Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Wasteland

Waste: verb, wast·ed, wast·ing

1. to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander.
2. to destroy or consume gradually; wear away
3. to be consumed, spent, or employed uselessly or without giving full value or being fully utilized or appreciated.

Dictionary.com has over 30 definitions, as if anyone really needed to look up such a word.

Barak Obama may be learning that illusions are more important than reality, that words carry meaning unrelated to their denotations or connotations and that disturbing the illusions upon which people build their lives and sanity will cost a candidate dearly. Obama is going to have to learn doublethink if he wants to win and he's going to have to temper the directness of speech that may be his cardinal virtue.

He has had to apologize repeatedly and abjectly for stating what I believe is the uncontrovertable truth: the lives of thousands of Americans who marched off to protect their country from a manufactured danger and to advance the interests of certain industries and corporations and individuals have been wasted. Regardless of any real or imaginary benefit we have brought to the wasteland of Iraq or might in future bring; giving one's life or limbs to topple a foreign government and to replace it with something worse is a waste. Only someone who thinks the lives of our troops have no value might argue otherwise. Yet here we have America, wallowing in the notion that killing one's first born is noble if the death allows a sham election and a corrupt, malignant government involved in a bloody religious holocaust.

I do sympathize with the families who cannot face the fact that their husbands or wives or children were sacrificed on the altar of Mammon because of the imperial ambitions of an ignorant president and the martial spirit of a delusional public, but lives were wasted. The nation was neither protected or advanced and the world has been destabilized and endangered. Their lives were wasted -- wasted amidst the waving of flags and the posting of yellow ribbons and the assault on people of conscience and the sick fantasy that somehow this is the 1940's and American troops are on the side of the angels, their deaths a glorious sacrifice.


Intellectual Insurgent said...

Right-wingers never apologize for the far more outrageous nonsense that spews from their gutter mouths, yet when a Democrat utters the slightest criticism and people yell, he cowers and apologizes. This is why Democrats do not earn respect.

d.K. said...

I was VERY disappointed to see Obama back off his clearly evident retreat from the plainly sane statement that lives have been wasted. I was an intel analyst once, when we couldn't say "stalemate" regarding a certain conflict, but rather, "standoff" was the preferred word for the stalemate we were trying to describe, so I understand this bizarre, measured consideration regarding how we report the truth. I'm sorry he backed down. Lives wasted should enrage those who have lost in this trumped up war, and should not be viewed as in any way as disrespectful to those who have paid that ultimate price. On the contrary. It doesn't diminish their sacrifice - it clarifies the reasons they are no longer with us. But the spin machine can so easily make this seem, insanely, like a diminishing of their worth and sacrifice. Please, people, THINK... It doesn't mean that, and Obama knows that, and offers you more commiseration in saying so, than the spin doctors, who try to distort his message. It's disgusting, and immoral. And shame on Barack, who foolishly "regretted" his choice of words, instead of trying to explain why he said is True.
I would make a foolish, failing politician, I know, but still, the very things that have attracted me to Obama, are already showing their very unravelling... so not good.

Capt. Fogg said...

There is no word for the disgust I feel for the people who try to stifle all conversation about this war and every military action our president engages in by claiming it either shows disrespect, dishonors or demoralizes the troops. It shows enormous disrespect for our country, it shows enormous disrespect for the military, it shows contempt for democracy and human life. I refuse to be held hostage by some bogus obligation never to say anything that interferes with the lies the government tells us and tells the "troops."

Reign of Reason said...

The problem is most Americans prefer to live in a fantasy land of their own construction that face the reality of their (and their country's) existence.

Dealing with the truth of their sacrifice requires judging the validity of our actions... a much harder enterprise than merely waving the flag.

Capt. Fogg said...

Yes, you're right.

d nova said...

wasted. absolutely! thanx 4 saying it.

i think the aversion 2 admitting it is a symptom o creeping militarism, n is a big part o what makes that creep so insidious.