Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Is This Man Smiling?

Really.  You'd think he'd just been told the gender of his yet-to-be-born child.  Or that his favorite NBA team had signed Lebron James.  Or even that there would be pie after dinner.  This does not look like a man who has been talking to senators about a costly war in a far away land...the very war he will take charge of in the wake of a humiliating final curtain for his predecessor in the theater we call Afghanistan. 

General David Petraeus...beaming, wouldn't you say?  Not the face you'd expect to see on a man for whom it is a self-proclaimed "moral imperative" to keep 98,000 US men and women alive in the middle of a complicated war that we started, and almost no one believes we can win. 

61 of those men and women died in Afghanistan in June.
One of those was killed at an airfield in Kandahar today. 
In point of fact, June 2010 was the deadliest month in the war on terror since it began almost 9 years ago. 

A moral imperative, Mr. Thumbs Up General?  When does that kick in?  Will it be a Back to School moral imperative?  A Christmas moral imperative? A Mother's Day 2011 moral imperative? 

Because if saving the lives of our armed forces in Afghanistan is a moral imperative of yours, you should know that following up the declaration of such by telling senators the deadliest months may still be ahead, and then punctuating the whole transaction with a big smile and a thumbs up....well, that just doesn't say "I mean it" to me. 

A moral imperative, General, in the purest tradition of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, means this:  "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

When it becomes universal law, General, that more dying and more killing and more flag draped caskets and more crying mothers and more war poor civilians is the right and unavoidable thing - you can have a pass for your comments, your smile, and your thumbs up. 

Of course on that day we'll all be living in Hell.

Thumbs up?


Friday, June 4, 2010

A Perfect World

We have spent 1-trillion dollars on war since 2002.

5,462 American military personnel have been buried in flag draped caskets while that money has been spent.

Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of regular people in Afghanistan and Iraq have been killed.

Dollars for food, clean water, economic stability, education, and improved health in the world have been diverted for guns, bombs, and drones.

It is hard to imagine peace.

And then this pops up on my screen today.  It made me smile.
Seed grenades.

Oh, in a perfect world...

Planes would drop food.
Guns would shoot vaccines.
Troops would dig water wells.

And grenades would explode into new life for the planet.

It's a beautiful day for dreaming.