Sunday, August 8, 2010

Le dimanche matin tombe

"Did you see the words?...
You dress yourself out tonight
Getting tangled up in arms and legs
It's comfortable
Someone grabs ahold of you go "Ooo-oo-oooh!"
Should you go ho-o-ome?
There's something starting don't know why
In a house so cozy
Few words are spoken
Let's take our shoes off
And unwind
And there's minuets off in the background drownin' out
Eyes off ears off test the kiss goodnight.goodni-i-ight
Don't keep my loving on my mind
'Cause it's messy yes this mess is mine
Well mine is mess yours is maybe nine
Look we have similar stitches
Look we have similar frowns
Do the eldery couples still
Kiss and hug and grab their big wrinkly skin so tough wrinkly wrink-wrink-wrinkly rough?"

Perusing the blog of a family friend, Sylvia, I became aware of a recent tragedy in Afghanistan. Sylvia, living and working with her husband Axel in Kabul, is fine, but shaken. I don't blame her, and I am sending them both safe and positive energy.

Of course, Kabul is a much safer place than the border provinces where the killings took place. Without discounting the tragedy of this individual event, it is merely one violent incident among many others, too many to count or comprehend, perpetrated by those on every side of this conflict. After the details at the beginning of the article, these bits near the end caught my attention:

Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since US-led and Afghan armed groups overthrew the Taliban in 2001. June was the bloodiest month for foreign forces in Afghanistan since then, with more than 100 killed...
Despite a record number of foreign forces in Afghanistan, standing at some 140,000 backed by tens of thousands of Afghan forces, the Taliban have extended their campaign out of traditional power bases in the south and east into the north and elsewhere in recent years.

The endless cycle of violence grinds on throughout the world, in some places more than others. With no end of the foreign invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in sight, we now have the highest number of foreign boots on the ground in 9 years. June was the bloodiest month in terms of foreign casualties, and July was the bloodiest for civilians.

Our 'mission' aside, lets just consider those statistics. Contemplate, if you will for just a moment, the death of one of your closest friends. Let that sink in for a second.

Now, think about the death of two thousand people, the number of U.S.-led foreign troops who have died in Afghanistan over the past 9 years....What if one by one every person you have ever met, in your entire life, dropped dead over the course of the next nine years?

The story of the civilian casualties of the war in Afghanistan is also grim. What if 830 of your acquaintances and classmates were killed or injured over the next month? That is how many Afghani civilians our war on terror claimed during July, 2010.

What if our 'mission' in the Middle East and elsewhere cannot be accomplished? What victory does the war on terror claim to pursue? The eradication of terror on this earth? The absurdity of such a goal would be laughable if it hadn't already claimed thousands and thousands of lives, and counting.

I am no political or military strategist, but I do like to think I am possessed of some logic and common sense. It seems to me that the more men with guns we send over to Afghanistan and Iraq the more graves, both there and at home, we will have to dig. Violence and hatred breed more roadside bombs, more attacks in the night, more death and destruction, no matter how much that violence is gussied up with the rags of democratizing press releases about order and nation-building. I want my country to face the truth, to acknowledge their failures past and present, and to get the fuck out. Plain and simple, we don't belong, at least not in our current capacity armed with bullets, bombs, and flags. The US of A is the biggest perpetrator of war, the grandest purveyor of terror, in the world today. We sell terror, in the form of weapons and tactics, to the highest bidders. We spread ideas about the ability of violence to solve problems with every deployment of peace keeping missions armed with rifles and camouflage.

Temporary solutions to complex situations do not last. "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold," mere democracy is loosed upon the world. I hope you feel safer when you sleep at night. Would you feel safe in your bed in Afghanistan or Iraq? Think about that the next time you wave your flag and toast your ideals.

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