Monday, June 18, 2007

The eve of destruction

"We are truly sorry for the innocent lives lost in this attack."

How many times have we heard this phrase and how many times has it referred to events in the middle east and Afghanistan and Viet Nam? "
Coalition" spokesman Major Chris Belcher expressed his apologies for the deaths yesterday of seven schoolchildren who were in what they called an Al Qaeda safe house. They had no information that they were there, he said.
"This is another example of Al-Qaeda using the protective status of a mosque, as well as innocent civilians, to shield themselves."
We've heard that one too in the context of the undying war between Israel and its neighbors and it's undoubtedly accurate, although whether the Western public accepts blaming various Islamic insurgencies, their attackers or both has much to do with whose side they already are on in the various conflicts. The lesson we do not seem to be learning however is that we are not fighting the kind of war our weapons and tactics were designed for and thus civilian casualties - many civilian casualties are inevitable. There are no lines, no massed troops, no trenches, no territory to be taken and yet the fatuous language about "hearts and minds" we have had to listen to for half a century continues, despite the fact that killing children, destroying houses and laying waste to the infrastructure of a country does nothing but harden the hatred and arouse the resolve to throw us out or to die trying.

Still countries like Israel and the US have not begun to see beyond their need for immediate security and beyond traditional views of victory or surrender and they continue to put their faith in weapons designed to fight armies and navies and nations. The weaponry backing up our claim to be the most powerful nation on Earth was designed to destroy civilizations, to annihilate nations and by intimidation, prevent it being done to us. They are useless against a diverse and widespread culture. You cannot nuke peoples hearts and minds or blow away their hatred of western political and commercial culture; its heresy and its history and its avarice for their resources. If you are indeed come to save the world and you kill my children, I will hate you. None of us are different.

No matter how much of the hatred toward the Western world has much or nothing to do with our religions, our secular governments, our attitudes toward women and sexuality, we were not attacked by suicide pilots because of what we do at home, but because of what is seen as imperialism; as interference; as aggression. By doing what we are doing we have converted the few who sympathized with us to radicalism and hatred toward us. There can be no other outcome but tragedy now. We cannot pacify Afghanistan of Iraq with violence, we cannot withdraw without loosing the monster we have created on the people of those countries and perhaps on our own. We cannot kill them all and I fear that George the Bastard has set us all on a course for destruction from which we can no longer deviate.

2 comments:

d nova said...

ah! but the innocent always suffer in war. that's war, right?

that's also why it's criminal to go to war unless it's absolutely necessary.

Capt. Fogg said...

Amen