset.

(see also: abusive relationships - "He must love me, he brought me flowers today because he was sorry for slapping me around every day last week.")

People who believe in prophecy are downright scary...and cruel! They actually WANT the sky god's wrath to come down, if only to prove to unbelievers (and themselves?) that they were right all along. It has nothing to do with god's love, it has everything to do with self-righteousness and hate for others.

I work with a guy who said quite frankly, in front of several other co-workers, that the tsunami and hurricane Katrina were god's justice. A part of the "prophecy" regarding earthquakes, tornados and floods. His reasoning for this was that the tsunami hit non-christian countries to kill people who practiced wrongful religions. Katrina hit New Orleans because it is known for a place of sinful partying. I assume he was referring to Mardis Gras. What he didn't explain was why both of these disasters also killed hundreds of christians and destroyed many christian facilities. Hmmm, well maybe they were "bad" christians.

Consider Dancing Monkey's fundamentalism and then ask yourself if he is actually TRYING to fulfill prophecy. He is crazy and self-righteous enough to believe that.

Ergo said...

Hey Jason,

This might be out of topic, but I thought you'd be interested in knowing this (if you don't already):

Ezekiel 23:20, from the NIV:

"There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses."

I said, DAAYYYAAM!! Hidden kinky gems in the bible! :) [thanks to my atheist friends for pointing this out. they sure know the bible really well!]

Jason Hughes said...

Ergo, I can honestly say, I have no idea how to respond to that...

Except for maybe a "Are you kidding? Holy crap! It does say that!!!"

:D

Darkmind said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason Hughes said...

LOL! No, this wasn't the funny one I promised--I said "soon," not next. :)

I would be serving the ideals of our country, which to me is an entirely different reason than as to "why we're there." And as I said, I wouldn't like it, but someone has to clean up George's mess, and I would be one willing to do so.

I hate why we're there. The whole situation is so fucked up, we went in fucked up, and George and Rumsfeld aren't making things any better with their heads in the sand--

I would go because it would be the right thing to do--to try to fix what our so-called leaders screwed up. And maybe I wouldn't be able to change much, but I would try. This, to me, is no longer just about whether we should or should not be in Iraq (and we shouldn't be), but it's about America in ways we never dreamed it would be. Our reputation, our image, our beacon of light that we're supposed to be showing to the world.

We are supposed to be the way to freedom. Right now we are the way of fucking up the world... and nothing we are currently doing is making it any better...

It seems to me by now Maury would have a new thing to talk about on his show. It seems every time I am home and do briefly glance at his show, that's what they're talking about... what the hell?

Jason Hughes said...

Ergo, I can honestly say, I have no idea how to respond to that...

Except for maybe a "Are you kidding? Holy crap! It does say that!!!"

:D

Dar said...

This fulfilling of prophecy is just like answering prayers. You can miss the mark 10 times, yet hit just once and get your "fulfillment". It is a disturbing mindset.

(see also: abusive relationships - "He must love me, he brought me flowers today because he was sorry for slapping me around every day last week.")

People who believe in prophecy are downright scary...and cruel! They actually WANT the sky god's wrath to come down, if only to prove to unbelievers (and themselves?) that they were right all along. It has nothing to do with god's love, it has everything to do with self-righteousness and hate for others.

I work with a guy who said quite frankly, in front of several other co-workers, that the tsunami and hurricane Katrina were god's justice. A part of the "prophecy" regarding earthquakes, tornados and floods. His reasoning for this was that the tsunami hit non-christian countries to kill people who practiced wrongful religions. Katrina hit New Orleans because it is known for a place of sinful partying. I assume he was referring to Mardis Gras. What he didn't explain was why both of these disasters also killed hundreds of christians and destroyed many christian facilities. Hmmm, well maybe they were "bad" christians.

Consider Dancing Monkey's fundamentalism and then ask yourself if he is actually TRYING to fulfill prophecy. He is crazy and self-righteous enough to believe that.