Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

In Afghanistan today there was a riot following a vehicle accident involving an American vehicle. Eight people died when police tried to restrain protestors.

It seems there has been an attempt at a spring offensive on the part of the Taliban this year and so far it has costs them dearly. And perhaps people are tired of the presence of foreign troops. Too bad.

I doubt if that will change anytime soon. The last time the world looked away from Afghanistan the World Trade Center was destroyed and the War on Terror was launched.

I have heard conflicting reports on the poppy crop, some people say it is less than it was and some people say more. I am sure a fungus could destroy the ability of Afghans to grow poppies for some time but I suppose the fear is that only resentment would come from such a policy. But then again, if there was not such a market in the West for the drugs they would not be growing them.

Today in Iraq 40 people were killed. One was an American soldier with the 4th ID [my cousin's unit] and two were CBS camera people, and a reporter was badly injured. I would hope there was a finite number of suicide bombers but sometimes I wonder if they will ever stop until the Muslim world tires of the ceaseless violence. Most of the victims of the Jihad these days seem to be Muslim. I wonder how that figures into the whole world domination scenario.

We will be hearing in a couple of weeks about the deaths of Iraqi civilians at the hands of American Marines in Haditha, Iraq. It seems that most of the scrutiny is on two soldiers. I don't know which I find more distressing, the fact that soldiers would be involved in something like this or the fact that a former Marine turned politician like Murtha would use the incident to further his own political agenda. I guess Kerry is not the only former soldier turned Democrat Representative who likes to call soldiers murderers from the safe confines of Washington D.C.

On this Memorial Day I offer my heartfelt thanks to the men and women of our armed forces.


MeaninglessHotAir said...

Last night I watched a crummy movie made in the Sixties starring Frank Sinatra in which he's the captain of a group in Burma fighting against the Japanese. A group of Chinese soldiers crosses the border, attacks an American convoy unproked, kills them all and steals the supplies. The Americans and Kchin cross back into China, round up the Chinese soldiers, and then kill them all.

The captain gets off scot free.

What struck me about this is that the writers clearly thought that such behavior, although certainly not commendable, was somewhat inevitable and somewhat justifiable in wartime. Writers living during the Sixties.

Nowadays our perception has changed. A large part of the audience and writers in those days probably served in WWII. The only war most of the audience could have served in nowadays is Vietnam, and probably none of the writers even know anybody who has served in a war.

Right now we're in wartime but for most of the population this is peacetime, so our perception is skewed. We're applying the wrong set of experiences and the wrong set of assumptions.

buddy larsen said...

My sentiments exactly. The accepted figure for Afghan civilians killed during the USSR occupation is one million. Yet the news is always about Anerican transgressions.

By right, the news ought to be how astonishingly few--given the incredible situation of hidden enemy inside the civilian population--incidents there've actually been.

buddy larsen said...

Talking about old movies--a few days ago "Sgt. York", from 1941, with Gary Cooper, played on tv. To me in 2006 it was one of those odd double-layered peeps into socio-historiography (!), in that you got to see 1941's take on 1916 in the Tennessee mountain country. (most of the movie is about Sgt. York's upbringing). Anyway, I looked into the topic later, and found (for those interested in the heart of Americana) this gem.

buddy larsen said...

PS, don't miss the links at the bottom of the piece. Haven't opened "Outlaw Women" yet--waiting for Saturday Nite.

Unknown said...

Yes, most people today can not imagine how ugly it can get.