RANGER AGAINST WAR: Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? <

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

--What truth?
--That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else,
you were born into bondage,
born into a prison that you cannot smell, or taste, or touch
... a prison for your mind.
--The Matrix (1999)

Birds of a feather flock together
--Sister Roberta, St. Francis Day School '57

Actions speak louder than words

The enemy of my enemy is my friend,
--Arabic proverb

[T]he companions of our childhood
always possess a certain power over our minds
which hardly any later friend can obtain
--Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Reflecting, I see I learned everything I needed to know in 5th grade in order to be a President, or Secretary of State or Defense. It is strange that the people who inhabit these posts are not smarter than fifth graders.

As a skinny little fifth grade country boy new to the city, I used to get my ass pounded on by the class tough guys. This brutality was regular and it was not hard to figure out that these assholes were my enemies. Fortunately a classmate intervened -- a natural-born pugilist name of Fergus O'Flannigan, stopping these fun-filled slug fests by throwing a few punches in retaliation.

This taught future Ranger a golden lesson: The ability to distinguish friend from foe. Simply: Friends protect you; enemies pound on you.
Further, my friend's friends are mine, too, and the friend of my enemy is also my enemy. Nothing earth-shaking, but why does current policy ignore this simple equation?

India and Pakistan are sworn enemies; we can't be friends of both without someone's dissembling.

Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot be friends when Pakistani officials support Taliban forces and when we speak of the Afghanistan which is the Frankensteinian monster of U.S. creation. The alternate interpretation is that the Afghanistan separate from U.S. fantasies is a natural friend of Pakistan due to the Taliban affiliation. If the latter is true then Pakistan is the friend of an enemy, and still falls into the enemy category. Pakistan as ally is a faulty construct.

So in the fifth grade a young man learned of enmity and friendship. Treat your enemies as such and hold your friends close to the vest. The problem with U.S. foreign policy is that none of our leaders have any basic street smarts that a kid in East side Cleveland learns as a matter of survival.


Anonymous Juan Moment said...

What are you suggesting Ranger? What concrete steps should Obama be taking re Pakistan? And what will they gain?

Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 9:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm not suggesting - i'm saying that the US should get the hell out of the region.

Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 1:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

The bottom line is that Pakistan's interest in hating on India will always trump it's interest in catering to the U.S. India is right there and forever; the U.S. is far away and occasional.

So unless we can promise the Pakistanis a government in Kabul that will always be in their pocket, we might as well forget getting anything from them. And if we do that...we risk losing our position with India, which, on the global geopolitical scale, is immensely more important than Pakistan, Afghanistan, and AQ all rolled into one.

So basically jim has it right; if we can't do what we need to obtain the optimal solution, we're better off letting our proxies in the region make the best deal they can.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 5:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I just don't get our policies.
Do our leaders ever think beyond their noses.
Our policies are just plain stupid.
Remove Iraq as a counterforce to Iran. Back the Northern alliance, and oppose Iran at the same time.
All our policies are counter productive b/c we don't have a real philosophy centering our beliefs and actions.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 12:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

Our policies are just plain stupid.

For us as taxpayers and people prepared to sacrifice their life to enforce US foreign policy it looks like stupidity, but if you are a substantial shareholder in Lockheed Martin or a Boeing exec then the warped US foreign policy is precisely what you'd be wishing for.

From the perspective of someone interested in maintaining a troop presence in Afghanistan, be that to aid US interests in the stupendous amounts of mineral resources as yet unmined or to project US military power in a region cluttered with perceived enemies, US policies are producing the desired outcomes.

There is too much method in the chaos for it to be unintented.

Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 5:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Range--the enemy of your enemy AIN'T Necessarily your friend. Take this example--a Nazi skinhead and a Ku Klux Klansman are friends. The skinhead steals the Klansman's old lady, becoming a deadly enemy of the Klansman. Does that mean that the Klansman is gonna invite me, a Black dude, to go out for a coupla beers? HELL NO! The enemy of your enemy may become a temporary ally, or may STILL be your enemy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 7:50:00 AM GMT-5  

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