Monday, June 17, 2013

Oh, what can possibly go wrong with increasing our involvement in Syria? Really?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

“We start carrying semi automatics, they buy automatics, we start wearing Kevlar, they buy armor piercing rounds . . .” - Commissioner James Gordon/Batmen Begins

Glad am I that the United States learned the lessons the French were taught in Southeast Asia, and wisely passed on the opportunity to take part in a war which might consume thousands of American lives, cost millions of dollars over the years, and split a country so far apart that people would still debate what should have been done decades after we pulled out . . . if we ever got involved in the first place. Which of course we didn’t, of course.

Happier yet am I that we didn’t get involved with Afghanistan with the struggles against Russia in the 1980s, foolishly believing the comic book concept that, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

And I am especially glad that we checked the O-Rings on the space shuttle Challenger before it took off that on bright sunny morning, taking America’s first teacher into space.

Oh? What?

None of what I believe is true? But . . . but . . . but if none of the above is true, then what am I to make of the claims that our involvement with the Syrian rebels will be minimal, and that they will be friends to America (whatever the hell that means) once the present regime topples - or just decides to shuffle off to Buffalo, saving a lot of lives and money for all concerned.

Granted, we live in a day when we give songs like “Give Peace a Chance” . . . well, the chance to be ignored, actually, but I’m sort of wondering if anyone - other than arms dealers and their political handmaidens, have given much thought to the possibility that, well, this might not go so well? That just perhaps the war will escalate, and we will see even more horrors on the news and the Internet?

In which case, of course, we may have no choice but to escalate our involvement . . . just a little, of course.

Perhaps a military adviser or two?

Of course, it isn’t as though we really need to learn from history (which thanks to the glories of the Internet, is constantly being rewritten anyway) but should instead rely upon what some call “American Exceptionalism” - the childlike belief that somehow, just by being Americans, we are, well, exceptional.

The belief in American exceptionalism has rewritten on of our old beliefs, that God is on our side. Now, we claim, we are on God’s side.

I once loved a woman who loaned me a futuristic novel about an American/Russian conflict taking place in Syria, bringing about what many call the End Times. Is it too cold-bloodedly cynical to question whether or not the support of some of our mnore conservative politicians (who seem to have emerged from ever more radical pits these days) may be prompted by their religious beliefs?

At any rate, if any of the above has made it seem that I in the same camp as those happy campers who stick their heads in the sand and proclaim it’s none of our business, nothing could be further from the truth. While I am horrified at the very thought of nerve gas, I do think it was foolhardy of Western powers to draw a line in the ground, when it came to issue of nerve gas - especially as there is strong suspicion that both sides in this conflict may have used Sarin gas.

Sarin gas. As well as that old horror of World War I - “the war to end all wars” - Mustard gas.

But is throwing more weapons - which will inevitably escalate into sending even more, even bigger weapons - the answer in Syria?

******

Living by the Ten Commandments . . . wild applause - until the one Commandment that didn’t go down quite so well

I was watching Daystar Television the other night (I watch all sorts of TV, just to keep abreast of what folks are thinking) and a minster in a Mega-Church was giving a sermon which was, basically, what would be so bad if the government got back to governing by the Ten Commandments?

Cuz in Fantasy Land, there actually was a time when we did. Not just the joyless folks who hanged witches, but in some folks minds, perhaps even the Founding Fathers themselves.

At any rate, this fellow was going down the list:

What if we went back to only worshiping just one God? No pretenders need apply, I suppose.

Applause.

What if we lived a life where we didn’t covert, or steal?

Applause.

But my favorite moment came when the wealthy minister said to his flock:

“And what if we went back to working six days a week and worshiped God on the seventh?”

Dead silence. No applause, not even from folks who were retired, and no longer had to worry about somebody cracking the whip over them on a Saturday.

A look of confusion crossed the young man’s face, and then he blithely went on the next Commandment, as if he had not uttered those deadly words at all.

Applause.

*****

Quote of the Day

The experience of strolling by one’s self through the vast multitudes of a strange city is one of the most wonderful in life. I suppose there is nothing quite like it this side of heaven. - Gamaliel Bradford

rsdrake@cox.net

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