RANGER AGAINST WAR: Alpha and Omega <

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alpha and Omega

--10th Group Special Forces 

You broke my heart
'Cause I couldn't dance
You didn't even want me around
And now I'm back, to let you know
I can really shake 'em down
--Now That I Can Dance, The Contours

 The Last Man always carries an automatic weapon
--The Omega Man (1971)  

What is the relation between the ostensibly the first example of Special military operations -- the Trojan Wars -- and that fought by the Special Forces today? (David and Goliath might have been an earlier example of Special Ops, but that is for another time, perhaps.)

The Trojan War was fought to capture (liberate?) Helen -- the face that launched a thousand ships. More precisely, to return her favors to a powerful man, after she had been expropriated (chose?) another. Powerful men, like the powerful nations they often preside over, do not like to be embarrassed, so their reaction to slights is often heavy-handed (=war).

That war was long, costly and grueling, and it was decided by the Trojan horse feint; we are still wary over Greeks bearing gifts. The archetypes of this engagement have become common. While the Greeks could kill all of Troy's men and rape and enslave the women, they could not alter Helen's wayward ways; the war may even encouraged them.

In our current wars on terrorism, the United states launched its own 1,000 ships despite the fact that no one could be returned from the initial calamity.  There was no Paris to bear the brunt of our fury, nor a Troy to target. 1,000 ships might be a bit much for one woman, but our accounting is far worse: 5-6,000 soldiers dead; 5,000 so seriously wounded they will require lifetime full attendance; 30,000+ wounded, with hundreds of thousand afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Do any of these facts make the dead of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01 rest an more easily? Did returning Helen from Troy convert her into a loving wife? The Phony War on Terror (PWOT) has seen the closing of the cirlcle on the concept of Special Ops -- the Omega to Troy's Alpha. What have we learned since the destruction of Troy?

The United States invades countries trying to win hearts and minds, like Paris courting a loosely-moraled queen. We have killed multitudes of Iraqis, Islamic volunteers and similar Afghan stooges, but to what avail? Is the U.S. safer or stronger by the efforts of our Trojan Forces? Is the region from Algeria to Pakistan any more stable or friendly to our interests? Does Helen love us?

5,000 years separate the wars, and we have not come far from the idea of punitive expeditions and vengeful wars. While the predication action for neither war was warfare, they spawned military responses. 

5,000 years ... a teardrop in time. Not long enough to figure out a viable alternative to calling knee-jerk wars in response to offense or crime. We are all still Menelaus, the slighted, wronged man who will never know if his efforts equaled his gain.

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Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

Is the Wash. Navy Yard massacre a "punitive and vengeful" response to our not bombing Syria?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 9:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Well, ol' Menelaeus got his ol' lady back and he got to have some good ol fashioned warrior-y, pillage-y, rape-y fun when Troy went down after ten years of sitting on his ass outside the walls. So there's that.

But, yeah; humans are nasty little monkeys, always ready to fling our poop or throw branches, aren't we?

Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 11:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Army Reservist said...

I think trying to connect the Navy Yard shooting to Syria is a stretch. Terrorists and crazies can do terrible things for any reason.

Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Bill Ingram said...

McCain and Abel were brothers
McCain always lies out of both side of his face.
Abel was not able to do so.
McCain claims to be a Republican
Abel is a Republican
McCain claims a LOT of things.....
Abel actually does what he says he will do.
The difference between McCain and Abel is obvious to many but not enough to make a difference, therefor McCain always wins.
McCain wins, therefor - we all lose. Abel is not able but he is many time more capABLE. So what.

dedicated to McCain and poor Abel
for Abel (played by myself) exited VietNam the very morning that McCain was shot down over N Vietnam. McCain later became a powerful politician. Abel wondered the world, worked hard and had a good "Honest" life and enjoyed his travels and the many people he had the opportunity to meet. Abel did not cheat, steal or lie to those he met in his travels but he harmed nobody in the process and may have even made their lives a little brighter in the process.

Long live Abel and to hell with McCain.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 12:43:00 PM GMT-5  

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