Friday, July 28, 2006

I Call Bullshit, Again

I know what it feels like to be shelled. I know the terror and helplessnes that overwhelms every other emotion when the only course of action you can find is to dig a little deeper, lie down a little flatter, and wait for it to stop. Because I know how this feels (and I also know that since the people of this administration pulled strings, bribed doctors, had daddy make a few phone calls so that they didn't have to go fight and would never know how this feels) I believe that for the folks on the ground in Lebanon cease fire, "phony" peace, all the things the President and Condi and Rummy and Darth Cheney are rejecting sound pretty good.

Let me explain further. If you have been in a bomb shelter for the last sixteen days, feeling the earth shake and brushing the mortar dust from your shoulders, phony peace sounds pretty damned good right about now. If you have seen the ambulance carrying your neighbor's children rocketed on the way to the hospital, you'll settle gladly for a cease fire. If you heard the news about a family from your village whose van was strafed and rocketed as they were fleeing to the mountains to get away from this onslaught of destruction, the only thing you want right now is for it to quit. The families and nations who have U.N. observers manning the posts that haven't been attacked only want to know that their sons and daughters are safer because the bombs and artillery have ceased.

That's how wars end. People quit shooting. That's the first thing that has to happen. That's why I haven't gotten all indignant about the proposed amnesty in Iraq for insurgents. It has to start somewhere, with somebody. If an insurgent who has killed Americans and other Iraqis is willing to stop doing that I'm willing to say "Good enough, now we can figure out how to make it last."

Looking for a "lasting peace" while still killing people is not the way. Every bomb that drops, every child that dies, every atrocity visited upon the captured will last and endure far beyond all imagination. The only thing that is being accomplished right now is more death, and more destruction, which will fuel more hatred and even more violence.

Only a few of our commanders in Viet Nam came to the realization that "search and destroy" missions were the best recruiting tool the communists had. Every time the Marines or Air Cavalry were sent out on "Zippo raids" to burn the meager possessions of the population another generation of hardened, implacable enemies was created. Instead of playing pieces or obstacles we should have been looking at the Vietnamese people as the prize, the goal of the operation. In the few areas of operation where that was understood Americans who spoke the language and understood the culture were going out into the fields and schools and hospitals to show the people that there was a better life available. Often times we ended up having to protect them against the depredations of the ARVN and local government. In most of those cases our mere presence was enough to deter those thugs.

Now, our leaders, to our everlasting shame, are posturing and once again, playing with forces they do not understand in the slightest. The only way for this to end is to simply stop shooting, bombing, rocketing. This is a hard course of action because Hizbullah will certainly continue with their assaults. I am not defending or justifying anything they have done. They are murdering bastards too. But, so far, Hizbullah has not been slowed in their attacks by the IDF. Maybe a better course of action might be found through the U.N. or the Arab League or somebody bringing aid and equipment to start clearing the rubble, not make more of it. We will never be able to find out what the solution is while the biggest problem is that people are being slaughtered for no discernable effect and no good reason.

If you are the one in the bomb shelter, phony peace is worth it. If you have been enduring rocket attacks, cease fire sounds good enough.

Of course, if you are a heartless, bloodthirsty, deluded Christopath who might just believe that you have been chosen to be the instrument of the Second Coming, or if you are just indifferent to the tears of the living as they pick up and carry the dead to yet another mass grave, or the screams of the wounded because your daddy made sure that you never had to listen to them, word games and platitudes will suffice.

The final thing I want to say is this. . .war's tend to take on a character and life of their own. If this is allowed to continue, it has a distinct probability of expanding beyond any measure of control or comprehension. The idea of having the President and his staff stand before us again to say "Nobody anticipated that this would happen" again is more than I can bear.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nail on the head, Minstrelboy.
You hit it exactly. The refusal of our "top diplomat" to try to use diplomacy to stop the shelling is about as evil as a woman can get. She has a special place in hell waiting for her, if there is a hell. Would be a shame if she missed that experience.

10:25 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

personally i would dispense with any requirement of hell for Condi or Bush if they would only find it in their hearts to end the hell that is in Lebanon right now.

10:51 AM  
Blogger JS said...

I am with you, Minstrel Boy. As much as I absolutely abhor Bush and his cronies and wish for them to suffer for their inhuman acts, I would allow them to go on unmolested if they would just put an end to this savagery! Can we ever recover from this administration's abuse of power? I am afraid we may have allowed it to go on too long.

5:25 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

If you look at my One Little Question where I recall that Saddam offered to go into exile before the invasion of Iraq and was rebuffed. Think about that. An entire war, an unholy quagmire that could have been avoided by letting him just go away. then, like Idi Amin, we could have read about his lonely death in a hospital somewhere, or who knows? I would advocate allowing Bush and Cheney and their sycophants all pardons, hell even land grants, if they would simply go away and quit fucking things up.

10:26 AM  
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