Normality highly values its normal man.
It educates children to lose themselves
and to become absurd, and thus to be normal.
Normal men have killed perhaps 100, 000
of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years
--R. D. Laing
He who would turn himself into an angel
turns himself into a beast
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know!
--Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Ranger takes issue with a local Veterans Day editorial supporting our troops since "America is at war today" where they are fighting for our "freedoms and liberty" (Brothers Who Went to War).
With all due respect to the editor, while we are engaged in combat we are not at war, be it legal or moral. Wars can be won or lost, but the combat in which our soldiers are engaged can never gain victory. Iraq will remain destabilized whether the U.S. stays or goes; one certitude is that neither the Iraqi people nor their government are pro-USA (aside from some Western-educated elites who spoke so glowingly of the invasion on various U.S. talk shows in 2003).
Afghanistan is clearly lost when President Hamid Karzai said last week his country will join with Brother Pakistan should the U.S. ever invade that country. Neither the people nor the governments of AFPAK are our friends, and the next elections in Pakistan will surely usher in more anti-US representation.
But that is elective government, and we are fighting for these countries to be able to choose against their occupiers (=us) -- is this nihilistic act that of a sensible nation? The War on Terror has been a lose-lose for the U.S.. Field Marshall Rommel said in World War II, Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. We ignore that seemingly obvious dictum to our detriment.
What rights are we fighting for when our police now cow protesters exercising their rights of free speech and assembly? We began to lose our grip on our vaunted rights when we entered the dark world of torture, rendition and suspension of habeas corpus. The loosing continued with the trampling of the Geneva Conventions. Now our Presidents put out hits on U.S. citizens suspected of being terrorists, sans trial (see Anwar al-Awlaki).
Our soldiers may be fighting, but it is not war. This fight does not reflect the legal, moral or spiritual values of our once-great nation.